Let’s consider the sighting by Scott Thomas Norman, as it’s a few days after his birthday (March 15, 1964) and a month after the anniversary of his death (February 29, 2008). His encounter deserves another look, in light of earlier sightings in Papua New Guinea and recent sightings in North America. The following is part of his record of his sighting one night in 2007 in California:
On the second night, I didn’t participate . . . until much later that evening . . .
He was skeptical about the pterosaur possibility, before his own encounter:
… our contact had a video of an animal that was supposed to be a pterosaur . . . Garth [Guessman], David [Woetzel], and some others believed it [was a pterosaur] . . . to me it was just a bird and I had some other people look at the video and they thought it was a bird also. . . . [I was] very skeptical and didn’t think we would see anything.
The other cryptozoologists went to bed early that night as Scott kept watch.
I stayed up till 4 a.m. Here’s the kicker, the skeptic between 1:30-2:30 a.m., probably closer to 2 a.m., has a sighting! . . .
The animal I saw had an 8-10 foot wing span, the wings were bat-like in shape, the inside had that wavy type of look. The body was about 5-6 feet in length, the neck about 1-2 feet in length, the head was about four feet in length, and the head was key for me: it has a crest that was about 2 feet in length, fit that of a pteranodon, don’t know how else to describe it. . . .
My sighting lasted 15 to 20 seconds, so I had a good look at the animal. My first impression of the animal was, this thing is big. Have no video or stills of it, I didn’t have my equipment out because I didn’t think I would see anything and even if I did I don’t think I would have been able to capture a clear picture of it. . . .
So that’s what I saw, something that I’ve never seen before, is it a pteranodon, I can’t say 100% until more research is done, or is something else, a bird that I just mistook, possibly, but not sure what to do about the head crest. Whatever this animal is, it was big, and that was my first thought, and it’s possible its wing span may have been even bigger . . .
It seems to me that Scott was allowing for the possibility that the wingspan may have been even more than ten feet. Thank you to the cryptozoologist Chad Arment for publishing Scott Norman’s account online.
Compared With Other Sightings of Apparent Pterosaurs
In the fourth edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God, I reported an encounter around 1986 in New Jersey:
. . . what [we] saw was NO PELICAN. I would say the closest we were was about 25/30 [feet] . . . “The body was about six feet long (from tip of nose to tip of toes) . . . the head was at least three feet . . . the wings were very bat-like (stretched skin) and roughly sixteen feet+ total wing-span.
I really think it was a younger Pteranodon because the back of the head was only half the size of the ‘beak’ area.
Also in my book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, I reported a series of sightings on the island of New Britain in Papua New Guinea:
The three American eyewitnesses had two things in common: They were helping or visiting a medical mission in the interior of New Britain, east of Umboi Island, and they saw one or more strange creatures that fly in daylight.
The ten sightings by these eyewitnesses were from 1989-1991, all in the same area. All saw a bill or beak-like mouth; none mentioned feathers. Two saw nothing like a tail; one saw what might have been a tail, but more likely were legs.
The lack of any long tail could suggest they could have been something like Pteranodons.
Today [July 19, 2013] is the six-year anniversary of the pterosaur sighting by the late cryptozoologist Scott Norman. His associates are grateful that he left us an objective report of his encounter soon after it happened, for he passed away less than a year later.
The point of Scott Norman’s sighting involves what he was expecting: either a bird, something glowing, or nothing. He was surprised to see a large pterosaur-like flying creaure, and it was NOT glowing.
. . . many natives carry a common fear in the dark: a huge glowing creature flying in the night. Natives on Umboi Island call it ropen.
. . . the ten sightings, of pterodactyl-like creatures flying over the island of New Britain, were from April of 1989 through 1991. . . . The New Britain creatures are seen in the daylight and often fly two or three at a time, even in single file. They are said to glide without any wing flapping . . .
Searching for Ropens and Finding God – a nonfiction cryptozoology book
From the title page of this paperback by cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb:
A few Americans explored a few islands in the southwest Pacific, in brief expeditions scattered between 1993 and 2007, looking for a modern pterosaur. “Creationist” each man was labeled, yet many of those following them carried no religious purpose. The creatures have many names: seklo-bali, duwas, wawanar, indava, kor, kundua. In Papua New Guinea, natives in isolated communities speak in village languages numbering in the hundreds, yet many natives carry a common fear in the dark: a huge glowing creature flying in the night. Natives on Umboi Island call it ropen.