“The Bible of Modern Pterosaurs”

pre-publication version of the front cover of this nonfiction book

Searching for Ropens and Finding God was published on April 18th, the third edition of the book that I started writing, in its first edition, in 2005. It’s the fruit of thousands of hours of research and writing, but why should it be labeled “the Bible of modern pterosaurs?” At 9×6 inches, with 353 printed pages, it covers eyewitness sightings from around the world, including Europe, Africa, North America, and the southwest Pacific (including Australia and Papua New Guinea). New chapters were added to the second edition, including Chapter 21: “Pterosaurs in the USA,” which chapter by itself is 100 pages. Judge the quality of the book for yourself, but it’s much bigger than anything else I’ve written.

Herodotus, known as the “father of history,” is reported to have said, “wings are not feathered, but resemble very closely those of the bat,” when he referred to the “winged serpents” known in Egypt and Arabia in his time; yet no mention is made of Herodotus in Searching for Ropens and Finding God, for that historian lived twenty-four centuries ago, and my book really is about modern pterosaurs.

The fiery flying serpent flies through but a few paragraphs, for although Moses lived many centuries ago, featherless long-tailed winged creatures are tied to the real Bible in my “Bible of modern pterosaurs.” Yet many pages promoting disbelief in the General Theory of Evolution were removed from earlier editions of my book. I have assumed that readers of this third edition will already believe in God, with little need for me to provide additional evidences for literal interpretations of the Old Testament, so this book is filled much more with astonishing eyewitness encounters.

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"Searching for Ropens and Finding God" back cover

Searching for Ropens and Finding God (back cover)

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Quoting from page 179 of the book (sighting in Maryland):

On September 15, 2013, I received an email just one hour after the sighting:

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“This may not seem strange to you but it was certainly the first time I have had a sighting of a pterodactyl. It was around 12:30 p.m., sunny skies, cooler temperatures (75 degrees). It was extremely large (way too large to be considered an eagle and there were no feathers). The head was certainly noticeable and the large wing span and tail. The skin was grey (?) in color and wrinkled. Flying alone.

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“Not sure if you are still keeping tract of them but one was spotted in Maryland today, 9/15/2013. Super amazing. . . . I will never forget it.”

IMPORTANT UPDATE:

The fourth edition of this nonfiction paperback on modern pterosaurs is being published around the first week of November, 2014. This supersedes the third edition, with a few new sighting reports and many minor revisions and corrections. Purchase the newer edition, for it’s at the same price.

pre-publication version of the front cover of this nonfiction book

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Ropen (sighting in Africa, quoting from Searching for Ropens and Finding God)

“It was very large, about 4 or 5 feet in height. It . . . [had] no feathers. It was leathery looking.  It had a large long, wide beak and the classic appendage (the long bone looking thing sticking  out the back of its head). . . . It had really large black claws and its tail looked like a lion’s tail  . . . very long and had a bushy or hairy tip” . . .

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Fiery Flying Serpent and Flying Dragons

Translators of the King James Version of the Bible, centuries ago, lived before the English language had the words “dinosaur” and “pterosaur,” so don’t expect to find either word in an old Bible. The translators did their best in translating an interesting Old Testament phrase into English: “fiery flying serpent.” Some Bible commentators have suggested that the animals that were called by that title were actually venomous snakes whose bite caused a burning sensation in the wound of the victim and whose strike was so fast that it was called “flying.” There are serious problems, however, with that interpretation. It assumes that two of the three words were ill-chosen. But what if “serpent” was the inaccurate word? What if a venomous bioluminescent flying creature was called by the ancient Israelites “serpents” (snakes) because their long featherless tails made them somewhat snake-like when their wings were curled up during non-flight, when they were at rest? It is a simpler interpretation to assume only one of three words is very imprecise, rather than two.

Fiery Flying Serpent and Marfa Lights

What about the Fiery Flying Serpent? For Moses, when the Israelites needed to be healed from venom, what would have been the worst possible choice of an animal image to use as a symbol, to strengthen the faith of the people of God? How obvious! Use anything except the image of a snake, for that animal relates to Satan in the Garden of Eden.

I’ve written much about my investigations over the past eight years, much of it concerning the testimonies of eyewitnesses whom I have interviewed (more recently concerning conjectures about Marfa Lights). From various countries, various languages, various cultures, and various religions, these common persons simply tell me about their encounters with flying creatures that have various names. Most of the flying creatures are described with long tails, and most eyewitnesses have various degrees of certainty about the absence of feathers. Those two factors alone suggest living pterosaurs.

New View on the Fiery Flying Serpent

In our modern technical world, we are struck by an ancient Hebrew phrase. “Fiery flying serpent,” directly interpreted, appears unconnected with any living thing, or at least unclassified by modern standard biology as living at the time of Moses. Some Bible scholars have assumed that a story of anything like a flying fire-breathing dragon could not have come from any real animal. Thus, to avoid a strange direct interpretation, we’ve been fed indirect meanings for “fiery” and “flying.”

I sometimes come across the word “dragon” in a communication with an eyewitness of what I suspect or believe was a live pterosaur, for example, the glowing dragon observed in England in 1987 or 1988 (I received an email from the eyewitness). In 2004, during my expedition trip to Papua New Guinea, I heard about the dragon called “Wawanar” by an old sailor. But most eyewitness use another word, like “dinosaur bird.” Of course, eyewitnesses usually mean neither a dinosaur nor a bird, but that’s a phrase that may come to mind.

Third edition of "Live Pterosaurs in America"

“Fiery flying serpent” (small) or giant bioluminescent Rhamphornynchoid pterosaur?

Eskin Kuhn drew this sketch one of the two pterosaurs he saw flying in Cuba

If my memory of a few Old Testament scriptures serves me correctly, I just realized something about comparing the “fiery flying serpent” of the Bible with the ropen of Papua New Guinea. Whatever the species of snake-like animal that terrorized the people of Moses long ago (I believe it was a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur), it may be a different species than what has terrorized natives of Umboi Island in more recent years. Where in the Old Testament does it mention anything about a giant size?

The subject comes up because of this post on the Bible and Modern Pterosaurs blog: New View on the Fiery Flying Serpent. The ancient Israelites were terrorized because of the venom of this creature (something like a flying snake), not because of the size. (The giant size of the Galapagos Tortoise comes to mind, although this might not be directly related to the giant size of the ropen of Umboi.) Nevertheless, the combination of brilliant bioluminescence and winged flight ties together these two interpretations, this meaning of ancient scriptures and modern eyewitness testimonies.

For those interested less in biology and more in scriptural significance (quote from The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs):

“Another problem with the snake interpretation strikes me to the heart. What is the usual symbolism here? Who does the snake usually represent in the Old and New Testament?  Satan, of course. Does it seem likely that a true serpent would be used to symbolize Jesus Christ? If the “fiery flying serpent” were a snake, Moses would have killed one of them and dragged the dead snake on the ground, to symbolize God’s victory over Satan. He would not have given the Israelites the symbol for Satan, to look up to a common snake for healing or salvation.”

For those interested in flying glowing lights in Papua New Guinea: Pterosaur Interpretation of Cheesman Sightings

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First edition, nonfiction book "Live Pterosaurs in America"Did you know that living pterosaurs have been reported in North America, even in the United States? Read the many eyewitness sighting reports  by purchasing your own copy of this nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America. It explains the true nature of the controversay: not “science versus religion” but one philosophy versus another (in book appendix); nevertheless, this is a cryptozoology book, not a religious book. (Photo on the left is of the cover of the first edition. The book is now in its third edition, greatly expanded from the original.)