Umboi Island (Siassi)
in Papua New Guinea
The above five men, and a few others, have explored Umboi Island, in Papua New Guinea,
to search for the elusive ropen. The nocturnal predator is thought to be a modern pterosaur.
Ropen of Umboi Island
Umboi Island Expedition
Many people in “Piugini,” or Papua New Guinea,
call this island “Big Siassi.” This tropical volcanic
island, at about 900 square kilometers in area,
may be best known as the home of the ropen,
a giant glowing creature that flies at night.
Its Villages, Lakes, and Mountains
On the northern coast are Aupwel and Kampalap,
villages where natives sometimes see the flying light
they call “ropen.” To the south are the villages of
Gomlongon and Opai.
Buan is the largest lake, surrounded by marshy land.
Several volcanic peaks include Barik, Sual, Tolo, and
the largest mountain, Bel. Some of those mountains
have crater lakes, in particular Pung, within those
peaks that include Mount Tolo. This is where seven
boys saw a ropen around late 1993 or early 1994.
Book on Pterosaur of Umboi
In the non-fiction book Searching for Ropens, the
cryptozoological investigations of this creature are
analyzed and compared with standard models that
are popularly taught regarding science. The book also
takes a humorous look at how a visitor from the USA,
who was not a mountain climber, struggled through
jungle trails in his quest to videotape a ropen.
Introduction to Umboi Island
Flying dinosaurs in Papua New Guinea
Two of the three native eyewitnesses interviewed by
the American explorer Jonathan Whitcomb in 2004,
in a remote village on Umboi Island. They were part
of a group of seven teenagers who were terrorized by
a giant ropen flying over the crater lake called “Pung.”
The small children are sweet and innocent,
yet remarkably capable. A seven-year-old
can carry a machete up a tree, then toss
coconuts down to the ground with ease.
Villagers are asking for help; they need to dig
a well, for now they must walk up a steep hill,
every day, when they carry water.
These children in a small village near Lake Pung,
were excited at the rare visit from an American.
Perhaps they had never before seen a man with
white skin and a video camera (Whitcomb).
Umboi Island, northeast of the mainland
on the nation of Papua New Guinea
Opai Village and Gomlongon Village
Michael, of Opai Village, describes a grave robbery by
the ropen of Umboi Island, as the American Jonathan
Whitcomb asks him questions about the strange event.
Although there are legends about the glowing ropen,
investigators believe this is a real creature, probably
a “basal” or Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. When it
is seen clearly, the description resembles those for
other flying creatures in other parts of the world.
The pterosaur is not actually a “flying dinosaur,”
even though some Americans might call it that. It
is a different kind of animal, not any kind of bat or
bird, with a different wing structure entirely.
Contrary to the opinion of some skeptics, ideas about
the Mesozoic strata cannot reasonably be used as if
evidence against the idea of living pterosaurs. One
critical part of dating strata is in finding what kinds of
fossils are in it. That challenges objectivity when a
paleontologist is assuming that no species of any
pterosaur survived past about 65 million years ago,
for any newly discovered pterosaur fossil is always
dated according to that assumption.
Opai Village and Gomlongon are southwest of Lake
Buan. Many natives have witnessed a strange light
at night, known by the villagers as “ropen.” It is said
to fly out to the coast to catch fish at night. Some
researchers believe its bioluminescence can help
the creature in catching the fish, but much research
still needs to be done.
Copyright 2005-2013 Jonathan David Whitcomb
This sketch of the “Gitmo Pterosaurs” of Cuba,
drawn by eyewitness Eskin C. Kuhn, may be
closely related to the ropen of Umboi Island