Gideon Koro and

Jonah Jim compared

Live Pterosaur




Gideon Koro and Jonah

Jim (both of Umboi Island) each saw a big pterosaur-like creature flying either over or towards Lake Pung. Both Koro and Jonah Jim described a

long tail, with a length

of perhaps half of the

wingspan, at most.

According to the book Searching for Ropens, by Jonathan Whitcomb, the Umboi Island natives Gideon Koro and Jonah Jim were interviewed by American investigators in 2004: Gideon was interviewed by Whitcomb; Jonah Jim, by Whitcomb, Guessman, and Woetzel. (In 1994, Gideon was also interviewed on video by other Americans.) Gideon’s sighting, over Lake Pung, was around 1994 and Jonah Jim’s, just south of Lake Pung, was in 2001.


Living in the same area of Umboi Island, the two islanders surely knew each other, but there is no indication they collaborated or even shared their experiences with each other: There are too many differences in report-details to suggest a collaboration-hoax. And six friends were with Gideon during the 1994 sighting; several family members were with Jonah Jim during the 2001.


The differences between the sightings include the time (1994 at mid-day and 2001 at night) and the human reaction: The Lake Pung flyover caused terror; the 2001 flyover, apparently, did not. This means that both sightings cannot be dismissed with simplistic references to panic or visibility issues. The 1994 sighting resulted in a description of a “diamond” on the tail; the 2001, in a description of a glow on the tail.


How are descriptions similar? Both eyewitnesses used the word “ropen.” Jonah Jim’s creature had a tail-length as much as half of the wingspan. According to Whitcomb, Gideon’s sketch suggests a similar ratio of tail-length to wingspan. Jonah Jim estimated the tail to be 2.5 to 3 meters; Gideon, 7 meters: obviously not likely to be the selfsame creature, but likely to be the same species. Jonah Jim chose an outline sketch (silhouette) of a Sordes Pilosus for the general body shape; Gideon chose the word “crocodile” for a description of the mouth or head. Significantly, the Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur Sordes Pilosus has a head that is generally similar to that of a crocodile.

When two eyewitness testi-monies  agree  on  several points, the credibility of the most  natural  or  direct interpretation of those points is strengthened. Accumu-lating evidence strengthens the case.

Eyewitness Testimonies

(Main eyewitness page)