Live Pterosaur Media Center
Downloadable images available for media use:
Two pterosaurs reported at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1971, by U.S. Marine Eskin Kuhn - More on Gitmo Pterosaur
Duane Hodgkinson, World War II veteran who saw a “huge” “pterodactyl” in New Guinea in 1944, at close range and in clear daylight - More on Duane Hodgkinson
Gideon Koro, of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea told Jonathan Whitcomb, “it came down” and flew over Lake Pung (mid-day) - More on Gideon Koro
Wesley Koro was one of seven boys who hiked up to a crater lake around 1994, and were terrified from a ropen encounter - More on Wesley Koro
Mesa Agustin was nervous talking about what he and his friends saw flying over Lake Pung about ten years earlier - More on Mesa Agustin
As a forensic videographer, Jonathan D. Whitcomb interviewed eyewitnesses on Umboi Island, in Sep-Oct of 2004 - More on Whitcomb Expedition
A New Branch of Cryptozoology:
Comparing large fruit bat to Hodgkinson creature: misidentifying a Flying Fox is not the answer for this sighting - More on fruit bats and pterosaurs
Abram, of Opai Village on Umboi Island, told Whitcomb about how the ropen light flew out to a reef, like it was fishing - More on Abram of Opai
David Mokay, of Opai, told Whitcomb about a flash of bright light that lasted about five seconds. No form or shape was seen - More on David Mokay
Missile defense physicist analyzed video of two mysterious flying lights, without any commonplace explanation - More on video analysis
Mount Swal, Umboi Island, where the ropen light is sometimes seen to fly on some nights - More on flying lights on Umboi Island
At Lab Lab Village, Umboi Island, Steven Cottingham, a government official, saw the ropen light for himself - More on Cottingham sighting
For eight years, Jonathan Whitcomb has received direct reports from eyewitnesses from around the world: live pterosaurs - More on Jonathan Whitcomb
Finschhafen Harbor, near where the World War II veteran saw the huge “pterodactyl” - More on Finschhafen
Scientific Papers in peer-reviewed journals of science, on reports of living pterosaurs
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Press Room: Pterodactyl, flying dinosaur, prehistoric flying creature, dinosaur bird . . .
More downloadable images available for media use:
Patty Carson, in mid-2011, sketched the flying creature that she saw at Gitmo, in Cuba (Guantanamo Bay military base)
Medium-large B-W image for print media
Mount Barik, where the ropen is reported to fly as it glows, including late in 2004
“One clue [about what kind of flying creature is this Orang-bati] is in the tradition about capturing young humans. Those storiesare also found in Papua New Guinea. The indava flying creatures, seennear Tawa Village, deep in the interior of the mainland of PNG, are said to have carried away children and pigs from the villagers, in the past”.
“Misidentified fruit bat” has been found to be an inadequate explanation for sighting of long-tailed pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea and other areas of the southwest Pacific
Introduction to Living Pterosaurs   In the book The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Pterosaurs, Dr. Peter Wellnhofer  devotes two pages to the extinction of pterosaurs and mentions the “paucity of  the fossil record, especially for pterosaurs.” But the rarity of those fossils opens  up a concept most paleontologists have never dreamed of: Maybe some  pterosaurs never became extinct, for how can any scientist make any sound  conjecture about the extinction of species for which there is no fossil evidence?   Contrary to what many paleontologists believe, some cryptozoologists,  including Jonathan Whitcomb of Long Beach, California, believe that one or  more species of pterosaurs are still living, although most, at least, seem to be  nocturnal and uncommon. For eight years, Whitcomb has gathered and  analyzed eyewitness reports from around the world, including North America.  He has concluded that a number of species of pterosaurs still live on the earth.  Expeditions in Papua New Guinea  In 2004, he explored part of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, and interviewed  many native eyewitnesses of the flying light that they call “ropen.” Just before  he left the island, he found four eyewitnesses of more than just a distant light.  Gideon Koro, his brother Wesley, and their friend Mesa had been terrified by  the huge flying creature that flew over the surface of Lake Pung, in daylight,  about ten years earlier. In addition, Jonah Jim also saw the wings and the long  tail of the glowing ropen, at close range, one evening.   A few weeks after Whitcomb’s expedition, other American cryptozoologists  explored Umboi Island. David Woetzel, of New Hampshire, and Garth  Guessman, of Southern California, confirmed the native accounts of a bright  glow that the Americans attributed to the bioluminescence of a large flying  creature. Woetzel and Guessman used detailed questionnaires, including one  page of silhouette sketches of birds, bats, and pterosaurs. Two of the native  eyewitnesses had close enough views of the ropen to give reliable responses to  those thirty-four silhouettes, and both Jonathan Ragu and Jonah Jim chose the  one that represented the Sordes Pilosus, a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur.   After returning to the United States, Whitcomb wrote web pages and a book:  Searching for Ropens. He was surprised when, over a period of six years, many  Americans found his web pages and told him about their encounters with  similar flying creatures in North America, including many U. S. states. He then  wrote the book Live Pterosaurs in America.   Sightings of Apparent Pterosaurs in the United States   In a 2009 press release, Whitcomb declared that at least 1400 Americans have  seen a living pterosaur between 1980 and 2008 (4-5 persons per million  Americans). After a number of cryptozoologists objected to the speculative  nature of his estimate, Whitcomb maintained that sightings are far more  common than the few news reports, in the late twentieth century, would  suggest. He emphasized that many of those Americans are reluctant to tell  anyone that they have seen a living “pterodactyl.” Some eyewitnesses,  however, report their strange encounters to Whitcomb, whose web pages on the  subject are easily found on the internet.   The December 19, 2010, edition of the Houston Chronicle included an article  on Whitcomb’s conjecture about the Marfa Lights of western Texas, quoting an  engineer (rather than a biologist) who ridiculed the possibility that “flying  dinosaurs” may be responsible. (The original press release that elicited that  article compared the ghost lights of Marfa, Texas, with the ropen lights of  Papua New Guinea.) But eyewitnesses from around the world, including Texas,  report flying creatures that do not fit any known bird or bat, and some reports  include descriptions of a glow that Whitcomb maintains is bioluminescence.   Hodgkinson Sighting of “Pterodactyl” During World War II   With daylight sightings, perhaps the most publicized modern report comes from  Duane Hodgkinson, who saw a “pterodactyl” near Finschhafen, New Guinea,  during World War II. He and his army buddy, in a jungle clearing that was  about a hundred feet across, in clear daylight, saw a “huge” winged creature as  it ran across the far side of the clearing and took off into the air. Hodgkinson,  during a later interview, estimated the wingspan was comparable to that of the  Piper Tri-Pacer airplane (29 feet) and its tail was “at least” ten or fifteen feet  long. The head had a long crest and there was no sign of feathers.  Acknowledgements in a recent cryptozoology book (1) includes, “I give special  thanks to Duane Hodgkinson, whose unflinching testimony gave birth to  modern living-pterosaur investigations. His account of the 1944 sighting on the  mainland of Papua New Guinea helped inspire Carl Baugh’s first expedition of  1993. Ignoring previous ridicule from those who would not listen, Hodgkinson  told us of his experience, helping prepare the way for many expeditions . . .”   Another cryptozoology book (2) includes, “For years, I had wondered about  World War II veterans who had seen, in New Guinea, now the independent  nation of Papua New Guinea, living ‘pterodactyls.’ I hoped the reports were  correct, although the Flying-Fox explanation dampened hope. But when I  received an email from Duane Hodgkinson, I thrilled in his account of a giant  flying creature that was clearly unlike any bird or bat.”   Other eyewitnesses, from around the world, have reported large featherless  flying creatures, apparent living pterosaurs, most of which are reported with  long tails like the one described by Hodgkinson; no other eyewitness, however,  has inspired American cryptozoologists to search repeatedly for a flying cryptid  in Papua New Guinea, and few other eyewitnesses have appeared so credible to  so many of the few who study accounts of living pterosaurs. Hodgkinson’s  sighting seems to defy any hoax or misidentification explanation.                                                              ### 1) Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition, by Jonathan David Whitcomb  2) Searching for Ropens and Finding God, third edition, by Jonathan David Whitcomb  The opinions expressed are those of Jonathan David Whitcomb. 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Press Telegram Newspaper 2004 Long Beach, California, newspaper article about the Whitcomb expedition
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