Live Pterosaur Media Center Live Pterosaur Media Center Home Mesa Agustin interviewed        (click: downloadable image) Mesa Agustin The American cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb had heard about native  traditions before he began his expedition on Umboi Island in Papua New  Guinea. Some natives fear the ropen, and many natives are hesitant to talk  about the big flying creature of the night. But when the American  interviewed Mesa Agustin, in 2004, he could not help noticing the man  was very nervous, even though he had been smiling just a few minutes  before, when he and other villagers were being videotaped by the  American visitor. Whitcomb concluded that Mesa was still troubled about  his 1990 enounter with the ropen at Lake Pung.   Whitcomb used a local interpreter for translation between English and the Kovai language. Whitcomb: “Years ago, he went to Lake Pung with Gideon.” Mesa agreed. Whitcomb: “When you got to Lake Pung, did you see anything unusual or strange, something you saw?” Mesa agreed. Whitcomb: “What did you see?” Mesa: “Ropen.” Whitcomb: “What did the end of the tail look like?” Mesa: “Diamond.” Although Mesa offered little information (he appeared too distraught for  Whitcomb to continue questioning him), his anxiety communicated how  seriously the encounter had affected him. He was still uneasy about it after  about fourteen years. This may be partially from local legends or stories  about the ropen, including what Westerners might call “superstitions.”   Lake Pung averages about 300 meters across, covering an area of perhaps  23 acres. Gideon estimated that the ropen flew thirty meters above the  surface of the lake, which is hardly a hundred feet high. The crater ridges  around Pung prevent anyone from observing it from far away, without  flying above it in an airplane; a misidentified bird or bat seems hard to  imagine for what Gideon described: a flying creature with no feathers and  a tail seven meters long. Mesa’s 14-year-old anxiety suggests there was no  mistake: The seven boys saw a terrifying flying creature, and what Gideon  described is indeed terrifying.                                                           ### Other Online Resources Mount Barik, Umboi Island Ropen Sighting by Woetzel Youtube video of Gideon, Mesa, and Wesley Gideon Koro interview Wesley Koro interview Ropen of Umboi Island Press Room for News Releases