Jonathan David Whitcomb
Why would a young man in Sudan, Africa, who had recently gained his first
access to a computer, send an email to the American Jonathan Whitcomb?
The young man, about twenty years earlier as a boy, had a frightening
encounter with an animal that Whitcomb often hears about, a flying creature
that most Western scientists assume had become extinct many millions of
years ago. This American believes that the extinction idea itself will
someday become extinct, regarding pterosaurs. He listens to eyewitnesses.
Since his expedition in Papua New Guinea in 2004, Whitcomb has received
many emails and occasional phone calls from ordinary persons who have
seen extraordinary animals: apparent pterosaurs. On August 18, 2008, he
received a phone call from a man in England, a plane pilot who recently had
a near-collision with a large creature flying 6500 feet above the sea, 150
miles from Bali, Indonesia. After email interviews with the pilot and copilot,
Whitcomb did not come to any firm conclusion about the creature except
that they might have witnessed a giant ropen, a long-tailed flying creature
often witnessed in Papua New Guinea. Few cryptozoologists have any
significant experience with eyewitness testimonies of the ropen. Whitcomb
is one of the few: a modern pterosaur expert.
Since early 2004, he has written over one thousand blog posts and countless
other web pages on living pterosaurs: mostly analysis of eyewitness reports,
replies to critics, and answers to common questions. He has also written
three nonfiction books and a paper in a peer-reviewed journal of science.
Although most of his web pages are in English, a few are in Spanish,
French, German, Japanese, and Hungarian. Direct eyewitness reports have
come from Australia, Africa, Europe, North America, and islands of the
southwest Pacific; he has also encountered indirect reports including some
from South America.
He has been on broadcast radio talk shows and was interviewed by a Polish
cryptozoological society editor. He was consulted by both the Destination
Truth and MonsterQuest production teams before their expeditions in Papua
New Guinea. Wikipedia’s definition of “ropen” is taken from Whitcomb’s
nonfiction book Searching for Ropens. His promotion of the concept of
modern living pterosaurs has been mentioned in a number of newspapers,
including an issue of the Houston Chronicle.
In May of 2012, Whitcomb was interviewed by Richard Syrett (host of the
“Conspiracy Show”) for Canadian television.
on Umboi Island, 2004
Gideon Koro was confused by
Whitcomb’s question. There
were no feathers on the ropen.
(2004 interview, Umboi Island)
Email interviews with eyewitnesses
from around the world has given the
American cryptozoologist a unique
perspective on the concept of living
pterosaurs in our modern world.
Whitcomb family at Loch Ness, 1972
(typical tourists with one atypical taste)
Whitcomb in Long Beach, California
Clifford Paiva’s analysis of video of two indava
lights on the mainland of Papua New Guinea
Eyewitness David Mokay, a respected
leader in Opai Village, Umboi, was
interviewed by Whitcomb in 2004
“Gitmo Pterosaur” of southeast Cuba
Books Written by Whitcomb
Three nonfiction cryptozoology books
Whitcomb interviewed for a Canadian television show
Southern California sighting investigated
The opinions expressed are those of Jonathan
David Whitcomb. Media professionals may use
these paragraphs in whole or in part for news
distribution. Most of these images may also be
used by the news media.
In addition, Jonathan Whitcomb has
been interviewed for radio/podcast by
talk-show hosts in Canada and Australia