At least three eyewitness accounts of a live pterodactyl have made the Caribbean Sea and its islands a likely area for this kind of cryptid. One report, from a lady who was on a cruise ship, may relate to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, for it was a report of two glowing pterosaurs. Some people call this “prehistoric” flying creature a “dinosaur bird.” Perhaps more popular is “pterodactyl,” which is used in the title of this blog, although the right word is “pterosaur.”
The most recent report of this kind of cryptid, which may be related to the kongamato of Africa, comes from a lady now living in California. A recent Live Pterodactyl post was about this sighting in 1965, but there were few details. Here is a longer quote from this eyewitness.
I was only a child when I saw it. I was around six years old. My brother George was with me, but he was only around four. We were walking down near the boat yards, headed home. . . . where it was sandy underfoot, sparse scrub vegetation around four feet tall . . . and suddenly it sat up, as if it had been eating something or resting. The head and upper part of its body, about a third of the wings at the joint (tips still held down) showed. . . . right in front of us about thirty feet away. All of us froze for about five seconds, then it leaned to its left and took off with a fwap fwap fwap sound . . . It seemed to get some of its takeoff power from jumping with its hind legs. It did have a tail and it had a diamond shaped tip . . . It had little teeth, a LOT of them. The eye was smallish and dark. (Testimony of Patty Carson, now an RN in California, who saw the “dinosaur bird” in 1965 at the Guantanamo Naval Base in Cuba)
Neither the stingray fishes nor the Manta ray fishes fly above trees, far from any body of water. Hornbill birds have neither mouths like crocodiles nor horn-like head crests. That bird also never grows big enough to have a wingspan 30-50 feet, neither does it glow with bright bioluminescence as it flies at night. And Hornbills do, in fact, have feathers.
It seemed like it would be a fun activity for the seven native boys of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea. It was a short hike in kilometers, but a difficult climb up to the crater lake that they call “Pung.” Just a few minutes after they arrived at the lake, however, something unexpected also arrived: the giant ropen. The creature flew over the lake, and the boys ran home in terror, never to forget the horrible encounter.
One of those boys was Gideon Koro. Soon after the encounter with the ropen, he was interviewed by some American visitors who were curious about reports of an apparent pterosaur. The boy was still nervous to talk about the ropen but answered their questions.
About ten years later, Gideon was visited by another American, Jonathan Whitcomb, who asked more questions. The young man had grown up and was more at ease this time. He described the mouth of the ropen as “like a crocodile.” The tail length he estimated at “sefan meetuh” (seven meters, or twenty-two feet). He was sure that the ropen had no feathers but skin “like byung” (flying fox fruit bat).
Two other native eyewitnesses then made themselves known to the American interviewer: two of the other boys who had been terrified at the sight of the ropen on that day on the shore of Lake Pung. They verified the truthfulness of Gideon’s account.
Read “Gideon was terrified by the ropen” (with audio of the actual interview in 2004)
Also the “First interview of Gideon Koro”
Nonfiction cryptozoology book on living pterosaurs in the United States
The Whitcomb-Kenda expedition of 2004 resulted in many eyewitness interviews, including that of Gideon Koro. This interview (plus the two of Gideon’s companions, Mesa, and Wesley) has become known through many web pages and the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens (second edition, by Jonathan Whitcomb).
Less well known is the 1994 interview of Gideon, soon after the terrifying ropen sighting. In that interview, the boy showed signs of fear or nervousness. This appearance is very unlikely to have been faked by the boy, for it shows consistantly during the interview. When a moment of humor caused him to smile, the change became obvious when questioning resumed and he returned to his nervous expression. This quick change in his face reveals to us that the boy really was frightened of something. So why not believe his account? Strange as it may seem to Americans (who are taught from young childhood that dinosaurs and pterosaurs are all long dead), it was a flying creature whose size, according to his 2004 interview, ten years later, can be guessed at by the tail length: according to Gideon, “seven meetuh” (twenty-two feet).
The 1994 interview was done with the interpretation-assistance of missionary Jim Blume.
Read about the “2004 interview of Gideon Koro.”
Each October, on the night of a full moon, a great festival attracts many thousands of spectators to a small stretch of land on the bank of the Mekong River in Nong Khai province, on the border of Thailand and Laos. Mysterious glowing balls rise out of the water, rising high above the river before dissappearing. It seems to have been going on for centuries but is now a famous annual event in Southeast Asia.
Glowing objects flying above rivers brings up a question: Could they be related to the nocturnal pterosaur-like creatures that glow as they fly in Papua New Guinea? The ropen of Umboi Island and the kor around Manus Island do glow over water.
We need more information on these mysterious Naga lights that emerge from the Mekong River. Have you seen this yourself? If so, please post a comment here. Thank you.
A “very large, winged creature” glided over the heads of two eyewitnesses who were taking a walk near the corner of Burbank Blvd and Woodman, in Sherman Oaks, California, one night in September of 2009. It was described as too big to be a bird: a wingspan estimate of at least 10-15 feet.
The man said, “it almost didn’t look alive until it beat its wings, once, before going out of view. I didn’t have my best glasses on but my girlfriend has 20-20 vision and she told [me] a few minutes later that it had lights on it.” But the dim glow of this flying creature differs from the bright flash of the ropen (apparent modern living pterosaur) of Papua New Guinea. If it is related to the glowing ropen, perhaps the creature seen by the two eyewitnesses had a residual bioluminescent glow, left over after one of its bright flashes; another eyewitness has reported brigher flashes of flying lights (similar to the ropen light) north of Los Angeles, at various times.
Sherman Oaks is in Los Angeles County, California, just north of the mountains that separate the San Fernando Valley cities from the greater Los Angeles area. (Compare with Irvine, California, pterosaur)