Pterosaurs Still Living
Crater lake where a ropen frightened seven native boys
Daylight sighting of a huge long-tailed featherless flying creature on Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea
sketch of a Pterodactyloid (short-tailed) type pterosaur sketch of a "basal" pterosaur, a long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoid type
Copyright 2005-2016 Jonathan David Whitcomb
Lake Pung on Umboi Island
Searching for Ropens and Finding God, 4th edition
Gideon Koro, Wesley Koro, Mesa Augustin, and four other boys saw a gigantic long-tailed pterosaur fly over Lake Pung
Searching for Ropens and Finding God
Thank you to Garth Guessman for the use of this photograph of Lake Pung. This lovely crater lake is near Mount Tolo. Copyright 2004, Garth Guessman
Seven boys were terrified, in about 1994, as they saw the ropen fly over a crater lake. On the remote island of Umboi, in Papua New Guinea, the boys climbed up to Lake Pung, just north of their village. Within just a few minutes, they saw the giant creature fly over the water. The boys ran home in terror and the memory of that fear lasted for years. In 2004, Jonathan D. Whitcomb explored part of Umboi Island. He interviewed Gideon Koro, who confirmed their encounter, calling the creature by the local name ropen. Two other young men were also soon interviewed by Whitcomb, and they verified Gideon’s account of the sighting. According to Gideon, this creature has a wing- size of “seven meter,” a long tail, but “no feathers.” Its wings he compared with those of the Flying Fox.*
cryptozoology book by Jonathan Whitcomb "Searching for Ropens and Finding God"
*Flying Fox fruit bats are common in some Southwest Pacific countries, including Papua New Guinea. They can hardly explain sightings of the ropen, however. Even the largest fruit bats never grow long tails, never glow at night, never catch fish on the reef, never rob any human graves, and never ever attain a wingspan of 30-50 feet. Yet ropens do.
This nonfiction cryptozoology book explains not only the investigations and the expeditions but examines theories of what the ropen is, delving a bit into the philosophical implications of the existence of modern living pterosaurs. Part of that investigation involves “universal common ancestry,” or the General Theory of Evolution of Charles Darwin. In the second edition of Searching for Ropens, a “sheltered superstition” is explained. (The popular dogma of Western culture rejects competing philosophies, including any belief in divine creation of life.)  The universal-pterosaur-extinction axiom is not scientific but is, in fact, philosophical, and superstition is not limited to “primitive natives,” for Westerners are also vulnerable. Strange as it may appear, the fourth edition is not only enlarged in the content, with many more sightings worldwide, but has a longer title, Searching for Ropens and Finding God, and yet it has less explicit reference to God and religion. It’s a cross-genre: cryptozoology, true- life adventure, spiritual quest, and it begins with what appears to be an auto-biography of Jonathan Whitcomb.
Crater lake where seven native boys saw a huge ropen around 1994
Interviews conducted by Whitcomb
The credibility of these young men impressed Whitcomb (who was a forensic videographer at that time). Their demeanor convinced the American that they were telling the truth about the huge ropen that they had seen flying over Pung. The descriptions suggest that the ropen of Umboi Island is indeed a living pterosaur. According to the investigators, including Garth Guessman and David Woetzel, a giant Rhamphorhynchoid. A few weeks after Whitcomb’s expedition, Guessman and Woetzel began theirs, interviewing many natives not interviewed by Whitcomb. Several factors convinced all three Americans that the ropen is a long-tailed pterosaur, what many paleontologists would call a basal pterosaur, although most scientists know little, if anything, about expeditions in which Americans have looked for ropens.
A long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoid (basal)
Lake Pung is one of a number of crater lakes and ponds on Umboi Island. Others are Bono (by Mt. Sual) and Malangpot.