Still Living

Is the Ropen a Pterosaur?

Pterodactyloid pterosaurRhamphorhynchoid pterosaur

Since the early 1990’s, there have been at least seven significant expeditions to Papua New Guinea to search for “ropens” and those who’ve seen them. Some of the Americans who’ve gone with the idea that the “ropen” is a living pterosaur are: Carl Baugh, Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, David Woetzel, and Garth Guessman.  They’ve gone without the bias of the universal-pterosaur-extinction axiom. But why  have  these men gone on such a strange quest, using, for the most part, personal funds? They believe that a wonderful discovery is unfolding: the discovery of living pterosaurs. Non-extinct!


Why should the ropen be a pterosaur? Could the American investigators be overly biased in favor of a pterosaur interpretation? Consider the testimonies.


No officially-known bird or bat fits the description of the ropen of Papua New Guinea; a Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur does fit. The ropen has a long tail but no feathers, and according to Gideon Koro (a young man living in Southwest Umboi Island), the size of the creature he saw was “seven meter,” the wings were similar to those of the Flying Fox fruit bat, and the mouth was like that of a crocodile. It was no bird or bat. And it was alive, not extinct.


In addition, extinctions of all species of pterosaurs is hardly a scientific fact; it’s an axiom (foundational assumption). In fact, historical records suggest at least some kinds of pterosaurs have lived with people.

There have been a number of discoveries of living creatures that were thought to have become extinct. Eyewitness testimonies are what should clue us into the possibility that an “extinct” creature might still be alive.


Eyewitnesses of apparent living-pterosaurs come from various countries in the Southwest Pacific, including the mainland of Papua New Guinea and Australia.

American forensic videographer Jonathan Whitcomb explored Umboi Island in 2004, compiling eyewitness testimonies regarding the ropen. He left the island convinced that the creature was real and that it was a pterosaur—non-extinct.


See book reviews by Whitcomb.


What is a “living fossil?”

Pterosaurs Still Living, Home            Umboi Island Eyewitnesses             Web Map             Video of Gideon Koro            Other Eyewitnesses on Umboi Island

drawing in the dirt of the ropen seen over Lake PungMesa Augustin who saw the ropen over Lake PungMount Tolo, near Lake PungJonathan Whitcomb on Umboi Islandfront cover of the book searching for ropensback cover of the book searching for ropens

Behind this small mountain is Lake Pung, where the ropen one day flew in the daylight.

The book Searching for Ropens reveals much about the two 2004 expeditions into Umboi Island: Many eyewitness testimonies are included and it explains the shock of the discovery of living pterosaurs.

Be aware: This is a spiritual as well as a cryptozoological book, with much of the appendix disputing the General Theory of Evolution (“molecules-to-man”).

This young man from a remote village on Umboi Island, testified about the ropen of Lake Pung.

Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur

The ropen of Umboi Island is a member of a species that lives throughout the Southwest Pacific area. They may be rare in one place but have sufficient numbers to maintain a healthy overall population. They seem to be nocturnal and live in remote areas, but there’s another reason that there have not been more reports of sightings. Westerners (such as Australians) who admit seeing a ropen are ridiculed. Therefore, it discourages eyewitnesses from letting the world know what they have seen. In the rare case when a person does report such a sighting, it is often dismissed as something other than a pterosaur—anything but a pterosaur. But why not consider a living, not extinct, pterosaur?

Pterodactyloid pterosaurPterodactyloid pterosaur