David Moke, of Opai Village, Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, describes the five-to-six second brilliant flash of light over his canoe one night, as his friend was trying to catch fish with an "underwater torch" (flashlight).Mark Kau, with two sonsMesa Augustin, eyewitness of the ropen (daylight sighting)Pterosaurs
Still Living

Eyewitness David Moke

Pterodactyloid pterosaurRhamphorhynchoid pterosaur

According to the second edition of the book Searching for Ropens, David Moke “and Peter Luke . . . were fishing, using the local custom of attracting fish with a ‘diving torch.’ . . . this waterproof flashlight can ‘put them to sleep.’ Moonless at 11:00 p.m., close to the reef, . . . as Moke was paddling the canoe and Luke was diving, without warning or sound, the sea was lit up with a brilliant light. . . .  The light source was unseen. After about five seconds, it gradually became dimmer until all was again dark. Jonathan Whitcomb, author of the book, concluded that the ropen of Umboi Island made the flash, responding to the flashlight.

Jonathan Whitcomb interviewed David Moke, of Opai Village, Umboi Island, PNG, late in 2004.




The ropen, apparently, has an intrinsic bioluminescent glow that it uses to catch fish on the reefs,

but villagers on Umboi Island have also seen the five-second glow as it flies near the mountains.

Mesa, with his friends Gideon Koro and Wesley Koro, were terrified by the giant ropen that flew, in daylight, over Lake Pung, Umboi Island. They were three of seven boys who hiked up to the crater lake (about 1994), but they all ran home after seeing the creature whose description suggests, to American investigators, a giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur. Ten years later, during a videotaped interview, Mesa was still nervous talking about the encounter.

Interpreter Luke Kenda

Luke, from Lae, Papua New Guinea, saw the ropen briefly as it flew across the western side of Mount Bel on the evening of October 5, 2004 near Gomlongon Village. He was interpreter for the American explorer Jonathan Whitcomb, who was asleep during the sighting.

Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur

Mark Kau (here with two sons) oversees several villages within his government responsibilities. From 2002 through 2004, according to the request of an American ropen investigator, Paul Nation, Kau kept notes of his sightings of the ropen light, as he saw it from Gomlongon Village. Of his several sightings in 2002, once, the creature was flying towards Mount Bel and once, away from it. Others had similar sightings.

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