A few years ago, I was the guest on a radio or podcast talk show of the Merseyside Skeptics Society. The two hosts were polite and appeared to be fair, even though my declarations about modern pterosaurs surely would have had few believers among the listeners of the broadcast. Ropens would not likely be given much belief from those who would listen to such a radio or podcast broadcast.
One point I remember clearly. I was asked about the possibility of religious bias in the thinking of those who believe the eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs. I replied that bias is not restricted to those who are religious. Why should Christians be singled out for potential bias? Any person of any philosophy may well be biased about particular ideas.
Is it reasonable to assume that someone coming up with a revolutionary idea, not yet proven, must be thinking unclearly? Must a person with a strange-sounding new idea be wrong? Of course not.
Bias Against Albert Einstein
Remember the plight of Albert Einstein soon after the end of World War II. How might we have reacted, if we were citizens of England at that time? Many of our friends and family members could have been dead from the bullets and bombs and poisonous gas from German soldiers. Now some obscure German Jew is telling the world that the great English scientist Isaac Newton was wrong about how the universe behaves? How could Einstein have responded to that bias?
Are Eyewitnesses Biased?
Those who have seen featherless flying creatures that were obviously not bats—those persons live in various countries, come from various backgrounds, believe in various religious or irreligious ideologies, and have grown up in various cultures and family backgrounds. I dare any skeptic to proclaim that all of those eyewitnesses are plagued by bias related to Christian young-earth creation ideas. I have interviewed persons from five continents, and their answers sometimes reveal the obvious: Most of the eyewitnesses did not have any special attraction toward young-earth-creation ideology, when they saw a flying creature that looked like a “dinosaur bird” or “pterodactyl” or “flying dinosaur.”
Yet the descriptions are strikingly similar:
- Long tails on the flying creatures (41%=yes and only 2%=no)
- Lack of feathers (21%=positive on featherlessness and 25%=probably no feathers)
- Tail flange suggesting a Rhamphorhynchoid (28.5% reported a tail flange)
- Long neck (shooting down the Frigate bird conjecture)
- Head crest (24%=head crest seen and only 3.5%=not seen)
- Many sightings are of flying creatures larger than birds
By the way, the great majority of apparent pterosaurs are not the ones commonly portrayed in science fiction movies and television programs. They are not short tailed Pteranodons but long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoids, what my associates and I call ropens.
This video begins with images of farm animals, and the sound is a combination of those farm animals and an orchestration of the old piano piece by Robert Schumman: “The Happy Farmer.”
How often have I encountered the objections of critics who would dismiss the work of creationist living-pterosaur investigators because of assumed bias! The critics assume that belief in the Bible causes bias. Why not look more carefully?
An old online page on the modern long-tailed pterosaur:
According to the recent investigators David Woetzel, Garth Guessman, and Jonathan Whitcomb, over 90% of the sightings of the ropen on Umboi Island are of the “ropen light.” Whitcomb’s book (Searching for Ropens) suggests that most of these sightings are of one giant creature that sleeps in the island interior during the day; at night it feeds on reefs (at least on the northern and southern coasts where the three investigators explored). The two expeditions of 2004 independently interviewed eyewitnesses who reported that the bright glow of the ropen lasts for about five to six seconds.
This island appears ideal for the species and large ropens may claim the interior mountains of some similar islands. The nocturnal creatures may do better when they can sleep in daylight in secure nesting areas on mountains close to the reefs of the coastlines.
Reasons to believe eyewitnesses who claim to have seen a giant ropen and describe it in terms suggesting a pterosaur
Winston Churchill said, “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it,” although he may have borrowed the idea from George Santayana (in The Life of Reason, 1905): “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” The concept is not restricted to famous events in history. Farmers often learn from experience, and large flying creatures that are said to have attacked domesticated animals in previous centuries might return to attack farm animals in the present. That deserves attention.
From the book Dark Highway
Much of the paranormal book Dark Highway, by Dan Kenyon, seems to be about UFOs and ghosts, although lake monsters and Bigfoot have been thrown in. The subtitle is “Utah’s Strange Tales,” and some of the stories are indeed strange.
Here is the contents page:
Table of Contents in the paranormal book Dark Highway
The chapter on dragons appears, at first glance, to be more about monsters that swim than monsters that fly. Chapter five, however, is about cryptids, and here is where a dragon flies into view.
On page 48, it tells of a large black figure sitting on a rock, witnessed by a father and son who had been watching for deer. (The sighting was reportedly in the “Mahogany area” of Utah, wherever that may be.) But what was supposed to have been a black bear suddenly stretched out a pair of wings and flew up into the air. The man estimated the wingspan: around fourteen feet. When the creature was on the ground, it appeared to have been four to five feet tall. Nothing was mentioned about any tail, but the dark color and big wingspan bring to mind the ropen.
Yet a full reading of the fourth chapter of the book reveals a sighting that is far more astonishing, so shocking that many readers may dismiss the report as a complete fabrication. I believe the author got the story from an old newspaper article, so let’s look at a small part of that:
Half Bird and Half Reptile Carries Away Live Horses
A terrible, nameless, unclassified creature of the animal world is exciting the curiosity, wonder, and fear of occasional visitors to Stansbury Island, in the southern portion of Great Salt Lake.
This monster, for it can be called nothing else, has lately, is it said, been seen by several persons, but the best account [of] its characteristics and movements is given by Martin Gilbert and John Barry, two hunters who this week returned from an expedition over the island, in the course of which they studied the habits of this hitherto unheard-of-creature for three days.
. . . In size it is simply tremendous . . .
Its wings were bat-like . . .
. . . we saw that it carried in its great jaws a large horse . . . badly crushed and mangled. . . .
From a newspaper article in the Pittsburgh Press, September 3, 1903
I’m not suggesting that this old newspaper story is an accurate account, but in light of a more recent sighting of a flying creature, a few miles south of this island, perhaps the old story did not come entirely from an imaginative invention in the mind of a bored newspaper professional. It now seems that the old tale may have originated from a real encounter with a flying creature in this area of Utah. Whether or not it is the same species as the animal seen in the “Mahogany area” of Utah is a matter of speculation, but something strange has been flying over this area south of the Great Salt Lake.
A large hill on Stansbury Island, Great Salt Lake, Utah (Flickr photo courtesy of Andrey Zharkikh)
Sighting Eight Miles South of Stansbury Island, Utah
Almost a century after the above extraordinary report, three boys were playing in a yard one night, in the farming community of Grantsville, Utah, about eight miles from the southern end of Stansbury Island. At around 10:30-11:30 p.m., the nearby farm animals became greatly disturbed, making alarming sounds, as if they were in danger.
That was about the time that 12-year-old Dallin Roberts saw something very strange in the sky. At first, he could not understand what he was observing. He soon realized that it was a flying creature. Two things struck him as very odd, however: the enormous size and the glowing body of the flying animal.
The other two boys soon got a look at the flying creature, and all three of the boys were astonished. The light coming from the flying creature did not always remain on. I turned off for a short while, but it soon turned on again, revealing that the creature had flown up much higher into the night sky, while the light had been off. It was a dark night, so the boys could not see the strange creature except when it was glowing.
I recently got a question from a member of a Facebook group: “Living Pterosaurs of the World.” It was in response to a Youtube video of two interviews I had with eyewitnesses last year. These two young men testified that the local farm animals went “crazy” with fright, making a lot of noise, when a very large glowing flying creature flew overhead one night.
Do pterosaurs still live? In the 21st Century? Don’t rush to any conclusion; get the facts, then judge credibility. . . . Soon after interviewing Gideon [a native eyewitness on Umboi Island in Papua New Guinea], I learned that two of the other witnesses were present with us. Wesley is a brother to Gideon and answered my questions without hesitating. . . . We also need to realize that the islander-eyewitnesses who answered our questions, did not repeat the legends of the ropen. They simply answer our questions as to what they saw.
What could be worse than any nightmare? In the dead of night, you are awakened by what you fear most, glaring down at you. . . . Race out of your bedroom; it’s after you. Race out the front door; it follows. Search for a place to hide; it’s too late. You are exposed, surrounded by many monsters ready to feast. You have fallen into their trap. Your family is scattered, chased across the freezing countryside. You are alone. You are Eptesicus fuscus, a Big Brown Bat.
From the cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America (Acknowledgements section) Whitcomb says: “To the eyewitnesses who’ve bravely come forward, telling us of apparent living pterosaurs, I dedicate this book. They deserve to be heard.”
So who do you call? I hope you’ll contact me, Jonathan Whitcomb. As far as I know, I am the only person on earth who has devoted anything like a full-time effort, over years, to interview eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs or ropens, promoting the idea that these flying creatures are not extinct but very much alive.
Early-2015 Pterosaur Expedition in PNG
Three Americans explored a tropical rain forest in Papua New Guinea, within the past few weeks, and two of them succeeded in observing an apparent living pterosaur. That’s better than the previous ten expeditions, over the past 21 years, at least in regard to direct observations of a flying creature: Most of the earlier searches got little more than eyewitness interviews with natives or brief glimpses of a flying light.
The name of the island is being kept secret, at least for the moment; the two American eyewitnesses were Milt Marcy and Peter Beach. The island was chosen because eyewitnesses had previously reported big flying creatures there, featherless and pterosaur-like. Strange to tell, it appears to be a species that differs from the ropen of Umboi Island, for it has a very short tail, when a tail is noticed.
In April of 2015, I interviewed two of the American Biblical creationists by phone, confirming their sighting. I have a number of evidences for their honesty in reporting the huge flying creature in Papua New Guinea.
Honesty of two Eyewitnesses: Milt Marcy and Peter Beach
According to Wikipedia, the expedition team (January, 2006) led by Milt Marcy traveled to the Dja river in Cameroon, near the Congolese border. They interviewed native eyewitnesses of the Mokèlé-mbèmbé but the explorers themselves saw no such animal. The expedition team consisted of the following:
- Milt Marcy
- Peter Beach
- Rob Mullin
- Pierre Sima
A key point is this: Marcy and Beach searched for a sauropod dinosaur in a remote area of Africa, but returned home admitting that they had seen nothing like that animal. Obviously they were telling the truth about that critical detail. A liar would not likely go to such lengths to explore a jungle wilderness and then come back admitting that kind of failure, for that kind of person would lie about seeing something.
Milt Marcy and Peter Beach also investigated a sighting report of a “pterodactyl” or apparent pterosaur that was said to have been observed in a tree on the bank of the Yakima River in southeastern Washington state. Neither of those men, however, reported observing anything like a pterosaur in daylight near or over the Yakima River, although they did see some strange flying lights there at night. Again we see their honesty-credibility supported by their admission that they failed to see what they hoped for. Dishonest persons do not admit seeing nothing like what they wanted to convince people about!
Now Mr. Marcy and Mr. Beach have returned from an expensive expedition in Papua New Guinea. Both of them report observing a flying creature that was more likely than not to have been a pterosaur. The point? Why admit uncertainty about that flying creature being a modern living pterosaur? If they had any desire to deceive, they would have proclaimed positively that they had seen a pterosaur.
Those three searches by those two men, in different years and in different areas of the planet, prove their honesty. This is three-strikes-you’re-out for skeptics who have accused such cryptozoologists of dishonesty over many years. That case is closed and the verdict is this: Milt Marcy and Peter Beach have been honest in their reports of their searches for dinosaurs and pterosaurs.
Milt Marcy (left) and Peter Beach, Yakima River, Washington
The Case for Modern Pterosaurs
So why should any paleontologist believe in modern pterosaurs or dinosaurs? These two men have searched diligently in three areas of the world and have seen nothing until early 2015, when they saw a flying creature that appeared to be a pterosaur probably. The point is in the many eyewitnesses who have had better sightings of obvious pterosaurs, flying creatures obviously not birds or bats.
But I’ve written several nonfiction books with reasoning on why these animals are living pterosaurs. There’s no room here to repeat even 5% of all of that. Please use the “Search” function of this blog, for information about location or other subject matter related to these wonderful flying creatures.
On Saturday, April 18, 2015, two American explorers returned from Papua New Guinea, after searching for living pterosaurs on a tropical island where the creatures were previously reported.
Within the past few weeks, three web sites have caught my attention, each with a page accusing me of dishonesty. . . . We’ll look at what dishonesty is and examine the credibility of those three proclamations about my guilt.
A different kind of attack has been launched, as an American paleontologist has dismissed the ropen as a “fake” pterosaur and dismissed me, Jonathan Whitcomb, as one who practices deception. . . . why does this paleontologist assume that I intended to deceive anyone? He seems upset that my web pages dominate the internet, at least when people use Google. But what would be fair if that skeptical scientist had spent over 10,000 hours in a project, for eleven years, and had published online articles and posts that outnumbered those of all of his colleagues? Would he not think it fair that his ideas would show up on the top of search-engine results?
After he and his buddy walked into a clearing, they were amazed as a large creature flew up into the air. The men soon realized that it was no bird that started to circle the clearing. It had a tail “at least ten to fifteen feet long” . . .
He set aside his work in legal video, traveling to Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, and leading the first ropen expedition of 2004. After interviewing many natives, he returned to the United States convinced of the identity of the ropen: a living Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur . . .
Last night I got a phone call from Les Kouke, who now lives in Colorado Springs. He had sent me an email, a few years ago, but I’m glad for the phone call. Next to a face-to-face interview, the combination of email and phone conversation is the best way for an eyewitness to report a sighting to a cryptozoologist.
Mr. Kouke was living on the isand of Oahu, Hawaii, when he was twelve years old. It was around 1970 when he saw the creature flying about a hundred feet high, at mid-morning. He was alone during the thirty seconds or so of the sighting, but other eyewitnesses in other areas of Hawaii have also reported apparent pterosaurs flying overhead, and significant recent sightings have been with multiple eyewitnesses.
Mokoli’i Islet, Oahu, Hawaii
Sighting in Maunawili Valley, Oahu
Mr. Kouke told me, in our phone conversation, “[I was] not believing what I was seeing” when he first saw the flying creature. He estimated the wingspan at 24-30 feet. At first he wondered if it might be a man-made object, but the gliding changed into slow flapping, after it had lost some altitude. That wing flapping frequency was about two seconds, and he made it clear to me that he means one second upward wing movement and one second downward wing movement.
The apparent pterosaur was a light brown or tan color, with a “horn” on the back of its head. He could not recall anything about a long tail or absence of a long tail, probably because he had been concentrating on other features during the sighting. He told me the surface of the creature had a canvass-like appearance and no feathers. He noticed about four ribs on each wing, from leading edge to trailing edge. I believe Mr. Kouke encountered a living pterosaur.
He visited Duane Hodgkinson three or four years ago, and they compared their sightings.
I have encountered several sighting reports from Hawaii this year  . . . But the encounter described in a post of the s8intcom blog now deserves attention and comparison with other sightings in Hawaii. Two soldiers were looking up at the night sky, on the island of Oahu, Hawaii, for a strange creature was flying through some scattered thin clouds. . . . wingspan of about twenty feet. This was late in 1999, in what the soldiers called the “Kahuku range,” on the northeast side of Oahu. . . .
The number of reported sightings of modern pterosaurs in the Hawaiian Islands demands that we examine the reports and evaluate the possibility. Certainly nobody who thinks about it carefully will proclaim that if large pterosaurs lived in modern times none of them would be able to fly across an ocean. Butterflies have been reported to have been blown over some stretches of ocean . . .
Between 3-4 foot wing span, sharp, long beak, featherless wings more like a bat than a bird, almost transparent, a fleshy, brownish pinkish grey color, and legs that laid straight back and fairly long, and (I knew what it was because of this!) a long featherless tail with what them described as Diamond on it’s tip . . .