Sightings in West Virginia Area

On November 17, 2014, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Where the Kanawha River of West Virginia joins the Ohio River—that’s where we find the community of Point Pleasant, and that’s the center of a strange series of sighting reports of the Mothman. That’s also where three persons in one family saw, in October of 2014, what was probably a glowing ropen. I doubt that it was a coincidence, but the Mothman stories let’s put aside for the moment.

Before getting into the ropen sighting, consider the countless caves and abandoned mines in West Virginia: countless places for strange nocturnal flying creatures to hide in daylight.

gated entrance to an abandoned mine in WV

One of many entrances to old mines in West Virginia (not all of them are impassable)


Facebook message from Ricky:

I don’t know any [cryptozoologists] personally so I’m resorting to you guys because you guys know about something that was closest to what I and my family saw tonight.

This happened to me about an hour ago. My dad, my baby sister, and I were outside in the hot tub. We were just talking and my sister was counting the stars . . . she spots this giant winged creature flying across the sky . . . It was WAY UP in the sky, and it’s wings were flapping slowly, so explaining that it was a large creature high up rather than a small creature flying low. But it was glowing.

Looking back on the experience, Ricky was upset that he did not run to get his cell phone and capture a video or photo of the flying creature, but at the time of the sighting he assumed that he would eventually be able to find some commonplace explanation. After the creature had flown away, Ricky came to realize that his family had witnessed an incredible event.

Continuing Ricky’s Facebook message:

I live just a couple miles from Point Pleasant, so my first guess was to resort to reading Mothman articles. But I mean, it just didn’t match what I saw. I need help determining this. I was doing research about “flying, glowing creature sightings at night” and came across you and these creatures, but these are all the way on the other side of the country? I have no explanation and that’s why I’m scared, open minded (which isn’t usual), and curious to figure this out. . . . it was way high up, definitely bioluminescent, a light orange. . . . I’d say it had at least a 25-30 ft wingspan. But it was so high up that that’s all u could make out were the wings, and that they were flapping so slowly.

Message (on a Facebook group-forum) that I, Jonathan Whitcomb, sent to Ricky:

Hi, Ricky. Thank you for sharing your experience with us here. Many other eyewitnesses have seen similar flying creatures, probably even the same species. Some of them fly in your part of the country.

Another man reported a large flying creature, maybe the same species, in West Virginia a few years ago. He saw that it was catching bats. His email address was not working, however, when I tried to contact him, and he has not contacted me since.

Email that I sent to Ricky on October 21, 2014:

I think I understand something of what you have been going through. Have you been looking online for a report of a large glowing creature that was seen close to your part of the country? Ropens can fly long distances and have been reported across North American. Some reports are of daylight encounters and others are at night. One clue that might help you: Some of the sightings do not include any appearance of the glow that  we know the creature is capable of producing. They do not glow all the time.

I later asked him about how long the sighting was and if a tail was visible. He replied:

[Length of sighting was] at least a minute. I mean it came into sight at least a half mile from us and we watched it until we couldn’t see it anymore. I guess I didn’t take any pictures because one, we were in the hot tub and didn’t have my phone but [now] I wish I jumped out instantly and went inside and got it. And two, at the time, I didn’t think it was [a] big enough deal to go get my phone. Like I thought I’d figure out what it was as I looked at it longer.

Taken in the context of many eyewitness sightings across the country, including reports from Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, I believe Ricky and his family did see a bioluminescent flying ropen.

Caves and Mines of West Virginia

From a brief online search, I see that West Virginia has its share of caves. It also is said to have thousands of abandoned mines, since the coal industry is well over a century old there. Probably nobody knows all the openings to those countless abandoned mines, leaving countless potential hiding places for the ropens to sleep in daylight.



Recent Pterosaur Sightings

Also sightings in two other states: New Mexico and Oklahoma

New Book on Ropens – Live Pterosaurs Worldwide

Expect references to the Biblical fiery flying serpent and the Flood of Noah. I added “finding God” to the title of the third edition to avoid offending anyone wanting only cryptozoology, a reader who would be offended to find a little religion, however limited; it’s continued in this fourth edition: finding God. Yet this is not mainly about religion, not in the usual sense. It’s less likely to take you to church than into the lives of ordinary persons who have encountered extraordinary flying creatures, and into the lives of Christians who have risked their health, even their lives, in searching for living pterosaurs.

Do Dragons Live in Caves?

Many species of bats live in countless caves around the world, but what about larger flying creatures, the ones long thought extinct according to generations of Western traditions? What about ropens, called by some persons dragons?

Ropen Lights in Southern California?

. . . the mud caves of the Badlands are exposed. Some of the caves, according to the video, are “more than a mile” long. Yet even if that length is exaggerated, many openings, including ceiling holes, would make the caves ideal for a family of nocturnal flying predators or scavengers, an ideal bedroom to hide in the daylight.

Ropen Expedition by Woetzel and Guessman

Stopping to refuel at Kampalap, they learned that villagers occasionally see the ropen as it leaves a cave, most recently three weeks earlier. . . . The creature flies to a promontory north of the village, landing and waiting on a tree top before flying out to the reef.


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