Farewell to Duane N. Hodgkinson

On January 10, 2015, in Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

I tried phoning Duane Hodgkinson last year, in the summer or early fall as I remember; nobody answered. I have just learned that he passed away on September 19. He will be missed.

His sighting in New Guinea in 1944 (before these islands became the independent nation of Papua New Guinea) deserve attention. Yet I feel we need to see his report in the context of other sightings of large flying creatures in the southwest Pacific. Consider what I now quote from the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition:

By telephone and letter, Hodgkinson told me more [about his sighting]. . . . while the native guide was ahead of them on the trail, he and his friend stopped in a clearing. The two soldiers heard a “crashing” noise in the brush, and when they looked toward the uphill side of the clearing they saw the creature take off into the air. Before this takeoff, it was unseen. A wild pig, which had caused the noise, then ran to the downhill side of the clearing, into the taller brush; apparently, it had startled the “pterodactyl,” which then circled above the clearing. [page 25 of SFRFG]

. . . [Duane Hodgkinson] revealed that he had noticed no detail of the long tail he had seen, but the tail was indeed long. [in 2005, in an interview, he revealed his rough estimate for tail length: “at least ten or fifteen feet”] . . . The creature, which Hodgkinson first assumed was a bird, flew up from the edge of the clearing and, as it circled, fifty to one hundred feet above the men, presented a “perfect side view” of itself—obviously no bird. [page 26]

Sighting in Perth, Australia

(Continued quoting of the nonfiction book on ropens)

Soon after I had questioned Hodgkinson, an Australian lady told me about a flying creature she and her husband . . . had observed near the coast of Perth. . . . [top of page 31]

Soon after the sighting, the lady was open about it and tried to spread the news, but people accused her of dishonesty, people who did not know her, so she kept quiet about it for years. When she realized my work was serious, she replied . . . “Whatever people may think, the fact remains that my husband and I both saw that creature. My husband, being a scientist, took in things from the sighting that I [did not] take in.”

I requested her husband’s account and he soon replied: [page 32]

“As I am to understand that my wife has been corresponding with you concerning a certain sighting we witnessed near the coast of the Indian Ocean in Perth, Western Australia, she has encouraged and prevailed upon me to add my perspectives . . .

“We had been walking in the evening and had just crested a hill and were on the down slope along a major thoroughfare. In the distance, I perceived an object in the sky. . . .

“Soon I was able to determine that it was some sort of flying creature, and my first thought was that it must be some very large bird. I was very new to the area at the time and unfamiliar with the native creatures . . .

“. . . its progress had brought it closer and while its shape did resemble a bird, I thought by now that from its apparent distance, it must be the largest bird I had ever witnessed. . . .

“Within a minute or so it had reached our position and was about 250 or 300 feet above us and slightly inland. The area was moderately well lit and I saw that it seemed to be a light reddish-tan color. It did not appear to be covered with feathers but had a leathery texture.

“Soon after it passed us, it flew over a more brightly lit sports area which highlighted even more the leathery appearance, also bringing more detail to view. The wings were the most definite leathery feature. They were shaped in a triangular arch, similar to a very elongated shark fin.” [This man estimated the wingspan of the strange flying creature at 30-50 feet.]

Ropen sighting by seven natives of Umboi Island

We rested while someone went for Gideon. These curious villagers rarely see a Western visitor: probably their first encounter with a ropen hunter. [page 74 of SFRFG]

Gideon arrived . . . the same Gideon I saw and heard in Paul Nation’s video . . .

[Question by Whitcomb] “You told them about when you went up to the mountain where there was a lake . . .”

Gideon nodded many times.

[Whitcomb] “All right. . . What lake was that?”

He appeared surprised at my ignorance and said, “Pung.”

[Whitcomb] “Did you notice . . . did it have wings?”

With a smile, Gideon said, “Yeah.”

[Whitcomb] “It had wings. OK. About how large were the wings . . .”

Gideon said, “Sefan meeta.” . . . [seven meters is about 23 feet]

[Whitcomb] “OK. Did it have a tail?”

“Yeah.”

[Whitcomb] “It had a tail. OK. How long was the tail?”

Gideon looked at the ground to his left for five seconds; from the way he glanced back and forth at the ground a few times, I concluded that he was imagining the tail and estimating its length. He looked back at me and said:

“Sefan meeta long.”

“Seven meters?”

“Yeah.”

One year later, I would analyze this interview and realize the weakness of trying to communicate with villagers about “wingspan.” . . . Gideon meant that one wing by itself was seven meters long.

When I asked about feathers, he gave me the puzzled look.

[Gideon] “There’s no feathers.”

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World War II veteran who had seen a huge ropen

Eyewitness of a ropen: Duane Hodgkinson

Other ropen eyewitnesses could be mentioned, but these two from western Australia and this native from Umboi Island support the testimony of Mr. Hodgkinson. The ropen is a real flying creature, seen by natives and Australians and Americans, on occasion, in the Southwest Pacific.

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Passing of Duane Hodgkinson

Within the past twelve years or so, the testimony of Mr. Hodgkinson has been vindicated by reports from other eyewitnesses in the southwest Pacific, many others.

“Pterodactyl” reported alive in Papua New Guinea

A study by an American cryptozoologist  suggests that the “pterodactyl” described by the World War II veteran  Duane Hodgkinson was a real creature, of a species living in coastal areas  of Papua New Guinea.

Ropen questions and answers

We do not yet have enough eyewitness reports to determine variations of species of the long-tailed featherless flying creatures that we call “ropen.” The Perth creature may be a different species than the ones observed by Duane Hodgkinson (1944) and by Gideon Koro (~1994), based upon the apparent differences in rations between wingspan and length of tail.

Honesty in Ropen Searching

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. [A reply to accusations]

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Free Book on Modern Pterosaurs

On August 28, 2014, in Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Think of a friend who needs to be informed about sightings of modern pterosaurs. Perhaps think of yourself, too. The nonfiction digital book Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea is now available FOR FREE, no strings attached, to let the world know about these astonishing nocturnal flying creatures.

This short book says little about the Bible, so why is it promoted on The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs? Here is what it says:

Expeditions and Bible-Believers

Who could organize any expedition to search for living pterosaurs? Only an official discovery could awaken Western scientists so they could search for extant pterosaurs, but discovery normally comes after searching, not before. Looking back at this problem, from the time of Darwin until 1990 it appears to have been an almost hopeless atmosphere for a discovery. But a solution eventually appeared . . . from an unexpected source.

It was only a partial solution, to be sure: only cryptozoological. But in the 1990’s a few American Biblical creationists began intermittent light expeditions in Papua New Guinea, investigating reports of possible living pterosaurs. This led to more expeditions, from 2002 to 2007, by cryptozoologists who were better prepared and who had more success with interviews and observations.

But why Biblical creationists? For the moment, lay aside any judgment of any concept of earth-age; look only at the recent history of expeditions in Papua New Guinea. Who would be more likely to search for living pterosaurs, those who believed in a major extinction event 65 million years ago or those who believed in many pterosaurs living 6,000 years ago? How much easier to organize an expedition when the organizers are convinced of the recent existence of what is being sought!

Before considering what those Biblical creationists discovered, we need to go back into history a bit more. How deeply extinction ideas had been ingrained into Western culture!

The above does not directly relate to evidence that the Bible is true; these few paragraphs only briefly explain why Biblical creationists became involved. Yet the book as a whole does suggest that the world should listen to what these few American explorers, Christian men, discovered for themselves, even though their first discoveries were limited to within the realm of cryptozoology.

Consider the following excerpts.

Preface (second paragraph)

I believe in living pterosaurs and hope they will soon be officially discovered. More important, I believe in you, that you can soar above dogmatic assumptions about extinctions. I hope that you already understand that we are more than a by-product of culture: Our existence transcends the boundaries of the human cultural assumptions that have shaped our beliefs.

What is a Pterosaur (from the Introduction)

We must begin with the basics: What is a pterosaur? It’s not really a type of dinosaur, although it’s associated with them. The flying creature is called “pterodactyl” by many non-scientists; some Americans call those featherless fliers “dinosaur birds” or “prehistoric birds.”

***

Now consider excerpts from a much larger book, in print format.

Searching for Ropens and Finding God (third edition)

We live in a world in which modern Westerners, at least many respectable or respected ones, have believed all magical dragons to be only legendary and all pterosaurs to be extinct and even more ancient; also in this world, many natives, whom we had assumed more primitive or less gifted than us, have believed all dragons to be real and either magical or spiritually gifted. In some areas, they believe dragons to be both ancient and modern. What if all of us have been only partially correct? What if flying dragons are not so much ancient as modern, not so much magical as physically gifted, not so much legendary as real? [From Introduction]

The existence of life I credited to God, from childhood choosing to respect the Bible as nonfiction. When I was ten, my father, psychologist for the San Bernardino School District in California, showed me the largest collection of bird eggs in the Western United States, in the museum in our own little town of Bloomington. The variety of eggs and birds, all dead, fascinated me. Then I read the labels. Non-birds becoming birds discomforted me, for each type of life appeared to have a role in its own basic form. [first page of the first chapter]

Jim Blume, a missionary in Papua New Guinea for thirty years, had interviewed about seventy nationals (we call them “natives”) who had seen the creatures in many coastal areas, and the eyewitnesses gave similar descriptions. I obtained an audio recording of Blume himself being interviewed: astonishing details from Garth Guessman questioning him by telephone. Within a year, Garth would become an associate of mine and a treasured friend.

The wingspan is said to be twenty feet, on the mainland and on some islands, according to natives who spoke with Blume, but only three to four feet around Manus Island. They have “hands” about halfway up their bat-like wings and tails having flanges that are “almost eel-like.” The bill is somewhat like a pelican’s, and a comb-like structure on the head has been described like a rooster’s comb, “only stiffer.” Flying at night, it glows. [from second chapter]

Apparently, those estimating how much gasoline we would need to take were unaware of the significant difference between nine passengers and the usual three to five. I was ten pounds lighter than I was two weeks earlier, and my luggage was only half as heavy, for I left many things in Gomlongon (or ate them), but it was insufficient: The boat was still low in the water, which took more fuel.

We were only a few hundred meters from the shore of Umboi Island, so what was the problem? I thought we could get to land somehow and hike through the jungle up to the main trail that leads to Lab Lab. The natives knew better.

For one thing, this coast is a mangrove swamp. Should we abandon the boat, it would be a horrible trek to trudge through the muck, inching toward the main road—a poor option. Soon, we would be in the swamp but for a different reason. [from Chapter 14]

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Live Pterosaurs in Australia E-Book

This digital book is now ready for you to easily download FREE, to promote worldwide public awareness of modern living pterosaurs. You are free to download and read the book, with no obligations, but consider telling a friend about this free book, at least one or two friends and relatives, so that others may know the wonderful truth about modern living pterosaurs.

Modern Pterosaurs and Suicide Prevention

Like many others, I was sad to learn of the passing of Robin Williams. Yet I suggest we each now focus on someone, among the billions of persons now living, who can benefit from something we can do or say positively. My own part may seem especially weak and indirect to some skeptics, perhaps, but I’ll be satisfied if only one person will benefit.

Evidence for Pterosaurs and Honesty

I’ll answer your last question first, but I feel it needs to be taken in context: There is no physical evidence for the universal extinction of all pterosaurs. In addition, there is no eyewitness evidence for their complete extinction. In other words, there is NO EVIDENCE, of any kind, that all species of pterosaurs became extinct.

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Live Pterosaurs in Australia, E-Book

On October 15, 2012, in Sighting in Papua New Guinea, by Jonathan Whitcomb

My newest nonfiction cryptozoology book, Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea, is published only in e-book format (for the Amazon Kindle and other compatible devices). Amazon estimates it is about 76 pages long, which is shorter than my first two books about modern living pterosaurs. This digital book is now ready for you to easily download FREE, to promote worldwide public awareness of modern living pterosaurs. You are free to download and read the book, with no obligations, but consider telling a friend about this free book, at least one or two friends and relatives, so that others may know the wonderful truth about modern living pterosaurs.

Table of Contents for "Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea"

Screen shot of the Table of Contents (above)

Preface (first paragraph)

You will here find reports of encounters with apparent living pterosaurs, including many accounts never before published in any book. Other sighting reports are condensed from the print book “Searching for Ropens.” The ebook you are now examining is neither exhaustive nor rudimentary, but it explains most of what most Australians, and others, need to know about what might, on rare occasions, fly over their heads at night.

Dedication

To the eyewitnesses who have reported their sightings of apparent pterosaurs, including two artists, Patty Carson and Eskin Kuhn, who encountered, at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, in 1965 and 1971, the pterosaurs shown on the cover of this book, and to the explorers and researchers and journalists who carry eyewitness reports out of the shadows and into the light of public knowledge—thank you.

Chapter One – “How can Pterosaurs be Alive?”

I have no desire to shock anybody. I partially agree with the general concept of extinctions, but without committing myself to any time frame. Most species of dinosaurs and pterosaurs appear to have been extinct for some time; nevertheless, after many years of investigations, my associates and I assert that at least two species of pterosaurs live in the southwest Pacific. Indeed, similar ones live in other areas of the world as well.

screen shot of part of a page from the book "Live Pterosaurs in Australia . . ."

Screen shot: near the beginning of Chapter One

Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea

Some Americans and Australians hesitate to report their shocking sightings of flying creatures that appear like what should not exist. That’s the way things are. We may understand something of what they feel. . . .

Pterosaurs in Australia – Book Nearly Complete

I believe in living pterosaurs and hope they will soon be officially discovered. More important, I believe in you, that you can soar above dogmatic assumptions. I hope that you already understand that we are more than a by-product of culture: Our existence transcends the boundaries of the human cultural assumptions that have shaped our beliefs. [quoting the title page of the book]

nonfiction cryptozoology book in electronic format - living pterosaurs

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Three months ago I announced that my new book was mostly completed, I know. The final editing of the main content is now almost completed, but the index may take weeks of work. I still hope the book is published before the first of October.

Very little about origin philosophies will be mentioned in this book. It’s purely cryptozoological.

Brief Excerpts:

Title Page

I believe in living pterosaurs and hope they will soon be officially discovered. More important, I believe in you, that you can soar above dogmatic assumptions. I hope that you already understand that we are more than a by-product of culture: Our existence transcends the boundaries of the human cultural assumptions that have shaped our beliefs.

Introduction

My American associates and I have explored remote jungles in Papua New Guinea, searching for living pterosaurs and interviewing native eyewitnesses. Most expeditions were led by one or two Americans, with one or two native interpreters. Did we fail or succeed? It depends on who interprets our investigations: skeptics who point out the lack of an official scientific discovery or open-minded cryptozoologists who recognize progress and hope for the future.

Not all explorers are from the United States. Brian Irwin (not related to Steve) has explored in Papua New Guinea, but most of his searching has been for dinosaurs rather than for pterosaurs.

Chapter Two

As the soldiers gazed in astonishment, the creature ran to their left, taking about eight steps to get airborne. Hodgkinson later estimated that the legs were three to four feet long. The wingspan was similar to that of a small private plane, about thirty feet. Hodgkinson’s attention was drawn to the head, so he could give only a rough estimate for the tail length: “at least” ten or fifteen feet long.

He thought the head was about three to four feet long, not counting the appendage that extended from the back of the head. That pointed appendage was about half the length of the head and held parallel to the neck, which was (like the head) about three to four feet long.

Pterodactyls in Australia – Another Book

Almost nobody is unmoved by an encounter with a living pterosaur, although some eyewitnesses refuse to lay aside the dogma of universal extinction. How many eyewitnesses hold onto that dogma? How can I tell? Those are the ones who feel safer hiding in the shadows, the ones who fear being bitten by the words of skeptics, the ones who never get in touch with me or with any other cryptozoologist.

New E-Book About Live Pterosaurs

This low-cost ebook gives detailed eyewitness accounts of the strange flying creatures seen in the Southwest Pacific, with explanations for why these sightings are absent from news headlines.

Update:

This ebook is published and now available on Amazon (Kindle): Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea.

nonfiction cryptozoology book in electronic format - living pterosaurs

$3.99 (US dollars) – also available for purchase with other currencies on other Amazon sites

Author: Jonathan David Whitcomb

Illustrated (on the cover) by Patty Carson and Eskin Kuhn

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Text-to-speech enabled

This newly published ebook is in pure nonfiction cryptozoology genre.

New Nonfiction Book on Modern Pterosaurs

The Amazon-Kindle version has a linked index and linked table of contents. I hope to make this nonfiction cryptozoology ebook availabe in other formats soon.

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I have now completed most of my first e-book: Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. It will include significant sightings reports absent from my previous (print) books. Quoting from the first chapter:

Almost nobody is unmoved by an encounter with a living pterosaur, although some eyewitnesses refuse to lay aside the dogma of universal extinction. How many eyewitnesses hold onto that dogma? How can I tell? Those are the ones who feel safer hiding in the shadows, the ones who fear being bitten by the words of skeptics, the ones who never get in touch with me or with any other cryptozoologist.

How do I know that some of them refuse to give up the dogma that all pterosaurs are extinct? How can I know anything about eyewitnesses who remain silent? It’s easy. Some sightings are by a group of eyewitnesses, and some of those ordinary persons report not only the extraordinary flying creatures but the inordinate refusal of some fellow-witnesses to admit what was observed. (Especially telling is the reaction of a soldier who remained silent after a 1944 encounter in New Guinea: His buddy talked.)

Those hidden eyewitnesses might be fighting with the doctrine that pterosaurs cannot be alive. It can be a cerebral wrestling match between what was observed and what had always been believed. Trying to recover from the shock of a live-pterosaur sighting, they fail to question, or delay questioning, what needs to be questioned: the universal extinction dogma.

New Cryptozoology Book

At the far side of the clearing, a creature was running and flapping its wings. All the grass around it was flattened by the blasts of wind from the creature getting airborne. Up over the jungle it flew, out of sight for the moment; but Duane Hodgkinson remained stricken: Extinction itself had just become exterminated—that was no bird.

Another Sighting in Perth, Australia

I looked out of my window which is at the back of the house. . . . I saw a huge shadow glide over [the house behind us]. It was at least 4 [meter] in wingspan and distinctly had a head. . . . I was freaked out.

Giant Pterosaur in Queensland, Australia

We heard it coming . . . the swoosh noise. . . . All we saw was a black shape coming from the trees; the next thing we saw was one wing over the windscreen [windshield].  It crossed [in front of the car]. I couldn’t see the road for a moment, just wing covering the entire windscreen. The body was over the car and its other wing [was] over the back [of the car].

[“Pterodactyl” is a commonly used word for the scientifically correct “pterosaur.”]

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To see a Pterosaur, Drive or Take a Walk

On October 25, 2011, in sighting in North America, by Jonathan Whitcomb

Offhand, I recall two eyewitnesses who had seen an apparent pterosaur while looking out a window of their homes. I have read about one eyewitness who was looking out the window of a hospital. But far more common are the eyewitnesses who were outside or driving a car.

Driving While Under the Influence of a Pterosaur

Two weeks ago, Americans (at least a few Americans) observed Drive Safely Work Week; this week, it’s National Teen Driver Safety Week. I doubt we will ever have Drive Safely While Witnessing a Live Pterodactyl Week. But in the United States, driving may be the most common activity when someone sees an apparent living pterosaur (probably because most Americans are usually indoors when they’re not in an automobile).

Live Pterosaurs: We Aren’t in Kansas Anymore?

I had seen an extremely large bird that resembled a pterodactyl some years ago when [I was] driving to town from the family farm between Rush Center and Larned, Kansas. I could not believe my eyes as I immediately thought of a prehistoric bird when I saw it. It must have had a wing-span of 16-20 feet.

Outdoors in Australia, driving or standing or walking

We both saw it appear from the side of the road as a black big shape moving fast . . . the wings were so big. black bat leather like; one wing covered the car with it’s body . . . as it bended it’s wing to continue flight you could see how strong it was, so big; I could imagine the force of wind the wings would make if we were not in the protection of the car; it was so close I thought we were going to hit it. The crazy thing, we could here the loud swoosh noise it made with its wings, twice: before it went over the car and as it was going over; it is a modern car the window’s were up; that is a big noise . . .

Living Pterosaur in Australia

I was [driving] towards the ocean . . . We heard . . . the swoosh noise . . . [we saw] a black shape coming from the trees; the next thing we saw was one wing over the windscreen. It crossed our path . . . I couldn’t see the road for a moment, just wing covering the entire windscreen. The body was over the car and it’s other wing, over the back . . . we could not see the body . . . [only] the wing: bat like leather, veins and leather stretched over a bone structure. That was dinosaur era.

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