Whichever spelling you choose, it refers to a pterosaur.
This seems a good day to acknowledge the cryptozoological contributions of my associates who have searched for the ropen of Papua New Guinea. I quote from the second edition of my book Searching for Ropens:
. . . the pioneering investigations of Jim Blume, Carl Baugh, and Paul Nation illuminated the path for my own investigation in Papua New Guinea; the 2004 follow-through of Garth Guessman, David Woetzel, and Jacob Kepas filled in the gaps of previous expeditions, amplifying and supplementing the successes of those of us preceding them; the generosity of Alex Aguila made possible the 2006 expedition of Paul Nation, whose exploring of a remote area verified the location of many of the creatures (and he brought back the first visual images to the United States; the veracity of the images and testimonies were proven through the work of two physicists: Clifford Paiva and Harold Slusher); the eyewitness testimonies of natives, Australians, and an American veteran, contributed priceless evidence; the love of my wife and three daughters strengthened me to leave the comforts of home; the prayers of family, friends, and other Americans were answered when I found Luke Kenda, who became my interpreter, bodyguard, and counselor.
Intelligent ghost lights, even when we use “ghost lights” loosely, can put us out on a limb. Almost nobody wants to jump on that bandwagon on jump onto the back of a giant pterodactyl that might bite off ones head. College professors, in particular, feel vulnerable should they suggest intelligent modern pterosaurs are glowing at night in southwest Texas.
I also mentioned the possibility that some of the Marfa Lights in Texas are the bioluminescence of nocturnal flying creatures that may be related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea. I mentioned how the light splittings and rejoinings may be large flying creatures hunting the Big Brown Bat at night.
The ropen of Umboi Island [Papua New Guinea] flies out to a reef on many nights of the month. It may have a varied diet, but the second expedition of 2004 turned up eyewitness evidence that the creature carrys heavy giant clams up into the island interior to eat.