Copyright 2011-2017 Jonathan Whitcomb
July 7, 2006, revised pr. rel. - The flying light seen one night in 2004, in Papua New Guinea, by a New Hampshire businessman, was a living pterosaur, ac- cording to the newly published book Searching for Ropens . David Woetzel  was watching the sky, for a creature known, by natives of various languages,  as duwas, kundua, seklo-bali , and kor , but on the island Woetzel was exploring, it is ropen . The horizontal movement suggested it was no meteor. The book, by Jonathan D. Whitcomb, a Californian  forensic videographer, compares the sighting with other ropen sightings on Umboi Island. The author noted that the flying light seen by Woetzel soon disappeared behind a mountain where natives had previously seen the creature both at night and in the daylight. Whitcomb’s book declares that the daylight sightings strongly suggest the light comes from a Rhamphorhynchoid   pterosaur. Long-tailed featherless creatures seen in coastal areas of Papua New Guinea had previously been thought, by some skeptics, to be misidentifications, that eyewitnesses had seen flying fox fruit bats, even though the bats have almost no tails. But two natives described a ropen holding itself upright on a tree trunk (fruit bats hang upside down), and the ropen has an apparent bioluminescent glow that it may use to catch fish. The nocturnal creature might also use its light to navigate over land. Although Whitcomb admits there is not yet any photograph to prove pterosaurs still live, or any body to disprove textbook declarations that the last pterosaur died 65-million years ago, his book tells of a native tradition that ties the ropen’s tail to the tail of a Rhamphorhynchoid  pterosaur. It was astonishing to Garth Guessman, Woetzel’s fellow American explorer on Umboi Island, when they learned of the tradition. The two Americans are now credited with uncovering this correlation between the ropen and some pterosaur fossils. According to Guessman, a native named Dickson explained to them a tradition about the ropen’s tail: inflexible, except where it connects to the body. It relates to what is known about the long tails of the pterosaurs known, by scientists in that field, as “Rhamphorhynchoids,” according to Guessman. Those pterosaurs were unable to move their tails except where it connects to the body.
Press Release for New Hampshire
Ropens or other kinds of living pterosaurs have been seen around the world.
More News Releases on Living Pterosaurs: Refutation of the pterosaur hoax  idea Pterosaurs are more likely living creatures than hoaxes Live Pterodactyl  - nocturnal creature flying at night
News: Glowing Featherless Creature Flies in Papua New Guinea
Whitcomb himself had gone on his own expedition to Papua New Guinea, only a few weeks before the Woetzel-Guessman expedition, and to the same island: Umboi. But earlier in 2004 he interviewed an American eyewitness of a ropen. Duane Hodgkinson, a flight instructor living in Livingston, Montana, was a soldier in New Guinea during World War II. He has maintained that he saw a huge long-tailed “pterodactyl” in 1944, near Finschhafen. The World War II veteran’s description resembles the one given by an Australian couple who had seen a giant featherless creature that flew over Perth (Western Australia) in 1997. Whitcomb noted similarities to native accounts recorded by some earlier explorers in Papua New Guinea, from 1994 to 2002, and by the Baptist missionary James Blume. According to the missionary, around Manus Island (to the north of Umboi) the ropen has a wingspan of 3-4 feet, but in other areas it may reach 10-15 feet. This may not be conclusive, as Whitcomb suggests there may be limitations in first-hand eyewitness encounters, and at least one human death has been reported with an attack from a creature near Manus Island. On the mainland and on Umboi some eyewitnesses estimate the wingspan at well over twenty feet, including the ropen seen by Hodgkinson. Some eyewitnesses, in some areas, say the creature has a long beak or mouth and no feathers. Fossils of Rhamphorhynchoid   pterosaurs have long tails. Some sightings of ropens indicate the modern flying creatures have head crests, even though few Rhamphorhynchoid  fossils show that feature. Also, two ropen eyewitnesses described dorsal ridges, and that may be uncharacteristic of the fossils. Whitcomb’s book acknowledges differences and that ropens grow larger than the specimens of Rhamphorhynchoid   fossils, but it emphasizes that the “diamond” on the ropen’s tail may relate to the tails of those fossils. Whitcomb, an independent videographer who records evidence for attorney firms, seeks funding for a major expedition to videotape a ropen. James Blume is a missionary in Wau (mainland of Papua New Guinea). Garth Guessman is a profes- sional for public safety in Southern California, and David Woetzel has been a business executive in New Hampshire.
More About Living Pterosaurs: This relates to the disputation about pterosaur extinction  that is taught in schol textbooks. Please email Jonathan Whitcomb  if you have a comment, or would like to help or would like to report a sighting.
“In the summer of 2007, I learned that Guessman and Woetzel had found a new area to search for the cryptid we call "ropen" (I assumed it was still in Papua New Guinea). When I learned that they had seen many bats and apparent ropens flying, at night, over the same valley, at the same time, and that the sightings were throughout the year . . . The ropens must be catching bats.”