On December 6th, Jonathan David Whitcomb issued the following press release:
For generations, the mystery lights of Marfa, Texas, have entertained residents with their strange dancing. On some warmer nights, a ball of light seems to split into two, which will separate and fly away from each other before turning around and flying back together. They have recently been linked to flying lights in the southwest Pacific, lights that natives of Papua New Guinea testify are from large flying creatures.
In southwest Texas, local residents have speculated about dancing devils or ghosts. Scientists have preferred something along the lines of ball lightning or earthlights, but all their scientific explanations have tripped over the resemblances to line dancing. If atmospheric energies or tectonic stresses cause the displays, why do two lights horizontally separate for a long distance before coming back together?
Now a cryptozoologist from California has explained the dancing lights of Marfa. Tales of spooks may hold a spark of truth, for recent research implies intelligence directs the lights: Bioluminescent flying predators may be hunting at night and catching a few unlucky Big Brown Bats: Eptesicus fuscus.
According to Jonathan Whitcomb, a cryptozoology author in Long Beach, California, when one of the bioluminescent predators has been glowing for awhile, not far above the ground, it will be joined by another of its kind, which will then turn on its own glow. After insects have been attracted to that area, the two creatures will separate, which appears to distant human observers to be one light splitting into two. The predators will fly away from each other for some distance, then turn back and fly together. During the separation, bats may begin feeding on the concentration of insects before being caught from two sides by the larger predators.
Whitcomb was a forensic videographer, in 2004, when he traveled to Papua New Guinea, hoping to videotape the glowing nocturnal "ropen," said to be a large flying predator and scavenger. Although he did not see the creature, he interviewed many natives, who impressed him with their credibility and amazed him with what they had seen. Whitcomb became convinced that the ropen is a pterosaur, commonly called by Americans "pterodactyl" or "flying dinosaur."
After returning to the United States, he wrote many web pages about the concept of modern living pterosaurs in the southwest Pacific. He was surprised at the response: emails and phone calls from eyewitnesses of apparent pterosaurs in the United States.
He analyzed the eyewitness accounts of those flying creatures and wrote a nonfiction book: "Live Pterosaurs in America." The second edition of that cryptozoology book has just been published (ISBN-13: 9781456341350).
Although Whitcomb admits that Marfa Lights may come from an unknown bioluminescent bird or bat, he says, "It is more likely than not from a creature similar to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, and my associates and I are sure about the ropen: It is a pterosaur." - Jonathan David Whitcomb
NOTE: I have been reporting on Whitcomb's research and expeditions since I started 'Phantoms and Monsters'...in fact, he has forwarded several reports directly. This theory involving the Marfa Lights is interesting since much of the phenomena associated with the ropen of New Guinea is similar...Lon
Marfa's Legendary Lights
Click for video - The Marfa Lights
From March 2010
The Papua New Guinea Pterosaur
NOTE: I received an email from Jonathan Whitcomb at Live Pterosaur: "Last month I interviewed an eyewitness who lives in the Manus Island area of Papua New Guinea. More interesting than his short sighting one night is the account from an older man: The "kor" (a new name to me, probably the same species as the ropen of Umboi Island, or at least similar) creatures attacked some Japanese, during World War II, with a devastating response from those Japanese. I believe this story, for my contact seems to be credible."
The following is posted at his blog:
Japanese World War II Ship Shelled Pterosaur Caves
February 18th, 2010 at 5:29
Three days ago, I received an email from R.K. (anonymous), of the Manus Island area of Papua New Guinea. (We starting communicating earlier this month.) The nocturnal flying creatures that he described to me–I believe they are ropens–were common and were dangerous to local fishermen previous to the early 1940’s, when their numbers declined. In these northern islands, the creature is called “kor.”
Here is part of R.K.’s account of the Japanese retaliation against the creatures that had attacked them:
”...it was the japs [Japanese miliary] on the island who were attacked by the kor. They [Japanese soldiers] apparently shot several wounding them then followed them to cves [caves] and blew [blew up] the entrances. They called ships fire on the hills and pounded them for several hours.”
R.K. asks an interesting question: “I wonder if there is a record of that somewhere?” Perhaps there is an old Japanese veteran who knows about this or has written about the battle with those creatures. If so, perhaps the word used for those creatures would be “dragons."
The Kor of Northern Papua New Guinea
R.K., of Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, reports that the glowing nocturnal flying creature of those northern islands is called “kor.” Descriptions strongly suggest that they are at least similar to the ropen of Umboi Island, perhaps the same species: glowing with various colors, a long tail, “skin all over it,” and a few creatures growing to a large size. A few American investigators (some of them exploring in some areas of Papua New Guinea) are convinced that these are living pterosaurs.
According to what R.K. has learned from some older villagers, the kor catch fish “by skimming slowly around on the ocean surface, then as the light under their wings and belly glowed bright and attracted fish, the korr would swoop in . . . ” and “they eat in flight.”
But these are not just old reports. R.K. has reported his own encounter [early 2010 report]: “Two years ago we took a boat out to investigate and could see the lights soaring over us and heard flapping of wings.”
Older web page reports of smaller “ropens” around Manus Island (as if these were a different species because of size) are questionable. One kor was large enough to kill an islander in the 1960’s (according to R.K., this was the last human death from an attack). Perhaps the reports of smaller creatures come from the larger number of younger ones. Larger ones are reported to eat turtles and even young crocodiles. Some animals continue to grow throughout their lives; perhaps the kor, on occasion, also grows to a large size.
Click for video - Three men describe the pterodactyl-like creature of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea. They saw the giant "ropen" (about 1994) flying over Lake Pung.
World War II Veteran Saw Giant Living "Pterodactyl"
Duane Hodgkinson, now a flight instructor in Livingston, Montana, in 1944 was stationed near Finschhafen, in what was then called New Guinea. 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,” (book Searching for Ropens, 2007) and a long appendage at the back of its head: apparently, a live pterosaur.
Jonathan Whitcomb, a forensic videographer, interviewed Hodgkinson, in 2004, and found his testimony credible. In 2005, Garth Guessman, another experienced ropen investigator, video-taped his own interview with Hodgkinson and the session was analyzed by Whitcomb, who became even more convinced the World War II veteran was telling the truth: The man had seen a ropen.
In late 2006, Paul Nation, of Texas, explored a remote mountainous area on the mainland of Papua New Guinea. He videotaped two lights that the local natives called "indava." Nation believed the lights were from the bioluminescence of creatures similar to the ropen of Umboi Island. The video was analyzed by a missile defense physicist who reported that the two lights on the video were not from any fires, meteors, airplanes or camera artifacts. He also reported that the image of the two lights was authentic and was not manipulated or hoaxed.
In 2007, cryptid investigator Joshua Gates went to Papua New Guinea in search of the Ropen for his TV show Destination Truth. He and his team also witnessed strange lights at night and could not confirm what they were.
In 2009, the television show Monster Quest conducted an expedition in search of the "demon flyer" but found no evidence of the creature. Later, they had a forensic video analyst examine the Paul Nation video. The analyst could not definitely conclude what was causing the lights, but ruled out vehicles and campfires believing the footage was of a pair of bioluminescent creatures perched in a tree that later take flight.
Click to video 1
Click for video 2
Click for video 3
As well, here is the YouTube page with the MonsterQuest clips - Flying Monsters
helium - Papua New Guinea, Southwest Pacific Ocean—The Ropen (‘demon flyer‘) is a monstrous creature that’s terrified the natives of Papua New Guinea for thousands of years. Another smaller creature, the Duah-possibly related to the Ropen-haunts some of the far flung outlying islands.
Now sensational eyewitness reports—collected by determined exploration teams seeking strong evidence of the creatures—have led serious researchers to the conclusion that two distinct animals exist.
The descriptions of both monsters match that of fabled pterosaurs—ferocious flying dinosaurs thought to be extinct for 65 million years.
Jim Blume and David Woetzel are two daring researchers that have explored the dangerous regions—including the treacherous outlying islands—where the prehistoric monsters are known to hunt their prey.
Not only have these two compiled eyewitness accounts of the creatures from frightened natives, and physical evidence of gigantic nesting sites in some of the mountainous cliff areas, both men have personally witnessed the soaring creatures—and Woetzel even shot some video footage of one.
First brought to the attention of Western missionaries following WWII, the often nocturnal flying creatures are described as having large bat-like wings, an elongated beak filled with razor teeth, sharp, tearing claws and a very long whip-like tail with a split or flange on the end.
Reports from natives and investigators indicate that the creatures glow in the dark and are clearly visible in the night sky. This phenomenon—called the ‘Ropen light’—was observed at length and videotaped by researcher David Woetzel.
It’s hypothesized the bio-luminescent glow assists the creatures’ efforts to hunt and catch fish—their primary diet—in the deep darkness of the tropical night.
The evidence for two types of living pterosaurs
Although the Ropen and Duah have strikingly similar physical characteristics, the giant Ropen inhabits Papua New Guinea while the smaller Duah stays relatively close to the outlying islands.
Other than actual modern-day sightings of the two, a surviving 16th Century maritime chart lends credence to the hypothesis of two distinctly different creatures.
The 1595 chart cautions sailors about ‘sea monsters’ and depicts various coastal regions of Earth where monsters might be found. In the area of Papua New Guinea, two ‘sea monsters’ are illustrated: one is much larger than the other, yet both have almost identical physical traits. Each have long necks, prominent head crests, tails ending with a flipper like appendage and ridges along their backs. They are shown flying above an island.
Despite the general consensus amongst orthodox zoologists that the creatures don’t exist, those that have actually traveled deep into Papua New Guinea’s primitive rain forests and tiny offshore islands are convinced the creatures are living there now—especially since they have seen them firsthand.
Furthermore, strong evidence exists that one type is very big with impressive 20-foot plus wingspans, while the smaller, island dwellers have 4 to 4 1/2-foot wingspans.
Blume and Woetzel are convinced that two different types of pterosaurs exist and the indigenous natives concur. The locals insist the Duahs are not Ropens.
Mounting evidence supports the contention that the large Ropen are living Dimorphodon pterosaurs, with dermal bumps and a head crest; while the numerous sightings of the smaller creatures that inhabit the caves of the islands dotting the Bismarck Archipelago are that of the supposedly extinct Rhamphorhynchus-a pterosaur with a wingspan of about 3 to 4 feet.
Blume’s investigations indicate that wingspans of some of the pterosaurs may reach 10 to15 feet, though several other investigators point out that natives have encountered Ropens with much larger wingspans.
Most intriguing of all, the living pterosaurs may not be exclusive to Papua New Guinea. Similar creatures have been sighted and reported on and off for centuries throughout Central Africa.
The natives in the Congo, Zambia, Angola, Kenya and Zaire call the creatures ‘Kongomato.’ They assert the reddish African version has large, leathery wings, sharp claws, a split tail, and prominent teeth.
While humans smugly believe they are the masters of this planet, the original rulers may still command some of the darker corners of this shrinking world.
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