June 13, 2015

A Flying Creature Called "Ropen"

The ropen flies within the confinement of cryptozoology, at least theoretically. But for those eyewitnesses whose lives have been changed by encountering this flying creature, it is hardly confined to theory, for it is real.

What do we know about the ropen? It is not confined to Papua New Guinea, which makes sense when we consider that the largest ones have wingspans greater than twenty feet. Flying creatures similar to the ropen of the southwest Pacific have been reported in Asia, Europe, Africa, and North America. In fact, many of the sightings have been reported in the United States.

So what qualifies a flying creature to be labeled "ropen?" It is featherless, according to many eyewitnesses, and has a long tail that ends with a structure that has been called a "diamond" or a "spade" or a "triangle" (although other labels have been attached to the end of the tail). Some persons describe a pointed horn-like appendage at the back of the head. In other words, it appears to be an unusual kind of Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur.

A Bioluminescent Flying Creature

One thing sets the ropen apart from most other flying creatures is the glow. Sometimes, when it flies overhead at night, it glows with what some cryptozoologists call "intrinsic bioluminescence." That means it can control the glow that it produces, turning it on and off at will.

Could some sightings of large glowing flying creatures at night be birds rather than pterosaurs? Of course they could, in theory. But examinations of specific sightings reports—those have mostly suggested something other than any known bird, at least classified by Western science.

Some barn owls (Tyto alba) have been reported to glow with what an Australia researcher believes is intrinsic bioluminescence. Fred Silcock has studied reports of "Min min" lights for many years, and has documented instances in which an observer got close enough to see that the flying glowing object was indeed a large owl.

But some eyewitnesses in Papua New Guinea have gotten close looks at a large glowing object that flies around at night, and part of the description includes a long tail. That eliminates barn owls from those particular sightings.


Big Flying Creature in Utah
Three children, including Devon Roberts and his brother Dallin, saw something huge flying overhead, at about 11 p.m., around the fall of 2001, something very unlike any bird. Devon estimated the flying creature had a wingspan of 15-20 feet.
Apparent Living Pterosaurs
. . . right in front of us about thirty feet away. All of us froze for about five seconds, then it leaned to its left and took off with a fwap fwap fwap sound . . . and flew to its left and disappeared behind trees and terrain.
Glowing Ropen Reported in Papua New Guinea
Paul Nation, of Granbury, Texas, videotaped the lights one night, in November, 2006, in a remote mountainous area of the mainland of Papua New Guinea. Here, the natives call the creature "indava," but explorers call it by the name used on Umboi Island: "ropen."
Ropen of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea
The ropen sighting involved seven boys. They ran home in terror after this sighting. Wesley, the brother of Gideon, described the ropen to me and I was able to videotape his answers. Likewise, another of the witnesses, Mesa, told me that he saw the ropen at that time.
The Ropen of Papua New Guinea
I believe that Josh Gates did very well in the limited time his team had in their ropen search. The team was successful in videotaping what most other adventurers had failed to videotape.

June 18, 2013

Griffith Park Pterosaur Sightings

Two eyewitnesses have reported to me their sightings near Griffith Park in Los Angeles. The encounters were just a little east of that park, and over the same freeway.

I investigated the possibility that these two young ladies might have been playing a coordinated hoax, but the more I looked into the matter, the more it became apparent that it was only a coincidence that they were both young adult females driving north on the I-5 freeway in the first few months of 2013.

The similarities in the reports are as follows:
  • Gliding rather than flapping
  • Not bird misidentification
  • Over the Interstate-5
  • Just east of Griffith Park
  • Near the Los Angeles River
  • Reported to me as possible pterosaurs
  • Seen in reasonable lighting conditions (daylight)

The differences include the following:
  • Three "dragons" vs. one "pterosaur"
  • Long tails vs. unnoticed
  • Coloring somewhat different
  • Unnoticed vs. head crest
  • 6:10 a.m. vs. about 4:00 p.m.
  • Gliding in different directions
Related Pterosaur Sightings in Southern California

Until just a few weeks ago, I did not see many related sighting locations in California, no clear proximity in location. The two sightings near Griffith Park were followed by a contact telling me about a second sighting at the Lakewood backyard, two years before the June-2012 encounter.

It now seems obvious that these apparent ropens do return to the same places, at least on occasion. The sightings continue to be mostly in daylight, when humans can see much better. I am still convinced that these modern pterosaurs are nocturnal, rarely coming out in daylight. But there are enough of the creatures (and plenty of humans) to make impressive appearances when they make rare flights in daylight. And a few of the shocked eyewitnesses have the courage and common sense to contact me with their reports of encounters in California. I'll keep praying that people will keep sending me their reports.

Dragons or Pterosaurs Over Interstate-5
Right between the Los Angeles River and Griffith Park—that’s where the three “dragons” were flying on March 3, 2013, at 6:10 a.m., but another driver on the I-5 Freeway saw one “pterosaur” ten weeks later, just a little over a mile south of the first sighting location.

Pterosaurs East of Griffith Park
Two pterosaur sightings in Los Angeles, in 2013, have caused a stir, being ten weeks apart and the second one being just a mile and a half south of the first one.


January 17, 2013

Alabama Flying Creature

From an eyewitness in Dekalb County, Alabama:
Ok so me and my buddy were outside on the porch . . . this thing flys over tree top level . . . the moon was out and bright tonight and his flood light was on which lit up the belly of this creature. . . . this thing [had] a bat-like shape with the break in the wings like bats have. . . . the belly [was] . . . whitish in color . . . [It had] no feathers . . . more like hair.

There was two [flying creatures]. . . . We heard a call from the other [one], out of sight. The sound these things made was like nothing I have ever heard. It's hard to explain how it sounded really, not a bird-like call . . . kind of a long rumbling growling.

. . . I am positive this thing had no tail feathers on it. . . . sky was clear and moon was bright; the outline was easily seen. . . . The body shape was too elongated to be a owl; it had none of its characteristics. . . . I . . . know the birds very well . . . but I know what it was not and am very sure of what I seen, and I was not the only [eyewitness] so that tells me something.
. . . the wings were solid: no feather points coming off them, just the break I associated with a bat wing, but very big in size . . .

. . . it was not a crane. I am familiar with them as I seen them when fishing all the time. I also know their calls . . . they are very large but none of the features . . . this animal had relates to a crane, neither does the sound . . .
The above was reported on the site "Above Top Secret," beginning on October 28, 2009, from the person labeled "OpTiMuS_PrImE."

Pterosaurs in Georgia
For years people in Georgia have seen flying things unlike birds, sometimes creatures with long tails and no feathers and too big to be a bat.
Manta Ray Different From Pterosaur
A Manta ray fish, of an ocean or sea, may jump as high as ten feet above the surface, perhaps. But all those jumping fish fall back into the sea, demonstrating that they are not strange featherless flying creatures.
Pterosaur Encountered in Alabama
"My husband and I saw one in Alabama a few years ago. . . . I have no doubt this is what it was. My husband and I said it looked like a dinosaur. It was flying in front of our car across an open highway. Its wingspan was probably between 8-10 feet."

December 29, 2012

Did a Bird Grab a Baby?

Can a large bird of prey pick up a human baby? It may depend on not just the size of the bird but the size of the baby. All such speculations may appear irrelevant, however, regarding the Youtube video titled "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid." That video was created by students at a design college in Montreal, Canada.

The pedestrian at upper right pays no attention to the "attack"
Before the announcement, by students of Centre NaD, that the video was an animation project, skeptics began looking for signs of a hoax. It didn't take many days to find clues.

In one frame, part of the bird's wing is missing; in another, the bird's shadow is missing. After a number of days, I had found many clues myself, most critical being the gross differences in shadow angle within a short distance in the meadow.

Other indications of hoax involve the actions or inactions of persons shown. One person walking by the scene of the apparent attack pays no attention except to look in the direction of the videographer. The mother does not even notice the large bird as it shoots towards her and her baby. Only after the bird has lifted the toddler off the ground and has begun to fly away does the mother even turn her head.

Baby is being carried away to the eagle's nest. Why is Mommy so slow?

Mommy is far away; so why does the eagle drop the baby?
As the woman calmly jogs in the direction of the apparent bird and apparent baby, she does not scream. No sound comes out of her mouth, at least not loud enough to be picked up on the video. Why then does the bird drop the child?

When the bird seems to have lost its grip on the baby, they are at least six feet off the ground, possibly eight feet. If this were an actual event, the bird would have had a firm grip on that child by the time it was over four feet above the ground. Look at some eagle talons.

Eagle talons pierce the bodies of prey

The talons of eagles are built to grab into the flesh of its victims. Any bird large enough to have carried away a toddler as large as the one shown at the end of this video---that would have been a bird larger than the one depicted, especially considering how quickly the baby seems to have been lifted well up into the air. But even if that were not the case, the talons would have been large enough to have pierced the body of the child.

How is it that the apparent eagle lost its grip? The mother was nowhere near the bird and was jogging rather slowly and did not scream. If the grip of the talons were only in the clothing, then the child might have fallen out of his clothes; but that was not depicted: Both toddler and clothing fell out of the talons of the apparent bird. There is no explanation for that except that strange things do happen on rare occasions. The problem with that apparent reasoning is this: Too many strange things happen within a few second in this video.

Why Look so Deeply When the Hoax was Admitted?

One day after the Youtube video was uploaded, animation students admitted they had created the whole thing, using 3D computer models. So why look so deeply into the video, finding signs that show that it was a hoax? We have reasons.

Within a few days, "Golden Eagle Snatches Kid" had been seen by forty million youtube viewers. I had put up a number of comments, my observations about inconsistancies in shadow directions. One Youtube fan sent me the message, "Who cares it's common knowledge that it's a hoax, move on with your life! Admitted CGI!" But that is part of the problem. We need to do more thinking; we need to look more carefully; we need to listen to other opinions.

There may still be a million persons who saw the video and believed it, yet have not yet been informed that it is a hoax. Perhaps more than a few preschoolers and babies will miss outings to city parks this holiday season. Perhaps some people will needlessly worry about birds. Perhaps somebody will shoot a Golden Eagle. I will "move on" but it will be to continue to promote the truth.

The problems are far more than just missing outings to parks, or becoming mildly paranoid about large birds, or shooting an eagle. We need to think more carefully.

We need to better understand human reasoning. Why do some persons make rash judgements and then do more than just dismiss a different opinion: They dismiss another person as an "idiot."

On Youtube, I wrote the following rather vague comment about shadows of trees:
Shadows of trees show this is a video tampered with.

On December 19th I received the following comment on Youtube:
"You're an idiot, 0:11 shadow is apparent from the tree in front. Also the ground is very uneven, shadows will be distorted."

"0:11" is less vague, but I don't know what he means, for many still images exist for this one second of video. Within that one second I see many shadows of trees, some of them proving the video was indeed tampered with. I will not respond to that person by parroting the word "idiot," to judge him, regardless of what he was looking at in that one second of video, but I made my own video to be more specific:

"Eagle Snatch or Not"

(Jonathan Whitcomb's humorous look at the Youtube video)

We need to think more clearly and judge others' more carefully than we have done. I will try to be more specific in the future, rather than use just one short sentence. But I'm not alone in being in need of improvement.

Fake Bird Attacks Fake Baby
More telling is the behavior of what seems to be the mother. She seems to see nothing as the bird flies to her baby, picking it up off the ground.

She saw, in Arkansas, a Pterosaur Soar
In the summer of 1977, at about one or two in the afternoon, the sighting involved a close encounter with an apparent pterosaur (albeit labeled "teradactyl") that had a large head and a wingspan of about eight feet.


November 12, 2012

Manta Ray Misidentification?

A skeptic recently suggested sightings of pterosaurs come from startling or even shocking encounters people have with Manta rays that jump out of the sea. He implies those persons would report that they had encountered pterosaurs. But many problems jump out at the conscientious objective investigator, the person who examines the cryptozoological evidence carefully.

Some ray fish do jump out of the water. A Manta ray fish, of an ocean or sea, may jump as high as ten feet above the surface, perhaps. But all those jumping fish fall back into the sea, demonstrating that they are not strange featherless flying creatures.

A major problem with a jumping-fish explanation for modern pterosaurs is this: Most sightings are not over any large body of water, especially not over a sea or ocean where the Manta rays live. The great majority of sightings are over land. In fact, not all sighting are only of flying: Some involve a featherless flying creature perched in a tree or something else.

And many modern pterosaur sightings involve a flying creature that is flying far higher than ten feet and far longer three seconds. The Manta ray fish cannot hold itself up in the air for more much more than three or four seconds or so, before it falls back into the water.

Jumping Manta rays may surprise a few persons, on occasion, but such encounters cannot even come close to explaining the many worldwide sightings of modern pterosaurs.

Perhaps not even one sighting can be explained as a misidentified jumping fish, regarding the many sightings that have been reported to cryptozoologists who specialize in modern pterosaurs. (Those specialists include Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, Garth Guessman, and David Woetzel.)

Manta Ray Problems
But for years my writings have made it clear that the great majority of sightings of apparent pterosaurs suggest the Rhamphorhynchoid type, NOT the Pterodactyloid type.
Pterosaurs are not Manta rays
Jacob Kepas, and a local guide hiked up a mountain and got a distant view, in daylight, of an indava that was apparently sleeping on a cliff. It was similar in size to a small airplane. It was obviously no oceanic fish up there on that mountain.