April 15, 2010

Mekong River Lights and Objectiveness

Sometimes a critic of living-pterosaur investigators will mock us by saying something like, "If it’s big and it looks like a bat and/or a bird, it’s a pterosaur." But what about the Mekong River Lights? These strange glowing orbs are also known as the Naga Fireballs. The October celebrations (on the river separating Laos from Thailand), that honor the lights, attract tourists in the hundreds of thousands. I suggest the lights are from large bioluminescent insects, perhaps unclassified by modern science (or at least unrecognized in its bioluminescent capability).

How do these mysterious glowing orbs relate to investigations of living pterosaurs? It's indirect. For years, my associates and I have investigated reports of large nocturnal flying creatures in the Southwest Pacific; we believe that they are bioluminescent living pterosaurs. We have explored in Papua New Guinea, searching for the ropen and interviewing native eyewitnesses. How anxiously we have followed leads that might bring us closer to the official discovery of living pterosaurs! Often we have been ridiculed for being biased, so biased that our investigations are worthless, according to those who have never even stepped outside their front doors, to look for anything similar. Yet when I investigated some reports of the Mekong River Lights, I found evidence for bioluminescent organisms that are much more likely to be large insects than baby ropens.

Objectiveness need not exist only in those who ridicule me and my associates. When a YouTube video of an obvious Frigate Bird (though portrayed as a ropen) received tens of thousands of views, I tried to make it known that it was only a Frigate Bird. When I learned that many ghost lights in North America are probably barn owls (according to the research of Fred Silcock), I tried to make that known. I now believe that a large-insect interpretation is better than a baby-ropen interpretation of those strange glowing orbs that fly just to the west of the Southwest Pacific, between Laos and Thailand. The point? I want the truth, in each strange phenomenon, not just interpretations that seem to bolster my beliefs about the ropen. Maybe, just maybe, my associates and I have conducted reasonably unbiased investigations of this mysterious animal.

But why might the Naga Lights be insects? Hoaxes and non-living explanations fall flat (a long story), so what living things emerge together from a river before flying away? Mayflies do. What small living things glow as they fly (much smaller than barn owls and ropens)? Fireflies do. Both are insects: Bingo.

Read Live Pterosaurs in America, written in the true genre of a cryptozoology book.

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