Ropen of Umboi
A Fruit Bat?
The original version of the bat-explanation was probably "Flying Fox." Why? Many years ago, Americans assumed that the large fruit bat of Papua New Guinea (various species live in that part of the world) was what the eyewitnesses had seen when they have said "pterosaur" (or "pterodactyl"). But fruit bats eat fruit, not fish. And they do not have long tails, nor do they glow brightly at night. The ropen eats fish, has a long tail, and glows.
Clear thinking--that's what we need. When a critic of the concept of living pterosaurs says something like, "Those creatures could not be alive today or we would have seen them," the statement itself is not strictly
circular reasoning. But the thought behind it usually is, because critics are trying to dismiss sightings of living pterosaurs.
From 1994 through 2004, the most popular destination for explorers was Umboi Island (called by those of Papua New Guinea "Siassi"). Here the giant long-tailed glowing ropen is said to fly from mountain to sea and back, at night. Many have seen the bright five-second glow, but few have seen the creature up close.
Duane Hodgkinson (right) was a soldier in 1944, in New Guinea, when he saw a giant "pterodactyl" with a long tail. The veteran was interviewed by Jonathan Whitcomb (left) several times, beginning in 2004. Whitcomb concluded that Hodgkinson was telling the truth.
It seems to have been a giant ropen.
Lae, Papua New Guinea