By Jonathan D. Whitcomb, cryptozoologist
To begin, we’re not talking about dinosaurs exactly but the featherless flying creatures that many people associate with them: pterosaurs, also commonly called “pterodactyls.” And this is about the modern version of long-tailed ropens, which are often associated with fossils of Rhamphorhynchoid (also called basal) pterosaurs.
Bioluminescence in the Ropen of PNG
Reports of strange glowing creatures that fly at night—those did not originate in the imaginations of me or my associates. The British scientist Evelyn Cheesman, early in the twentieth century, put her mind to strange flying lights she observed on the mainland of New Guinea, trying to come up with an explanation. She failed, simply concluding that they could not have come from any human activity.
While at Mondo (on the mainland of what is now the country of Papua New Guinea) Cheesman saw a flash of light one night, just below the top of a distant ridge. It disappeared but then another one appeared, and this continued. She counted the duration of the flashes: four or five seconds. How shocked she would have been if somebody had told her that those lights were bioluminescent pterosaurs or fire-breathing dragons!
She explained her observations of the strange lights on several pages of her nonfiction book The Two Roads of Papua.
Keep in mind that this was no creationist cryptozoologist looking for modern pterodactyls. Lucy Evelyn Cheesman was a respected biologist (entomologist: insect expert), and this was decades before the birth of the modern Biblical-Creation rebellion against Darwin. Here is part of what I wrote about her encounter with those flying lights (from my nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition):
Would an entomologist label a firefly light show a “curious phenomenon” or “baffling?” Cheesman said nothing about why she never considered fireflies, in her book The Two Roads of Papua, but her analysis makes it clear.
In the light of the following day, she stood on the veranda, exactly where she had stood at night, with a post showing her where the lights had been: close to the top of a particular mountain ridge, about three miles away. She saw they’d been strung out over two to three miles, on a horizontal line, above the tree canopy.
That alone exterminates a firefly explanation . . . She may have left out fireflies, in that part of her book, because those flashes were too bright. [page 39 of the book SFRFG]
Searching for Ropens and Finding God (fourth edition)
The Two Roads of Papua (by Evelyn Cheesman)
So why must those lights have been bioluminescent pterosaurs? Well, nobody actually requires them to be those flying creatures. Ms Cheesman did not actually see any large glowing creature with wings, apparently, or if she did she seems to have kept it secret. But it’s the widespread circumstantial evidence.
Glowing Ropen of Umboi Island
That biologist probably never visited Umboi Island (then perhaps known as Rooke Island). If she had, it’s unlikely that she would have told the natives details about strange lights she had seen on the mainland. The point is this: Natives on Umboi Island also sometimes see a flying light at night, and the duration of the light is similar to the flash duration that Cheesman observed.
Yet some Umboi Islanders have seen far more than a distant flying light. When I, Jonathan Whitcomb, explored part of that island in 2004, I was fortunate to find several eyewitnesses of the ropen. Three of those I interviewed were together when they encountered a huge winged creature at the crater lake Pung: Gideon Koro, Wesley Koro, Mesa Augustin. Each of those three young men gave me a convincing testimony of the huge ropen, for it flew above the surface of that lake in clear daylight. Gideon estimated the tail length of the creature was seven meters.
So why can’t that remote island have two unrelated strange things flying around: a light and a giant flying creature? That’s possible, except that a few of the natives have seen both at the same time: in other words, a large winged creature that glows as it flies. In fact, I interviewed Jonah Jim, just south of Lake Pung, and that native told me about the glowing creature that he and his family members observed flying towards that crater lake.
Apparent Bioluminescent Flying Creature in Australia
This apparent ropen is unlike the common barn owl that the Australian researcher Fred Silcock reports to have intrinsic bioluminescence. Some of those owls seem to glow, according to some eyewitnesses, but those birds are much smaller than many ropens and the look different.
The following is taken from an email that was sent to me, Jonathan Whitcomb, by two Australian eyewitnesses: Nigel and Rae Lloyd-Jones, of Queensland.
It was our second night of the holiday, we were staying in a small cabin on the hillside, overlooking the Baroon Pocket Dam (the place is called Secrets on the Lake).
It was a very still clear night, almost full moon. We had been out on the verandah overlooking the dam, no lights . . . dark apart from natural light [of night sky] . . . around 1 a.m. . . . we suddenly heard a very loud flapping noise, over the middle area of the dam.
The water-birds resting/sleeping on shore suddenly stirred and made a ruckus, disturbed by whatever was out over the water. . . . As we both looked out at the water, we saw something dark moving over the water, for a second or two only, and then in it’s flight path it started a flashing greeny-blue light, as whatever it was continued to fly just above the water of the dam.
It shone/flouresced for about 5 seconds as it kept moving/flying over the water, then the light stopped, as we continued to hear the flapping noise . . .
Those were just a small sampling of eyewitness testimonies of flying lights and large flying creatures in the southwest Pacific, including Papua New Guinea and Australia. The combination of many sighting reports makes the case for bioluminescent pterosaur-like animals.
We believe “fiery” refers to the bioluminescent glow [of the fiery flying serpent of the Old Testament of the Bible], still present in at least one species of ropen.
The ropen is an alleged relict pterosaur that has been reported from the jungles of Papua New Guinea. . . . As of early 2015, the ropen remains within the realm of cryptozoology rather than official biology . . .
In other words, according to orthodox evolutionary ideas, a typical species of Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur either became extinct or it evolved into another form before the short-tailed pterosaurs became the dominant type, long ago. [Whitcomb believes in living species of pterosaurs.]
We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.
In 1944, in (Papua) New Guinea, Duane Hodgkinson and his friend saw a “pterodactyl” with a wingspan similar to a Piper Tri-Pacer (29 feet).
Scientists of all religious beliefs, of all origin philosophies, would agree that carbon-14 dating (also known as radiocarbon or 14C dating) cannot place any time frame on anything close to a million years, let alone “65 million years ago.”
How often we’ve been taught that all dinosaurs and pterosaurs became extinct millions of years ago, as if that were proven! But what if some are still living?
James Blume, a missionary in Papua New Guinea, has interviewed dozens of natives regarding the giant pterosaur-like animals.