Jan 012015

Of all the names we might consider for these animals, let’s now use Unidentified Flying Creature or UFC. The following will be set aside for the moment, although some or all of them could apply:

  • ropen
  • dragon
  • pterosaur
  • pterodactyl
  • flying dinosaur
  • fiery flying serpent

Mysterious Disappearances of People

Humans can go missing for many reasons, the least common, quite possibly, from being carried away by a “flying dinosaur.” Yet among the strangest of cases of missing people, the circumstantial evidence has mounted up to this bizarre conclusion: The best explanation for some of these is that people are carried away into the air.

This about the following. Dogs often fail to track or follow the scent for a short distance and stop. I know that some people will suggest a Bigfoot carries away people; but how do you explain a dog that tracks a man to a vertical cliff in Yosemite? That man had neither the physical ability nor the climbing equipment to ascend vertically. The direct interpretation is simple: Something lifted that man up into the air near that cliff. (This does not mean that the UFC flew straight up, that would be unnecessary and exhausting; that was simply the spot where the man’s body was lifted up into the air as the UFC flew alongside the cliff.)

The nonfiction paperback Missing 411 Western United States & Canada, by David Paulides, mentions many cases where tracking dogs could not track. That does not necessarily mean those dogs were afraid of the scent of a Bigfoot, a scientifically non-classified primate reported to live in North America. Those dogs could just as well have an aversion for following the smell of a giant pterodactyl. Yet the best explanation we have, for the moment, is that some of those persons are lifted up from the ground.

Concerning the disappearance of eight-year-old Dennis Johnson, in Yellowstone National Park in 1966, a newspaper quoted one of the searchers: “It was nearly as if he had been snatched from the face of the earth.” Others have made similar statements about strange disappearances.

Clothing or Shoe Found Missing From a Found Person

It’s not very unusual for one shoe or one or more articles of clothing to be missing from a live person or body. This can be explained by the victim falling out of a shoe or shirt or pants or coat, while being carried a short distance above the ground. The shoe or clothing or shoe is then dropped in one location while the unidentified flying creature turns around and flies back to look for its prey. That is why some of the survivors are found in bushes, where the vegetation both cushioned the fall and hide the person from the returning predator.



Missing Children and the Ropen

Many other cases give significant circumstantial evidence that large flying creatures have, on occasion, carried away a child. Many such cases have no resolution, meaning no child or body was ever recovered.

Missing Persons and Cave Appearances

This two-year-old [Mike McDonald] was found fifteen miles from where he became missing, in 1945 in southern Arizona, asleep in a small cave. Like the case in Australia, he was found the day after he disappeared. Mike had no injury other than a small cut on one foot.

Vapor or Mist Used in Attacks on Humans?

I would say the substance ejaculated from the mouth or head of the pterosaur is a mist, described by one eyewitness as a “smoke.” This very well could be part of the origin of old legends of fire-breathing dragons.


Fourth edition of this nonfiction cryptozoology book

The ultimate nonfiction book on modern pterosaurs


non-fiction paperback "Searching for Ropens and Finding God"Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition, by Jonathan Whitcomb


Recent Pterosaur Sightings

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Recent Pterosaur Sightings
Oct 312014
Fourth edition of this nonfiction cryptozoology book

West Virginia

Ricky Kearns, of Point Pleasant, WV, and other members of his family witnessed a strange flying creature on the night of October 20, 2014, as they sat outside, gazing up at the sky.

The teenaged boy reported:

I’m mind blown right now and this is why I’m writing to you. This happened to me about an hour ago. My dad, my baby sister, and I were outside in the hot tub. We were just talking … [My little sister] spots this giant winged creature flying across the sky . . . I’m [now] terribly upset that I didn’t immediately get out and grab my phone to video or take a picture. I was in all honest awe and didn’t even think that I would resort to a dead end on diagnosing this sight. It was WAY UP in the sky, and it’s wings were flapping slowly, so explaining that it was a large creature high up rather than a small creature flying low. But it was glowing.

This part of West Virginia is near the border with Ohio, near where the Kanawha River meets the Ohio River. Ricky estimated that it had “at least a 25-30 ft wingspan.”

Oklahoma (mid-Sep-2014)

The eyewitness in Oklahoma City reported:

I have always thought Bigfoot was really cool but never paid any attention to really anything about pterosaurs existing today . . . This morning at around 8:30 it went from bright morning to a black sky in just a few minutes. . . . it was such a freaky change in weather . . . On my way back from the store, I was watching the sky and saw a few birds and this really big bird with leathery wings and a long tail with a lion tuft type of thing. This is what the shape suggested. I didn’t see any feathers. I didn’t see a crest on it’s head but I was looking up almost directly under it so I don’t know if I could tell that from that angle. It wasn’t flapping. Mostly gliding but slight movement from the wings they definitely seemed bat like.

New Mexico

Early in September of 2014, two men were gazing through their telescopes one night. One of them reported:

This sighting was between 2-2:30 in the morning as my buddy and I are avid astronomers i.e.: Star gazers, or as I have come to calling it “Star geekers” . . .

He answered questions that I (Jonathan Whitcomb) put to him:

Q: Could you estimate the length of the sighting in seconds?

A: Not counting what I saw fly through my field of vision (about 3-5 seconds) while I was attempting to center the Andromeda galaxy in my telescope (which I am now fully convinced was the creature btw) I would have to say between 6-8 seconds.

Q: Did you notice a tail?

A: I thought I noticed “something” trailing not far behind this ‘thing’ although my friend says he did not notice anything. Was there something that attached the trailing ‘thing’ to the main body? No. In my estimation there was about 10′ between the main body and the little something that trailed it. So to say that I noticed a tail…no sir I can not, in so far as I did not see anything that connected the little glowing “bit” that trailed and followed the main body. This is the best that I can answer this question.


fourth edition of Whitcomb's nonfiction paperback book

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – by Jonathan Whitcomb


From page 180 of the fourth edition of this nonfiction book:

Sighting reports often suggest only a lone eyewitness, meaning the one reporting the creature was alone and took no notice of anybody else who saw it. Yet I was surprised earlier in 2013, when I analyzed the more credible accounts, for apparently 43% of sightings involve two eyewitnesses. I also learned 47% thought they were alone, although some unobserved persons may also have been witnesses.


Flying Creature

Do you call  the police? The newspaper? Animal  control? A nearby university? A brief  reflection makes it obvious: None of those  will do. Other American eyewitnesses have been  called “crazy” for reporting what they have seen.

I hope you’ll contact me,  Jonathan Whitcomb. As far as I know, I am  the only person on earth who has devoted  anything like a full-time effort, over years,  to interview eyewitnesses of apparent living  pterosaurs or ropens, promoting the idea that  these flying creatures are not extinct but  very much alive.


Sightings in Western United States of America

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Sightings in Western United States of America
Jun 032014
small farm and surrounding neighborhood in Grantsville, Utah

Pterosaurs sightings have been reported in Washington state, Oregon, California, Arizona, Utah, and in other states. Some are recent reportings of encounters years ago, others are recent observations, all are within the past 30 years. We’ll see what is revealed in the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America, but let’s first look at what is documented in the new nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God. These two books have only limited overlapping in sightings, by design of the author.


State of Washington

I got an email from another eyewitness in October of 2012: “. . . It flew over me, and my home on the Kitsap Peninsula in Washington State, just yesterday. Seriously, it flew low, made no noise, and cast a shadow as if it were a small aircraft. It freaked me out . . .” He got the impression it may have been featherless but he’s not sure. He also said, “At first I thought pelican, but I know pelicans and this was much larger with less head weight, much larger wings, somewhat short considering the wing span, greyish in color . . . freaky.” [from page 232 of the book Searching for Ropens and Finding God (third edition)]

State of Oregon

In May of 2010, a man and his wife were driving, at mid-day, on the I-84, by the Columbia Gorge in Oregon, when something flew across the highway. The man reported, “It was pretty good size and the thing that really stood out was that it had a long tail and unusually shaped wings, different from a bird because they seemed to be more curved.” [also from page 232]

State of Arizona

A lady was collecting rocks with her son, near Tucson, Arizona, in about late 2011, when they found something most unexpected. . . . Whatever it was, it acted like a baby, notwithstanding the wingspan appeared to be six to eight feet “at least.” The poor thing was in panic, hardly able to stand upright while flapping its wings at the two humans who were only about fifteen feet away. The lady told me, “It was almost toppling over onto its face.”

. . . the top of its head had a “knot protruding” . . . the arms “grew into the wings.” The beak was narrow, with no teeth. But they had no time to wait for teeth to grow. . . . [They] left the area when they thought of the mother of the eight-foot-wingspan baby. . . .

Now let’s turn to the book Live Pterosaurs in America (3rd edition).

Desert Sighting in California

“I have been haunted for close to twenty years by what I saw in the desert. . . .

  • Q: What desert was this?
  • The [Anza-Borrego] State Park.
  • Q: What time of year was it?
  • To the best of my recollection it was in the spring
  • Q: How well did you see the form or shape of the creature?
  • Well enough to remember some details and to never forget what I saw. We were sitting in the late afternoon shade of a ridge, on lawn chairs, enjoying the solitude and peace and quiet of the desert when it passed over. I caught the sight of it with the corner of my eye and looked up. It was soaring along the side of a plateau not far from us. We knew what it looked like. In fact, I remember saying ‘. . . that looks just like a Taradactyl!’ . . . What I saw was large and very much alive. . . . Its skin, I say skin because there were no feathers, . . . looked like dull leather sort of dusty looking. It seemed to soar like a large raptor. The back of the head was pointed.

San Fernando Valley, California

. . . my girlfriend and I saw a creature last night (9/21/2009) . . . [It] baffled us. It was a very large, winged creature that was gliding maybe 100 yards above us. We stared at the creature in disbelief because it was so strange . . . it didn’t look like a bird really. . . . my girlfriend has 20-20 vision and she told a few minutes later that it had lights on it. That didn’t strike me as right so I asked her if she was sure and she said they weren’t lights exactly, but that the wings had a glow or reflection. . . . I begin my search for “flying creature” on Google. One link led to another and eventually I discovered something known as a Ropen. That was it! The description matched exactly what we saw, down to the glow. [Live Pterosaurs in America, third edition, by Jonathan Whitcomb]

Not all sightings of apparent pterosaurs in the United States are reported in the two books, although over two hundred of the pages document American “pterodactyl” sightings. Consider the following Utah sighting.

Grantsville, Utah

small farm and surrounding neighborhood in Grantsville, Utah

South of the Great Salt Lake—there’s where we find Grantsville

When I was 14 years old, I lived in Grantsville . . . There was a small play ground . . . One night, my brother Dallin [and] step brother Jonathon and I were sitting on top of a small exercising trampoline . . . We had a blanket wrapped around us as we starred up at the night sky pondering many things that 13 and 14 year old kids ponder. There was a small farm next to our apartment complex . . .

. . . Dallin suddenly noticed something and started yelling . . . a giant bird . . . At [about that] time, the animals in the farm next to us started going berserk. . . . Jonathon . . . started staring up at the sky and yelling similar [things]. . . . I was slightly reluctant [thinking it could be a joke] as I began sliding down the slide to see what all of this was about.

. . . Suddenly as I looked up at the night sky, the farm animals started up again and then I saw it. . . . A beautiful phoenix soaring above me in the night sky and soon after disappearing as if into thin air. I was awestruck. I began to wonder what type of animal this was. But within minutes higher up in the sky I saw it again and appeared soaring above us and then vanished again. I had a very scientific mind for my age at the time and soon developed a theory that this creature was a bioluminescent and nocturnal bird that would “disappear” using the same effect that happens to our eyes when we are in a bright room and suddenly the lights go out. There is a space of time where we can see nothing. I decided it used this to help it hunt. I did not even hear about ropens until nearly a decade after.


The spiritual/cryptozoology non-fiction book "Searching for Ropens and Finding God," by Jonathan David Whitcomb

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – spiritual true-life adventure

 Excerpts from Title Page:

This flies high above a common true-life adventure, revealing the early stages of what may become the most unsettling scientific discovery since Copernicus and Galileo. It soars above disputes about religion, revealing why an official discovery of an extraordinary animal was delayed for so long. . . . Three American Christians—one middle-aged LDS-Mormon high priest and two younger Protestant Young Earth Creationists—explored parts of Umboi Island in two separate expeditions in 2004, interviewing native eyewitnesses of the elusive ropen. They returned home even more convinced that long-tailed pterosaurs live, even thrive, in Papua New Guinea.

Excerpts from Introduction

Expect answers in this book: why my associates and I traveled to a remote tropical island to search for living pterosaurs and why so few professors have given us any hope that they still live. . . . After reading this book, if one person finds a reason to live and abandons thoughts of suicide, what a reward for all of us involved! This is not a textbook for preventing suicide, yet I suggest each of us can find ways to bring meaning into the lives of persons around us, motivating all of us to keep living and learning.


Pterosaur Sightings in North America

 North America  Comments Off on Pterosaur Sightings in North America
May 052014
pile of nonfiction books: "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" - by Jonathan Whitcomb

Reports of living pterosaurs, also called pterodactyls, come from many parts of the world, including North America. Let’s examine just a few of the many reports from this continent, using the nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God as the major reference.

Page 87 of the book (Jonah Jim’s sighting on Umboi Island)

Although this sighting was in the southwest Pacific, rather than in North America, it ties together the pterosaur appearance and the apparent bioluminescent glow of at least some of these strange flying creatures.

During an outdoor family gathering one night, this young man saw the ropen not as a vague, distant light but as a creature—close. In addition to the glow, he saw the long tail. I recorded no notes, for his description resembled Gideon’s, but later I would realize how important was Jonah Jim’s testimony: The glow that flies around at night is the same kind of long-tailed creature seen by Gideon and his friends. We had assumed that; now direct eyewitness testimony made it obvious.

Now let’s look at North America:

Page 165 (sighting in Canada)

. . . across the river from Detroit, in April of 2012, about one hour after sunset, a man saw something like a flying bat, but it was six times too big and it had a long tail. He sent me an email just a few hours after the sighting—I’ll call the eyewitness “DK.” He impressed me with his objectiveness: During our email exchanges, he kept searching for some way that he might have misidentified a non-ropen for what had looked more like that cryptid than anything else.

Page 163 of the book (encounter in Mexico)

I received the following Youtube message in 2007:

“ok. we are from Guadalajara jalisco in mexico… my inglish its a little bad… here in Guadalajara are ‘la barranca de huentitan’ search in google , its a canyon…

“at that time she lived near the site… she was with her mom at dusk, the two frightened by what they saw, just describe it as something very large and with a long tail it was flying in circles not far from them, she said that gave them a lot of fear and they get in to his house, obviously was not a bird or anything they have seen before, and what they remember most is a long tail, shaped diamond at the end.”

Page 183 (sighting at night in Virginia)

“I was seventeen at the time of this encounter. It was very late at night . . . I have no plans to be held in ridicule by my family, friends or the general population for that matter. I would REALLY like a logical explanation for what I saw . . . in the summer of 1999. [I’m] open to the possibility that there is another explanation . . . it was certainly not in my imagination, as there were two of us who saw, felt and heard something that night.

“I went swimming with a friend at a local reservoir where there was a tree with boards nailed into it for a ladder and a plank for a diving board. . . . located in the back of a U-shaped inlet . . . My friend went back there along the edge of the waterline trying to locate [the tree]. . . . I was standing straight up in the middle of the U section with the water about as high as my hips . . .

“It came from the direction of the moon and . . . all I saw was its silhouette. I could see it was big even before it was close. . . . [It] mostly glided but it came very fast. “I have not before nor since ever been so petrified in my life. . . . I felt incapable of moving my legs. I just stood there, facing it until it literally got about 20 to 30 feet away and it ‘stopped’ and hovered . . .

“The wings were somewhere between 15 and 20 feet wide . . . bat shaped without feathers, the head’s silhouette looked like a point . . . but what I was looking at more than anything else was its large, sharp talons. Right before it started hovering, in those few seconds I had, I thought it was going to pick me up.”

pile of nonfiction books: "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" - by Jonathan Whitcomb

From the size of this nonfiction book, Searching for Ropens and Finding God, it has been labeled “the Bible of modern pterosaurs.”



Five Eyewitnesses of Pterosaurs in Cuba

. . . four kids, in three separate sighting encounters, saw a large flying creature that was most likely the same species as the two that would be seen in 1971 by the U. S. Marine Eskin Kuhn.

Sightings of Pterosaurs in and Around Kentucky

Last July, I was visiting my friend at his home. It was just a little after sunset, so it was still daylight outside. . . . We were outside, sitting on his deck . . . My friend shouted . . . ‘what in the blue h*** is that?’ Approaching us from the east . . . were two very large animals. . . .”

St. Louis and North Carolina

. . . something HUGE above me in the sky. It looked like a pale greenish white and smooth-skinned. It didn’t appear to have any feathers, and it had the tail with the diamond shape on the end. . . .  I just looked up the Rhamphorhynchus . . .


Dragons of Los Angeles

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Dragons of Los Angeles
Mar 112013

Do you believe in flying dragons? Have you ever seen a large long-tailed featherless flying creature? If so, you’re not alone.

For several days, I questioned the eyewitness by emails, and I interviewed her by phone three days after the sighting. She admitted that she did not have time to determine if the three “dragons” had no feathers, for they flew over her car while she was driving on a freeway. Her first impression was that they were large and not birds, assuming it was some kind of stunt, perhaps with kites. She realized they were not kites when she saw their tails move.

She was driving north on the Interstate 5, just east of a golf course on the east side of Griffith Park, in Los Angeles, on Sunday, March 3, 2013. The flying creatures flew almost exactly over her car in the opposite direction. It was just minutes before sunrise, so the sky was no longer dark and she could see the undersides of the “dragons.” They were light colored and had a peculiar shape.

She admitted that she had no confidence in estimating how high they were flying or how large they were. She mentioned nothing to me about the nearby Los Angeles River, but I was struck by its proximity. It’s common for a sighting in Southern California to be near a storm channel or river bed (see “San Fernando Valley Sighting” below). In this case, the creatures were only 150 feet away from the Los Angeles River, a major storm drainage channel, flying parallel to it.

Question: “Did you see any neck on any of them?”

Answer: “Yes, that was another thing that tipped me off that they were not birds. They each had a distinct neck between body and head, that was more narrow and clearly visible.”

Question: “Did you see any feet on any of them?”

Answer: “I did not notice their feet.”

Question: “Is it possible that what appeared to have been tails were actually their feet held behind them?”

Answer: “I suppose it’s possible but they looked a lot like tails to me. Long and thin with a bigger point at the tip.”


Approximate location of sighting of three "dragons" - satellite image of a portion of Griffith Park (golf course) and Los Angeles River

Approximate location of sighting near Colorado Street overpass

satellite image of a part of Griffith Park, Los Angeles, including I-5 freeway and river

Top arrow: direction of “dragon” flight — bottom arrow: direction of car — blue: banks of L. A. River


Griffith Park Dragons?

This morning . . . [within five minutes of 6:10 a.m.]  I saw three “dragons” flying over the 5-North freeway between Griffith Park and Glendale. They appeared to be several feet long, with a head:body:tail ratio that was certainly not that of a bird.

Sightings of Pterosaurs

A few years ago, a psychologist, Brian Hennessy, was interviewed concerning a reported sighting of a large “prehistoric” creature seen on Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea. The psychologist was not analyzing the mental health of the eyewitness; that psychologist, Brian Hennessy, was himself the eyewitness.

Pterosaur Sighting in South Carolina

The huge featherless creature swooped down over the highway, maybe only “twenty feet” high and only “twenty five” feet in front of the car.

Are bats Food for Pterodactyls in Los Angeles?

During my teenaged years in Pasadena, when I enjoyed watching small bats at night, my younger sister had a friend, Dianne. She told my sister about the big “pterodactyl” she had seen flying around the mountains north of Pasadena.

San Fernando Valley Sighting

Only a little over a mile north of the Los Angeles River

A couple was walking their dog at about 10:30 p.m., near the corner of Burbank Blvd and Woodman in the city of Sherman Oaks, California, when they saw a “very large, winged creature” gliding about 300 feet overhead. The woman described glowing or reflective portions of the wings; she described them to me in a way that suggested they were much dimmer than the bright flashes of ropens.

Pterodactyl in Georgia

 North America, Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Pterodactyl in Georgia
Jan 032013

Two eyewitnesses reported sightings of pterosaurs or “pterodactyls,” in Georgia, encounters in December of 2012. Other citizens of Georgia have recently reported older sightings.

If we combine recent reports with those of Sandra Paradise, it may eventually make enough material for somebody to write a book about this subject: modern pterosaurs in Georgia.


Loganville, Georgia, Sighting

“On Dec 10, 2012, myself and wife were driving home at around 1:30 am on Briscoe Rd in Loganville, Ga. As we crested a hill, our light came down across a large flying animal that I instantly thought looked like a pterodactyl . . . I saw what I saw and I feel odd posting this . . . but . . .”

I asked the Loganville eyewitness three questions:

  1. Was it flying over the road or just on one side of the road?  It was crossing about 30 ft in front of us over the road 
  2. About how high was it flying above the ground?  It was about 10 feet off the road
  3. Did you or your wife notice any tail on the creature?  [Yes]


Towns County, Georgia, Sightings

“I don’t know how to say this any other way except that I have seen these very large birds that don’t even come close to looking like anything else I’ve ever seen. I believe them to be Pterosaurs or something similar to them. Yes, I know it sounds crazy, and I know they went extinct a log time age, but the fact remains that I have seen three of these birds in the past year and a half, I have also heard them.”


American “Dragon Pterodactyl”

I was driving the same road, had just passed the point of my  second sighting. Looking ahead and up a hill, I saw a flock of crows  cross the road, from right to left, followed by . . . The pterosaur was in perfect silhouette, wings outstretched,  distinctive head in full view, pad on the tail. [similar to previous two sightings in this part of Georgia]


Georgia Sightings by Sandra Paradise

Sandra Paradise has released her name and is no longer anonymous. She was previously known simply as the lady who had seen two long-tailed pterosaurs in daylight east of Winder, Georgia, as she was driving to work on highway 82, east of the Barrow County Airport.


Living Pterosaur

Throughout human history, and more recently, come fascinating reports of what may have been living pterosaurs.