Why the Ropen is Real

 Pterosaurs  Comments Off on Why the Ropen is Real
Nov 292014
 
Fourth edition of this nonfiction cryptozoology book

The apparent Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur called ropen is a cryptid, and that means we are dealing with cryptozoology. Scientific methods may be used in researching and searching in cryptozoology, yet a cryptid, by definition, is not an animal being studied in a laboratory, by a science professor; it is a creature known more from eyewitness testimony.

One paleontologist, Dr. Donald Prothero, has gone far astray from scientific methods in his post about “fake” pterosaurs. It’s devoted to attacks against me, Jonathan Whitcomb, as he mentions my religious beliefs and proclaims my dishonesty, in spite of my explanations for my use of two pen names in a minority of my writings.

The question now is this: Is it better for a scientist to use non-scientific methods to ridicule, through bulverism, someone he disagrees with or for a cryptozoologist to use scientific methods to examine the credibility of the existence of the cryptid called ropen? I choose the latter.

I now respond to Dr. Prothero by quoting from my Searching for Ropens and Finding God (4th edition).

The paleontologists are rare who take notice of my associates and me, at least through mid-2014. When one has commented on what we declare about modern pterosaurs, it’s usually with a word like “extinction” but in a difference sense: the demise of all species of pterosaurs. Am I slicing quarks? I know of nobody who denies that many pterosaurs may have lived without leaving any fossil. Beware of the fog around two meanings of a word. Even if all species of pterosaurs known from fossils had become extinct long ago, we live in the real world of the present, a world in which people report encountering living pterosaurs. [page 293]

Mr. Collini and Mr. Cuvier [two centuries ago] assumed the strange creature that left fossil evidence of its existence was extinct. What else could they think? They knew nothing of anything like that in the modern world. Now look at the key word: assumed.

Almost all biologists, from then until now, have assumed all species of pterosaurs became extinct, for those humans apparently knew nothing of anything like them in the modern world. Paleontologists are even more rare than eyewitnesses of ropens, and if one fossil expert saw one dragon fly overhead, how could the encounter be reported? That eyewitness would probably say nothing.

Gradual accumulations of new fossil species were too gradual to alert anyone. Alert them to what? Simple probability. If we were to dig into a cliff, looking for fossils, what might we find? Quite likely we would uncover a fossil of something quite similar to a modern organism, for those are common. If paleontologists had examined objectively the axiom of pterosaur extinction, over the past 200 years, they would have noticed what few have considered: As each new pterosaur genus was uncovered, by fossil discoveries, the probability of a modern version increased. Experts now have dozens of those genera to consider, yet how few paleontologists have examined the universal-pterosaur-extinction axiom itself! [page 295]

Science and mathematics

Statistical analysis proves that hoaxes could not have played a major part in the 128 sighting reports that I researched by the end of 2012. This is in simple math, easy for most adults to understand. I don’t know why Dr. Prothero mentioned nothing about statistics in eyewitness testimonies, but if he had, it would have reflected badly on his case for trying to persuade people to dismiss from their minds the possibility of any modern pterosaur. How much easier to use bulverism to convince followers that I, Jonathan Whitcomb, have been dishonest! Please note, I am not accusing Dr. Prothero of dishonesty; I am replying to his accusations of deceit.

Of course my use of math in that situation relates to the lack of hoaxes, not misidentification possibilities. But if many eyewitnesses have been telling the truth, what about the possibility that I too have been honest? And what if the ropen really is real?

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“Sock Puppets” and Jonathan Whitcomb

Both statements in each post are false, yet some of my proper use of two pseudonyms may resemble improper usage, so this needs to be explained in detail. . . . To publicize details about the encounters with apparent pterosaurs, I needed some way to emphasize those reports without my name getting in the way. [a perfectly valid reason to use a pen name]

Donald Prothero and “Fake” Pterosaurs

. . . It gives me some hope that Prothero was making an honest mistake, when he included that link; nevertheless, his post appears sure to lead his readers astray from the truth, not only about my motivations but about investigations of living-pterosaur sighting reports in general. I must respond.

Evidence for a Living Pterosaur

I continue to receive eyewitness reports of apparent living pterosaurs, as I have for the past eleven years. The following are some of the more recent emails: West Virginia (Oct of 2014) . . . Minnesota (Nov of 2014) [note: this post was written on Nov 29, 2014]

Cryptomundo and Jonathan Whitcomb

Did you know that the living-pterosaurs investigations that started in the mid-1990’s were in Papua New Guinea? Some reports were of large flying creatures that were covered with hair. The Woetzel-Guessman expedition of 2004 (a few weeks after my own expedition) involved detailed questionnaires, the main one being two pages long. There was also a silhouette page: 34 images of birds, bats, and pterosaurs.

Ropens and Pterosaurs

Recent and older editions of the nonfiction books Searching for Ropens and Live Pterosaurs in America

Honesty in Ropen Searching

I am shocked that somebody with so much education would make so many mistakes, indeed errors that are facing 180 degrees away from reality. But I do not accuse this man of dishonesty, for I cannot see into his mind or into his heart. Being honest or dishonest is, after all, about one’s intention. Those who search diligently will find the truth.

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non-fiction paperback "Searching for Ropens and Finding God"

Searching for Ropens and Finding God – in its expanded fourth edition

Living-pterosaur nonfiction book

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Best Selling Cryptozoology Books

 Dinosaurs, lake monster, North America, Pterosaurs, Sea Serpents  Comments Off on Best Selling Cryptozoology Books
Jul 272012
 

It’s difficult to compile a list of books by sales ranking on Amazon, when “cryptozoology” is the search word used on that book-seller site. Some obvious cryptozoology books do not have that word in their title or subtitle, so they are probably left out of the search results. The following are paperback and hardback, from top to bottom by sales ranking, the apparent top twenty on the evening of July 27, 2012, although it is very possible that important books may have been missed.

  1. Looking for Bigfoot, by Bonnie Worth
  2. Destination Truth: Memoirs of a Monster Hunter, by Josh Gates
  3. Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science, by Jeff Meldrum
  4. Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures, by Kelly Milner Halls and others
  5. DK Readers: Beastly Tales, by Malcolm Yorke and Lee Davis
  6. Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition), by Jonathan Whitcomb
  7. Biblical Cryptozoology Revealed Cryptids of The Bible, by Dale Stuckwish
  8. Cryptozoology A to Z, by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark
  9. Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, by Loren Coleman and others
  10. Real Monsters, Gruesome Critters, and Beasts from the Darkside, by Brad Steiger
  11. Bigfoot Observer’s Field Manual, by Robert W. Morgan
  12. The Beasts that Hide from Man, by Karl Shuker
  13. Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology, by Loren Coleman
  14. The Michigan Dogman, by Linda S. Godfrey
  15. Bigfoot! – The True Story of Apes in America, by Loren Coleman
  16. Claw, Jaws, and Dinosaurs, by Kent Hovind, William Gibbons, and others
  17. Hunting the American Werewolf, by Linda S. Godfrey
  18. Monsters of Texas, by Ken Gerhard and Nick Redfern
  19. In Search of Sasquatch, by Kelly Milner Halls
  20. Monsters of West Virginia: Mysterious Creatures, by Rosemary Ellen Guiley

Books on the Loch Ness creature seem to have less selling depth than they once did. Bigfoot is still strong. The old standard Cryptozoology A to Z is no longer number one in this genre, although it was on the top for years.

Popular Cryptozoology Books

Leaving aside fictions and e-books (including Kindle) here’s a listing of many cryptozoology books that are best selling on Amazon

Three Author “Eyewitnesses”

The three authors, from British Columbia in Canada, Texas, and California, have each written at least one edition of a nonfiction book that primarily deals with sightings of possible pterosaurs in North America.

Advertisement

Live Pterosaurs in America - front cover of nonfiction book, third edition

Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition), cryptozoology, nonfiction

The second paragraph of the introduction of the book:

This book might discomfort, even offend, a few readers; please consider the feelings of those who have revealed to us their encounters with what seem to be live pterosaurs, for some of them have suffered more than discomfort. I intend to comfort those innocent victims who have been ridiculed or ostracized because of a cultural weakness, for each has seen something unaccepted by their society. Each eyewitness deserves listeners who will open their minds, really listen. Consider their experiences.

From Page 70:

The cryptozoologists were not disappointed, with many sightings of the flying lights and a few sightings of the forms of large flying creatures that were unlike bats. One of them flew close enough that one man almost fell over. The men stayed only a few nights, but the investigation continued into 2008, with a number of visits to this location.

From Page 71 (another expedition in North America):

Late in 2007, I received an email from Peter Beach, a biology professor. He had gone on two expeditions into Africa (searching for the Mokele-mbembe cryptid), before becoming involved in living-pterosaur research.

“I went on a short trip to the Yakima River this summer . . . because there was a [sighting]. We were unable to get a picture but we saw many . . . flashing lights. I would have assumed that [they] were fireflies but we [don’t] have them in Washington. One of the flashes took off from a big tree overhanging the river and made a kind of flashing coma turn. Many flashes were parallel to the river. The river at that point [has] a crook . . . and there were many fish . . . Prime hunting grounds for fish-eating birds. Only these things fish at night with bioluminescence.”

Sep 232010
 

Around the end of 2004, I received an email from an eyewitness in Arkansas. More details are available in my book Live Pterosaurs in America, but I include many of the details here, for those who live in the Texarkana, Arkansas, area and have seen a similar flying creature but have not yet read my book.

It was probably 1982 [in Texarkana, Arkansas]. It was getting dark but there was plenty of light in the sky when we saw what we believe to be a pterodactyle [pterosaur AKA “pteodactyl”]. The wingspan seemed to be about 25’ to 30’ ft wide. It was probably about 70’ to 80’ off the ground, flying over a large tree in front of the house. . . . The incident was very brief but nontheless was an awesome sight to see. If someone would have told me that they had seen a creature like that, I doubt I would have believed the story until I saw it for myself. . . . [from the cryptozoology book Live Pterosaurs in America]

The meaning of this sighting of an apparent living pterosaur (and a giant one at that) is better understood in context of many sightings of similar flying creatures in the United States, over the past few decades. Here are excerpts from a few online sources:

Texas Flying Creature (actually two apparent pterosaurs in two parts of Texas)

I was about 11-12 yrs old . . . In the open backyard next door was what looked like a 9 or 10 ft tall man . . . then the man turned and I realized that this man didn’t have a face like a man at all! . . . I watched what looked like disgusting black leathery . . . bat-like wings . . .

Ropens — Sightings in the United States

 . . . a teenager riding his bicycle on a dirt road in Washington State, years ago . . . stopped when he saw, by the side of the road, the two huge flying creatures with wings that had no feathers but looked like “black rubber.” The wingspan . . . twenty feet.

Pterosaur near Swamp in South Carolina

The pterosaur was “gliding” but it flapped its wings slowly once or twice. The wingspan was about twelve to twenty feet. . . . The huge featherless creature swooped down over the highway, maybe only “twenty feet” high and only “twenty five” feet in front of the car. (Highway 20, South Carolina) [The car was driven by Susan Wooten.]

Sep 042010
 

On another blog, I replied to several comments by a critic of modern living-pterosaur investigations. But something else mentioned by Paul Pursglove caught my attention: “Basic science would suggest that these sightings are misguided.” That deserves attention. (The link to that original criticism by Pursglove is found on that Modern Pterosaurs Blogspot post: “Pterosaurs and Cryptozoology.”)

“Basic science” involves observations by humans, and human experience should be respected, even above a dogmatic tradition; that is the normal application of science. The professors who opposed Galileo’s support of a sun-centered system—those professors were trying to protect their traditions of earth-centeredness. Now many eyewitnesses of apparent pterosaurs tell us of their experiences; they are now opposed by critics who are trying to protect the traditions of universal dinosaur-pterosaur extinction. The point? Mr. Pursglove has taken a position similar to that taken by the professors who opposed Galileo.

What!? Cryptozoologists who search for flying creatures resembling living pterosaurs—those fringe-investigators are on the same side as Galileo? But that early Italian scientist had a telescope to show professors that Jupiter was circled by four moons, so he was using repeatable observations to convince those professors, right? Not exactly. For one thing, those moons of Jupiter do not really prove that the earth revolves around the sun (it only opens up thinking in that direction); in addition, professors cannot be forced to look into a telescope, even if they were open-minded about what they would see.

But cryptozoology, including sightings of living pterosaurs, is not repeatable science, it is unpredictable, right? Not exactly. Certain aspects of sightings in Papua New Guinea seem to be repeatable. A few months after Paul Nation videotaped two indava lights (late 2006), the television production crew for Destination Truth (with Joshua Gates) videotaped a similar light to the east (early 2007). Both sightings were on the mainland of Papua New Guinea. So why not support a major expedition, one with the expensive video equipment that might reveal the living pterosaurs that produce that incredible bioluminescence?

But science tells us that all pterosaurs became extinct many millions of years ago, right? NOT AT ALL! Not even one species can be determined to be extinct by examining fossils. Extinction is not something that fossils can tell us. It has been assumed that pterosaurs became extinct; the key word is “assumed.” Even if hundreds of species did become extinct long ago, there is nothing in “basic science” that tells us no pterosaur species could be presently living.

The truth is that the discoveries of fossils of new species of pterosaurs, discoveries over the decades, make an extant pterosaur species MORE likely. The more species that lived in the past, the more likely one or two species have survived into the present, right? RIGHT!

Human experience should not be swept away to protect old dogmas, and two of those old dogmas are earth-centeredness and universal pterosaur extinction.

May 202010
 

Pastor Jacob KepasJacob Kepas the Baptist minister, native to Papua New Guinea (raised in the eastern part of the mainland), has assisted a number of Americans, for many years, in searching for the ropen. Few persons have contributed more to cryptozoological expeditions searching for living pterosaurs. Here is what is written about him on one blog, “The Bible and Modern Pterosaurs“:

. . . Kepas and his guide described how they had observed the sleeping winged creature. They had tried to videotape it from the hill they had climbed, but the resulting footage was poor . . . But even with binoculars, Kepas had been uncertain that it was the creature that they sought until his guide climbed up higher for a better view, confirming that it was an indava. . . . Regarding the objectiveness of Kepas, in his 2006 sighting of what was identified as an indava, consider this: Kepas himself voiced his uncertainty that what he was observing was the creature that they had sought; the distance and viewing angle made identification difficult. After the other man had climbed higher, obtaining a better viewing angle, it was confirmed to be an indava. This confirms that Kepas is capable of objectiveness in his observations, for he did not force a conclusion when the conditions were inadequate for certainty.

As I recall, this photo of Pastor Kepas was for requesting financial assistance for one or more of the churches in Papua New Guinea (a roof for a church and new hymn books, or something like that), so, for those to whom it may apply, your assistance would be very much appreciated. The contact person in Papua New Guinea would probably be the American missionary James Blume. Thank you.