Aug 282014
 
Closeup of the Ropen page on Wikipedia, before it was deleted, including "without giving appropriate weight to the mainstream view"

I have no direct evidence that the biology professor Myers (at the University of Minnesota, Morris) had any direct part in the deletion of the Wikipedia article “Ropen” within the past few days; his blog post may have contributed to the extinction of that page on Wikipedia, however (“There are no living pterosaurs and ‘ropen’ is a stupid fantasy”). It seems likely that one or more of his students or one or more of the readers of his post were involved. Regardless, you will no longer see Wikipedia’s “Ropen” page at the top of a Google search for that cryptid, for that page is now extinct.

Mid-August entry, top-of-page, of Wikipedia (English) article "Ropen" - it was deleted by August 28, 2014

Screen Shot of the top of the Wikipedia page “Ropen” (from about August 20, 2014)

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The Ironic Reasoning Behind the “Ropen” Deletion

Supposedly, it was “lack of appropriate weight to the mainstream view” that killed off the page. Bigfoot, watch out, for you may be next. What’s ironic about the loss of one page from Wikipedia? I tried, earlier this month, to add a mainstream viewpoint to that page, to prevent the whole article from being deleted. That’s when, within a few minutes, my contribution itself was deleted. Why? Because, said that self-appointed editor, I had selectively quoted a paleontologist in such a way as to leave an impression that was misleading. What nonsense! Any person who would have taken the trouble to compare my quoting with the original source—that person could have seen that the meaning was exactly the same.

The big irony is that I was trying to contribute material that was contrary to my own personal beliefs, to save the “ropen” article from deletion. Perhaps the self-appointed editor who deleted my attempt assumed that I must have quoted wrongfully (because of my beliefs); yet how could that editor have done all of the following, within about five minutes, and still have had time to consider it carefully?

  1. He found my contribution on that Wikipedia page
  2. He noticed the ellipses (. . .) [which were from things like English mistakes and needless repetition]
  3. He deleted my paragraph [which could have saved the whole "ropen" article]
  4. He wrote his brief explanation for his deleting it

It took me hours to create that paragraph, including the research and the necessary formatting of the references and careful consideration of the quoting of the paleontologist. Yet that editor deleted the whole thing within about five minutes. To be brief, I soon gave up on trying to contribute anything, ever again, on Wikipedia.

Twisting the Point of the Mainstream View

If the biology professor in Minnesota was so concerned about the mainstream view being portrayed, why did he not add a paragraph about the improbability of living pterosaurs, on that Wikipedia article? He did at least imply, in his post, that he had little confidence in Wikipedia in general, but then why did he keep mentioning that Wikipedia page? Was it only a coincidence that “Ropen” was marked for deletion at about the same time as the publication of that professor’s blog post? I don’t know. But if the mainstream view is so decidedly against the possibility of any living species of pterosaur, why did not one biologist or paleontologist contribute just one small paragraph to explain that? Their lack of involvement caused the extinction . . . not the demise of all species of Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs but the article about the ropen.

What next for cryptozoology? Will Bigfoot be blasted off the face of Wikipedia? From the length of the objections to the existence of the big fellow, on the Wikipedia “Bigfoot” article, it seems unlikely, for both sides are well represented. Still, it brings up a point on which Professor Myers and I seem to agree: Wikipedia is not always dependable.

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Lie on Wikipedia “Ropen” Article?

There lies a weakness in Wikipedia, although a solution seems hard to come by. When proponents of the “mainstream view” on a subject seem reluctant to state their orthodox opinions, in sufficient content-size, a fringe theory can appear to be unbalanced in an article, favoring too much an unpopular point of view.

Aug 302011
 

Scott T. Norman, American cryptozoologist and explorer, passed away on February 29, 2008, at the age of forty-three. He was a passionate investigator of cryptids, even taking part in an expedition in central Africa to search for the Mokele-Mbembe; he failed to see any sauropod dinosaur during that expedition, but just months before his untimely death, from natural causes, he experienced what may have been his greatest success in cryptozoology: He saw a living pterosaur.

Scott Norman Pterosaur Sighting

A few months after my late-2004 expedition in Papua New Guinea, I [Jonathan Whitcomb] met Scott Norman. My associate, Garth Guessman, introduced me to this cryptozoologist [Scott Norman, who] two years after I met him . . . became, I believe, the first American cryptozoologist to observe the clear form of a living pterosaur while searching for one.

Scott Norman’s Pterosaur Sighting

In the second half of 2007, living-pterosaur investigators were active in a new sighting area . . . [in the United States]. Some of the men had been on cryptozoological expeditions in Africa or Papua New Guinea, including Scott Norman.

Silent, with stars for a background, the dark creature flew twenty feet high, over a shed only twenty feet from Scott . . . there was no mistaking it: . . . a head three to four feet long, and a two-foot-long head-crest that reminded him of a Pteranodon. . . . [Wings] more bat-like than bird-like.

Cryptozoology Book

Scott wished that the creature had been glowing when it flew over the shed [unfortunately, it was not glowing, at least at that time], confirming the concept of large bioluminescent flying creatures. He felt . . . the wingspan was eight to ten feet. He was a bit perplexed that legs were not visible, but like other eyewitnesses of large flying creatures he was concentrating on one or two parts of the cryptid: Apparently Scott was concentrating on the creature’s head.

Other Cryptozoologists Searching for Extant Pterosaurs

It seems that most cryptozoologists who actively search for living pterosaurs are Americans: Garth Guessman, Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb, David Woetzel, and a few others. Most, but not all, seem to be strict Young Earth Creationists; one of the most outspoken in YEC concepts may be Woetzel, with Guessman seeming to preach in a similar way. Whitcomb has gone on record as opposing the idea of a 6,000-year-old universe, but some of his writings have strongly supported traditional ideas in the Bible.

Garth Guessman

Guessman’s knowledge of Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur fossils allowed him to notice an important clue about the ropen’s classification. The two explorers learned that the native traditions describe the ropen’s tail as being stiff, never moving except near where it connects to the body. Guessman recognized that this relates to the stiffening extension rods of Rhamphorhynchoid vertebrae.

Paul Nation

Paul Nation’s short video of the two indavas was examined by Cliff Paiva, a missile defense physicist, who declared that the images of the two lights were not of meteors, camp fires, auto headlights, a paste-on-the-background hoax, or other common things.

Jonathan Whitcomb

What flies in the night
As it glows
Bigger than fireflies and bats
Who knows?
Bigger than barn owls
Dark as the crows
But never with feathers
Who knows?

David Woetzel

Woetzell is the second-most prolific writer on the subject of living pterosaurs (after Jonathan Whitcomb), with a web site titled “Genesis Park” and a more-recent scientific paper in a science journal.

May 172011
 

Fossils of Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs in Cuba is not news; but in the twentieth century, corroborating eyewitnesses, with sightings about six years apart, in the same area of Cuba, observing the same apparent species of long-tailed pterosaur—that is news.

A few days ago, I had a long phone conversation with a registered nurse who lives in California. She feared for her life one day when she was a child at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The creature had small teeth but many of them, and when it stood up, it was about as tall as a man. The long tail with a diamond at the end—that made the featherless winged creature very unlike any bat; the teeth made it very unlike any bird in Cuba, indeed very like any bird anywhere.

When the child tried to tell her family about the “flying dinosaur,” they disbelieved her; after all, she was only a child. But  six years later, in 1971, the U. S. Marine Eskin Kuhn was stationed at that same base at Guantanamo Bay, and he saw, in clear daylight, two “pterodactyls,” at close range, flying together, and Kuhn was no child. He immediately sketched what he remembered—he was a talented artist—making public his encounter. I interviewed him by phone, last year, and found him to be highly credible. I have no doubt that he saw the same kind of creature seen by Patty Carson, perhaps one of them being the same identical creature as the one the child had seen.

I think it timely to refer to several resources on modern living pterosaurs.

Flying Dinosaur

From 1994 through 2009, about nine Americans have intermittently (and usually two or three at a time) visited remote islands of Papua New Guinea, searching for flying creatures: a living pterosaur. On Umboi Island, it’s called “ropen,” but it’s also known as “duwas,” and “seklo-bali.” Most of the evidence they have gathered is native eyewitness testimony.

Extinction of Pterosaurs (or non-extinction) A Reply to Glen Kuban

A flight instructor, with over 13,000 hours of airplane-flying experience, had seen, in 1944, a giant “pterodactyl” with a tail that was at least 10-15 feet long.  Duane Hodgkinson  lives  in  Montana.

Pterosaur and Ropen

Is this flying creature, seen and sketched by the U.S. Marine Eskin C. Kuhn, a ropen, like those seen in Papua New Guinea? The two that Mr. Kuhn saw were flying in daylight, in Cuba, in 1971.

In South Carolina, Susan Wooten’s  sighting of a giant pterosaur was  shocking. It was between Columbia  and Florence, in about 1989, on a  remote highway surrounded by  some swamps and wooded areas.

Giant Bat or Living Pterosaur?

Jonathan Whitcomb, a U.S. forensic videographer who interviewed native islanders in 2004, reported that the “ropen” of Umboi Island is at least similar to a long-tailed pterosaur.

Many other characteristics distinguish the ropen from bats. The giant creatures that appear like Rhamphorhynchoids do not seem to hold themselves upside-down; some natives on Umboi Island described a ropen holding itself upright on a tree trunk. And ropens glow brightly at night with what at least some investigators believe is intrinsic bioluminescence.

Gitmo Pterosaur

This eyewitness of the “Gitmo Pterosaur,” Patty Carson, made it clear in her interview with Whitcomb that she did not see the head crest at first, for the creature’s head was facing her and her brother. But that perspective soon changed as the creature prepared to fly away, and Carson was then able to see the head crest. In addition, she verified that the sketch drawn by Kuhn was very similar to what she had seen, so we can take it as the same type of flying creature, seen in the same area of Cuba, a few years apart.

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cover of cryptozoology book about living pterosaursLive “pterodactyls?” In the United States? Many scientists have long assumed all pterosaurs died millions of years ago. Now take a whirlwind tour of many years of investigations in cryptozoology, and prepare for a shock: At least two pterosaur species have survived, uncommon, not so much rare as widely and thinly distributed.

Read the details of these amazing sighting in many states of the U.S.: California, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Florida, South Carolina, Georgia, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania, Kansas, and many other states: Read the second edition of Live Pterosaurs in America.

Nocturnal pterosaurs have always lived among us, but hidden by something. Enter now the realm of a new branch of cryptozoology, a branch overshadowed by the dogma of a “universal extinction.” How did scientists miss living pterosaurs? Get the answers here, hidden secrets about how these amazing flying creatures of the night have gone mostly unreported: Until recently, almost nobody would listen to eyewitnesses; but for the past seven years many of them have been interviewed by the author of this book.

This book of true eyewitness encounters includes details about the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sighting by Eskin Kuhn in 1971.

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 132010
 

From the blog Modern Pterosaur

sketch of the head of the pterosaur seen by Tullock” . . . The eyewitness was only eight years old when he had this close encounter, which would make this sighting around 1995 (northeast Texas). . . .”

I saw a featherless flying animal with a wingspan of about 4 1/2 to 5 feet and a long tail with a diamond-type shape at the tip of it. No hair or feathers anywhere, just leathery reptile-type skin. I have a well established knowledge of animals, especially reptiles, so I can easily tell what animal something is and what it isn’t. The animal had bumps down its back, feet with longish toes, and long black claws, like an Oprey has for grasping fish. It had a long mouth/beak full of long sharp teeth that somewhat protruded from the mouth like a crocodile’s do when closed. . . .

See also “Northeast Texas Pterosaur” on the blog Live Pterosaurs in America