Duah and Ropen

Are these different species of living

pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea?

Whitcomb believes that someone may have become confused with this word “duwas,” thinking it was the plural for “duah.” He knows of no native or recent explorer who uses this word “duah.” He also believes that someone may have heard of a report of a duwas that was very large and a report of a ropen that was smaller, and assumed that there were two kinds of pterosaur-like creatures.


For those who doubt any pterosaur by any name could live in the tropical rain forests of Papua New Guinea, or in any other part of the Southwest Pacific, one web page is devoted to the credibility of eyewitnesses on Umboi Island. Another web site deals with the testimonies of two people who saw a giant pterosaur-like creature flying over Perth Australia in 1997. These two persons are not natives but Westerners.


One reason for the Western opposition to living-pterosaur investigations is philosophical: Most of the early ropen cryptozoological expeditions have been organized only by creationists and most of their critics seem to have established roots in strict Naturalism philosophy (no-God-allowed axiom).


A number of web pages list the “duah” and “ropen” as separate kinds of pterosaur-like creatures in Papua New Guinea. Careful examination of recent investigations, however, reveals problems. For one thing, the correct word is “duwas,” not “duah.”


Recent explorers who have searched for pterosaur-like creatures in Papua New Guinea realize that there are many languages. There are also, apparently, many tribes that know of nocturnal featherless creatures having long tails. Some of the names for this kind of creature are seklo-bali, ropen, and duwas.


Jonathan Whitcomb, a forensic videographer who explored part of Umboi Island in 2004, declares that these various names refer to the same species. He believes that, in some areas, natives know of smaller creatures and in other areas natives know of much larger creatures. In his book Searching for Ropens, Whitcomb quotes a native who said, referring to the ropen, “In our language, we call it ‘duwas.’”  (This interview was in a previous expedition to Papua New Guinea; Carl Baugh and Paul Nation were two of the pioneer American ropen investigators.)

“Duah” may be a nonexistent word in languages of Papua New Guinea, regarding a giant flying creature. The correct word, “duwas,” is probably synonymous with “ropen” (Umboi Island).

Various kinds of Flying Fox, giant fruit bats, live in Papua New Guinea and surrounding countries. But this kind of bat has almost no tail, no glow of bioluminescent light, and no appetite for fish. How can many eyewitnesses of pterosaur-like creatures be mistaken about so many details that are unlike the appearances and habits of the Flying Fox fruit bats? Answer: They are not mistaken but simply report what they saw: non-bats.

Critics who ascribe the living-pterosaur sightings to Flying Fox fruit bats seem to avoid any mention of any particular sighting: They just make a general statement about sightings. But why not consider the eyewitnesses themselves? Consider the accounts of Gideon Koro, Jonah Jim, David Woetzel, Duane Hodgkinson, Brian Hennessy, Jacob Kepas, and the Perth couple. And why  not compare one eyewitness testimony with another?