Introduction to Investigations of the Ropen Light

and the Indava Light of Papua New Guinea

How can we be so audacious? We insist that the ropen lights  and indava lights in Papua New Guinea are giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs. How brazen! Our critics insist that there must be a simple explanation, a more reasonable explanation. Did not all pterosaurs become extinct millions of years ago? Even if some pterosaurs were still living, why would they be bioluminescent?


Please  consider  this  brief  introduction. In 1994, 1996, 2002, and 2004 American-led expeditions in Papua New Guinea resulted in many interviews with natives. Many of the eyewitnesses (of  the  strange  lights) gave details of what they saw, details devoid of any mention of native superstitions: They just described what they saw. These horizontally-flying lights are fast, and usually fly just above the forest canopy. Occasionally one will fly just above a reef, returning to the land soon afterwards.


During  these  investigations, we also inter-viewed eyewitnesses of apparent giant living pterosaurs: long-tailed and with no sign of feathers. Those who have seen them are not just natives: One is a professional psychologist who works at a medical university in Central China;  one  is a  flight  instructor with over 13,000 hours of flying experience; two are a respected Australian couple.


Also, a few eyewitnesses (the Baptist minister Jacob Kepas, and the natives Jonah Jim and Jonathan Ragu)  describe a pterosaur-like creature that glows as it flies. Each of these three men have seen just that: a glowing pterosaur-like  creature. And  Mr. Steven  Cottingham, a government official in 1972, saw,  near Lab Lab,  Umboi Island, the bioluminescent glow of the ropen, as it flew with a “slow wavelike motion” (probably

from the ropen’s wing-flapping).

updated March 7, 2008

29-foot wingspan

pterodactyl, 1944


in Pterosaurs

Book: living


Ropen eyewitness

on Umboi Island


in the news

The Americans  Carl Baugh,  Paul Nation, Garth Guessman, David Woetzel, and me are not the only ones who have interviewed these eyewitnesses of apparent living pterosaurs. Jim Blume (a missionary  for decades  in Papua New Guinea, now in the Wau area of Morobe Province) has interviewed dozens of natives. The creatures live in many coastal areas of Morobe Province and probably elsewhere.


In November of 2006, Paul Nation returned, following up on reports of glowing lights seen deep in the interior of the mainland. He video-taped two “indava” lights and returned to the United States with what we believe is the first visual evidence of the bioluminescent glow of these creatures.  We were hardly shocked when two natives of the Tawa Village area verified that the glow comes from giant flying creatures (one of them said that the creature he saw one day near a river was the size of a “small yellow airplane”).


In  early  2007,  the  “Destination  Truth” expedition team explored some caves on the coast, about 80 miles east of the Tawa Village area visited by Nation. Josh Gates’s team also videotaped  a strange  light (the episode was broadcast  on the  Sci-Fi channel  in June of 2007). I was hardly shocked when the native  that  Josh Gates   interviewed  identified the ropen with a sketch of a pterosaur.


Different scientists have independently verified that  the  lights  videotaped  in  these  two  independent expeditions have no reasonable commonplace explanation. For those living in Western countries, the only thing making the pterosaur-explanation seem unreasonable is generations of indoctrination into the idea that all pterosaurs became extinct many millions of years ago. But that’s another story.

By Jonathan Whitcomb, Certified Court Video Specialist

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