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Ropen of the Southwest Pacific
Pterosaurs seen around the world
Copyright 2005-2016 Jonathan David Whitcomb
Giant Flying Creature, Lizard-Like, Seen Over Perth, Australia, in 1997
Though people may be shocked that the  ropen of Papua New Guinea is considered  by some investigators to be a living  pterosaur (and not a flying fox fruit bat),  consider the eyewitness evidence, including  this account of a man who was taking a walk  with his wife near Perth, Australia, in  of  December, 1997: “We had been walking in the evening and  had just crested a hill and were on the down  slope along a major thoroughfare. In the  distance I perceived an object in the sky. At  this point it was rather indistinct and  wondering what it might be I watched it as it  approached. Soon I was able to determine  that it was some sort of flying creature, and  my first thought was that it must be some  very large bird. . . “Its progress had brought it closer and while  it’s shape did resemble a bird I thought by  now that from its apparent distance it must  be the largest bird I had ever witnessed. I  would estimate that at this time it was about  a quarter mile north of us and quite high. . . “Within a minute or so it had reached our  position and was about 250 or 300 feet  above us and slightly inland. The area was  moderately well lit and I saw that it seemed  to be a light reddish-tan color. It did not  appear to be covered with feathers but had  a leathery texture. “Soon after it passed us it flew over a more  brightly lit sports area which highlighted  even more the leathery appearance also  bringing more detail to view. The wings were  the most definite leathery feature, they were  shaped in a triangular arch, similar to a very  elongated shark fin, The body also still  appeared leathery, though textured as  though possibly covered with fine hair or  small scales, the distance preventing any  finer observation other than that it was  slightly different texture than the wings. . . “The creature, during the time we observed  it, was mostly gliding. There was some wing  movement as in a hawk or other bird  controlling it’s flight path, but did not flap as  a sparrow or other small bird. Whether the  creature was predominately a glider, or  simply taking advantage or the many air  currents near the ocean to rest in flight I  also do not know. . . “[I] estimated the size to be in excess of  thirty foot, possibly as great as fifty foot. My  eyes told me it was nearer the greater of  these, my rational mind wants me to believe  the lesser, since either of these is  astounding for a flying creature . . .”
Finschhafen Harbor, Papua New Guinea
Was it a live pterodactyl? The wife was  positive about what she saw:   “I have received many different types of  responses since first coming forward and  making our sighting public. I have been met  with skepticism, to being called an  downright liar. At first I was very upset about  being called a liar, having been brought up  in a family of law and telling the truth was  drummed into me from the time I could  understand, as a child, and I was simply  telling the truth about our sighting. I no  longer concern myself with people who call  me a liar over this, because I realize that  you cannot show a blind man an oil painting. “. . . we do know that it was definitely a living  creature. . . . I was so totally shocked,  amazed, awed and bewildered at the same  time. This was completely out of the reality I  had grown up to know. . . . it has changed  me. I never believed these things existed  until that night. “. . . in Perth, Western Australia on the  coastline around 10:30 pm. We were  walking along Marmion Avenue between the  suburbs of Heathridge and Ocean Reef.  This creature could not be written off as a  bird as it was bigger than any bird on the  planet, it did not flap it's wings (just glided  on the air current), it had a ruddy reddish  brown leathery skin; (we could see it's  underneath as it flew over us at about 300ft  up; the glow from all the ground lighting  made that possible), it had a long tail and a  wingspan that we estimated at between 30-  50 feet across. “"My husband and I both have talked about  what we saw many times since that night in  1997. . . It had  a lizard appearance,  and  was  a ruddy  reddish brown colour,  bearing in mind  that all we could see was its dark  shape until the ground lighting  hit it,   it was  only for maybe  between 5 to 10 seconds . .  . but enough time for us to see it was a  living creature. I should imagine a creature  that size would have had legs and feet, but  we didn't see them. It was gliding across the  night sky, flying quite low, without a sound." Investigations have no doubt: a ropen. 
More About the Pterosaur Seen Flying Over Perth (Ropen seen by two eyewitnesses)
Pterosaur sightings in the southwest Pacific do NOT come from the superstitions of “primitive” natives. Persons from various cultures and nationalities have seen ropens.
Flying-fox conjecture dead
Why is the old fruit-bat explanation now  invalid? The ropen reports often include  details like "long tail" or "head appendage."  In addition, the ropen of the Southwest  Pacific eats fish and some reports indicate  that it glows with intrinsic bioluminescence.  
Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition) Check out this nonfiction paperback on these amazing flying creatures. Sightings are in many states of the USA, with many detailed of description in this book. It’s available from online book sellers like and Barnes & Noble.
Long-tailed featherless ropens are not at all  restricted to the southwest Pacific Ocean. It  seems that these nocturnal pterosaurs have  established themselves on most continents. They mostly fly around as single individuals,  as best as the investigators can tell. About  90% of the eyewitness reports involve only  one apparent pterosaur per sighting. That does not necessarily mean that none of them associate with others of their species.  In the Winder area of Georgia, two different  individual flying creatures were observed in  different weeks. Each time was early in the  morning, and each sighting was of a single  long-tailed creature in the same general  area. Yet they were not the same creature,  for one was significantly larger than the  other. Those two were probably associated  with each other, yet they appeared to be in  the habit of flying separately.