Apparent Ropens in the USA

When I led a brief expedition in Papua New Guinea in 2004, I had no idea that many Americans had encountered, in the forty-eight contiguous states of the USA, flying creatures like the ropen. As I wrote about my interviews with eyewitnesses on Umboi Island, PNG, publishing many web pages on sightings of the strange flying creature in that tropical wilderness, many Americans contacted me about their sightings of strange “pterodactyls” here in my own country.

What is a Ropen?

I gave a definition of ropen in the fourth edition of my nonfiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God:

A modern pterosaur with Rhamphorhynchoid characteristics

In other words, a ropen is an extant pterosaur (not extinct) that has a long tail, and a description of a tail flange is common: a structure at the end of that tail, sometimes described like a “sail” or “diamond” or “spade” at tail end, although not every witness notices that tail flange.

Do Pterosaurs Live in the United States?

Apparently those supposedly ancient and extinct flying creatures do fly overhead in the Continental USA, according to the eyewitnesses. Even more shocking, the great majority of those apparent pterosaurs resemble the “basal” long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs much more than the better-known Pterodactyloid type.

According to Searching for Ropens and Finding God, fourth edition:

Only 56 of the 128 reports specified the presence or absence of a long tail. For the total sightings, 41% reported a long tail and 2% reported its absence.

The above statistic, for long tails, are for sighting worldwide, and shows us a 20-to-1 ration in favor of long tails. For the sightings in the United States, the ratio is only about 8-to-1, yet that still shows a clear dominance of Rhamphorhynchoid-like descriptions.

Specific Ropen Sighting in the USA

From the nonfiction book Live Pterosaurs in America (third edition):

In July of 2008, I received a phone call from a man who reported a very large flying creature, seen one year earlier, in Orange County . . .
He described the dark gray or black animal as 30 feet long, with 15–16 feet of that being a tail.
He noticed that during the creature’s flight the tail was straight, as if it was “stretched out to be measured.” A flange, close to the end of the tail, he described as “triangle-shaped.”
The wings had “wrinkles” on the underside, showing absence of feathers.

By the investigative journalist Jonathan Whitcomb



Long Tail of the Ropen

The Fiery Flying Serpent of the Bible may have been a long-tailed Rhamphorhynchoid, related to the modern-day ropen. Some ancient reports of long-tailed flying dragons may be of similar species of modern pterosaur, in earlier human history.


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