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The Ropen is a flying cryptid[1] alleged to live in the vicinity of Papua New Guinea. As an attempt to discredit scientific views on evolution and the age of the Earth, several American creationists, including Carl Baugh, Paul Nation, Jonathan Whitcomb,[2] David Woetzel, and Garth Guessman have embarked on expeditions[3] in Papua New Guinea to find evidence for this creature, and have published books about the purported evidence they have gathered.


According to the second edition of the book Searching for Ropens, a ropen is "any featherless creature that flies in the Southwest Pacific, and has a tail-length more than 25% of its wingspan," but according to the third edition of that book, it is "A modern pterosaur with Rhamphorhynchoid characteristics." [4] ("Rhamphorhynchoid" refers to one of the two suborders of pterosaurs.) Purportedly, on Umboi Island the word "ropen" refers to a large nocturnal creature that glows briefly as it flies.[5] The Ropen is variably described by Whitcomb and colleagues as batlike,[6] and Pterosaur-like;[7] although pterosaurs are generally accepted to have been extinct.[8][9] The ropen is said to be nocturnal and to exhibit bioluminescence.[10][11] Purportedly it lives on a diet of fish,[12] though it is also described as feasting on human flesh, especially grave robbery.[13][14][15]

Other investigations[edit]

In 2007, cryptid investigator Joshua Gates went to Papua New Guinea in search of the Ropen for his TV show Destination Truth. He and his team also witnessed strange lights at night and could not confirm what they were.

In 2009, the television show Monster Quest conducted an expedition in search of the "demon flyer" but found no evidence of the creature. Later, they had a forensic video analyst examine the Paul Nation video. The analyst could not definitely conclude what was causing the lights, but ruled out vehicles and campfires believing the footage was of a pair of bioluminescent creatures perched in a tree that later take flight.


  1. ^ "Cryptids – Is the Ropen a Rhamphorhynchoid Pterosaur?". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  2. ^ "PSL Ropen Light Sighting by David Woetzel". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  3. ^ Jonathan Whitcomb. "Flying Dinosaurs in Papua New Guinea". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  4. ^ "Quotations from the nonfiction book". Retrieved 6 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Expedition – A Pterodactyl in Papua New Guinea". 15 October 2004. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  6. ^ "Living pterosaurs are not Flying Fox fruit bats". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "PSL Is the ropen a pterosaur?". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  8. ^ Penny et al. (2004) The rise of birds and mammals: are microevolutionary processes sufficient for macroevolution?. Trends in ecology & evolution vol. 19 (10) pp. 516–22
  9. ^ Robertson et al. (2004) Survival in the first hours of the Cenozoic. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America
  10. ^ "Ropens". Ropens. 13 September 2011. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  11. ^ Jonathan Whitcomb. "Bioluminescent Organisms". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  12. ^ "Whitcomb's Book, Searching For Ropens, Asserts Pterodactyl Reported In Papua New Guinea". Eworldwire. 14 August 2006. Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  13. ^ "Michael of Opai Village and the ropen light". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  14. ^ "What Happened to Pterosaurs page 2". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 
  15. ^ "Jim Blume's ropen investigations in Papua New Guinea". Retrieved 16 December 2011. 

External links[edit]