Ropen: Do Flying Dinosaurs Still Live On Earth?

On September 4, 2014 by Tim Newman

Ropen - Pterosaur Dinosaur Papa New Guinea real

As most people with even a passing interest in cryptozoology will know, the Loch Ness monster is believed by some to be an extant dinosaur. A plesiosaur to be precise. The idea that a dinosaur could have lived through mass extinctions and managed to survive in an isolated lake seems like a long shot, but it’s not in the realms of madness. Compared to the idea of aliens living among us I think that a surviving dinosaur is miles more reasonable.

Why would one species of dinosaur survive when others didn’t? Who knows, but we do know that during the four mass extinctions on earth, some life did make it through, otherwise we wouldn’t see the wonderful bounty of nature that we still have around us today.

I must admit I’m not sold on Nessie entirely, but I want to be. And that’s how I feel about my latest discovery: ropen. The story goes that some flying dinosaurs, like pterodactyls or some other pterosaurs have managed to make it to the modern day hidden deep within the jungles of Papa New Guinea.

For those of you that haven’t read about dinosaurs since you were 5-years-old (shame on you), here’s a recap:


Ropen - Pterosaur Living Dinosaur

Pterosaurs were on the earth from around 228 million to 66 million years ago. They ranged in size from the smallest found – Nemicolopterus – at around 8 inches, up to the majestically massive Quetzalcoatlus and Hatzegopteryx which may have had wing spans in excess of 12 metres:

Ropen - Quetzalcoatlus Size

Pterosaurs are the earliest known vertebrates to have mastered the air.

Before we go on I must placate the pedants: technically, plesiosaurs and pterosaurs aren’t dinosaurs and Pterodactyl wasn’t a pterosaur, he was a member of the family Pterodactylus. I just wanted to ensure I wasn’t going to get told off by the huge number of paleontology experts that visit my site. Having said that, I am going to use the terms incorrectly and in a willy-nilly fashion throughout the rest of the piece.


Ropen - Pterosaur Living Dinosaur Patty Carson

So that brings us on to “ropens.” According to local Papa New Guineans and some cryptozoology researchers, ropens are living, breathing pterosaurs that chill out in the dense forest of the interior of their islands.

Locals report that the large flying creatures are much bigger than the local bats, which would be a nice easy comparison. These ropen also seem to be pretty dangerous. There is an alleged report knocking about of some of these pterosaur / ropens attacking Japanese soldiers during WWII. I hasten to add that this report comes from a person who claims to have been contacted by someone else who heard about it from someone who was ACTUALLY there.

Ropen - Pterosaur Dinosaur Papa New Guinea

One interesting thing about this ropen mystery is the odd gaggle of investigators it brings together. The kind of people you normally find on the look out for aliens or yetis are rubbing shoulders with young earth creationists. That might seem an odd mix at first, but it actually makes good sense.

Young earth creationists are on a mission to prove that humans coexisted with dinosaurs just a few thousands of years ago. So, if they find dinosaurs alive today that really helps with their case.

Eye witness accounts


Here’s a couple of emails I found that were posted on one of these young earth type websites. Obviously the people who sent them in could be mad or lying, or the person who runs the website could have just made them up, who knows. But here they are…

“This year I bought a computer, got on the web and am enjoying the fruits of this “Information Age.” Naturally, I’ve investigated sites which are of especial interest to myself…such as Pterosaurs. Why pterosaurs? Because in the summer of 1971 while stationed at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I saw 2 of them flying leisurely overhead at no more than 200 ft distance.

I haven’t had much success telling people about it – they’re all believers of the lies of evolution, etc. Now with the internet I’ve seen some corroboration.

When I wrote to National Geo. years ago they informed me that Pterosaurs have been extinct for millions of years. Shows what they know. The arrogance of people amazes me. They’re in New York, I was in Cuba; but they feel confident telling me what I saw. I wish someone would shoot one or capture it alive and cram it down NatGeo’s throat.”

Nice bit of venom at the end there. Did he really expect NatGeo to just believe someone had seen a dinosaur? Seems a little harsh.

Ropen - young earth

Here’s another…

“Scott, Many Years ago around 1977 I was standing on the front porch of my mom’s house. I heard a loud swooshing sound and I looked up. It was around 8:OO in the morning and a crystal clear day. The sun was to the east of me and I was facing south. I looked up and flying directly over me was a huge pterodactyl. My oldest son who was around 4 at the time saw it also. It was such a clear beautiful day and it was an awesome sight. I live in the Mojave Desert and there was absolutely nothing obstructing my view.

I called for my mom to come out but by the time that she got there it was too far away for her to make it out. Of course everyone thought that I’d lost my mind and certainly no one believed me. It was a tannish color and had wings like a bat. I would say that it’s wing span was approximately 14 feet. It was flying (at a guess) about as high as 1 1/2 telephone poles. It was quite large. The thing that puzzled me was after seeing pictures in books, these birds don’t seem to have a tail but this one had what appeared to be a long bony type tail behind it.

Around 10 years later I heard a story of someone being on the El Mirage dry lake and seeing the same thing. Of course, no one believes them either. I wasn’t crazy and I know what I saw and I loved it. It was great and I’d like to see it again but this time holding a camera in my hand. The other day I was telling the story to my friend and you could tell that she was waiting to hear the punch line. Anyway, I decided then to go online and see if anyone else has seen it. I was thrilled when I found your website. I seem to recall some years ago, a small article in the paper stating that one had been seen in Louisiana. Oh well. Happy dinosaur hunting!”

Ropen - Pterosaur

These tales prove nothing of course, but I love the fact that there’s a few people who are claiming to have seen these things. When countering objections the authors on these sorts of crypto-dino-zealot sites use this kind of logic:

“Before rejecting the testimony of an eye-witness of an apparent live pterosaur, consider the case for extinction. What eyewitness has seen any species of pterosaur become extinct?”

That quote came from That sort of “logic” makes my blood boil, it almost makes me want to poo-poo these miraculous flying dinosaurs out of hand, but lucky for them I want to believe really, really badly.

Papa New Guinea Sightings

The fact that people who live in the Papa New Guinean jungle have sighted these animals gives the case a bit of kudos; these locals live in the jungle and know the animals around them very well. However, I’m not daft(?) For all I know they could have made the story up as kids, or maybe the interviewer gives them some money for their time? When it comes to matters of cryptozoology I’m afraid I really don’t trust anyone. Our brains, wonderful as they are, make regular and profound errors.

Memories mutate over time, or can be completely implanted from repeating an idea to yourself. Humans brains are ace for helping us survive but rubbish as video recorders.



Here’s an old Western man talking about his ropen encounter. White and old? I’m sold. Nice incidental tunes too…



Convinced? No, me neither, but I absolutely love the fact that there’s a few humans obsessed by it. My main problems is there’s no pictures or videos anywhere showing anything of any kind of clarity at all. The best video I could find which did the rounds a little while back and even made it on to the Smithsonian website (although they ripped it up, obviously). Here you are:



And here’s a picture of a frigate bird for comparison…. oh…


Even more recently, a couple of allegedly Civil War-era photos have been doing the rounds. One is a proven fake, the other seems genuine – as in, it was probably taken during the Civil War. The photos are cool, whichever way you cut it, but I’m still not sold. Here they are:

What about this one?:

No, I’m not convinced either. Keep your eyes on the skies people.








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