New Guinea Ropen & Other Potentially Weird Bats or Birds

amyasleigh

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Spin-off here, from the new "Irian Jaya thylacines" thread on "mystery quadrupeds": concerning New Guinea, I'm rather taken with the idea of that part of the world's "Ropen". Envisaged by some, as a possible pterodactyl / pterosaur. Admittedly, anecdotal evidence only: account by an American WW2 veteran of his sighting in 1944, when stationed near Finschhafen, north-eastern Papua New Guinea, of what he thought to look very much like a pterodactyl. Plus reported sightings by locals, at various dates between then and recently, of similar-seeming creatures, chiefly on various islands off the coast in that area.

The pre-eminent Ropen proponent and publiciser would seem to be one Jonathan Whitcomb, who has published a couple of books on the matter -- "Searching for Ropens" and "Searching for Dragons". In the eyes of many in the "fancy", this whole issue is contaminated by Whitcomb's holding creationist beliefs, which he would see as supported by pterodactyls / pterosaurs being alive and well at the present day. Rightly or wrongly, I don't consider the guy's believing what he does in this matter, to be conclusive proof that the whole Ropen thing has to be baloney.
 

Zilch5

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According to Wikipedia, some "suggest that the Ropen is a misidentified bat (e.g. flying foxes, which are large fruit bats than can have wingspans up to two metres (six feet), or frigatebird."

We have these large Flying Foxes galore here in Sydney - and you'd have to be a first grade moron to mistake one of these for some sort of flying dinosaur!

As for the Frigatebird, well, it looks a heck of a lot like a bird! :lol:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ropen
 

rynner2

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I thought this thread was going to be about strange musical rhythms, but in fact it's just bats!
 

amyasleigh

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Damn typos ! -- often irresistible to point out. On another board recently, a poster put "elvish", clearly in mistake for "selfish": I couldn't refrain from posting a Tolkien-related crack...

Zilch5 -- yes; sometimes, suggested mundane explanations for cryptids seem more far-fetched, than the observer's actually having seen a cryptid.

I meant to put in my OP, but it slipped mind -- though Ropens strike me as pretty improbable (would it were otherwise) -- IMO, and as was observed in the Irian Jaya thylacines thread, the island of New Guinea would seem to be one of the likeliest remaining places on earth for harbouring unknown creatures of a fair size.
 

Quake42

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We have these large Flying Foxes galore here in Sydney - and you'd have to be a first grade moron to mistake one of these for some sort of flying dinosaur!

Well, I don't know if it's as silly as you say. I've just returned from a trip to Australia where I was fascinated watching the flying foxes emerge every evening. If an extra large version existed somewhere remote - and had perhaps developed (say) a pointy face and/or crest on its head - I think it's quite credible that a shocked observer might think they had seen a pterodactyl.
 

Anome

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My favourite was the story of the Czech sailor who jumped ship in FNQ, and then surrendered himself after thinking the flying foxes were vampire bats.
 

amyasleigh

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Splendid anecdote ! It would be even better if he'd happened to be a Romanian sailor -- with that nationality's well-known "thing" about matters vampiric.
 
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