Meteor Crater, known by scientists as “Barringer Crater,” forty-three miles east of Flagstaff, Arizona, is now recognized as a meteorite impact crater; but for decades it was believed to have been caused by a volcanic explosion. Daniel Barringer, early in the twentieth century, suggested that the crater came from a large meteor collision with earth. Skepticism continued until the middle of the twentieth century, when is was proven that an impact was involved, not any form of volcanism. Science rarely remains dormant for long, as scientists replace old theories with new.
In October of 2004, at about 10 p.m., on Umboi Island (known by natives as “Siasi”), in Papua New Guinea, David Woetzel, an American cryptozoologist, was searching the sky for any sign of the flying animal that natives call “ropen.” He and his American associate Garth Guessman, had been searching in vane for days, but their luck now changed. Woetzel saw something bright flying almost horizontally, toward a crater lake a few miles away. What was flying? He said, “. . . almost golden and shimmering around the edges. . . . There was no [meteor] tail.” It was large enough to have had a long tail, if it had been a meteor, for Woetzel also described the angular-size as about 20%-25% the size of a full moon. But the place where the flying light disappeared is significant, for it strongly suggests what that light was.
A few weeks before the Woetzel-Guessman expedition, the American cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb was exploring Umboi Island (but only in the south-central area). He found three eyewitnesses who had seen the giant ropen flying in daylight. Where? Over Lake Pung. The flying creature was described as without any feathers, with a tail “seven meters” long, and a mouth “like a crocodile.”
So how does this strange giant-pterosaur-like creature (natives call it “ropen”) relate to the strange light flying towards this crater lake, a few weeks after the interviews of these eyewitnesses? Other eyewitnesses were interviewed by Woetzel, Guessman, and Whitcomb, and some of them described the creature that they had seen: a large flying creature that was glowing as it was flying over Umboi Island. Apparently the ropen has an extraordinary bioluminescent capacity, revolutionary to modern concepts of bioluminescence. But science does progress, as extraordinary as is the concept of a modern bioluminescent pterosaur.