One of the American ropen-cryptozoologists, Jonathan Whitcomb, has now suggested that some of the strange missing-persons cases from wilderness areas of the United States may be from attacks from a few ropens. He does not proclaim himself a pterosaur expert, in the sense used for paleontologists. Like a few other American explorers, he believes that “flying dinosaurs” are not all extinct. Some of them fly through our night skies, apparently, and a few of those few can be dangerous to people who wander alone in a wilderness in North America.
He admits the idea is speculative; not many survivors of any kind of attack admit to being carried away by a giant pterodactyl, and who would believe an eyewitness of such an attack? That could appear as strange as people being abducted by alien humanoids. But Whitcomb gives the following as possible evidences for an abduction by a giant flying creature:
- Survivors are often found in berry bushes
- Non-survivors are sometimes found with bad scratches but not in berry bushes
- One article of clothing is missing, such as one shoe or the pants or sweater
- A body or survivor is found too far away from the place he/she went missing
- Tracking dogs fail to track far, losing the scent quickly
- There is no sign of a violent struggle with a bear or mountain lion
- The area is too remote for a human predator to hunt people
Whitcomb bases his speculative idea on reports he has received over eleven years. Some of the eyewitnesses who have contacted him report seeing a giant “pterodactyl” and some of those areas relate, in some degree, to where some Americans have gone missing in the United States. He believes that some of the larger animals, when they are especially hungry, may set aside their usual nocturnal habits and try their luck with lone humans in daylight.
The nonfiction Missing 411 Western United States & Canada, by the investigative journalist David Paulides, documents many strange missing-persons cases that were never solved. New investigations in cryptozoology now reveal an explanation for some of the cases.
The 1400-estimate does not include those who have obvious mental health issues or a purpose to lie. Those do exist, but not many of them have contacted me for detailed interviewing. It also does not include the more-vague sightings that could be birds.