Searching for Ropens and Finding God

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

This third edition of the nonfiction book surpasses earlier versions in focus and depth, concentrating more on the eyewitness sightings of apparent modern pterosaurs, commonly called “pterodactyls.” Religion is mostly in the background, with a cross-genre of true-life adventure and spiritual-inspirational and cryptozoology. Searching for Ropens and Finding God has been called the “Bible of modern pterosaurs.”

Beware, skeptic, of thinking only briefly

Since you’ve gotten this far in this book, you may be the last person I should worry about. The careless skeptic worries me most. How easy for him to browse a web page, find a report of a single sighting, and grab the first negative reaction that comes to mind! It takes but a few seconds to think of a rebuttal to something that contradicts ones assumptions; but the briefness of those few seconds is not necessarily evidence for ones cleverness or the foolishness of what one thinks is easily refutted. Beware, skeptic, of thinking only briefly. [pg 170]

“Pterodactyl” Sighting in Rhode Island

“Hi, I have seen a pteradactyl in my backyard. It was the second week of October [2001], and I was having a cigarette on the back deck of my house. It was a cold night, and I heard a loud whooshing noise moving in the air to my right. I saw a huge pteradactyl. It circled my house six times and once it turned its head and looked at me.”

PB estimated the wingspan at about fifteen feet. I told her, “There is another case somewhat similar to your own. A man who lives in a coastal community many miles north of you saw a creature that may be the same one you saw. I believe that it really is a pterosaur, though this is very difficult to present to the news media at present. . . .” [pg 177]

Rhamphorhynchoid Pterosaur Sighting in Florida

Florida also has a brave eyewitness who reported his sighting on a blog and has revealed his real name: Professor Steven Watters.

“Today, I was blessed with a sight that will never be forgotten. It was 11:45 a.m. . . . solid grey dim overcast- about 60 degrees out—Wednesday November 14 2012—Crestview, Florida. . . . It was flying west to northeast close enough it could’ve been shot down. I . . . ran to the door . . . Had an estimated wingspan of 8-12 feet and a tail as long as its torso with a large bulb or lump at the tail very diamond shaped, no feathers and all colored the same whitish-grey color with a pointed beak. . . .” [pg 205]

Sighting in Mississippi

“I was in Meridian, Mississippi, around the year 2001. I was outside . . . around 9 pm so it’s dark. It’s a full moon . . . when I turned my head to look to the right, I caught this shadow of a figure floating over the top of my sisters apartment building. . . . The wing span had to be 25 ft across and from head to toe at least the same. I was yelling and screaming for my brother-in-law or nephews to look . . . I ran about a block and a half until I came to a fence row where I couldn’t go any further. At that time this creature lifted above some maybe 75 ft trees and continued to fly away. I watched it for about another minute until its silhouette disappeared from my sight. . . .” [pp 211-212]

Ropens are not Rare

Ropens are nocturnal but not rare. Sightings of those creatures are not rare. An American who reports observing a live pterodactyl—that person is rare. When somebody does speak out, however, it encourages other eyewitnesses to admit that they’d seen those creatures themselves. When two eyewitnesses are close friends or family members and one of them talks, the other takes courage and also talks. That’s why it can appear that we have strange coincidences, only a few dozen publicized sightings per year but with a few eyewitnesses knowing other eyewitnesses from different sightings.

ISBN-13: 978-1484911396

Nonfiction, 354 pages

Whitcomb's nonfiction true-life adventure "Searching for Ropens and Finding God" - third edition published in April of 2014

Searching for Ropens and Finding God

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Third Edition of Searching for Ropens and Finding God

It looked like a dead pterodactyl, not fossil bones but with skin, like it had died recently. Could those creatures, non-extinct, still fly?

Maze Runner

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Young Adult Fiction | No comments yet.

Editorial Review (School Library Journal)

Grade 6–10—Thomas wakes up in an elevator, remembering nothing but his own name. He emerges into a world of about 60 teen boys who have learned to survive in a completely enclosed environment, subsisting on their own agriculture and supplies from below. A new boy arrives every 30 days. The original group has been in “the glade” for two years, trying to find a way to escape through a maze that surrounds their living space. They have begun to give up hope. Then a comatose girl arrives with a strange note, and their world begins to change. There are some great, fast-paced action scenes, particularly those involving the nightmarish Grievers who plague the boys. Thomas is a likable protagonist who uses the information available to him and his relationships (including his ties to the girl, Teresa) to lead the Gladers. Unfortunately, the question of whether the teens will escape the maze is answered 30 pages before the book ends, and the intervening chapter loses momentum.

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Science fiction for young adults and teens and older children: "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Review by “zoeish ‘Curiouser and curiouser'” [giving it two stars out of five]

Others have compared this novel to Lord of the Flies because it is a survival-mode group of boys, trying to figure how to live together . . . I think that Lord of the Flies was less about survival-mode, and more about how humans relate to one-another, a much more complex story told, based on a premise /backdrop built to illuminate same.

This is more about circumstance, and survival and the unraveling of this mystery. It drags us blind, kicking and screaming to its “revelations”.

. . . pretty much foretelling what and why these young people are here. And, as expected, the answer leaves this book open-ended enough for a #2 to come. Yes it’s a “dark” book, but that doesn’t necessarily make it good.

I think this could translate better as a film script, with exciting visuals and foreboding music and special effects, as the humanity of these characters are never truly explored to any satisfaction, nor are they very likable.

Review by K. Hernandez “DailyReadz – One Great Book . . .” [giving it five stars]

I actually read the first books of James Dashner’s “13th Reality” series, The Journal of Curious Letters, a couple of years ago and was quite impressed. Then my library never got the 2nd book, so I sorta forgot about him for a while, until everyone in the whole world started talking about The Maze Runner. And…. Whoohoo! What a story. Imagine you wake up in a dark elevator-type thing, rising slowly for a long long time (like, half an hour) and you have no idea where you are… or WHO you are. Thomas has zero memory when the elevator (The Box) deposits him in The Glade, a large area enclosed between 4 hundred-foot-high stone walls. It is large enough for a few rough buildings, a small forest and a farm, of sorts. And living there are about 50 or 60 other boys, all who arrived at The Glade via the box, with an equal lack of memories. Outside the walls is an enormous, ivy-covered maze, which appears to have no exit. Every night the doors in the walls close to enclose the boys in The Glade, and protect them from terrible creatures that lurk in the Maze. Why are they there? How did they get there? And more importantly, how do they get out? No one knows.

Review by Craig Everett [giving it five stars]

The Maze Runner is a tremendously gripping work of young adult science fiction. Dashner pulled me into it in chapter one and never let go. In terms of literary parallels, I would say that The Maze Runner could best be described as Ender’s Game meets Lord of the Flies.

The character arc of the protagonist Thomas was brilliant. The story begins with Thomas entering a dystopian civilization (called “The Glade”) populated by unsupervised teenage boys. Thomas has no memory of anything prior to that moment. He soon learns that each of the other boys had arrived the same way over a two year period. The Glade sits at the center of a massive and unsolvable maze filled with horrifying and deadly creatures called grievers.

Throughout the story, Thomas’ character is slowly revealed to the reader as it is being revealed to himself. It was very effective. Throughout most of the book, neither the reader nor the character himself really know whether he is the hero or the villain.

The story moves at a blistering pace, barely leaving the reader time to breathe. Dashner has a very crisp and enjoyable writing style, filled with vivid description that puts the reader directly in the middle of the sights, sounds and action. The plot twist at the end took me by surprise. I had thought I had it all figured out…

Parents will like the fact that there was no sexual content and the violence did not achieve the level of gore. The fake profanity was somewhat excessive, though. Instead of using real swear words (which of course would have been worse), Dashner made up a brand new lexicon of fake profanity. He then used it fairly gratuitously, which was a bit distracting at times.

The Maze Runner is a truly great work of YA science fiction – the best I’ve read in a while. I would be very surprised if this book does not become an instant classic of the genre.

Throughout the story, Thomas’ character is slowly revealed to the reader as it is being revealed to himself. It was very effective. Throughout most of the book, neither the reader nor the character himself really know whether he is the hero or the villain.

The story moves at a blistering pace, barely leaving the reader time to breathe. Dashner has a very crisp and enjoyable writing style, filled with vivid description that puts the reader directly in the middle of the sights, sounds and action. The plot twist at the end took me by surprise. I had thought I had it all figured out…

Parents will like the fact that there was no sexual content and the violence did not achieve the level of gore. The fake profanity was somewhat excessive, though. Instead of using real swear words (which of course would have been worse), Dashner made up a brand new lexicon of fake profanity. He then used it fairly gratuitously, which was a bit distracting at times.

The Maze Runner is a truly great work of YA science fiction – the best I’ve read in a while. I would be very surprised if this book does not become an instant classic of the genre.

Science Fiction for young adults, teens, and older children, especially males

ISBN-13:  978-0385737951

Amazon ranking for books in print: #787 on May 17, 2013

New Nonfictions on Modern Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

The latest book on extant dinosaurs or pterosaurs, Chronicles of Dinosauria, by David Woetzel (and illustrated by Richard Dobbs), explores “legends, mythical sightings, and intriguing explorations from around the globe.” The first Amazon review for this Biblical-Creation nonfiction includes, “It was only a few years ago that I learned the Bible and Dinosaurs went together and they didn’t really exist millions of years ago. This [is] a must read for adults and children.”

Let’s take a brief glance at some of the newer nonfictions in this narrow genre within cryptozoology: books about the existence of living dinosaurs or pterosaurs in human times.

  1. Chronicles of Dinosauria, Bible Creation genre, 88 pages, $16.99 SRP, hardcover
  2. Live Pterosaurs in America (3rd ed), cryptozoology genre, 154 pages, $13.65 SRP, paperback
  3. Dragons or Dinosaurs, Bible Creation genre, 250 pages, $14.99 SRP, paperback
  4. Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries, Bible Creation genre, 175 pages, $19, hardcover
  5. Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons, probably Bible Creation genre, hardcover
  6. Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea, cryptozoology, $3.99, (not print format) Kindle

 

1) Chronicles of Dinosauria

Nonfiction Biblical-Creation cryptozoology book by David Woetzel and Richard Dobbs - a picture book of "The History and Mystery of Dinosaurs and Man"

 

 

 

Page 12: “Although the great flying and swimming reptiles are usually presented alongside the dinosaurs, they are classified differently by scientists. Dinosaurs are reptiles that walked on land and the Bible describes their creation just a few verses later, lumping them in among the ‘creeping things’ and ‘beasts of the earth.'”

 

 

 

 

2) Live Pterosaurs in America (3rd ed.)

non-fiction cryptozoology book on living pterosaurs in the USA

 

 

 

Title Page: “How do some apparent nocturnal pterosaurs pertain to bats, and how are bats irrelevant? How could modern living pterosaurs have escaped scientific notice? These mysteries have slept in the dark, beyond the knowledge of almost all Americans, even beyond our wildest dreams . . . These mysteries have slept . . . until now.”

 

 

 

 

 

3) Dragons or Dinosaurs?

Nonfiction cryptozoology book - Creation or Evolution? - title: Dragons or Dinosaurs - by Darek Isaacs

 

 

 

 

Page 1: “What a remarkably expensive word dragon has proven itself to be. No small number of Biblical translators has assumed a daunting debt on their conscience due to this creature’s stubborn presence in the native languages of our scriptures. We must fully calculate this cost.”

 

 

 

 

 

4) Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries

Nonfiction book - "Dinosaur Challenges and Mysteries" - by Michael Oart - cover

 

 

 

From the Amazon book description: “In this landmark book, based upon many years of patient fieldwork and literature research, Michael Oard surveys and explains the dinosaur evidence, and proposes a viable mechanism for how all this may well have occurred during the Genesis Flood.”

 

 

 

 

 

5) Untold Secrets of Planet Earth: Dire Dragons

Cover of the book "Dire Dragons" - "Untold Secrets of Planet Earth"

 

 

Amazon review: “. . . a very good book with excellent artwork. It shows proof that what is now called dinosaurs is what used to be called dragons. It also shows that people and dinosaurs existed throughout history together. So much for the evolutionary propaganda that dinosaurs died out millions of years ago. …”

 

 

 

 

6) Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea

Digital Kindle book - "Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea" - nonfiction cryptozoology book by Jonathan David Whitcomb

 

 

 

From Introduction: “Are you a lucky eyewitness who has seen a living pterosaur? . . . well, maybe a cursed eyewitness? This is for you: eyewitness reports of large featherless flying creatures seen over the past few decades in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. You are no longer alone.”

 

 

 

 

 

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Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

My first digital ebook has just been published in the Amazon-Kindle format: UPDATE: This digital book is now available FREE, as an easy download on the alivedragon site: Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea.

Chapter Five: “Another Expedition on Umboi Island”

Jacob Kepas, years before Blume’s sighting, observed more than just a glow. In his 2004 interview with Guessman, Kepas described his encounter on the mainland when he was about twelve years old. A “whoosh” of wind caught his attention one night. He saw the flying seklo-bali briefly—the back of the wings and tail. He also saw “sparklers” that fell from the creature; that is a bad sign in his village in Morobe Province, for it is said that when the creature’s glowing particles fall upon a person, the seklo-bali will return for that person.

Chapter Six: “The Perth Creature”

In Australia, eyewitnesses also see large flying creatures unlike any bird or bat; unlike natives of Papua New Guinea, however, most Australians have no common tradition of any extant flying creature larger than any bird or bat. Most Australians do know the Western assumption that all dinosaurs and pterosaurs became extinct millions of years ago; but that Western tradition slaps eyewitnesses in the face. How do you tell a friend, neighbor, or relative that you saw a live pterodactyl?

Chapter Nine: “Other Sightings in Papua New Guinea”

A few days before my interview with Paul Nation in November of 2006, I consulted with Neil Mandt and some of his associates, in their Hollywood office. Their production company was planning an expedition for several episodes of the Destination Truth television series. I stressed the reality of the ropen, that it was not just a native legend but a living creature.

Ebook on Pterosaurs Living in Papua New Guinea and in Australia

Why do these large long-tailed flying creatures sometimes appear in daylight, when they are nocturnal? Why do natives in Papua New Guinea report their encounters but Australians rarely talk about them? Get the details from the world’s most prolific nonfiction author on this subject of modern living pterosaurs.

Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea

“Are you a lucky eyewitness who has seen a living pterosaur? . . . well, maybe a cursed eyewitness? This is for you: eyewitness reports of large featherless flying creatures seen over the past few decades in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. You are no longer alone.”

Ebook Soon to be Down Under

The first discovery of a pterosaur fossil by a Western scientist, in 1784, was decades before Charles Darwin began writing about his ideas on extinctions and evolution. Before Darwin, Western scientists had assumed that all species of pterosaurs were extinct for a simple reason: Those who discovered the fossils had no experience with any similar animal that was living.

“Dragon-Pterodactyl” in California

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

On June 19, 2012, at about 11:45 a.m., over a storm channel in a residential neighborhood of Lakewood, California, a 38-year-old lady saw a “dragon-pterodactyl,” at least as her first impression. She searched online and found that she was not the only eyewitness of this kind of featherless long-tailed flying creature. She soon learned the name for it: “ropen.”

The eyewitness, who chooses to be anonymous, said:

“I scared it because when he saw me he jumped off the telephone wires, and when he opened his huge wings they sounded like heavy fabric (like you would imagine out of a dragon movie). I watched him fly across to a large tree and go inside. I saw him very closely and know what I saw!! . . .

“I ran in the house to my husband and we jumped in the car with a camera and binocolars to try to catch a picture or further glimps of him. I have a waterway in the back of my house so he was probably looking to eat fruit rats or possum.”

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Lakewood, California, neighborhood storm channel where a dragon was reported

Storm channel near where the featherless ropen was seen perched on a telephone line

Soon after her sighting, she sent me an email and I interviewed her and her husband in person, verifying their credibility. I have no reason to doubt the lady did indeed see a living pterosaur, perhaps even the same species that has been often observed in other areas of California.

I have since found three other indirect evidences that a ropen, perhaps a juvenile, lives in this neighborhood of Lakewood, and flies up and down this storm channel at night. None of those three encounters, however, compares with the daylight sighting of June 19th. Ropens are normally nocturnal, making this sighting most fortunate. I suspect it had come out to try to catch a squirrel.

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"triangle" at the end of the tail of the dragon or ropen in Lakewood, California

The eyewitness drew this sketch of the end of the tail of the ropen

What Files Along Storm Channels?

Fighting the urge to run away into her house, the terrified woman was just curious enough to stare at the long-tailed featherless flying creature. The “dragon-pterodactyl” was more frightened than curious from the encounter and flew away into the canopy of a nearby tree.

E-Book Soon to be Down Under

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

My first ebook is mostly completed: Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. How can I resist giving out some sample paragraphs? And having an interest in reports of apparent living pterosaurs does not make a person a child. Why care about that kind of opinion?

Introduction

Are you a lucky eyewitness who has seen a living pterosaur? . . . well, maybe a cursed eyewitness? This is for you: eyewitness reports of large featherless flying creatures seen over the past few decades in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. You are no longer alone.

Chapter One

The first discovery of a pterosaur fossil by a Western scientist, in 1784, was decades before Charles Darwin began writing about his ideas on extinctions and evolution. Before Darwin, Western scientists had assumed that all species of pterosaurs were extinct for a simple reason: Those who discovered the fossils had no experience with any similar animal that was living.

Also important, probably no scientist at that time had considered that a few species of pterosaurs might still be living, rarely seen because they’re both uncommon and nocturnal.

Chapter Two

Something came tearing through the tall grass, catching the soldiers’ attention: a wild pig, no need to panic . . . but something else became startled: At the far side of the clearing, a creature was running and flapping its wings. All the grass around it was flattened by the blasts of wind from the creature getting airborne. Up over the jungle it flew, out of sight for the moment; but Duane Hodgkinson remained stricken: Extinction itself had just become exterminated—that was no bird.

Chapter Three

Unlike most of my encounters with eyewitnesses, Brian Hennessy did not find me through my web pages: His brother-in-law found me. They were talking about the absence of birds in one area of Papua New Guinea when the subject came up: the flying creature of Bougainville Island.

Chapter Four

With all the challenges in exploring a tropical island, it helps to have a sense of humor.

Do not rush off on an ill-prepared quest in a wilderness; I spent about seven months preparing for my 2004 expedition. Do not underestimate the dangers; it’s not worth losing your life. Ignore my warning if you will: Without preparation, tell your spouse you’re going to Papua New Guinea to search for giant flying dinosaurs . . . you’ll be lucky to get out the front door alive.

Chapter Seven

The pilot answered my later questions by email:

“I saw what I thought was a dark-coloured, single-engine aircraft coming on reciprocal heading at same height. . . . [My co-pilot] was head down, looking at a chart, so didn’t see it at that moment.

“I was flying using autopilot, which – having failed to disengage it – I over-powered manually by diving the aircraft in order to avoid collision. As I did so, the other ‘aircraft’ dived towards us. [The co-pilot], disturbed by the sudden manoeuvre, looked up and saw the creature. [He said] ‘What the *** is that.’

“At that moment, its wings took one enormous, slow, articulated flap. This was no aircraft! I banked left and it went down our starboard side in the opposite direction.”

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Pterodactyl Sighting

Extinction of the Pterodactyl (or not)

Live Pterosaur in Cuba

Resources for Child Care

Child Care Safety

Book Applause (home)

Teradactyl Sightings

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

The scientific name for this kind of flying creature is “pterosaur,” although some people call it “pterodactyl” or spell it “teradactyl.” Most people think of it as a flying dinosaur, although dinosaurs are actually a different type of creature. Many people assume that they all became extinct many millions of years ago. Some people, however, have seen apparent living pterosaurs.

Sometime in the summer of 2012, an e-book will be published: Live Pterosaurs in Australia and in Papua New Guinea. The following is taken from Chapter Four:

I asked him about the wingspan: my mistake. After I had returned to the United States, it dawned on me: Gideon was surely unfamiliar with that English word.

He hesitated when I said “wingspan.” Even when I rephrased the question with “wings,” he probably missed the “s” at the end, assuming I meant the singular. Perhaps no language in this part of the world, other than English, creates a plural noun by adding an “s.”

Gideon answered my wing question: “seven meeta.” When I asked if it was the same as the length of the tail, he agreed.

He later drew the creature’s body, wings, and tail, making it appear that one wing was about as long as the tail. That was a clue I appreciated only long afterwards.

It now seems obvious to me. Why would any native think that Americans would measure two wings as if they were one object? How strange! (Two wings really are two things.) But strange as the Lake Pung ropen may seem to us—a flying creature with a wingspan approaching fifty feet—that estimate resembles the one given by an Australian couple who saw a giant creature flying over Perth in 1997.

Teradactyl Expert

So what is a “teradactyl expert?” This also comes in two flavors: paleontologists (who study fossils) and cryptozoologists (who study eyewitness reports of apparent living pterosaurs).

Live Pterosaurs in America

If this book does nothing more than comfort the eyewitnesses of strange creatures, I would be grateful; but there’s much more. We need to understand why we believe what we believe. When I first began researching these eyewitness sightings, years ago, I mentioned a word to a kindergartner: “pterosaurs;” he said, “A comet.” Years later, while writing this book, I mentioned my work to a second-grader; she said, “Who will buy your book? Crazy people?” I think better of you. And I think, because of what she and many others have told me, that we must understand indoctrination, for it influences our beliefs; the extent of that influence discomforts me.

Sandy Paradise sketched the flying creature in Georgia

Sandra Paradise was shocked by the huge flying creature that flew in front of her car.

More Sightings Near Winder, Georgia

. . . When that edition of the book was published, however, the eyewitness was anonymous, and I had no knowledge of her subsequent sightings in that area. In addition, she had not yet given me permission to publish any of her sketches. Those things have changed.

An Explanation for Marfa Lights

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | No comments yet.

I don’t often review a book chapter, but the mysterious ghost lights of Marfa, Texas, keep grabbing my attention. Chapter Six of the third edition of Live Pterosaurs in America explains the more mysterious of the various types of Marfa Lights. The scientist James Bunnell calls this type of mystery light “CE-III.” Let’s begin with quotes from Chapter Six.

But if the lights are made by ropen-like animals, why would they move like that? . . . ropens in Texas might be hunting bats, but how could dancing help them catch bats? Insects! Of course lights attract insects. After two ropens have glowed in one area long enough to concentrate insects, they separate for awhile to allow the bats to feel safe in catching those insects. Soon the ropens return to catch the bats.

. . . Mr. Bunnell the scientist has lived around Marfa, Texas, for much of his life. . . . he had assumed that somebody had already done the research and had explained what caused Marfa Lights . . . how surprising when he found that nobody had come up with a convincing explanation! (James Bunnell, apparently, knew nothing about ropens in New Guinea; he considered only Marfa Lights interpretations involving light-sources non-living. I communicated with him by emails, early in 2010.)

. . . On May 7th and 8th, 2003, extraordinary events were photographed [by James Bunnell). On the first night, lights appeared between 9:00 and 10:40. The first light was too brief for Bunnell to photograph, but two more appeared at about the same location. I was intrigued at Bunnell’s description of how those two lights behaved, for it seemed consistent with my hypothesis that Marfa Lights are made by flying predators with extreme bioluminescence, like the ropen of the southwest Pacific but used for a different purpose: to attract insects that attract the Big Brown Bat.

. . . According to Bunnell’s notes, sunset on May 7th was at 8:36 p.m.; there was no wind and the temperature was “about 70 degrees F.” I wonder: Could it have been warm enough at 10:40 p.m. for insects to be flying around? I believe so.

. . . the other two ropens, the ones streaking back to that location, were also driven by hunger . . .

. . . So why did the two lights of May 7th go out before reaching the original location? Think about it. Several bats are grabbing a few insects while also keeping track of a nearby dancing, glowing bat-eater. Is it really a free lunch? The other two bat-eaters, having turned off their glow, are streaking into that area at high speed, relying on the dancing bat-eater to hold the attention of the bats.

Speculation in the Explanation

Until somebody, James Bunnell or some other scientist perhaps, videotapes or photographs a flying predator chasing or catching a bat around Marfa, Texas, this flying-predator hypothesis is speculative. But it explains perfectly well much of the behavior of the CE-III flying lights that are commonly called “Marfa Lights.” The Pterosaur Eyewitness blog deserves quoting (Feb 2, 2012: “Marfa Lights Explanation”):

We need to consider the apparent intelligence in the movements of those CE-III Marfa Lights, for sometimes some things are exactly as they appear to be, in this case, intelligent. When residents of Marfa, Texas, . . . have observed the more mysterious flying lights . . . they recognize an intelligence in the “dances.” A light sometimes will split into two lights and the two will slowly separate . . . eventually turning back as they approach each other, like in a square dance. . . . Why do so many outsiders, scientists or not, assume that all those residents must be wrong when those local people ascribe intelligence to some of those lights (the ones Bunnell labels “CE-III”)? How we need common horse sense!

. . . The light splittings probably relate to a specific hunting technique. Bioluminescent flying predators attract insects with their glowing. They separate for a short while, allowing Big Brown Bats to go after those flying insects. The larger predators then reunite to try to catch bats, although they may not both remain glowing all the way back, for that would alert the bats.

Gitmo Pterosaur may be related to creatures around Marfa, Texas

The Alchemist

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Religion | No comments yet.

The great majority of reviewers on Amazon.com give The Alchemist five out of five stars. Before quoting parts of some of the most favorable and unfavorable ones, I’ll relate my own experience. I did not feel transported into another world, which is what I enjoy about fantasies, but this allegorical novel by Paulo Coelho is meant to help transport readers along the journey of life in the real world, when they are not reading anything. Judging by the worldwide popularity of The Alchemist, I believe that it is succeeding. Note these Amazon reviews:

A Useful Symbolic Story

“Simple fable” fits well when comparing “The Alchemist” with a realistic novel, but the lessons to be learned for our lives (or renewed for what we have forgotten) multiply like sand dunes of the Sahara. At least something in the story can be applied in each person’s life. Be aware: This is a symbolic story; it’s not about finding material treasure.

All the Universe can be observed in a single grain of sand

These are lessons that we all know in our hearts, but that we forget as we get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of our material lives. Lessons about listening to our hearts and following our dreams. . . .  Lessons about freeing ourselves from fear and about understanding our lives as part of the energy of the Universe and understanding that everything will work out the way it was intended to. Lessons about trusting in signs, knowing that our lives have a grand purpose and that the forces of the Universe will conspire to help us fulfill that purpose.

Flawed But Ultimately Thought-Provoking and Worthwhile

Yes, much of what negative reviewers of this book have to say is true: the writing is blunt and simple, the characters lack depth and complexity, it is quite male-focused in its subject matter and language, it has a bunch of quasi-religious mumbo-jumbo, and so on. This book should not be put on the list of great literature for the ages. . . . And yet, I have to say – and I feel a bit sheepish about this – that I found it meaningful, even profound at times. How can I say this, given my criticisms? First of all, unlike many reviewers, I did not approach this book with great expectations. No one told me that this was Shakespeare or Tolstoy; I had never even heard of it until it was recommended to me recently. And by the end of page 2, I had adjusted my expectations further. . . .  I suspect that through his simple tale, he is trying to provide some kind of argument against the kind of cynicism or fear that the world can sometimes instill in us, and encourage us to keep diving into that “strong current” to see where it takes us.

Live Pterosaurs in America

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By Jonathan Whitcomb | Filed in Cryptozoology | One comment

With a title suggesting fiction, this book flies against the wind of popular scientific assumptions about pterosaur extinction. Live Pterosaurs in America is nonfiction. The second edition, published in November of 2010, includes a chapter about the Marfa Lights of Texas, offering a revolutionary conjecture: They are from the flights of bioluminescent predators, perhaps related to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, perhaps even living pterosaurs. Let’s take a peek at this book’s introduction, at least the first page of it.

This book might make a few Americans uneasy to walk alone at night; my intention, however, is not to frighten but to enlighten as many readers as possible to know about live-pterosaur investigations. Those who’ve been shocked at the sight of a flying creature that “should” be extinct—those eyewitnesses, more numerous than most Americans would guess, need no longer be afraid that everyone will think them crazy, and no longer need they feel alone. Those of us who’ve listened to the American eyewitnesses, we who have interviewed them, we now believe. So, if you will, consider the experiences of these ordinary persons (I’ve interviewed most of them myself) and accept whatever enlightenment you may.

This book might discomfort, even offend, a few readers; please consider the feelings of those who have revealed to us their encounters with what seem to be live pterosaurs, for some of them have suffered more than discomfort. I intend to comfort those innocent victims who have been ridiculed or ostracized because of a cultural weakness, for each has seen something unaccepted by their society. Each eyewitness deserves listeners who will open their minds, really listen. Consider their experiences.

If this book does nothing more than comfort the eyewitnesses of strange creatures, I would be grateful; but there’s much more. We need to understand why we believe what we believe. When I first began researching these eyewitness sightings, years ago, I mentioned a word to a kindergartner: “pterosaurs;” he said, “A comet.” Years later, while writing this book, I mentioned my work to a second-grader; she said, “Who will buy your book? Crazy people?” I think better of you. And I think, because of what she and many others have told me, that we must understand indoctrination, for it influences our beliefs; the extent of that influence discomforts me.

My American associates and I who have explored in Papua New Guinea, searching for living pterosaurs, intend no deceit; we intend only enlightenment. Ten expeditions, within sixteen years, have rewarded us with many eyewitness accounts and video evidence for what we believe is the bioluminescence of a flying creature; but we still lack a clear photo of a pterosaur. We have been labeled foolish, biased, and crazy; but the few who say “lies” reveal their own foolishness: Why would we work so hard, for so long, with so many opportunities to fabricate pterosaur sightings in so many remote jungles, and then admit that we never saw any clear form of a pterosaur? It is because we intend not to deceive but to enlighten.

The third edition has recently been published:

non-fiction cryptozoology book on living pterosaurs in the USA

“Teradactyl” (pterodactyl) Expert

So what is a “teradactyl expert?” This also comes in two flavors: paleontologists (who study fossils) and cryptozoologists (who study eyewitness reports of apparent living pterosaurs). This might lead to controversy, when people use the same word (“pterosaur” if they are particular about the correct spelling) for two different meanings.