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.”
This sighting needs to be taken in context, for many persons have reported apparent pterosaurs in California, and a significant number of those reports have been surprisingly credible. Some of these sightings have been of long-tailed “pterodactyls,” and many of them have been near storm channels or near the Los Angeles River, which is like a giant storm channel.
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.
The eyewitness drew this sketch of the end of the tail of the ropen
Some of the eyewitness sighting reports worldwide have included the word “dragon” in the account. Details in the descriptions, however, suggest that those encounters were also with modern pterosaurs.
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.
A 38-year-old woman in a residential neighborhood of Lakewood, California, just northeast of Long Beach, reported a “dragon-pterodactyl” that had no feathers but a long tail . . .
Not one of them was written entirely for an LDS audience. Even the one that has the most references to Mormon beliefs and perspectives, Searching for Ropens and Finding God (fourth edition)—that nonfiction is highly praised, on Amazon, by readers who appear to be non-LDS Christians . . .