The new non-fiction book Searching for Ropens and Finding God–it includes two ropen poems, including this one (but without this image):
What flies in the night as it glows? (poem by J. Whitcomb)
Nonfiction Book on Living Pterosaurs
Not every flying creature in Searching for Ropens and Finding God appears to be the same species. Most of the sighting reports suggest a Rhamphorhynchoid (long-tailed) pterosaur, yet a few seem to be the short-tailed kind.
Unlike most of the sighting reports in the previous two editions of this book, this edition includes flying creatures from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean, and North America. Two brief excerpts may help illustrate how common are the long-tailed ropens:
“In Sudan the classic house is one level made of mud bricks and walls, 3-5 rooms, 1-2 bathrooms and a kitchen, each room being a separate unit, but connected by a roofless hallway that leads to the patios.
“One evening in July of 1988, we had some guest over the house. Traditionally we would make some tea and cookies . . . The guest were in the living room which was at one end of the house . . . [My aunt] asked me to bring the tray of tea, cookies, sugar and spoons to the guest . . .
“When I got to the patio, I noticed something on the roof of my uncle’s room. . . . the roof is only 10 feet or less from the ground. I was standing by the bathroom, about 10 feet away from it. It was perched about 5 feet from the light bulb. I seen it very clearly and got a good look at it.
“It was very large, about 4 or 5 feet in height. It was an olive brown color, no feathers. It was leathery looking. It had a large long, wide beak and the classic appendage (the long bone looking thing sticking out the back of its head). It was perched on the edge of the roof. It had really large black claws and its tail looked like a lion’s tail . . . very long and had a bushy or hairy tip. . . .
Now let’s travel with an Englishman to a music concert in Spain. I received the email in April of 2008. The sighting was in mid-2007: . . . “I’m not sure who to tell this to, as it’s a bit strange, but I was researching ‘modern pterodactyls’ on the internet, following something I saw a bit closer to home in Spain, and your name cropped up quite a lot, so thought you might be interested in what I saw . . .”
“I drove from England (where I live) to [Benicassim] (in East Spain—[near Desert de les Palmes]) for a music festival. One night, whilst sitting on the ground by the tents (a fair way from the noise and commotion of the festival), I saw what I at first assumed was an owl gliding over the campsite (I assumed that because it was night time, and obviously no other birds would be out—bar things like nightjars which this was not!) – it passed right over us, probably about 30-40 ft high, and as I watched it, I realised it was definitely no owl I’d ever seen before. . . .
” [It] looked like the same sort of texture as suede (i.e no feathers), had a long thin tail, and didn’t flap once. . . .
Modern pterosaurs, those featherless flying creatures reported around the world, cannot easily be dismissed when the more credible sighting reports are examined. Indeed, the misidentification conjecture falls flat under closer examination.
The third edition of the nonfiction book “Live Pterosaurs in America” proves this is not a mystery confined to remote tropical rain forests in Papua New Guinea. Ropens continue to shock eyewitnesses around the world, including many common persons in the United States of America.