Fly above common true-life adventures, and dive into what may become the most unsettling scientific discovery since Copernicus and Galileo: living pterosaurs of the modern world--what a discovery!
It soars above disputes about religion, revealing why an official discovery of an extraordinary animal has been delayed for so long. Above all, this explores human experience: eyewitnesses and those who interviewed them. People have become connected by common encounters; persons of various faiths, with various levels of education, from various countries and cultures, have seen a living pterosaur, commonly called "pterodactyl."
Notwithstanding the delay in the official scientific discovery, eyewitnesses from around the world continue to encounter these flying creatures: featherless, long-tailed, often larger than any known bird.
A few Americans explored a few islands in the southwest Pacific, in brief expeditions scattered between 1993 and 2007, looking for a modern pterosaur. "Creationist" each man was labeled, yet many of those following them, in recent years, carried no religious purpose.
The creatures have many names: seklo-bali, duwas, wawanar, indava, kor, kundua. In Papua New Guinea, natives in isolated communities speak in village languages numbering in the hundreds, yet many natives carry a common fear in the dark: a huge glowing creature flying in the night. Natives on Umboi Island call it "ropen."
Three American Christians--one middle-aged LDS-Mormon high priest and two younger Protestant Young Earth Creationists--explored parts of Umboi Island in two separate expeditions in 2004, interviewing native eyewitnesses of the elusive ropen. They returned home even more convinced that long-tailed pterosaurs live, even thrive, in Papua New Guinea.
This resulted in the publication of several books, two scientific papers in a peer-reviewed journal, and over a thousand blog posts, written mostly by those who trudged the jungle trails of Umboi themselves and spoke with the eyewitnesses face to face.
Those two expeditions in 2004 also cleared the path for other searches in Papua New Guinea and elsewhere, including expeditions led by those with no religious purpose in searching for ropens, namely the Destination Truth and Monsterquest television shows.
This book illustrates how we succeed better by working with those of different faiths in pursuing a common goal, in this case finding a modern living pterosaur and supporting each other in our common beliefs and values.
Why has the official scientific discovery been so long delayed? The causes are multiple and interrelated, but one obstacle has been resolved. Speculation that religious bias of investigators has played a big part in sighting reports of apparent pterosaurs--that conjecture has been shot down.
Consider the words of Sandra Paradise, an eyewitness in Georgia: "The world is now totally different. I feel blessed that God has allowed me to see this creature that should not be here, and yet is, this strange dragon-like thing that lives somewhere in the woods . . ."
Steven Cottingham, a government official in New Guinea many years ago, told the author, "My sighting occurred at night near Lab Lab on the southern tip of Umboi. The light lasted for four to five seconds, and until reading your reports now, have never been able to explain the sighting."
The American flight instructor Duane Hodgkinson told the author about his encounter with a long-tailed flying creature in New Guinea: "It was a big one! I have a Piper Tri-Pacer airplane [wingspan twenty nine feet] and it appeared to be about that size."
Patty Carson, of Southern California, said, "It did have a tail and it had a diamond shaped tip . . . The skin was a leathery, brownish reddish color. It had little teeth, a LOT of them."
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