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Live Pterosaurs in America: Not extinct, flying creatures of cryptozoology that some call pterodactyls or flying dinosaurs or prehistoric birds Paperback – November 2, 2011
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From the Author
Examining video footage of natives of Papua New Guinea, in the fall of 2003, I never imagined what the next eight years would bring: exploring a remote tropical island and writing nonfiction cryptozoology books (and a thousand web pages and blog posts) on world-wide reports of apparent living pterosaurs. I was a forensic videographer, not a wilderness explorer; I was a video editor, not a writer, although both sides of my family tree have blossomed with generations of successful authors. But a predictable failure opened up a new world for me, an old family occupation I never before considered for myself.
In the fall of 2004, I organized a small expedition on Umboi Island in Papua New Guinea. After two weeks, although I had successfully interviewed many native eyewitnesses of the ropen, with little money and food left in my supplies I was forced to leave, after failing to videotape a living pterosaur. But on my return to the U. S. I began writing about my experiences and about the flying creature described by natives of Umboi Island.
My disappointment at having failed to see a living pterosaur had been predicted by my critics, a few armchair online commentators, but a few other Americans (unable to stay seated) soon explored remote tropical wildernesses in Papua New Guinea, interviewing natives that I had not reached. Eventually Destination Truth and MonsterQuest organized expeditions in search of the elusive nocturnal flying creature. Soon the ropen had its own page on Wikipedia, with its definition taken from my first book, Searching for Ropens.
I had hardly finished unpacking my luggage, late in 2004, when reports from the United States began accumulating; American eyewitnesses responded to my web pages with their own accounts of similar and almost-similar flying creatures in our own country. Similarities too close to ignore called me to question my assumption that ropens only live in remote tropical wildernesses. All the reports could not be from strange coincidental combinations of hoaxes and misidentifications: Almost all those I interviewed appeared credible and many of their descriptions could not reasonably have been from encounters with bird or bat.
As Sherlock Holmes would say, "When the impossible has been eliminated, whatever is left, however improbable, is the answer." It appears that some flying creatures seen by American eyewitnesses are at least somewhat related to the ropen. Those flying creatures live in North America, and they resemble living pterosaurs far more than they resemble any bird or bat.
From the Inside Flap
Reports of huge flying "pterodactyls" in American skies have floated around the internet for years; but before about 2005, details were scarce. When an eyewitness was named, the interviewer was often anonymous; even when an eyewitness was credible, and the account published in a newspaper, the story was ridiculed, discouraging others who had also seen strange flying creatures. Where could eyewitnesses go? What a predicament for them! Who would believe their reports?
Since the two ropen expeditions of 2004, in Papua New Guinea, more Americans have learned of the living-pterosaur investigations and the many resulting eyewitness interviews. Many web pages have sprung up, many of them by explorers themselves. But despite other web pages, by scornful critics who never went anywhere and never interviewed anyone, those two expeditions, and those that preceded and followed them, are causing an awakening, opening human minds in the birth of a new perspective: Universal pterosaur extinction has been an assumption; some pterosaur species are still living. The author, one of those American explorers who interviewed natives in Papua New Guinea, has been interviewing American eyewitnesses since 2004.
How are sightings in the United States related to those in the southwest Pacific? 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 (although the reality of some pterosaurs is a living nightmare to some bats). These mysteries have slept . . . until now.