Is the Ropen a Myth?

What is a myth? I think of it as an old fiction. But two ingredients there seem to be in what makes something a myth.

  1. It is very old or an old story
  2. It is restricted to a particular part of the world

People from all over the world, in recent years, see flying creatures that are too much like pterosaurs. That goes against both of the above points.

Here are some examples:

  • 2011: Two men in San Diego, California, see two huge flying creatures
  • 2012: A woman in Lakewood, California, sees a large dragon-pterodactyl
  • 2010: A married couple from Oregon see a ropen around the Columbia River
  • 2009: Student of a university in Papua New Guinea sees the ropen of Umboi Island at a close distance in the daytime
  • 2012: A woman in Connecticut, at dusk, saw a “giant flying creature” that looked like the “rath from Lord of the Rings”
  • 2012: A woman in Brooklyn, New York, in mid-summer at about 6:30 p.m., saw a creature that reminded her of a dragon. It had “a strange shaped head like the pterodactyl pictures”

The Ropen of Columbia River Gorge

We were talking to each other when all of a sudden coming left to right across the highway about 100 yards (give or take) in front of us came the most odd looking thing I have ever seen flying.  My wife and I both immediately said “what was that?” . . . it came swooping over the trees on the left side of the highway.

Smithsonian Proclaims Ropen Myth

Brian Switek made some serious errors of judgment in his “Don’t Get Strung Along by the Ropen Myth.” It was the August 16, 2010, posting on the Smithsonian Magazine, online publication.

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About Norman Huntington AKA Jonathan Whitcomb

Passionately supporting research into living modern pterosaurs
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