I see two problems with the ropen/duah information in the book Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology, by Michael Newton.
- Whitcomb’s post on this book has an explanation for the word duah. It may be just a mistake by an English-speaking researcher. The correct version of the name may be duwas.
- Another problem has nothing to do with the correct version or spelling of the name of duah. It’s about the idea that this is a different kind of creature, not the same species perhaps as the ropen. I find fault with the concept.
Newton’s book on cryptozoology was published early in 2005 and the entry for the ropen was probably written long before any information was available from the 2004 expeditions by Whitcomb, Guessman, and Woetzel. Even Paul Nation, if I recall correctly, has shown doubts about the two names referring to two different kinds of flying creature, and that was many years ago.
Here is a better idea about the duwas and the ropen. They are just two names, in different village languages, for the same flying creature of the night. I think that’s Paul Nation’s position and he has explored in Papua New Guinea more than any other American that I know of, looking for the bioluminescent pterosaurs, as we believe they are.
I think that the reason this idea of two sizes of ropens has been hanging around so long is that the earlier researchers, William Gibbons and Karl Shuker, are generally respected, at least in their own separate circles, and they may be more educated than some of the explorers of more recent years. But their anonymous sources may have been mostly missionaries in Papua New Guinea, and we don’t seem to have any quotations from any interviews that were conducted. Third hand, or even fourth hand, accounts may have been involved, who knows?
The two men were flying a Britten-Norman Islander, past the halfway point from Broome, Australia, to Bali, Indonesia, at 6500 feet, when they nearly collided with a large flying creature.
There is a species other than a pterosaur that is purported to have intrinsic bioluminescent capability, namely the common barn owl, Tyto Alba.
If my information is correct, it was in the early 1930′s when Cheesman was baffled by flying lights just below the top of a nearby ridge deep in the mainland of New Guinea. She wrote about the mysterious lights in her book The Two Roads of Papua; the publishing date was 1935.
Searching for Ropens and Finding God has been called the “Bible of modern pterosaurs”
From page 172:
Believe what you will, I believe that those professors who replied to the survey had no knowledge of our investigations and that they would have given a higher estimate than 5%, if they knew half of what I know about sighting reports from around the world. Strange as modern pterosaurs may sound, just a few centuries ago the earth revolving around the sun also sounded strange.