Natural Science

Pterosaurs Amongst Us: The Evidence

by Paul B. Haller

The pterosaurs – that is, the flying reptiles – died out 65 million years ago. That’s the assertion of mainstream scientists.

Their claim is sheer nonsense. Throughout history, people have witnessed flying reptiles. These creatures appear in the Bible. Classical scholars wrote about them. European Christians accurately described them. In Papua New Guinea, people report encounters even today.

In other words, pterosaurs have always lived amongst us. Here is some evidence:

  1. THE PROPHET MOSES (Active 1446-1406 B.C.)

In the ancient Mideast, there were flocks of small pterosaurs.

We first encounter them in the days of Moses. While the Israelites were in the desert south of the Dead Sea, they were suddenly attacked by “fiery serpents.” Moses writes:

From Mount Hor they set out by the way to the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient on the way. And the people spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness? For there is no food and no water, and we loathe this worthless food’ Then the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people, so that many people of Israel died.The Book of Numbers, Chapter 21:4-6 (RSV Catholic)

Here we are introduced to the fiery serpents. We get clues about their identity:

  1. Their bites were deadly. That indicates that they were poisonous.
  2. They attacked en masse. That means they were social creatures.
  3. They were sent against the Israelites. That means that they were originally far away, and then struck rapidly and unexpectedly.

They cannot be poisonous snakes. The vipers around the Dead Sea are solitary and slow-moving. During the heat of the day, they lie buried in the desert sand.[1]

That leaves only one alternative. The serpents were venomous pterosaurs. Most likely, a flock of them swooped down on the Israelites and launched a frenzied attack.

One final point. The pterosaurs in question were probably rhamphorhynchoids (ramm-fa-REEN-koids). These animals were small, and they had long tails. While in flight with their legs tucked in, they looked like snakes. That’s probably why Moses described them as “serpents.”[2]

A rhamphorhynchoid. A flock of this species probably attacked the Israelites.
  1. THE PROPHET ISAIAH (Active ca. 740-701 B.C.)

Isaiah describes the dangerous creatures in southern Israel. One of them is the “flying serpent.” Here are his words:

An oracle concerning the animals of the Negeb. Through a land of trouble and distress, of lioness and roaring lion, of viper and flying serpent, they carry their riches on the backs of donkeys, and their treasures on the humps of camels, to a people that cannot profit them.

Isaiah 30:6 (RSV-Catholic)

Here Isaiah mentions the “flying serpent.” He is clearly talking about a pterosaur.

It is not clear what type he is referring to. On the one hand, Isaiah might be warning about flocks of small pterosaurs. That is, the type that attacked the Israelites in the days of Moses.

But Isaiah could also be talking about giant pterosaurs. In Papua New Guinea, such creatures exist even today. (See Section 7)

  1. ANCIENT GREECE: HERODOTUS ( 484 – 425 B.C.)

Herodotus was an ancient historian and geographer.

As a young man, he traveled throughout the Persian Empire. In the Egyptian town of Buto, Herodotus heard about flying reptiles. He mentioned them in his classic work The Histories. He writes:

Not far from the town of Buto, there is a place in Arabia to which I went to learn about the winged serpents. When I came thither, I saw innumerable bones and backbones of serpents; many heaps of backbones there were, great and small and smaller still. . . . Winged serpents are said to fly at the beginning of spring, from Arabia, making for Egypt; but the ibis birds encounter the invaders in this pass and kill them. . . . The serpents are like water-snakes. Their wings are not feathered but most like the wings of a bat.[3]

The Histories, Book 2, Chapters 75-76

Herodotus also discusses the flying reptiles of the Arabian desert. He explains that they congregate in the frankincense trees. He says:

“. . . for the spice-bearing trees are guarded by small winged snakes of varied colour, many round each tree; these are the snakes that attack Egypt. Nothing save the smoke of storax will drive them away from the trees.”[4]

The Histories, Book 3, Chapter 107

In the above paragraphs, Herodotus described flocks of pterosaurs. These animals were small but aggressive. They were probably related to those which attacked the Israelites one-thousand years earlier.

A frankincense tree in the Arabian desert. Five centuries before Christ, small pterosaurs gathered in such trees.

Silius Italicus (ca. 26 – 101 A.D.) was a Roman senator, orator, and poet. He mentions a pterosaur in his work Punica.

That was an epic poem about the Second Carthaginian War. In Chapter 15 of Punica, we come to the war’s turning point. Here, the people of Rome had to appoint a new Roman general in Spain. The question was, should they select the young Scipio Africanus.

At first, they were not sure what to do. But then, at a critical moment, there was a good omen for Scipio. Because of this omen, the people chose Scipio as commander. We read:

As the crowd reflected murmuring confusedly, see, a serpent, its glittering scales spotted with gold, was seen to glide over the sky, among the clouds, leaving a fiery track through the air, . . .[5]

In short, the sudden appearance of a pterosaur triggered the appointment of Scipio. He went on to win the war.

Note that the creature was large. This fact is clear, as the animal was high in the clouds and yet visible to the crowd.

But some may claim that the pterosaur story in Punica is simply poetic embellishment.

Yet there are good reasons to accept this story. According to Roman tradition, Scipio should not have been made the commander in Spain. First of all, he was too young, just 15 years old.

Secondly, Scipio had never been praetor or consul. He was thus ineligible for command outside of Italy.[6]

Nevertheless, the citizens of Rome set aside the rules, and they enthusiastically made Scipio the general in Spain. An extraordinary omen – e.g., the timely appearance of a flying reptile – could help to explain their decision.

In the epic poem Punica, a golden pterosaur flies over the city of Rome. This event triggers the rise of Scipio Africanus.

The Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher was a famous 17th Century polymath. He wrote groundbreaking books on the Bible, geology, and biology. In one of these books, he reports a pterosaur sighting.

That book is Mundus Subterraneus (1665). In Mundus, Father Kircher taught about the hidden and exotic side of nature. He included many stories.

One came from Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland. In 1619, Christopher Schorer, the regional governor, saw a pterosaur. He watched it fly over the lake.

He sent a letter about this event to Father Kircher. Father Kircher reports the animal sighting in Mundus Subterraneus. He quotes Christopher Schorer as follows:

During the year 1619, as I was contemplating the serenity of the nighttime sky, to my great astonishment I saw a brightly glowing dragon fly from a large mountain cliff (which is commonly called Mount Pilate), to another cave on the opposite cliffside (commonly called the Flue Cave) with a swift flapping of its wings. Its body was quite large; it had a long tail and an extended neck, while its head displayed the toothsome mouth of a snake. As the creature was in the midst of flight, it spewed out sparks from its body, not unlike the embers which fly when smiths beat glowing iron. It was after I had observed all of the details that I knew it rightly to be a dragon from its bodily motions, by which I could discern the arrangement of its limbs. I write this to Your Reverence, lest you doubt that dragons truly exist in Nature.[7]

Here we read about a flying reptile in Switzerland. Like the creature in Punica, this one was large. It flew high in the air, and yet was visible from the ground.

In addition, the pterosaur emitted a powerful light. It was described as “brightly glowing.” It also “spewed out sparks from its body.”

These descriptions are a link to modern-day flying reptiles. There is evidence that the pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea are bioluminescent. (See Section 8).

Mount Pilatus overlooking Lake Lucerne. In 1619, Christopher Schorer saw a pterosaur fly off of this mountain and then across the lake.

Over the past thousand years, men have made pictures and carvings of flying reptiles. Many of these images are very realistic.

A French wooden dragon from the 1670’s.[8] Note the long neck and tail.
A Hungarian stove tile from the 15th century.[9] Note the head crest.
“Moses and the Brazen Serpent” – an illustration in a 15th century Bible Historiale.[10] Note the large bat-like wings.
An Anasazi Indian prayer stick.[11]
The above images look like pterosaurs.

The men who made them were familiar with these creatures. The artists either saw pterosaurs themselves, or they communicated with people who had seen them.


In Papua New Guinea, there are many eyewitness accounts of giant pterosaurs. Both Westerners and Natives have seen them.

They have also been seen on Umboi Island. That’s a small volcanic island just northeast of Papua New Guinea.  On Umboi, the Natives refer to the flying reptiles as “ropens.”[12]

Some of the Natives had close encounters with them. One example: seven local boys on Umboi Island. In 1994, they climbed up to Lake Pung, just north of their village. Within minutes, a huge ropen flew right over the boys. Terrified, they ran home.[13]

One of these boys was Gideon Koro. In 2004, the American investigator Jonathan Whitcomb interviewed him. Gideon described the reptile he had seen at Lake Pung. He estimated its wingspan at 7 meters (23 feet).[14] It had bumps along its neck and back.

It also had a long tail. The reptile’s tail ended with a “diamond” (Gideon’s word).[15]

Westerners have seen the same animal. During the Second World War, a U.S. Army soldier had a close encounter with a ropen. His name was Duane Hodgkinson.

In 1944, he was stationed in eastern New Guinea. He and his buddy were hiking along a jungle trail. Around noon, they entered a clearing. Suddenly, the two men startled a giant creature. It flew into the air.

At first, they thought it was a large bird. They quickly realized otherwise. According to Mr. Hodgkinson, the animal was the size of a small airplane and looked like a pterodactyl. It had a long neck and a head crest.[16] [17]

In summary, there is strong evidence that flying reptiles never died out. They are a thriving species on the islands of the Southwest Pacific.

Lake Pung on Umboi Island. In 1994, seven local boys saw a giant ropen fly over this lake.[18]
Gideon Koro in 2004. Ten years earlier, he was one of the boys who saw the ropen at Lake Pung.[19]
Duane Hodgkinson in 2004. Sixty years earlier, as a U.S. Army soldier in New Guinea, he had a close encounter with a huge pterosaur.[20]

In his 17th Century book Mundus Subterraneus, Father Athanasius Kircher described a flying dragon in Switzerland. (See Section 5). This creature was “brightly glowing.”

These words segue to modern sightings. There is evidence that the pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea are bioluminescent.

Much of this evidence comes from the Natives. According to villagers, the ropens emit powerful flashes of light. They release these flashes while flying at night.

Additionally, the lights come from under the wings. They last 5 to 6 seconds.[21]

Western visitors have seen these flashes. Take for example, David Woetzel. In 2004, Mr. Woetzel was on an expedition to Umboi Island. He was near Mt. Tolou, where villagers had often spotted flying reptiles. On the night of October 27, he saw a large yellow light in the sky. He writes:

That night about 9:00, I saw a spine-tingling sight—a glowing object passing low on the horizon from the direction of Mt. Barik and disappearing behind Mt. Tolou. . . . It was a large, yellowish glow approximately 20-25% the size of the full moon from a distance of about five kilometers. . . . The whole sighting lasted for only a few seconds, too brief to photograph it.[22]

In conclusion, many eyewitnesses claim that the ropens of Papua New Guinea emit bright flashes of light. Their testimony suggests that the creatures are bioluminescent.

Ropen investigator David Woetzel (left) on an expedition to Umboi Island. In 2004, he saw a bright light fly between two mountains.[23]
Paul Nation, an American ropen investigator. In 2006, while in a village in Papua New Guinea, he videotaped two lights as they flew overhead.[24]
A still photo of the ropen lights which Paul Nation videotaped. According to a computer image analysis, these lights were not hoaxes, comets, or fires.[25]
A still photo of the ropen lights which Paul Nation videotaped. According to a computer image analysis, these lights were not hoaxes, comets, or fires.


For the last 6000 years -- since the creation week of Genesis -- pterosaurs have lived with us.

People have seen them throughout history. Pterosaur-eyewitnesses have left us with written accounts, oral stories, and works of art. These records are evidence of our co-existence with flying reptiles.

Paul B. Haller

[1] “Saharan Horned Viper” and “Indian Saw-Scaled Viper,” Animalia,

[2] “The Fiery Flying Serpent,” Genesis Park,

[3] “Herodotus, Book 2, Chapters 1-98,” Bill Thayer’s Website,*.html (See Chapter 75)

[4] “Herodotus, Book 3, Chapters 89-117,” Bill Thayer’s Website,*.html (See Chapter 107)

[5] Silius Italica, “Punica (The Second Carthaginian War), Book XV,” Poetry Translation Centre, (Select “Book XV:121-148 Scipio’s Choice and an Omen”)

[6] “Scipio Africanus,” Britannica.Com,

[7] “Athanasius Kircher's Natural History of Dragons,” Christian Latin Blog, 26 August 2008, (Scroll down past the halfway point)

[8] “Ancient Pterosaur Depictions,” Genesis Park,

[9] Ibid.

[10] “The Brazen Serpent,” Ad Imaginem Dei,

[11] “Ancient Pterosaur Depictions,” Genesis Park,

[12] “Ropen,” Creation Wiki,

[13] “Lake Pung on Umboi Island,” Pterosaurs Still Living,

[14] Ibid.

[15] “Gideon Koro’s Interview in 2004,” Pterosaurs Still Living,

[16] “The Ropen of Papua New Guinea,” Genesis Park,

[17] “Ropens: Long-tailed Nocturnal Pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea,” Ropens.Com,

[18] “Lake Pung on Umboi Island,” Pterosaurs Still Living,

[19] “Gideon Koro’s Interview in 2004,” Pterosaurs Still Living,

[20] “Ropens: Long-tailed Nocturnal Pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea,” Ropens.Com,

[21] “Ropen Bioluminescence,” Ropens.Com,

[22] “The Fiery Flying Serpent,” Genesis Park,  (Scroll down two-thirds  of the way)

[23] “Woetzel-Guessman Expedition,” Pterosaurs Still Living,

[24]Pterosaurs Still Living,


Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button