Living Pterosaurs Newsletter 15- MonsterQuest Flying Monsters

Posted by Chris Parker
Jul 11 2009

July 9, 2009

Living Pterosaurs newsletter 015
By Jonathan Whitcomb

To living-pterosaur investigators and to those interested in live “pterodactyls”
MonsterQuest “Flying Monsters” Broadcast
Scientific Paper Published (Whitcomb)
New Book Nearly Ready For Sale (
MonsterQuest “Flying Monsters” on television

The June 3rd show on the History Channel was interesting to me: Never before had I watched four of my friends on television in one night. I was gratified: It introduced many American television viewers to the concept of living pterosaurs. But some things could have been better, for it seemed to emphasize standard-model dogma above eyewitness accounts.

Garth Guessman was a key expedition member with the MonsterQuest team. On New Britain Island, Papua New Guinea, they gathered what I believe was the largest group of natives ever to assist an expedition trek to seek a living pterosaur (here, it is not called “ropen”); even a child or two was carrying luggage. Garth stayed up the first night, while the MonsterQuest team members slept.

Unfortunately the one major sighting was that night, with Garth the only Western eyewitness. And that important sighting was not disclosed in the show.

For those who saw that show, I hope they’ll all eventually come to know details like this: The two camp fires observed far off, that first night (“unknown lights” that were discovered to be camp fires in the morning), were unrelated to the strange light that Garth had seen while the other explorers were
sleeping. That detail was left out of the show, with no hint that anything strange had been observed during the expedition.

Photo:Left to right: Whitcomb, Woetzel, Garthman and Paiva

In addition, this MonsterQuest episode put great stress on the idea that pterosaur sightings in Papau New Guinea may be from misidentifications of bats. That idea is now very outdated: Fruit-bat-explanation was long ago shot down.

The producers or writers appeared to have decided ahead of time that pterosaurs are extinct. The expedition to Papua New Guinea was for making an entertaining television show, not for making a serious scientific investigation.

Aside from those problems, there were a few brief interview clips favoring the idea of extant pterosaurs; this balanced the major opinion emphasized by the show: extinction. Nevertheless, they did show some balance.

To their credit, the show included bits of interviews with the explorers Garth Guessman and Paul Nation, and with the eyewitness Duane Hodgkinson and with the physicist Cliff Paiva. Without those four persons, the show would probably have been a sham; with them, it was fascinating.

For more information:

Ropen or Flying Monster?

I devoted six pages of my new book (in the appendix) to this MonserQuest episode. (“Live Pterosaurs in
America,” nonfiction – see the end of this newsletter)

Scientific Paper Published in the CRSQ Journal
“Reports of Living Pterosaurs in the Southwest Pacific”

The Creation Research Society Quarterly, Volume 45, Number 3 (Winter 2009) included my article on apparent living Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea. This is not the first time something on this subject has been published in a peer-reviewed scientific journal; I know of one other paper written on this (by Mr. David Woetzel, in 2006: “The Fiery Flying Serpent”).

For those who have read the second edition of my book “Searching for Ropens,” my article gives few surprises. But it does include details not present in the book, in particular regarding Hodgkinson’s 1944 sighting. Also, there are several tables that allow quick referencing of sightings and expeditions (also not present in my book). Unfortunately, those who are not members of the Creation Research Society do not have access to most of the articles; but membership is not expensive.

For more information:

Science & Live Pterosaurs
NEW BOOK: “Live Pterosaurs in America”

Much shorter than my previous book (SFR), at 102 pages of content, it still packs many eyewitness accounts, the vast majority of which have never before been published. The approach differs from SFR, in that it is primarity a cryptozoological book rather than a spiritual-religious-cryptozoological one. Nevertheless, part of the appendix deals with the creationist aspects of the investigations, without which there would not have been any expeditions and therefore nobody who would have reported their eyewitness accounts to me.

In the last newsletter, many paragraphs described one aspect of the American eyewitness accounts regarding the elimination of the hoax-explanation. Since then, while continuing to write the book, I found two more aspects of the overall testimonies that disprove that a hoax or hoaxes played any significant part in those accounts. All three methods are explained in the book.

At $12.50, the nonfiction will be available on Amazon, but not on many other sites. It should be ready for ordering sometime between July 11th and August 7th, depending on potential last-minute correctioins [make that "corrections"].

For now, see:

Live Pterosaurs in America – Excerpts from the book
Book: Live Pterosaurs in America

Live Pterosaurs in America – the book by Jonathan Whitcomb

LPA – The Book

The archive of the previous newsletter (014), Which includes “Elimination of Hoax-Explanation,” is found at:
Back issues of the first eight issues of this newsletter are at:


Thank you for your interest in living pterosaurs.
Jonathan Whitcomb

One Response

  1. Administrator says:

    From Dan Moore:

    Chris–What’s with the the “Comments”?

    I’ve noticed a tendency on Monster Quest to wimp out or gloss over relevant details. I guess they stimulate curiosity but they should go for blood sometimes.

    Wish there was a Christian cryptobiology show out there! By the way, don’t birds have three-chambered hearts? Or have I messed up my zoology?–Dan Moore

    From s8intcom:

    I’m a bit afraid to re enable comments since the last time the site went down it had something to do with an “illegal mix of fonts”or something like that related to the fonts in the database related to comments.

    I may give it another try soon.

    I believe that birds have four-chambered hearts. Help me out, what are you referencing?

    Re: Monster Quest: I think MQ was careful not to call any of their on-air interviewees–”creationists”, which is another way that they “wimped out”.


You must be logged in to post a comment.

Trackback URL for this entry