Eyewitness Gideon Koro

Eyewitness Gideon Koro of Umboi Island, Papua New GuineaWhen I began interviewing Gideon Koro, I was still assuming that at least “ten or twenty” ropens live on Umboi Island. I came to explore the island to videotape at least one of the apparent-pterosaurs, but here I was, videotaping an eyewitness (Whitcomb-Kenda 2004 expedition). When my questioning got to the number of ropens that he and his six friends had seen years ago, Gideon surprised me, staring at me as if I were very ignorant: They had seen only one ropen. I resumed questioning; I’d have to figure out that puzzle later.

When I got to the tail-length of the ropen, Gideon said, “sefan meetuh.” “Seven meters?” I asked. “Yea.” Only later did I tie this length-estimate to the puzzle of the “ten or twenty” comment in an interview many years earlier. That first interview with Gideon (around 1994) involved a question about the size of the creature. When the two interviewers looked away at a nearby house (to get an idea of ropen-size), Gideon said something about “ten or twenty.” The interviewers thought that he meant the numbers of creatures. He must, however, have still been talking about size, for fifteen meters (the medium of ten and twenty) is roughly similar to the length of a ropen that has a tail length of seven meters.

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2 thoughts on “Eyewitness Gideon Koro

  1. Pingback: Are the ropens always nocturnal? « Live Pterosaur

  2. Please note that my guides and I surprised Gideon when we arrived at their village on Umboi Island in 2004. The young man was not expecting anybody to interview him. He was very credible, answering my quesitons consistantly with his facial expressions.

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