The kongamato of Africa has been compared with the ropen of Papua New Guinea, in that similarly-described flying creatures have been associated with grave robbery. But what’s in a name? Apparent pterosaurs have various names in various countries of the world; in the United States, we sometimes hear “pterodactyl” and “dinosaur bird.” Regardless of the label an eyewitness attaches to a flying creature, let’s examine some of those encounters, worldwide, especially the kongamato and the ropen.
Kongamato of Africa
According to Wikipedia:
The Kongamato has been seen by African natives and European explorers for some time, and almost all of the accounts say it is a reddish blackish creature resembling a pterosaur. Some other people have come back with large, deep wounds that they claim to be from the Kongamato. Eyewitness accounts say the creature has teeth, leathery wings, a beak, and claws. Some British scientists and explorers have shown natives drawings of pterosaurs, and the natives were said to have a terrified reaction.
According to an account in Sudan, Africa, (I communicated with the eyewitness by email):
Walking from one mud-brick hut to another [carrying a tray of food], early one night in 1988, the boy noticed something on the roof of a nearby hut. . . . perched on the edge of the roof, the creature appeared to be four-to-five feet tall, olive brown, and leathery (no feathers). A “long bone looking thing” stuck out the back of its head, and its long tail somehow resembled that of a lion. . . . the creature stretched its wings and hopped toward another roof, passing a few feet over the boy’s head. He dropped the metal tray with dishes and the creature flew away.
What about the “flying snake” of Namibia? According to research done by the British cryptozoologist Richard Muirhead, one of these creatures “swooped down” from a cave near Kirris West . . . It left a trace of something on the ground and a burning smell.
In 2004 . . . Jonathan Whitcomb, a U.S. forensic videographer, interviewed Gideon on the remote island of Umboi in Papua New Guinea. He confirmed the reliability of the young man’s testimony that he saw a giant pterosaur-like creature when he was with several other boys years ago. There is nothing in the recent interview that would suggest any dishonesty or gross errors in what this young man reported to Whitcomb.
“. . . what he called a “pterodactyl,” in fact two flying together, when he was a boy in the city of Pagbilao, Quezon Province (not to be confused with Quezon City). . . . they have long tails about 3 to 4 meters long . . .it is not a bird: They don’t have any feathers. . . . “I saw them clearly: the SHAPE, their BAT-LIKE WINGS, a LONG NECK and . . . I dunno if it is a horn behind their heads. They have a long beak. . . . They don’t have any feathers . . .”
by Kevin Meixner
In Brampton, Ontario, Canada, while driving to work [in the morning] . . . my mother and I saw a strange bird-like creature flying low and close to the car about 20 feet away from us. . . . it didn’t look like any kind of bird I have ever seen before. . . . to my astonishment as it turned it looked exactly like a miniature pterodactyl like you see in the movies like Jurassic Park or on The Flintstones cartoons. The only difference is that it was much smaller, having a wingspan of about four feet. It was gray and did not appear to have any feathers. . . . It had a long, skinny, pointed tail extended straight behind it that had sort of a diamond shape at the tip.