Something of this has been covered in a previous post, but this historic expedition (searching for a living pterosaur) deserves more attention. I feel greatly privileged to have been able to interview Paul Nation soon after his return from Papua New Guinea, late in 2006. Here is an excerpt from the page “Live Pterosaur Expedition of 2006.”
Paul’s 2006 living-pterosaur expedition was the first one to the remote mountainous interior of New Guinea, but it was not his first expedition in Papua New Guinea. He had searched for ropens . . . on Umboi Island twice before, but 2006 was the first year that he had seen the bioluminescent creatures himself. And he seems to be the first American to have brought back any photographic or video evidence for the existence of the amazing pterosaur or pterosaur-like creature that natives call “ropen,” and “indava.”
On one night, after several sightings over several nights, near Tawa Village, he videotaped two indava lights just before they flew up from a ridge above the village. During videotaping, one light slowly turned off but the other continued glowing for a few more seconds.
Although Paul Nation himself did not see any clear image of the pterosaurs (the glow at night was too intense to allow discerning what created the glow), his assistant, Jacob Kepas, did observe one of the creatures in daylight, as it was sleeping on or near a cliff or ridge. Its wings were wrapped up or curled up.