Cryptozoology Book by William Gibbons

Many wonderful eyewitess accounts fill this cryptozoology book: Missionaries and Monsters. The cryptozoologist-explorer William J. Gibbons has done a fine job with it. I found the report of the Orang-bati (a large humanoid-like flying creature in Indonesia) particularly interesting:

In 1987, Tyson Hughes, . . . [missionary] arrived on the island of Ceram . . . [He gained] the trust of the Moluccan tribespeople. . . . [He] began to hear stories about a fearsome flying creature called the Orang-bati . . . this terrifying creature of the night is . . . up to five feet in height, and possesses huge, leathery wings . . .

Details about the pterosaur-like creatures flying in Papua New Guinea, however, I found at least somewhat outdated. Gomlongon Village (southwest of Mount Bel) is on Umboi Island, not on the mainland. In addition, “Duah” is probably a distorted version of the correct word: “duwas,” and “ropen” and “duwas” do not refer to different sizes or types of flying creatures but to different languages used by various villages and groups in Papua New Guinea.

Nevertheless, I am delighted to have my own copy of Missionaries and Monsters, for those many eyewitness reports of living dinosaurs and pterosaurs (or apparent ones: not every report need be of a genuine dinosaur or of a genuine pterosaur; it takes only one living dinosaur or one living pterosaur to disprove the universal extinction dogma) thrill the imagination.

See also Cryptozoology Books (by Whitcomb and Gerhard)

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James Blume, missionary in Papua New Guinea

James Blume, missionary in Papua New GuineaJim Blume, a plane pilot, has been a missionary in Papua New Guinea for decades. He has been more than that, however, to researchers and living-pterosaur cryptozoologists: He has been a pioneer with interviewing natives who know about the giant flying creature of the night, known by names like “ropen,” “duwas,” “seklo-bali,” and “indava.”

Blume helped interpret for several Americans during at least two expedition late in the twentieth century. At least twice, this missionary-pilot has flown explorers into remote areas where native eyewitnesses were interviewed, including the 2006 expedition (with Paul Nation and Jacob Kepas) deep in the interior of the mainland of Papua New Guinea.

He was one of two interpreters who interviewed Gideon Koro (Umboi Island, 1994) soon after the boy’s terrifying encounter with a large ropen. In 2003, I reviewed the video footage of that interview and was impressed with the credibility of the young eyewitness. That interview helped set my determination to go to Umboi Island myself, which I did in 2004; I interviewed Gideon Koro (and two of his friends who were with him during the sighting) and obtained more information about the ropen.

James Blume was an early pioneer in the ropen investigations, and his influence on living-pterosaur research has been great. Thank you, Jim, for your wonderful help with pterosaur expeditions.