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.