Eyewitness Fear

On pages 23 of my non-fiction book Live Pterosaurs in America, the eyewitness DF (anonymous) said, “The threat felt from this thing is what bothers me the most. Once . . . I encountered a cougar . . . That did not scare me. This thing did.” She is not alone.

In late 2004, I interviewed three eyewitnesses in a remote village near Lake Pung (Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea). Gideon Koro, and his brother Wesley, appeared calm during their interviews; they admitted that they were afraid during their sighting (they were with friends, including Mesa Augustin, at Lake Pung). Mesa, however, stood almost petrified as I videotaped and questioned him. I came to realize that he was still frightened, ten years after his encounter with the ropen.

But for most eyewitnesses of pterosaurs (or apparent pterosaurs) in the United States, the fear is not of the creature: People fear ridicule, for observing a living pterosaur, in our culture, is taboo. That makes the investigations challenging for me and my associates who interview eyewitnesses.

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About Jonathan Whitcomb

I'm a passionate investigator of reports of living pterosaurs throughout the world. I explored part of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, in 2004, interviewing many natives who had seen the ropen.
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One Response to Eyewitness Fear

  1. One notable exception to eyewitness fear is the psychologist Brian Hennessy. He describes a large flying creature that he saw on Bougainville Island, in 1971. Mr. Hennessy (who works in a medical university in China) has no fear of ridicule and has allowed his real name to be used in publications about living-pterosaur investigations.

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