Flying pterosaur (Ropen) sighting in 2007 by cryptid researcher Rex Yapi

On a Saturday morning in 2007, Rex and his younger brother Amos Yapi together with other Umboi island family boarded an outboard motor boat.

They left Kapiton coastline and rode slowly along coastline waters down south, enroute Masikel Bay to Bunsil government station.

The morning was so dull with immense cloud cover over the  tropical coastal forest with mist covering the entire sea.

At Misikel Bay there flows a river called Goosh. The mouth of Goosh river is rare, whereby by coastline is decorated by redish clay, and this is the entry and exit point of a mysterious mighty flying pterosaur which is known as ropen to many natives of Umboi island.

We approached this hotspot which I never knew but the locals on board the boat did. There in the midst of misty and calm sea about 200 meters, I could see a long tail of a creature afloat. It has a diamond shaped edge, brownish, scaleless and even featherless. It's body could not be seen due to heavy cloud cover and misty sea surface, and was submerged within shallow reef waters.
I pointed towards the scene and said, "Look, there's something floating!"

An elderly guy on board who was also the boat owner got up and said, "Papa graun." In Papua New Guinea Tok Pisin language 'papa graun' mean s landlord. So Ropen is highly feared and even respected as a noble animal by the entire Umboi island natives. He told his son to switch off the motor of the boat which he was steering, in fear of its sound being heard by the Ropen.
Also in Umboi, meeting a Ropen is a scary and highly risky thing to do because this animal is a predator and is huge enough to kill a human being. On the other end, locals there tie this creature and its existence to superstitious beliefs.

For almost half an hour we sat afloat inside the boat in silence until the Ropen got out of our sight in the midst of cloud and mist cover. Later we proceeded on when all shadows got cleared.

What an encounter to meet a friendly and mighty flying pterosaur on that day. I wish I had a camera that time to take a shot or even film it.

Meeting American cryptozoological minds

I returned back to Lae city after being on Umboi island for several months for a second semester studies at the Papua New Guinea University of Technology. With me, my younger brother Amos Yapi boarded a cargo ship called MV Umboi for Lae.

Back at the university campus I went online and searched for Ropen website and read about previous cryptid-minded American explorers who searched for this pterodactyl in 2005 and some earlier years.

There were couple of them but I got hold on to a specific guy named Johnathan David Whitcomb who aggressively studied this flying pterosaur of Umboi and started a crypto group called 'Living Pterosaurs of the World' (LPW).

I communicated with him online. He asked me several questions and I answered all correctly. Johnathan knew that I was a genuine living eyewitness so added me into the LPW as an elite group member.

In 2008 I asked Johnathan for equipment support like cameras, laptop and other things purposely to start a filming expedition. Unfortunately, he never listened to my request, so our communications regarding the cryptid Ropen went into hibernation, but the global LPW members were constantly updating and communicating on Ropen sightings.

In 2016, after eight years in total isolation in the crytid discussions, I surfaced.

Rex Yapi on expedition

A guy by the name of Greg Hedger, a computer wizard turned crypto fanatic from Idaho-USA, bumped onto me and asked of my sighting. I gave him a full account of my sighting and without hesitation he sent me his only Panasonic Full HD camcorder from Australia where he and his wife Elizabeth were working that time.
Greg Hedger also launched my GoFundMe titled 'Film the Ropen'. He also designed my website called to sell handcrafts to support Ropen research in Papua New Guinea. (Unfortunately, the GoFundMe is dormant and website can't generate funds due to Paypal services restriction to receive payments in Papua New Guinea.)
Despite the above setbacks, I carried out a full scale filming expedition of flying pterosaur in Umboi island with the $5000 plus raised by my GoFundMe. This amount only sustained me in 2017, but other proceeding years like 2018 and 2019 are have been on hadhoc basis.

Rex Yapi in black shorts with a button shirt, twigs on cap and bush knife.

Today, I am surviving on the Panasonic camcorder of Greg which is faced by many technical issues.

Rex Yapi on expedition with his only camcorder supporting his research into the flying pterosaur now in its third year

Ropen sightings all around Umboi island and Papua New Guinea is currently high. I need a constant support in money, camcorders, flying drone cameras, GoPro, stealth trail cameras, night vision scopes, GPS and other devices to launch a massive filming expedition extensively nationwide.

To contact Rex Yapi, please use source link below. If you have been an eyewitness to the Ropen please also contact Nexus Magazine.


By Rex Yapi / Cryptid Researcher in Papua New Guinea

Rex originally born as Yapiri, hails from a small hillside hamlet called Kumiane in Pangia District of Southern Highlands Province in Papua New Guinea of southwest Pacific.
Rex has an hereditary polygamous family roots and he's one of a 12 Yapi siblings. He is the 4th born of his mother Yomba, who is the first wife of dad Yapi.

Rex Yapiri Yapi grew up in a poverty ridden family, but of chieftainship bloodline in which his grand dad Epei Kokoro was a paramount chief. Later Yapi took over his reigns as tribal chief of entire Mele tribe, which dwells at the southern foot of Mt.Ialibu in Wiru valley, Pangia.

Rex's father Yapi Epei was elected as Village Councillor since 1960s till 2012. He worked as a law enforcing agent in the third tier government which is Local Level Government of East Pangia constituency during the Australian colonial era, and laid down very disciplined ways of doing things, which most people believe him as an humble, honest and true patriotic tribal chief and civil servant, even today.

In 2007 Rex had a sighting of the Ropen at the mouth of Goosh River. Since this time Rex has used his limited resources for expeditions to film the flying pterosaur.

To support this mission please see the website New Guinea Handicrafts at the source link below.

(Source:; May 16, 2019;
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