Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 14th, 2009
Bill Gibbons sends along information about two active 2009 MonsterQuest expeditions.
The wingspan (“W”) is said to be 29-30 feet.
Image: Jonathan Whitcomb, Searching for Ropens.
First, here is news about the Garth Guessman/MonsterQuest Ropen quest:
On February 5th, 2009, Garth [Guessman] landed in Singapore and missed his connecting flight to PNG. The flight left without him.
Evidently Air Niugini (PNG’s airline) failed to transfer the pre-arranged ticket information from PNG to his connecting flight to Singapore. To make matters worse, Garth suddenly found that his credit cards didn’t work in Singapore due to some sort of restriction with his bank, so he couldn’t pay an extra charge that would have allowed him to continue on his way. The next flight to PNG wasn’t scheduled to leave until February 12th.
Just as the MonsterQuest staff in the US were about to tear out their hair in an effort to untangle Garth’s ruined travel itinerary, a lady with Air Niugini felt so bad that she had messed up Garth’s flight arrangements, she managed to fly him out on the 6th via Manila in the Philippines. That’s a pretty long diversion! Happily, Garth landed safely in PNG on the 7th. He purchased all his supplies was on his way deep in the target area. This is a preliminary visit to prepare the people for the MonsterQuest crew that arrived in PNG on the 10th. They are now deep in the bush, in a location where the Ropens are seen almost daily.
Interestingly, many native people in this specific location fear the Ropen because of its strong association with sorcery/witchcraft. They see it as a were-animal: like a were-wolf. They believe witches transform themselves into the creatures. A few months ago some villagers in an undisclosed “target area” claimed to have caught a small Ropen that lived in a high hollow of a tree. They cut the tree down and captured it after the fall. They put it in a cane cage (tied together with vines). However, According to the natives, it chewed its way out overnight. Daytime sighting are common, and the creatures are regularly seen flying around in pairs, sometimes three together. Let’s hope and pray that the MonsterQuest ream will return with some vital film footage.
Image by Bill Munns.
If the Ropen news wasn’t enough, Bill Gibbons shares information about the forthcoming Mokele-mbembe expedition:
Here is some more breaking news: White Wolf Productions/MonsterQuest are shooting a documentary on Mokele-mbembe on location in Cameroon, near the border with the Republic of the Congo. They have asked me to go along, and have also chosen my fellow team mate, Ron Mullin, who has already participated in two ‘MM’ expeditions. It will be an all expenses paid trip involving Pierre Sima, who will arrange for our government documents, transportation, and pygmy trackers.
I have decided to participate, in order to ensure a measure of accuracy regarding their information on Mokele-mbembe. Depending on how quickly we can acquire our visas, it looks like departure [soon], with a two-week stay to film in a few good locations.
Regarding my new book, On The Track of Mokele-Mbembe – Africa’s Living Dinosaur, the finishing touches to the editing are underway (thanks to Rob Mullin), and a [first-half?] 2009 release is now almost certain from Coachwhip Publications.