Mysterious Marfa Lights
According to Jonathan Whitcomb, a cryptozoology
author in Long Beach, California, when one of the
bioluminescent predators has been glowing for
awhile, usually at low altitude, it will be joined by
another of its kind, which will then turn on its own
glow. After insects have been attracted to that area,
the two creatures will separate, which appears to
distant human observers to be one light splitting
into two. The predators will fly away from each
other for some distance, then turn back and fly
together. During the separation, bats may begin
feeding on the concentration of insects before being
caught from two sides by the larger predators.
Sometimes the lights will fly in different ways, but
that may be from using a different technique to
hunt a different prey, or to hunt those same bats
Whitcomb was a forensic videographer, in 2004,
when he explored a remote tropical island in Papua
New Guinea, hoping to videotape the glowing
nocturnal "ropen," said to be a large flying predator
and scavenger. Although he failed to see the
creature, he interviewed many natives, who
impressed him with their credibility and amazed him
with their accounts of what they had seen.
Whitcomb became convinced that the ropen is a
pterosaur, commonly called by Americans
"pterodactyl" or even "flying dinosaur."
Copyright 2011, 2012, 2013 Jonathan David Whitcomb
Unmasking a Flying Predator in Texas
This revised version of the late-2010 press release
includes updated contact information and newer
ideas about a strange old phenomenon in SW Texas.
For untold generations, the mystery lights of Marfa,
Texas, have entertained many residents with their
strange dancing. They now entertain visitors at the
Marfa Lights Viewing Park, east of town.
On some warmer nights, a ball of light seems to
split into two, which will separate and fly away from
each other before turning around and flying back
together. They have recently been linked to flying
lights in the southwest Pacific, north of Australia,
lights that natives of Papua New Guinea testify are
made by large flying creatures. Local names for
those creatures include “ropen,” “seklo-bali,”
“duwas,” “kor,” “wawanar,” and “indava.”
In southwest Texas, local residents have speculated
about dancing devils or ghosts. Scientists have
preferred something along the lines of ball lightning
or earthlights, nevertheless all apparently scientific
explanations have tripped over the resemblances to
line dancing. If atmospheric energies or tectonic
stresses cause the displays, why do two lights
horizontally separate for a long distance before
turning around and flying back together?
Now a cryptozoologist from California has explained
the dancing lights of Marfa. Tales of spooks may
hold a spark of truth, for recent research implies
intelligence directs the lights: Bioluminescent flying
predators may be hunting at night, sometimes
catching unlucky Big Brown Bats: Eptesicus fuscus.
After returning to the United States, he wrote many
web pages about the concept of modern living
pterosaurs in the southwest Pacific. How he was
surprised at the response! Many emails and phone
calls began coming in from many eyewitnesses of
apparent pterosaurs in the United States.
He analyzed the eyewitness accounts of those flying
creatures and wrote a nonfiction book: "Live
Pterosaurs in America." The second edition of that
cryptozoology book has just been published (ISBN
13 as follows: 9781456341350).
Although Whitcomb admits that Marfa Lights may
come from an unknown bioluminescent bird or bat,
he says, "It is more likely than not from a creature
similar to the ropen of Papua New Guinea, and my
associates and I are sure about the ropen: It is a
Analysis, by a missile defense physicist, of the two lights
videotaped in Papua New Guinea by Paul Nation in 2006
Why Fight Light?