It seems that the “Demon Flyer” of Papua New Guinea may have been ill-named. The word “ropen” does not actually come from a literal translation of the word “ropen,” although at least one native tradition on Umboi Island is that the nocturnal flying creature is sort of like a spirit but also sort of like a human. It seems that “ropen” actually means something more like simply “flyer.”
Interviews with native eyewitnesses, including the 2004 interview with Mesa Agustin, can reveal a fear that natives have of the ropen, but that does not necessarily mean that those eyewitnesses believe that the creature is an evil spirit or monster . . .
So in those two small areas of Papua New Guinea (villages of Umboi Island including Opai and Gomlongon, and at least one village near Wau on the mainland) the meaning of the word “ropen” differs greatly. An examination of the expedition reports from American cryptozoologists who have searched for living pterosaurs in Papua New Guinea in the 1990′s and early twenty-first century—that reveals that the Western-world usage of ”ropen” comes from the Kovai-speaking islanders of Opai and Gomlongon.
The lights observed and analyzed by Cheesman were, according to her conclusion, not from any human origin. This reminds me of investigations of Marfa Lights of Texas, where investigators like James Bunnell, Edson Hendricks, and others are convinced some strange lights are not from any car headlights.