A lady in Lakewood, California, saw a “dragon pteradactal” in the middle of the day, on June 19, 2012, only about twenty feet away. She was shocked to see it but she also accidentally frightened the creature. It flew away but not before revealing to the eyewitness a featherless appearance and a long tail with a strange appendage at the end. The cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb interviewed her and her husband late in June and found that the descriptions did not add up to any Frigate Bird.
The cryptozoologist Garth Guessman asked Whitcomb about the possibility that the long tail was actually the legs held back in flight. Whitcomb interviewed the couple again and the lady was sure that it was a tail. She actually observed the creature as it was perched on a telephone line just above her head, and the tail was held back behind the creature as it was sitting.
She also told Whitcomb that the structure at the end of the tail was horizontally oriented, leading the cryptozoologist to conclude that it helped the creature to easily control pitch. He is convinced that this flying creature seen in Lakewood, Calfornia, was a ropen, although not necessarily of the same species as the ropen of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea. At the time the lady reported the orientation of the tail vane, few Americans were aware of Patty Carson’s report, to Whitcomb, that she was positive about the orientation of the tail flange in the “Gitmo Pterosaur.”
Shape of the tail vane chosen by the eyewitness
More than once, the eyewitness told Whitcomb that the end of the tail reminded her of the tail of a “dragon.” The cryptozoologist had encountered that word before, in reports of modern pterosaurs, also called “pterodactyls.”
About a year earlier, the lady’s husband heard and saw a large branch break down from a lemon tree next door. There was no sign that any person was in that backyard, yet something had pulled down that branch until it snapped. When Whitcomb looked across the fence, he verified that a large branch on a lemon tree was indeed broken, but he found no direct link to the sighting of the apparent ropen nearby.
A middle-aged couple were sitting in their backyard, in Lakewood, California, on June 19, 2012, at about noon, with their dog, but with no idea what was overhead on the telephone line. Soon after the man went inside the house, his wife heard a strange noise. She got up from her chair and walked out from under her gazebo.