Breaking Ropen & Mokele-Mbembe Expedition News

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.

brachiosaurus trunk

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.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

11 Responses to “Breaking Ropen & Mokele-Mbembe Expedition News”

  1. Dj Plasmic Nebula responds:

    that’s great. 🙂 i feel hope on this one

  2. cmgrace responds:

    I’m interested to see what the show offers on these subjects.

  3. Aztec Raptor responds:

    This is very cool!! I have hope for this one!! also, I hope they try to investigate other african-dino cryptids!

  4. springheeledjack responds:

    Alright, let’s see what we get…

    The upshot is, if MQ actually does get something some day, it will go a long way toward helping the cryptid front…on the other hand if they keep coming up goose eggs, it will give us plenty to blog about…

  5. loyalfromlondon responds:

    “Apparently, native guides took someone to a lair in the river bank, but jettisoned when they started to hear something.”

    That just doesn’t make any sense. Why leave?

  6. Scott C. responds:

    I’m very optimistic about this one.

    When Gibbons last left the Congo and Cameroon, they felt confident that they had tracked the Mokele’s relatively predictable migration behavior.

    Meanwhile, native guides took someone to a lair in the river bank, but jettisoned when they started to hear something.

    The weakest link on this chain is the MonsterQuest team. If they would just turn Gibbons loose to do his thing, we might get some very exciting news. But, with them dragging him down… I dunno.

    The Ropen expedition sounds promising too. Woetzel and Whitcomb have been tantalizingly close in the past… who knows, maybe things will pan out this time?

    With sightings as sure and regular as they are in some areas of PNG, it’s just a matter of time and money.

  7. Ceroill responds:

    loyal- for the expedition folk: Time. Their budget probably only allows them a certain time frame to work in, and when their time is up they have to go. For the locals: Probably fear.

  8. cryptidsrus responds:

    I heartily wish the MQ expedition the best of luck in their endeavour. Hopefully, they will find the “smoking gun” (i.e., the Ropen). If not—still love the show!!!

  9. stranger responds:

    Keeping fingers AND toes crossed for Ropen photos! They should be the easier to get since they are airborne and can be snapped from a distance. Could you imagine how earth-shattering big that would be?

  10. cliffhanger042002 responds:

    They said “Daytime sighting are common, and the creatures are regularly seen flying around in pairs, sometimes three together”.

    If that is the case, and sightings are common, then why don’t we have photos/video evidence already when you consider this isn’t the first expedition to PNG looking for Ropen??

  11. LvngstoneJS5 responds:

    Thanks Bill! Someday both of these cretures will be found, and evolution will be proclaimed false!

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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