fake footage of the ropen and how it somehow glorifies god

I had no idea, until just now, that the worlds of cryptozoology and evangelical Christianity overlapped at all. Apparently they do though. According to the accounts I’ve been reading this evening, there exists a small band of biblical literalists who are presently stalking a long-tailed pterosaur they refer to as a ropen through Papua New Guinea. One of them, just a few days ago, posted what he claims to be archival footage of the creature to YouTube. The man’s name is David Woetzel (photo to the right), and he says he recently acquired the grainy 80 year old clip from an unnamed source. Here’s a quote from Woetzel:

There is no information other than a date on the film tin that was shown to me and the person who gave me DVD of the film said it was taken on one of the last expeditions to Papua by the Australian Geologist Evan Richard Stanley. I think that the Australian fellow who copied the film for me had to come into its possession by questionable methods because it was being kept from the public.

Respected cryptozoologist Loren Coleman seems certain that that the clip is a hoax, but Woetzel appears to believe it. Furthermore, he seems to believe that the existence of the ropen in modern times somehow proves Darwinian evolution wrong. I suspect, according to his reasoning, if a prehistoric animal was alive in 1920, or today, it would invalidate Darwin’s claim that dinosaurs walked the earth millions of years before man. Woetzel and his fellow “researchers” could point to the ropen and say, “See, men and dinosaurs did walk the earth together.” I’m having trouble seeing the logic though. Just because one kind of “prehistoric” creature is still alive — if it’s true – how does that prove the earth isn’t 65 million years old? Isn’t it possible that such a creature could be a relative of a prehistoric flying reptile, the same way that alligators are direct descendants of prehistoric animals not too dissimilar?

I just hope that Woetzel wasn’t taken for too much money… I suspect, however, that he was. You have to admit that it would be a pretty ingenious con – to create footage showing a prehistoric beast that, if believed to be authentic, would somehow debunk Darwin, and then offer it to the perhaps well-meaning but way too-eager-to-believe followers Dr. Dino. It would make a good film. I feel bad for these folks and their desperate attempt to make sense of a world that just doesn’t correspond to what the Bible tells them, but it’s really fascinating stuff.

And I’m sorry if this bores some of you, but I felt obligated to at least mention it. It is, after all, Defeat Darwin Month.

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17 Comments

  1. Tbor
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 10:52 am | Permalink

    That guy once gave me a cow in exchange for a sack of “magic beans”.

  2. Chelsea
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    Actually, some prehistoric creatures are still here: crocodiles, Kmodo Dragons. But, as you say, so what?

  3. egpenet
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Many of the truly pre-historic critters I’ve met in my lifetime have college degrees from Bob Jones University.

    Also … if he can find two ropen (ropii) then he could send them to the Dutch guy that built the Ark replica.

    (Whew! What a waste of a life!)

  4. egpenet
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Actually, the more I look at his face, I get the impression he could easily chain his lab doors shut and start shooting. Yikes!

  5. Ol' E Cross
    Posted September 17, 2007 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    You don’t get it? If there was a dinosaur alive 80 years ago, that means that there were dinosaur’s on Noah’s Ark during the flood, which proves that there was a world-wide flood, which proves the Bible is true!!!

  6. dan
    Posted September 18, 2007 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    That video is as convincing as the photos of Nessie and the film of Bigfoot. Nice work anti-Darwinists! Winsor McCay’s Gertie the Dinosaur animations are more convincing than this.

  7. maryd
    Posted September 19, 2007 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Meet the Flintstones, yes the Flintstones. the modern stone age family…Someday maybe Fred will win the fight, and the CAT will stay out for the night…

  8. Posted September 19, 2007 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    That dude sure is a handsome devil, isn’t he?

  9. Posted October 20, 2007 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Mark,

    YOu have fallen for a spoof. Someone created a YouTube account with my name and posted an absurd hoax video. (Maybe one of your evolutionary buddies?) Anyway, I do have pictures (no videos) of the creature we saw in PNG. But they aren’t something that anyone would find convincing. We are actively trying to capture a living pterosaur…leaving again on Monday.

    Regards,
    Dave
    http://www.genesispark.org

  10. mark
    Posted October 20, 2007 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the note, Dave. As I’m planning to write an update to the story, I’ll be sure to mention that you say you weren’t involved with the video.

  11. Robert
    Posted October 23, 2007 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    Take a good camera with you this time , Dave.

  12. Posted November 6, 2007 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    I am representing the real Mr. Woetzel (whose photograph you have displayed here) regarding the YouTube incident. Mr. Woetzel and I have not communicated specifically about this display of his photograph here, but I think he would appreciate it if it were removed from any text that refers to what is apparently a hoax that has been improperly (if not illegally) associated with his name. Thank you.

  13. Posted November 15, 2007 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    As of November 15, 2007, that YouTube video was removed and the person who claimed to be “David Woetzel” was kicked out of the YouTube community.

    I don’t know what his real name is, but his actions (without communicating with the real David Woetzel) violated at least one of the terms of the YouTube community agreement.

  14. Posted November 15, 2007 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

    Let it be clear that the real David Woetzel whose photograph is (or was) shown above had nothing to do with that deleted video.

  15. austin
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 1:32 am | Permalink

    Let me ask one question. If animals evolve over millions of years, why is it that the coelacanth was discovered as a still living animal EXACTLY as it was in the fossil record? Surely after 650 million billion years, SOMETHING had to have changed?

  16. Dirtgrain
    Posted June 17, 2008 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    They have 650 million billion year-old fossils? Holy crap. “Surely” is an assumption?

  17. Adam
    Posted October 9, 2008 at 1:34 am | Permalink

    Of course it’s an assumption. Everybody uses assumptions. The whole evolutionary model is built around quite a few of them.

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