2017 Finschhafen, Papua New Guinea 5th Expedition

Papua New Guinea 2017 – 5th Expedition

I was heading to Wau, Papua New Guinea to install a rudder on the Cessna 185 airplane that missionary Jim Blume owns. Jim had helped with the transportation on two of my expeditions (2006 and 2007) into the Tawa area of Papua New Guinea. It was here in this area of Tawa, actually Bianu Vilage, I saw and recorded the bio-luminescence of the flying creature the locals there called Indava Bird.

Since I was to be in Papua New Guinea already it seemed natural for me to stay a couple of extra weeks to do more continuing research into this creature known by many names, Ropen, Duah, Dewas, Wawanar, Sekleo Bali, and many others.

Knowing I was not in any way in the physical condition necessary to hike the rugged trail from Tawa to Bainu Village I started to look into what would be a suitable area to research. In 1944 Duane Hodgekinson had an experience which started all this research into a possible living pterosaur, when he saw his sighting around the village of Finschhafen just after the end of WWII. Then in 2005 Casey W. had what I call a night time incident (read these and others reports at www. Indavabird.com ) also just outside of Finschhafen, Papua New Guinea.

Finschhafen was only about 70 miles from the major city of Lae. No roads and there is no longer any reliable scheduled ferry going to Finschhafen as there was in 1994 and 2002 when I traveled to Umboi Island. So I went to Voco Point in Lae and found a speed boat which was going to Finschhafen. Paid my 100 kina and waited another four hours till the speed boat had enough paying passengers who were all going to Finschhafen. I found out that a speed boat is just a banana boat with a bigger engine making it go faster.

The 70 miles by speed boat only took three and a half hours of wave pounding sitting on the bottom of the banana boat. Arriving in Finschhafen I found a guesthouse to stay for a couple of days. I had planned on traveling up the coast making inquires and hopefully reach Sialum Station. However torrential rains had made the one road to Sialum impassible in several spots so I had to satisfy myself with other areas of investigation.

The guesthouse turned out to be a very favorable spot for me to have people find me, to relate stories and incidents to me. Normally I travel to the villages and search out eyewitnesses, etc.

I traveled to the west as far as Kwalansam Village and north up the coast road to Bobomgara River. These areas provided no new information concerning the creature I was researching. During some of my investigation I heard about possible incidents in the remote mountainous area around Pindiu which was north west of my area. The reports from Pindiu revolved around a large eagle type bird called the “Kunta”. This large bird had feathers and was shaped much like the sea eagles they were familiar with. Only the wingspan was estimated to be 10 to 12 feet, much larger than a typical sea eagle wings of 6 feet.

One evening, the policemen staying at the same guesthouse as I brought in a young woman with an injured foot. Nothing real serious but the first aid center was not open so they had her wait on the veranda where I was talking with other policemen about the creature I was looking for. As Bridgette heard the policemen talking in Pidgin english about what I had been asking them about, she said she had seen the creature just last year. The policemen quickly started telling me what she was telling them. Seems that Bridgette is from Omom, Barang Village on Umboi Island. Just last year she watched a red glow fly across the village of Omom, Barang to Mount Tanglup and land. Remember Umboi Island had a recent reported sighting of the creature flying over some loggers in daylight just back in March 2017.

Although I personally did not get any more new information, I did make about 20 very good contacts who live in very remote areas of the North Coast/Huon Peninsula. These were mainly school teachers who were flown down to Finschhafen for the national election ballot counting. These men visited with me, some more than once, and were very interested in continuing my research in the areas they live. Many had heard of the stories from the elders, but had not any new information about this creature. Mainly because they were not even aware that the possibility of such a creature still living in their area. I left my contact information with them so if anything remotely close to what I described to them is seen, they will contact me by email.

False start now to continue on.

I was in line (June 13th) at the American Airlines ticket counter ready to check in my luggage. Everything was running along smoothly.  I had arrived several hours early so I would not have any problems with the over sized box carrying the rudder. The box passed the size limits and weight limit no problem.  Then the ticket agent asked for my Australia Visa!  What! I never had gotten a visa before.  After all the checking and time wasting I missed my flight because I had no visa. Closer inspection of tickets showed that I was changing airlines in Australia, something I had not done before. Changing airlines meant I would leave the transit lounge and have to reenter through security etc. to board Air Niugini air lines. So I came back home shipped the rudder on DHL. Cost to ship a 60 pound box to Lae, PNG?  Try $1420.00!  That unexpected expense used up all my extra money for in-country expenses.  Thankfully a loyal supporter heard about this and now has supplied the necessary funds to continue the research!  Now I rescheduled my flights for June 20th.

ps. Still going to install the aircraft rudder on the bush plane first. ( I am a licensed A&P before anyone freaks out, lol)

Leaving for Papua New Guinea

Finally got the overhauled rudder for the Cessna 185 painted to match the rest of the plane.  Now have it boxed up and ready to head out and install the rudder.  Once that is accomplished and the plane is airworthy again I am planning to do more Indava Bird research.  Hopefully two weeks of researching in the area where all this first was reported by Duane Hodgekinson back in 1944.  I will be within 20 miles of Umboi Island where back in March 2017 loggers reported scaring up a creature that flew over them around noon time.   It would good to get a daylight sighting.

With my only evidence being the bioluminence video taken at night there is nothing in the way of morphology to determine the actual shape of body and wings.  I would be satisfied at this point in my research to photograph a Mega Bat, something seen in daylight!

I will report more as things develop.  I will be out of communications for almost the two weeks.

Bush plane damaged! Needs new rudder!

Jim Blume has been a vital part of the expeditions going into Papua New Guinea in search of the large flying creature called  “indava”. In fact we were told of another day light occurrence on the island of Umboi 2 months ago. Loggers appeared to have spooked one up around noon as it flew over their logging area.

Jim has been a missionary pilot flying the jungles area of the central highlands since 1969. Jim and his red and white Cessna 185 bush plane are famous for the mercy medical flights he has made when nothing else was available. In fact the first year I saw the plane tied down in the middle of the grass field and the end of the grass runway I thought ” no way can this plane survive” I was sure that “rascals”, the local name for vandals, would surely destroy the plan. However Jim told me that through all the years no trouble has occurred from the locals because the head outlaws in the area know Jim will fly them to the hospital in Lae just like he would any other medical emergency. So for all these years this has worked. Until last month someone chopped the rudder with a machete and made it unairworthy.

I am trying to raise the funding to but a replacement rudder for Jim. The current cost for the rudder I have found that will bolt right on the plane is $1700.00. I looked into making a field repair but was warned not to try as the rudder needs to in a jig to prevent any warping, as too not cause possible control flutter at high speeds.

If you would like to help with the cost you can send through to me paypal or if you need a tax receipt I can send you through my local church or send donation to the Creation Evidence Museum of Texas tagged for “Jim Blume aiplane”

Thanks for any help you might be able to give and please spread the word about this need.

Paul Nation           Jim’s plane is the red and white bush plane seen in some of the pictures on this site.


Of course if this works out I will be able to spend a couple of weeks researching a new area! I plan on handcarry  the rudder through customs and installing it. Then off to the jungle for two weeks.

Fall 2014 Research Expedition Canceled

It is with a strong disappointment that I have decided to cancel the October expedition into the jungle of Papua New Guinea.  After much effort I had to realize that I was woefully under funded, and to try an expedition would be foolhardy.  I will still continue to search for adequate funding and keep all avenues open.  I will hopefully have better funding for the next weather window is next July and August 2015.

My thanks to those who encouraged and supported me.


Paul Nation is one of the few white men some of the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea have ever seen. When native children are brought to see him, they scream in terror until they get used to him and lose their fear. That fear is justified as traditionally in parts of Papua New Guinea, adults coerce children into obeying by telling them a white man will eat them if they disobey. White skin is so unusual and out of place that one elder even asked him, “Why are you so ugly?”

Paul lives near Ft. Worth, Texas, with his wife of 34 years and two grown sons. However, his exploring wanderlust has always kicked in and drawn him out into the world looking for adventure. His mother always accused him of leaving good jobs to take up an “exciting job way out in the middle of nowhere.”

His early years included many outdoor activities which well suited him. He has always loved working with animals, including birds, dogs, cows, and horses. Because his In-laws are ranchers, this gave him many opportunities to work with and take care of many different kinds of animals.At the age of 16, Paul and five other young men canoed the Boundary Waters Canoe area in Canada for two weeks. During summer breaks while in college, he worked for a boys’ camp in Hinkley, Minnesota, teaching horseback riding and leading horse trips of up to a week into the remote Minnesota woodlands. After marriage, Paul worked as a youth camp manager near Houston, Texas, where he organized canoeing, cycling, and camping trips as well as teaching rock climbing and rappelling.

In 1976, Paul received an Associate Degree in Science in Aviation Technology from LeTourneau College, in Longview, Texas. He has a private pilot’s license and became proficient in flying acrobatically. He served as a helicopter mechanic when working on offshore oil platforms.

When a friend in West Texas caught two ostriches while trapping exotic deer for a rancher, Paul bought the two birds, and operated his own ostrich farm. In 1994, his experience with ostriches resulted in his being invited to join the first expedition to Papua New Guinea in search of the mysterious flying creature that is reportedly seen there. The expedition leader recognized that his expertise in handling ostriches would be a great asset to the group in case a live specimen of the flying creature would be found and captured. This first trip into the jungle was a scientific expedition where Paul gained much experience in the many situations that arise on such an endeavor.

After that first trip, he began organizing and leading subsequent expeditions to the jungles of Papua New Guinea. On these trips, Paul looks for empirical evidences, those that are gained by observation and experience in his search for the elusive flying creature. Once these evidences are fully documented by Paul, he will then encourage scientists with expertise in several fields to continue study of the creatures based on the foundation he has laid. Because the creature is reported by eyewitnesses to look like a huge pterosaur and exhibit bioluminescence, the discovery and documentation of the creature would generate worldwide scientific interest.

At first, Paul’s interest was sprinkled with a healthy dose of skepticism about the actual existence of this unusual flying creature. However, after only one month of exploration in the jungles of Umboi Island, Papua New Guinea, Paul became fully convinced that there actually is some kind of strange creature that the natives were actually seeing. What natives call the creatures varies among the several tribes, but the more common names are Indava Bird, Ropen, and Demon Flyer. From that time, finding and documenting this creature became a passion with Paul and he will not be satisfied until he answers the questions in his mind about the existence of this unusual creature. One of Paul’s discoveries so far is that in this lost and strange world of Papua New Guinea, almost anything is possible.

In 2009, History Channel’s MonsterQuest approached Paul to see if he would lead an expedition to Papua New Guinea to do an episode on the MonsterQuest series. Due to obligations in Iraq, Paul was unable to lead that expedition, but MonsterQuest sent a camera crew to do a two-day film shoot with Paul while he was on leave in Texas. That program aired in June 2009 as Episode 9 in Season Three.

Paul continues to teach himself skills that will be useful in the pursuit of the Indava Bird. Do the jungles of New Guinea intimidate him? Although he has contracted malaria, jungle rot and a staphylococcus infection while there, he declares that once you get used to the jungle environment, a big city feels less secure than the jungle, and the jungle becomes almost boring. Yet he does not underestimate the many dangers that explorers encounter in that environment. Much planning is required in preparation for an expedition. Caution is always the rule because if someone gets hurt, medical help is no closer than two weeks away.

Paul worked in Iraq in 2007 resupplying combat outposts on the east side of Baghdad. He drove tractor trailers on “Combat Logistic Patrols” with the Army. Every day, he drove outside the wire and completed over 300 missions. These convoys were often shot at, and some vehicles were blown up by IED’s He has had stones thrown at him and survived numerous mortar and rocket attacks. It was unusual for a civilian to go outside the wire, but to Paul, it was an adventure, especially driving through the cities and local villages. He enjoyed working with the military and drove convoys for over two and a half years.

Today, Paul is still satisfying his desire to travel and see the world by working on Camp Leatherneck Afghanistan, supporting the United States Marine Corps. His duties often require him to travel to other small and isolated bases in Afghanistan.

Paul is available for radio and television interviews and conference presentations. For information on scheduling Paul for an interview or speaking, he can be reached at… Indavabird@yahoo.com or calling 817 573-4216 (CST).

Mega Bat is it possible?

I have been asked about the possibility of the Indava being a new species of a mega bat. While anything is still possible I do not think it will be. I base this upon my knowledge that the natives sometimes will have as pets, the huge flying fox bat . They will keep the bat for a while feeding it and getting it fatter, Then they will kill and eat the fox bat.

Once in Gomlongong Village the clan leader Jon Kau brought out his rusted antique single shot shot gun and said he was going bat hunting. Bat hunting is not very hard. You find a tall tree that has 30 to 40 huge bats hanging upside down from the limbs. You shot up among the bats.  With one shot Jon Kau brought down three large flying fox bats. Taking the bats back to the village, they had, bat over the fire and bat wing soup that night.

You see the huge bats, I am talking six foot wing span, do not scare the natives as they see them daily and use the bats as a source of food.  They know what a bat looks like and this Indava creature has similar wings to a bats in that the wings are “like a bat’s wing” meaning a skin membrane.  But the other characteristics are very different.  The ability to land on a tree trunk, the ability to carry a heavy load flying, and the the “glow” or bioluminescence it can produce.

When you see these huge bats flying they do look very much as “ancient flying creatures” they have a very distinctive flying style with the huge wings compared to the size of the body.  During flight in the day time you can almost see through the thin membrane of the wing if the sun is behind the bat. I picked up on dead flying fox and held the wings out from me.  The wings were just about a far as I could spread my arms and the body in relanzon-inaki-madagascar-flying-fox-fruit-bat-in-flight-berenty-private-reserve-south-madagascarfront of my face was about a foot long. a very scary looking creature indeed.

Fair day’s wage

Tawa Airstrip from last ridge

Tawa Airstrip from last mountain ridge

I was reminded recently about the vast difference there is in the world concerning a fair wage for a days work.

It was October and I had just landed at the grass strip in Tawa, Papua New Guinea. The bush plane which we had arrived in had departed. My guide/translator Joseph,and I needed to move my gear and ourselves eight miles over rugged terrain to our target area, the village of Bainu.  My gear and equipment all fit into  two large military style green duffle bags. Each bag weighed close to seventy pounds. I asked Joseph to find us some local help to carry the duffle bags.  With the recent rains the steep mountain trails were going to be very muddy and muddy also means slippery and slippery can cause injuries and I sure did not want any type of injury out here.

About an hour later Joseph shows up with two young girls.  I would estimate their age around fifteen years old.  Very slender and I would call “scrawny”.  Nothing like I imagined for one to be able to carry my duffle bags a hundred feet much less eight miles. Boy, was I ever wrong! Joseph had to explain to me that in this tribal area the men do not carry things. Carrying things is a womans work. So he was not able to hire any men to carry our equipment and supplies.

Typical trail going to Bainu village

Typical trail going to Bainu village

Trusting in his expertise of the local culture we started up the trail to the top of a ridge. I was slipping and sliding back as much as I was climbing up.  Very difficult climb, up and over, then back down the other side for eight long muddy hours.  Those “scrawny” girls put me to shame with their strength and agility on a steep muddy trail.  From the start they carried the duffle bags by putting the shoulder straps across their forehead and letting the bag lay crossways on their shoulders with their neck carrying most of the weight. They would beat me up to the top of a ridge and wait the next fifteen minutes or so to for me to catch up.  As soon as I got to the top of a ridge, off they would scamper, laughing and talking like it was a normal stroll through a park. Meanwhile I was panting and exhausted just to make it to the top. Rest for a while and start the torture down and up the next ridge.

One of the girls who carried my equipment for the * hour hike

One of the girls who carried my equipment for the 8 hour hike

After eight hours of torture for me, we arrived at our destination. Out of a  heart felt thanks and still in awe of these girls with  their strength and endurance I reached into my pockets and gave each girl what would be the equivalent of $5.00 US dollars.  What I thought was really cheap for the eight hours of work they had done for me.

I returned five months later to the same airstrip in Tawa. The plane was still unloading when I was bombarded with the question….”why did I pay those girls so much money?”  I had to think back to remember how much I had paid them and realized the very small amount I had given each of them. It seemed that when the girls returned to the village of Tawa and people heard what I had paid them the “wantoks” showed up for their share of the bounty. Wantoks are family relatives and in this tribal culture relatives are never said no to.  If a relative wants to stay in your hut and eat your food for months…then that is OK.  If a relative needs money and you have some you must share a portion. So these poor girls ended up losing all the money I had given them. Only because of the number of relatives that showed up claimed their portion of the excess wages.

I learned very quickly to give my guide/translator money in advance of needing to hire some one because he would know the fair wages for a days work.  So once more we traveled the same trail, in half the time because the trail was dry, and arrived at the same remote village.  After the girls had left I asked Joseph what he had paid the girls to carry the bags. Three kina, just over $.65 cents US.  Since this was a days fair wages in this area the girls were able to keep the whole amount and go buy something at the local “general store”. I learned that the $5.00 US dollars was a weeks worth of work!

Indava Bio-luminescence

I have been asked to describe the bio-luminescence that I have seen.  According to the local natives this strange flying bioluminescence is from the Inava bird. The natives claim the creatures can “glow” in three different colors. The colors are white, yellow and red.  The colors I have seen are the white and yellow bioluminescence flying.

The easiest way for me to describe this phenomenon is by comparing this bioluminescence to the street lights in a large city. The “white” glow would be very close to a bright white mercury vapor street lamp, the ones that illuminate large areas with a bright white light.  The “yellow” glow would be similar to the orange /brown sodium vapor lights that illuminate with a yellowish light. And when the natives say “bright, big light”….it is a very bright “glow” that flies across the night skies.

Now, I need to return and probe even farther and deeper into this mystery!

Indava Bird Revealed

Well, revealed as to what the natives say they see and the talents of Desiree Byrd of Byrd Creative.  I had an old artistic rendering from 1994 based on the information we had back then.  Now with newer descriptions and higher quality graphics, we can maybe have a glimpse of this mystery creature. If anyone is familiar with the fossil record and pterosaurs , you will notice that this creature has characteristics of both families of pterosaurs.  The head crest of the pterodactyloids and also the long tail of the rhamphorhynchoids.  Makes you pause and wonder how a simple native sustaining in the jungle could know such details from the fossil record!  Maybe they have seen something we do not know about.IndavaBird ArtisticRendering