Sunday, 4 March 2012

Heroine: Evelyn Cheesman

I have just been reading about the amazing Evelyn Cheesman (1881 - 1969).

Cheesman was a British entomologist and traveler who is best known for her work in the field of entomology. She is also a bit of a feminist icon. Not only did she venture to New Guinea, the New Hebrides and other Pacific islands when it was normal for women to stay at home, she was the first woman to be hired as a curator at London's Regent's Park Zoo. She was awarded an OBE for her contribution to entomology and has a number of insects named after her.

What really fascinates me about her though is her less-well-known association with Cryptozoology. She described the phenomena of strange flying lights in Papua New Guinea, now known as the 'ropen lights'. The island is also home to an alleged pterosaur cryptid, also known as a Ropen. It has been postulated that these prehistoric cryptids are bio luminescent and the cause of the nocturnal phenomena.

Whatever the reason, it seems there's something odd going on in the skies over this island and I can think of no better person to investigate than a Dieselpunk-biologist heroine.

Sources: The Global Ant Project, Live Pterosaur, Ropens

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