A central Africa nessie, but unlike the celebrated monster often spotted in Loch Ness, Mokele-Mbembe (literally, "one who stops the flow of rivers"), the creature reputed to haunt the Likouala swamps and Lake Tele in Central Africa, is little known and even less recorded. No photographs of it exist, for Central Africa, unlike the Scottish Highlands, is not on the tourist trail.
The first printed mention of the huge, plate-shaped tracks associated with the beast appears in a 1776 history of French missionaries in west-central Africa. In the next two centuries missionaries, colonial authorities, hunters, explorers, and natives would provide strikingly consistent descriptions of the animals supposedly responsible for tracks of this kind. Sighting reports in recent years have been confined to the swampy, remote Likouala region of the Congo.
The first "official" sighting by a "white man" was made in 1913 by Captain von Stein zu Lausnitz, who had led an expedition to the Likouala swamp region. He heard tales of a brownish gray animal with a smooth skin, perhaps as big as an elephant, with a long, flexible neck and possibly a long muscular tail. Any canoe that went near it was said to be doomed, the creature always attacking and killing its crew. The monster was reputed to live in caves along the shore of the river and to be vegetarian.
Due to the region's inaccessibility, no further efforts were made to find Mokele-mbembe until 1980. A crocodile expert, the herpetologist James H. Powell, accompanied by University of Chicago biologist Dr. Roy Mackal went deep into the wildest parts of Likouala country round Lake Tele to gather reports. As they hacked and squelched their way through appalling swamps and forests, they heard many reports. One of the oldest witnesses was Firman Mosomole, who said that 45 years earlier he had seen a snake-like creature while in a canoe near the town of Epιna. When shown an illustrated book, Mosomele unhesitatingly identified a sauropod dinosaur as the creature he had seen.
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Mambombo Daniel, a local school-teacher, told of a more recent encounter he had had in 1977. He said he had seen a creature from only 30 feet (9.l m) away, describing it as gray-colored, with a thick neck but a separate body not therefore a huge snake. Another story came from a fisherman who said that a Mokele-mbembe had been killed in around 1959 by a band of pygmies; all those who ate its meat subsequently died.
In 1983, the Congolese zoologist Marcellin Agnagna led an expedition to the Likouala region and said he had seen the monster himself. He was with two villagers near Lake Tele when one of them spotted a strange animal in the water. Wading out into the shallow water, they found themselves facing a creature with "a wide back, a long neck, and a small head", totaling about 15 feet (4.5m) in length. Unfortunately, they had run out of film for their cameras.
In his book A Living Dinosaur Dr. Mackal suggested that, with its long neck and tail, four legs, vegetarian diet and length of 15-30 feet (4.5-9.1m), the mokele-mbembe sounded very similar to a small sauropod dinosaur. Certainly its description would not fit the range of known living animals. Nor does another creature, the Ngumama-monene, reputedly a giant snake 130-195 feet (39.5-59.3m) long. First reported in 1961 by a woman who had bathed in the Mataba river, its reptilian head and neck emerged from the water close to her and was observed by local villagers for 30 minutes until it dived.
However, the most recent traveler to return from the area, the British explorer and writer Redmond O'Hanlon, found no trace of dinosaurs and dismissed the whole concept: others remain convinced that the jungles of Central Africa may indeed shelter survivors from the distant past.
See A Living Dinosaur, Drums Along the Congo: On the Trail of Mokele-Mbembe, the Last Living Dinosaur, No Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo, Mokele-Mbembe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin, Mokele Mbembe: Fact or Fiction?, Mokele-Mbembe, Legend of the Congo Dinosaur, Extreme Expeditions: Travel Adventures Stalking the World's Mystery Animals, Cryptozoology, Ice Age, Loch Ness Monster, Dragon, Flathead Lake Monster, Giant Squid, Hydra, Kraken, Leviathan, Sea Serpent, Sea-Wolf, White River Monster, Love Spells -- Use these powerful love spells to help you find and keep your true love, Unbroken Curses, Mystic Gifts and Charms - New Age Gift Shop & Wicca and Pagan Supplies, The Chakra Store, The Tarot Store, Divination & Scrying Tools and Supplies, Unique Amulets, Talismans, Good Luck Charms, and Love Tokens, Powerful Witch Doctor Spell Kits, Powerful Spells - Cast by Andreika the Witch, Webmasters Make $$$, AzureGreen - Celebrating All Paths to the Divine, ISIS - Tools for Your Soul's Journey, and The Pyramid Collection - Myth, Magick, Fantasy and Romance.
Sources: Article is scheduled to be reviewed.
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