In 1913, a German explorer reported stories of, what the natives called, "Mokele-mbembe," which he had heard while in the
In 1932, a British scientist, exploring near the Likouala region where the creatures are said to live, came across some abnormally huge footprints. Later, when he went down one of the rivers in a canoe, he heard strange sounds, but did not see anything.
Coincidentally, that same year the world famous zoologist and biologist, Ivan T. Sanderson, along with animal-trader Gerald Russel, were paddling up the Mainyu River in the heart of western Africa when, according to Sanderson's report:
"The most terrifying sound I have ever heard, which sounded like an on-coming earthquake or an exploding, nearby robot, suddenly greeted us from a large underwater cave."
While the water of the river was boiling and foaming directly in front of their canoe, a darkish, shining lizard-like head suddenly rose from the dark water. They described the head as nearly the size of the head of a fully grown hippo, which sat on a thick, swan-like neck. The enormous neck was turned towards the two men, and for just a few seconds, although it seemed like an eternity, the monster simply stared at Sanderson and Russel. Mr. Sanderson summed up his thoughts with these emphatic words:
"I don't know what we saw, but the animal, the monster, burned itself into my retinas. It looked like something that ought to have been dead millions of years ago. As a scientist, I should have been happy, of course, but this encounter was so frightening, so nasty that I never want to see it again."
It was 1986, Rory Nugent and his expedition party were out in the world's largest unexplored swamp on earth, the
Over the last 100 years, evidence has accumulated that sauropod dinosaurs may still be roaming the vast, unexplored regions of the African swamp and jungle. Places like
In a nearby part of Africa called
S. Arrey was housing some British soldiers in 1948 near
Please note that the natives who see these creatures are not afraid to tell others what they have seen because they haven’t been taught about evolution, and do not know that dinosaurs were suppose to have been extinct millions of years ago. I feel the theory of evolution actually hinders the discovery of animals thought to be extinct. When the school text-books teach about the history of dinosaurs, why don’t they mention there is a strong possibility they might still be living? Because of this unproven theory, people are hesitant to tell anyone when they see dinosaurs like the Loch
Here is some recently contributed information by David Woetzel (who has been on expeditions in search of Mokele-mbembe):
1.) The older 20-45 ft long creatures live and mate in the Dja and maybe the Sangha rivers. These mature MM's (Mokele-mbembe) have very tough scales, like the back of a crocodile. Also like a croc, their underbelly is much softer. Their coloration is a dulled brownish gray.
2.) The younger creatures live in the Likouala swamp region. Their scales are softer and their colors are a more vivid reddish-brown. They're probably more skittish then their older counterparts.
3.) This sharp contrast in areas by age suggests a migration that only happens once in their lives (although the mother likely goes with its offspring to take them to the swamp).
4.) Their birth instincts are peculiar and vague. The native people say the MM gives birth to live young every 20 years. This is not a trait likely in reptiles, maybe the people their have it wrong because they are not able to find a nest site (some nests have been found) for how territorial these animals are they likely guard their nests very aggressively. They would likely kill anyone that gets close enough to see the eggs.
5.) No matter what, the mother's birth migration probably happens 1 of 2 ways. They either migrate to the swamp and lay eggs (or give birth) there, or they lay their eggs along the river and the mother and offspring go to the swamp together. I'm in favor of that idea because the nests are found along the rivers and the only time more than one MM is seen is when it is with its mother (according to the natives).
6.) The mother remains with her offspring for about a year (it may use this time to take the baby to the swamp and prepare it for life on its own)
7.) The adult male has a shorter neck but it also has a spiky back, and the female has a longer neck without the spikes.
8.) The young all have dermal ridges. - www.livingdinos.com
Expeditions primarily began in the 1880s, shortly after the region was taken over by
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1909
Naturalist Carl Hagenbeck recounted in his autobiography how two separate individuals - a German named Hans Schomburgh and an English hunter - told him about a "huge monster, half elephant, half dragon," which lived in the Congo swamps. Later, another naturalist, Joseph Menges, related to Hagenbeck that "some kind of dinosaur, seemingly akin to the brontosaurs," inhabited the swamps. Hagenbeck soon sent an expedition to the Congo to search for the monster, but the effort was quickly aborted due to disease and hostile natives.
GERMAN EXPEDITION 1913
In 1913, Capt. Freiherr von Stein zu Lausnitz was sent by the German government to explore the
"The animal is said to be of a brownish-gray color with a smooth skin, its size approximately that of an elephant; at least that of a hippopotamus. It is said to have a long and very flexible neck and only one tooth, but a very long one; some say it is a horn. A few spoke about a long muscular tail like that of an alligator. It is said to climb the shore even at daytime in search of food; its diet is said to be entirely vegetable. At the
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1920
A 32-men-strong expedition was sent out from the Smithsonian Institution in
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1932
In 1932, American cryptozoologist Ivan Sanderson was traveling in
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1972
In 1960, herpetologist James H. Powell, Jr. took interest in the African dragons and organized an expedition to the
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1976
In 1976, James Powell decided to go to
GERMAN EXPEDITION 1980
An expedition mounted by engineer Herman Regusters and his wife Kia managed to make its way to
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1980
Powell launched another expedition in 1980, but this time cryptozoologist Roy P. Mackal came along. Powell and Mackal found that a large number of reports came from the banks of the
AMERICAN EXPEDITION 1981
Yet another expedition was organized in 1981 - this time composed of Mackal, J. Richard Greenwell, M. Justin Wilkinson, and Congolese zoologist Marcellin Agnagna. The expedition encountered what they believed was a
AFRICAN EXPEDITION 1983
In April, 1983, a Congolese expedition led by Marcellin Agnagna, a zoologist from the
BRITISH EXPEDITION 1985-86
Englishman William J. Gibbons (presently living in
JAPANESE EXPEDITION 1987
A piece of blurry video footage filmed by a Japanese film crew supposedly showing the creature in Lake Tele remains disputable evidence of the animal's existence. The film is indistinct and grainy, possibly just showing two men in a boat with one of them standing upright in the front of the vessel, as is common in
BRITISH EXPEDITION 1990
Author and explorer Redmond O'Hanlon returned from his failed expedition convinced that witnesses must have mistaken wild elephants, crossing rivers with their trunk in the air, for a prehistoric Mokele-Mbembe.
BRITISH EXPEDITION 1992
William Gibbons tried again six years later, this time together with American explorer Rory Nugent. Together they searched almost two thirds of the unexplored
WINTER 2006 - 1/12/2006 - Cryptomundo.com:
The Milt Marcy Expedition is the fourth such trek to
The four expeditions have been greatly assisted by the cryptozoology-friendly government of
Through a combination of field expeditions, recons by Pierre Sima, native reports and the satellite images, the Milt Marcy Expedition feel that they can now track the migration patterns of mokele-mbembe much more effectively.
Update - 2/3/2006:
Milt Marcy is in good shape given all the travel time and tough conditions (the insect problem was awful and his feet are swollen up from all the bites). But he sounded encouraged and in good spirits.
He took a boat with him (11ft with 24 hp outboard) that performed flawlessly and took them far up the Dja for 110 miles. They interviewed three fishermen and acquired three independent eyewitness accounts of Mokele-mbembe observed merely days before they got there.
Missionary Paul Ohlin saw a Mokele-mbembe on the
This incident reportedly occurred on the
Peter Beach did a great job with the satellite maps and has marked a number of places (including caves) in the general target area. According to Pierre Sima, new information on the animals confirms that they were in the Forbidden Zone from 1984 to 2003/4, so the Mokele-mbembe sometimes stay in one area long-term if the conditions are right. This explains why the villagers in Langoue saw them with such frequency in that area throughout the 1980s and 1990s.
One fantastic tale, not bearing much difference from a legend, tells how the locals, or pygmies, built a barrier of stakes to keep the Mokele-mbembe from entering
Was a Mokele-mbembe Killed at
I can confirm that at least two of the pygmies who were directly involved in the killing of a Mokele-mbembe at Lake Tele about three decades ago were acquainted on a personal level with missionary pastor Eugene P. Thomas. I have discussed this incident with Pastor Thomas, and he was able to confirm most of the details of the story which follows.
Around 1960, the forest dwelling pygmies of the
When two of the animals were observed attempting to break through the barrier, the pygmies speared one of the animals to death and later cut it into pieces. This task apparently took several days due to the size of the animal, which was described as being bigger than a forest elephant with a long neck, a small snake-like or lizard-like head, which was decorated with a comb-like frill. The pygmy spearmen also described a long, flexible tail, a smooth, reddish-brown skin and four stubby, but powerful legs with clawed toes. Pastor Thomas also mentioned that the two pygmies mimicked the cry of the animal as it was being attacked and speared.
Later, a victory feast was held, during which parts of the animal were cooked and eaten. However, those who participated in the feast eventually died, either from food poisoning or from natural causes. It should be noted that pygmies rarely live beyond 35, and pygmy women give birth from aged 12. I also believe that the mythification (magical powers, etc) surrounding Mokele-mbembes began with this incident
During my first expedition in 1985, we met with several eyewitnesses who have observed Mokele-mbembes in the Sangha and Likouala aux Herbes Rivers. Our pygmy informants also mentioned that there was at least two Mokele-mbembes still living in the Lake Tele vicinity, but they were simply too afraid to take us to a precise location where we could actually film and observe a specimen of Mokele-mbembe, due to their superstitious beliefs surrounding the animals and fear of reprisals from the Boha villagers who are regarded as the owners of the lake. The Boha villagers are also familiar with areas in the river and swamps where we can observe these animals for ourselves. However, the general belief that speaking of Mokele-membes to white outsiders will result in great misfortune or death is fairly prevalent throughout the Likouala region. This presents huge problems in obtaining accurate and up-to-date information on Mokele-mbembes and other cryptids.
But Jose Bourges, the Congolese wildlife official who accompanied the 1988 Japanese expedition to the lake, reported that the entire expedition observed a large humped back of an animal, slowly moving along, as if foraging on the bottom of the lake, which is three meters deep at most. So the animals are still there, and I still want to find one! - Bill Gibbons has conducted two major expeditions to the
In March 2008 an episode of the SyFy (formerly the SciFi Channel) series Destination Truth involved investigator Joshua Gates and crew searching for the elusive dinosaur. They did not visit the Likouala Region, which includes Lake Tele, but they visited Lake Bangweulu in Zambia instead, which had reports of a similar creature in the early 20th century, called the "'nsanga". The crew of Destination Truth kept calling the animal "Mokèlé-mbèmbé" to the locals, when that name is only used in the Republic of the
In March 2009 an episode of the History Channel series MonsterQuest involved Bill Gibbons, Rob Mullin, local guide Pierre Sima and a two-man film crew from White Wolf Productions. It took place in
A March 2011 episode of Beast Hunter on the National Geographic Channel is planned to feature a search for Mokele-mbembe in
NOTE: You can read other information at Mokele-Mbembe: Mystery Beast of the Congo Basin