|By Clyde Lewis
In our mythologies and in science we are told of beasts. From fire breathing dragons, blood sucking reptilian creatures from space, black hellhounds, and various Lake Monsters like Nessie. Now investigators have taken a keen interest in reports from Africa about the appearance of a creature that we thought disappeared from the planet. While movies show us computer images of Dinosaurs, science now wants to give us the real thing.
In most academic circles Africa is the birthplace of life. Many believe that this area was the fertile ground for all kinds of creatures that roamed the earth, including mankind itself. A stable greenhouse climate that existed was a perfect breeding ground for life and science tells us the beasts rose up and ruled the planet.
We are also told that 65 million years ago an asteroid hit the earth and rendered the 180 million-year reign of the thunder lizards extinct. However science also tells us that even though many of the Dinosaurs and fossils died off at the end of the Mesozoic era there were a few quirks in the theories. Namely the surviving sharks, amphibious creatures, crocodiles, and lizards that to this day still roam the earth along with rodents and of course pesky little cockroaches.
There is a distinct possibility that the extinction level asteroid impact that hit the earth 65 million years ago never happened. That perhaps the dinosaurs were already on their way out and that certain species died off and others have survived and remain hidden in the dense jungles of Africa.
Many scientists have stated that climatic changes could be responsible for most of the dinosaurs that died off. Evidence shows that the temperature dropped at the end of the Mesozoic era and the sea levels fell. This destroyed the perfect green house that kept all kinds of life fruitful.
A sudden change in climate affected the growth of plants throwing the ecosystem out of balance and depleting the food supply for the animals. The old Fortean mantra holds true that neither approach to the mysteries of the world is the definitive one, because now we go in a complete circle because the explanation of a "nuclear winter" brought on by an asteroid impact could have caused the change in climate.
However there are also theories that conclude that many parts of the earth near the equator could have remained unaffected when the creatures were wiped out elsewhere. The Congo Basin in Africa has remained largely unchanged and undisturbed both in geography and climate since the days of the dinosaurs.
This would mean that there is a remote possibility that a dinosaur could exist. If you believe the stories that have existed for at least a century African pygmies and explorers have stated over and over again that they have encountered numerous creatures that resemble dinosaurs.
The creatures are said to be of a brownish-gray color with a smooth skin, approximately the size of an elephant or a hippopotamus. They have long and very flexible necks and a horn. It also is said that they have a long muscular tails like that of an alligator They come to the shore, even at daytime in search of food; They are thought to be vegetarian.
There have been many stories of a creature called Mokele Mbembe which means "rainbow" or "stopper of rivers." This creature has been described as a Sauropod that resembles the Brontosaurus or an Apatosaurus if you will.
Dinosaur survival theories are beginning to surface again as Hollywood rolls out their dinosaur spectaculars. From Godzilla to Jurassic Park, from Lost World, to Land before time and now Disney’s "Dinosaur" we are being exposed to the creatures once again and stories resurface about Dinosaurs of the Congo, and Lake Monsters such as Nessie, Ogo Pogo, and Champ.
Investigations into Congo Dinosaurs have not turned up any significant proof however. Texas Investigator James Powell, investigated Witch Doctor accounts of a long-necked, long-tailed Sauropod diplodocus called N’yamala which lived in the swamps of Gabon. It allegedly was more than 30ft long, with hardly a body, mostly a neck and tail it’s size was that of an elephant.
This brings up the idea that perhaps what natives are seeing are in reality forest elephants that are submerged in the water and raising their trunks for air.
However more accounts were claiming that one of the Sauropods, resembling a Brontosaurus was killed and eaten by members of a tribe. The tale goes on to say that the members who ate the creature were poisoned by its meat.
The area where Mokele Mbembe has been seen the most is a place called Lake Tele. Many expeditions turned up nothing, no carcass, skeletal remains, or droppings. This was telling of the reality of such a creature in the area until 1981 when Herman Regusters and his wife Kia returned from an expedition producing sound recordings, plaster cast footprints and samples of possible dinosaur droppings. This was a result of what the Regusters claimed was a sighting on the lake.
A native Congo expedition led by Marcellin Agnagna, a Brazaville Zooologist , later followed in 1983. He made a spectacular claim that Mokele Mbembe still existed and that he saw it raise its head out of the lake about 300yds from shore. It allegedly had a reddish head with cold oval eyes and a narrow proboscis. He claims that its neck was too long to be a crocodile, and it was too big to be a turtle.
Later in the early 1990’s a film crew arrived from Japan to do a documentary on various Lake Monsters and allegedly caught the beast on film. However like most creatures that do not appear on cue, the lake monster positioned its head above the Tele Lake while the crew was flying above it.
The director believes that the activity on the water is a valuable record of proof however many skeptics still have not been convinced that a Sauropod was actually making it’s star stunning debut in front of the cameras that day.
The other accounts of monsters that are similar to Mokele Mbembe come from South America. This would stand to reason since 180 million years ago Pangea began to break apart separating what is now South America from Africa. Many fossils and plants that appear on different continents across large oceans are the same. Thus the duplication of stories of creatures similar to Mokele Mbembe exist in the jungles of Brazil. There have been reports of Saurian creatures in Bolivia, Columbia, and of course the famous tale of a creature in Argentina.
Nahuelito is to this day the most talked about South American Plesiosaur. The creature allegedly lives in Lake Nahuel Huapi. . In 1897, a Chilean farmer in Patagonia reported hearing the sounds of something heavy being dragged along the pebble beach near Bahia Blanca. Soon many other sightings and reports were gathered about the creature that had a swan like neck and a strong leathery body.
The very idea of prehistoric animals living in the far reaches of the Congo is anathema to many that believe that they have a more stable belief system. However one must realize that many irregular species have popped up out of nowhere and have been discovered almost by accident.
The Monster terminology seems to romanticize their existence and sometimes tarnishes the value of investigations into their validity.
Many are not monsters and perhaps the dinosaurs or saurian reports could be irregular species that do not act or appear like anything we have seen before. The coelacanth was thought to be extinct for 70 million years until it was discovered alive in 1938. The Japanese beaked whale was discovered in the 1950’s.
Many sea faring men say that they have seen giant squids or serpents in the waters and many considered them to be tall tales until October of 1997. A giant squid that measured nearly 50 feet was caught off the coast of Tasmania.
Less than 50 giant squid have been spotted in the last hundred years. Is it any wonder that no one believed in them? No one in that 100 years time could produce a corpse of a squid of that size. Yet many will reject the possibility of irregular saurian species living in the waters today.
The deeper we go with fishnets and with more technology we will certainly find out the truth about such creatures. New evidence is now being looked at to confirm the existence of the Loch Ness Monster. However it may be a bit disappointing to hear that the fabled denizen of the cold and murky Loch may have a more practical explanation. Yet the answer is just as breathtaking to marine biologists who are anxious to see what Nessie really looks like and what her behavior is.
A team of Swedish scientists has revealed that the Loch Ness monster may be a distant relative of the walrus. A sonic survey carried out by the Scandinavian Global Underwater Search Team found that a series of unidentifiable sounds fell into a frequency matched only by the elephant seal, the walrus or the killer whale. The sounds, which were described like a pig grunting or a person snoring, were recorded by highly sensitive hydrophones lowered to a depth of 65ft in two spots where sightings have been recorded.
The Swedish team, which carried out the research in March on the Loch's west side, said the sounds were similar to those found in Swedish and Norwegian lakes also rumored to be populated by water monsters.
Jan Sundeberg, the expedition leader, said the sounds had been analyzed by both marine laboratories and the Swedish defense intelligence agency, known as FOA65.
The analysis revealed that the noises were in a frequency range 747-751Hz and only the elephant seal, walrus or killer whale makes sounds that fall into that category. The find may show that Nessie could be a subspecies or a relative of the walrus. That doesn’t rule out that the creature could be a prehistoric left over even a saurian irregular that mimics the attributes of a walrus or sea lion.
Such is Science always analyzing and reanalyzing data. While armchair skeptics continue to rail against those who choose to report the possibilities of such creatures still existing.
We need to understand that while mankind continues to explore the unknowns of space, the bathysphere continues to yield from it’s dark depths many remarkable creatures that once were the mythological creatures described time and time again by explorers, Vikings, and sailors.
Cowboys even spin tales of Pterosaurs flying in the Texas skies and American Indians would speak of the Thunderbirds. Have all of the Dinosaurs died? What do you think?
Millions of years after it’s demise, the dinosaur is one hot property. We have managed to create replicas of such creatures in computers and we have been able to duplicate movements and give them definition in films and documentaries. Now it is time once again to look to the Congo and see what lurks in the dense jungles.
Science will be able to get to the truth behind the alleged Sauropods and will try to determine if some dinos have slipped through the cracks. After all, many of today’s animals got their start as improbable creatures that are believed to be made up in the minds of opportunists and charlatans.
Take a look at some of the animals that exist on this earth and contemplate their looks. An elephant seems so peculiar, a giraffe is just as unusual. Rumors flew about a huge pig-eating lizard and there were many who laughed until the Komodo Dragon was discovered in 1912.
The Panda, at first was a hallucination and a myth told amongst the Chinese people’s before it was found. Its legend had been around for 100 years or so before it was revealed to the western world in 1937.
The final proof that dinosaurs could very well be roaming the Congo is the 1989 discovery of a creature called the Tuatara. The Tuatara live on a few island near New Zealand Tuataras are the only survivors of an order of reptiles whose other members died out about 60 million years ago. In fact the Tuatara may even pre-date the dinosaurs.
Tuataras have a large head and stocky build. In addition they have a very strong tail and a spiny crest down their backs. They also have a third eye. Tuataras can live to be one hundred years old however they are finding themselves endangered all because of another species that they had no idea existed.
Man has introduced predators and rats to the island that not only eat the creatures but render them unable to produce. The destruction of their habitat is also playing a role in destroying these living fossils.
Obviously, the existence of living fossils cannot be ruled out entirely. The same holds true for other such mystery creatures that are believed to be roaming all over the globe. The Bigfoot or Yeti, the Chupacabra, and other creatures that end up on the front pages of the tabloids. After all yesterday’s unknown species is merely the animal of today.
It comes as no big surprise that these creatures are finding their way into the mainstream and reports are coming in daily of their whereabouts.
Recently there have been more reports of these living fossils appearing in South Africa. Residents of Ezitapile village in the Lukholweni administrative area in Maluti, Eastern Cape , are considering fleeing their homes after some villagers claimed to have seen a strange yellow snake-like creature.
The villagers say that even their livestock become agitated when in the area where the strange creature lurks.
The animal allegedly has a body like a 20-litre drum, a head similar to that of a horse, and it is said to have a mane on its back with a long tail which is coiled around one of the trees in the nearby indigenous forest. No attacks on the villagers or their livestock have been reported.
According to a recent report by author and syndicated columnist Randy Floyd, William "Bill" Gibbons will head to the Lake Tele region once again searching for new evidence of a living fossil. He will also be involved in producing a documentary that will shown on the Discovery Channel. Mr. Gibbons, author of numerous books and articles on cryptozoology says that he wants "compelling proof" of Mokele-Membe's existence once and for all.
While mainstream scientists generally scoff at efforts by cryptozoologists to find a Sauropod, Mr. Gibbons said they will "change their tune" when compelling evidence is found to support its place in the ecological system.
If Cryptozoology’s past record is any indication of what is to come then perhaps, Nessie, Mokele-Membe, may someday end up in an aquarium at Sea World along with an entire host of creepy, crawly things than are dreamt of in any philosophy.
Copyright 1998-2007 Ground Zero Media, Clyde Lewis, and John Hart. All Rights Reserved.