Mokele-mbembe, still alive?
A little back ground
According to legends in the Lake Télé area of the Congo Mokèlé-mbèmbé is a very large, very territorial herbivore that lives in the jungle and scares the locals who come across it to this day. When asked what the creature looks like, locals have been able to point to pictures of a Sauropod as closely resembling what they are seeing. The local tribes there have no, or very little, historical knowledge of dinosaurs; to them this is a monster that they are terribly afraid of and they still see today.
Lots of expeditions have taken place to search for this creature but, admittedly, very few have been what skeptics call successful in proving this creature exists. As with most animals thought to be living but not proven, only far away videos, blurry pictures and footprints have ever been found to prove there is something out there. It’s hard to image the locals are behind playing a trick on tourists by faking this creature by setting tourists up by faking footprints and creating fake animals to help fake videos.
In 1776 a missionary, Abbé Lievain Bonaventure, claimed to have seen giant footprints, freshly left, in the mud. What left the footprints wasn't actually seen by him or his party, but Bonaventure wrote in his journals that it "must have been monstrous: the marks of the claws were noted on the ground, and these formed a print about three feet in circumference." What would a missionary have to gain by telling people he saw these footprints? Why would a missionary lie about this? He would have nothing to gain by lying, he was simply writing down a description of what he saw.
In 1992 William Gibbons led an expedition in the same area in search of the creature. Gibbons searched almost two thirds of the Bai River along with two lakes that locals said were the areas where the Mokèlé-mbèmbé lived. The expedition did not provide any conclusive evidence, however they were able to record a video that people have speculated is the creature swimming trough the lake, the video is attached below.
One thing to keep in the back of your mind while reading all this, yes, there is a chance that the expedition leaders were lying to try and make some money. However, why would the locals keep telling tales about seeing this creature out in the wilderness even today? What would they have to gain? Most of them don't have much or anything at all to do with the modern world and they prefer it that way. Locals are very respectful of their heritage and want to keep their way of life as they feel it is without too much interference.
The History Channel TV show Monster Questeven tried to get involved in the hunt and see what
they could find out about this creature. One interesting hypothesis they brought to the table; they were able to find large cave type mounds that not only had air vents, they were large enough to hide a large herbivore. Could a giant Dinosaur be hiding in plain sight under mud dwellings?
The problem with any expeditions being able to really get into the area and thoroughly search is the dense Jungle and wild creatures that are verified as living in the area, for example, Gaboon Vipers and Hippos just to name a few. Expeditions prove to be extremely dangerous and expensive as the tourists need to hire locals and bring in equipment to help them get through the forest to the area where the creature has been spotted. Not to mention the threat of violence that is present in Africa from border wars.
Even with the threats there are still expeditions underway today to try and find out if this creature is real although they haven't been successful in finding the creature, yet. Quite a lot of the expeditions have reported close encounters and found footprints, none have been able to provide incontrovertible proof that the creature really exists for science to step in and begin their work.
Giant Mountain Gorillas were only discovered in 1902, before that they were only a tale told by the local tribes. What else could be out there we haven't discovered yet?
© 2014 Chosen Shades