Mokele Mbembe "One that stops the flow of rivers"
Deep in the dark and mysterious swamps of the inpenetrable Congo jungle of Africa lurks the mighty and fearsome god-beast known to natives as Mokele Mbembe. Since Westerners have penetrated into parts of the Congo in the 18th century, there have been reports of a giant reptilian beast roughly the size of an elephant with a long neck and small head, stout elephantine legs, and a long and powerful tail that roams the swamps and rivers feasting on vegetation. They are said to grow to be about 20 to 70 feet in length (depending on the area they are known in) and are usually a reddish gray color. The males are said to have spines running down their neck, back and tail, but the females do not. This implies sexual dimorphism and the trait of dermal spines like an iguana were not known on Sauropods until the early 1990's, yet they have been known and reported on Mokele Mbembe's for centuries.
The description of Mokele Mbembe(s) given by witnesses best fits a Sauropod dinosaur, a creature that many say should have died out 65 million years ago. The creature is said to be strictly vegetarian and will not eat meat. It is also said to be extremely territorial and will not tolerate other creatures in its domain. Mokele Mbembe's reportedly hate Hippos and will kill them on sight but will not eat them because it is a strict herbivore. It should be noted that in areas where Mokele Mbembe's are said to live there are no Hippos or even many if any crocodiles. The first Western account of this undocumented animal came in 1776 from a French missionary named Abbe' Lievein Bonaventure who described Giant footprints in the Congo near a river. The footprints were one meter (3.3 feet) in circumference and spaced 2 meters (7 feet) apart in stride.
Over the last 200+ years there have been many more reports of Mokele Mbembe that have come out of the Congo from natives and non-natives alike describing the same animal.
There have been roughly 20 or so expeditions to the Congo to attempt to prove the existence and identification of Mokele Mbembe's but as of yet there has been no hard evidence such as a clear photo or a body produced. Although, there has been plenty of evidence produced in the form of trails through the forest supposedly made by Mokele Mbembe's, footprints that can belong to no known animal, caves found where the creatures den up during hot weather, areas where vegetation has been stripped along river banks up to 20 high, an audio recording of the creatures growl/rumble, droppings, native artwork of Mokele Mbembe's, it's food favoured food sources being known, it's migration patterns being known, Mating details and numerous eye witness testimonies.
The natives are very wary of Mokele Mbembe's because of the animal's bad attitude towards anything in its vicinity. It will charge and crush canoes, hippos and crocodiles and kill any animals or humans that invade its personal space. One account from the 1930's tells of a group of natives constructing a large wooden barrier in a river to prevent Mokele Mbembe's from disrupting their fishing.
One Mokele Mbembe came across the barrier and was quite upset that its river had been altered and in its attempt to break through the barrier was killed by the natives who celebrated by cooking and eating the creature. However, everyone who ate the meat died soon after, possibly due to the meat spoiling in the time it took to butcher the animal, although it is possibelt hat the flesh of these animals is not edible to humans. It is believed that this inccident is the origin of the mystical attributes given to the animals. Though mystical qualities are rarely attributed to the animals and are still treated as flesh and blood animals.
Another detailed sighting of a Mokele Mbembe (Le' kela-bembe in Cameroon) occurred in April 2000 in the Boumba river in Cameroon at a ferry station when two security officers saw an adult Mokele Mbembe swimming or walking up river, against the current and passed them. The animal could not get past the steal cables spanning the river so it turned around and went back to find another route. The incident was quite disturbing to the officers.
In another part of Africa, Cameroon, there is another animal bearing the same description as Mokele Mbembe called Le' kela Mbembe. These animals are said to grow to 70 feet long and are known to eat the leaves of the Esem tree. Dr. Bill Gibbons has discovered in his 20 years of research that Le'kela Mbembe's are actually mature Mokele Mbembe's. The Mokle Mbembes migrate to Cameroon in September to breed and the females return to the Congo to lay eggs. Some natives say the animals give live birth, this may be due to not knowing the organisms method of childbearing. It should also be pointed out that some Dinosaur species could have given live birth instead of laying eggs since many reptiles do in fact give live birth to young.
In fact Mokele Mbembe's are known by many names, depending on where they are located since the different tribes have different languages and dialects. The animals may be called Am Amali, Badigui, Irizim a, Isiququm adevu, Jago Nini, La' kela-bembe (Cameroon[Baka and Ubangi language]), Mbokalamuembe (in Cmaeroon), Mbulu-em'bembe or M'kuoo-m'bemboo (Denya/Bantu language), M'(O)ke'-n'be, Nwe (Ewondo/Bantu language), and N'yamala. These names all refer to the same creature and this can be seen by the similarities in the names across the various languages and dialects in addition to the descriptions of the creatures.
As noted earlier, William Gibbons has documented that La'kela-bembe's are in actuality fully mature Mokele Mbembe's. The animals come to, and many live in, Cameroon, in swampy areas still part of the Congo jungle swamp since the Congo covers a large area and is spread across several countries. This allows them to travel great distances and to other countries in Africa without being seen since they can utilize the remote waterways largely inaccessible to man.
One of the notable differences between Mokele Mbembe's ad La'kela-bembe's is size. While Mokele Mbembe's are generally reported to be roughly 15-30 feet in length, La'kela-bembe's are reported to be up to 70 feet in length, twice as large as their juvenile counterparts which are more famously known. It is believed that the younger Mokele Mbembe's live in the Congo areas until they reach sexual maturity, at that point traveling to Cameroon to breed and possibly stay.
Another trait that distinguishes the two age groups is the skin. While Mokele Mbembe's are said to have smoother skin, more akin to an elephant, La'kela-bembe's are said to be covered in armor-like scales, like a crocodile. It is unknown if these scales are actually present on Mokele Mbembes at birth or if they develop later, though it is most likely that they are born with them since there have been reports of Mokele Mbembe's with these scales as well and they are simply smaller at young ages and become more pronounced with maturity. Both Mokele Mbembe's and La'kela-bembe's are said to possess dermal spines like those of iguanas running down their necks backs and tails, although it is said by the natives that only the males have these spines. They also state that the males posses shorter necks than the females, in both Mokele's and La'kela's.
The animals of all ages and locales are emphatically stated to be strictly vegetarian, preferring certain plants to others such as Esem tree leaves and Malambo plant fruit which is like a large, hard apple with milky sap. Much like "Horse Apples"in America.
It has also been found that these creatures dig caves into the banks of rivers and will seal the caves up once inside them to sleep through hot weather during the dry season. It is believed that some caves may contain multiple creatures at once such as a mother and a calf or several calves. They will exit these dens once the weather starts to change, meaning the rainy season is approaching.
Most people that believe these creatures are living dinosaurs believe they are most likely Apatosaurus'. Many skeptics believe that they are either a new species of semi aquatic rhino or some new species of monitor lizard. Some prominent Cryptozoologists such as Loren Colemen have even suggested that the creatures identity may be Indricotherium, the largest land mammal to ever exist. Yet none of these hold up as well as the Sauropod ID when compared to the evidence and descriptions of eyewitnesses.
It should be noted that the natives are not usually hesitant to tell visitors about these animals as they know them to be real and also have not heard the doctrine of Evolution, so they are not aware that these creatures are supposed to have gone extinct 65 million years ago. It is usually the reasoning of skeptics of sightings of strange animals to think " they were there and saw it and I wasn't so therfore I am right, especially since I have read a few books".
But this kind of thinking is not only unscientific, it is unfounded and overzealous. If it werent for believing eye witnesses, we would not have cataloged many species or have solved many crimes. Eye witnesses are some of the best evidence for unwraveling mysteries and should never be simply dismissed as not credible due to bias or believed bias on the part of someone involved. If we go by the evidence such as sightings, firsthand knowledge of the indigenous people, and various circumstantial physical evidences, ie. footprints, etc., we must logically conclude that not only is Mokele Mbembe a Sauropod dinosaur living in the Congo, but a relicit population of these amazing but rare animals that must be found and studied as it would not only provide much understanding of dinosaurs, but do much to support the Creationist models of science and history.
In South Africa at the base of Howick Falls in a lake, lives a creature known to the local Zulus as the Inkanyamba. The Inkanyamba is described as a huge serpent, sometimes with more than one head. The Zulu's of the area both fear and worship this creature and have done so for many generations. In older generations they would push a virgin over the falls to her death in order to appease the creature. The natives are so fearful of the creature that they usually refuse to portray its true form in art and instead portray storm clouds to represent it since it is closely tied to storms. Only traditional witch doctors may approach area to offer prayers unto the creature that they revere as a god. The creature is reported to be most active in summer months, like most reptiles.
Most critics of the Inkanyamba state that it is most likely a species of eel that is said to grow to lengths of 6 feet or so. This argument doesn't seem to stand up to most eye witness descriptions however. Most that see the creature describe it as a huge serpent about 30 or so feet long, sometimes reported to have legs or flippers, reptilian in apearrance, and carnivorous. It is said to leave the water and travel on land if water dries up and during the breeding season. The Inkanyamba is attributed to violent storms and is said to fly into the air into storms clouds and cause destruction when angered. Incidentally, the natives paint the roofs of their houses dark to try to prevent drawing the Inkanyamba's attention during the fits of rage.
Not much else is known about the Inkanyamba and there is not much evidence currently except for the picture shown and it has been called a fake by most, however, the man who took the photo swears to its authenticity and claims he has the negatives to prove it. Eggs have actually been found that were believed to belong to an Inkanymaba but they were attributed to crocodiles so we may never know.
Mbielu Mbeilu Mbeilu
Not much is known about this creature except that it is occasionally seen in Africa, usually in the Congo swamp region where Mokele Mbembe and Emela Ntuoka are found. This animal is said to look exactly like a Stegosaur type dinosaur. It is said to have a small head, large body, and planks growing on its back that are covered in algae.
There have also been several sightings in other parts of central Africa of Stegosaur like creatures in savannah habitat, however the creatures usually were seen going into the forested areas nearby. There is little evidence for this creature other than the ocassional sighting by natives and a handful a sightings by westerners. Many skeptics say there is no evidence that there are any dinosaurs living today. But the native people of areas are always quite familiar with the "cryptids' they tell westerners about and treat them as real native fauna that they have been around for generations and not mythic creatures.
Most Westerners say that there are no living dinosaurs left today and that the creatures reported by natives and fellow westerners alike are simple misidentifications or simply a new species of some type of "modern day" animal that never fits the description of the animal that natives have reported for generations. If history is any indication of who is correct, it is most certainly the natives.
Champ (Lake Champlain Monster. aka Champtanystropheus)
While there are "sea serpent" and "lake monster" sightings around the world virtually since people have kept written history, most are lesser known than the world famous Loch Ness Monster of Scottland with around 11,000 sightings recorded to date. However another well known water dwelling creature of Cryptozoological interest is not from am isolated lake in Scotland, a Chinese lake little known to the West, or water holes of the Australian rainforest, but here in the U.S.A.
Lake Champlain of the U.S.A. spans across New York, Vermont and Quebec, Canada. The lake is 109 miles long and has a maximum depth of 400 feet. plenty of room to hide a small population of large aquatic reptiles. The lake has around 50 acres of swamp on its boarders, not a lot of swamp but enough for a few individuals to hide when they wanted to, and certainly enough to hide babies.
There in fact have been over 300 well documented sightings of Champ, or members of the species anyways since there would be more than just the one. In fact there have been sightings of "Champs" of many different sizes, ranging from small 1-2 foot long babies to full grown 30+ foot long adults, so we can reasonably assume that there is a breeding population in the lake/area. The first sighting is often attributed to Samuel de Champlain for whom the lake is named after, but this has been debunked as a myth and is said to be from a 1970's newspaper article. The earliest knowledge of the Champ creatures is attributed to the local Indian tribes, the Iroquois and the Abenaki, who called the animal Tatoskok long before white man came to the area.
The earliest report known by an Anglo person is usually credited to an 1883 sighting by Sherrif Nathan H. Mooney who said he saw a giant water serpent from 50 yards away while standing on the shore of the lake. He said the animal was 25-30 feet long and he was so close he could see white spots in the animals mouth (teeth?). Mooney's sighting predates the famous Surgeons photo from Loch Ness by 50 years, so the argument that it was influenced by the surgeons photo hoax cannot be made.
Sightings of Champ(s) continue to pour in from people claiming to have seen some strange and often large, reptilian appearing animal from the lake, some are hoaxes no doubt, perpetrated by people seeking to discredit research or belief in Champ out of sheer mischief or malice, but most cannot be so, especially since diehard researchers of Champ weed out those they feel are not credible, and this can easily be combined with the fact that so many sightings report the same appearance of the animal, yet not all are of the EXACT same animal, which we would expect from a population of animals.
Champ quickly became popular once people heard of it, and P.T. Barnum even issued a reward of $50,000 for a specimen so he could put one in his touring show, though he never obtained one sadly.
*Tanystropheus. Notice the feet with toes instead of flippers and the longer tail, both different than a Plesiosaur but described in Champ sightings.
Many have long believed that Champ(s) is a Plesiosaur of some kind, like the Loch Ness creatures are believed to be, this has been based on descriptions of the animals by eyewitnesses. However, many now believe that the Lake Champlain animals may in fact be not a Plesiosaur but a type of Dinosaur (Plesiosaurs are technically not Dinosaurs since Dinosaurs are only land animals and have specific hip types) called Tanystropheus which looks very similar to a Plesiosaurus but lived partially on land and could leave the water and travel over land greater distances. This is based on many detailed eyewitness reports of the creatures, some of which have been up close, and report feet, often webbed, instead of flippers, as well as sightings out of the water. There have also been reports of some people catching baby Champs that described them as "small strange lizards", but the animals have never been obtained since they are normally thrown back for fear of killing the poor baby animal.
Tanystropheus was/is a large reptile that is said to have lived with some of the Dinosaurs many millions of years ago, so one living nowadays would be considered a "living fossil", or an animal that has lived past its expected time frame in history without changing. So the very fact that one is still alive today just as it was in the fossil record demonstrates stability of a species, which is the opposite of Macro Evolution. But I digress.
Many people have searched for Champ(s) for well over 100 years but as of yet there is no body to prove it's existence. However there is still plenty of evidence to support the idea of a population of Tanystropheus living in the lake and likely surrounding rivers. There are hundreds of sightings dating back to when the native Indians lived in the area, fishermen claim to have caught baby specimens, photographs, videos and even echolocation recordings.
The most famous piece of evidence for Champ is the renowned Mansi photograph taken by Sandra Mansi in 1977. The photo shows a long necked animal with a small head, all protruding out of the water and looking to it's side as if searching the area. Many have examined the photo and most have determined it to be authentic and of an animal not known to live in the lake, though some have declared that it is simply a log that became buoyant with gas during decomposition, though this is not a commonly used identity for the object, especially since Mrs. Mansi claims her and her family witnessed the animal moved as if alive and conscious. There have been many other photos but many have either been fakes or Misidentifications of regular animals such as Loons, dogs swimming or Otters, as well as flocks of birds.
*The 1977 Mansi Photograph.
One thing that makes Champ more believable than it's Scottish cousin is that the Lake Champlain doesn't get as cold, at least as often as Loch Ness, and it sustains a much healthier population of wildlife, especially fish. Sporting over 80 species, many of which get quite large such as Muskellunge. Northern Pike, Large-mouth Bass, Gar and Sturgeon. Plenty of food to sustain a breeding population of Tanystropheus, especially since they are cold blooded reptiles that eat less often than warm blooded animals. These animals are believed to not only swim well, but to also sit on the bottom and use their long neck to stick their head out of the water to get a breath of air without exposing themselves. This, combined with the short time during sightings, may help to explain why they are rarely seen.
* A rendition of Tanystropheus using it's long neck to fish underwater from land, a possible hunting method.
Another very interesting piece of evidence is the finding that some unknown animal is using echo location in the lake. There is no known inhabitant of the lake that can utilize sonar, leading some to believe the creature doing this was a Champ. This discovery was made by the Fauna Communications Research Institute in 2003 during a Discover Channel special about Champ. The team said the sonar resembled that of whales and dolphins but could not be attributed to any known species of animal.
One of the best pieces of evidence yet is the 2005 video shown on ABC news that 2 local fishermen took while out on their boat one day. The two men claimed to be skeptics of Champ since they had lived their whole life fishing on the lake and had never seen the creature. That was until one day while out fishing the animal came up next to their boat and the two gentlemen filmed the creature, making them much less skeptical about Champ. The video is MUCH clearer than most videos of unknown animals and an aquatic animal moving just under the surface can be seen with a long neck, snake-like head, and flippers or webbed feet right beside the boat. The animal is clearly not anything that is supposed to be living today as it directly resembles a Plesiosaur or Tanystropheus. The video can be viewed in our Videos section.
One of the major hunters of Champ was Dennis Jay Hall, the founder of "Champ Quest". Dennis Hall has searched for Champ for over 20 years, although Champquest is no longer running unfortunately. Dennis Hall is also the person who put forward the idea and some of the evidence that Champ is a Tanystropheus and even dubbed the scientific name for the creature Champtanystropheus. Dennis Hall had one of the most intriguing encounters with a Champtanystropheus. One night while on the marshy shore of the lake he claims to have come across one in the tall marsh grass, he claims is smelled like a snakes musk (This would make LOTS of sense to an experienced reptile person, especially if Tanystropheus is a Reptile since it is a Dinosaur). He said it raised its head up and his flashlight made its eyes reflect red. It then slithered/scurried through the tall grass into the water.
Champ, whatever you may want to call it/them is just one more supposed living Dinosaur of many reported around the world annually and consistently, and actually has more evidence for it than many other creatures thought extinct, so it seems that one day soon we may indeed finally prove that a Dinosaur is still living, in an American lake nonetheless. It has been said that if Dinosaurs and humans were found to coexist it would completely remove the long time frame of millions of years that Darwinian Evolution preaches and that everything in Biblical history could be accounted for in a short time frame of history. This does not mean that Christians should set out to prove that Dinosaurs are still alive, and that Evolution is false by proxy, but that if Dinsoaurs and humans together in history, even today would be another great piece of evidence against the materialist teachings of Evolution and for the inspired Word of God, including the Creation account.
As Christians we should not resort to faking evidence, ever. It is wrong and we have no need to do such things. If a species of Dinosaur was found alive and helped the Christian argument for recent creation as recorded in Genesis, it would indeed help to show that Dinosaurs, just like all other animals have not evolved over millions of years since they are still the same as they are in the fossil record, and since they should have changed dramatically in that amount of time it would also mean that evolution cannot be claimed for Dinsoaurs, it's most famous trophies. While this would be a great piece of evidence for the Christian worldview, there is in reality nothing that will destroy some peoples unwavering faith in Atheistic Evolution. This is because their belief in Evolution and materialism is not based on scientific evidence as many claim, but on blind faith and adherence to a materialistic worldview that MUST exclude God, and therefore MUST exclude any evidence that may even remotely point to Him. We can rest assured however that Dinosaurs are fantastic evidence of God's creation and display his mastery. This is one reason some people have coined them the humorous title "Missionary Lizards".
Deep in the swampy rivers of the Republic of the Congo lives a large reptilian animal known by the natives as Nguma-Monene. The name in the Lingala language means "large python or boa" since it is often reported as a giant snake that lives in the water.
There are as of yet, only a few sightings reported but there has been some info gathered on the animal to help deduce it's true identity. The natives say it looks like a giant snake with a ridge along it's back and a forked tongue that flicks in and out like a snakes. They say it is between 40-60 meters(130-195 feet) long, though this size would have to be exaggerated since the only reptiles to ever get so large are the largest sauropods like Amphicoelias. Regardless of the exact size of the creatures they do seem to be very large, one of the largest cryptids on record.
The first sighting reported of a Nguma Monene was made in 1961 near the Dangu-Mataba, a tributary of the Ubangi river by the oldest sister of Michel Zabatou (the 1st secretary of the General Assembly). She saw a snake-like animal in the water about 50 feet from her, when she screamed other villagers came and they watched the animal for about 30 minutes while it swam in the river.
The second was made by pastor Joseph Ellis a decade later in 1971 near the village of Mataba. He said he could not see the entire animal since it was largely submerged in the water but the part he did see which he guessed to be the tail was 10 meters long and .5 to 1 meter wide. He said he could not see the neck or head. He said it was greyish-brown in color. He said the part of the river where he saw the animal was about 200 feet wide and estimated the animal to be around 100 feet long altogether He said that when he returned to the village the natives nearly refused to talk about the animal as if it were taboo.
Roy P. Mackal gathered info and sightings on the Nguma Monene while on expeditions in search of the more famous cryptid Mokele Mbembe and concluded the animal was more like a lizard than a snake and confirmed that the animals have a serrated ridge on their back.
There have been other reports believed to also be of Nguma-Monene's under different names from different areas. In Bernard Heuvelmans book On the Track of Unknown Animals from 1958 there is a report from 1928 of an animal called Ngakoula-ngou or Badigui was reported by Lucien Blancou, the game inspector who would later make the first report of an Emela-Ntouka. According to the report the animal killed a Hippo without any sign of a wound, perhaps a tail trash that ruptured internal organs? The animal also crushed a manioc (Cassava) field and left 1 to 1.5 meter wide tracks.
There are similar reports from 1932 and 1934 of the same type of animal called Diba, Songo, Mourou-ngou, and Badigui. In the 1934 account an old man came to see Lucien Blancou having heard that he was interested in reports of the animal. The old man said that in 1890 he was fishing Kibi stream in the Bakala district when he saw a Badigui eating from a tree called a "Roro". He said the neck was "as thick as a man's thigh" and the underside of the neck was lighter colored. He said he could not see the animals body, only the neck (not the head?). The old man said that you will not find Badigui where there are Hippos because the Badigui kill Hippos. This report sounds more like a Mokele Mbembe than Nguma-Monene however.
The last report of an Nguma-Monene comes from Lucien Blancou's gun carrier in 1945 when he found tracks of the animal near Ndele.
Just what Nguma-Monene is is still subject to much interpretation since there are so few sightings recorded and so little info on the animals. They are reported to be like a giant snake or lizard by most people but they rarely leave the water, making it hard to see their whole body. The notable features of Nguma-Monene are it's enormous size, a large ridge along it's back, It's reptilian, it lives in the water and can kill large animals like Hippos. The physical description of these animals sounds as if it may in fact be a Spinosaurus, the largest carnivorous Dinosaur known of from fossil evidence. It is widely believed that Spinosaurus lived a largely aquatic lifestyle. It is quite possible that there is a surviving population of them in the rivers and jungles deep in the African Congo. Hopefully one day we will have more info and hopefully a photograph of one of these animals.