Jurassic Lark? Expedition To Seek Living Dinosaurs In Africa

oldrover

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stuneville said:
Damn straight. Mind you, the same can happen on the internet, wild claims just waiting to suck in the naive and trusting.

You want niave and trusting try this from a local Kentucky website, which I swear as far as I know is legit;


If anyone has been scammed in Cookeville by a thylacine seller (the kind fromTasmania, for example), please let me know. We have been scammed and our money is gone. We gave our money to the seller with promise of getting the thylacine a few weeks later. No thylacine...no money.

We are interested in hearing your story ASAP


http://www.topix.com/forum/city/cookevi ... CEG035343N
 

ramonmercado

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oldrover said:
stuneville said:
Damn straight. Mind you, the same can happen on the internet, wild claims just waiting to suck in the naive and trusting.

You want niave and trusting try this from a local Kentucky website, which I swear as far as I know is legit;


If anyone has been scammed in Cookeville by a thylacine seller (the kind fromTasmania, for example), please let me know. We have been scammed and our money is gone. We gave our money to the seller with promise of getting the thylacine a few weeks later. No thylacine...no money.

We are interested in hearing your story ASAP

I hear the sound of distant duelling banjos.

There are people who would buy Wolfe Tones rosary beads on ebay.


http://www.topix.com/forum/city/cookevi ... CEG035343N
 

Kondoru

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Why buy a Thylacine? They bite, only ever want to eat sheeps livers, and the females wont let you use their pouch as a handbag.
 

oldrover

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I'm not being perverted, I'm just focusing on yet another of these wonderful animals' USP's.
 

oldrover

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I should point out that thylacines were one of two species that both sexes had pouches, sounds a little less depraved now.
 

Human_84

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So back to the Mokele-mbembe, I'm going to setup a news alert for it, and post anything that comes up regarding this bunch of people.
 

Mythopoeika

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Human_84 said:
So back to the Mokele-mbembe, I'm going to setup a news alert for it, and post anything that comes up regarding this bunch of people.

Thanks. It'll keep us up to date when anything bad happens.
 

GNC

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Mythopoeika said:
Thanks. It'll keep us up to date when anything bad happens.

"When"? Ever the optimist, eh?!
 

Mythopoeika

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gncxx said:
Mythopoeika said:
Thanks. It'll keep us up to date when anything bad happens.

"When"? Ever the optimist, eh?!

You saw what I did there, huh? ;)
 

Human_84

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^^ I saw. I know all these has been, and all there will be. 8)

Anyway, all the Mokele-Mbembe virgins can check out this video. The first part is a pretty funny *head-planting* moment, but the second half seems more in tune with most of the reports.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuaEfH8VOas
 

Mythopoeika

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Human_84 said:
^^ I saw. I know all these has been, and all there will be. 8)

Anyway, all the Mokele-Mbembe virgins can check out this video. The first part is a pretty funny *head-planting* moment, but the second half seems more in tune with most of the reports.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuaEfH8VOas

Hmmm. It seems the natives haven't agreed on what Mokele-Mbembe looks like. Problem there.
 

oldrover

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Nor have they come up with a word of their own for it either. Another problem there I'd say.
 

EnolaGaia

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If you review the history of mentions, sightings, and expeditions you'll find it's a tangle of inconsistencies - in terms of terminology, claims, locations, and descriptions.

The common focus on Lake Tele seems to have originated with an American missionary's story of locals killing one of the creatures there circa 1959 - a story that didn't appear in the record until 20 years later.

Many of the expeditions to date - both before and after the 1959 story surfaced - went elsewhere than the Lake Tele area. Some that targeted Lake Tele never in fact managed to get there. Multiple of those expeditions spent their entire time in adjacent countries. As a result, reports have come from a widely dispersed set of informants representing a diversity of cultural and linguistic groups. To amplify the confusions, many of the reports refer to creatures that don't match the stereotypical profile of a sauropod-like animal commonly found in or around lakes and rivers.

I'm not claiming this chaotic evidentiary base means the creature doesn't exist. All I'm saying is that the evidence doesn't support the notions that (a) there's a single anomalous creature in a specific locale and / or (b) a single trip to Lake Tele will necessarily shed any light on the subject.

... Or, perhaps more accurately, the range of subjects discernible in the reports to date. 8)
 

oldrover

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Well said. Also it may be worth remembering that the sauropod by the lake thing comes from a time when sauropods were commonly believed to have lived in water to support their bulk.
 

Yithian

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Very good point - got me thinking of Conan Doyle's The Lost World, the models near Crystal Palace and those early misarticulated Iguanadons. It could be interesting to chart how advances in science have influenced myth and legend.

Interesting also to speculate how many mistaken assumptions we may still be labouring under despite terrific advances in the last few decades.
 

oldrover

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It could be interesting to chart how advances in science have influenced myth and legend.

I think the answer is very closely. Take a cryptid really worth suspending disbelief for, the Yarri, I think it was Shuker who pointed out that early on descriptions were quite tiger like. Later though after T. Carnifex came to light people apparently started reporting tusk like incisors.

Further I'd say our modern popular reporting and concept of anthropology, paleontology etc has led us to turn the old wildman of the woods/troll/hobgoblin into a yeti or a bigfoot. I also think it's an interesting exercise to compare these western man beasts with the almasty for example, which still contains many of the elements we've now edited out, as do indigenous yeti/sasquatch traditions.

I must admit I've got a real soft spot for those Crystal Palace models, not only in themselves but also because in a scientific sense they evoke a real lost world.

Interesting also to speculate how many mistaken assumptions we may still be labouring under despite terrific advances in the last few decades.

Type in thylacine to Google and I recon you'll find plenty.
 

Human_84

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I think the variances in names and locales are just as likely to be proof of the given cryptids existence. Flesh and blood animals roam, and when they do, people in different areas who weren't already aware of it will come up with their own name. This is the case with many cryptids.
 

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wptv.com/dpp/news/state/joe-marrero-hollywood-man-going-to-congo-to-find-africas-loch-ness-monster

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. -- Joe Marrero is planning a little trip this summer, and it's got his family kind of concerned.
The Hollywood software engineer is among a team of optimistic young men who intend to trek through the unforgiving Congo on a most outlandish quest: discover — and possibly bring back — a living dinosaur.
"Naturally, anybody's family would be worried about them," he said. "They don't want to hear the details."
Africa experts say the family's fears are well-founded. New York travel agency owner Valentine Sazhin has traversed the Congo. "There are many dangerous places," he said.
Marrero, 28, is the eldest of the six-man team that makes up the Newmac Expedition, named for its principals, leader Stephen McCullah and survival expert Sam Newton. They will brave the jungly Congo River to track a legendary sauropod said to live along its shore, the one pygmies call — cue the spooky music — Mokele mbembe.
"I believe it's a large unknown species of monitor lizard, kind of like the Komodo dragon in Indonesia," Marrero said. "Because 80 percent of the country is not explored, creatures like this could exist."
Tales of Mokele mbembe, which means "the one who stops the flow of rivers," have been bandied about for more than two centuries. Pygmies compare it to a long-necked, pot-bellied brontosaurus. At least 15 expeditions have slogged through the jungle trying to confirm its existence. They collected native accounts and speculated over vague footprints. Only two explorers claimed to have seen the creature, both under dubious circumstances.
Mokele mbembe is said to stretch 35 feet, sport brownish-gray skin and live in caves it carves into the riverbank. Though a herbivore, natives say it attacks hippos and elephants . Legend says a pygmy tribe once killed one with spears; all who dined on its meat died.
"I'm definitely not one that says it is there without a doubt," McCullah, 21, said from his Houston home. "I definitely think it could exist."
If they find it? "We're bringing a tranq gun," he said.
One semester short of a biology degree, McCullah has worked with missionaries in remote outposts in the Amazon and Nicaragua, though he's not a missionary himself. Marrero has hiked to Machu Picchu in Peru and camped in Belize. Other members include an environmental sciences student from Missouri, a criminology graduate from Maryland, and a global business graduate from Ohio.
Not all will make the expedition's late July start. "Several of them have had things come up," McCullah said. "They might have to bail out."
What the team lacks in academic credentials or African experience, it makes up for in enthusiasm. And they're undaunted by skeptics. "I've gotten everything — from people that were very supportive, to, 'You guys are a bunch of idiots.' " McCullah said.
The team has raised just under $29,000 for the three-month expedition through an Internet fundraising site. Much of its equipment — GPS units, solar panels, night and thermal vision gear, satellite phone and fishfinder — came from sponsors. Big- money sponsors — one pledged $10,000 — can have new species named after them.
And of course, production crews are talking a reality show.
Food supplies include freeze-dried fruit, powdered cream and oatmeal. When that runs out, the team expects to buy rice and beans, eat what pygmies eat, or trap animals for stew. "We'll probably eventually have to hunt," said McCullah, who hopes to obtain a permit.
They plan to fly into Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo, travel upriver to Impfondo, then trek overland about 60 miles to a pygmy village near Lake Tele, where Mokele mbembe is said to frequent. Besides dinosaurs, other critters in the area include dog-sized tarantulas and man-eating fish, according to the team.
"It's going to be pretty rough out there, even by African standards," Marrero said.
Marc Kupper, of Milwaukee, who's traveled the region and books rare tours there, was downright gloomy. "This is a prescription for catastrophe," he said. "It's Murphy's Law incarnate. There's going to be a surprise around every corner, from every aspect you can imagine."
Boats and transport vehicles are never where they should be, and often lack fuel. "They're going to end up in the middle of nowhere and they're just going to be stuck," Kupper said. The Congolese aren't keen to rescue "naïve American kids."
Marrero is unwavering. "There's risk to everything in life," he said. "You have to make a choice how you want to live and what you want to do in your life."
 

oldrover

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They'll be fine.

Mind you I really did make a prediction about air safety on July 24th 2000.
 

Bigfoot73

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This Congo dinosaur lark - let's not forget the triceratops and 5 feet wide spiders - has been dragging on for ever, this is long overdue and good luck to them.
This will probably be the last we ever hear of it, there always seem to be far more upcoming expeditions announced than there are returning.
 

ZakariyaAliSher

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God willing, they'll be safe. Hey, who knows, they may actually find something new. However, it strikes me as ill-prepared and rather silly. People like Roy Mackal came back empty handed after all. And need I point out the flaw in bringing tranquilizer darts when you aren't sure what you are tranquilizing? Odds are good you'll either kill it or not full tranq it...

Also worth noting, the Democratic Republic of Congo is far from uninhabited. Yes, significant parts are still rural and haven't been scientifically documented, but thats not the same as some idyllic primal wilderness that western audiences tend to portray it as. Likouala actually has a problem with poaching and illegal logging. In fact, Democratic Republic of Congo has one of the world's largest populations (close to 70 million). Unfortunately, DRoC also has a long and bloody history, from the Belgian occupations to a bloody series of wars (the last of which killed some ten million+ people, and dragged in almost every surrounding country). All of this is, of course, conveniently overlooked by most media.

Now I do not speak the languages, and I have not interviewed people who claim to have seen Mokole Mbembe. All I have to go on are second and third hand accounts from cryptozoology books. But that said, as much as I would love to find a relict sauropod, we must be careful of reading too much into the accounts. Counting out entirely mythical creatures for a moment and hoaxes by locals, it must be remember that is very easy to coach witnesses into repeating what you want to hear. You could easily do so inadvertently. Likewise, WE may be misinterpreting things and reading in features or details that the original accounts do not have.

This is especially true when we consider that, as an earlier poster astutely pointed out, many of the sauropod descriptions date from an era in which sauropods were widely believed to be heavy lumbering animals that had to stay in the water to support their massive bodies. Thanks to those various 'Walking with Dinosaurs' type shows, the new generation did not grow up with this ingrained in them. I wonder if descriptions of Mokole Mbembe will slowly shift so that it will be described as a terrestrial animal travelling in herds. Or maybe not. Maybe Mokole Mbembe will fade back into obscurity and be replaced by some newer or lesser known Cryptid.

Assuming Mokole Mbembe is a real animal, it is obviously known to the local Congolese. The key question is whether or not its an animal that we know. As I said before, it is quite possible that we are reading too much into the accounts that isn't there. Perhaps MM is just a garbled account of an elephant, a hippopotamus, or even something more mundane. Perhaps it is a legitimately unknown species of Afrotheria or some sort of reptile. And, another possibility to bear in mind heartbreaking as it may be, perhaps it isn't anything at all. Perhaps it is some sort of spirit or bogie. Perhaps an amalgam of various known animals, much like the Chinese lung. Perhaps its all a practical joke on gullible westerners.

There is a very, very bad tendency for westerners to assume that all native people are experts on the local fauna. Are you? Could you name every species around you. Yes, urban (or semi-urban) people tend to be worse if only because we don't see or interact with animals every day, but its the same in rural areas. People tend to take note of the important or interesting animals around them (often ones we eat, or ones that eat us). Of particular note, many languages do not differentiate various kinds of reptiles and insects. English is a bad example because we have something like three times the vocabulary of most other languages, and much more than many African languages (including incorporating foreign words such as 'mongoose,' 'springbok,' 'krait,' 'puma,' 'caracal' and the like; another legacy of British colonialism).

This is not to say that indigenous people are stupid or somehow ignorant. They aren't. They do have their own experts, and are familiar with distinctions that most westerners might not think of. However, they are not flawless. Case in point, I have an aunt who was born in Libya, yet she swore up and down that common skinks were 'poisonous.' They aren't. Not only are they common terrarium animals here in the West, but they can be found in almost every part of Libya. Even wind up in people's houses in rural areas. How the myth that they are poisonous got started I cannot say, but it seems to be fairly widespread. And has no discernible basis in fact.

Before westerners get all high and mighty, I should point out that we have these sorts of stories too. One of the most amusing here in the States is the claim that the 'daddy longlegs' or harvestman is either the 'most venomous spider in the world,' or more formidably 'the most venomous animal in the world.' They aren't. Not only are they not venomous, but they aren't even spiders (they are actually closer to scorpions and solfugids, the latter being subject to a number of urban legends themselves). In fact, harvestmen are fairly common here in Illinois, and I can remember catching them by the dozens when I was a boy.
 

Yithian

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You've made a lot of interesting points but I must be a pedant at point out again that they're not going to DRC, they're going to the plain old Republic of Congo - a former French colony (Equatorial Africa)to the east. Much of what you say still applies, of course.
 

Bigfoot73

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There is a very, very bad tendency for westerners to assume that all native people are experts on the local fauna.

Good point. The assumption it is something plesiosaur- like seems to derive from the capture incident, which I recall seeing claimed as being from 1960. Of course most of the witnesses allegedly died from eating it and there's no specifics ( or trophies) A while back I saw something on the CFZ site suggesting mokele mbembe might be mammalian.
Given the lack of hard evidence or even detail it's possible there's nothing there. Specimens of triceratops and 5 foot spiders would have far more trouble evading detection than the allegedly aquatic mokele but nobody has found them either and when was the last sighting of any of them?
 

oldrover

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ZakariyaAliSher you're post is full of sense, As I was reading your venomous gecko I immediately thought of the Harvestman myth which is also common here, it's also said about our house spiders too.
 
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