Just recently learned that Jurassic Park is back in theaters for it’s 20th anniversary. Wow, it’s amazing that this film was made 20yrs ago. There are college students who have never known a world without this film. Of course, I’m one of the kids who never knew  a world without Star Wars so I guess it’s the same thing. Though I enjoyed the book better, I have to admit that several of the images from the film stick with me. Specifically when the cars are stuck outside the T-Rex enclosure.  :sigh: ok, done being nostalgic.

Unless otherwise stated, all information below can be found on Wikipedia

Hodag – The Hodag is a hoax.  Everybody knows it and nobody is trying to hide it. Why am I going to talk about it then? Because it has a cute story with a happy ending. And we all need happy endings every once in a while.

In 1893, Wisconsin newspapers started reporting the discovery of a strange creature with the head of a frog, the back of a dinosaur, thick legs with claws and a long tail with a spear at the end. Well known timber cruiser Eugene Shepard lead the hunt for the beast and witnesses claimed it took dynamite to take the beast down.  Shepard was also a known prankster and later “caught” one of these creatures alive and put it on display at the county fair. When the  Smithsonian Institution in DC announced they were sending a formal group of experts to take a look at the thing, Shepard admitted that it was a hoax. To this day, the Hodag is the symbol of Rhinelander, Wisconsin and the local high school has it for it’s mascot. A fiberglass statue stands on the grounds of the Chamber of Commerce and every year the towns annual fair (which attracts 70,000 people) is dedicated to the Hodag. [Hoax]

Kasai Rex– Besides the “Dino-Rhino” previously covered, the Congo also hosts reports of a T-Rex plaguing the farmers (where have we heard this before?). According to cryptidz.wiki, in 1932 a Sweedish plantation owner was walking with his manservant when they witnessed a T-Rex barging out of the brush and attack a rhino right in front of them. The manservant ran away, leaving his master to bravely faint like Sir Robin before the carnage. When he awoke, he claims the 13m feasting dinosaur was red and black in color and  “The legs were thick; it reminded me of a lion, built for speed” Both known photos of the Kasai Rex are proven hoaxes. The one on the right is the more convincing of the two which should give you some indication of what the other looked like. This one was made from a magazine cut out of a lizard.

Once again this is the ONLY report of this dinosaur, and once again it bears a striking similarity to the 1925 film The Lost World when the T-Rex attacks the Triceritops.[Disputed]

Mbielu-Mbielu-Mbielu :sigh: Ok, Congo. You’re starting to annoy me like Canada did with all their lake monsters. First there was the Emela-ntouka rhino-dino thing, a T-Rex, then the many accounts of pterosaurs under the names Duah, Ropen, and Kongamato. But now you claim you have a stegosaur, but can’t produce anything more solid than “reports say” that it eats plants and has moss growing on its back plates. I guess if the thing was a man eater or posed some sort of danger there would be better reports. Instead it’s just something fun to tell people while you fill your dino score card up. I swear. If I read about the Congo having a  Brachiosaurus I’m gonna be pissed. [Unconfirmed]

Mokele-Mbembe – GOD FUCKING DAMN IT CONGO!!! A fucking Brachiosaurus now too?! You couldn’t stop with just one, could you? Oh no. You gotta have the entire cast of Land Before Time like they were pokemon. All you need is a duck-bill and you have the whole set.  I don’t care if people have been looking for this one for over 200yrs, it’s just too much!

No? You say it’s really a  Diplodocus. It’s still a long neck, so what’s your point?

Uh Huh… and you say it hates boats.  And you say that a movie was made in the 80’s staring William Katt and Sean Young.  :sigh: Well, if you’ve got a replicant looking for it…

Ok, so. What’s the deal with this one? Well, the different legends conflict on what it looks like.(I thought you said it was a Diplodocus?) Some say it has a long neck like a Brachiosaurus or a Diplodocus (HA! So you don’t even know which one you have?!), others that it looks like a rhino or an elephant. Some say it is a flesh and blood creature, while others say it is a spirit or a walking god. But the two things they all agree on is that the Mokele-Mbembe is a herbivore that likes the deep water of the rivers. It will also attack any boats that come near it much like a hippo, though the natives swear it’s not a hippo.

Despite “hard” research going back over 200yrs. and many expeditions into the Congo jungles including one sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute, there has been absolutely no physical evidence, pictures, footprints or any other indication of the existence of this dinosaur. Which is quite fascinating considering all the man hours and and actual lives lost looking for it. All reports of people clearly seeing what this thing like came from the natives in the area, which many of the explorers themselves have admitted to being suspect.

The whole thing started in 1776 when a French missionary wrote about a large footprint he saw in the mud, claiming 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.” .. soo… remembering my high school geometry… the circumference of a circle is Pi x Diameter. To find the diameter we divide the circumference by PI.  36inches divided by Pi(3.14)=11.5 inches or a footprint that is almost one foot in diameter… which could be many plausible animals native to those jungles including hippos and elephants. In fact hippo tracks as well as elephant tracks are often found “near” tracks of the Mokele-Mbembe, making it even more likely that all Mokele-Mbembe tracks are from either hippos or elephants.

A single sound recording has been made of this thing which experts were unable to identify with any known animals. Though the most likely explanation is that it is a recording of the native humans in the area since they like to “mimic” this creature often, but 1981 the recording made by an American engineer was challenged by another contemporary explorer. This explorer argued that the Mokele-Mbembe doesn’t have vocal cords and what was recorded was ACTUALLY the Emela-ntouka. You know, the rhino-dino I covered in my previous entry.

But not every expedition ended with just empty hands and a book to publish. Some ended in absolute tragedy  One explorer had to abandon his gear and “evidence” when his camp was raided by a neighboring tribe and the Smithsonian Expedition’s train derailed with many people killed.

So, have people stopped sending expeditions looking for this thing. The answer my friend is no. Expeditions seem to have increased since the 70’s, with an average of one every two years.  The latest was funded by Kikstarter in April of 2012.  From Wikipedia: Despite raising some $29000 the expedition suffered financial difficulties and is believed to have been abandoned shortly after the party reached the Congo in July of 2012. I can only imagine what the incentives on this looked like.

So in conclusion, two centuries have passed. Men have lost there lives and millions of dollars have been spent looking for a creature that is, at best superstition and at worst a fun hoax purported by the locals to get foreigners out to their jungles. Is there any solid proof that the Mokele-Mbeme does not exist. No, but there absolutely no evidence to support that it does either. But, the history of the search is absolutely fascinating. If you have time, read up on it. There is much much more that I didn’t not cover in my quick little article.  [Unconfirmed]