Mokele-Mbembe: Living Dinosaurs of the Congo

13792864_f520Within central Africa is a territory known as Congo Basin, a sprawling tapestry of dense jungles, flowing streams, flooded bogs and vast savannas. Over ten-thousand varieties of tropical plants cover the land, thirty percent of which are unique to this area. Inhabiting these five hundred million acres are a plethora of endangered wildlife including gorillas, elephants and chimpanzees. A total of four-hundred varieties of mammals call the region home. According to many indigenous people there is another elusive species that roams the deep Congo, a creature known as Mokele-mbembe.

In the Lingala language this name translates to “one who stops the flow of rivers”. Based on eye-witness accounts, the semi-aquatic monster is described as closely resembling a sauropod. It possesses a long snake-like neck which is supported by a round grayish-colored body. They can reach heights of over thirty feet and frequently pluck leaves from tall trees. Some allege there is a spike atop the ancient being’s head. Natives both revere and fear this enigmatic and territorial beast. Some claim Mokele-mbembe is supernatural in nature and should be avoided at all costs.

map_of_democratic-republic-of-congoWesterners first began catching wind of the unaccounted herbivore over two hundred years ago, a time when dinosaurs remained undiscovered. Explorers who traveled to the distant landmass heard legends from nearby citizens regarding an unidentified forest-dwelling animal. One early account occurred in 1776 when French missionaries discovered huge footprints in a rural location. These tracks were similar to the size of an elephant’s, about three feet in circumference, with long claw-marks present. Each church member was perplexed as to what could have created such bizarre impressions. An escorting priest then shared he previously encountered the source firsthand. According to the man of god, he observed a prehistoric-looking brute feasting on vegetation.

During the early nineteen hundreds a German Captain, Ludwig Freiherr von Stein, was visiting the remote district. Trusted Congolese leaders warned von Stein of an enormous reptile that lived nearby. Independent sources all recounted an identical character adding further validity to such grandiose declarations. Despite extensively searching the surrounding wilderness the respected commander was unable to find hard evidence of Mokele-mbembe. Von Stein interviewed many tribesmen and chronicled his findings. In 1959 science writer Willy Ley published this section of von Stein’s report:

“The animal is said to be of a brownish-gray color with a smooth skin, its size is approximately that of an elephant; at least that of a hippopotamus. It is said to have a long and very flexible neck and only one tooth but a very long one; some say it is a horn. A fews18spoke about a long, muscular tail like that of an alligator. Canoes coming near it are said to be doomed; the animal is said to attack the vessels at once and to kill the crews but without eating the bodies.The creature is said to live in the caves that have been washed out by the river in the clay of its shores at sharp bends. It is said to climb the shores even at daytime in search of food; its diet is said to be entirely vegetable. This feature disagrees with a possible explanation as a myth. The preferred plant was shown to me, it is a kind of liana with large white blossoms, with a milky sap and applelike fruits. At the Ssombo River I was shown a path said to have been made by this animal in order to get at its food. The path was fresh and there were plants of the described type nearby. But since there were too many tracks of elephants, hippos, and other large mammals it was impossible to make out a particular spoor with any amount of certainty.”

By 1932 news of the alleged saurian was spreading throughout Europe and the Americas. One British naturalist toured Likouala in hopes of catching a glimpse of the obscure giant. While traveling by canoe he began hearing intense and frightening sounds. These bellowing roars were completely different from any organism he had previously encountered. Although a lengthy investigation was conducted the thunderous source was never identified and the researcher returned home empty-handed.

canoe-krabi-landscape-1031798That same year Ivan T. Anderson, famed zoologist and biologist, embarked on a journey to the mysterious land. As he and his endemic friends leisurely paddled down a river they began hearing haunting noises, comparable to loud rumbles produced by an earthquake. Suddenly the water beneath burst into an eruption of bubbles and a gargantuan shape emerged. Anderson said its head alone was the size of a hippopotamus and resembled something that should have gone extinct thousands of centuries ago. His aboriginal companions were familiar with this primitive entity. They informed their traumatized companion that the mythical breed goes by the name Mokele-mbembe.

Less than two decades after this bizarre incident an equally intriguing sighting took place. One warm summer day a group of English soldiers went swimming at Lake Barombi in Northern Cameroon. As the men were cooling off in the picturesque oasis an enormous figure surfaced nearby. Terrified, the troop frantically swam towards land. Once safely on shore they watched in horror as a pair of massive reptiles emerged from the murky abyss. Each possessed scaly skin and long necks with the larger specimen bearing a horn. Observers were utterly perplexed as to what these strange amphibious habitants might be.

mokelerebAnother fascinating case involves a reverend named Eugene Thomas. Since the 1950s he had journeyed to Congo Basin repeatedly on various mission excursions. Over time the clergy built a sincere relationship with local residents. Twenty years into his frequent trips one group of pygmies recounted a disturbing tale. Apparently, not long ago,  abominable reptilian  beasts began to intrude on their territory. Fishing, a vital source of sustenance, became increasingly difficult with creatures’ constant interference. In order to protect themselves they made the decision to erect a spiked fence around their waterside settlement.

Soon after, a rogue vertebrate broke through the defensive barrier. Alarmed tribal members began to throw spears and fatal wounds were inflicted. Dozens of victorious warriors harvested its colossal carcass succeeding the slaying. That night a feast ensued and many men, women and children consumed its meat. Those who ate the flesh quickly perished of a terribly agonizing sickness. Remaining pygmies who had not ingested the tainted fare were horror-stricken and utterly terrified. Following this tragedy, frightened survivors drew the conclusions that Mokele-mbembe was a paranormal spirit. Interestingly, during the early 1980s, remains of a sharpened fence were found surrounding the village.

57c39dba4d22dca525cc4aad3bcfffa2Japanese trailblazers trekked to the exotic continent in 1988. Their goal was to capture footage of the fabled Congo inhabitant. Jose Bourges, a renown environmental official, led the expedition. While filming areal footage over Lake Tele, a videographer noticed something anomalous beneath the plane. He examined the strong wake and attempted to focus on whatever was creating this disturbance. Unfortunately, in his eager and excitable state, the cameraman did not initially remove the lens cap. Ultimately only fifteen-seconds of footage was captured. Viewers of the brief clip are torn: some believe it’s merely an elephant, others feel something entirely different was recorded.

Writer Rory Nugent visited Africa to study the world’s largest swamp. In December of 1985 he spotted a peculiar form moving across the lagoon. Closer inspection revealed it was in fact the legendary critter. Nugent moved his boat to get a better view and watched in fascination while taking several photographs. Before he could get closer look accompanying Congolese guides demanded him to stop at gunpoint. Back at camp they instructed him to destroy all the film which had been shot. Due to superstitious beliefs, locals felt that keeping the pictures would anger Mokele-mbembe and put them in great danger.    

beautiful-cascade-creek-460621Doctor Roy Mackal, biochemist and evolutionist, dedicated his life to the pursuit of cryptozoology. Mackal was determined to prove the existence of supposed African dinosaurs. Interviews were conducted with tribes throughout multiple nations. These groups had no communication with each other nor the outside world. However, each person shared identical descriptions of the creature ranging from physical appearance to behavioral traits. During another excursion he presented flashcard illustrations to dozens of residents. Some were familiar, such as hippos, others like American black bears were completely foreign. They recognized domestic inhabitants but could not identify overseas varieties. Shockingly, when shown a rendering depicting a brontosaurus, they positively identified the sketch as Mokele-mbembe.

Science teacher Peter Beach was determined to uncover tangible proof of the shy vegetarian. Whilst exploring a muddy shoreline in 2006 he stumbled upon abnormally large footprints with prominent claws present. Surrounding canopies with abundant foliage had been completely stripped at heights in excess of eighteen feet. Giraffes, the only reasonable culprit, do not occupy this part of the country. Perplexed, Beach took snapshots to document his peculiar findings. Plaster castings were made from the unique impressions. Further analysis of the tracks has brought forward more questions than answers.

images.jpegBy 2009 researchers once again undertook the quest for Mokele-mbembe. Credible informants relay that during dry seasons the cryptid hides in natural caves. Air passages are dug along the riverside and eventually dry out becoming similar to concrete. Such structures ensure they have ample air supply to last through lengthy hibernative states. Investigative parties located several of these formations along the muddy embankment. Implementation of a fish finder provided further fascinating discoveries. Numerous serpentine figures moved below the dismal depths. Experts were extremely baffled by the specimens’ astonishing size. Unfortunately, severe thunderstorms forced the team to abruptly abort their mission before definitive data could be obtained.

Much of the Congo remains unseen by human eyes. Earth’s final frontier is filled with dangerous predators, deadly insects, armed militias and extreme weather. Such factors cause much hindrance on further exploration of this rugged terrain. It was not until 1998 that the four-thousand pound Javan rhino was recognized. Only five years ago, in 2013, a quarter-ton pygmy tapir was positively identified. It’s entirely plausible that an unknown species is avoiding detection within the depths of Africa. However, until hard evidence surfaces we can only theorize and evaluate spectators’ testimonies. For now Mokele-mbembe will remain one of the world’s greatest mysteries.


Do you think it’s possible that dinosaurs still exist? Share your thoughts in the comment section!

Reincarnation: the Most Intriguing Cases

Reincarnation is the belief that our souls may experience many lifetimes of existence spanning across the centuries. Cultures around the world speak of life after death and have chronicled this phenomenon in sacred writings. Ancient Egyptians, Aztecs, Greeks and Romans each described a “transmigration of souls”. Both Buddhists and Hindus abide by the laws of karma: good actions will lead to a positive reincarnation while bad intentions will create an inauspicious future. The concept of rebirth is an intrinsic part of Native Americans’ faith. Might it be plausible that such claims could be true or is this simply a case of mass wishful-thinking?

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Many regions in Asia have a traditional ritualistic practice of  marking a loved one’s body after they have passed away. Soot is often placed on the deceased relative in hopes that they will rejoin their lineage in another embodiment. Those born with a corresponding birthmark are said to provide evidence that the departed individual has returned. One such example was illustrated in a 2012 paper submitted by psychiatrist Jim Tucker and psychologist Jürgen Keil. These men conducted a study of parents with children who were born with markings matching those applied to a family member. A boy from Myanmar, named K.H., possessed a distinctive birthmark on his left arm. His grandfather had been painted with charcoal in the exact same spot and had died only eleven months before his grandson was born. When K.H. was only two years old he began calling his grandmother Ma Tin Shwe, a name that only his grandfather had used. Strangely, the toddler addressed his mother as War War Khine which only her beloved elder had called her. While pregnant with K.H. she had dreamt that her father visited by crossing over and said “I want to live with you.” 

Former Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Dr. Ian Stevenson, dedicated his career to the quest of discovering scientific evidence of reincarnation. Through his academic work he was able to find over three thousand examples of past existences. By using advanced facial recognition as well as birthmark observation, he was able to analyze similarities between the living person and their supposed previous incarnation. He shared his findings in a publication with the scientific community after studying two hundred and ten cases. Nearly eighty-eight percent of all children had a birthmark or birth defect where a mark or mortal wound was sustained by the deceased. Postmortem reports were used as verification and supporting documentation.

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Hypnosis is a natural state of selective awareness involving focused attention to access the unconscious mind. Some researchers feel that this tool can lead to uncovering spiritual memories long forgotten. One of the best-known examples involves an American named Ruth Simmons. In 1952 the woman was in a session with her therapist, Morey Bernstein, when he took her back prior to her birth. Ruth abruptly began speaking in an Irish accent and said her name was Bridey Murphy. Supposedly Bridey lived in Belfast, Ireland during the nineteenth century. Ruth shared a number of details about her former life including the names of two grocers she purchased food from: John Carrigan and Mr. Farr. A librarian searched Belfast archives and discovered both men listed as local shopkeepers in the 1865 city directory.

Another bizarre hypnotic occurrence involved Dr. Brian Weiss. His association with a patient named Catherine is outlined in the book “Many Lives Many Masters“. Amid one regression Catherine informed the doctor that she was in an “in between state”. According to the reincarnate, his father and son were present. Suddenly she said that his daughter was named after his father and that his baby had died as a result of heart complication. Dr. Weiss was shocked because Katherine knew his dad’s unique Hebrew name, Avrom. She also described his son’s terminal medical condition in great detail. Since the psychiatrist was a private and professional man he never shared personal information with clients. Katherine had no way of knowing his firstborn’s demise was a defective heart at twenty-three days old. What transpired that day forever altered the course of Dr. Weiss’s career.

Physical Ailments, Deformities & Chronic Illnessillness-1

There are many ailments and illnesses that individuals suffer from which cannot be accounted for by modern medicine. Some believe the root cause of many issues can be traced back to remote planes of existence. Michael C. Pollack, Ph.D., had chronic lower back pain which grew more excruciating by the day. Essential routine tasks became nearly impossible to complete. Through a specialized therapy session he learned that in three previous human forms he had been killed by being knifed or speared in the lower back. As Michael began to process what had happened to him, his physical body began to heal. Physicians were baffled by the miraculous and unexplained recovery.

Therapist Nicola Dexter found numerous correlations between present-day maladies and prior lifetimes within her clients. One bulimic patient had perished from swallowing salt water in an alternate reality. Other investigators suggest that common afflictions can be derived from preceding incarnations. Those with asthma passed away due to smoke inhalation and reoccurring migraines may be linked to perishing from head trauma. Fibromyalgia is a condition which is still not fully understood by health specialists. Some feel this disorder is the consequence of a soul not having enough resting time between various lives. 

Esteemed psychiatrist, Dr. Ian Stevenson, studied hundreds of birth defects across many countries. Over time his investigation lead him to the conclusion that most birth defects are formed by “unknown causes”. While in Turkey he met with a boy who recalled a distant time as another man who died of a shotgun wound. Upon locating hospital records Dr. Stevenson affirmed that the person had in fact been killed by a bullet to the right side of his head. The child had parallel injuries sustained by his murdered counterpart: a malformed ear (unilateral microtia) and hemifacial microsomia, an underdeveloped right side of the face.

Reoccurring Nightmares & Phobiasnightmare

Millions of folks are plagued by irrational fears that seemingly derive from nowhere. Frequent phobias include falling, heights and darkness. Yet some aversions are completely perplexing and appear to defy all logic. While there are a number of complex psychological explanations for such feelings, certain instances may be attributed to horrors endured on Earth. J.D., who wrote “Healing Past Lives Through Dreams,” was severely claustrophobic and realized that when his legs and arms were restricted sheer panic would ensue. Further exploration showed him that in another lifetime he had been hog-tied by enemies, wrapped in a blanket and shoved beneath floorboards inside an abandoned building. A terrifyingly slow death ensued which would haunt him for ages to come.

Psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, proposed that dreams reveal far more than they conceal. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung felt the purpose of dreaming was to integrate our conscious and unconscious lives. Numerous reincarnation proponents allege certain horrific slumbering visions stem from far back concurrences. Men and women who have nightmares about burning alive very well could have perished in a fire. Drowning-related themes sometimes indicate the dreamer lost their life in a body of water.  War casualties oftentimes see themselves back on the battlefield each evening after drifting to off. When our minds are in a state of rest latent memories can more easily surface. What is seen while in deep sleep is frequently a last-ditch effort to attempt healing old wounds before they manifest into physical, waking reality.

Handwriting & Linguisticsabstract-black-and-white-blur-261763

Handwriting, much like a snowflake, is unique and one-of-a-kind. Even identical twins have completely different print styles. Courts of law use handwriting analysis experts to authenticate signatures and written statements in order to convict criminals. Taranjit Singh, a six-year-old from a rural Indian village, claimed that his real name was Satnam Singh. The child stated that he was from Chakkchela, a location forty miles away. Based on the juvenile’s testimony, he was actually a Class 9 student and had been killed by a scooter on September 10, 1992. Additional minute details were known including the name of Satnam’s dad, Jeet. As the story progressed he vividly described blood-soaked schoolbooks and precisely how many Rupees had been in his wallet that fateful day.

Due to his son’s persistence, Mr. Singh decided to investigate. Weeks later a teacher surfaced and informed him that there really was a Satnam Singh and he had in fact succumbed to injuries sustained in a horrible accident. Through this newfound information Mr. Singh was able to track down the late boy’s parents. Confirmation was made on every single allegation little Taranjit had made. Astonishingly, when the youngster was shown a collection of photos he was able to positively identify Santam. Dr. Vikram Raj Chauhan, a forensic scientist, reached out the Singhs wanting to obtain further evidence. Samples of Santam’s handwriting had been taken from an old notebook. Comparisons were made to Taranjit’s and a startling discovery was made: it was a match. Colleagues who inspected the script unanimously agreed both sets appeared indistinguishable. 

Thousands of miles away professor Stevenson was further examining such mysteries. Xenoglossy is an anomalous phenomenon where affected subjects are able to speak in a foreign tongue without any knowledge of the language. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Stevenson worked with a thirty-seven year-old woman called T.E. During hypnotic regressions the woman maintained she was a peasant named Jensen Jacoby. Despite never learning the dialect, T.E. could both answer and respond in Swedish while conversing with an interviewer. Steven administered a language aptitude test, two polygraphs and a word association examination. Each assessment was passed by the intriguing lady. Friends and family were questioned and they all confirmed that T.E. had no exposure to any Scandinavian vocabulary.

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Reincarnation is a very polarizing topic. There are those who believe due to religious reasons while others lean towards science and remain skeptical. Although society may never obtain hard physical evidence regarding this mysterious subject it’s important to asses the testimonies that have come forth. People in nearly every country on the planet, of all spiritual backgrounds and ages, have experienced unexplainable anomalies. However, until tangible proof surfaces, society will be left to draw their own conclusions. Perhaps with the our current technological advances that day might arrive sooner than expected.

What are your theories about reincarnation? Do you think you have lived before? Share your thoughts in the comments!

The Man Who Vanished into Thin Air

For over a century the mysterious disappearance of David Lang has left researchers perplexed. The events that transpired are more comparable to a Twilight Zone episode than a missing persons case. Yet oftentimes the truth is stranger than fiction. After all, similar occurrences continue to happen to this day. Hundreds of eerily parallel cases are described in the Missing 411 book series. Perhaps the best way to determine what is currently happening is to take a look further back in time.


During the afternoon hours of September 23, 1880, a farmer by the name of David Lang and his wife Emma exited their Tennessee home. Playing outside were the couple’s two children: eight-year-old George and eleven year-old Sarah. They watched while Mr. Lang crossed the field and approached his animal stables. At this moment a horse and buggy traveling down the road became visible. Occupying the carriage was Judge August Peck, a family friend, and his brother-in-law. When the youngsters saw who had arrived they immediately stopped playing and eagerly ran towards the vehicle. Judge Peck was known for bringing gifts whenever he came to visit.

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David Lang was a Tennessee farmer who vanished into thin air.

Although these guests were unexpected, the couple was delighted to see them. Mr. Lang waved as he turned around and walked back towards the house. Suddenly something unbelievable happened mid-step: the man completely vanished into thin air. One moment he was there and the next he simply ceased to exist. His utterly shocked wife screamed in horror. She, her children and friends all witnessed this bizarre disappearance.

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Judge August Peck was a well-respected member of the community.

Hastily the three adults sprinted to the area where Mr. Lang had been last seen.  Despite painstakingly scouring every square inch of ground, nothing turned up. Emma Lang had now become incredibly distraught and was brought inside in attempts to calm her down. An emergency siren rang and alerted local neighbors who quickly formed a search party. Concerned lantern-equipped citizens worked feverishly into the late evening hours.

Detectives, police officers and bloodhounds arrived at the scene. They stomped their feet trying to locate any craters to no avail. For weeks crew members thoroughly investigated the pasture but there were no signs of the lost farmer. A land survey showed that beneath the soil was solid limestone free of sinkholes and caves. There were not any wells, marshes, quicksand, trees or boulders present. Now the plot had thickened. How could a fully grown man simply dematerialize during broad daylight, never to be seen again?

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The disappearance occurred on a farm a few miles outside of Gallatin, Tennessee.

Several months later George and Sarah Lang noticed a strange anomaly precisely where their father had disappeared. There was a perfectly formed circle about fifteen feet in diameter where all the interior grass had turned yellow and stopped growing. Even stranger was the fact that resident animals refused to walk through this specific spot. Creatures such as vermin and insects completely avoided the area. When George placed a noisy cricket inside of the circle it immediately fell silent and swiftly jumped out. Upon leaving, the arthropod began chirping loudly once again.

Puzzled, the daughter decided to call out to her beloved parent. Both she and her brother were astonished when they heard Mr. Lang respond by faintly yelling, as if calling out for help. Soon his voice began to fade away before dissolving into silence. Excitedly the pair ran off to fetch their mother. She too could recognize the distant voice of her husband. For four days the family listened intently to the far-off replies until they eventually became inaudible.

After the events that transpired, Mrs. Lang passed the farm to a family friend.

There was never any memorial or funeral service held, perhaps due to wishful thinking that he may someday resurface. Mrs. Lang was never the same after her husband’s departure. Given the haunting memories that surrounded the farm combined with her fragile mental state, she decided to move away. After she and her children left the property was turned over to Judge Peck to rent out. Out of respect for Mr. Lang, the field was left untouched and remained that way until his wife’s passing.

Fifty-one years later Sarah Lang was interviewed by mystery novelist Stuart Palmer. In 1953 the story gained public attention after it was published in Fate Magazine, a popular publication that featured obscure topics. According to Fate, their story “How Lost Was My Father?” was a direct derivation of the previous 1931 account. Harold T. Wilkins released Strange Mysteries of Time and Space in 1958 and Frank Edwards wrote Stranger than Science one year later. Ultimately since few records have been located, investigators are left to study the work of these authors.

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For over a century researchers have wondered where David Lang went.

Whatever happened to David Lang remains a baffling mystery. Some speculate that he stumbled into another dimension. Others believe the man was abducted by aliens in a forcefield-concealed UFO. Skeptics say that the entire story is a work of fiction and nothing more than a mere hoax. As the decades continues to pass it becomes increasingly difficult to discern what really transpired that day. Given the number of strange disappearances that continue to occur, this is might be a case that should not be so easily dismissed.


What do you think happened to David Lang? Share your thoughts in the comments section if you have a theory of your own!