The History Channel sent a team to Cameroon, along the Congo River basin, to investigate the myriad of claims that have been heard around the world.
What have the people been seeing? It has been described as being reddish brown, or in some instances a dark grey in color, a long thin neck, very small snake like head with sharp teeth, a long tail, very large body, about twice the size of an elephant, four legs with claw like feet, with three claws on each foot and a frill on the back of the neck.
The description matches what science would call a Sauropod Dinosaur, that walked our earth millions of years ago, but were thought to have gone extinct.
The locals call it, "Mokele Mbembe." In the language of Lingala, it means, "one that stops the flow of rivers."
The villagers say the Sauropod is extremely territorial, and has been known to attack any who get to close. Although it prefers deep waters, it has been seen walking the surrounding swampland eating leaves out of the trees.
The earliest account of Mokele Mbembe goes back to 1776 and can be found in a book written by, Abbe Bonaventure. A missionary from France, Bonaventure was documenting plants and animals of many forms. When Abbe came across huge footprints that he personally witnessed, he wrote the following statement,............" 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."
Since Bonaventure, there have been 32 other varying missions, with a mixed bag of success. From direct eye witnessed accounts, the finding of foot prints in the mud, pictures that are hard to determine but the people involved swear it is of the creature, ........to not finding the animal but instead the locals tell their tails of the dino to the explorers.
When the History Channel did a picture test of Mokele Mbembe, the villagers all selected the hand sketched Sauropod Dinosaur out of a stack of local animals.
Several groups of villagers speak of killing two of the Sauropods over the years, by blocking the river bend with a type of fence, cornering the animal and blocking its escape. (How horrifying for the poor creature!)
You know there is a lot of unexplored wilderness in Africa and almost 250 years of documented accounts. I personally tend to believe that something is there.
I do hope wholeheartedly, that when science finally puts this animal back on the list, that it gets the protection it deserves.
Check out http://www.history.com/ for the show called " The Last Dinosaur" , on the Mosnter Quest series.