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Saturday, November 20, 2010

The Kongamato

Though there have been various, specific names given to the strange flying reptiles reported around the world, the term "Kongamato" will be used during this analysis for simplicity's sake.

Sightings of the Kongamato come primarily from the continent of Africa, as do the reports of most other land cryptids. From Zambia to Kenya, Zimbabwe to New Guinea, the Kongamato is increasingly becoming a creature of reality, and no longer myth.

In 1925, a distinguished English newspaper correspondent, G. Ward Price, along with the future Duke of Windsor, took an official visit to Rhodesia. While there, they reported a story that a civil servant told them of the wounding of a man who entered a feared swamp in Rhodesia; a place known to be an abode of "demons." According to the story, the brave native entered the swamp, determined to explore it in spite of the dangers. When returning, they found him on the verge of death. With a great wound in his chest, the native recounted how a strange, huge "bird" with a long beak attacked him. The civil servant, wanting to identify the creature, showed the man a picture of a Pterosaur from a book of prehistoric animals. When observing the drawing, the man screamed in terror, fleeing from the servant's home.

Reports such as this fascinate some, and bore others. Unfortunately, photographic evidence of Kongamatos scarcely exist, leading many to scoff at the idea.

One interesting aspect of the Kongamato is its reported ability to glow at night. Though not an actual "ability," but more of a natural phenomenon pertaining to bioluminescence, the Kongamato continues to grow as a fascinating creature unlike anything else.

A college student from Kenya, surprised over the fact that Americans believed Pterosaurs to have existed millions of years ago, told Dr. Kent Hovind over the phone one evening of the flying reptiles of his native land. In detail, he explained to Mr. Hovind their natural habits. They consider them pests, similar to buzzards. A common problem they have, explained the student, is making sure to bury their dead deep enough. Interestingly, the Kongamatos will unearth buried natives and feed upon their dead flesh.

Reports of prehistoric flying creatures are not just limited to dense swampy regions, however. There are also reports of giant flying lizards from the deserts of Namibia. In 1988, Professor Roy Mackal led an expedition to Namibia where reports of a creature with a wingspan of up to 30 ft were collected. According to eye witnesses, the avian cryptid usually glided through the air, but also was capable of true flight. It was usually seen at dusk, gliding between crevices between two hills about a mile apart. Although the expedition was unsuccessful in collecting solid evidence, one team member, James Kosi, reportedly saw the creature from about 1000 ft. away. He described it as a giant glider shape, black with white markings.

" . . .And I looked. Then I let out a shout also and instantly bobbed down under the water, because, coming straight at me only a few feet above the water was a black thing the size of an eagle. I had only a glimpse of its face, yet that was quite sufficient, for its lower jaw hung open and bore a semicircle of pointed white teeth set about their own width apart from each other. When I emerged, it was gone. George was facing the other way blazing off his second barrel. I arrived dripping on my rock and we looked at each other.

'Will it come back?' we chorused. And just before it became too dark to see, it came again, hurtling back down the river, its teeth chattering, the air 'shss-shssing' as it was cleft by the great, black, dracula-like wings. We were both off-guard, my gun was unloaded, and the brute made straight for George. He ducked. The animal soared over him and was at once swallowed up in the night."

Ivan T. Sanderson, 1932
Zoologist, Writer

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