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Although we were delayed in Brazzaville for several weeks by the slow-motion bureaucratic system, Pastor Thomas graciously used his contacts in the various government departments to help us get underway.
We eventually reached Lake Tele after a challenging five-day slog through the dense forest where we observed gorillas, chimpanzees, large pythons, crocodiles, and turtles, but no large monster.
Many of the early accounts of the flora and fauna of West and Central Africa came from missionaries and explorers.
In 1776, the Abbé Lievain Bonaventure Proyart, wrote in the History of Loango, Kakonga, and other Kingdoms in Africa, about a group of French missionaries who had found the tracks of an enormous unknown animal in the jungle.
Powell picked up stories from the Fang people about an enormous river monster called N'yamala, and a local witchdoctor called Michael Obang picked out a picture of the diplodocus from a book on dinosaurs as being a dead ringer for the N'yamala which he saw exit a jungle pool in 1946. In 1979, Mackal and Powell traveled to the People's Republic of the Congo to investigate Mokele-mbembe activity which Mackal believed would be centered in the Likouala region, a huge area of seasonally inundated swamps that was left blank on most maps.
The one area today that would favor living dinosaurs is the vast and unexplored swamps of equatorial Africa.The animal is said to be of a brownish gray color . It is said to climb the shore even in daytime in search of its food; its diet is said to be entirely vegetable.Very little was heard of Mokele-mbembe until 1976 when herpetologist, James Powell from Texas, traveled to Gabon to study rainforest crocodiles. Mackal, a biologist from the University of Chicago and vice president of the International Society of Cryptozoology.Pinkerton's translation, published in 1914, reads: It must be monstrous, the prints of its claws are seen upon the earth, and formed an impression on it of about three feet in circumference.In observing the posture and disposition of the footprints, they concluded that it did not run this part of the way, and that it carried its claws at a distance of seven or eight feet one from the other. Some spoke of a long muscular tail like that of an alligator.