Congo Journey: A Quest for a Legendary Dinosaur in the Heart of Africa
Congo Journey is an autobiographical novel by British author Redmond O'Hanlon, published in 1996 by Penguin Books. It chronicles his adventurous trip across Congo-Brazzaville (now Republic of the Congo), taking a friend to Lake Tele in search of MokÃlÃ-mbÃmbÃ, a mythical creature that resembles a dinosaur.
O'Hanlon combines the acute observation of a nineteenth-century missionary with the wit of a Monty Python player, as he encounters various dangers and difficulties in the most inhospitable jungle in the world. He also provides a vivid portrait of the Bantu and Pygmy peoples, their lives, customs and beliefs, as well as the problems they face, such as disease and poaching.
The novel was republished in 1997 for United States readers as No Mercy: A Journey to the Heart of the Congo. It has been praised by critics and readers alike as one of the best travel books of all time, and a masterpiece of literary adventure. The New York Times called it \"half mad and unremittingly brilliant\".
If you are interested in reading this book, you can find it on Penguin Books or Goodreads.
The main motivation behind O'Hanlon's quest for the mokele-mbembe was his fascination with the possibility of a living dinosaur in the modern world. The mokele-mbembe is one of the most famous cryptids, or creatures whose existence is not confirmed by science. Cryptozoologists, or people who study such creatures, have been searching for evidence of the mokele-mbembe for decades, but have not found any conclusive proof.
Some of the earliest reports of the mokele-mbembe date back to the 18th and 19th centuries, when European explorers and missionaries encountered stories and legends from the local people about a mysterious beast that lived in the swamps and rivers. Some of these stories described the mokele-mbembe as having a long neck, a small head, a large body, and a long tail, resembling a sauropod dinosaur. Others described it as having a horn or a tooth on its head, or as being more like an elephant or a rhinoceros.
Many expeditions have been launched to find the mokele-mbembe, but none have succeeded in capturing or photographing it. Some of the challenges faced by the explorers include the dense and hostile jungle terrain, the political instability and violence in the region, the lack of reliable transportation and communication, and the skepticism and hostility of some of the local people. Some of the expeditions have claimed to have seen tracks, heard roars, or even glimpsed the creature from a distance, but none have provided any verifiable evidence.
One of the most famous sightings of the mokele-mbembe occurred in 1983, when a French biologist named Marcellin Agnagna claimed to have seen the creature while conducting a survey of Lake Tele. He described it as having a long neck and a small head that emerged from the water for about 15 minutes. He also said it had a reddish-brown color and a smooth skin. He did not have a camera with him, but he made a sketch of what he saw. His sighting was later featured in a documentary film called \\\"The Mokele-Mbembe Mystery\\\".
Another notable sighting was reported in 1992, by an American engineer named Herman Regusters, who led his own expedition to Lake Tele. He said he and his team saw the mokele-mbembe and heard it making a roaring sound. He also claimed to have taken some photographs and recorded some sounds of the creature, but he never released them to the public. He said he wanted to protect the mokele-mbembe from hunters and poachers.
Some skeptics have suggested that the mokele-mbembe sightings are based on misidentification of known animals, such as elephants, hippos, crocodiles, or snakes. Others have argued that the mokele-mbembe is a cultural phenomenon, influenced by Western expectations and local folklore. Some have even accused the explorers of hoaxing or exaggerating their stories for fame or money. a474f39169