Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 14th, 2010
With the passing of the producer of one of the King Kong movies, perhaps we should revisit one of the cryptids from the skies that is always in that movie.
Is there a group of Jurassic pterosaurs (which includes the subgroup of animals called pterodactyls) alive and well in Africa? Sub-Saharan reports of giant flying monsters called kongamato ("overwhelmer of boats") by natives of today’s Zambia (formerly Rhodesia) have been discussed in the West since 1923.
It was in that year that Frank H. Melland wrote about them in his book, In Witchbound Africa. Melland described huge flying animals with membranes instead of feathers on its wings, great scary teeth in their mouths, and wings four to seven feet across.
In 1925, southern Rhodesia produced reports of a Kongamato attack on a man in a swamp, and reports issued from Africa in 1928, 1942, the 1950s, up through modern times, including a colleague of cryptozoologist Roy Mackal’s who saw one in 1988. I summarized all these reports in my 1999 book, Cryptozoology A to Z.
Look at the old 1933 version of King Kong and you will see some Kongamato clones. When the new Peter Jackson movie King Kong opened on December 14th, 2005, of course, he had pterosaurs flying around a few scenes of that film.
To which, CryptoInformant adds:
“Pterosaurs did not just live in the Jurassic! They were around for the entire duration of the reign of the dinosaurs, and this time period was known as the Mesozoic! The Kongamato are most likely pterosaurs, probably rhamphorhynchid, or short neck, long head and long tail with teeth and, apparently, a bad attitude.”
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.