African Dinosaur Hunting: Art Deco Style

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 29th, 2006

Prehistoric Newspaper Article

Fresno Bee, February 19, 1928

People have been seeing what they think are sauropods (or in the popular mind, dinosaurs) for a long time in Africa. More recent eyewitness accounts, of course, are still being recorded. Take cryptozoologist Adam Davies, who authored a Fortean Times article (April 2001) on his expedition. He says it all in his title, “I thought I saw a Sauropod, ” and his report is easily found online, here.

Prehistoric Newspaper Article

Zanesville Signal, November 29, 1925

Some future summaries are in store for next year. Chad Arment mentioned in a recent blog that 2007 could be a good year for more information on dinosaur hunting in Africa. He wrote there may be…

…two separate books reviewing Mokele-mbembe expeditions coming out in 2007. Bill Gibbons is working steadily on one, which should be available from Coachwhip Publications [this is Arment’s company] during the first half of the year. A second cryptozoological author is also working on a book on the subject (but as I don’t know if that is common knowledge, I’ll just note that it’s in the works, to be published by another press)….

Bill G[ibbons] is planning to revisit Africa on another expedition in 2008. They’ve had some interesting finds on trips in the last few years, which I’m sure will be noted in the forthcoming book.

Prehistoric Newspaper Article

Fort Wayne Sentinel, April 20, 1916

In the meantime, the archival scans of old items, showing a hint of an Art Deco influence in monster hunting, are pictured here of a few 1910s-1920s articles on living dinosaurs. These come from Crypto’s Craig Heinselman and give a hint of how extensive such media attention was back then. In many ways, there is an indication that it “felt” like a dinosaur might be found alive any day in the 1920s, in Africa or South America. Expeditions were actively looking for the prehistoric reptiles in the Roaring Twenties, sometimes with suprisingly successful results from respected research teams.

Prehistoric Newspaper Article

Syracuse Herald, May 15, 1921

In 1920, the Smithsonian Institution sent a 32-man expedition to Africa, which found unexplained tracks along the riverbank and heard mysterious “roars.”– in “Dinosauria” section of The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

11 Responses to “African Dinosaur Hunting: Art Deco Style”

  1. Darkstream responds:

    As a graphic designer I am loving these old layouts. Such lavish attention to artful design. It’s a lost art in our deadline conscious world of bottom lines and funding cuts. Thanks for sharing them, Loren.

  2. mystery_man responds:

    Very cool artwork! I’m glad to see some attention paid to African sauropods once again. Mokele Mbembe has not been mentioned in awhile and seems almost like it had dropped off the cryptozoology radar. I’ve always thought that while I am skeptical about modern day dinosaurs, if they exist it seems plausible that deep, unexplored Africa would be the place to find them.

  3. daledrinnon responds:

    OK, just what is the “Is the Deadly Dinosaur Dining near the Noth Pole!” (example number 3) all about anyway? And is the partial track shown in number 1 a fossil or supposedly recent?

  4. Sordes responds:

    The best thing is the african TIGER, attacking the alleged sauropod…

  5. kamoeba responds:

    Apatosaurus (aka Brontosaurus) and Brachiosaurus are only two types of sauropod dinosaur and are among the biggest of sauropods (and dinosaurs in general). My guess is that if sauropod dinosaurs do exist in Africa they are most likely Vulcanodon or some other species that grew to “only” 20 feet in length or so.

    The African tiger is amusing, too.

  6. Mnynames responds:

    As much as I am a complete nut for all things Dinosaur, I believe that if anything is eventually discovered in Africa of this nature, it will prove to be a mammal, perhaps some relative of Indricotherium or something similar. Such a find would be an indication of convergent evolution, where an unrelated animal shares characteristics of another because they adapted to a similar environment, mode of behaviour, etc. There is just no way that something that big (Even the smaller 20-footers) survived the K-T extinction. Heck, we don’t even have good evidence of any Sauropods surviving past the early Cretaceous. Having said that, PLEASE, let some CZ expedition prove me wrong!

  7. totnesmartin responds:

    Art Deco cryptid dinosaurs! This is the best Christmas present I could have! Cheers!

  8. captiannemo responds:

    Fantastic artwork!

    Many thanks Loren!

  9. busterggi responds:

    Got to agree with Captainnemo, any chance you might consider a book on the history of hunting living dinos ?

  10. Tengu responds:

    I love the art deco style too, myself.

    I think we should re image the Dinsosaura, bring them a bit up to date. make them small, but still very much obtrusive, jazz them up with funky colouration, make them non threatening and toothless, and able to perform some really nifty tricks…

    What do you mean it’s already been done?

  11. bsass responds:

    Actually, I have been to the Sauropods cave in Africa and from what I found, I suspect that species is definately classed as a pro-sauropod. Vulcanodon is my first guess and it is definitely reptile not mammal. It does exist and for various reasons (to be published later) could quite easily have survived the KT extinction.

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