Cryptid Profile: Kongamato
In the 1923 book ‘In Witchbound Africa’, author Frank Melland described a creature known as the Kongamato (which means the “breaker of boats”). A dangerous birdlike reptile that is not afraid to attack larger animals, boats, or people. It is known by the natives within Zambia, Angola, and the Congo.
In 1932, famous Biologist and Cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson reported having a close encounter with the Kongamato while part of the Percy Sladen Expedition. His personal description of the encounter is below.
“ …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.”
The Kongamato is described as being reddish black in color with a wingspan of 4 to 7 feet and a body length of around 4.5ft. It possesses a long thin tail and a narrow head that appears to form into a long beak that contains many small sharp teeth. It skin looks like that of a amphibian or a reptile and the feet are reminiscent of a large eagle with talons on the end. The wings closely resemble those of a bat. The creature is depicted as gliding more than actually flying.
In 1956, an engineer by the name of J.P.F. Brown reported seeing two of the creatures flying overhead Fort Rosebery (now known as Mansa) at around 6pm. He stated that they looked almost prehistoric in appearance and shape.
In 1957, a patient on the verge of death was admitted to a hospital located within Fort Rosebery. The man had a severe wound on his chest and a significant amount of scratches covering his body. When the hospital staff asked him what had attacked him, the man described a “large bird-like creature with a long beak and huge wings.” The attending staff then asked the man if he could draw the animal for better identification, for which he produced a drawing of an animal resembling a pterosaur (flying reptiles that lived from the Triassic to the Cretaceous period). When a servant working at the hospital brought in a book containing images of extinct prehistoric animals and showed the man a picture of a pterosaur, the wounded man was described as going into a screaming panic.
-The Pine Barrens Institute
*Image Credit: Google