Plans for the Next Adventure
by Wojtek Bobilewicz
In reference to what Stan says in his e-mail in which he says "What are you planning to do, explore or discover? I, and we, as your fellow adventurers, would love it if you could please share your thoughts and plans in our Community Forum." I'd like to say a few words on where I'm hoping, dreaming or planning to visit.
First, let me stress that I am by no means interested solely in just one type of world's mysteries (e.g. ancient civilisations and ruins). Anything that has yet been unresearched, undiscovered, unexplained - ignites my imagination and fires within me an urge (unfortunately, so often impeded by very mundane things, such as lack of finances and now also by a surgery I have had leaving my arm temporarily unusable) to go, to discover, to see, to describe.
Very often this creates lack of understanding because - as an example - UFO researchers will pretty often claim that there are no crypids whatsoever and that cryptids are just figments of someone's imagination or else they are well-known animals, misinterpreted. Likewise, cryptozoologists will similarly deride the UFO phenomenon, claiming that there are no UFOs or aliens and whoever claims otherwise must be insane. Thus such researchers firmly believe in the existence of one phenomenon, place or creature, dismissing everything else as unreal. To me, it is weird, to say the least.
Therefore, the trip/adventure/expedition I am dreaming of or planning is not in relation with ancient mysteries this time, but in search of an elusive animal in West/Central Africa, one that has been, however, seen by occasional (not frequent) eyewitnesses, both local and European/American. The name of the animal is Mokele-Mbembe (which in the local Lingala language means "one that stops the flow of water").
There have been joint British-American expeditions to the region, notably northern Congo and southern Cameroon. While no animal has been photographed/filmed, some very strange footprints/tracks have been found that the locals say do not belong to any known animal such as a hippo, an elephant or a rhino. According to descriptions, the animal has a bulbous body akin to the one of elephants or hippos, a long, giraffe-like neck tapering into a snake-like (but large) head, a similarly long, massive tail, and four stump-like legs ending with claws.
When researchers showed the locals some pictures of animals living both in Africa and outside, both living and extinct, they most frequently indicated the apatosaurus or brontosaurus (as recently there is a new theory according to which the two species were, after all, one and the same) thus indicating a possibility that a living dinosaur fossil is still around (although obviously it doesn't have to be this way).
While I realise that my expedition has exactly the same chances of witnessing the Mokele-Mbembe as any other, I have two specific ideas that potentially may increase our chances of seeing one.
Right now I am thinking of ways of finding funding for the Cameroon expedition, and this may not be a small amount because - apart from things such as flights, porters, guides, boat hire etc. we (there may be more than just me) would like - depending on pricing and our ability to carry stuff - to take a thermal camera, photo-traps (more than two or three), a sonar, a drone, etc.
If you have any ideas on how this can be done, please feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I had a site with much greater detail (mokele-mbembe-search.com), however this has now (for financial reasons) been taken off one server and not yet installed on another, thus rendering it temporarily unavailable but stay tuned if you're interested, it should be back on within several weeks.
I wonder what you think of it. If you have any ideas, information, contacts, questions etc. - as I said, please feel free to contact me by mail.
Best regards to everyone.
Stan's response: Wow Wojtek! Now that is what I am talking about for a post. That puts my little planned day trip to shame.
I have been reading of Mokele-Mbembe for decades. The evidence for this animal's existence is extremely strong in my opinion. I think you have chosen an excellent adventure Wojtek.
There is only one problem for this type of expedition as you have already pointed out... the $$$ bucks $$$. This project needs a the backing of a millionaire, or 1,000 thousand-aires. I wonder if crowdfunding might work for this. I have seen far less-deserving projects raise more than $100,000 with crowdfunding before. Just a thought.
I would love to hear our community's thoughts on fund raising possibilities for this type of project. If we could all jointly figure out a good solution for this, we could all benefit for our own projects too.
What do you all think everyone?