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Re:Sorry, Mokele Membe again

  In reply to the suggestion that since not everyone lies, some of the
Mokele-Membe African "living sauropod" (hereafter referred to as M-M) 
reports must be true.   Nonsense.  First, although some people may have 
lied, it is likely that most of the reports are simply based on 
mistaken or inaccurate descriptions.  After all, most are based on 
annecdotes from natives, requiring translation, and interpretation.     
 Besides that, people are mistaken about observations all the time.  
Sometimes dozens or hundreds of people are.  For example, as I was 
leaving a movie one night on the campus of the College of Wooster in 
Ohio, I and many other people around me saw an object with bright 
lights move across the sky.  It made no noise, and did not look or act 
like a helicopter or plane.  I was not sure what it was, but withheld 
judgement as to its identity.  However, dozens of people around me went 
zonkers, and were convinced it was a UFO from outer space.  The police 
station recieved all kinds of reports to this effect.  The next day it 
was confirmed that a weather ballon with lights did drift over the 
campus.  The point is, Yes, hundreds of people CAN be mistaken about 
    In the case of M-M, besides the native descriptions which suffer 
from translation and reliability questions, only a couple scientists 
have reported seeing even part of the beast, and none have reported 
seeing the whole animal.  And not even a SINGLE decent photo of the 
thing, nor even photos or casts of its footprints, nor any bones or 
skins, NOR ANY OTHER hard evidence.  Just anecdotal reports.  One of 
the "scientists" who claims to have seen (a frenchman-I can look up his 
name for anyone interested) wrote an article in the Journal of the 
Intnl Society of Cryptozoology several years back.  I recall that he 
stated that he spotted the animal in Lake Tele, at a distance of over a 
hundred yards away.  Yet he was SURE it was Mokele Membe, despite the 
fact that all he saw was its neck and head.  Moreover, a sketch he drew 
in the article was so generic it could as easily been of a turtle 
craning its neck out of the water.  In fact, amazingly, in the same 
report the author mentioned seeing a huge turtle in the lake, whith a 
shell over a meter long.  It does not take a brain surgeon to realize 
that such a turtle with its head & neck sticking out of the water would 
make a profile possibly mistaken for that of a sauropod, especially 
from a long distance away on open water, where size is hard to judge.  
Of course, his lens cap was accidentally left on the camera.         
Besides that, if he was a legitimate cryptozoologist, why did he not 
try to catch or document the turtle?  (To my knowledge no freshwater 
turtles with a shell over a meter long are known).  Or is a giant 
turtle too boring?  
    Oh yes, as to the point that natives were shown pictures of a 
sauropod and other animals, and picked the sauropod as MM.  Well, let 
us suppose what they were seeing was a giant turtle (perhaps one whose 
shell did not protrude much from the side of the body.  IN that case, 
the MM would look MORE LIKE a sauropod than any other animal whose 
picture might be shown to the natives (such as elephants, rhinos, etc). 
I would like to know, were they shown pictures of a large turtle AND 
sauropod?  Maybe in that case they would pick the turtle!  
    At any rate without hard evidence, local anecdotes are not of much 
scientific value.  Lots of people claim to have seen unicorns and 
Leprechauns too.  There is no way to prove a hardy tribe of dinos did 
not survive until the present.  I'd be thrilled if it did.  But I have 
seen no convincing evidence for it (or Nessie), nor anything close.  
So, lets move on.  We've got plent of real fossil dinos to work on!!


example, one of the more reknown reports was made by a frenchman (I
forget his name, it is irrelevant to the point being made) who claims
to have seen Mokele Membe on Lake Tele in the Congo, from a distance