To quote from Wikipedia, “In 1956 an engineer, J.P.F. Brown, allegedly saw the creature at Fort Rosebery near Lake Bangweulu in Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia). . . . he saw two creatures flying slowly and silently directly overhead. He observed that they looked prehistoric. He estimated a wingspan of about 3 to 3½ feet (1 meter) and a beak-to-tail length of about 4½ feet (1.5 meters). It reportedly had a long thin tail, and a narrow head which he likened to an elongated snout of a dog.”
Stingray or Pterodactyl?
Before considering the origin of the word “kongamato,” we need to evaluate what witnesses have seem to have seen, regardless of what they call the flying creature. How can two freshwater stingrays fly slowly, directly over ones head? They cannot. It is possible for one stingray to jump out of a river, however uncommon that may be, but never two overhead, flying slowly. How can a freshwater stingray have a head that looks like “an elongated snout of a dog?” It cannot. But a pterosaur, called by some people “pterodactyl,” may appear as described by J. P. F. Brown, according to his report, regardless of whether or not someone else had once seen a freshwater stingray and called it “kongamato.”
One cryptozoologist has suggested that the origin of the word “kongamato” lies in a large freshwater stingray, found in some rivers of the world. But that suggestion is irrelevant to the cryptozoological investigations that have centered on accounts of apparent pterosaurs in Africa and in other areas of the world. Many accounts involve flying creatures high over land, often over thirty feet above the ground, not a stingray jumping inches above the surface of a river. Many accounts involve a head crest and a beak or long snout, not the body of a stingray, which has no distinctive head.
Part of the credibility of kongamato sightings of what seem to be pterosaurs come from similar accounts from other areas of the world. The U. S. Marine Eskin Kuhn has stood by his sighting for decades, never wavering in spite of thoughtless words of those who fear the possibility of live pterodactyls. It was not a vague sighting in the night but a clear sighting in daylight, with nothing obscurring Kuhn’s view of the two pterodactyls that were flying nearby. With pterodactyls flying in pairs in Cuba, why not two kongamatos flying in Zambia, Africa?
(From the “Flying Dinosaurs” site) Eskin Kuhn was surprised by a phone call from the cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb, early in 2010. Kuhn confirmed the sighting and Whitcomb was convinced that it was a real encounter in 1971.
It has been suggested that the strange ghost lights of southwest Texas, sometimes called “Marfa Lights,” are caused by the bioluminescence of a group of intelligent flying creautures like the ropen of Papua New Guinea. The ropen is said to be a living pterosaur, perhaps not unlike the kongamato of Africa.
(From the Live Pterosaurs blog) It seems odd to me that Wikipedia makes almost no mention of the name “James Bunnell” under the heading of “Marfa Lights.” What scientist has done more research and conducted more searching for Marfa Lights than he has, with at least two nonfiction books on the subject? What other investigator of ghost lights in southwest Texas has been granted permission to set up remote automatic cameras on the private property of ranchers?
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