The Cryptozoologist



Posted on May 30, 2012 at 6:35 PM




According to mainstream science, the dinosaurs died out about 65 million years ago. According to cryptozoology and certain other branches of periphery science, a few dinosaurs might have survived much longer, or could even be around today. The most famous dinosaur of cryptozoology is the mokele-mbembe of Africa, but there are many lesser-known examples. Every continent has some legendary creature that has been labeled a living dinosaur by someone, at some point. For example, some people interpret all dragon sightings and legends as being evidence of surviving dinosaurs.


There is not just one species of dinosaur that is supposed to exist. Nearly every imaginable type of dinosaur has found its way into the records of cryptozoology. At one time, the most popular explanation for lake monsters and sea serpents was that these creatures were plesiosaurs (now that theory is being questioned). Reports of huge flying creatures with leathery wings have often been interpreted as pterosaurs and pterodactyls, though today many of these sightings are dismissed as most likely being giant bats. In addition, there are many things that sound like giant lizards that just might, if they turned out to be real, be living dinosaurs.


In Australia, Aborigines living in the northernmost fringes of the Northern Territories have legends of a supposedly real animal called the burrunjor. It is described as a giant bipedal lizard that looks much like a carnivorous dinosaur. The Chinese have reported a creature like a dinosaur or a new species of rhinoceros, from Sichuan Province. Papua New Guinea, a place with many recent discoveries of new animals, is supposedly home to a gray 10-foot-tall predatory dinosaur. As recently as 2004, this animal was so strongly believed in that police were sent into the forest to kill it. The most remote areas of the South American rainforest are also sources of persistent dinosaur reports, made by many white explorers since the earliest time these areas were penetrated.

Living dinosaurs are also sighted in places that seem quite odd, such as North America. In dry, remote regions of the American West, such as Utah, there are persistent reports of animals described as miniature examples of Tyrannosaurus rex that stand about three feet tall. This animal sometimes crosses roads in front of cars, and is generally said to run away from people. Witnesses are quite flabbergasted by the experience and often state that they doubt their own sanity. These reports come from enough people who apparently have no connection to each other and no knowledge of the miniature T-rex myth that some researchers think there must be a real animal behind the legends. Whether such a real animal would prove to be a very odd lizard or an actual dinosaur is impossible to prove unless someone brought in a body.

A larger version of Tyrannosaurus rex has been reported from Kasai Valley in Africa. This creature is called the Kasai Rex, and was thought to be a very large lizard by some cryptozoologists.




Tyrannosaurus rex ("king of the tyrannical lizards"), also known colloquially as "The King of the Dinosaurs," was a giant carnivorous theropod dinosaur from the distant past. The first discovered specimens played an important role in the "Bone Wars".

Tyrannosaurus Rex is widely regarded as the most famous dinosaur. This is partly because it was the first very large carnivorous dinosaur to be discovered, and it was long believed to have been the largest that ever lived. It was also one of the fiercest meat-eaters that ever lived. At more than 40 feet tall, it was huge and had one of the most powerful heads of any dinosaur. It also had some of the biggest teeth of any dinosaur—teeth that were not only sharp and serrated, but also thick and strong, capable of crushing bones. T-rex had about 50 teeth, as large as 8 inches. It could grow a new tooth in 2 years or less anytime it lost one.


[Cryptozoologist's Note: Only over the last decade have people become increasingly aware of a group of gigantic meat-eating dinosaurs called carcharodontosaurids. These animals include Giganotosaurus, which was larger than the largest known specimen of Tyrannosaurus rex. Four years of work in a dinosaur quarry in Argentina have led to the discovery of a new species of carcharodontosaurid that has been named Mapusaurus roseae. The Mapusaurus individuals found ranged in size from slender juveniles 5.5 meters (18 feet) long to a robust adult that exceeded 12.5 meters (40 feet) in length. The fossils include the longest known fibula (shin) bone for any meat-eating dinosaur, slightly longer though less robust than that of its close cousin, Giganotosaurus. The skull of Mapusaurus is lower and lighter than that of its older sister genus, Giganotosaurus, with similar sharp, blade-shaped teeth.]


T-rex may have struggled to chase down speeding vehicles, as portrayed in the movie Jurassic Park, but new research suggests that it was certainly no slouch. The University of Manchester study used a powerful supercomputer to calculate the running speeds of five meat-eating dinosaurs that varied in size from a 3kg Compsognathus to a six-ton Tyrannosaurus. The study—believed to be the most accurate ever produced—puts the T-rex at speeds of up to 18 mph, fractionally quicker than a sportsman such as a professional soccer player. The bipedal Compsognathus, by comparison, could reach speeds of almost 40 mph—that's 5 mph faster than the computer's estimate for the fastest living animal on two legs, the ostrich. Previous research relied .. from extant bipedal models to provide clues as to how fast dinosaurs could run. While such calculations can accurately predict the top speed of a six-ton chicken, dinosaurs are not built like chickens and nor do they run like them.

It had large feet to help it maneuver through the swampy environment in which it lived. Although it had very short arms, they were very strong. But it didn't need its arms to be an effective and efficient killer. It had enormous strength in its jaws; it could bite right through the frill of a Triceratops or into the back of a hadrosaur. In fact, the only thing that a T-rex had to fear was another T-rex. Most of the scars and wounds found on fossil bones of these great creatures seem to come from others of its kind.



Three dinosaurs have at various times been labeled as tyrannosaurs. Tyrannosaurus rex, the species type, was the first. Tyrannosaurus bataar is now recognized as being in a separate genus, Tarbosaurus, as has Tyrannosaurus torosus which is now classified as Daspletosaurus. Nonetheless, Daspletosaurus, Tarbosaurus and Tyrannosaurus are very closely related, and belong to the tribe Tyrannosaurini.




Allosaurus (meaning "Different Lizard") was so named because its vertebrae were different from those of all other dinosaurs. It has also been called Antrodemus.


One of the largest Jurassic carnosaurs of North America. An average Allosaurus weighed about 4 tons (3.6 metric tons) and measured 35 feet (10.5 m) from the tip of its nose to the end of its tail. The largest known was 45 feet (13.5 meters) long. When Allosaurus stood upright, it was 16.5 feet (5 meters) tall.


Like all theropods, Allosaurus walked on two legs with its heavy tail stretched out behind for balance. Its strong legs were built for speed; they had powerful muscles and heavy bones. Although its arms were short, each finger on its three-fingered hands was armed with a sharp claw that could be up to 6 inches (15 cm) long. The three long toes on its feet were equipped with eagle-like talons.

This meat eater had a strong neck. Its huge 3-foot (90 cm) long head had heavy bony knobs, or ridges, above its eyes; its enormously powerful jaws were filled with saber-like teeth 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 cm) long. The jaws were hinged like those of a snake, so Allosaurus would have been able to swallow huge hunks of meat whole. Scientists have found Apatosaurus vertebrae with Allosaurus tooth marks on them, evidence of a Jurassic feast!


Allosaurus remains have been found in North America; fossils found in Africa and Asia may also be those of Allosaurus. It is one of the best-known carnosaurs. Sixty individuals—From juveniles to adults—were found at one site in Utah. A middle-sized species has been found in Australia.


The term "raptors" (made popular by movies such as Jurassic Park) actually refers to a group of fascinating creatures called dromaeosaurs. "Raptor" is not a technical term favored by scientists to describe these animals; there is already a group of birds called the raptors (it includes the eagles and other hunters). The name of the clade, Dromaeosauridae, is favored over "raptors." The dromaeosaurs were small (wolf-sized) to large (up to 30 feet long!) theropods which had specialized features such as a well-developed slashing talon on their second pedal phalanx (toe), a stiffened tail which possibly functioned as a dynamic stabilizer, and large grasping manus (hands). They were well-equipped with claws, muscular toothy jaws, and agile bodies. These dromaeosaurs have been assumed to have been active, fierce predators since their discovery, and have been influential in the revolution in modern paleontologists' views of dinosaur metabolism and bird origins.

Deinonychus antirrhopus

Arguably the most important dinosaur fossil ever discovered, Dr. J.H. Ostrom's (of Yale University) 1969 and 1976 descriptions of Deinonychus ("terrible claw") were a major contributor to the re-evaluation of dinosaur activity levels. Ostrom saw the strikingly specialized adaptations present in Deinonychus and proposed that this was no "sluggish lizard," but an active, agile predator that used all four limbs and its jaws to subdue prey. Deinonychus also has been found as fossils in small groups which seem to have been killed while attacking Tenontosaurus tilletti, a larger ornithischian dinosaur. This is considered possible evidence of pack-oriented predatory behavior; leading to speculation that these dinosaurs were fairly intelligent, social animals as well. Deinonychus antirrhopus was about 10 feet (3 m) long and weighed maybe 180 pounds (80 kg); about the size of a jaguar or mountain lion. It has been found in deposits in North America.


Velociraptor mongoliensis

Velociraptor ("swift seizer") is known from a few well-preserved remains from formations in Mongolia, one of which was fossilized in the act of killing Protoceratops andrewsi, a small ceratopsian dinosaur. It appears that a freak sandstorm in the Mongolian desert buried the two dinosaurs; the Velociraptor had killed the Protoceratops with its slashing talons, but its forelimb was trapped in the latter's beaked jaws, so it could not escape and was suffocated. One of the most amazing and dramatic fossil finds ever discovered. Contrary to Jurassic Park, Velociraptor was not a large animal; it was about 6 feet (1.8 m) long and weighed maybe 100 pounds (45 kg); about the size of a large dog or wolf.



Utahraptor kirklandi

However, during the filming of the movie Jurassic Park, fragments of a large dromaeosaur skeleton were found in Utah. A study proclaimed that the giant raptor (Utahraptor kirklandi) from the movie had been found; this animal seemed to be the perfect size for such a creature. Giant dromaeosaurs have been recently found in Argentina, Japan, and elsewhere in Asia, proof that there were probably several types of dromaeosaurs about the size of the Jurassic Park villains, and even larger!


The Terrible Claw

The "killing claw" of dromaeosaurs is an incredible structure useful for just that: killing. It was normally held off of the ground during locomotion, but when the muscles of the toe were contracted, the claw swept down quickly. The claw base-to-tip angle maximized the transmission of forces from the leg to the tip of the claw, providing for a powerful slash that may have been able to disembowel prey swiftly. The stiffened tail would have been good to stabilize the body while the grasping arms and jaws held onto the prey for balance.


Although there is no conclusive evidence for this, it has been suggested that dromaeosaurs could have performed leaps onto large prey and used all four limbs to rip wounds in them. Dromaeosaurs were probably not the fastest of dinosaurs, since dromaeosaurs have fairly large femora (thigh bones); ornithomimids probably were fastest, but persuasive evidence in any case is lacking. It has been argued that dromaeosaurs were similar to lions in predatory behavior, preferring ambushes, quick chases using their high maneuverability, and pack tactics. This is speculation of course; paleontologists can't really know what dromaeosaurs were like.


The great Tyrannosaurus, the most feared member of the dinosaur think that this creature of such renown, such awe, and such sheer terror could possibly still be alive today simply baffles the human mind. Though seemingly ludicrous, could a living Tyrannosaurus, or quite possibly, a close relative of the Tyrannosaur, really be alive today? Is it scientifically possible?


In the heart of Africa, to the amazement of many, there have been reported sightings of Tyrannosaur-like creatures—one, in particular, by a plantation owner, John Johnson (sometimes spelled Johanson), and his servant. As the report goes, Mr. Johnson and his African servant were traveling through a swampy marsh in the Kasai valley of the Belgian Congo (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) in 1932. Abruptly, they came across a rhinoceros, and being cautious not to disturb it, attempted to pass it without detection. Suddenly, they were surprised by a large, 42-foot (13 meter) long "lizard-like" creature rushing out of the undergrowth and attacking the rhinoceros. As the creature began to feed on the dead rhino, the African servant fled in panic, while the Swede literally fainted, falling to the ground. When he awoke, he found the creature still feeding and had the opportunity to carefully observe it:

"It was a large beast, at least 12-13 meters long. It was reddish in coloration, with brackish-colored stripes going down. The legs were thick; it reminded me of a lion, built for speed. It had a long snout and numerous teeth. It gorged itself on the rhinoceros, which twitched with life still in it. (Note: the rhino was probably dead, but the Swede may not have known about involuntary muscle spasms.) After the creature had eaten its fill, it returned to the jungle slowly, its belly full of flesh."

A Similar Report

There is a similar story in an edition of the Rhodesia Herald, also from 1932:

On February 16 last I went on a shooting trip, accompanied by my gunbearer. I had only a Winchester for small game, not expecting anything big. At 2 p.m. I had reached the Kasai valley. No game was in sight. As we were going down to the water, the boy suddenly called out "elephants". It appeared that two giant bulls were almost hidden by the jungle. About 50 yards away from them I saw something incredible—a monster, about 16 yards in length, with a lizard's head and tail. I closed my eyes and reopened them. There could be no doubt about it, the animal was still there. My boy cowered in the grass whimpering. I was shaken by the hunting-fever. My teeth rattled with fear. Three times I snapped; only one attempt came out well. Suddenly the monster vanished, with a remarkably rapid movement. It took me some time to recover. Alongside me the boy prayed and cried. I lifted him up, pushed him along and made him follow me home.


On the way we had to transverse a big swamp. Progress was slow, for my limbs were still half-paralyzed with fear. There in the swamp, the huge lizard appeared once more, tearing lumps from a dead rhino. It was covered in ooze. I was only about 25 yards away. It was simply terrifying. The boy had taken French leave, carrying the rifle with him. At first I was careful not to stir, then I thought of my camera. I could hear the crunching of rhino bones in the lizard's mouth. Just as I clicked, it jumped into deep water. The experience was too much for my nervous system. Completely exhausted, I sank down behind the bush that had given me shelter. Blackness reigned before my eyes. The animal's phenomenally rapid motion was the most awe-inspiring thing I have ever seen. I must have looked like one demented, when at last I regained camp. Metcalfe, who is the boss there, said I approached him, waving the camera about in a silly way and emitting unintelligible sounds. I dare say I did. For eight days I lay in a fever, unconscious nearly all the time.


In reality, very few people have reported seeing what has been labeled the "Kasai Rex", but the reports of those who have are all strikingly similar; the size differs slightly, but the color of the creature remains the same,,,a dark red. It has been suggested that it may not be a Tyrannosaurus, but rather a Tarbosaurus, a close relative to the Tyrannosaurus. It fits the description of the Kasai Rex very well. If these animals do exist, it is believed that they live very deep within the Congo jungles, only venturing out when food is scarce. In brief, the Tarbosaurus was a slightly larger specimen than the Tyrannosaur. Roughly the size of a school bus, it possessed powerful jaws and long, serrated teeth. If the report were of a true specimen, it would bring vital, unparalleled information to the scientific community regarding the dinosaur kingdom itself.

To begin with, it would reveal that dinosaurs were creatures of remarkable color. Rather than being plain, rather bland, dusty-colored animals—such as the elephant or hippopotamus—several species perhaps possessed a magnificently colorful design. Again, every description of a Kasai Rex has been in agreement with one another...a dark shade of red with black stripes running vertically. Coincidence? From a logical standpoint, no.

Secondly, it would bring conclusive evidence that Tarbosaurs and their various close relatives were hunters. Though thought to be the case by the majority of scientists, some skeletal evidence has suggested otherwise. Using the T-Rex as an example, one strength-indicator test conducted years ago on a femur revealed a strength indicator of only 9 units, which indicated that it could not have been very fast, contrary to movie depictions of a sprinting T-Rex. By comparison, a female African elephant on the same test showed a strength indicator of 6-14 units. A Tyrannosaur could simply not hunt in the manner long conjectured at such a slow speed.

However, the plantation owner reported that the creature leaped on the rhinoceros out of nearby dense foliage, conducting a "surprise attack" method, rather than a "chasing down" method: "The legs were thick; it reminded me of a lion, built for speed." Such a contrasting and vivid physical description, coupled with the reported hunting technique, would suggest that, rather than being a Tyrannosaur or Tarbosaur, the beast might be a species of giant raptor, such as the recently discovered Utahraptor.

Standing nearly six feet tall and weighing in at more than 1,500 pounds, the Utahraptor was the largest known deinonychosaur (popularly known as raptor dinosaurs). Its powerful forelimbs ended in three curved, blade-like claws, and it walked on two short, sturdy legs with sharp, sickle-like claws at their ends. Fast-moving and agile, with excellent vision, the Utahraptor was nonetheless slower than its smaller relatives such as Deinonychus or Velociraptor. According to paleontologists, it would probably have lain in wait, then pounced on the back of its victim, slashing and tearing apart its flesh with its sharp claws.

Lastly, if more information were discovered about the encounter, it could reveal whether it was a warm or cold blooded animal, a subject still hotly debated among scientists and paleontologists.

Credibility Issues

Unfortunately, as exciting as all this sounds, The credibility of the Kasai Rex accounts has been called into serious question, with most of the critical evidence suggesting that the reports are nothing but a hoax.

First of all, since there was an abundance of game in this valley, why didn't the hunter expect to encounter something big? Wouldn't an experienced hunter carry a rifle powerful enough to serve for both hunting and protection in the African bush? And if so, there would be no excuse for him not to shoot the beast, since otherwise he would not have any physical evidence.

In the second story, the hunter claims that "giant bull" elephants were in the jungle—yet the only elephants that live in the forest are the aptly named forest elephants, Loxodonta cyclotis, and they can hardly be considered giants. As a matter of fact, they are much smaller than the familiar elephant L. africana of the plains. A large bull L. africana would have great difficulty in jungle terrain, not only because of its size, but also because of its large tusks.

The behavior of the main character in the second account also seems very odd. No other cryptid report mentions a man going into a comatose state for over a week just from seeing a monster, one that he apparently saw with few ill effects on an earlier occasion. And, since when are hunters so terrified of an animal just because it is fast?

There is also the similarity between many aspects of these two stories: the single servant runs off; the creature eats a rhino; and both Johanson and Johnson faint. This suggests a single source for both stories.

It is perhaps notable that, of all cryptids reported from Africa, Kasai Rex is the only one without a name in a local language—and yet a carnivorous animal of this size would not have escaped attention by the local population.

The whole report is stated in sensationalistic terms, rather than being a neutrally-termed account; this would appear to indicate that the story was meant to entertain.

While the second account provides a good background to the first story, it also provides more evidence for it being a hoax. The most obvious error, is the fact that the name of the Swede changes; first it is Johnson and later it is Johanson. That very fact brings the authenticity of the story into question, but not as much as the photos.

This story seems to be redundant as well. It appears that the passage "Three times I snapped; only one attempt came out well" is in reference to his camera, but according to him he took pictures on the second encounter as well. It seems that the writer attempted to explain the hoaxed photograph more than one time. It is this photograph (as well as the one accompanying the other story) that clearly gives this account away as a hoax.

The Photographs

Two photographs exist, purportedly taken on the first two sightings, and each exhibiting radical differences from the other. One shows a creature resembling a large monitor lizard. ..but on further examination, a white line can be seen surrounding the creature. It appears to be a cutout from another source—possibly a magazine like National Geographic—pasted onto a background which included a picture of a boulder, but is apparently being represented as the "rhino". It is such an obvious photographic hoax that it is a shame it was even included as proof of the truth of the story to the newspaper's readers. The other photograph depicts a Tyrannosaurus-like creature eating a rhinoceros.



A Second Life on the Internet

Even though the story itself was very bad, some people did believe it (Arthur C. Clarke's mysterious world accepted it as fact), and more than one version surfaced. Bernard Heuvelmans searched through the magazine in which it was originally published, but the original never showed up. All of the reports are therefore second hand at least, and like a game of "telephone", things will be changed around. The version that appeared on the internet had a much more specific physical description, but it is likely that it was all made up when being passed along.

This is the story that spawned the internet hoax. The interesting thing is that this story is itself a hoax. Here is what was printed in the Rhodesia Herald:

....A Swede, J.C. Johnson, who is an overseer in a Belgian rubber plantation in the Congo, wrote to the Cologne Gazette from Mai Muene, Kassai district, enclosing photographs purporting to establish the existence of the animal in question. The photos, so the journal says, were anything but clear, yet they revealed a discovery of great importance. Johanson stumbled on a unique specimen of a dinosaur familiy that must have lived milleniums ago.

Unfortunatly, the story surrounding the second account is even more bizarre. Apparently, the second story was reported by a man named Grobler who had an interesting past of his own. He went on an expedition in the same area looking for a four ton "iguana" called the chepekwe. The expedition, which was about a year long, was a failure. Several years later, in 1932, Grobler gave both the photo of the monster and it's story to the press, representing the creature as the same animal he had previously been looking for. Basically, Grobler is believed to have invented this poorly told story as a sort of last ditch effort for credit in it's "discovery".

The most complete re-telling on the internet has been posted on the website "". Although it would appear that this would be the origin of the story, the website claims that they got the story from "". Their story is different and similar in some ways to the Rhodesia Herald version, which is presumably second-hand. Johanson/Johnson has the same name, and his servant is said to be a slave in this account. The two encounters in the first have been somewhat confused. In this story "The Swede" watches the monsterous 42-foot-long lizard attack and eat the rhino. The slave then flees and the cowardly Swede faints. Upon awakening, he gives a very detailed description of the beast, lacking in the Rhodesia Herald version. He says that the beast was reddish in coloration with brackish stripes down it's back. It had huge, powerful legs and a long snout filled with teeth. The website then makes the claim that there were different encounters with the Kasai Rex, and the only thing differing was the size. It is interesting to note that this monsterous lizard is in fact, somewhat smaller than the first one. In a previous article on a giant anaconda, the length varied from newspaper to newspaper on the exact same case. There is no real reason to presume that there are other cases out there, just the same one told by different newspapers, possibly being altered due to translation. The author apparently doesn't see this fact (and doesn't list sources or give examples either), and claims that it is impossible for the reports to be a coincidence.

The main difference between the two accounts is the fact that the modern day reports regard it as some sort of Tyrannosaurid (Tarbosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Allosaurus, ect.). This is very hard to comprehend, because nowhere in any of the accounts does it mention any sort of bipedalism. Grobler did call it a "dinosaur", but the term was widely (and often incorrectly) used at that time in history, and even to some extent today.

Subsequently, the author repeats the mantra used by all the dino fans—how great it would be to discover a dinosaur and so forth, and how most of the Congo is unexplored. Just how this report got to be a report of a dinosaur is one of the most puzzling elements. Perhaps some of the Dino fans were so eager to find a report, that they overlooked the fact that monitors also match the description rather well. The faked picture of the monitor on the rock also proves that the story was not intended to be a dinosaur. On a sidenote, it appears that most, if not all, of the things written about Kasai Rex came from "". There were pictures in the gallery, and before it was banned, some person, who kept on changing his name, posted the same Kasai Rex story over and over again.

A search of the Internet not long ago on revealed as many as 18 manifestations of the Kasai Rex story. This is a rather pathetic showing compared to other cryptids such as Sasquatch (88,000), Nessie (98,000), and even a lesser known one like Octopus giganteus, which has almost 500. Among those websites are some that are skeptical of the matter. Unfortunatly, some other websites still present the whole matter as if it were fact. There apparently used to be more websites on the matter, but they have now gone belly up.


It is hoped that the extensive information presented here, has been useful in combating the myth of the beast called Kasai Rex living in the African Congo. However, presenting evidence against this one particular case, is not intended to entirely rule out the possiblilty of the existence of other such relics from the past. Instead, it is provided to demonstrate how misleading information (especially on the internet) can be. When Grobler made this hoax, he did not pull it out of thin air; he based it on rumors of a reptillian beast living in the Congo. Although Kasai Rex itself apparently does not exist out there in the Congo, it doesn't mean that there still aren't other wondrous creatures waiting to be discovered.

[Cryptozoologist's Note: Belief in the existence of Kasai Rex is left up to the reader. One region in central Africa, the Likouala Swamp, covers an area the size of Florida, yet still remains 80% unexplored. Reports of dinosaurs continue to pour out from these locations, and until we have adequately searched throughout this land of the unknown, this land located on the "Dark Continent," we may never know if the dinosaur world's most popular figure still walks that area of the earth today. In the meantime, it should be noted that the source for the Kasai Rex incident is unverifiable, and therefore remains extremely questionable.]



Clarke, Arthur C., and Fairley, John, and Welfare, Simon. Arthur C. Clarke's Mysterious World. Galahad Books, 1982.

Heuvelmans, Bernard. On the Track of Unknown Animals. Kegan Paul, 1995. (Glossary, Gallery, and Forum sections) (search engine)

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