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English Monster Hunters in search for Killer Dragon

The CFZ is almost ready for this years adventure to Gambia, in search of Ninki-nanka. Unfortunately Cryptoworld will not be travelling with them this time, but we will definitely keep track of their progress and let you know if they find what they are looking for!

Gambian Ninki-nanka?

English Monster Hunters in search for Killer Dragon

  • 30-foot killer dragons lurking in swamps?
  • A sea monster carcass buried on an African beach, with a map marking the spot?

Are these plot lines for the next series of Doctor Who? No, they are real-life accounts that have drawn the world’s only full-time monster hunters to West Africa for their latest expedition.

In early July, a six-person team from the North Devon based Centre for Fortean Zoology is travelling to the Gambia to investigate these weird tales.

Back in 1983, amateur naturalist Owen Burnham discovered the fresh carcass of a strange beast on a remote beach in the Gambia. It was around 15 feet long and looked like a cross between a crocodile and a dolphin. Realizing that it was something unknown to science, Owen, a missionary’s son, made detailed sketches of the creature. He and his family then buried it in the hot sand above the tide line, hoping that the dry sand would preserve the body. He also made a detailed map.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology, who are starting a Visitor’s Centre in Woolsery, North Devon, has a copy of the map and intends to dig up and examine the monster’s body.

CFZ Gambia Team

More alarmingly, there are stories of a swamp-dwelling dragon known as Ninki-nanka. The 30 foot beast is said to lurk in deep riverbank holes and emerge into the swamps at night. As recently as the early 1990s, it is alleged to have killed people. Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman thinks Ninki-nanka may be a giant, semi-aquatic monitor lizard. Related to the infamous Komodo dragon, the African reptile would be three times as long: as big as a very large crocodile. The team hopes to interview witnesses and venture into the deep mangrove swamps on the trail of the beast.

Previous adventures have seen the CFZ hunt for the Naga, a 60 foot snake in Thailand; the Chupacabra, a blood-sucking beast from Mexico; Orang-pendek, a Sumatran ape man; and the Mongolian deathworm.

Team members are:
Chris Moiser: Biologist and team leader
Dr Chris Clark: Engineer
Lisa Dowley: First aid and security expert
Richard Freeman: cryptozoologist
Oll Lewis: Ecologist
Suzi Marsh: computer expert

The expedition’s progress can be charted on the CFZ website at www.cfz.org.uk
Richard Freeman is available for interview on 07900 642781 or 01237 431413

Expedition updates can also be found via Jon Downs blog, and the Myspace Gambia Expedition blog.


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CW Staff

In the late 80s I started investigating UFOs and crop circles and joined the CCCS (Centre for Crop Circle Studies) and a local group researching strange sightings and reports along the south coast of Dorset (UK). In the early ’90s I started my own research group called SPS (Strange Phenomena Studies), this was renamed in 2004 to Cryptoworld.

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