Cryptozoology expedition to Congo is on Kickstarter (Updated: no scientists)

Kickstarter is a site designed to help people fund their projects. You can donate to things you feel are worthwhile. One young explorer is looking for $26,700 for an expedition to located undiscovered animals.

Documentary Expedition to Congo- KILLER REWARDS! by Stephen McCullah — Kickstarter.

Our first expedition will be dubbed The Newmac Expedition. It will be a preliminary three month (or as long as our health allows) four man venture. We’ll launch on June 26th and we anticipate discovering hundreds of new insect, plant, and fish species during the course of our research and work in the area. There is also the legitimate hope of discovering many reptile and mammalian species as well. We have received reports from week to two week expeditions in the region of eye witnesses seeing canine sized tarantulas, large river dwelling sauropods, and a species of man eating fish (which was recently discovered on river monsters).

Tip: The Anomalist

Stephen relates the story of Operation Congo in the 1980s by William Gibbons. The party was searching for Mokèlé-mbèmbé (often described as a dinosaur-like creature). They didn’t find it.

Gibbons returned and heard stories about other weird creatures that resembled dinosaurs. No one has ever found evidence of large unidentified dinosaur-like creatures in the Congo. And, there is absolutely no good reason to think they still exist 65 million years after their demise in the fossil record.

So, it appears Stephen has lofty goals at the top, but meanwhile, there is a good case to be made for many species still left to discover. They likely won’t be the attention grabbing cryptids though.

They plan to collect specimens and use trail cameras. All in all, a worthy goal. However, this will be an extreme difficult expedition. It’s dangerous. Also, he says his colleagues have “a firm background in Biology” but are there zoologists? I don’t see the point in amateurs trekking into the Congo. This makes me VERY suspicious.

Also, red flag, Gibbons is a Creationist. I see no statement that Stephen is as well but I’m getting vibes based on the construction of the post and the absence of important details – like university affliations. Creationists think finding a living dinosaur will somehow made evolution look bad and the Bible look true. Anyone who is off to explore the Congo and mentions Gibbons… well, I’m skeptical.

See this piece for more A LIVING DINOSAUR IN THE CONGO? (PART 2)

UPDATE: I asked Stephen what the biology backgrounds are, he wrote:

I studied Biology At UMKC and Missouri State. I’ve also been on trips of this nature to Brazil, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica. My partners all come from different backgrounds and have different skills to bring to the expedition. I have experience categorizing plant and animal species in the Amazon. There really isn’t much to it in my oppinion besides an eye for detail, having the information available to you, and the ability to organized and store your findings.

My cousin Jonothan Sales (22) who just took a humanitarian aid trip back to Nicaragua with me, Is going to college for religious studies, has a very big interest in zoology, and spends a great deal of time working on humanitarian projects in rural India. My close friend Sam Newton (23) is currently writing a survival book full time in North Carolina, and then Justin Brown (24) a proffessional hunter and tracker from Missouri.

So, a group of amateurs (note the “religious studies”).

Addition: This was covered by Ben Radford at Life’s Little Mysteries: Jurassic Lark

  6 comments for “Cryptozoology expedition to Congo is on Kickstarter (Updated: no scientists)

  1. Scott Godlewski
    April 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

    Which species of man-eating fish was discovered on River Monsters?

  2. Massachusetts
    April 16, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    Crocodiles, alligators, sharks, and many insects, like cockroaches, are all examples of “living fossils” that haven’t changed much, or at all, since the age of the dinosaurs. If they don’t invalidate evolutionary theory, then why would a Sauropodian do that?

    • April 16, 2012 at 8:39 PM

      Living fossils is a terrible term. There are no such things. They have a long lineage we can trace that looks pretty similar but everything evolves to suit the environment. You may not notice but they have changed CONSIDERABLY.

      Finding any type of creature today would not invalidate evolution as a way to describe how populations work. But there is absolutely NO evidence to suggest that dinosaurs managed to avoid extinction in that sauropod form. Only their decedents as birds survive today that we know of.

  3. April 19, 2012 at 1:17 PM

    You don’t have to be a “professional” to make discoveries. Based on your standards, Hiram Bingham was an “amateur” yet he was still able to document and share his finding of Macchu Picchu with the world.

    I commend these young men for being brave and adventurous.

    • April 19, 2012 at 6:42 PM

      Amateurs overseen by scientists are wonderful contributors. Amateurs who think they know what they are doing are a hazard.

  4. Christopher Cochran
    April 26, 2012 at 11:36 AM

    I would like to note on “religious studies”.

    That term can be very misleading. For example, I have a BA in Religion. However, the entirety of my education was into the anthropological study of religions, their secular history, and their effect on people, culture, and politics. At no time did my education ever delve into the validity of the claims contained within scriptures or belief structures. Never did a religion class at my undergraduate university ever promote the validity of belief.

    As far as I know, in the US this is more the norm than the exception. Studies into actual faith and belief as truth were reserved for seminary; education on the secular aspects of religion were for religion degrees.

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