Joe Marrero is planning a little trip this summer, and it’s got his family kind of concerned.
The Hollywood software engineer is among a team of optimistic young men who intend to trek through the unforgiving Congo on a most outlandish quest: discover — and possibly bring back — a living dinosaur.
“Naturally, anybody’s family would be worried about them,” he said. “They don’t want to hear the details.”
Africa experts say the family’s fears are well-founded. New York travel agency owner Valentine Sazhin has traversed the Congo. “There are many dangerous places,” he said.
Marrero, 28, is the eldest of the six-man team that makes up the Newmac Expedition, named for its principals, leader Stephen McCullah and survival expert Sam Newton. They will brave the jungly Congo River to track a legendary sauropod said to live along its shore, the one pygmies call — cue the spooky music — Mokele mbembe.
What the team lacks in academic credentials or African experience, it makes up for in enthusiasm. And they’re undaunted by skeptics. “I’ve gotten everything — from people that were very supportive, to, ‘You guys are a bunch of idiots.’ ” McCullah said.
Tip: CFI’s Morning Heresy
This group has been successful in raising attention and money for their expedition. On the surface, it looks astoundingly naïve and dangerous. As we have covered before, there is NO good evidence that an unknown dinosaur-like animal is behind the mokele mbembe legend. The idea of dinosaurs in the African jungles is one promoted by Creationists to disprove evolution (won’t happen). Yet, the search for the creature comes to the forefront of all of these articles. To venture into an unfamiliar, hostile environment to attempt a scheme for which you have little to no training is… daft. They are not scientists and they are chasing a legend. Sure that sounds romantic and adventurous but this is real life with real problems and real consequences. But, as they note, they were made aware of the risks. However much they choose to marginalize them (and rely on their tranquilizer guns) in pursuit of their goals is their decision.
Here is the original story where I ask the lead person about their background.
And here is the piece that notes that they reached their funding goal to look for dinos and giant spiders.