|As is true with my other pages in my Hoaxes, Mistakes, & the Dubious catagory, this page will not follow a format already present on this website, i.e. it is unique due to the circumstance. Very little, if anything, has been published on the Kasai Rex hoax's life on the internet, which I am trying to change. If the reader knows anything more about the origins of this hoax on the internet, please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.|
| 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 Kassai 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 tranverse 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 though 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 sysetem. 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 was and emitting unintelligible sounds. I dare say I did. For eight days I lay in a fever, unconscious nearly all the time.
| This is admittably one of the worst reports I have ever heard, and there is good reason to believe that it is a hoax. Since there were literaly tons of game in this valley, why didn't he expect for something big? I imagine that if he had a big gun, there would be no excuse not to shoot the beast, since he didn't have any physical evidence. Also, since bull elephants are very large, they probably couldn't even get into the jungle because of their large tusks. The only elephants that live in the forest are the aptly named forest elephants, and they can hardly be considered giants. 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 the pictures on the second encounter as well. It seems that the writer attempted to explain the hoaxed photograph more than one time. The photograph is what clearly gives this story as a hoax. It is nothing but a regular lizard that was cut out from another source, possibly a magazine like National Geographic, and pasted on to a background with a boulder, which appears to have been the "rhino". It is the most obviously hoaxed photos of all time, and I fell sorry for the people that had to read this in the paper. To note, the behavior of the main character in this story seem to be very odd. No other cryptid report mentions a man going into a comatose state for over a week just by seeing a monster, one that he apparently saw with fewer ill effects earlier. And, since when are hunters so terrified of an animal just because it was fast? In my opinion, this is by far the worst hoax I have ever read.
Unfortunatly, the story around it is even more bizarre. Apparently, a man named Grobler was the one who had called attention to this story.
|The Johnson/Johanson hoax
This is that 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.|
|This account provides a good background to the story, but also provides more evidence for it being a hoax. The most obvious error (other than the typo on the word family), is the fact that the name of the Swede changes, first it is Johnson and later it is Johanson. That very fact makes me doubt the story signifiicantly, not as much as the photo though. The man Grobler who reported this story also has an interesting past. 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. In 1932, several years after, Grobler reported the photo of the monster and it's story to the press of the same animal he was 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". There is still more life to this hoax even though it was already known to be a hoax.|
|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 accepts it as fact), and more than one version surfaced. 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.
|The most complete re-telling on the internet has been posted on the website trueauthority.com. Although it would appear that this would be the origin of the story, the website e-mailed me that they got the story from cryptozoology.com. 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 fled and the cowardly Swede fainted. As he awoke, he gave a very detailed description of the beast, lacking in the Rhodesia Herald version. He said 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 the 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 the time period, and even to some extent today. After that the author gives the speach 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. How this report got to be a report of a dinosaur is one of the most puzzling things I have ever seen. Perhaps some of the Dino fans were so eager to find a report, that they overlooked the fact that monitors are 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 cryptozoology.com. There are pictures in the gallery, and before it was banned, some person, who kept on changing their name, posted the same Kasai Rex story over and over again.
There are 18 manifestations of the Kasai Rex on the internet according to a search by Google.com. This is rather pathetic compated to other cryptids, Sasquatch (88,000), Nessie (98,000), and even a lesser known one like Octopus giganteus has almost 500. With those websites are some that are skeptical to the matter (other than my own) including cryptozoology squared, and Megaraptor's website. Other than cryptozoology.com, the X-project forum has also had some discussion on it, and it was eventually revealed to be a hoax in the end. Unfortunatly, some other websites still present the whole matter as if it were fact such as Shadow's World of Crypozoology. There apparently used to be more websites on the matter, but they have now gone belly up.
So, I hope that with the extensive information on this page, I have been able to combat the myth of a living Tyrannosaurus in the African Congo. Sometimes, people who like something such as Dinosaurs are thrilled to think that they are still alive, but do not look fully into the matter. By going against this one particular case, I'm not entirely bashing the case of a relict from the past, I'm just demonstrating how misleading information (especially on the internet) can be. When Grobler made this hoax, it was not pulled out of thin air, it was based on rumors of a reptillian beast living in the Congo. Although there is never going to be a Kasai Rex out there in the Congo, or other places of the world, it doesn't mean that there still aren't wonders waiting to be discovered.
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.
www.crypozoology.com (Glossary, Gallery, and Forum sections)
www.google.com (search engine)
|This is the picture of the Kasai Rex the Johnson/Johanson allegedly took. It is obviously a fake, and appears to be a cut out of a gecko perched on top of a rock.|