Has Colonel Fawcett's Giant Snake been found?

'A Northern Ireland pensioner and his son claim to have discovered evidence which proves the existence of a mythical giant anaconda living in the Amazonian.'

 

During his expeditions into the Amazon jungle, Colonel Percy Fawcett reported sighting of strange unheard of creatures. One of which was an enormous anaconda snake 65 feet long. This was widely ridiculed by the scientific community. However, a recent expedition in the Amazon acting on Fawcett's sightings, has made a discovery that could prove the 'experts' wrong and Colonel Fawcett right.

'A Northern Ireland pensioner and his son claim to have discovered evidence which proves the existence of a mythical giant anaconda living in the Amazonian jungle.'

 

Snake
The mythical Yacumama measures up to 40 metres long

Mike Warner, 73, and his son Greg, 44, believe they have photographs which show the giant reptile, which measures 40 metres long by two metres in diameter, slithering through the Peruvian rainforest. The men took the aerial photographs of the creature, which is dark brown in colour and known locally as Yacumama, during a 12-day expedition to the Amazon in March. Greg said reports of Yacumama, which translates as 'mother of the water', abound throughout the Amazon basin and history.

"This has been my father's project for 23 years and it all goes back to one photograph he saw of a large python which had just swallowed a goat.

Mike Warner
Mike Warner spent his life savings on the expedition

"My father and I were estranged for about 10 years, but we got together at Christmas and I started helping him by reading his research material because he is partially blind."

"The more I read about it the more interested I got, so I said to him why don't we go and finish the job by finding it."

Mike, who worked as a lithographer before retiring, spent his life savings funding the trip. Greg said they decided to start their hunt for the snake by following up on the reports of the British archaeologist and explorer, Colonel Percy Fawcett.

Colonel Fawcett was commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society of London in 1906 to map an area of the Peruvian Amazon in a dispute over rubber production. Percy Fawcett recorded seeing large trails in the forest which we called channels so we tasked satellites to take pictures of this area to look for the existence of these channels. "We looked for these channels and thought if we can prove these channels exist we could maybe find some evidence which pointed towards the existence of the snake. "What we didn't expect to get was a picture of one of these snakes in the channel. "We think we have found something that is extraordinary."

Since coming back from their trip the father and son have shared the findings from the 700 photographs and five hours of video footage taken on the trip with the National Geographic Society and Queen's University Belfast.

Colonel Percy Fawcett
Colonel Percy Fawcett mapped the area in 1906

"Although largely thought to be a giant anaconda it is possible that this is a species previously unknown to science," he said. "It is believed that these creatures are both aquatic and capable of burrowing deep into the earth. As this snake favours confluences, it stands to reason that an important part of its diet may include fish as well as other local animals including caiman, monkeys and other snakes. We believe that this creature may even be cannibalistic."

Greg said he and his father are hoping to attract private funding for another expedition to the Amazon in October to research their findings further.  Article from BBC News.

Fawcett's Double-Nosed Dog

Fawcett also claimed to have discovered a breed of two-nosed dog high in the Andes. Although again, dismissed at the time as fantasy, it has been discovered since that these dogs do exist.

Is this Fawcett's Double-nosed dog?Xingu (right) is being held up as living proof that mum Bella was descended from a long line of almost mythical Double-Nosed Andean Tiger Hounds rather than simply having a very rare birth defect. The 10-month old puppy was named after the lost city being hunted down by the intrepid explorer Colonel Percy Fawcett - the man who first documented the existence of the double-nosed dogs - when he mysteriously disappeared. The only surviving descendent of Bella - who was discovered in Bolivia last year - has exactly the same shaped nose suggesting Colonel Fawcett's claim that an ancient breed exists could be correct.

Colonel John Blashford-Snell, chairman of the Scientific Exploration Society, told how - with dogged determination - he travelled along 600 kms of rivers into the heart of the Amazon basin where he had first found Bella, and was delighted to discover she had given birth to a son.

He said: "Sadly Bella, having produced four pups, has died but all her pups had double noses. One has survived. He is a fine, lively young dog of about 10 months named Xingu. Article extracts taken from the Mail Online by BRENDAN MONTAGUE

 

What's stirring in the jungle?

In a tale worthy of Indiana Jones, a Belfast father and son may have discovered a giant species of snake deep in the Amazon forest. Laurence White reports. Monday, 8 June 2009 - ©belfasttelegraph.co.uk

 

Could the mystery of giant snakes in the Amazon jungle be finally solved?

For centuries man has been fascinated by tales of giant beasts lurking in remote corners of the globe. The obvious, and closest to home, example is the enduring myth of the Loch Ness monster, the supposed only existing relic of some long extinct species.

Every so often the myth is resurrected and expeditions are mounted to find supporting evidence, but with no success to date.

Similar tales exist of huge snakes, reaching 40 metres in length and two metres in diameter, living in the murky depths of the Amazon rainforest.

British archaeologist and explorer, Colonel Percy Fawcett, was commissioned by the Royal Geographical Society of London in 1906 to map an area of the Peruvian Amazon in a dispute over valuable rubber production.

While on the expedition in 1925 he vanished on another trip to the area he claimed to have shot a giant anaconda 62 feet in length and 12 inches in diameter.

However, his account like those of others who claim to have seen even bigger specimens, have never been verified.

Yet the rumours persist of giant snakes known to native tribes in the Amazon region as "Yacumama" or "black boa".

It was the lure of these extraordinary tales " backed up by years of research” which brought a Northern Ireland father and son, Mike and Greg Warner, to the region earlier this year.

Mike said: "The supposed giant anaconda is not the normal green in colour, but dark brown. Although known by locals as"the black boa", it is actually a species of anaconda, not a boa."Yacumama"™ translates as "Mother of the Water" and reports of this giant snake abound throughout the Amazon basin."

Mike has long been fascinated by tales of a giant snake, much larger than any confirmed by scientists. He has spent 23 years researching reports of the snake, including detailed study of ancient art and cultures spanning several millennia.

Mike, along with his 44-year-old son Greg, decided to test his theories on the probable habitat of such a giant snake and assembled a team to carry out detailed aerial surveys of two locations in the Amazon rainforest.

With the assistance of the Peruvian Embassy in London and authorities on the ground in the Amazon, he picked his team.

Their destination was near Iquitos. Fixer, Deborah McLaughlin, based in Lima, handled logistics and permits. Jose Valles Padilla, an experienced guide and translator, was hired along with Jorge Pinedo, a local pilot of 30 years standing.

The first problem they encountered was hazardous weather conditions they arrived during the rainy season.

After sitting around for five days they managed to take off in a hydroplane from the Amazon River near Iquitos.

"In spite of being buffeted by a freak storm at the first site, we managed several fly-overs at an average altitude of 400 feet," Mike recalled.

"We had two video cameras mounted at either side of the rear of the aircraft which took continuous footage and Greg, sitting up front with the pilot, took hundreds of still photographs," said Mike, who celebrated his 73rd birthday while on the expedition.

Their target was the confluence of the Napo and Amazon rivers. Greg said: "We believed these giant creatures favour areas where two rivers meet as that provides them with two sources of food supply."

"When Colonel Fawcett first went to the Amazon he documented large trails six foot wide. These are channels made by the snakes as they move about the swampy ground. We believed that if we could find channels, we could maybe find snakes as well."

In all they spent 12 days in the jungle "they also investigated a thermal lake with gushing hot springs 110 miles deeper into the jungle where another unusual beast is reputed to lurk" before the exhausting 30-hour flight back home.

There they began the arduous task of minutely examining more than 700 photographs and five hours of video.

And what they found was astounding.

Mike revealed: "We managed to capture one of these reclusive giant snakes on camera as it made its way through a watery channel. Jose, who has 20 years of experience working on these sorts of projects, confirmed our belief that we had captured a huge snake on film."

Greg has contacted experts in Peru, the National Geographic Society in Washington, and Queen's University in Belfast about his discovery.

He said: "When both the Minister for Eco Tourism in Peru and a senior editor at National Geographic television contacted me on the same day, I knew my father was onto something big, no pun intended."

Now the father and son team wants the scientific community to continue their exploration. Ideally, they would like scientists to conduct thermal imaging of the area they visited to determine the actual size and number of giant snakes. Such work could best be carried out during the dry season, starting in October.

According to Greg they have received reports of another Yacumama further up the river with a diameter of 1.8 metres.

Read original article.

Colonel Fawcett's Giant Anaconda - Myth and Facts

 

A 62-ft-long anaconda may sound like the stuff of nightmares, but according to the renowned South American explorer Lt.-Col. Percy Fawcett, this is precisely what he and his exploration team encountered in western Brazil during 1907 while voyaging by canoe along the Rio Abuna, near to its confluence with the Rio Negro. Uncomfortably close to Fawcett's canoe, several feet of broad, powerful, undulating, serpentine coils and a huge triangular head rose up above the surface of the river, and as he and his team watched in horror, a truly colossal anaconda began emerging onto the riverbank. Greatly alarmed by the threat posed to his team by this limbless leviathan, Fawcett shot the snake dead, and then proceeded to measure its gargantuan form. To his amazement, he discovered that the portion of its body that had emerged from the water prior to being shot was 45 ft long, and the portion remaining in the water was 17 ft, thereby adding up to a grand total of 62 ft!



Needless to say, however, Fawcett and his team had no means of transporting an immensely heavy, rapidly-decomposing (and extremely odiferous!), 62-ft carcase back to civilisation. Consequently, his claims concerning its size remain unconfirmed - and Fawcett himself famously vanished in the Brazilian jungle during 1925, never to be seen again.


As there has never been a fully-confirmed specimen of anaconda measuring over 30 ft, some snake experts today are highly sceptical of Fawcett's account. Others, conversely, are not so dismissive. One thing, however, is for sure - giant anacondas are just one of a remarkable number of controversial, still-unrecognised creatures reported over the years from the vast uncharted depths of South America's verdant jungles of mystery.

Anacondas - are four species of aquatic boa inhabiting the swamps and rivers of the dense forests of tropical South America. The Yellow Anaconda can be found as far south as northern Argentina.
Size - There is some debate about the maximum size of anacondas, and there have been unverified claims of enormous snakes alleged to be as long as 30–45 m (98.4–147.6 ft). According to Lee Krystek,[2] a 1944 petroleum expedition in Colombia claimed to have measured an 11.43 meters (38 ft) specimen, but this claim is not regarded as reliable; perhaps a more credible report came from scientist Vincent Roth, who claimed to have shot and killed a 10.3 meters (34 ft) specimen. Based on documented evidence, Anacondas can grow to about 23 feet long.

There are some reports from early explorers of the South American jungles seeing giant anacondas up to 18.2 meters (60 ft) long, and some of the native peoples have reported seeing anacondas up to 15.2 meters (50 ft) long, but these reports remain unverified.
Another claim of an extraordinarily large anaconda was made by adventurer Percy Fawcett. During his 1906 expedition, Fawcett wrote that he had shot an anaconda that measured some 18.9 meters (62 ft) from nose to tail.] Once published, Fawcett’s account was widely ridiculed. Decades later, Belgian zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans came to Fawcett's defence, arguing that Fawcett's writing was generally honest and reliable. Historian Mike Dash writes of claims of still larger anacondas, alleged to be as long as 30 meters (98 ft) to 45 meters (148 ft) — some of the sightings supported with photos (although those photos lack scale). Dash notes that if a 50–60 ft anaconda strains credulity, then a 150 ft long specimen is generally regarded as an outright impossibility.

 

Related Links:

Colonel Fawcett's Dinosaur

Benedict Allen talks about Colonel Fawcett

Nazi graveyard discovered deep in the Amazon rainforest

Colonel Percy Fawcett is Alive

 Mysteries of Ancient South America by Harold T. Wilkins

Last words from the legendary British explorer Colonel Percy Harrison Fawcett - includes expedition map

Very Large Maps of Colonel Fawcett's Amazon Jungle Expeditions

English translation of Manuscript 512

Colonel Fawcett's 1925 Expedition to search for the Lost City of Z

Manhunt in the Jungle by George M. Dyott

The Lost City of Z by David Grann Book Review

Amazon explorers uncover signs of a real El Dorado

 

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