dinosaur amazon jungle
Among the various mysterious creatures sighted and reported throughout the world there is one very distinctive category, and this is that of living dinosaurs, prowling the forests and jungles of our world as if they were never gone at all. Such fantastic reports come from a variety of places, in particular Africa with its saurian Mokele Mbembe and others, but another lesser-known location for accounts of supposed surviving dinosaurs is the wilds of South America. Here among the jungles and even deserts of South America's remote wildernesses have come truly bizarre accounts that seem to suggest that dinosaurs are perhaps alive and well, still stomping across the landscape as they always have.

Some rather cryptic reports came from the famed explorer Percy Fawcett, who is most well-known for his ambitious and ill-fated expedition in 1925 to find a lost city he was convinced existed in the forgotten depths of the Amazon jungle, a journey during which he would vanish off the face of the earth to become one of the most baffling disappearances in history. I have written of Fawcett and his various expeditions in much more depth here at Mysterious Universe before, but one of the more interesting aspects of his adventures are all of the strange and mysterious creatures he allegedly encountered along the way. Among the cyanide-shooting millipedes, acid-spewing ants, double-nosed dogs, cat-dog hybrids, and giant snakes and giant spiders, it also seems that he may have very well seen and heard of actual living dinosaurs out there in the badlands of those murky unexplored jungles. Some of these accounts were told to him by others, such as an account he wrote of in a letter in 1919, in which he writes of a strange, dinosaur-like creature supposedly lurking in the jungles of Bolivia, saying:
A friend of mine, a trader in the rivers and for whose honesty I can vouch, saw in somewhere about Lat. 12 S. and Long. 65 W. [Bolivia-Brazil borderland] the head and neck of a huge reptile of the character of the brontosaurus. It was a question of who was scared most, for it precipitately withdrew, with a plunging which suggested an enormous bulk. The savages appear to be familiar with the existence and tracks of the beast, although I have never come across any of the latter myself...These swamps over immense areas are virtually impenetrable.
Colonel Percy Fawcett
© Times of London
Colonel Percy Fawcett in 1911, the British explorer who disappeared in 1925 on a quest to find the civilisation he called the City of Z, in the Amazon jungle.
Fawcett made another brief mention in his many notes of something very strange, large, and seemingly very much like a dinosaur in the wilds of Bolivia, of which he wrote:
Some mysterious and enormous beast has frequently been disturbed in the swamps - possibly a primeval monster like those reported in other parts of the continent. Certainly tracks have been found belonging to no known animal - huge tracks, far greater than could have been made by any species we know.
It is maddeningly brief and lacking in detail, which was a bit odd for Fawcett, who normally went to great lengths to take meticulous and detailed notes during his expeditions. There is also the fact that this creature, whatever it was, is mentioned nowhere else in his journals and is not brought up again, making it frustratingly unclear as to what exactly he saw out there in those uncharted jungles. Percy also at several points mentions hearing from natives of enormous, mysterious tracks along the Acre River, near where the borders of Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil collide, although these people had never actually seen the elusive creature that had made them.
jungle
Another early explorer of South America who wrote of possible living dinosaurs in the region was a German by the name of Franz Herrmann Schmidt, who in October of 1907 was exploring the inhospitable Peruvian interior along with a Capt. Rudolph Pfleng and some native guides. Upon coming to a valley they claim that they found an area along the Solimes River to be oddly devoid of any water animals such as alligators and aquatic snakes, or indeed any life at all, and they came across some unusual massive footprints in the mud. The guides reportedly became quite upset and agitated at this discovery, and warned them to head back, but they apparently camped there anyway. The next day fresh tracks were purportedly found along the river near the camp, and Pfleng announced that he had decided that he was going to follow them to see where they led. Shortly after this, there was a commotion in the jungle as the monkeys and birds screamed and shrieked and a large dark shape crashed about in the brush, which sent one of the spooked Indian guides scurrying for safety in one of the canoes. Schmidt would write of the incident:
One of the excited Indians began to paddle the boat away from the shore, and before we could stop him we were 100 feet from the waterline. Now we could see nothing and the Indians absolutely refused to put in again, while neither Pfleng nor myself [sic] cared to lay down our rifles to paddle. There was a great moving of plants and a sound like heavy slaps of a great paddle, mingled with the cries of some of the monkeys moving rapidly away from the lake.... For a full 10 minutes there was silence, then the green growth began to stir again, and coming back to the lake we beheld the frightful monster that I shall now describe.

The head appeared over bushes 10 feet tall. It was about the size of a beer keg and was shaped like that of a tapir, as if the snout was used for pulling things or taking hold of them. The eyes were small and dull and set in like those of an alligator. Despite the half dried mud, we could see that the neck, which was very snakelike, only thicker in proportion, was rough knotted like an alligator's side rather than his back.

Evidently the animal saw nothing odd in us, if he noticed us, and advanced till he was no more than 150 feet away. We could see part of the body, which I should judge to have been eight or nine feet thick at the shoulders, if that word may be used, since there were no fore legs, only some great heavy clawed flippers. The surface was like that of the neck.
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