Going for Gambo

Wednesday 6th January 2021



Yes, its that time of the year again! For the fourth year running, Richard Freeman and Chris Clark are off to foreign climes in search of a monster. This year, the destination is Gambia, and the team (which includes GURRRLS for the first time), is going in search of not one, but two monsters!

· 30-foot killer dragons lurking in swamps? · A sea monster carcass buried on an African beach, with a map marking the spot?

Back in 1983 amateur naturalist Owen Burnham discovered the fresh carcass of a strange beast on a remote beach in the Gambia. It was around 15 feet long and looked like a cross between a crocodile and a dolphin. Realizing that it was something unknown to science, Owen, a missionary’s son, made detailed sketches of the creature. He and his family then buried it in the hot sand above the tide line, hoping that the dry sand would preserve the body. He also made a detailed map.

We have a copy of the map and intend to dig up and examine the monster’s body.

More alarmingly, there are stories of a swamp-dwelling dragon known as Ninki-nanka. The 30-foot beast is said to lurk in deep riverbank holes and emerge into the swamps at night. As recently as the early 1990s, it is alleged to have killed people. Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman thinks Ninki-nanka may be a giant, semi-aquatic monitor lizard. Related to the infamous Komodo dragon, the African reptile would be three times as long: as big as a very large crocodile. The team hopes to interview witnesses and venture into the deep mangrove swamps on the trail of the beast.

Team members are

· Chris Moiser: Biologist and team leader
· Dr Chris Clark: Engineer
· Lisa Dowley: First aid and security expert
· Richard Freeman: Cryptozoologist
· Oll Lewis: Ecologist
· Suzi Marsh: Computer expert

Artist’s reconstruction of the Bungalow Beach Monster (vulgarly known as ‘Gambo’) by our very own Mark North



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Member of the CFZ team since March 2009, Liz Bitakaramire lives oop north and is currently working on The Mystery Animals of Greater Manchester with Richard Muirhead.