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50 Foot Congo Snake
Titanoboa
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Background
Type Snakes
First Sighting 1959
Last Sighting Unknown (Possibly 1959)
Country Democratic Republic of the Congo
Habitat The unexplored rainforests of the Congo
Possible Population Unknown

In 1959, Remy Van Lierde served as a Colonel in the Belgian Air Force at the Kamina airbase in Belgian-occupied Congo. In the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, returning from a mission by helicopter, he reported having seen an enormous snake as he flew over the forests. He described the snake as being close to 50 feet in length with a 2-foot-wide by 3-foot-long triangular head, which, if his estimations were accurate, would earn the creature a place among the largest snakes to have ever existed. Colonel Van Lierde described the snake as having dark green and brown top scales and a whitish-colored underside.

Image-1418655803

The "attributed" picture of the Colossal Snake (presumably a variant/species of Python since Anacondas are not seen in Africa)

Upon sighting the reptile, he had the pilot turn around and make another pass, at which the serpent reared up the front ten feet of its body and head as if to strike, giving him the opportunity to observe its underbelly. However, after flying so low that Van Lierde believed it to have been within striking distance of his helicopter, he ordered the pilot to resume his journey, and so the creature was never properly documented, although some reports suggest that an onboard photographer managed to snap a shot of it.

It is believed to be either a massively oversized African rock python, a new species of snake entirely, or perhaps a descendant of the giant Eocene snake Gigantophis.

An interview with Colonel Van Lierde about the sighting can be found here.

Trivia[]

  • The snake's color is dark green, and with a possible white underbelly.
  • In 1962 a history professor, Charles Hapgood, got hold of Van Lierde's photo and sent a letter to the director of the NPIC (National Photographic Interpretation Center) at the time, in which he wrote that he estimated that the snake was 195 feet long (59.4 meters long).
  • Some stories of the encounter with the snake say that the snake actually lunged at the helicopter.
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