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Monday, June 08, 2009


The saga of the supposed giant snake from Peru continues. I am now in a dialogue with Greg Warner, the younger of the two explorers who claim to have taken photographs of a 130ft snake in South America. And - much to my surprise - he does seem to be a decent and polite bloke. But his story is so extraordinary that we would not be doing our job properly if we did not approach our investigations of the affair with as much rigour as possible.

Despite recent political changes in this country people are still just about inocent until proven guilty. However, when one is approaching a case like this one, one has to take the opposite tack.

But one thing is paramount: whereas we have to treat all claims, especially ones as extraordinary as this, with a great deal of suspicion, we also have to treat the people making them with respect.

Last year I was quoted in a press story about artist Pollyanna Pickering's trip to Bhutan where she saw what appeared to be a yeti scalp, and I was
pilloried (often illiterately) on websites across the cryptoverse. I know what it is like to have your claims under suspicion, and to be treated with ill-bred rudeness both from the canaille and from those who really should know better. Greg and his father Mike have treated us in a polite and gentlemanly manner, and we have every intention of treating them the same.

The first mystery that had to be cleared up was the matter of the photograph that accompanied the original press story, reproduced in facsimile here just in case anyone thought that we had made it up.

If you read the article, it doesn't claim that this photograph was actually taken by the expedition. Indeed it wasn't. It appears to have been taken by a dude called André Issi and was used to illustrate a journal that can be found here. Tony Lucas in New Zealand and Dr Dan Holdsworth both provided translations which can be found here

Dan went on to write:

This page too is written in Portuguese, and once again Google translate only seems to want to translate part of it, however searching through for the word "anaconda" and translating those sections of text still doesn't seem to yield much info on the photos.

Chris Kraska wrote:


That's looks like a dead yellow anaconda on its side. It could also be a dead green anaconda on its back but the photo is so tiny I can't tell if I'm seeing ventral scales or dorsal/lateral scales.



However, Greg Warner has written to me that "The photo used is a research photo not one from the expedition although we believe it has all the charictoristics [sic] of a Yacumama or Black Boa 15-20 Meters long." That is fair enough, although I think it shows a dead yellow anaconda about 12ft long. But it is a relatively convincing explanation for how this picture became associated with the case, so I think that it is time that we took Senor Issi and his picture out of the equation, for the time being at least.

If one reads the original newspaper article from the Belfast Telegraph carefully, a lot of the more outlandish claims for the creature (which sounds far more like the minhoaco than a giant snake, but that's another issue) are from stories originally from the South American newspapers reproduced on this page.

Greg kindly provided a translation of these newspaper articles. His translations can be found here Being a suspicious bugger, (although I prefer to call it an adherance to some level of scientific rigour) I also got Chris Kraska to translate them:

(PS although I can make myself understood in New World Spanish, after my expeditions to Mexico and Puerto Rico, my grasp of the language is rudimentary at best, and mostly only good for buying beer and cigarettes, and finding the nearest bar or airport - and as I have since quit smoking, a large chunk of my bilingualism is rendered completely pointless)

It destroyed their home and devoured domestic animals. (smaller above)

Sachamama frightens elderly couple (larger below)

Next. From the text (Btw, this is basically one big run on sentence):

A nearly inexplicable act was what happened to an elderly couple residents of Committee 11 of the Michaela Bastidas settlement who from one moment to the next were swung from one extreme to the other by something large that came out from the depths of the river, from the depths it came out like a hurricane that destroyed my poor house that is more than 50 meters from where it was located, I was dying of fright because I saw it, saw it's gigantic jet black head that was about to kill me, expressed Mrs. Dolores Suna, who was sure that what had left her exposed to the elements with one canoe worth of supplies, is the mother of that island that is in front of ours, there you find her, in the aguaje tree there, finished Dolores, who along with her husband Artemio, was comforted by her neighbors, who didn't doubt in their prayer, now they wait to have the same luck with Civil Defense, we hope.


Smaller above:

Knocked down a house and panicked two residents

Larger below:

Giant Boa in Moronacocha

Smaller below:

People say monster has huge eyes, scales and horns

Iquitos (Peru)-

With fear they are found the neighbors of the settlements of El Porvenir and Micaela Bastidas, located in the sector of Moronachocha, by the presence of a gigantic boa. Antonio Mayta Aricaya (64), fisherman of Moronacocha lake, attests that months prior, in the zone there were plenty of fish and that now there are none owing to the enormous reptile.

"The island is always alive at night and sounds are heard in the river, it's all a mystery. It appears the giant animal uses the vegetation as camoflage to slide through without being seen", decared Mayta Aricaya.

Admin Perez Gutierrez related that all the time the island was a peaceful place, and now it's the opposite. "Until it knocked down a house that was in the middle of the lake. It's the first time this has happened and the river has grown too much."

In the meantime, the people of the two settlements, don't go close to the edges of the river, for fear that the animal will appear, that has been catalogued as a monster with huge eyes, horns and scales.

In RED at center.

"That zone is known for having animals; previously there was a lizard that ate hens, but this incident was different because I saw that there was a huge one with eyes that sparkled like a lantern" says Carlos Caballero Dahua (47), subsecretary of the Micaela Bastidas settlement. According to the neighbors, the boa travels in a zone of vegetation and moves from one end to the other during the night, when there are no humans present.

In my opinion the two sets of translations are substantially the same, and that unless Greg and Mike have far too much time on their hands, and have gone to the trouble of faking two sets of South American newspapers, which is not impossible, but would seem ridiculously unlikely, that the stories that they claimed came from the newspaper were exactly that!

Whether or not a snake did attack someone's house and cause the damage described (which sounds incredibly unlikely), Greg and Mike are making no such claims from their own experience. It is tempting to suggest that someone at the Peruvian newspaper has resurrected stories of the minhoaco and used them to explain damage done to a crappily built building by a flash flood or something similar. Who knows?

The events overnight (and forgive me if they are a little confused, but I was up late watching the election results and I am less than 100% compos mentis this morning) seem to have clarified the matter considerably. And at the moment I have to say that Greg and his father Mike are coming out of this looking much better than I had at first expected.

Watch this space, for there will undoubtedly be more updates later..


Maktub - Andre Issi said...
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Maktub - Andre Issi said...
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andre said...
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Unknown said...

It's very easy to point something as false being behind a PC keyboard. Try to go to the forest. Try to navigate. Face the real adventure life, be a true adventurer and then show your point of view about André Issi. He is a real, a great adventurer, and cannot be told as suspect by a website writer, if you are that much. Danilo.

andre said...
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Joe said...

It is amazing how "experts" can say that it is not a Anaconda when, at the same time, they say that the picture does not have enough resolution. If they can not tell the anaconda in the picture, how can they say that it is not a anaconda? hhmmmmmm
Heard from the Jungle people hundreds of stories about giant anacondas, and what sounds like when they "shoot' their prey. Exploring and working in the Peruvian Amazon Jungle.

steve martin said...

There was a recent expedition to the Peruvian Amazon jungle by members of the Warner family in early 2009 verifying Percy Fawcetts findings of unusual six foot channels throughout a very remote part of the Amazon jungle where it is known for its lagoons, and i found that after reading SOME of the blogs of the CFZ members, they seemed to be almost brow beating this lagitamate expedition which two belfast men flew half way across the world just to verify Percy Fawcetts findings, who i may add, was a well respected man of his day, commisioned by the British Government to map out ares of the jungle disputed over rubber teritory.
I would also like to point out that in 2005, only the second discovery of its kind in 30 years, an expedition financed by the French University of Toulouse discovered a skelloten 41 metres long with a scoll of 1.3 metres long which will be put on display at the National Museum for Archaeology,Anthropology and History of Peru.