Image: Pieter Dirkx
An Interpretation of the Mongolian Death Worm, Painting.
Braving violent sandstorms akin to fog with an attitude problem, tent-shredding twisters that blast men off their feet, and an ice river that caves in as their vehicles are crossing, the four men continue on their journey. Their thoughts are haunted by the creature they are tracking, a legendary beast said to be capable of spitting lethal corrosive venom, or killing from a distance with an electrical discharge. This was the quest to find the truth about the Mongolian Death Worm.
Image: David Churchill
The Expedition Team.
The intense experiences just described were critical moments for leading cryptozoologist, author and zoological journalist Richard Freeman, in the expedition he led in 2005. The mission: to track one of the world’s most fearsome cryptids, an animal that strikes terror into the hearts of many Mongolian people with its abhorrent appearance and deadly demeanour – and not just for those who have seen it.
Image: Takeshi Yamada
Death Worm Model
The Death Worm’s existence has been reported in these columns, but it was time to set the record straight and get the lowdown from Freeman himself. So what prompted him to embark on the expedition in the first place?
Says Freeman: “The Mongolian Death Worm is legendary. I had heard talk of the creature for quite a few years before we left for the expedition. The Death Worm was first mentioned in the West by American adventurer Professor Roy Chapman Andrews, who was the inspiration behind Indiana Jones.”