The giant snake more than 30 feet long attacked the helicopter. Fortunately, the pilot jumped out in time.

In recent news, there have been reports of a giant snake аttасkіпɡ a plane in a remote region. The snake, reportedly over 30 feet long, managed to climb up the side of the plane while it was parked on the tarmac and аttасked one of the engines.

Remy Van Lierde said the 15-meter (50-foot) snake lurched at his helicopter flying over the Congo rainforest.

A Photoshopped image of a massive snake attacking a helicopter in the jungle.

An artist’s impression of Van Lierde supposedly encountering a giant snake in the Congo rainforest.

Image credit: Veranika848/journey601/Maria Dryfhout/Shutterstock edited by IFLScience 

There’s a strange story that often does the rounds on internet forums and podcasts, which speaks of a giant 15-meter (50-foot) snake that lurks in the depths of Central Africa, prone to lurch out of the jungle and strike passing helicopters if it feels threatened. Like many tales of cryptozoology, it’s almost certainly nonsense, but it’s a hell of a story. 

Remy Van Lierde, a Belgian Air Force Colonel who served in World War Two, made the claim in 1980 during an interview with the British TV show Mysterious World, hosted by renowned sci-fi writer Arthur C Clarke.

Van Lierde claimed that in 1959 he encountered a giant greenish-brown snake while flying over the Katanga Province of the Belgian-occupied Congo (now Democratic Republic of Congo) by helicopter. As an experienced pilot, Van Lierde argued that he was extremely skilled at gauging the size of things on the ground from the sky. 

“I would say the snake I saw there was close to 50 foot,” he told the program.


He said the helicopter dipped down within 9 meters (30 feet) of the snake below, at which point it “raised up” its neck by around 3 meters (10 feet) and eyed-up the chopper for a bite.

“I could very clearly see the head,” which he said looked like a “very large horse” with a huge triangle jaw. 

“I feel – and I’m convinced – that if I had been in its range, it would have struck at me. The head, I would say was certainly 2 foot wide and 3 foot long. It could have easily eaten a man,” said Van Lierde.

Along with this first-hand account, Van Lierde also managed to snap a photograph of the sight. However, the image was taken in black and white, plus it’s a little on the grainy side. 

As a well-respected air force veteran, Van Lierde is often considered to be a reliable source who has no apparent motive to make up such a claim. However, it does look extremely doubtful that this mythical snake is secretly living in the Congo Basin.

The largest species of snake known to live in the area is the African Rock Python (Python sebae). They typically grow to well over 3 meters (10 feet), although there are reliable accounts of specimens measuring up to 6 meters (20 feet).

If anyone was to make the claim of a 15-meter (50-foot) snake, then they’d have to provide some extremely robust evidence, which Van Lierde’s account is not.

However, his story of the train-sized snake is not the only colossal cryptid reported in the depths of the Congo Basin. One of the most famous is mokele-mbembe, a swamp-dwelling monster that’s said to resemble a long-necked sauropod dinosaur. In fact, in the minds of some, this mysterious creature might be a survivor of the asteroid that wiped out non-avian dinosaurs around 66 million years ago. 

Most scientists believe that sightings of mokele-mbembe are likely to be elephants or black rhinos, large-bodied mammals that could be mistaken for prehistoric beasts if obscured by thick rainforests. 

As for Van Lierde’s giant python, we can assume that he came across an African Rock Python – or, who knows, perhaps the serpent-like neck of an angry sauropod. 

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