Jane Massey, wildlife journalist for The Living Earth, was sent by her magazine to document the lives of endangered silverback gorillas, in 1971 AD Nongona Valley Rwanda. This excerpt ran as a small anecdote among the larger and more popular story of rare and exotic primates:
- As we passed a steep valley, I saw a movement of something in the foliage below. Our guide saw it too and encouraged us to pick up our pace. At that moment, I heard something pretty rare for that part of the world: complete silence. No birds, no animals, not even insects, and we’re talking some pretty loud insects. I asked Kengeri, our guide, and he just told me to keep it down. From down in the valley, I could hear this creepy moan. Kevin, the expedition’s photographer, turned even whiter than usual and kept saying: “It must be the wind.” Now, I’ve heard wind in Sarawak, Sri Lanka, the Amazon, and even Nepal, and that was NOT the wind! Kengeri put a hand on his machete and encouraged us to shut up. I told him that I wanted to go down into the valley to check it out. He refused. When I pushed, he said, “The dead walk there” and took off.
Massey never explored the valley or discovered the source of the moan. The guide’s story could have been local superstition. The moan could have simply been the wind. However, maps of the valley reveal it to be surrounded by sheer cliffs in all directions, making it impossible for ghouls to escape. Theoretically, this valley could serve as a receptacle for tribes wishing to trap but not destroy the walking dead.