DELTA GREEN SECURITY BRIEFING:
SECURITY : DELTA GREEN EYES ONLY
According to contemporary Cryptozoologists something is stirring in the vast sandy expanses of the Gobi Desert. The nomadic tribesmen who share its sandy domain in the vast southern expanse of Mongolia call it the Allghoi Khorkhoi. Whilst those few westerners who have heard of this strange creature call it appropriately the Mongolian death worm. The Nomads testify that this strange and deadly creature can not only squirt a lethal corrosive venom, but also kill people merely by toughing them in a mysterious yet instantaneously fatal manner highly suggestive of electrocution!
Somewhat unappetisingly, the death worm earns its native name from its alleged resemblance to an animate cow's intestine- Allghoi Khorkhoi translates as 'intestine worm'. A succinct account of this grotesque creature is that it is a sausage-like worm over half a metre long, and thick as a man's arm, resembling the intestine of cattle. Its tail is short, as if it was cut off, but not tapered.
It is difficult to tell its head from its tail because it has no visible eyes, nostrils, or mouth. Its colour is dark red, like blood or salami … It moves in odd ways either it rolls around or it squirms sideways, sweeping its way about. It lives in desolate sand dunes and in the hot valleys of the Gobi desert. It is possible to see the Allghoi Khorkhoi only during the hottest months of the year, June and July; later it burrows into the sand and sleeps. It normally only comes to the surface after it rains, much in the way that earthworms do.
However, certain amplifications and discrepancies regarding its morphology should be noted. Some nomads have asserted that the death worm can grow up to 5 ft long, and that it bears darker spots or blotches upon its red skin, which is smooth and unscaled.
Moreover, one elderly woman who claimed to have seen a death worm when she was a girl stated that it was sort of bound into points at both ends. This contradicts the earlier-noted description of the worm's posterior end as terminating abruptly rather than tapering, and may even indicate that the creature bears one or more pointed projections at both ends.
Home to the death worm is the Oobi one of the great deserts of the world. Encompassing an area of approximately half a million square miles, it spans roughly a thousand miles from east to west across southeastern Mongolia and northern China, extending from the Great Khingan Mountains to the Tien Shan. It
Stretches about 500 miles from north to south.
Located on a plateau ranging 3000-5000 ft in height, the Gobi consists of a series of shallow alkaline basins, and its western portion is almost entirely sandy. Notwithstanding this, it supports a thriving diversity of wildlife, and nomadic Mongol tribes, living as shepherds and goatherds inhabit its grassy margins. Many significant dinosaur remains, including fossilised eggs of the Ceratopsian Protoceratops, have been discovered amid this region's vast expanse since the 1920s.
Whereas the word 'desert' typically conjures up images of a hot, burning sandscape, this is in fact true only for certain deserts - those sited at low latitudes, such as the Sahara, caused by high-pressure air masses preventing precipitation. In contrast, the Gobi, of quite high-latitude location, is what is known as a cold desert whereas the word 'desert' typically conjures up images of a hot, burning
sandscape, this is in fact true only for certain deserts - those sited at low latitudes, such as the Sahara, caused by high-pressure air masses preventing precipitation. In contrast, the Gobi, of quite high-latitude location, is what is known as a cold desert, related to mountain barriers that deter moist maritime winds and thereby severely limit rainfall. The surface temperature in cold deserts can plummet so dramatically during the winter months that some of their fauna must remain beneath the surface of the sand in order to stay warm enough to survive, whereas others migrate to milder regions.
Several significant and sometimes truly astonishing aspects concerning the death worm's behaviour and lifestyle have been uncovered. These can be itemised as follows:
There is a high frequency of death worm sightings in areas sustaining Cynomorium songaricum. This is a cigar-shaped, poisonous parasitic plant locally termed goyo, found on the saxaul plant's roots, which are also poisonous.
One old woman, called Puret, claimed that when the worm attacks, it raises half of its body up through the sand, inflates itself, and secretes a bubble of poison from one end, ultimately squirting it forth in a stream at its unfortunate victim.
Puret also claimed that anything contacted by this deadly fluid turns yellow instantly, and looks as if it had been corroded by acid. However, it loses its potency from the end of June onwards, and meeting the worm then does not always result in death.
Witnesses also say that the death worm can kill people by touch too (and sometimes even when several feet away). On such attack occurred when a boy from Khanbogd accidentally touched a death worm that had found its way into a box in his parents' campsite. The boy died instantaneously-, as did his parents when they attempted to kill it.
Others tell of the strange that happened during the visit of a party of Geologists. One of the geologists had been idly poking the sand with an iron rod when suddenly, without any warning he dropped down onto the ground. His horrified colleagues raced over to him at once, but he was dead. As they peered at the sand that he had been prodding, however, it began to churn violently, and out of it emerged a huge fat worm- an Allghoi Khorkhoi. Yet the man had not touched this deadly creature directly, only via the metal rod.
Yanzhingin Mahgalzhav, a nature ranger from Dalandzadgad claimed that during the 1960s a single death worm had killed an entire herd of camels just south of Noyon, when they unsuspectingly plodded across an expanse of sand concealing one of these dreaded beasts lying beneath the surface.
Not surprisingly, the Gobi nomads greatly fear this ostensibly lethal creature, and take great care not to draw close to it if they happen to encounter one unawares.
The hypotheses generated by cryptozoologists are exceedingly thought provoking. For example: they consider it possible that the reason for the death worm's close association with the goyo plants is that it obtains its venom from them, or from the roots of their host, the saxaul. Even more extraordinary, if true, is the prospect that the death worm can kill by electrocution. Although a highly radical proposal it could certainly explain the instantaneous deaths attributed to this worm of people who have touched it or camels that have unsuspectingly trodden upon it. Moreover, assuming electrocution is true, it undeniably offers an effective mechanism by which someone could die instantly even after having touched the worm not directly but with an iron rod- i.e., an excellent electrical conductor.
Plausible identity for the death worm, if it is indeed a bona fide mystery beast, are irrevocably influenced (in the present absence of tangible physical evidence) by the proportion of this creature that owes its origin not to biology but rather to local folklore.
Assuming that its death-dealing capabilities are fictitious, I consider the most reasonable identity for the Allghoi Khorkhoi to be an unknown species of giant amphisbaenid (or- less plausibly, but even more dramatically if correct- a radically novel species of giant water- impervious oligochaete), with its predilection for sunbathing on the surface of the sand during the Gobi's hottest months just another example of unfounded local folklore. Perhaps it also surfaces during other months, but in areas less readily traversed by nomads, and hence is less commonly spied during those months.
If, conversely, it can indeed squirt or similarly emit lethal venom, a currently undescribed species of specialised snake, most probably allied to the death adder or some other elapid, is certainly the most plausible identity available.
And if it can kill by electrocution? This talent would distance it so emphatically from all previously documented desert fauna that, without having first examined a specimen, I would hesitate to offer any taxonomic categorisation whatsoever for such an astonishing animal.
Cryptozoological sceptics may seek to dismiss the death worm as an example of foaflore (i.e., a typical 'friend of a friend' tale, lacking any traceable origin or firsthand testimony), due to the frequent reluctance of the nomads to speak of it (or even mention it by name) and to admit having spied it personally. Moreover, while adamant that this creature does exist, they will sometimes deny that it exists in their particular region, and will send European investigators elsewhere to look for it.
However, such evasive behaviour on the part of local people in relation to a given animal species is by no means unique. There are many species already known to science, including various lemurs in Madagascar and even the tiger in certain parts of India (e.g., Purnia), that are treated in precisely this manner by the native people who share the animal's domain. These attitudes tend to be induced by a deep and abiding superstitious fear of the animal in question.
Many Cryptozoological analyses can incorporate clues drawn not only from the fauna of the present, but also from that of the past. In the case of the death worm, however, nothing remotely like it has ever been documented in the palaeontological literature. Of course, if it is an invertebrate worm, this is not too surprising, because soft-bodied animals rarely yield fossils anyway. Equally, impressions of soft organs capable of performing the deadly deeds attributed to this creature would not be preserved even in vertebrate fossils.
That said, there are a number of strange references to a worm like beast in such ancient texts as the Scroll of Thoth, the Liber Miraculorem and especially the G'Harne Fragments. It is believed that such texts describe a beast that lethality and modus operandi are highly analogous to those of the Allghoi Khorkhoi. There is something of a subtle difference between these descriptions and that of the Allghoi Khorkhoi. In each case, the Allghoi Khorkhoi is said to be intolerant to cold temperatures, whereas this worm appears to live on or near the surface of the sand. But there are enough similarities between the Allghoi Khorkhoi, and the Lords of G'Harne to consider that perhaps what the nomads of the Gobi know as the Allghoi Khorkhoi is but one of the young of these dread creatures.
In fact the description given by the Nomad woman, Puret, is remarkable similar to that given by Sir Amery Wendy-Smith, after his disastrous African expedition is search of the lost city of G'Harne. In his expedition notes, published after his death in a freak earth-tremor by his nephew Paul Wendy-Smith, he reports that the city of G'Harne was built by a strange race of elder beings Wendy-Smith called the Cthonians who were in aspect gigantic worm like creatures.
According to the G'Harne Myth Cycle, the leader of these worms, the terrifying Shudde-M'ell, was imprisoned until such time as a force of the Devourer would arise and smash the bonds that hold him. While many mocked Wendy-smith's comments, and called him mad, there are those who take these ramblings seriously, this analyst being one of them. If what the nomads say is true, then the Oobi is being used as a hatchery for a race of elder things that if not checked will make those creatures that live off our coasts look positively harmless in comparison.
by Tsiolkovsky, 1999