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Lair of the Beasts: The Ape-Man of Sumatra
Creatures of the Forest
By Nick Redfern
September 19, 2009
CFZ’s 2009 Expedition for the Ape-Man of Sumatra.
Pretty much everyone reading this story will, I am sure, have heard of the exploits of the so-called Bigfoot (or Sasquatch) of the dense and expansive forests of the Pacific north-west of the United States; as well as the legendary, hair-covered Abominable Snowman – the Yeti, as it is known locally – of the snowy peaks of the Himalayas.
Perhaps rather less well-known to those not fully acquainted with the worlds of both cryptozoology and monster-hunting, is the eye-opening fact that countless other locations - and cultures - around the world have their own legends, tales, folklore, and traditions relative to hairy, man-like beasts that are said to live alongside us; albeit in distinct stealth.
For example, England has the legendary Man-Monkey; the Cairngorm Mountains in Scotland are said to be the haunt of the “Big Grey Man;” China is home to the giant Yeren; Australia is the domain of the gorilla-like Yowie; and the frozen wilderness of Russia’s Caucasus Mountains is reputed to be the lair of a race of hair-covered giants known to the people of the region as the Almasty.
And then there are the Orang-Pendeks – reputedly, unknown Indonesian apes, relatively small in stature and utterly unacknowledged to exist by mainstream science - that might very possibly shed light on the process by which our own ancient human ancestors began to walk erect.
The Orang-Pendeks, of the island of Sumatra, are said to be powerfully-built apes that walks on two legs, like a man, and that possess eerily human-like qualities, particularly with respect to their faces. Both native people and western explorers, including two noted scientists, have reported seeing such strange beasts deep within the jungles of the mysterious and enchanted island.
So, you may justifiably ask: why are the Orang-Pendeks the subject of this weekend’s Lair of the Beasts column? Well, I’ll tell you.
This week, four English scientists, adventurers and explorers will brave the harsh rain-forest of the island as they go in careful search of the Orang-Pendeks. The team, from the British-based Center for Fortean Zoology – the world’s only full-time group dedicated to the study and investigation of unknown animals - will spend no less than two weeks deep within the heart of Sumatra.
They will be working closely with Sumatra’s Kubu people: the island’s original inhabitants, who will lend vital and much-welcome assistance in the tracking of the mysterious apes – and perhaps even finally uncover undeniable evidence of their existence.
The CFZ’s expedition comes hot on the heels of the announcement of the discovery of a fossilized hominid in Georgia. The Dmansis hominids lived no less than1.8 million years ago and had legs not unlike those of modern human-beings, but somewhat primitive arms. Moreover, their early occurrence has now led scientists to rethink the process by which ancient hairy hominids first moved out of Africa to begin colonization of the rest of the world.
As Richard Freeman - the CFZ’s resident zoologist, and a former head-keeper at England’s Twycross Zoo - says: “It was once thought that our ancestors became bipedal when they descended from the trees and moved onto the grass lands of East Africa in order to exploit new food sources. However, now it seems that many apes and hominids were moving in a bipedal fashion while they were still rainforest dwellers. As well as being a major zoological discovery, the Orang-Pendeks could give us some clues on how bipedalism developed.”
Will the Center for Fortean Zoology’s team of experts finally uncover the truth that lies at the heart of the Orang-Pendek controversy? Will these potential little-cousins of Bigfoot soon be unveiled to the world at large?
Only time – and very possibly the next two weeks – may answer those controversial questions.
The team will be reporting back to headquarters in Devonshire, England as and when they have the ability to do so; and you can expect to see an update from me right here next weekend on the very latest news from Sumatra on all things of a “Little-Foot” nature.
Nick Redfern is the author of many books on Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the Chupacabras, UFOs, and conspiracies. His book Science Fiction Secrets has just been published by Anomalist Books.