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Orang Pendek or The Little Man of the Forest

Listed under Monster Hunting in Indonesia.

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In October 2004 scientists announced the discovery of the remains of what was called a “hobbit-like” species of human, given the scientific name of Homo Floresiensis. This find, made on the island of Flores located near Indonesia, attracted a firestorm of speculation and controversy as to its significance and authenticity, and gave cryptozoologists renewed vigor to continue searching for the mysterious apelike creature known as the Orang Pendek. This mystery primate, reported in the wilderness of Sumatra, is reported as being 80 to 150 cm tall and covered with varying shades of hair, although reddish-brown is the most commonly reported color. It is said to be a herbivore and to possess a large potbelly, along with a reported penchant for climbing trees. Reports of the beast have been logged for centuries, with physical evidence such as handprints and footprints used as evidence for the existence of the Orang Pendek. Researchers such as Deborah Martyr and Claude Petit have led expeditions into Sumatra in search of the Pendek, and in May of 2004 the Centre for Fortean Zoology led an expedition to gather proof for the existence of the Orang Pendek. They gathered sighting reports from many different village residents and put together an impressive amount of data to show that the Orang Pendek is still being seen today and may perhaps be the next great zoological discovery.

Written by  Brian Gaugler.

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Jungle Yeti?

Somewhere in the humidity of the dense Sumatran jungle could hide the missing link between humans and apes, the elusive Orang Pendek. With forehead and mouth more refined than his ape relatives, long russet hair on his head and, most importantly, walking upright like a man, Orang Pendek could almost be a member of a lost tribe, but his limbs and extremities are long like an apes and his short fur the brown grey of an orang utans.

Stories of Orang Pendek have been passed down by locals over hundreds of years but he first came to the notice of western civilisations in the 13th Century when Marco Polo wrote about him in his exploration journals.

The most recent proof of Orang Pendek’s existence are some long stands or unusual fur beside a tiny human like footprint near Gung Tujuh, South East Asia’s largest freshwater lake in a remote tropical rain forest. The three British cryptozoologists who made the discovery collected the hairs and cast the footprint, passing their specimens on to expert Dr. Hans Brunner, who was famously responsible for clearing Lindy Chamberlain of the death of her baby which she claimed was taken by a dingo. Brunner compared the hairs to those of other known inhabitants of the Sumatran interior including species of tapir and other apes, then with other non natives like varieties of bear but he was unable to match the hairs to any known mammal - his conclusion that this could be a new species. The footprints were analysed by a Cambridge University primatologist who concluded that the prints were definitely those of a primate.

If he is living somewhere in the volcanic forests of Indonesia’s Bukit Barisan Mountain Range, Orang Pendek, like his co-habitator, the Sumatran Tiger could be wiped out by logging before he is properly documented and become extinct before he is discovered. Scientists have been studying Orang Pendek in his absence for years and have reported many sightings, as have visitors and locals, who say he raids their crops of fruits and vegetables, but as yet there is no conclusive proof he exists.

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