Bigfoot Encounters

In search of an illusive creature
Garo Hills, Meghalaya, India

Meghalaya is a small state in north-eastern India; Meghalaya literally translates: "Abode of Clouds" in Sanskrit and other Indic languages.

06 May 2008
--A group travels into the jungles of Garo Hills in Meghalaya. The group usually makes a visit on information received from local people on the sighting of this mammal, assumed to be an ape like termed as 'Yeti', sighted in Himalayan region of Nepal.

THE STORY of an apelike creature’s existence in remote villages of Garo Hills in Meghalaya continues as a local non profit organisation – Achik Tourism Society (ATS) – making an effort for the last decade to ascertain whether an ape popularly known as "**Mande Burung" is found in the deep dark jungle of Garo Hills. Here’s a report by Saidul Khan on this interesting and amazing story. Is it a myth or a reality?

In search for an illusive creature, a group of young enthusiasts travel into the deep dark jungles of Garo Hills in Meghalaya. The group usually makes a visit on information received from local people on the sighting of this mammal – Mande Burung assumed to be an ape like termed as Yeti, sighted in Himalayan region of Nepal. Those who have seen this ape like mammal have interesting stories to reveal. It is reported by the villagers that on one occasion, a man who was passing through a forest was captured by this mammal and forcibly made him do breast feeding. This was reported on January 18, 1999. His account said, “The milk was sour with a mixture of bitterness.”

On July 2005, a lady, who was sleeping with her child, heard of peculiar scratching sounds outside her thatched hut sometime at night. Later, a big hairy creature entered her house. Terrified but remained calm, she saw the creature in the full light of the firewood, which was kept burning at her house. The creature after sometime just stamp out the fire and disappeared into darkness, the lady was not harmed in any way, she revealed.

The story of Mande Burung is a tale or a reality, fact yet to be ascertained. But then from where the scratch mark and footprints come, research continues. The government of Meghalaya after 1997 sightings ordered probe, report is yet to be made available. The Achik Tourism Society wonders whether government was serious to take this matter.

The recent sightings of this mammal were in April 2007 in Durabanda village of Garo Hills. Eye witness says that two adults with two young ones were seen. Another eyewitness said a female Mande Burung chased away a human in the same village. It was also sighted in Chokpot, who was in search for crabs in a nearby stream.

The Achik Tourism Society, which has been in search for this, came out with some evidences on the survival of this mammal, if it really exists at all. They have collected some samples of hair recently, which is the only biological evidence they have, other than some imprints, footprints and scratch marks on tree trunks. The hair has been sent for deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and forensic test. This will throw some light on if at all the hair is of that ’Unidentified Giant Creature’.

The ATS has also come up with very comprehensive report and descriptions of "Mande Burung" or the so-called Bigfoot. It is big, apelike creature with thick hair covering its entire body. The color of the hair is reported to be black or blackish brown. It has some kind of foul odor/smell emanating from the body. It has a footprint/pug mark size from 13 inches to 15 inches in length. It may be around 7’5" to 9’ tall. It may weigh around 300 kgs. It is noted to be herbivorous creature, who eats banana, tubers, tree roots, fruits, berries, barks of some trees, sawe trees and is also reported to eat crabs. It walks on two legs (biped). (As reported in 2002 sighting). It sleeps in the nest built on the open ground (as reported in 2002 sighting). It is shy and is basically harmless (as reported in 2005 sighting). It is a creature with phenomenal strength.

There has been many incidents reported on this illusive creature. The 1997 sightings in Silkigre village, near Chokpot is of immense importance. It is said that some village women folk’s who went to the jungle to gather firewood’s have claimed to have seen a hairy giant near the stream.

This news then had spread like wildfire in the jungle, this time because the villagers refused to go to their field for cultivation due to fear psychosis, which gripped the entire village tightly. The forest officials from Baghmara visited the spot and investigated the claim, report yet to be made available. (Sidnacius)
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** Mande Burung
Nokrek National Park, Meghalaya, Northern India - witness Nebilson Sangma while hunting recently spotted the big creature. Sangma said the "mande burung" walked upright like man, had built itself a "house-like nesting place" and lived off bananas and other fruit. He said: "After overcoming the initial shock, my brother and I observed this gigantic hairy creature for three consecutive days from afar." Dipu Marak who claims to have filmed the creature near its nest (more "abode" than nest-like) backed the report up days later. Footprints measuring 20 inches long were then found in the same area around the foothills of the Nokrek National Park. The Strait Times reported the incident. (Strait Times) Mande Burung carries the meaning of a bigfoot-like creature in the Garo language of India, which comes from the Sino-Tibetan language subgroup: Tibeto-Burman language. (Citation: Marak, Dipu in Meghalaya, Northern India and the Strait Times; personal correspondence detailing creature description, language information and footprint details. Short, 2003)

Such stories are not new to people living in Himalayan belt. In Kashmir, every year people claim having seen such mysterious cretures. My grandfather would say the same. He had heard from his grand father about `` Yetis", called `` Yachh'' in Kashmiri. Even Kashmri Pandits still have a tradition of thousands of years to feed such creaters during winter dark months. Even they abide by this tradition while living in exile at places like Jammu and Delhi. They call this tradition of keeping Yatis happy as `` Khicdhi Amavas'' Khichdi is specially cooked for such unseen creatures. In my childhood, I was told that those who can have the cap of Yeti is the luckiest of all creaters!. My great-great grand fathers must have too died with the same wish. But the question is where are Yetis?. Who has seen the creature in flesh and blood. No matter if the creature doesnot put on a cap! (Rajesh Bhat: 06 May 2008)

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