Bigfoot Encounters


Commentary: Once again, the British Press misleads the public by erroneously labeling the Sumatran orang pendek as a yeti. They are NOT the same creatures, not even closely similar in descriptive qualities. The news article below concerns the orang pendek, a small hair-covered unclassified terrestrial ape [pongid] that eludes being photographed and/or capture in the Indonesian Pacific Rim islands of Sumatra, Kalimantan, Borneo, Malaysia and southern islands of the Philippines. The yeti of the Himalayas on the other hand, has always been described quite differently. Simplistically put, the yeti is proportionately far larger, 5 feet tall plus and more massively built creature than the op. [orang pendek] The footprints of the yeti and the op are dissimilar. The yeti is also elusive, unclassified and more heavily ingrained in the various cultures of the Himalayas, which includes Bhutan, Sikkim, Nepal, Tibet, China and just maybe Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, although called by different names in the latter three countries.

23 July 2003 -- Gloucestershire, UK

Monster hunters from the West yesterday revealed how they have returned from a jungle expedition with possible evidence of an Indonesian "yeti".

The intrepid team from the Center of Fortean Zoology (CFZ) spent more than three weeks in the steamy jungles of Sumatra in search of the legendary apeman Orang Pendek.

Returning to the center's base in Exeter this week, they say they have gathered evidence that could prove the existence of the creature, which has allegedly terrified and captivated the people of Indonesia for centuries.

Orang Pendek, which translates to short man, is essentially an upright-walking ape, standing about 5ft tall. It is broader than its knuckle-walking relative and immensely strong.

For the locals it is a legendary member of Sumatra's jungle fauna, but, since it has never been caught on film, many doubt its existence.

Not so the CFZ team, who have been investigating strange and mysterious animals since the Center was founded in 1992. "We found footprints and hair samples that could well have been from Orang Pendek, " said team zoologist Richard Freeman.

"We couldn't take casts because it was raining too hard, but we took pictures. Further down the trail we found several broken plants, split apart with the insides eaten, which our guides told us were the plants that the creature likes to eat. There were also interesting teeth marks on some branches." The hair samples, some long and brown, some light and pale, have been sent off for study at the University of Copenhagen, while the footprints and teeth marks are also going for independent verification.

If they are found to be from an unknown species, the CFZ will have taken a massive step towards proving the creature's existence.

"We really need footage and photos of the creature, " said Richard. "But this would be a big leap forward." The intriguing evidence was recovered from tracks around the isolated Gunung Tujuh volcanic lake high in the mountains of Kerinci National Park.

The team's investigation also included taking testimonies from locals claiming to have seen the beast, and former journalist Debbie Martyr.

She left the UK in 1992 in search of Orang Pendek, has been there ever since and now works for tiger conservation projects in the area.

"In the 10 years she has been out there she has seen it several times, " said Richard. "And my guide told me his father was cutting logs in the 1980s and saw Orang Pendek. He said it was beige brown, short with very broad short legs and long arms.

"It does not seem to be aggressive, but it is amazingly strong, it could tear Lennox Lewis's arms out of their sockets."

Copyright: "The Citizen, UK "

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