Hunt for the Malaysian Bigfoot
by R. Sittamparam, New Straits Times
The Official Johor Hominid Website is HERE
December 28, 2005 -- Johor, Baru Malaysia -- The Wildlife Department plans to catch the Malaysian "Bigfoot" on camera.
The department’s Biodiversity Conservation Division director, Siti Hawa Yatim, said the Johor Wildlife Department would be directed to install cameras in selected areas in the jungle after it had compiled the accounts of those who had reportedly seen the creature or had evidence of its existence.
Siti Hawa said the department would also survey areas where the sightings were reported.
Interest in the Bigfoot was triggered when three workers claimed they saw two huge creatures and a young one as they were building a fish pond in Kampung Mawai, Kota Tinggi, last month.
The workers returned to the area and saw several footprints, some large and others small, including one 45cm long.
A member of the Johor branch of the Malaysian Nature Society, who was carrying out a fish survey nearby, took photographs of the footprints.
His investigations indicated that the creatures were about three metres tall, based on the height of a tree branch that was broken off at the site.
From hair reeking of body odour recovered in the area, it is believed the creatures are covered with brown hair.
Johor MNS adviser Vincent Chow welcomed the willingness of the Federal and State Governments to look into the possible existence of Bigfoot in Johor’s jungles, as this could spur ecotourism in the State.
He said such a study would attract the large international community of Bigfoot researchers, in particular cryptozoologists from America and Australia.
Cryptozoologists are those who study animal phenomena like Bigfoot in a very serious way.
"We are sitting on a wonderful opportunity by way of the Bigfoot research to spur ecotourism in Johor, taking the cue of Loch Ness in Scotland," Chow said.
He said the Bigfoot of Endau-Rompin could be promoted like the Loch Ness monster, which brings in millions of tourism dollars for Scotland through tours and souvenirs.
"Malaysia, in particular Endau-Rompin, came into the cryptozoologists’ view after the publicising of researcher **Harold Stephens’ (see footnote) find of large footprints on the lower Endau River in the 1960s," he said.
"Sightings in Malaysia are not often reported for fear of ridicule. Occasionally, curiosity seems to be overwhelming and reports have trickled into the pages of the nation’s Press."
Chow said such news was picked up in Western countries where Bigfoot is popular, especially in America where the "Sasquatch" has a large following with clubs, organisations and merchandising that brings in millions.**Footnote:
Based on my own experience in the region in 1999, it is more probable that Harold Stephens photographed human footprints, or perhaps...fabricated tracks, certainly not the bigfoot tracks described by indigenous people.
The original 1996 photograph I was shown, showing a trackway revealed a high inside arch to the foot approximately under the medial cuneiform, this is a human trait. His track delineation in the close up photograph is a fabricated track, the impressions are clearly too perfect to the eye of a tracker, plus other features known to Eastern Samar natives. More telling that Stephens' track photos are not an unknown primate is the off-set, left-right, left-right imprints. This is human and typical of native tribesmen's foot impressions. Tribesmen who have never worn shoes or even seen a pair of shoes have feet that are longer and wider than the average Indonesian man who wears shoes.
The unknown primate tracks in the Pacific Rim Island countries are much more flat footed and to some degree like those we see cast in the Bluff Creek area of California, the major difference is that the Malaysian tracks, the Filippino tracks and those found on Eastern Samar have a slightly enlarge big toe, (fat) which is aligned with the other four toes to a very wide ball of the foot. The big toe is not divergent. One last very telling clue that Harold Stephens did not photograph an unknown primate is the shortness of the stride. His tracks do not have the consistent 42 to 50 inch stride laid down in a straight line observed in Malaysia, the Philippines, the Sulu Archipelago or Eastern Samar and neighboring islands. Harold Stephens was mistaken, gravely mistaken. His track photo is of a human, probably a native tribesmen with the short stride human-like gait....and it is my opinion that the single track photo is contrived.
Harold Stephens photographs are not the tracks of the unknown primate observed in Pacific Rim counties. .....Bobbie Short, 1996
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