On the trail of the Laos Wild man
Wild man of Laos...
This is the hairy Wildman of Laos that villagers in Southeast Asia believe killed and ate several locals before and during the Vietnam War.
An Australian scientist who recently returned from Laos said the local Mon people recognized this drawing as being one of the region's Abominable Snowman-like creatures. But Dr Helmut Loofs-Wissowa, a visiting fellow in the faculty of Asian Studies at the Australian National University, said the villagers had not seen the creatures since the early 1970s.
The area the creatures were believed to inhabit was close to what was the border of North and South Vietnam Ñan area extensive defoliated during the Vietnam War, Dr. Loofs-Wissowa said.
He believes the creatures were either killed during the war or forced into inaccessible mountainous regions of the country.
The 1.8m creature (1.8 meters = 5.96 feet tall) is said to be covered in short, gray-red fur with a stubby nose. The only parts of the body without fur are the knees, the soles of the feet, the hands and the face.
The Mon people recognized artists' impressions of a wildman as their local creature.
Dr Loofs-Wissowa is producing a documentary for Japanese television, questioning people in Southeast Asia on what sort of apes they had in the area. He showed pictures of gorillas, gibbons, orang-utans and other apes before he showed the wildman impressions.
The drawings were sketched from photographs a Belgian zoologist took of a large hairy ape-man found in a block of ice.
An American showman was exhibiting the body at country fairs in the United States during the late 1960's when the Belgian zoologist photographed it. The body of the iceman has since disappeared.
Dr Loofs-Wissowa said only the older villagers remembered the hairy creatures, but they had horrific tales to tell of the man-eaters.
"If there was one human being and one or more wildmen, then the human being was in great trouble," he said. "There are reports of the wild men killing humans and taking them back to their caves and eating them." If people out-numbered the creatures, the wildmen would normally run away.
Dr Loofs-Wissowa said there were reports of large, hairy beings from Australian and US soldiers during the Vietnam War.
He said he had spoken with an American and an Australian who both served in Vietnam and believed they saw similar ape-men.
The American was working with some locals during the war when he saw people who had been crushed to death. The locals immediately recognized the injuries as being caused by the creature.
Dr Loofs-Wissowa, who is trained in anthropology and archaeology, said many of his colleagues scorned his beliefs.
Homo ferus is the term Dr Loofs-Wissowa has given the Wildman of Laos and he believes it is a form of Neanderthal man, generally thought to have died out about 30,000 years ago.
He said it could be the "missing link" between ape and man for which many scientists are looking. "It would shatter the dogma that the homo sapiens is the only human being at present," he said.
Reports of wild men exist in many countries from Russia to the US and Australia.
Dr Loofs-Wlssowa has heard reports of three different types of wild men in Southeast Asia including the Wildman of Laos.
There was also a 1.5m (1.5 meters = 4.9 feet tall) creature reported in southern Vietnam and Cambodia and a massive 3m (3 meters = 9.8 feet tall) creature reported on the Malaysian peninsula last year, (1995) he said.
Sightings of similar sized creatures, known as the Yeti have been reported in Nepal.
The Australian wildman, known as the Yowie, has been part of Aboriginal mythology, but alleged sightings have continued into this century.
National Party senator Bill O'Chee is one of at least 20 boys who in 1977 claim they saw a creature similar to Chewbacca from the movie "Star Wars" at Lamington National Park, Inland from the Gold Coast.
© Sunday Herald Sun, March 17, 1996 p.31
See also additional article, same topic by Dr. Loofs-Wissowa HERE
Loofs-Wissowa, Dr. Helmut " In Search of Unidentified Relic Hominoids in Southeast Asia " Canberra, Australia, other published works and the Japanese television film on "Wildman" research covers Loofs-Wissowa's work. Dr. Helmut Loofs-Wissowa is a highly recognized trained anthropologist; a retired Reader in Asian History and now a Visiting Fellow at the Southeast Asia Center, Faculty of Asian Studies, ANU, Australia.
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