APELIKE MONSTERS



Sightings of monstrous apelike creatures lurking in the darkness of forests and mountainous regions of the world have been reported since the Middle Ages. In 840 C.E., Agobard, the Archbishop of Lyons, told of three such demons, "giant people of the forest and mountains," who were stoned to death after being displayed in chains for several days. In his Chronicles, Abbot Ralph of Coggeshall Abbey, Essex, England, wrote of a "strange monster" whose charred body had been found after a lightning storm on the night of St. John the Baptist in June 1205. He stated that a terrible stench came from the beast with "monstrous limbs."

Villagers of the Caucasus Mountains have legends of an apelike "wildman" going back for centuries. The same may be said of the Tibetans living on the slopes of Mt. Everest and the Native American tribes inhabiting the northwestern United States. The Gilyaks, a remote tribe of Siberian native people, claim that there are animals inhabiting the frozen forests of Siberia that have human feelings and travel in family units. Based on the eyewitness descriptions of hundreds of reliable individuals around the world who have encountered these creatures, it would seem that the creatures are more humanlike than apelike or bearlike. For one thing, these giants are repeatedly said by witnesses to have breasts and buttocks. Neither apes nor bears have buttocks—nor do they leave flatfooted humanlike footprints.

In 1920, the term "abominable snowman" was coined through a mistranslation of the Tibetan word for the mysterious apelike monster yeti, "wildman of the snow." For the next two decades, reports of the creature were common in the Himalayan mountain range, but it was not until the close of World War II (1939–45) that world attention became focused on the unexplained humanlike bare footprints that were being found at great heights and freezing temperatures. The Himalayan activity reached a kind of climax in 1960 when Sir Edmund Hillary (1919– ), conqueror of Mt. Everest, led an expedition in search of the elusive yeti and returned with nothing shown for his efforts but a fur hat that had been fashioned in imitation of the snowman's scalp.

The humanlike creature—whether sighted in the more remote, wooded, or mountainous regions of North America, South America, Russia, China, Australia, or Africa—is believed by some anthropologists to be a two-footed mammal that constitutes a kind of missing link between humankind and the great apes, for its appearance is more primitive than that of Neanderthal. The descriptions given by witnesses around the world are amazingly similar. Height: six to nine feet. Weight: 400 to 1,000 pounds. Eyes: black. Dark fur or body hair from one to four inches in length is said to cover the creature's entire body with the exception of the palms of its hands, the soles of its feet, and its upper facial area, nose, and eyelids.

Some question the existence of giant apelike creatures because there is so little physical evidence besides casts of huge humanlike footprints. Some researchers respond by pointing out that Mother Nature keeps a clean house. Scavengers soon eat the carcasses of the largest forest creatures and the bones are scattered. Zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson suggested that if these beings are members of a subhuman race, they may gather up their dead for burial in special caves. Dr. Jeanne-Marie-Therese Koffman agreed that the creatures might bury their dead in secret places. It may be, she theorized, that they may throw the corpses of the deceased into the rushing waters of mountain rivers or into the abysses of rocky caverns. Others remind the skeptical that it is not unusual for certain of the higher animals to hide the bodies of their dead. Accounts of the legendary "elephants' graveyard" are well-known; and in Ceylon, the phrase "to find a dead monkey" is used to indicate an impossible task.

Proving the existence of such creatures may seem to many scientists to be an impossible task, but persistent searchers for undeniable evidence of the apelike beings feel that proof is right around the next corner in some darkened forest.


DELVING DEEPER

Bord, Janet, and Colin Bord. Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989.

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America. Boston: Faber & Faber, 1985.

Dash, Mike. Borderlands. New York: Dell Books, 2000.

Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961.

DELVING DEEPER

Bord, Janet, and Colin Bord. Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989.

Byrne, Peter. The Search for Big Foot: Monster, Myth or Man? Washington, D.C.: Acropolis Books, 1976.

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America. Boston: Faber & Faber, 1985.

——. "Top Cryptozoolgical Stories of the Year 2001." The Anomalist, January 4, 2001. [Online] http://www.anomalist.com/features/topcz2001.html.

Green, John. On the Track of the Bigfoot. New York: Ballantine Books, 1973.

Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961.


DELVING DEEPER

Henderson, Mark. "Team 'Find Traces of Sumatran Yeti.'" The Times, October 29, 2001. [Online] http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2-2001373 161,00.html.

Heuvelmans, Bernard. On the Track of Unknown Animals. New York: Hill and Wang, 1958.

"Man-Beast Hunts in the Far East." Fortean Times 83 (October/November 1995): 18–19.

Martyr, Deborah. "An Investigation of the Orang-Pendek, the 'Short Man' of Sumatra." Cryptozoology 9 (1990): 57–65.

Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961.


DELVING DEEPER

Coleman, Loren. Mysterious America. Boston: Faber & Faber, 1985.

——. "Top Cryptozoolgical Stories of the Year 2001." The Anomalist, January 4, 2001. [Online] http://www.anomalist.com/features/topcz2001.html.

Otto, Steve. "Absolute Kinda Irrefutable Proof of Skunk Ape." Tampa Tribune, February 13, 2001. [Online] http://news.tbo.com/news/MGACIN7J3JC.html.

Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961.

DELVING DEEPER

Bord, Janet, and Colin Bord. Unexplained Mysteries of the 20th Century. Chicago: Contemporary Books, 1989.

Dash, Mike. Borderlands. New York: Dell Books, 2000.

Henderson, Mark. "'Yeti's hair' Defies DNA Analysis." The Times, April 2, 2001. [Online] http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/0,,2-108351,00.html.

Heuvelmans, Bernard. On the Track of Unknown Animals. New York: Hill and Wang, 1958.

Sanderson, Ivan T. Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life. Philadelphia: Chilton, 1961.



User Contributions:

Krysta
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Aug 8, 2006 @ 8:20 pm
Dark creature w/bright red eyes and fangs to our chins. Located at Edgewood commons vancouver Washington 98661 at around 11:30 PM about two years ago.

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