5 Things You Need To Know About Indonesia's Legendary Orang Pendek
We all know about Bigfoot, the legendary ape-like beast purported to be living deep within the forests and mountains of the US. However, what many people don’t know is that another, lesser-known legendary ape-man is said to haunt the deep, dark rainforests of Indonesia, Sumatra and South-East Asia, on the other side of the globe. Here are 5 things you need to know about this strange beast, the Orang Pendek.
5It’s Small But Dangerous
While the North American Sasquatch is often described as being immense in size, up to 8 feet tall and around 500 pounds, eyewitnesses describe the Orang Pendek as much smaller.
It is said to be smaller than a man, only around 4-5 feet tall and covered in brown, grey or occasionally deep red hair and walking upright, like a human. However, despite its small stature, the locals of the region describe the Orang Pendek as an animal not to be messed with. They say it has enough strength to tear down trees and smash down huts.
Because of this, the locals treat the Orang Pendek with great respect and reverence.
4They Were Seen During The Vietnam War
When the brave US soldiers returned from their service in the jungles of Asia in 1975, they bought back with them frightful tales of encounters with strange ape creatures.
One soldier claimed that while on patrol one morning, he spotted a small, black hair covered creature drinking from a stream, cupping water to its mouth as a person would. It ran off on two legs when it noticed him.
In another instance, a platoon was confronted by a large group of what they described as “upright apes”, which shrieked at them and threw rocks at them. The creatures only retreated when the soldiers began firing on them.
Another soldier claimed that one night he was thrown down a hill by a large, hairy ape.
The sightings became so prevalent that the US army came up with the term “rock ape” to describe the strange beasts that their soldiers were seeing.
3There May Have Been A Body
In late 1967, something strange was going on in Minnesota. A man was going around country fairs with what he claimed was the frozen corpse of a creature never seen before.
The man was Frank Hansen, a former US air force pilot who had been stationed in Da Nang. His exhibit was a large block of ice, inside of which was the body of a strange, dark haired ape-man.
While Frank never revealed the true origin of his attraction, stating on different occasions that the creature had been killed in America, Siberia or Asia, there was a persistent rumour that Frank himself had shot the creature while serving in Vietnam.
The exhibit attracted a lot of attention, and eventually a zoologist, Bernard Heuvelmans came to examine the specimen. He concluded that the “Minnesota Iceman”, as Frank had dubbed it, was genuine, as Heuvelmans stated he could see places where the flesh had begun to rot.
Things took a strange turn, however, when after a nationwide tour with the Iceman, Frank suddenly claimed that he had “retired” the original corpse, and would continue the tour with a plastic replica.
No explanation was ever given for this abrupt and strange decision, and Frank never revealed the original iceman’s location.
2There Is Evidence Of Its Existence
There have been many plaster casts made of alleged Orang Pendek footprints upon the forest floor. And while many of these prints have been identified as belonging to humans or bears, there was one discovery made in 2003 that is harder to explain.
English researcher Adam Davis found some unusual footprints while in Indonesia, and when he sent the plaster casts of these tracks off for analysis, he was shocked at the results.
The zoologist who examined the footprints, Dr.David Chambers from the University of Cambridge, stated, “The cast of the footprint taken was definitely an ape with a unique blend of features from gibbon, orangutan, chimpanzee, and human. From further examination, the print did not match any known primate species and I can conclude that this points towards there being a large unknown primate in the forests of Sumatra.”
1It May Be A Real-Life Hobbit
In 2003, paleontologists on the small island of Flores in Indonesia made one of the most groundbreaking finds of the 21st century.
They found the fossilized remains of a previously unknown species of human, a tiny prehistoric man that stood only 3 feet tall. Alongside this skeleton were found spears, knives, arrows and fire pits, showing that these small people were intelligent and advanced enough to have used tools.
This new species was called “Homo Florensis”, but it was also dubbed “the real life Hobbit” by its discoverers. The reason for the tiny stature of Homo Florensis is due to a phenomenon known as “insular dwarfism”. What this essentially means is that, due to the small size of Flores Island where they lived, and the limited resources upon it that Homo Florensis shrunk in order to survive.
However, they were still formidable hunters and predators as evidenced by all of the hunting equipment found at the excavation site.
It has been theorised that the real life hobbits were not only confined to the island of Flores, but perhaps they lived all over Asia, and perhaps a still surviving population of these tiny, prehistoric humans is behind the legend of the Orang Pendek.