Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

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Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Whilst looking for mystery animal reports from Hong Kong last week I came across a rather interesting report of an ape man in pre-Communist Shanghai. I wasn`t aware of any other urban ape-men until Richard Freeman passed on details to me of an orang pendek type creature in Singapore (see below) from his forthcoming book on orang pendek. The only other reference I am aware of to this Shanghai (or, rather, Pootung) ape man is in the book Outbreak! The Encyclopaedia of Extraordinary Social Behaviour by Hilary Evans and Robert Bartholomew.

China Mail of August 26th 1947 said: “ The Pootung Ape-Man Moves To Soochow

Reports of the Pootung monster spread to Soochow Creek and families living in sampans were made panicky and confused during the night by stories of a half-human, half animal monster that scratched the eyes of several children living in sampans. The reports started last week in the Pootung area and spread quickly up and down the water front. The reports. The reports, coupled with rumours that an abduction gang is in operation, led to six volunteer policemen beating a woman to death in an attempt to get a confession and beating another unconscious.
Families living in sampans on Soochow Creek, which winds through the heart of Shanghai dividing the former International Settlement from the former Japanese Hongkew district, said the monster appeared on Saturday night (1).The police were unable to find evidence (?) while strangers were threatened by sampan folks. Confusion started when a sampan woman lulling a baby to sleep screamed for help when she thought she saw a dark form rising from the water.

Alley Cat

The Customs and Harbour police rowed up the creek and could not find anything, while crowds gathered on the bank.

Shortly after midnight last night, hearing screams from another woman again the dwellers of the smelly tidal creek, which carries much sewage in Shanghai, found a brown and white alley cat splashing about dozens of families in terror- United Press (2)

Outbreak! Says: “Cryptozoology, per se, also shows up marginally in relation to a “Water Monster Panic” that occurred in Shanghai,China, in August 1947, An “amphibious monster scare” resulted in the death by drowning of a man who jumped overboard when he heard screams of what he thought was the monster. Two other men were beaten to death by a crowd “who believed they were somehow linked to the monster” (3)

Freeman has written: “The New Paper, Singapore`s first English language paper launched in 1988, has run a number of such reports [of small upright, walking apes-RM]

A 48-year old taxi driver, called Serangoon made the following report.

“When driving my taxi past the Fire Station on Upper Bukit Timah road in the middle of the night I hit what I thought was a child that ran out in the middle of the road.It was on the car bonnet and then snarled at me-it was like a monkey but so big! It ran off injured covered in blood, and holding its` arm which was broken. (4)

1 August 23rd 1947
2 China Mail August 26TH 1947
3 Cryptomundo June 6th 2009
4 R.Freeman Unpublished manuscript of book on Orang Pendek in e-mail to R.Muirhead of 22/10/10


I hope to start seriously collecting data for a book on Chinese Forteana; I hope the most comprehensive collection yet. If anyone would like to help collect info, please can they contact me at richmuirhead@ntlworld.com? Thanks.


We`re Smart Patrol
Nowhere to go
Suburban robots that monitor reality
Common stock
We work around the clock
We shove the poles in the holes
(Shove it)

Wait a minute somethings wrong
He`s a man with a plan
He`s here to do us a favour
A little human sacrifice
It`s just supply and demand…..

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

Unfortunately oh-so-little to go on, with minimal physical description.
It could be an escaped pet macaque monkey, some of which are good swimmers and many of which are useful pets trained to gather coconuts or perform for audiences while walking upright. This is an area where some of the macaques can be of a large size.