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

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Monday, October 31, 2011


Dear all at CFZ,

I was recently reading a book about a doomed British army 1994 expedition to be the first to drop down from the summit of Mount Kinabalu in Borneo, and descend Low’s Gully, an incredibly deep and hard to access gorge. I was excited to read some sections that are exciting from a cryptozoological perspective.

This first extract was written by Sergeant Bob Mann, who was high up the mountain, above the gorge, but well below the summit of Kinabalu:

‘The others went off to their tents, fifty yards up the hill, and I put some wood on the fire before settling down to sleep. I lay in my sleeping bag, looking at the splendor of the enormous cliffs in the moonlight, and drifted off to sleep, only to be woken some time later by the sound of a boulder being moved close by. At first I thought it was Kevin getting his own back for the episode with the tea, and told whoever it was to stop pissing about playing games and get back to bed, but there was no reply. I looked at my watch; it was twenty past two. I figured that it must have been someone having a pee, so I put some more wood on the fire and snuggled down into my sleeping back again. There was a loud ‘crack’ as if something heavy had stood on a piece of wood; I got out my head torch and had a good look around. Nothing. I put some more wood on the fire and settled down again, this time pulling my bivvy bag over my head. No sooner had I made myself snug than a scratching started on the outside of my bivvy. Whatever it was sounded really big and I was completely freaked. I lay there, paralyzed by fear for at least ten minutes, listening to the scratching getting louder, before plucking up the courage to take my knife from my belt. I shot out from my sleeping bag like a rat from a drainpipe, knife in hand, shouting at the top of my voice: ‘Come on you ^&*&(!

My neck crawled as I saw a large ape-like shape disappear into the tall shrubs on my left. I’ve never been so scared in my life; I knelt there for 10 minutes, knife in hand, too petrified to move. I must have looked really stupid. Some Commando, getting spooked by an animal. My mind raced, recalling stories of Yetis and such like – did they live in Borneo?’

On the same day, Lance Corporal Rich Mayfield (who was the advance party), had abseiled by himself down a section of the gorge wall to a substantial forested ledge halfway down. He reported:

‘…I reached it and lowered myself through the initial greenery, only to be faced with thick branches barring my way, necessitating a bit of aggression to punch a hole big enough to get down.

Standing on what passed for the jungle floor I peered into the emerald depths, trying to pick out a viable route, until a loud commotion broke out in the undergrowth nearby; it was probably some fascinating example of the Kinabalu fauna, but ay aspirations I might have had to being David Attenborough deserted me as visions of tigers and water buffaloes sprang to mind and sent me prussiking back up the ropes to the open hillside. There aren’t any tigers in Sabah of course, and as far as I knew, water buffaloes weren’t particularly well versed in the art of abseiling, but whatever it was had sounded large and powerful enough to put me off the idea of solo exploration for the day.’

I have checked the mega fauna of Borneo at that altitude (approx 10,750 feet) and cannot find an explanation for this, as water buffaloes do not live at that altitude.

Could this be another variety of Orang Pedek living in the remote national park?

The book is by: Rich Mayfield and Bob Mann. It is entitled: Kinabalu escape - The Soldiers' Story. It is published by Constable, ISBN: 0 09 476970 2

Best wishes,

Sam White, Enfield, London


Richard Freeman said...

This was probobly a Bornean orang-utan.

Anonymous said...

As a matter of fact Richard Muirhead just asked me about borneo man-beasts about a week ago back: the Bornean exact-equivalent of the Orang Pendek is called the Batut and it is mentioned in the book The Red Ape: Heuvelmans gives it a passing mention on his original checklist as well. However, The Orang Pendek is not the be-all and end-all of Indonesian mystery primates: on Borneo there is supposed to be an outsized, darker, and more gorilla-like orangutan called the Beraung Rambi. This was reported by Odette Tcherne in the book In Pursuit of the Abominable Snowman. The name turns out to be a known reference to a male orangutan: Giant orangutans are also reported in Sumatra.

There are also reports of the Orang GADANG or Great-Big-Man, which might be the same thing or might be something else: local opinion seems to favour its being a surving "Meganthropus" and several sources compare it to a Sasquatch. I would guess that is what the witnesses saw here but there are not enough details to know for certain. According to John Keel the reported giant man-beasts in the island are up to 18 feet tall, and Loren Coleman calls those reports True Giants. I think they are the same as the "Lesser" giants, but with some exaggeration.

There are longstanding allegations of a regular Wildman type on Borneo and the other larger islands of Indonesia, but references to "The Wild Man of Borneo" are generally supposed to refer to ordinary orangutans. Ivan Sanderson reports the term "Orang gugu" to refer generically to all sizes of "ABSMs" in the region. The term seems to mean People-that-speak-gibberish.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

Neil A said...

I have the actual Borneo expedition on video, which was shown in the '90s. One of the soldiers mentioned that one night he awoke and saw a hair covered creature standing over him. If anyone wants to see this please get in touch. Low's Gulley would be an ideal place for an undiscovered creature.

Carl said...

There is more than one mystery primate species labeled the Orang Pendek, and I think they are all of short stature, after all Orang Pendek does translate as "small person", so whatever the large creature is in this report it isn't an Orang Pendek of any type. A more likely suggestion could be the Giant Orang-utan/Gigantopithicus type creature also reported from the island. However this doesn't mean that a variety of Orang Pendek couldn't exist there, after all small ape like creatures are reported on surrounding islands; so why not on Borneo.