Tuesday, September 29, 2009

In Search Of The Orang Pendek

Orangpendek.org- It walked straight across the valley in front of me, thirty meters away. So close! I didn't expect it. I certainly didn't expect to see it so clearly. It was walking between two trees, vegetation to about hip level. This gorgeous, graceful, very strongly built primate, a big ape, walking out of a legend and into broad daylight, lit up by the sun. If I'd seen it concealed in undergrowth, I could have said, "Well, I saw 'something'." But I didn't see "something". I saw an orang pendek...
-Debbie Martyr

What is it?

People in Indonesia, in and around Kerici-Seblat National Park in central Sumatra, for hundreds of years have been seeing the "Orang Pendek", literally meaning "short person".

Witenesses of the Orang Pendek describe an ape-like creature that is approximately 3 feet tall, pwerfully built, walks bipedally (two legs) and has short hair covering it's body. Could this be the "missing link"?

For Immediate Release 29th September


The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) is the world’s largest mystery animal research group. Only a week after releasing footage of what appears to be anomalous animals in an Irish lake, a group of four British explorers and scientists from the CFZ have just returned from the jungles of Sumatra having spent two weeks in the rainforest on the track of the orang-pendek, an unknown species of upright walking ape. They have brought back some incredible news.

CFZ member Dave Archer and local guide Sahar saw the creature at a distance of around 100 feet as it squatted in a tree. Dave describes it as broad shouldered, with a large head, black skin and dark brown hair. A line of darker fur was visible on the spine. He likened the coat of the creature to that of a mountain gorilla. Sahar saw the creature jump down from the tree and walk away on its hind legs. It was the size of an adult male chimpanzee.

Next to the tree was some rattan vine that the animal was apparently chewing. Expedition leader Adam Davis has preserved part of the plant in ethanol in the hope that it contains cells from the animal’s mouth.

The team also found and photographed several sets of tracks made by creatures. Expedition zoologist Richard Freeman confirmed that they matched no known creature in the area. The prints were six to seven inches long with a narrow heel and wider front. The big toe is well separated.

Hair samples were taken from a tree close to the tracks. A number of the hairs contain medullas that the team hopes will contain orang-pendek DNA. The samples will shortly be sent off to experts around the world for analysis.

If the samples turn out to be from a new species Freeman suggests the scientific name of Pongo martyri in honour of the English researcher Debbie Martyr who has done more than anyone else to look into this zoological mystery.

Footage from the expedition and from the Irish lakes are being submitted for inclusion in a major BBC documentary about the CFZ, which is being made by Minnow Films, an award winning British film production company, over the next eight months.


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