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Adam Davies: Seeking Orang-Oendek

Posted by: Nick Redfern on May 8th, 2012

Adam Davies – author of Extreme Expeditions is – imminently – heading to Sumatra on yet another quest to find the Orang-Pendek. He told us here at Cryptomundo yesterday:

On 12th May, I will be departing for Sumatra again, looking for more evidence of the Orang-Pendek, for the 7th time! I will return to my home in Manchester on 3rd June.

You can see previous information on my work on this wonderful creature in Edge Science Magazine issue 7, entitled ‘New Primate Species in Sumatra’. By way of a specific update on the last CFZ 2011 expedition which I led, the hair analysis, being conducted amongst others by Professors Bryan Sykes, Todd Disotell and by Lars Thomas, is still ongoing, and as yet no conclusions have been reached. I do remain grateful for the extensive analysis they are conducting. As ever the key objective from my point of view is to extract D.N.A. from these hairs.

This time, I will be part of the `Finding Bigfoot` crew. I am under contract for the show, so I am not allowed to reveal any details, but I can tell you that we will be conducting comprehensive field research, which involves a dedicated jungle excursion.

Here’s to the finding of more great scientific evidence in our quest- and hopefully making a really enjoyable film in the process!Adam

To obtain your free download of the issue containing Adam’s above referenced paper, please click here.

Nick Redfern About Nick Redfern
Punk music fan, Tennents Super and Carlsberg Special Brew beer fan, horror film fan, chocolate fan, like to wear black clothes, like to stay up late. Work as a writer.


9 Responses to “Adam Davies: Seeking Orang-Oendek”

  1. Hapa responds:

    My Prayers to them. Hope this expedition, like the last one, will not only focus on Orang-Pendek but on other cryptids of the region (such as the sabertoothed Cigau).

    Hope they also collect a type specimen (in this case a shoot to kill method would prove dangerous, due to the fact that you might mistakenly shoot an Orangutan. A live capture would probably be better considering the already risky low numbers of Orangutans in the area. However, if they have the sufficient training and equipment to successfully distinguish between Orang-Pendek and Orangutan, then go for the kill.

    Either way, get the physical specimen, and good luck. :)

  2. HulkSmashNow responds:

    Hope to hear Mr. Davies’ account of his latest trip to Sumatra on the seventh season of “Binnall of America,” as well. Good luck and Godspeed, everyone!

  3. Lukemackin responds:

    FYI Hapa, there are no Orangutans in this part of Sumatra; they’re only found up in northern Sumatra. A few have been reintroduced into Bukit Tigapuluh national park in Riau/Jambi province, but that’s very far away from the Kerinci Seblat National Park. The largest primate in Kerinci is the Siamang gibbon.

    Of course, killing a creature that, if it exists, is exceedingly rare, is not a good idea. It would be an impossibility to get permission to do such a thing. Saturation camera trapping on a large scale is probably the only possible way to get more substantial proof. And not just on forest trails as their hasn’t been any success with camera trapping on forest trails in the past, despite great efforts. Seems that the Orang Pendek doesn’t use trails, otherwise it would have been photographed by now. It’s also possible that, like Orangutans on Sumatra, it stays mostly in the trees due to the threat of predators like the Sumatran tiger. This make camera trapping even more difficult, as cameras are triggered too frequently by moving limbs when positioned higher in trees, so cameras would have to be set to trigger on a set schedule every minute or so, reducing the length of time they can be left in the forest unattended. The logistics and cost of such camera trapping makes this strategy pretty unrealistic. It’s unfortunate, since the time that the Orang Pendek, if it exists, has left before becoming extinct grows shorter and shorter. There are a number of proposed roads threatening the Kerinci Seblat National Park that would be devastating for any remaining populations of Orang Pendek, let alone the vast array of wildlife in the national park, like tigers, elephants, tapir, siamang, etc.

    Take a minute to sign this petition if you want to help stop this from happening.

  4. Lukemackin responds:

    More information about the road issue through the Kerinci Seblat National Park can be found here and here.

  5. mandors responds:

    So let me get this straight…

    Tens of thousands of American’s and Canadian’s report a large upright primate. There are hundreds of photos, dozens of videos, footprints, and alleged vocal recordings, but none of this matters because Bigfoot is a myth.

    By contrast, we have a handful of alleged sightings by some limitedly educated, highly superstitious people, slipping back into the stone age, and that is concrete proof there is a new species?

    Great, have fun in Sumatra. Don’t forget to bring us back some coffee.

  6. Lukemackin responds:

    I’m not sure where the article even mentions eyewitness accounts being “concrete proof” of the creature, as it was focused on hair sample analysis, but ok. I think your characterization of the eyewitnesses in Sumatra is hardly fair, whether the animals really exists or not. These are people that live and work on the forest edge, whose very way of life revolves around the forest, and who know way more about what is in their forest than most any American does about forests in the States. Their formal education has nothing to do with it. There are also some foreign “educated” folks who have seen it with their eyes on multiple occasions- notably Jeremy Holden, a photographer and conservationist, and Debbie Martyr, a conservationist and writer. As a side note, there isn’t any superstition or mysticism among locals when it comes to the orang pendek, as there is with other animals like the tiger. Anyway, I’m not saying it exists, but I do take issue with your description of the people’s intelligence.
    I also think your characterization of “tens of thousands” of Bigfoot witnesses and hundreds of photos, etc. is a little generous, unless of course you’re including photos and videos that have been totally debunked as frauds.

  7. mandors responds:

    @Luke

    Please don’t twist my words. I said NOTHING about the local intelligence. I did accurately describe both their superstitious culture and their socio-economic condition. And I take GREAT exception with your tired Western racist stereotype of these people as native experts about their lands. Most of them employ modern clothing, tools and machines to eke out an existence in an environment of which they are gradually losing touch. They are not living in some native harmony with the forests. As you say, they are on the “edge” of them.

    In terms of Bigfoot witnesses, I don’t know if there is a real creature, just as I don’t know about orang pendak, but putting aside that some of the Bigfoot witnesses are as in tune with their environments as any of those of the orang pendak, I’ll take your vague conclusions about numbers and raise it by TEN. “Thousands” of witnesses and “dozens” of pictures, videos and tapes. Together these are far, far greater evidence of an unknown creature.

    I do wish you luck, it would be great if you find something, but I think your difficulty here, similar to many others is respect. You for some reason have far more respect for the reports of faraway people, living in many cases without electricity and in fear of monsters and demonic possession, than you do for individuals in your very own culture.

  8. Lukemackin responds:

    Sorry if I misinterpreted your comments about them being “limitedly educated, highly superstitious people, slipping back into the stone age.” I think to most people that sounds like a nicer way of calling them dumb rednecks. But I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt.

    It’s interesting that you called my belief that they know their own forest “racist” as you characterize them as “stone age” and living “in fear of monsters.” Nice. I never said that they live in harmony with the forest, or that they wear animal skins and don’t use modern tools. I’m not sure where you’re getting that. I live in Kerinci, and I know that the folks who have reported sitings are those who spend the most time in and around the forest and know it well. Forest edge means that their village’s economy relies on the forest, which they enter frequently to harvest timber and non-timber products like bamboo, rattan, etc. or for fishing or hunting. Their farmland of coffee, cinnamon, potatoes, etc. also is nestled against the forest (or frequently encroaches upon it). They rely on their land for daily survival and know it intimately. How many American’s can that be said of?

    There are hundreds of people searching for Bigfoot in the States. What’s the harm in one group coming out here and spending a little time searching in Sumatran rainforest, which is very under-explored and remote? I don’t understand why you seem to feel that researching another “cryptid” besides Bigfoot is some slap in the face and sign of disrespect to Americans.

  9. Lukemackin responds:

    Oh, I also want to make clear that I am not in any way a part of the expedition here with Adam Davies and Finding Bigfoot (although we did have them over for some homemade pizza). I just happen to live in the area.



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