Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 13th, 2006
Oh no, more hype on the Johor Mawas? My goodness, those Malaysian media folks are drumming up more interest in their local "Bigfoot" again. How dare they? Are they just trying to stir up folks at Cryptomundo? And now they are talking about two books? And is this a new cryptid name, Orang Lenggor? What’s up with all of this as we go six months deep into this story?
Haven’t we been here before? Yes, but, hey, is there different information that exists in the news? Well, that’s why we are reporting on it here.
A new article published on May 13, 2006 from the Bernama wire service says it all in their headline: "Two Books Containing Pictures Of ‘Bigfoot’ Being Written."
The news item notes:
Two books containing colour pictures of "Bigfoot" or Orang Lenggor and written by separate groups will be published in a few months in an attempt to prove the existence of the creature which has created worldwide interest.
Biodiversity expert Vincent Chow, who is writing one of the books with two others, said their book would answer questions about the elusive creature. "It resembles a pre-historic human, not ape," he told Bernama on Friday [May 12]. "The body is covered by a layer of long hair except on the face, which is bare. It has a fierce-looking face, big body and walks with a hunch. It resembles a sturdy man," he added.
He said the book would shake the scientific world and the thinking of conventional scientists. Chow said that from the pictures he had seen, the creature had probably lived in solitude for thousands of years without being detected. When asked where and when the pictures were taken, he said he did not know but he was sure they were taken in a Johor forest. He said the owner of the pictures was an elderly man who refused to reveal his identity and had left for Thailand recently to escape from possible harassment.
So who is Chow saying the photographer is? He remarks:
"From what we know, he is a former communist guerilla who spent a long time in the jungle."
The owner had asked for the creature not to be disturbed and considered it a treasure of Johor which needed to be protected, he said.
Chow is well aware the book may not be enough to satisfy the skeptics.
"They will say the pictures are phony and will believe it only if they were to touch it, smell its odour and so on." he said.
But what’s this business about "two books"? The article clarifies the headline with this brief explanation:
A Johor Wildlife Protection Association officer told Bernama that the association also planned to launch a book written in Chinese in July on the creature it calls Orang Lenggor.
“The book will have pictures as evidence of Orang Lenggor’s existence. We are sure all along that the creature exists and the pictures will prove it."
But seven days ago, on May 6th, you read this here:
The book is a joint effort between Malaysian writers and Vincent Chow, with two versions being produced. One will be in English and the other in Chinese."
Perhaps it is just my opinion, but I hardly think it’s worth a headline to proclaim two different language versions of, in essence, the same book. So, my apologies for using it in mine too, but I wanted to make a media madness point, with irony, of course.
As far as orang lenggor, Cryptomundo discussed the significant confusion behind that name in a posting on February 18, 2006.
Sometimes you really can read it first at Cryptomundo.
UPDATE: Vincent Chow confirms media’s error.
Writing from Malaysia, 10 PM EDT, Chow emails:
The Media is confused not us.
Just to clarify things a little:
We belong to the same group of people passionate about the creature and out to inform,
a) the English educated with the English version, of course,
b) the Chinese readers with a Chinese version .The approaches may differ,but the contents are quite similar. Therefore it would be wrong to quickly jump to the conclusion that there are two separate groups trying to outdo one another.
This is necessary as mainland Malaysia is home to three main ethnic races, namely the Malay, Chinese and Indians and other minorities. The National Language is Bahasa Malaysia or Malaysia language( so if a Bahasa Malaysia version surfaces, it should not trigger another round of speculations) . English is widely spoken and is the language of commerce. Mandarin is popular and is taught in Chinese vernacular schools which adhere to a national Educational policy.
We hope to reach out to all Malaysians , hopefully to the world, to extend their love , appreciation and lobby for the protection of something so unique.
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.