Johor Bigfoot: Reverse Evolved Homo erectus?

Here’s the latest news from Malaysia:

Homo Erectus

Reverse evolution theory about the Johor Bigfoot
30 Jun 2006

JOHOR BARU: The Johor Bigfoot could be a Homo erectus that had undergone “reverse evolution”.

Homo erectus (“upright man”) is a hominid species that is believed to be an ancestor of modern humans. It is a large-brained species which lived from approximately two million to around 400,000 years ago.

Sean Ang, a scientist from Kuala Lumpur who had analysed the prehistoric Perak Man excavated by Universiti Sains Malaysia in 1994, said based on evidence compiled about the creature by biodiversity researcher Vincent Chow, he thought the creature might have been in existence for more than 65,000 years.

Homo Erectus

“I concur with Chow’s findings that this could be an unknown species that went through reverse evolution to end up as a less intelligent creature than Peking Man, who could use fire and tools. Reverse evolution can take place when there is an abundance of food and the species group is small and totally isolated, as in the case of the Johor Bigfoot,” said Ang, who holds a masters degree in palaeoanthropology from Sheffield University in England.

Ang was invited by Chow to discuss evidence that the latter had compiled, including clear photographs of footprints.

Vincent Chow

Vincent Chow speaks at a news conference about the Johor Bigfoot.

Acknowledging that the evidence was “believable”, Ang said scientists were excited about the Johor Bigfoot as they would have a chance to come face-to-face with a living species of prehistoric man.

Ang, who used to work at the National Museum, said he had decided to team up with Chow to write a research paper on the Johor Bigfoot, for publication in a scientific journal for the benefit of other researchers.

Malaysian Bigfoot Footprint Cast

“At present there is a lot of confusion among Bigfoot researchers all over the world as there are new hypotheses every other day. There is also no clear photograph or evidence to guide researchers.”

Mawas Sketch

Meanwhile, Chow said the involvement of Ang, who had studied fossil collections of prehistoric man in England and Japan, would enable a pro-scientific approach in their probe into the existence of the Johor Bigfoot. He said it was time that the Johor Bigfoot phenomenon, which had so far been based on stories of sightings by villagers and Orang Asli, was viewed through the eyes of specialists.

Source: New Straits Times, June 30, 2006

+++++++
UPDATE

This is from Bernama News….

June 30, 2006 19:42 PM

Malaysia May Make Biggest Scientific Discovery, Say Experts

JOHOR BAHARU, June 30 (Bernama) — Malaysians may be in for the biggest scientific discovery in human history if the theory of the biodiversity expert Vincent Chow on the origin of the creature called “big-foot” is proven true.

For those who are still unfamiliar with Vincent Chow’s name, he is the man who revealed to Bernama the possible existence of the creature in the jungles of Johor, attracting the attention of the world media and scientists.

And now, after undertaking studies on the evidence that he found, he is ready to expound the theory that such creature really existed in the state.

According to the theory, the Johor Bigfoot is probably a pre-historic human, namely the Homo-Erectus, who lived between two million and 400,000 years ago.

“It (Johor Bigfoot) is probably the remnants of Homo-Erectus. If my theory on the connection between the Johor Big-Foot and Homo-Erectus proves to be correct, it would be the biggest discovery in present times. It is the biggest present by Malaysia to the world,” he said to Bernama here, Friday.

Homo Erectus existed before the emergence of modern man or Homo Sapiens.

The first fossil find of Homo Erectus was made in the late 19th century and early 20th century in parts of Indonesia and China. Later, similar finds were made in Africa.

Two celebrated discovery of Homo-Erectus fossils in Asia were the “Java Man” by Dutch researcher Eugene Dubois, at Trinil, Java, in 1891 and the “Peking Man” between 1923 and 1927 at Zhoukoudian in China.

According to Chow, the theory that Homo-Erectus moved from place to place might mean that they moved into Malaysia before proceeding to Indonesia and China.

In ancient times, Malaysia, Indonesia and China formed a single land mass.

“My theory is that the Homo-Erectus who stopped in Malaysia were attracted to the pleasant surroundings including plentiful food,” he said.

“They are the remnants of Homo-Erectus whom we call Bigfoot, and the environment in which they lived could have caused some changes to them compared to the other Homo-Erectus,” creating what is called “regional differences,” he said.

He said the evidence found showed that the Johor Bigfoot had similar traits with Homo-Erectus.

Chow said his theory would be explained in detail in his research paper which he is working on with a local paleonthologist.

He urged the state government to regard seriously the possibility of this discovery and to maintain the creature’s habitat.

He also urged the government to allow foreign experts to conduct research on Bigfoot.

— BERNAMA

FURTHER CLARIFICATION

Ang clarified what he meant by the reverse revolution:
“Corrections from the Press
Written by seanang on 2006-06-30 12:08:24
——————————————————————————–
It appears to me there is some errors in this press release. First of all, I am currently working in Mimos as an IT specialist. The press might have mistaken my statement that I have done research in National Science Museum of Tokyo. The “reverse evolution” is not a theory, but just a many statements that I have made.

We are still looking for evidences on “Bigfoot” intelligence. Unless such evidences appears, nothing much can be inferred on their intelligence level.”

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.

Leave a Reply

  1. “There is also no clear photograph or evidence to guide researchers.”

    It would appear that Mr.Chow hasn’t shared the photographs with Mr.Ang, or convinced him of their existence…Strange, being that he and Ang are to write a research paper on the Johor Bigfoot together. Perhaps he is referring to the past, but his statement seems to refer to the present.

    It’s also strange that the photos aren’t even mentioned.

  2. I would love to see any photos, if there are any, but why does he have to do a reverse evolution? Why couldn’t there be really smart monkeys out there?

  3. maybe the photo’s that he has does not resemble a bigfoot like creature. We will never know until we see the pictures. I guess we will have to wait for his book to come out. Does anyone know when that is suppose to take place?

  4. What? “Reverse Evolution”. This is simply not possible; someone has something very wrong here. Evolution by natural selection can only go in one direction and that is forward. Adaptation will only occur when a trait is advantageous. This may be the loss of certain features but these features must be inert of less advantageous than another conflicting trait. To evolve in reverse would some who imply that a species would move back up its phylogeny to a previous ancestral form. This needs to be cleared up. Reverse evolution cannot happen. It may be that genetic bottle necks and formation of alloptric populations would cause diversification from the scource species moving a lineage in a different direction. This is speciation, the formation of new species, phylogenesis, and certainly not reverse evolution.

  5. Ranatemporaria, of course, brings up a good point.

    I got the feeling when reading this that (1) something was lost in translation, (2) someone did not complete more than an overview course in biology, and/or (3) terms were being employed in a much different way than I am use to their application.

    This article and/or Mr. Ang’s thoughts project us back into some form of 1920s’ thinking about “primitive traits” and evolution that I haven’t seen in decades.

    It is one thing to say, for example, that Homo floresiensis may have been the product of the downsizing of Homo erectus or an extension of the range and evolution of Australopithecus, but to use a term like “reverse evolution” to explain the Johor Bigfoot, the Flores People, or Abominable Snowmen, unfortunately, is a step backward in terminology and logic.

  6. when evolutionary biologists talk about reverse evolution, they mean adaptation e.g. you live in the dark you lose your sight as some creatures have. So you are going backwards in that you lose something but it is to your advantage to do so.Your other senses adapt and improve to compensate giving you advantage.

    I may have misread the quote but having abundant food sources means you advance because you are not out hunting and gathering all day..not a reason to go backwards.

    If all technology failed we would step back in time for a while, but we would rebuild and evolve again. So unless some disaster wiped out their previous way of living, I agree with Rapt’s comments, it’s not possible.

  7. I agree with loren here it seems to be a problem with terminology and interpretation not academic ignorance (I Hope)!

  8. Actually “degenerate evolution” would be a better term than “reverse evolution”. It’s true that evolution only goes one way but that is not necessarily to more “advanced” or “higher” forms. Some parasites, like tapeworms, show extreme degeneration or loss of function.

    One of the problems that people have with evolution is that it is not an excellence-seeking process, with humans at the pinnacle. It’s only about reproductive success, however that is achieved.

  9. I have had a problem with the terminology use this entire case. It has always seemed to me that terms used in one area North America, specifically, are being taken and applied without full understanding of what the term means where it originated.

  10. “One of the problems that people have with evolution is that it is not an excellence-seeking process”

    Ah ha the Panglosian paradigm!

    Remember though that natural selection does in fact move only towards increased “ecological fitness” or efficiency. Yes, this could result in the loss of structures or traits but it will still be a move for the better. That is why evolution can only be uni-directional. This direction, as said above however won’t be towards a human form but whatever form that is best suited towards a given niche/ecology. Either way I’m sure the people in Malaysia were not trying to re-write natural history, instead it’s the case some science is hard enough understand and explain in your first language let alone interpret!

  11. So presumably this scientific paper co-written by Ang and Chow would see publication before the book that Chow is supposedly writing?

    Also, the article implies at one point that Ang was shown the photos by Chow, but then later Ang says, “There is also no clear photograph or evidence to guide researchers.” Are we to assume that, in this instance, Ang is referring to researchers other than himself, i.e., he’s saying that because the photos haven’t been released to the public yet, no other researchers have been able to study the photos?

  12. I think the reference to seeing photos was to photos of the footprints from the context, i.e. “Ang was invited by Chow to discuss evidence that the latter had compiled, including CLEAR PHOTOGRAPHS OF FOOTPRINTS.” (my emphasis)
    So it would seem that the supposed photos of the Mawas/Bigfoot themselves haven’t been shared.

  13. You’re right, Jeremy. Not sure how I missed that upon my first read of the article!

  14. I am sorry Loren but this whole thing would be put to bed in under 10 minutes if we could see the pics. Yes I know patience but you yourself I bet would have to admit you and the rest of us are dying to see the pics.

  15. Personally, I’m beginning to wonder if all this “Johor-amania” isn’t one big publicity stunt. Let’s face it, aside from a few prints, which could easily be from something in the orangutan line, they have nothing. Photos…I’ll believe it when I see it! A dramatic increase in tourism would be great for a floundering economy, don’t you think?

  16. Ang clarified what he meant by the reverse revolution:
    “Corrections from the Press
    Written by seanang on 2006-06-30 12:08:24
    ——————————————————————————–
    It appears to me there is some errors in this press release. First of all, I am currently working in Mimos as an IT specialist. The press might have mistaken my statement that I have done research in National Science Museum of Tokyo. The “reverse evolution” is not a theory, but just a many statements that I have made.

    We are still looking for evidences on “Bigfoot” intelligence. Unless such evidences appears, nothing much can be inferred on their intelligence level.”

  17. Titio, a colleague of mine recently returned from Malaysia; he was visiting island around Johor researching the potential for sustainable/ecological development of the area before it is “spoilt”. His conclusion was that many there desire the wealth and affluence that comes from developing/industry/tourism, and for that they cannot be blamed.

  18. Hi All,

    I noticed there is alot of interpretation for the little information that we have.

    At my personal level, I am still compiling a list of questions to be asked regarding the Johor Hominid.

    There reason I am involved (currently using my own time and resources) is that I have seen some of the photographs. Unless someone can point to me a world class con-men who can produce a photo like that, which is crystal clear (I mean that of National Geographic standard), then we wish to put forward the photos as a tentative “evidence”, so that someone else can falsify them (remember Karl Popper).

    I have compared with pictures from Planets of the Apes and winners of the 3D artists, none could come so close.

    When something is SO new, we try to come out with as many possible explanations as possible, micro-evolution, mutation, genetic drift and of course reverse evolution. These are meant to provoke dicussions..

    Sean Ang
    co-Founder,
    johorhominid.org
    sean4ng@gmail.com