Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 15th, 2006
The first recent sightings of the Johor Bigfoot took place in November 2005. Although the commotion had little to do with the traditional Pacific Northwest Bigfoot, the news organizations in Asia and America kept the interest level high for the first few months of 2006, calling them Orang Dalam, Johor Bigfoot, or Malaysian Mawas.
But since the awful “johor hominid” hoax was exposed, where photographs of actors dressed as prehistoric hominids were promoted as the “real” things from the jungles of Malaysia, the attention has crashed. The famed footprint cast is for sale and a reality tv program on the unknown hairy hominoid has been shelved. Most telling, some people are more interested in a date with the female (called a “girl” above in the newspaper caption) shown with the cast than pursuing the Bigfoot. Times have changed.
Remember when the excitement was so high a television-sponsored safari was all the rage? Joshua Gates, 28, the host of the Sci-Fi Channel’s Destination: Truth, was the first American reality television filmmaker to get to Malaysia. He did this before the mild restrictions on travel there were established, although Richard Noll did make it over there for a forthcoming tv show, during the summer 2006.
The plaster cast of a large track kept the story alive and has been shown frequently. Gates and his lead producer Neil Mandt were there filming for a program that apparently was not picked up by the networks, although it might be in the future.
According to Vincent Chow, the footprint cast was obtained from Lukut, Kota Tinggi.
Measuring 60 cm x 36 cm, the track, as you may recall, was found in Kampung Lukut by the search party after they combed 30 sq km of the area. An eleven member expedition from the United States, the Singapore Paranormal Investigators (SPI), and the Seekers – with four investigators from Destination: Truth, three from SPI, and four from Seekers – were the party. They found about 11 similar footprints, but most had been washed away by rain and overrun by wild boars.
The reaction to the Malaysian footcast had been the most skeptical from a rival group in Malaysia, the Asia Paranormal Investigators (API) who claimed the trackcast was nothing more than the track of a "boar-cow," or even pugmarks of a Sumatran rhino superimposed on each other.
The notion that this track find is merely the double-stepping of a Sumatran rhino has been heard perhaps the most often. But that’s not what the Destination: Truth and Seekers team thought.
The Seekers group said the footprint had a slightly smaller measurement of 45.5cm by 36cm and was among several spotted by the team on February 21, 2006.
Syed Abdullah (left) and Dr. Kenny Fong with the cast.
But the feelings about the importance of this cast by the Seekers has shifted dramatically.
According to the China Post, the interest in the Johor Bigfoot has passed in Malaysia, at least with this one organization. The Singapore-based group that had originally expressed so much serious interest in researching the hairy hominoid is now selling their rather famed footprint cast prize.
The reason: The Seekers apparently want to fund their analysis of “mummies.” I must hasten to point out that similar items are routinely known to be taxidermy art objects created for centuries in the Orient. Hopefully, the Seekers will come to their senses and send the cast to a researcher of some credibility. I have some suggestions. But in the meantime, the following is what they are sharing with the media.
As mentioned in the “Bigfoot Out of Fashion” article published on September 15, 2006, from Kuala Lumpur:
A group of Malaysian myth investigators who claim to have a footprint mold of a giant, man-like “Bigfoot” creature said Friday they intend to sell it to raise funds for their next project – determining if three ghoulish, mummified figures are real.
The group Seekers-Malaysia, which has a reality TV program in Malaysia, said money raised from the sale of the alleged Sasquatch footprint would be used to research the “three mummified ghouls,” and to purchase new paranormal equipment, said spokesman Adrin Emman.
The three supposed shriveled, skeletal-like creatures with razor-sharp teeth were provided for research purposes by their owner Bukhari Abdullah for two weeks. Pictures released by the group show one figure no larger than a human hand, while another appears to be the length of a human body.
Stories about Bigfoot captured headlines in Malaysia last year after three fish farm workers reported seeing giant human-like creatures in southern Johor state’s Endau Rompin reserve. Seekers-Malaysia claims to have molded a Bigfoot footprint -three times the size of a human head – during an expedition to the area earlier this year.
Bigfoot fever has since waned in Malaysia, with smaller creatures popular in Malaysian folklore now taking center stage.
An ongoing exhibit at a museum featuring dozens of creatures from Malay folklore has drawn tens of thousands of visitors. Among the featured exhibits at the Shah Alam Museum include a supposed preserved mermaid, the apparent shriveled skeletal remains of a half woman-half snake, and a purported goblin trapped in a bottle.
The museum says it has invited a team of researchers from “Ripley’s Believe It or Not” to research the exhibits.
By the way, yes, it is true. I received more emails from people who wanted the name and email address of the young woman pictured at the top of this post than you would believe. And while I do have her name on file, I don’t have engaged in cryptomatchmaking by sending out her email address. However, if she wants me to publish her name, she’ll have to email me again about that. After all, male researchers routinely get their names mentioned by the media. Why no crediting of this woman, and women in general? Oh yes, that’s the subject of another blog….
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.