New Name Nominee: Johor Hominid

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 2nd, 2006

Environmentalist Vincent Chow and palaeoanthropologist Sean Ang, who are both involved in researching the question of unknown hairy hominoids in Malaysia, have created a website to focus their pursuit.

Sean Ang


The researchers have also, through the mere need to purchase a domain name, coined a phrase for their local Malaysian Bigfoot, capturing the notion they are elusive giant bipeds from a certain area, by terming them, specifically, "Johor Hominid."


According to the New Straits Times, the website promotes the fact that the Johor Hominid phenomenon is "probably the most significant and mind-shattering discovery in anthropology."

Vincent Chow

Vincent Chow, above, from an earlier news item about the photographs of the Malaysian Mawas (now the Johor Hominid) he says he was shown.

Furthermore, "Chow said the first mission of the website was to protect the Johor Hominid so that its conservation was guaranteed by the Government as a part of world heritage."

Mawas Sketch

According to some who have been able to access the website, there is not much new there to read yet. For others, it has been frustrating as it seems to be non-responsive and offline.

Mawas sketch by Peter Loh

Since December 2005, several names have been associated with the reports of humanlike hairy creatures from the province of Johor on mainland Malaysia, including Wild People, Mawas, Orang Dalam, Hantu Jarang Gigi, and Bigfoot.

Vincent Chow

Click on image for full-size version

"Johor Hominid" probably will catch on because of its naturally simplistic combination of a regional name and a scientific-based anthropological noun, mixed with a little alliteration, as a focused cryptid label.

Vincent Chow

Okay, Johor Hominid it shall be.

Appreciation to artist Peter Loh for sharing his imagery and cartoons concerning the many interesting Johor Hominid events.

UPDATE, 7 PM EDT, July 2, 2006

Unfortunately, the text on the new website does, indeed, does list the binturong (Arctictis binturong), shown below, contextually, as a species of primate. Hopefully, this is a mistake that will be corrected quickly, and some more thought placed in translations and content for the new website. Until the so-called earlier Mawas photographs that Vincent Chow was shown are brought forth, the begging question will be…where are they, why can’t they be published, and what do they show. Mistakes like this binturong incident only go further to distract from the serious research into the Johor Hominid question.


Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

11 Responses to “New Name Nominee: Johor Hominid”

  1. One Eyed Cat responds:

    I think Johor Hominid is a much more appropriate name. And one that makes sense too

  2. seanang responds:

    Hi All,

    Sorry for problems. Give me another 48 hours to fix them. Our initial plan is to upload some basic info there for our own references.. we didnt expect the traffic to be so huge this evening..

    The sudden increase of traffic causes the site to hang..

    Will inform the latest progress here once the site is up.

    Sean Ang

  3. malaysian responds:

    Well, I just looked at and whoever wrote the introduction does not know some basic facts about Malaysian primates.

    Firstly, it describes the binturong as an ape when the binturong is actually a civet cat!

    Then anyone with even an introductory book or checklist of Malaysian mammmals will know that there are 3 lesser apes in Peninsular Malaysia: the white-handed gibbon, the agile gibbon and the siamang.

    The people who set up the website are not even familar with Malaysian primates. And they are going to reveal to us the most spectacular discovery in primatology?

  4. tpeter responds:

    Dear Loren,

    I agree–Johor Hominid is short, simple, exact, and to the point–it clearly and unambiguously designates a bipedal primate, of or closely related to the genus “Homo,” native to the Johor region of Malaysia. It clearly differentiates these creatures from any and all other Unknown Hominids and Mystery Primates with whom the popular media might confuse them that either might or might not be conspecific with the Johor cryptids, for all we know (or DON’T know) at this time–e.g., from Bigfoot, Sasquatch, Yeti, Orang Pendek, the Flores “Hobbits,” Orang-utans, Mawas, etc., etc.

    Cheers, T. Peter

  5. Kainan responds:

    This may be petty, and off the subject of the Johor hominid, but in the first paragraph on the homepage of the Johor hominid refers to a binturong as an ape along with gibbons. Binturongs are related to civets and meerkats, and are not even primates, let alone apes. This kind of error really bugs me. It also doesn’t contribute much to a site’s credibility.

  6. Scarfe responds:

    I was going to say the same thing Kainan said, binturongs are not apes. While looking isn’t always knowning, looking at binturongs clearly shows they are not apes but civet-related.

    A little factual error? Perhaps, but not one that gives me confidence

  7. jjames1 responds:

    Kainan, I don’t think your comment is petty in any way. Making a basic factual error like that seriously calls into question the credibility of the entire site, in my opinion. It’s embarrassing.

  8. apiraymond responds:

    I am not surprised at the factual errors. Sean Ang Bee Huat is the cofounder of the website and an IT specialist working in Malaysian Institute of Microelectronics Systems (MIMOS). Perhaps as he said, there is some misunderstanding and misquote here regarding his paleoanthropology background. Obviously, he partnered with Vincent Chow to set up the website. As to whether he is a paleoanthropologist, perhaps he can answer to clear the confusion.

  9. corax responds:

    Surely it is very premature to assume that the Johor Bigfoot (if it exists) is a hominid (i.e. a member of the family Hominidae). It would seem to me much more likely that the creature would turn out to be an ape. Note: I do not agree with those who try to subsume Pongidae under Homindae on dubious cladistic grounds.

    The name therefore is, as far as I am concerned, entirely inappropriate until more is known. Perhaps Johor Anthropoid is less controversial (though doesn’t exactly roll of the tongue).

  10. cor2879 responds:

    Unfortunately I have to say that Chow has almost no credibility at this point with me anyway… until he is more forthcoming with the photos, or at the very least offers up some explanation why he is not publishing them he is just another publicity seeker like Biscardi.

  11. shumway10973 responds:

    why is everyone surprised that malaysia would have something like this? It’s not far from the other land masses that have all sorts of different primates. I’m glad they finally found a name that fits

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