Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 21st, 2006
“‘Monkey man’ causes stir” announces the headline, and one might think that another possible cryptozoological wonder (at least, the more cryptid one above) was out and about again in India. But not so fast.
The media report from June 21, 2006, reveals another kind of “Monkey Man,” as it turns out, unfortunately named as such.
Thousands of people are flocking to an impoverished Indian village in eastern West Bengal state to worship a man they believe possesses divine powers because he climbs up trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a “tail”.
Devotees say 27-year-old villager Chandre Oraon is an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman — worshipped by millions as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.
“He climbs up trees, behaves like a monkey and is a strict vegetarian, but he is no god and his condition is just a congenital defect,” says Bhushan Chakraborty, the local medical officer.
Tucked away in a hamlet in Banarhat, over 650 km north of Kolkata, the state capital, devotees wait for hours to see or touch Oraon’s 35 cm tail, believing that it has healing powers.
Doctors said the “tail” — made up of some flesh but mostly of dark hair — was simply a rare physical attribute.
“It is a congenital anomaly, but very rarely do we find such cases,” B Ramana, a Kolkata-based surgeon, told Reuters.
Thanks to Cryptomundo stringer Chris for passing this one along.
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.