New Alux Sighting

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 19th, 2008

Alux hominids are Proto-Pygmies. The Aluxob (plural Maya) are seen in the Yucatan, Mexico, mostly by the Mayans, but sometimes by Mexicans and United States tourists, quite regularly.

People in the Yucatan see the Aluxob, and when I was there in the 1980s, I was able to interview informants (mostly Mayans) who had firsthand sightings. In my 1985 book, Curious Encounters, I devoted a chapter to the lore, legends, and legacy of these Little People in that corner of the world.

Things do not seem to have changed there.

In one recent case, Dan Gannon, the moderator of an anthropological e-group, has today shared the following sighting, which occurred while he was on vacation in the Yucatan:

Regarding what I saw (glimpsed) that looked like an Alux tiny hominid, I’ll briefly describe it, and the circumstances:

From the note I jotted down right after the sighting: It was 8:55 PM local time, and the date was 12-30-2007 (December 30, 2007).

A couple hours after sunset, I was in a vehicle (with my wife, and a couple of her family members, including one of her brothers, who was driving) traveling from Merida, Yucatan, to Oxkutzcab, Yucatan. I was in the front-right passenger seat. A light rain had just ended (the first rain I’d seen in Yucatan, implying that it may have been the first rain in that part of Yucatan, in at least two weeks).

As can be observed elsewhere, the first rain after a dry spell tends to correlate with increased animal movement, and I saw a bunch of animals in the vehicle’s headlights, as we travelled. You can always see a lot of spiders, lizards and snakes on these rural roads (their eyes reflect in the headlights, similar to a cat’s eyes, something one of my wife Elsa’s brothers pointed out to me, and I can attest to) as well as an occasional dog (the dogs tend to cluster around towns and villages). But I saw my first raccoon in Yucatan, during that drive, and about two minutes later, I saw something I wasn’t expecting.

On the same side of the road on which I saw the raccoon, (on my right) I saw what looked like a human shoulder and arm, and a leg beneath it. It appeared to be a hominid, about 2′ tall, facing the direction of the vehicle, mostly obscured behind a clump of tall (about 3′ tall) dried weeds, with only the right side of the body just showing in the headlights. Skin color was medium brown, about the same color as our driver’s skin, not the dark brown skin of many Mayans that work outside, in the direct sunlight during the daytime, but lighter (so I say “medium brown”). What I saw was not indicative of a thin, scrawny hominid, but rather a very, very muscular one.

As the vehicle drew closer and passed the apparent hominid, I could see without a doubt that it moved, in a side-stepping motion away from the lights of the vehicle, to more completely hide itself behind the clump of tall weeds. I could also see that the features were very human-like, and not hairy at all (just as the typical Mayan has no visible hair, for instance on the face, arms, and chest, so appeared this hominid).

I have a good idea of how high the shoulder was, because I could compare it to the regular posts (made of concrete?) that appear on the sides of that road, at regular intervals. The posts are about 1.5′ to 2′ high, I’d guess, and the shoulder was about the same height, possibly a little higher. The apparent hominid definitely wasn’t a post (not only was it positioned wrong, but it looked and behaved wrong, to be a post.) I mean, posts don’t visibly move of their own accord, and don’t look like that. As I was the only one intently gazing in the right direction at the right time (I was constantly and deliberately observing all sorts of plants, animals, stones, etc.) I was, unfortunately, the only one that caught a glimpse of it.

After a few seconds of speechless amazement, I blurted out what I had seen. Unfortunately, our driver didn’t stop or even slow down (Mayans actually try to avoid Aluxob, it seems, possibly for the same reasons that Africans avoid the similar hominids they call Tokaloshes: fear, including stories of people who apparently were killed by the Aluxob, after encroaching into their territory and/or caves).

I made a point of asking our driver to make a note of exactly where we were, when I saw this apparent hominid. Later that night, after we returned to Elsa’s parents’ house, I told other family members of what I saw. Our driver (Elsa’s oldest brother) also described exactly where we were. Elsa’s father said we were in the middle of a specific forested area (“selva,” he called it, which I think means something like “wilds” or “forest,”) where Aluxob are often reported. I’m quite encouraged by all of this. You can bet I’ll be bringing trail cameras on my next visit.Dan Gannon

I appreciate Dan Gannon’s sharing of his sighting, for it gives a good view of how quickly these accounts occur.

Besides the obvious intrigueness of the Alux, small human or child encounter of Gannon’s, I was curious about his sighting of a “raccoon” in conjunction with this report too.

The Cozumel Raccoon (Procyon pygmaeus), a small, dwarf form of raccoon is known from the island of Cozumel, but not from the Yucatan mainland proper. The Raccoon or Common Raccoon (Procyon lotor), while known from central Mexico, in general, is not reported to be part of the wildlife of the Yucatan. What was Gannon’s Yucatan “raccoon”?

Nasua narica1

Perhaps what was seen was a White Nosed Coatimundi (Nasua narica), which has a slightly ringed tail and a stronger mask than the Cacomistle (Bassariscus sumichrasti)? The White Nosed Coatis (all three images here are of them) do have a natural range that exists in the Yucatan.

Nasua narica2

The Ring-tailed Coati (Nasua nasua) are not reported from the Yucatan, and neither are the Cacomistle, which are very rare, even though they do have a large ringed tail and are found in southern Mexico (but supposedly not in the Yucatan).

Nasua narica3

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.

18 Responses to “New Alux Sighting”

  1. plant girl responds:

    Interesting article to read. I don’t know much on this topic. I hope to learn more in the future. Also great photographs as well.

  2. Dan Gannon responds:

    Thank you, Loren. I can confirm that what you posted here is accurate.

    As for the raccoon, I’m reasonably certain it was a “Common Raccoon” (Procyon lotor). It looked almost identical to the raccoon shown on this web page, third photo down:

    That photo was apparently taken in the Yucatan, so that provides some corroboration that such raccoons exist there. Also, my wife, who is from Yucatan, confirms that they do have common raccoons there, and have for quite some time. I think some people may be confusing these raccoons with the other ring-tailed species you mentioned, but in my mind, it is clearly a common raccoon that I saw. The head and forelimbs were quite recognizeable, to me, as one of my Grandmothers has raccoons that frequently visit her property, to help themselves to whatever food they can find. I’m not sure how or when common raccoons first arrived in the Yucatan, but it appears they’ve been there for more than 10 years, judging by my wife’s statements about it.

    As for what appeared to be an Alux, I think there’s no possibility it was a human child. It was much too muscular, for that. I think it must have been an adult. “Human” it could well be, as the Mayas seem to consider Aluxes to be little humans (little people,) though their distinctness is undeniable. Perhaps, one day, such people will be recognized as “new” (though not actually new) types, or races, of human. Note, Mayas have, since before the Spanish first arrived there, considered the Aluxob to be ancestral to the Mayas. My wife’s father agrees with this; he thinks his ancestors were once tiny like the Aluxob, and gradually grew bigger, with or without interbreeding with larger people. There are a lot of questions about such things, obviously. But the Mayas I’ve spoken with, who have seen Aluxob, report that the Aluxob have very Maya-looking features, despite being so tiny and (often) muscular. I’ve shown photos of the Pedro Mountain Mummy (a.k.a. “Pedro the Mountain Mummy”) to some of my Elsa’s friends and family members, and they have said that mummy looks just like an Alux, though dried up and shrivelled, of course, it being a mummy.

  3. CamperGuy responds:

    Very exciting.

    Never heard of the Alux before. Will be googling it in a moment.

    A glimpse is not much to determine detail but I’d like to know…..

    Did the Alux have any noticible tools or clothing?

    What about the size of the head compared to the body?

    Was it so dark at the time of the sighting that light would be needed to get around? I want to know if the Alux might be nocturnal.

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    Thank you, Dan, for the updated status of the common raccoon in the Yucatan. Their ability to spread, once they are established in an area, is legendary, as has been seen from a population of American raccoons once released in Germany.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    Raccoons have indeed proven to be very hardy and adaptable creatures and as such pose a potential threat as an introduced, invasive species. How they got to that area in the first place is open to speculation, but I have no doubt that this tenacious animal could gain a foothold and flourish there once it is present. It certainly would not be the first time raccoons have been introduced to a new habitat, such as the example Loren mentioned. I think a good eye should be kept on them if there is a population building there, because it could have potentially negative effects on local flora and fauna.

  6. mystery_man responds:

    I don’t know about that population in Germany, but one place that the raccoon has had detrimental effects is in Japan, where I live. They were originally kept here as popular pets and either escaped from inadequate cages using their very dexterous hands, or were released by owners that either could not keep them anymore or didn’t want them anymore after the fad had passed. I suppose this could be a possible reason why they were present in Yucatan. Anyway, The population exploded and the raccoon has spread all over Japan.

    I can see a lot of similar problems arising there that have happened in Japan due to the introduction of raccoons. First of all, these animals eat pretty much anything they can get their hands on, and can pose a threat to small animals and birds through direct predation. Also, any animals in a similar niche to the raccoon face problems due to new competition for the same resources, as has happened in Japan with the tanuki (raccoon dog), fox, and marten. Then there are the potential infectious diseases they could be carrying, some of which could be passed onto humans, such as rabies.

    Other threats include damage to crops and in the case of Japan, damage to homes, as the raccoons like to come up through wooden floors of houses here or either get into attics or burrow under houses to have their young. Add to this the surprising rate at which their population can expand and you have possible problems. I definitely think an eye needs to be kept on the situation. The bottom line is, raccoons are not native to the Yucatan and have no natural place in the ecology there. As such, I hope nothing detrimental to the native wildlife and plant life happens there.

  7. dogu4 responds:

    Are we that sure of what the natural ecology of the Yucatan is…or should I say “was”, since it’s becoming quite evident that the Mayans and other civilizations of Mesoamerica were a whole lot more than just a few isolated islands of civilization peacefully living in a natural eden. Perhaps the raccoon is simply returning now that forests are expanding and corridors are re-establishing themselves.

  8. Dan Gannon responds:

    You’re welcome, Loren.

    Camperguy, to answer your questions:

    > Did the Alux have any noticible tools or clothing?

    I didn’t notice either of those things. Definitely, the shoulder and arm were bare. I think the leg was bare, too. I didn’t get a good enough look, to see if some small item might have been held in the visible hand. The sighting occurred very quickly, so I wasn’t able to observe every possible detail.

    > What about the size of the head compared to the body?

    I couldn’t see the head, as it was obscured behind the clump of tall, dried weeds. The parts I saw most clearly were the shoulder, upper arm, and lower arm. The arm was in an extended, roughly vertical orientation, as a standing person often does, when not carrying or manipulating objects.

    > Was it so dark at the time of the sighting that light would be needed to get around? I want to know if the Alux might be nocturnal.

    Yes, it was very dark. There was cloud cover (a light rain had just ended,) and the only lights I observed in that location were filtered/sporadic moonlight and starlight (quite dark,) and the lights from our vehicle. I was indoors when sunset occurred, so I didn’t observe it, but I think it was approximately 2 or 3 hours after sunset, when I saw it.

  9. Dan Gannon responds:

    Using online tools to calculate sunset time, based on date, longitute, latitude, and time zone, I’ve just ascertained (assuming I did this correctly) that sunset reportedly occurred at 5:28 PM, and “end civil twilight” occurred at 5:52 PM, (local time, GMT -6.) So the sighting occurred 3 hours and 3 minutes after end of twilight.

  10. Dan Gannon responds:

    Regarding the potential invasive species problem, Elsa and I will communicate with the government down there, about the issue.

  11. red_pill_junkie responds:

    An Alux sighting in Yucatán! Mare Ninio!

    Hey Dan, how many glasses of Xtabentún did you have that day?

    🙂 Just kidding, I’m certain you’re a giving a thorough and veridic account of what you glimpsed.

    I had never thought of the Aluxob as a proto-pigmy; I always envisioned them under the same class as all the tryckster-type little people that are accounted in many cultures around the world, maybe inspired by contacts with aliens (yeah I know, but since in many accounts they are told to be able to fly and they were fond of kidnapping women, well… they seem more related with modern abduction lore to me).

    In mayan legends, there’s of course the case of “La Pirámide del Enano” (The pyramid of the midget, also called the pyramid of the fortune-teller), because legend has it that the structure was built in a single day by a little man born of an egg (see what I mean?)

    Who knows? maybe these beings live in the subterranean tunnels of the cenotes, since the maya had a strong belief in the deities of the Underworld (the ancient ball-game stadiums were symbolic representations of the entrance to the Underworld, where the twin heroes Hunahpú & Ixbalanqué entered to defeat the Lords of Xibalbá).

    Or maybe the answer is far more strange…

  12. rl_esteves responds:

    Sounds similar to a good friend of mine from rural honduras’ eyewitness description of a Duende.

  13. Dan Gannon responds:

    From what I can tell, the Maya word “Alux” is usually translated to “Duende” in Spanish. At least, in Mexico.

  14. red_pill_junkie responds:

    In the náhuatl tradition (náhuatl was the universal language for the cultures that established themselves in central Mexico, like the aztecs) the alux counterpart would be the chaneque, a playful trickster that inhabits the forests and takes care of rivers and water springs.

    A strong correlation with water in all these traditions; can water facilitate the passage of beings between different “realities”? Pure speculation I know… but still…

  15. Dan Gannon responds:

    I don’t know about alleged supernatural aspects, but it seems that many “little people” legends around the world are associated with water in some way. Of course, water is important to life in general.

  16. mystery_man responds:

    The water connection is an interesting insight, but it’s possible there could be a very practical and less than supernatural reason for it. Humans generally tend to live near water sources, in the case of a remote town like this near rives or lakes, so that is where these creatures might be more likely to be spotted simply because that is where more people would be to see them. Also, as Dan Gannon said, water is essential to life and if one wants to see a good array of wildlife (in Africa, for example), one has only to hunker down by a water hole and wait for the animals to come. Proximity to humans and a tendency for animals to congregate to water out of necessity could both contribute to a greater likelihood of these elusive creatures being sighted near water. Any connections made thereon between the creatures and any sort of supernatural affiliation with water could then be merely a product of human interpretation and folklore.

  17. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Dan, mistery_man, I understand what you guys are saying, and the need for looking for the simplest of explanations. You’re probably right and I know my conjectures were pretty wild.

    BUT, on the other hand, it is interesting to note that these kinds of beings are not only related to water fountains -and in the case of Yucatán, SUBTERRANEAN water fountains in the form of sacred cenotes– but the little people are sometimes linked with the precolombine god Tlaloc (the god of water) an so his minions are called tlaloques. Have you guys seen a representation of Tlaloc, or his mayan counterpart Chaac? They’re ugly as hell and they always put him wearing these big funky eye glasses, a curvy long nose and even fangs. If a XXIst century human looked at them he would instantly think “vampire” or even “chupacabras”.

    And let’s not forget that many (if not most) of the ancient mexican pyramids were built on top of natural subterranean tunnels.

    So you have the connection with water and with subterraneam realms too, along with the trickster character of their behavior and the fact that most cultures respect them and are aware that you shouldn’t meddle much with them if you know what’s right for you.

    Maybe different enviromental processes could bring about simmilar results as discovered with H. Floresiensis. Maybe an isolation in tunnels systems could develop a small nocturnal new subspecies of small humanoids. Who knows? We do know that inside some cenotes incredibly diverse new species of insects, bats and blind fish have been found ecosystems rich with noxious gases. People keep visiting those caves despite the danger of those fumes to make their rituals and have a connection with “the other side” (Xibalbá)

    Or maybe the explanation is more complicated than that 🙂

  18. mystery_man responds:

    Red_pill_junky- Very interesting cultural info on the water issue and the tlaloques as well. Thanks for sharing that with us, I love learning about new things here on this site. I definitely agree that one has to keep a mind open to the various possibilities, such as the ones you mentioned concerning subterranean caverns, or cenotes, you mentioned. I won’t get too off topic, but I actually am quite interested in the evolutionary processes and behaviors of creatures within these subterranean water tunnels. These indeed could pose many potentially wondrous ecosystems and species. I wouldn’t discount anything you said and think you make valid points that should be considered. Good speculation and an interesting topic here!

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