Johor Bigfoot Found, Then What?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 16th, 2006


Up ahead, the quest is nearing its end. The leeches are sucking the energy from the media crew who forgot to wear their leech socks. Bees are buzzing around. Bird songs fill the air. But what’s that sound?

A heavy breathing is heard. Sweat falls from the brows onto the heaving chests as the chase picks up speed. Footprints have been found, the live capture gear is at hand. The moment is here. Shooting to kill has been rejected. The searchers round a corner, and are met with an image of an unknown hominoid not unlike Peter Loh’s latest best rendering above. The realization is startling. It is a Bigfoot-cum-Mawas in Johor that the local scientists have been tracking for three nights through the steamy rainforests. What now? And what happens when the creature is captured?

What are the best laid plans of Mawas, Men and Women when this moment occurs?

And has it happened before?

Perhaps it is not so much that it hasn’t taken place as the process for that first actual capture of Bigfoot has not been thought out clearly? And thus the dawn of discovery of a Bigfoot-like creature breaks anew every moment this horizon is crossed again.

Carter Family Drawing

Could it be that the event has transpired before, but not in such a textbook fashion as generally assumed? Aren’t most discoveries are merely accidents and coincidences turned into moments of revelation? Should we be surprised to discover things have gone badly in the past?

For example, this drawing above illustrates the case of the capturing of a Russian "Wild Man" in 1989. Four apple orchard guards secured him, and placed the unknown hominoid in their automobile’s luggage compartment. This allegedly actually took place near the town of Saratov, in the heart of the Volga River Valley, Russia, a mere 17 years ago. But how is this said to have ended? After several hours they released the "Wild Man" because of the strong sickening smell from the hominoid, coming from their trunk.

Will it happen again, or can we set up a more thoughtful scientific approach when a capture occurs? How do we move such events from the mundane but typical to a more controlled situation in which humankind appreciates the earth-shaking nature of such a find?

It already seems to be taking place, right now, in Johor. The pressure to produce is there from the ever-impatient West. But in the land of the Mawas, things are progressing at their own pace. We congratulate the Malaysians for bringing their pursuit to a new level of discussion and possible fulfillment, without an unnecessary rush of innocents and the aware to the missteps of the past.

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.

29 Responses to “Johor Bigfoot Found, Then What?”

  1. flickerbulbcom responds:

    i expect we could take it out for gin and tonics, being a civilized creature of obvious intelligence.

    nothing a bit of tanqueray can’t help.



  3. Bennymac responds:

    I noticed the nostrils changed, and there is less hair on the face from previous drawings, the skull is not as pointy either. Looks more human-like than anything as of yet from Peter, or should I say more Bigfoot-like.

    Something like this really needs to be handled with care and patience (but a couple pics wouldn’t hurt). Truly remarkable if this is what we hope it is. I’ll have more than one T&T in honor of the big guy!

  4. Ole Bub responds:

    Good Morning Bloggers….

    Perhaps we should discuss, help prepare and circulate a “capture protocol”….

    seeing is believing….

    ole bub and the dawgs

  5. lamarkable responds:

    The late Mr Porta said it better than I could:
    “No problem badly defined can have a solution (no ill person can be cured if badly diagnosed.)
    The level of any discussion is given by the least informed party or the one whose intelligence has been least trained.
    To understand is to become equal.
    If I, at this moment, am unable to demonstrate that you are mistaken, that does not mean you are right.
    The art of the lawyer is to pass the burden of proof to the other.

    In the current situation as Pogo said we have met the enemy and he is us.
    There are three sides to every situation as Mr Gurdjieff said, an affirming side, a denying side and a reconcilation of the two. we are missing
    the = . The died in the wool tecnological scientist and those who advocate potentialities as irrefutable evidence. Where is the common round. A leading university should sponsor a conference with dialog as a goal, a beginning.Remember John Mack at Harvard?
    Protocols are needed. Certification of observers and the criteria for same agreed upon. The psychology of witnesses is overlooked-“filling in the blanks” etc. Lead of discovery versus Lag of discussion between two camps. Time is short.

  6. MattBille responds:

    The most recent parallel example of a sensational zoological find, the ivory-billed woodpecker rediscovery in the US, was an example of doing most things right. The people who had the evidence brought in a university lab and a private conservation group to add manpower and expertise to the search for additional proof. Their evidence was independently peer-reviewed by three scientists who signed nondisclosure agreements. When a media source (National Public Radio) caught wind of what was happening, NPR was given access to the investigation in return for respecting the publication embargo. The scientific papers were prepared and held under embargo. The proper government authorities were notified and, amazingly, did not leak the news until the format announcement of the rediscovery and the habitat protection measures being instituted was made at a high level (by the Secretary of the Interior).

    I don’t know what the equivalent groups and institutions are in Malaysia, so I’m not sure how this model applies. Indeed, one aspect of it has already been breached – press conferences and news releases have been made before the evidence has been reviewed independently or the scientific papers written.

    Matt Bille

  7. sschaper responds:

    What -should- happen should probably be this; Once we know they exist – a capture, for instance, their habitat needs to be immediately protected, and it be made a felony to kill one.

    Renowned primatologists who have much experience in the wild with the great apes, should be brought in to lead the research.

    After full scans such as MRI with contrast, and DNA, the creature should be released. After this, observations should ocur in the wild.

    If they aren’t just orangutans or some other great ape, then we need to presumptively treat them as fellow humans. There should be attempts to determine if they have language, and then to learn it. All studies can be conducted with them still in the wild. However, if the government is unable to protect them from poachers, then perhaps a breeding population needs to be placed in ‘captivity’ – a highly guarded and fenced natural area.

    A circus with political interferences is probably likely, given Murphy’s Law.

  8. Drat responds:

    Seems like the most reasonable and ethical thing to do would be to tag the creature w/ a monitoring device and release. If they do indeed hang out in colonies, then you could initiate observation based on the readings you get.

    However the pressure and the gold rush will be on if one is ever really captured. Recall the native americans said to be captured for live exhibits in museums…and the sad story of Ota Benga — a pygmy captured in Belgian Congo and put on display in a zoo.

    The capture of a live bigfoot would be so exciting, but the thought of what would be in store for the big fella afterwords sometimes makes me think it might be best if they stay hidden. There are plenty of jerkwads that would love to ‘bag a bigfoot’ for their living room wall.

    I mean, honestly, what would happen, would we put bigfoot in a zoo? In Dallas a Gorilla was enraged by teenagers teasing it and jumped a 14 foot wall — escaped and was shot by the police. Talk about a real life King Kong story. The possibilities for hijinx boggles the mind.

  9. MountDesertIslander responds:

    I promise you if one is captured it will be only a matter of 18 to 24 months before it can be seen at a state fair or a casino. If the casinos are paying $20,000 dollars for a likeness of Mary burned onto toast;what would a cryptid on display be worth?

    The only way it seems that man will cultivate a species is if it can demonstrate a reasonable profit potential. If bigfoot provides great bar-b-que ribs, we will soon have ranches full of them. Bigfoot’s best chance of survival is if it tastes like chicken.

  10. Tabitca responds:

    The only way to protect them would be covert observation and keep the locale secret.Once human beings mix with the homids their lives will change and not always for the better.Can you imagine the black market value of a pelt or a live one? It doesn’t bear thinking about.Anyone remember the effect of flashbulbs in the original King Kong film? Think of how the homids wil feel when TV cameras appear. Sadly any genuine discovery will be tainted by the very nature of our need to know.
    I can also imagine though how it feels to be given the chance to study something like this and the researcher in me wouldn’t say no. What a dilemma the Malaysians face if this is genuine. I don’t envy them.

  11. Loren Coleman responds:

    Matt Bille…once again you write something to the effect that “press conferences and news releases have been made before the evidence has been reviewed independently or the scientific papers written.” The side-interview that Peter Loh and others had with Vincent Chow during a press conference that was about other matters was not a grand announcement as this continues to be protrayed. Yes, it is true, as cryptozoologists, we all may be making the most or the least from what came out during a concurrent event that was a news conference, but I do think it is time to let it rest that Chow is some way responsible for making a huge deal of this. Blame Peter, blame me, yes, kill the messengers, but it is not the fault of Chow that we have, in some ways, along with the media in Malaysia, made this into something bigger than he intended. That’s the way news leaks out, yes, but there was no Vincent Chow-called news conference to announce these photographs.

  12. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    I think the “worst case scenarios” mentioned above are just that, “worst case scenarios”. I mean I consider myself a pragmatist (my friends say pessimist) but surely, if a limited population were discovered, once verified, international pressure would be to list them as protected.
    No doubt, someone would pay big bucks to poachers to fetch them a “bigfoot baby” for their children or to hang one on the wall. But like anyone purchasing stolen paintings or those keeping raptors without the proper rehabilitation permits (all raptors are federaly protected birds and not even veterinarians can hold and treat an injured one without the proper permit), there would be no way to display such “trophies”.
    Such things are bound to happen. Indeed, they may have already happened, and just not been publicized for similar reasons.
    Ideally, the habitat would be set aside and protected. This would benefit the wild population of Mawas, the local people who could earn money serving as guides and providing other services to eco-tourists and researchers (giving some the means and incentive to abandon poaching and other practices that negatively impact the ecosystem) and, potentially, other hominid researchers around the globe who might find established groups more interested in funding or subsidizing expeditions.
    Now, as a pragmatist, I have no doubt there will be some negative impacts on the populations of Malaysia (both human and hominid), but without weathering these dilemnas and moving forward we are left with the current situation where these creatures have zero protection. For all of the negatives teh exposure will bring, until a creature is formally identified, there can be no formal protection.
    While, again, mistakes have probably been made in the handling and publicizing of this potential discovery, imagine if, for instance, instead of the time we have for debate now, the existence of the Mawas was revealed when one turned up as roadkill. Imagine the tide of fortune seeking cameramen and hunters, curiosity seekers and well-meaning others swelling over the forest of Malaysia, driving these creatures before them as they flood their home with beeping cell phones, GPS devices and guns of both the kill and tranquilize variety.
    No, flawed as the current process may be, it still isn’t the worst-case scenario imaginable.

    Patience and passion.

  13. Tim Cassidy responds:

    Well stated sschaper. But here are some thoughts and questions for folks to think about, and my perspective answers.

    “If they aren’t just orangutans or some other great ape, then we need to presumptively treat them as fellow humans.”

    – Unfortunately, many folks will never accept this for various reasons I’m not broaching here, but we and the great apes are all primates. Linked by DNA and the evolutionary fossil record. If this affair is legit and a creature does come to light, I expect its DNA will be even closer to ours than bonobos, which is very close indeed. The question of whether they are ‘human’ will be determined from genetic material, osteological specimens, and their mental intelligence.

    “However, if the government is unable to protect them from poachers, then perhaps a breeding population needs to be placed in ‘captivity’ – a highly guarded and fenced natural area.”

    – That highly guarded and fenced natural area will have to be quite large. It will be quite costly to build, maintain and guard. It is often difficult enough to keep gorillas, chimpanzees, and orangutans in captivity. Not only due to their susceptibility to catch and carry our mutual diseases, and their continual needs for mental stimulation, but it can also be quite costly. In my opinion, ‘captivity’ should be the very last alternative if they are headed towards extinction.

    Should the Mawas be labled as a fiscal resource? Or, if considered ‘human’ are they a seperate race, independant of Homo sapiens economical and political wants?

    – This depends on what people will consider human. Dolphins have a language. Dolphins even create their very own names used for individual identity, and they like whales, are still looked as a resource for food and oil production.

    So, what will stop the media circus, politically driven agendas, and sub-culture sentiments?

    – Education, putting it simply. Not just environmental, but cultural as well. Aimed at all levels of youth and adults, cultures, and national as well.

  14. sbdance responds:

    Human disease should wipe a small population out fairly quickly.

  15. MattBille responds:


    I stand corrected on your point about the news conference. I am curious why the individuals talked at all before they had presented the photos privately to some established scientific organization. It’s easy to criticize from a distance, and I don’t mean to do so, but I am curious.

  16. DWA responds:

    I hate to say this to We-Must-Capture-and-or-Kill-and-Otherwise-Draw-Blood Conventional Science.

    But….we’re gonna have to relax the standards of evidence somewhat in this case. Civility and the damn certain non-abundance of this critter pretty much demand it.

    If we have a “fellow” or “near” human here, surely we can avoid the guns, regardless what they’re loaded with. Likewise with the nets, car trunks, cages and handcuffs.

    Camera traps only. Get LOTS of photos, so many that even, well, A SCIENTIST! couldn’t doubt it. In the meantime, conserve habitat — every scrap of it that can be.

    I know, I know. We’d have to behave…and when has homo sapiens ever done that? But I refuse to believe that “a higher standard of proof” HAS to apply to this and other cryptids like it — even though the Reality Factor says that, for now, one does.

    Think, people. If we can postulate a new species of monkey — even a new genus — based on nothing but a photo, when this monkey looked a lot like yet another mangabey species on first observation…do we really need “a higher standard of proof” to verify the existence of a bipedal primate that doesn’t look anything near like anything else we know of?

    Think, people. Photos — lots of them — CAN be enough, if science LETS them be.

  17. mcg336 responds:

    Albert Ostman probably met more kindness at these creatures hands than what Our species would render to this creature.

  18. lamarkable responds:

    The answer is qualified field observers who follow a strict protocol in a protected refuge. it is not going to happen. Too late.In a perfect world where it is always sunny and it is always 70 degrees. The reality of a market for butterflies, tropical fish. Indian tigers, East and West Africa guerillas by poachers is the reality, even in sanctuarys that are less theoretical as legal entities. A third world country having the financial resources to police illegal trade is unlikely. What is empirical science going to accomplish when evidence is a moving target prone to tampering, especially photographs? Are they going to make extraordinary efforts to seek international cooperation in advance of the book release. Meanwhile an unknown person in an unknown location has unknown photos of an unknown creature.
    If there is one, it certainly could have been handled in a more discrete manner by reaching out for verification
    of a consensus rather than seeking it at the checkout counter at our local Borders.

  19. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Sorry DWA. I wish it were so, but even our new genus of monkey wasn’t found to be a new genus without physical samples. Identified with only photos? Yes. Identified CORRECTLY? Only with a body.
    Now that doesn’t mean we have to “bag a Mawas” for proof. But it does mean the question of “Is it human?” and, if so “How human?” can not be answered until we get a genetic sample, willingly, tragically or otherwise.
    Sad, but true.

  20. DWA responds:

    Well, Jeremy, not pretending to be an expert on the kipunji, but the understanding conveyed here on this site was that the holotype — the body — is a photo. I’ve heard nothing of physical samples, unless I missed either a news story or an entry here. I heard that the “body” is digital.

    No matter how sliced, samples or no, the kipunji has been granted its status with far less evidence by volume than exists for Bigfoot. (Sasquatch, not mawas.) The only difference is WHO saw it. (And there’s so much Sas evidence that to toss even just half of it as hoax, drugs, alcohol or simple misidentification is simply irrational.)

    What I’m saying is that if these things are human, or near human, we have to change the rules of engagement — aided and abetted by, and largely promulgated by, science — that have 16,000 species, by a conservative estimate, on the brink of extinction. We need to adopt a new standard of proof. And camera traps open the door.

    You cannot convince me that the judicious application of these traps will fail for long to come up with compelling stuff. Science will have to get involved on a larger scale, yes, but when that happens…

    And my final thought, particularly apropos with something that has all but been called human. (Oh. Homo erectus. It HAS been called human.) Why not apply the Golden Rule to scientific investigation for once? As in: what would you want THEM to do to YOU….?

    The old way is clearly not working. Time to hitch science to a longer lead, and treat the wild right. One time.

  21. DWA responds:

    OK, stand corrected Jeremy. Just read the kipunji blog again. DNA was obtained from a dead animal.

    No problem. We can do that. But I say that sasquatch, yeti, mawas, whatever, demand the same respect we showed the kipunji — for whom taking one for a sample was rejected out of consideration of its low numbers.


    If you have a body, fine. But wait until nature gives you one.

    (And no, we don’t want to trap a mawas that, whoops, “unfortunately” dies. Nice try there, Science…)

  22. twblack responds:

    Ok guys I have been one to say I just want to see the photos and I admit I need to be patient LOTS MORE. Here is my hope that the photos show a BF. and then the group that have taken the photos and protected them for 11 years are able to get a Video Camera and film them. They become a protected speices immediatley. None are trapped and captured for study but only have a select few chosen to go in and study them and relate all they find to the outside world. And no way should they be shot and killed. As far as poachers have the group that is sent in to study them be well armed to protect them from poachers, hunters ETC. This would be a perfect world if it can happen this way. Now in the real world I just hope none are killed. Captured yes more than likely that will happen to prove that BF really does exist for some. The real world is a very harsh thing indeed.

  23. Fouke Monster responds:

    First things first. If those four apple pickers tried to capture a bigfoot, we all know he wouldn’t have gone as quitely as the drawing shows. He could of tossed those guys around like a couple of….well apples. The only way bigfoot got into the trunk is if they stuck apples in the trunk and when it came up to eat them…they ran up behind and pushed him in. In a way capturing a bigfoot could be a bad thing. If mawas was caught and proved to be real….which I believe he is…then who ever believed would storm the woods in search of him. That wouldn’t be good. Another thing, if you were to make it a felony to kill bigfoot, it wouldn’t do any good. It’s a felony to poach deer but people still do it just as much as they did before it was illegal. There is no easy way to fix what would happen it bigfoot was proved to be real. Yes scientists are smart but they seem to have no common sense. Look at the atom bomb for instance, yes its a powerful weapon but after we made it all of the other countries had to have one. The same thing with bigfoot. If one was to be found then every other country would have to find one as well. There are consequences to everything. Some of them are small but some are major. Finding a bigfoot could have major consequences, but it could also have small. We will never know until we find one.

  24. Nachzehrer responds:

    No matter what happens, I’m not going into the woods without leech socks.

  25. timi_hendrix responds:

    Don’t people learn anything. Has everyone seen King Kong? Its not a good idea to capture big humaniods. lol

    And if one if captured I bet it will end up being like Kong, except without the girl and the Empire state building.

  26. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Fouke Monster (post # 23)
    It would depend on what type of hominid was captured. This being a Russian “Wild Man” he was likely, if we believe the evidence of species distribution we see from the footprint and other evidence, either of the erectus hominid or neandertaloid variety. While undoubtedly stronger than your average man, these types aren’t much “bigger” than people otherwise, and the idea of four grown men wrestling a grown man much larger than each of them individually into submission would not seem out of the question.
    Granted, he likely didn’t go along as peacefully as shown (assuming this isn’t an out and out fabrication), but I wouldn’t put it in the realm of the impossible.

  27. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    On the various concerns about poachers I would just like to reiterate that, in my opinion, the best way to guard against poaching is to make a LIVE Mawas more economically rewarding than a DEAD Mawas. If, for instance, a poacher can sell a single dead specimen for $500, but can earn $100 per person to guide 3 or 4 eco-tourists a week to a spot to see a living Mawas, the economic incentive is to protect the creatures.
    Much in the same way that some surmise cattle became sacred to some Hindu because they were more valuable as combination draft animals, fertilizer sources, and milk producers than as burgers.
    I hate to sound like the cold, calculating Capitalist (that concept being LAUGHABLE to anyone who knows me) but if people can see more return on living than dead animals, they have incentive to preserve it.

  28. shovethenos responds:

    Without reading the article or the thread, I vote that they be trained to force-feed the most arrogant, obnoxious, and insulting skeptics crow.
    (Just kidding.)

  29. shovethenos responds:

    Of course that assumes they are a real, unknown animal. Fingers crossed on that one…..

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