Borneo Big Footprints: Jokes?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 16th, 2008


Editorial Cartoon: “Bigfoot in Sarawak” posted by Kher Cheng Guan.


The giant footprints found in a fishing village in Daro [Borneo] are a fake.

“It’s man-made and a hoax,” Sarawak Museum anthropologist Dr. Charles Leh said yesterday while dismissing news reports that the two sets of footprints found in a village in Mukah division were those of “Bigfoot”, an ape-like creature said to be found in North America.

He said the hoax may be an attempt to attract people to Daro.

Leh, who is also the assistant director of the museum, based his opinion on an analysis of the published photographs.

He said based on the position of the footprints in one photograph, he wondered why “Bigfoot” did not clip the corner of the fence instead of walking around it.

“If it was Bigfoot, he would not have walked around the fence. The 10-foot fence would have tripped him.

“There are no signs of damage to the fence or of a giant falling on the ground near the fence.”

He added the foot stumps were “too light” for a giant.

Leh said the footprint measuring 119cm from heel to toe and 43cm across, indicated “Bigfoot” must weigh more than 200kg.

“But the impression was too shallow for something weighing more than 200kg.

“Unless more footprints are found, I am not going to waste my time going there to investigate,” he added.

Thousands of people have flocked to the small Melanau town to get a glimpse of the footprints since word of the find began spreading a week ago.

The Borneo Post and See Hua newspapers reported the “phenomenon” on Friday, based on the account of a businessman.

The discovery of the prints caused a stir in the area where a deeply superstitious community live.

A host of ghostly stories was spawned with similar sightings elsewhere.“‘Bigfoot’ is someone’s idea of a joke,” by Desmond Davidson, The New Straits Times, June 16, 2008.


The photo of the Daro Bigfoot which Dr. Charles Leh dismissed as a fake. — Picture courtesy of The Borneo Post, by Tan Soon Kuang.

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.

12 Responses to “Borneo Big Footprints: Jokes?”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    I also think it’s very possible this is a hoax for a variety of reasons. One is that yes, that fence position is weird. And the indentations don’t seem deep enough for such a massive animal. But I suppose there could be reasons for these things, it’s hard to say without more information. These things don’t bother me as much as some others.

    To be honest, these just don’t look like the footprints of a living thing. They are too perfectly formed and evenly impressed, and neither do they look like the footprints of any other known living thing (in terms of size) in the fossil record. That’s not to say that such animals have never existed, and yes the fossil record is incomplete, but explaining a whole missing line of truly giant hominids we never knew about adds some complications and to say they existed in light of what we know is conjecture. It is certainly not something that can be proven by two footprints.

    The idea of giant, King Kong-esque hominids is very alluring, but it is pure speculation at this point based on scant little. More evidence than these, in my opinion, rather artificial looking prints is going to be needed to convince me that the idea of 20 foot tall hominids wandering the jungles is a feasible one worth spending valuable research money on.

  2. mystery_man responds:

    And of course what I mean by nothing like it in the fossil record, is nothing like a biped this size with four foot long feet like this that are the same approximate shape as our own. Just thought I’d get that out before people start naming off huge footprints of other completely unrelated animals.

  3. shumway10973 responds:

    Speaking of fence, did anyone find hair there? I figure that whether the big guy went around or clipped the fence there might be hair somewhere there. I kinda figured this was the conclusion. I still say if you look at the pics of the prints someone added the outside and heel to a former “big foot” cast, or something like that. By the way, just how deep would footprints be for someone that size on hard ground? I know that on mud we would be looking at the creature stuck up to the knee, at least.

  4. captiannemo responds:

    It looks like the soil was made moist so the imprints could be made. If you look at the first photo, you can see what looks like finger impressions in the mud around the heel.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    captainnemo- I see exactly what you mean. I noticed that at first too but didn’t say anything because I figured maybe it was just my own interpretation. Now that you’ve mentioned it I don’t feel as if I was just seeing things.

    Good idea about making the soil moist first to set in the tracks. I think this could have been done without a prosthetic foot. Someone could make the basic shape of a foot and toes by just pressing the ground with their hands or some tool, like sculpturing, and if the ground around where they were working was solid enough, their own footprints would not be visible.

  6. Alton Higgins responds:

    ?? Surely no one seriously doubted that this was a joke or hoax?

  7. mystery_man responds:

    Alton Higgins- I don’t think so. I think people have been mostly saying in a nice and well reasoned way that these are bogus.

  8. CamperGuy responds:

    Does this mean my prehistoric tweety bird theory might be based on a hoax ?

  9. cryptidsrus responds:

    Good posts, Mystery_Man…

    Hit it right on the head.

    Alton Higgins: It wasn’t as obvious to us “ignorant” people that this was a “hoax” as it was to you. I had doubts about this too from the beginning but kept an open mind.

    Is this somehow connected with the “Criticize but don’t call it a hoax” flap some posts ago involving PhotoExpert?


    I guess so. Hmmm…

  10. Spinach Village responds:

    The weight sunken down into the ground was definitely something I wanted to mention (ask about)

    I did wonder if the track depth was in proportion with the suggested size of the animal, but due to all the doubts already stated, I decided not to pile on.

    So the villagers have that much free time on there hands?

  11. fooks responds:

    one would think there would be a pivot on the closest footprint?

  12. Sordes responds:

    There is an additional note: Why should a humanoid giant with 47 inch long feet be 9m high? The relation between foot-length and height among humans is roughly 1:6, and a very big humanoid would need proportionally bigger feet to support its weight (as weight increases with the cube, but the are of the feet not). So even with typical human proportions a height of 7m would be much more probable. Given the thing with the increasing foot size and probable shorter legs (humans have very long legs compared to apes), a hypothetical height of somewhere between 5 and 6m would be much more probable, with such a creature with 47inch long feet would exist. As it would have a weight of about 2500kg at minimum, the impressions of its feet would be also much deeper in mud.

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