New Encounters with Mande Burung (Wild Jungle People)

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 12th, 2007

Bigfoot in India

If you look in my book, The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006), you will find range maps for some of the types of hairy hominoids that the data gathers. Some have tried to revise these maps, for example, for the “Erectus Hominids,” by expanding the range into the vast outback desert of Australia or cutting back the range from more certain Asia. It does not really matter because new reports and discovered old cases will keep changing what people feel are the ranges of any of these hominoid cryptids. The reports will speak for themselves.

Is the Malaysian “Bigfoot” situation of recent years being mirrored in India, now, with the potential of more government involvement? Although known for decades, an increase in lowland India sightings is leading to more talk of new investigations.

Are we beginning to see more confirmation of reports from this area of the world of Homo erectus-like hairy hominids?

Authorities in India are to investigate claims by terrified villagers that “Bigfoot”-type hairy giants are roaming the jungles of the remote northeast, a local official said. The creatures have apparently been spoken of, and occasionally spotted, for years, but a rise in the number of sightings over the past month has prompted authorities to look into the matter further. The bizarre sightings have reportedly been made in the Garo hills area of Meghalaya state, close to the borders with Bangladesh and Bhutan.

Villagers have dubbed the mysterious creatures “Mande Burung” — or Jungle Man [People].

“A team of wildlife officials and other experts will conduct a study to find out if there is any truth in the locals’ claims about these hairy giants,” said Samphat Kumar, a district magistrate in the West Garo Hills district.

One local farmer, 40-year-old Wallen Sangma, claimed he had seen an entire family of the creatures — possibly a lowland relative of the Himalayan Yeti, or perhaps a distant cousin of the North American Bigfoot known as Sasquatch, or Australia’s Yowie.

“The sight was frightening: two adults and two smaller ones, huge and bulky, furry,” he told an AFP reporter who visited the remote area on Thursday and Friday [June 7 & 8].

“Their heads looked as if they were wearing caps, and their colour was blackish-brown,” he said, adding that the four “monsters” were about 30 to 40 metres (100 to 130 feet) away from him as he looked for firewood in a forest area.

“The four of them quietly vanished into the undergrowth,” he said of the recent sighting. Claims to have sighted such bigfoot creatures are treated sceptically by scientists because of lack of solid physical proof, but there are scientists and researchers who believe they could exist. One Garo Hills group, the Achik Tourism society, has been trying to verify the creature’s existence for the past 10 years, photographing footprints and thatched “nests” reported by locals.

“The descriptions given by people who saw the creature point to Mande Burung,” said its head, T.K. Marak, a zoology professor at the state-run university in Tura, 323 kilometres (200 miles) from state capital Shillong.

“There is no trace of any gorillas or other unidentified animals inhabiting here.”

The group says footprints it has photographed are approximately 13 to 15 inches (33 to 38 centimetres) long. It also says it has collected tufts of hair.

“We shall send these samples for DNA and other forensic tests,” said Dipu Marak, also of the society. In the meantime, some of the more intrepid villagers have begun their own investigation, venturing into the forest in the hopes of spotting the hairy creatures as their neighbours have done.

“Maybe only the fortunate ones have the chance to have a glimpse of the Mande Burung,” said Abu Marak, a Garo local who claims to have seen a jungle man about three weeks Zarir Hussain, AFP, from Tura, India, 6.10.07

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.

10 Responses to “New Encounters with Mande Burung (Wild Jungle People)”

  1. bill green responds:

    hey loren very informative new article about the india hominids or sasquatch. i agree it seems that sightings are picking up fast now india forests probley becouse alot differant food resources for the creatures. thanks bill green

  2. dogu4 responds:

    Great article as usual Loren though I think the map may need a little updating, not to dispute it but to perhaps specify that it reflects a distinctly southern radiation of a single or several populations of h. erectus. I suggest this due to evidence (controll of fire) of h. erectus in locations as widespread as the Mediterranean Coast of France, the recent attribution of a cache of 400,000 year old fire hardened spears and horse remains in Germany and sites in Northern China. These are particularly interesting when one considers the climate during that time which I think suggests that an intelligent hominid population whose facility with fire enabled discrete packs of them to take advantage of the big open mosaic of dry grasslands and forests that spread from western Eurasia across North America. Large scale habitats favor large scale animals and their similarly scaled predators.

  3. sschaper responds:

    Very large hominids with sagital crests, covered in fur, with no sign of tools or fire doesn’t sound like H.e. to me.

  4. jodzilla responds:

    Wow! This is fascinating. Very interesting. That part of the world seems to hold many surprises. I look forward to an update on the Mande Burung.

  5. mystery_man responds:

    “There is no trace of any gorillas or other unidentified animals inhabiting here.”

    No trace of unidentified animals here? That’s kind of a strange thing to say, especially in light of the alleged tufts of hair that were found as well as the footprints.

  6. size 13 responds:

    Aways hear of samples being sent off for DNA testing but do we ever hear the results? Never hear much about the DNA outcome. Anything on DNA results?

  7. Loren Coleman responds:

    Three points:

    The map shows the range of possible relict Homo erectus survivors, not of all finds of fossil H. erectus. There does not seem to be current reports of this type of hominid in the south of France.

    Secondly, I’m not sure how reports of unknown hairy hominids “wearing caps” is translated into sagittal crests.

    Evidence of fire would not be necessarily apparent in all relict populations, and who says it would be so obvious in random sightings. Fossil evidence of fire for fossil hominids is associated with living areas.

  8. dogu4 responds:

    Gotcha…thanks for the clarification, and mea culpa.

  9. Lyndon responds:

    “”There does not seem to be current reports of this type of hominid in the south of France.””

    Obviously you haven’t been to Marseille, Loren. Lots of them there.

    LOL. Sorry, I couldn’t resist.

  10. YourPTR! responds:

    Sagittal crests was the first thing that came to mind when I read “wearing caps” mentioned in that report. Seems logical to me that that is what the eyewitness is refering to. Just my two cents.

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