Top Secret: US Navy SEAL’s Cryptid Ape Video

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 13th, 2006

Cryptomundo Exclusive


Harry Trumbore’s drawing of Africa’s kalanoro, from The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe.

I’ve learned, through a confidential source, that at least one unit of the US Navy SEAL (Sea, Air, Land) has had a remarkable recent encounter with unknown apes in Africa. And a video was taken. We are seeking additional confirmation and other eyewitnesses. Have any hints of this story come your way?

Due to the sensitive nature of this former US Navy SEAL’s intelligence-gathering work, at this time we cannot reveal his identity. Hopefully our posting this initial information will develop other sources and confirmations from current and former SEAL members involved, and from interested researchers with hints of the story.

What the former SEAL relates is that he was involved in covert operations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo between 1997 and 2002. According to his account, his team observed a group of thirteen "chimpanzee-like" creatures between 4.5 to 5 feet tall, uniformly gray all over their bodies, with rows of seemingly porcupine-like quills running the length of their backs.

The unidentified apes walked bipedally and were observed by the SEAL team in the act of killing another animal. When the creatures became excited or agitated, the quills or spines stood erect from their bodies.

According to this informant, the US Navy SEAL team took three minutes of video footage of these creatures, but this tape apparently has been classified, due to their mission. This SEAL member still has his mission maps and is able to pinpoint the area of the encounter with this large group of bipedal apes.

The involvement of a US Navy SEAL team would indicate that their activity employed water as a means of transportation, and/or they were working in an area involving a lake, river, or swamp.

What could these strangely-haired unknown apes be? Their description, overtly, sounds like similar hairy short upright creatures (with bizarre spiked hair) known to inhabit areas near certain bodies of water and from specific islands. Various regional names (chupacabras, kappa) hide the fact they all resemble each other in their number of digits, spiked hair, aggressiveness, and aquatic habits. But let’s just look to Africa alone, today.

Weird rumblings have been heard from the Congo for decades. In Ivan T. Sanderson’s Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life, there is mention of animal collector Charles Cordier finding the small tracks of what the locals called the kakundakari in the Congo in 1961.

I have previously written about an African hominoid that matches the Congolese reports of the Navy SEAL, those of the Madagascar natives’ kalanoro, a short, three-toed, bipedal, water-dwelling, mean, scruffy-hair hominoid.

All the tribes of island of Madagascar, located off the east coast of Africa, know of the Kalanoro, according to folklorist Raymond Decary, who researched the common themes connecting the stories of the Kalanoro back in the 1950s. In 1889, a capture of a Kalanoro was reported to the Royal Geographical Society. In 1924, Chase Salmon Osborn described his sighting of two Kalanoro mating.

The Father of Cryptozoology also took an interest in them. These “legends may be fantastic," wrote Belgium cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans in 1955, but "they are found all over Madagascar, and it would be odd if they were utterly without foundation," especially given the fact that "some areas of Madagascar are still almost unexplored, such as the Ambongo reserve and the lonely Isalo mountains, and there are still some 3 or 4 million hectares of virgin forest…”

The aggressive nature of the Kalanoro comes through in a few accounts, and mirrors the behavior in the SEAL’s account. The Kalanoro are also known to abduct children, and search Madagascar’s villages for food.

How recent are the encounters with these hairy, three-toed Kalanoro with their hooked fingers and aggressive habits? Professor Joe Hobbs of the University of Missouri-Columbia’s Department of Geography, studied them, while he was with the local tribes in the Ankarana Special Reserve, Madagascar, during the late 1990s. On May 15, 2000, when Hobbs wrote his report, he talked of how the people of the village of Ambalakedi consider Andoboara Cave “sacred because on three separate occasions, most recently just two years ago, grief-stricken parents whose children had wandered into the forest had recovered them alive here" after food was left out for the Kalanoro in exchange for their children’s return.

If the US Navy SEAL report is correct, there may be something quite similar to the Kalanoro living in the Congo area too.

And if the Congo SEAL encounter was so very extraordinary, others may have talked about, it in passing. Since this "unknown hominoid" piece of the mission does not involve national security, but may extend cryptozoological knowledge, it is time to learn more, release the video footage, and analyze what was seen.

Do you have further information on this US Navy report? Please send what you’ve heard our way, via the comments’ section or let us know you want further contact through back channels.

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.

44 Responses to “Top Secret: US Navy SEAL’s Cryptid Ape Video”

  1. mokele responds:

    When we were in Cameroon in 2001 we showed the locals a picture of the kalanoro which they recognized and called Dodu or Dod. They say the animal can reach 8-9 ft. It fights with monkeys and gorillas. Smells like dead things. Leaves three toed prints. It’s reported to kill animals, leave their bodies, then come back and eat the maggots. Our guide Pierre and the Baka at one time had tracked one for seven days. A body of one was supposed to have been given to a French man. Supposedly a live one was captured in 2000 and paraded through the village of Moloundo in Cameroon.


  2. colobus responds:

    I lived a couple miles from the DRC border during the years this incident supposedly happened. While it’s true that U.S. forces played a logistical and pathfinder role in support of the Ugandan and Rwandan invasion, the couple times I met U.S. special forces personnel in the bush, I was less than impressed with their woodscraft in that environment.

    I also had dealings with primate researchers on both sides of the border, and never heard the faintest rumor of such a creature. I did hear rumors of other kinds of apes – more along the lines of what we think of as apes (not porcupines), but nothing remotely as odd as this report.

    So I’d have to politely call it B.S.

    Also, regarding Madagascar – there are virtually no intact forests left on the island, nor have their been for thirty years. The various prosimians and lemurs there are about as big as things get there.

  3. godzilladude responds:

    Not to be the wet blanket, but there is no prior basis for quills or spikes on primates, far as I know, and I’m not sure I could come up with a reason why they’d have them. And the “Oh it was taped but while on a secret mission so its classified” is just too perfect. Add to that this is Friday the 13th and there were 13 critters in the troops, well, unless the person that told you this is a friend you really trust, and its his personal eye-witness testimony, I’d think this is someone having fun at your expense.

    But I’d love to be shown wrong!
    Paul Herman

  4. Loren Coleman responds:

    The publishing of this story (which I learned about earlier this week) is a pure coincidence on this date, with regard to the number of cryptids seen.

    I have written before about the fact that there is a primate named the potto, which is a central African loris, that does have spikes that comes through it’s neck and upper back skin/fur, from its spine. The spikes stand up when the potto is threatened by a predator, so the attacker cannot bite the potto on the neck.

    So much for there not being any primates with spikes.

  5. shovethenos responds:


    From what I have read the SEALs operate in any environment, so it doesn’t necessarily follow that the encounter occurred near water.

    With the reports of government involvement with cryptid primates and their later cover-up/denial, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to keep a lid on this. The encounter could have been the justification or part of the justification for the mission. (Unknown to your source.) You might want to ask your source about this if you have a dialogue.

    In any case a very interesting story.

  6. jjames1 responds:

    Loren, as I understand it, the potto’s “spines” are just elongated vertabrae, and do not actually come out of its skin/fur.

  7. battlekow responds:

    “Three of the vertebrae in the Potto’s neck have sharp points and nearly pierce the skin; these are used as defensive weapons.”

  8. jjames1 responds:

    battlekow, what you posted just confirms that I wrote earlier. 🙂 The potto’s “spines” aren’t like porcupine quills.

  9. Toirtis responds:

    The Malagasy ‘tradition’ of the Kalanoro also equally sees them as a supernatural spirit…and almost equivalent of a hobgoblin or kobold, so the distinction between the physical and spiritual is seriously blurred.

    As for the Cogo case, it seems unlikely, especially since I cannot think of one primatologist I know that has ever heard such a thing from that area…and one assumes that the locals would have encountered such things prior to a Navy SEAL in 2002. As well, the ‘classified’ (which it would have to be, since US military presence in the Congo would be fairly illegal) satus is just a bit too convenient….I believe this one to be a hoax.

  10. Alton Higgins responds:

    Desmond Morris describes these “spines” on page 124 in “The Mammals: A Guide to the Living Species” (1965).

    “The most outstanding physical characteristic of this animal is the row of horny tubercles which cover the elongated spines of the last cervical and the first tow thoracic vertebrae. These spikes protrude through the skin of the back of the neck and are used in self-defense, the Potto curling itself up and flinging this region at its attacker’s face. The animal seems to have special control of the hair tracts on either side of these tubercles, the fur being actively parted to lay them bare. Its chief enemy is the Two-spotted Palm Civet.”

  11. Scarfe responds:

    This is interesting, but I think it goes without saying that until more details are available, we could all stand to be more than suspicious about this case if in fact a case does indeed exist.

  12. jjames1 responds:

    That’s a picture of a potto skeleton. You can see the “spines” at the base of the skull, over the shoulders. These don’t appear to be porcupine-like in any way, so Loren’s statement about primates having back spines/spikes doesn’t necessarily seem to be relevant to the alleged cryptid ape from this story.

  13. TemplarKnight21c responds:

    This story seems rather reminiscent of Micheal Crichton’s ‘Congo’. For anyone who has not seen the film or read the book, a group of scientists enters the Congo region of Africa in search of a lost team of scientists. Anyway, both teams were attacked by over-violent grey gorillas. They killed off the entire first team, and a good deal of the second. If this is a hoax, this story could be a good inspiration.

  14. chrisandclauida2 responds:

    Just to confirm seal stands for SEa Air Land. They work in any and all environment. They have many methods of infiltration. It is an assumption to suggest that because a seal unit aquired this video that it was near water.

  15. Draconis responds:

    The design looks far too much like the gravelings in the tv series, “Dead Like Me”

    Direct link to image

  16. MountDesertIslander responds:

    Isn’t the picture on the extreme left of the home page of this web site that of an unknown bi-pedal, 4-5 foot tall primate? Perhaps I am not current, but when I read about this animal it has still never been identified, A photo with scale, clearly defined features, and reasonable dimension will never be enough to conclusively document a new discovery.

    If my memory serves me right this cryptid was found in South America though. I doubt science has found all of the species of primates lurking around in the wilderness.

    It just becomes wearisome that with virtually every cryptid we hear about these days there has to be some covert or classified governmental involvement that prevents us from finding the truth. Virtually every cryptid story now ends with a government agency stonewalling the public’s right to know for security reasons. Either the X-Files was a perfect representation of what goes on in cryptid research or the public has become too willing to accept conspiracy theories.

    Either way, sadly, the atmosphere for cryptid research has been tainted by the everpresent old saw of “classified governmental involvement”.

  17. shovethenos responds:


    Search the various cryptid primate websites. There are a number of cryptid primate sightings that also involve gunshots, a police presence, in some cases helicopters, etc. There are more overt accounts of military involvement as well. If memory serves there are also accounts from Puerto Rico of a struggling primate held in a NASA van. Allegedly the driver even admitted to onlookers that it was an unknown primate that had just been captured raiding crops. There was even a recent account (past couple years) of a freakishly large humanoid corpse being airlifted by the military out of Afghanistan.

    I’m not arguing that all or even any of those accounts are true. Just that it could be a possibility.

    Then there’s the recent story that has come out about Stalin trying to cross-breed apes and humans to create hybrid soldiers. Strange, but there is a history of us matching the Soviets in strangeness during the Cold War. They researched psychics, we researched psychics. They researched hypnosis and mind control, we researched hypnosis and mind control. They researched exotic drugs and poisons, we researched exotic drugs and poisons. (And a lot of this is probably still ongoing.) So the notion of US researchers doing classified research on cryptid primates isn’t much more farfetched than a lot of what already has been documented.

    Government involvement could also explain why, if cryptid primates exist, little hard evidence has been found. I’m not saying this is definitely the case, I’m not even 100% certain cryptid primates do exist, but if they do this could be a contributing reason as to why the sought after irrefutable evidence has not been found.

  18. primateer responds:

    I think that people are uncomfortable with strangeness. It’s better to think that everything that can be known, is known. I think it was the U.S. Patent office director sometime around the late 1800’s or early 1900’s that wanted to close down the patent office because he felt that everything that could be invented had already been invented. It’s sad to say that the term “forward thinking”, and “government”, are probably mutually exclusive words.

  19. scmarlowe responds:

    The illustration reminds me of several drawings of the chupacabra I have seen.

    Assuming that the sighting(s) are genuine (and that may be a long shot), I’d like to see the loris and pottos as well as the anatomical data on the living creature. Not to mention the photography.

  20. Craig Woolheater responds:

    WOAI News out of San Antonio has picked up this story. Link to story on their website.

  21. jjames1 responds:

    WOAI will run pretty much any story mentioning a chupacabras, so I’m not surprised they picked up on this. They first popularized the “Texas ranch chupacabras” stories a couple of years ago (the ones that turned out to be coyotes with sarcoptic mange).

  22. Loren Coleman responds:

    I appreciate all the comments, even the skeptical one, the ones that disagree with my post, or challenge me. That’s great, and I enjoy the thinking that is going on here.

    A couple points…

    As I mentioned in my original posting, there is an overt similarity to several cryptids around the world that “appear” to have spikes on their backs, even if it is only in outward appearance. Hair can appear in many rigid and funny ways.

    The use of the term “porcupine-like quills” was via my informant. I have not used the phrase “porcupine” to describe these, personally.

    The example of the potto was merely to demonstrate that “spike”-like structures have been seen on primates. Nature’s designs are rather amazing.

    As was quoted above, it is in the zoological literature that the potto’s little spikes from the vertebra came through the skins. This observation was reinforced in comments by zoologist Ivan T. Sanderson who also saw them coming through the skin on the ones he handled and examined on his animal collecting expeditions to Afric.

  23. dontgd responds:

    I have one thing to add, when I worked with people involved in the Vietnam era POW/MIA issue I learned of an interesting effect of many hoaxes- They often involve people claiming to be Navy SEALS. There are comparatively few Navy SEALS in the world and while few people know every Navy SEAL in the world today, some I’ve met know most. I heard several stories such as:
    “So and so comes to this meeting and says his friend the Navy SEAL saw such and such, so I meet the friend and the first thing I ask him is ‘what was your class when you were in training’ and the guy responds with his MOS code!” (or something like that)

    So the inclusion of the Navy SEALS into this story actually make me doubt it more rather than believe it.

    However, as someone who has worked with the government on some issues, they are not at all skilled in dealing with (or even being aware of) outsider/conspiracy communities and that definitely fuels negative speculation. The military does not instill intellectual curiousity in its recruits- in fact, basic training is quite the opposite.

  24. Loren Coleman responds:

    The experience of knowing one person who may have created a hoax and who said they were a SEAL is hardly proof this story is a hoax.

    This account is shared to further the investigation of this possible encounter. If we shut the door to exploring it too early, we may not allow a valuable report to tell us more about what is going on in the world of unknown apes in the Congo.

    Needless to say, some intriguing things have been happening there with reports of the Bili or Bondo cryptid ape. This may be related to those sightings. Or it might be an encounter with some new apes having a bad hair day? Let’s keep any open mind about these.

    As to the primary informant, he is very nervous because he just left the service. He happened to overhear someone who was mentioning cryptozoology work in the Congo, and mentioned his experience. That’s how this all came to my attention, through backchannels. This former Navy SEAL requires and requests no publicity be drawn to himself, regarding this case. He is not involved in cryptozoology and doesn’t really seem to care about the field at all. I don’t like this secrecy part of this investigation, but I understand it. That’s why, of course, I am looking for secondary confirmations. And like most of you, remain skeptical but interested to see where this is going to lead.

  25. Lizkas responds:

    This article was fascinating. And so were the comments underneath it. Top quality. (So much so in fact, that they inspired me to register!)

    Hmmm…. This is fascinating. I had not heard of this “Dodou” or this apelike cryptid in Madagascar, (though I’ve heard of bipedal apes before), or this kalikari thing in the Congo…

    And the potto… fascinating research!

    I looked at the photo of the skeleton… make that a bit bigger and it could be a chupie, I thought to myself! Very strange-looking spined vertebrae.

    And they come through the skin…

    But… has anyone seen these spikes on these African or madagascan apes vibrate to rainbow colours… have they seen these things fly??

    Chupie in South America and Puerto Rico does such amazingly (according to eyewitness accounts) bizarre things, that it (espeically the flying and the winged versions that have been reported) have made me put it in the “supernatural creature” drawer for ages…

    Are supernatural creatures totally outside the remit of your website, Loren Coleman?

    (Or do we have to admit that L. Frank Baum the fantasy writer might have had more truth than he thought, in his tales of flying monkeys?)

    Or… can the “real” ones like your above kalanoro drawings… not do anything really weird at all??

    Grey apes with spines though!

    No, not even Michael Crichton has thought of that one.

  26. generalkimber responds:

    Mr. Coleman,

    It seems to me that it’s easier to verify the authenticity of the SEAL than the authenticity of his story. Regardless of what many people think, US Navy SEALs are not super agents with identities kept secret to protect them from retribution and such bunk.

    It seems unclear to me whether you have the alleged SEAL’s identity and are honoring his request to keep it confidential, or if a friend of a friend gave you the story and kept the SEAL’s name confidential.

    At any rate, if SOMEONE involved in this knows the alleged SEAL’s name, any or all of these sites indicated in the links below specialize in revealing US Navy SEAL impostors. If the SEAL is lying about his place as a “teammate,” I wouldn’t bother pulling my hair out to verify the rest of his story:

    Incidentally, I have never been a member of the military…my username is an inside joke between me and some friends…

  27. DwayneDG responds:

    The so-called Navy SEAL’s account is rather questionable I find. I find it odd that he alone and none of his compatriots that undertook this mission and supposedly witnessed these creatures is willing to speak. It’s rather convenient that it’s all cloaked in government secrecy. I find it odd that the U.S. would even have anything to do with the Congo.
    If indeed there was a sighting and all the members of the SEAL team witnessed these creatures, than why is our Navy SEAL so forthright and the others are not? If it has nothing to do with the “mission” they were undertaking, what difference would it make for the other SEALS to cooberate his story?

  28. LOS_TIGERS2002 responds:

    I stumbled upon this site, while I was looking at the cost-to-coast A.M. site, anyways I read all of the post and it seems to me how almsot every mythological creature, be it lock-ness or bigfoot or this thing, people say that have pictures or video but no one ever produces it, then that say its because of a government cover-up, its hard for me to imagine that with all the people in the world, we can’t get concrete proof that all these thing exist. When I was younger I beleived in these things, I wanted to beleive that things like this were real, but as I have gotten older I still want to beleive in them, but I can not accept that they are real, just because you or someone say’s they are. I have no experience or back ground in any of this, I am not an expert on the subject, but I do read about misterious animals and UFO’s I find the subject fasinating but its more science fiction than science, I double dog dare anyone to prove me wrong, please…I think that would be so cool..

  29. Loren Coleman responds:

    Just a few points…

    I’ve posted dozens and dozens of entries here, written over 500 articles, and as opposed to “government coverup” being the theme of most of those cases, this one story is the exception to the rule.

    For anyone to say “I find it odd that the U.S. would even have anything to do with the Congo,” only shows a lack of realistic understanding of what intelligence and black operations are occurring around the globe by several branches of the military.

    Same goes for this part of the comments that “he alone and none of his compatriots that undertook this mission and supposedly witnessed these creatures is willing to speak.”

    As for thinking that others in this man’s unit are “holding back” or not stepping forward, frankly, most people don’t care about their interactions with strange animals. We do. That’s why we are talking about them. The majority of the population ignores and ridicules this material, so why would they even feel that anyone would want to listen?

    Most soldiers are soldiers, not naturalists. It is only by chance that we heard about any of this encounter.

  30. F215 responds:

    Your source’s claim that he was a Navy SEAL and was operating in the DRC between 1997-2002 is absolutely bogus. Given that the “cryptids” in the video are not part of any classified project, removing any association with date/time/location or other mission- or source-specific information renders the footage unclassified. Any assertion to the contrary is ludicrous and should be regarded with the highest level of suspicion, as should your source. Find out what year and with which class he graduated from BUD/S training, followed by his military assignment history (which commands/SEAL Teams he was with, in chronological order). If he tells you that any of this information is “classified,” he is lying. In the end, thoroughly investigating his background will save you considerable time and embarrassment.

  31. CryptoInformant responds:

    Hmmmm… Back when I liked pok’emon, a book on it passingly mentioned Kappa. I am going to start my own website soon (hopefully) and it will be more broadly focused, including the little known cryptids, not just Bigfoot and Nessie, among other well known ones, although Cryptomundo has cryptids I have never even DREAMED of!

  32. F215 responds:

    Your SEAL-wannabe source clearly stole his story from this report (which states that there is video of the unkown ape). It is very similar to reports of extremely large chimps that walk like gorillas and were photographed by automatic game cameras set up along jungle paths.

  33. Loren Coleman responds:

    F215, sorry, but the Navy-SEAL sighting is only vaguely like the Bili Ape accounts and their reported video (which has also not been shared with the public). The only common factors are the Congo and hairy creatures. The Bili Ape is more gorilla-like, whereas these cryptids are bipedal, small, aggressive, spiked, and match the cryptid in the drawing above. There is no copycat here, especially as the Navy encounters also happened with the acknowledgement from this eyewitness of the concurrent sightings elsewhere of more anthropoid unknown apes. The Bili Ape is nothing like these, and the eyewitness did not even attempt to make it sound like a Bili one.

    Two different types of cams, two different types of animals (pongids vs hominiods), two different types of encounters, and two very different stories.

  34. F215 responds:

    That’s fine. However, I can still guarantee that your source is lying about being a SEAL in the DRC. I can check the gentleman’s credentials if you are interested in the truth.

  35. Galactic_Natelord responds:

    Hello from Tom Slick and WOAI country – SATX!!
    I just came on here today.
    True, WOAI does say any old thing about the Chupacabra, but the early reports here (not WOAI) – not the mangey dogs – were the spikey 3′ bipedal type that I immediately thought of when I saw the art here.
    Also, the African report coincides with the creepy ET-Grey/Sasquatch-Yeti-Bigfoot/Sith-Chitahouri (spelling?) team sighting phenomena i.e. ET’s working with/near Skunkapes in sightings/livestock raids/mutilations.
    The Africa front is especially interesting with regards to politico-militaric manipulation by both human special ops types and moreso, the chitahouri/gray/draco-reptoids. For this check out Credo Mutwa, the Zulu Elder who David Icke (Yes, I said David Icke!!!) interviews more than once on audio and video.
    Mutwa speaks of encounters with, including ingestion (amazing stuff!)of these type of beings, and especially their manipulation of the Continent going back more than decades.

    Glad to see this site! Hope to hear more! Thanks. Nate

  36. Kman responds:

    I guess we need a body. Pictures and video and the like are no longer dependable due to editing and special effects programs so we can’t rely on those to ferret out the truth. This story of the quilled apes reminds me of the sighting on the Ivory coast of small bipeds in the 1920’s that were sharing the beach with a troop of baboons shucking oysters and other shell fish. I forget the name of the bloke who spied them in his field glasses but it doesn’t seem that unlikely considering that Africa is the birthplace of all monkeys and apes.
    When the first crypto-ape is officially discovered the degree to which we’ll attach credibility to such reports as these and others will surely increase. We need that body OR that 10 minute piece of clear footage.

  37. Kevin Fitzgerald responds:

    Spiny apes and Kalanoros; interesting story with possibilities.

    As a freelance science writer who has traveled in Madagascar, I know something about its fauna and its evolutionary history.

    From the main article: “If the US Navy SEAL report is correct, there may be something quite similar to the Kalanoro living in the Congo area too.”

    I assume you mean a closely related species, which isn’t likely. The people writing here, including the posters, don’t seem to realize the immense differences in flora and fauna between mainland Africa and Madagascar, and they seem to assume that monkeys and apes are found on mainland Africa AND Madagascar. But the two landmasses are like separate worlds. There aren’t and never were any monkeys or apes on Madagascar. The island became isolated in the Eocene Epoch, before monkeys and apes evolved. I’m a tad surprised that no one mentioned the LEMURS, the native primates of Madagascar. Lemurs, of which there are around 50 living species, are primates, but neither monkeys nor apes; they represent a side branch of primate evolution. In zoological terms, they’re “prosimians,” or “pre-monkeys” more closely related to the prosimian potto and bushbabies of mainland Africa.

    Lemurs resemble (but are not true) monkeys, with fox-like faces and enormous eyes.

    According to DNA comparison studies of living and extinct lemur species (the extinct lemur bones contain DNA), the lemurs most likely all evolved from a single ancestor species, related to the potto and bushbabies, that rafted on floating vegetation from Africa in the late Eocene Epoch, when prosimians had evolved.

    Now that we’re on the subject of lemurs, there are 13 recently extinct lemur species, all of which were larger than the species still alive. These are the true stuff of cryptozoology, since they were bizarre, we know they existed, and there are rumors of their continued existence as living creatures.

    The last of the extinct lemur species died out within the last few centuries, while some may even have made it into the 20th century. There are stories all over Madagascar about supposedly extinct lemurs that are still alive.

    Some of the extinct species were honest-to-god giants. Of the living lemur species, the INDRI is the largest, at about 20 pounds adult weight. Adult individuals of the largest extinct species, Archaeoindris fontoynontii, weighed up to 400 pounds, the size of an adult gorilla. It was not a “true” gorilla or any other sort of ape, it was a giant, prosimian lemur that evolved to gigantism in isolation on Madagascar. The sifakas, living lemurs that look like a cross betwixt monkeys and siamese cats, are often mistaken for monkeys, but they are not monkeys, merely lemurs that evolved to resemble monkeys, in isolation on Madagascar.

    The “Archaeolemuridae” (don’t confuse with Archaeoindris) were 3 species of extinct lemur that spent much or most of their time foraging on the ground. They vaguely resembled baboons, but once again, they weren’t baboons or any other kind of monkey, they evolved by themselves on Madagascar.

    The “Paleopropithecidae” were large, mostly arboreal lemurs (excepting the one I mentioned above, Archaeoindris fontoynontii, who was too heavy). The other paleopropithecids looked and lived much like New World sloths, hanging from branches by specialized, hooklike hands and fingers, and, like sloths, slowly going about their business.
    The “Megaladapidae” were about human-sized, with massive, horselike skulls, who spent their days in trees eating leaves by the bushelful.

    I’ve read accounts of Kalamoro, and I have no idea what they represent. Like bigfoot and most other cryptids, there are endless stories but no hard evidence. Tha Kalanoro seem to represent, not primates of some sort, but an archetypal image, experienced worldwide, in the human imagination, of small, furry, apelike creatures.

    Trumbore’s drawing of Kalanoro and the description by the navy seal of apelike creatures in the Congo, look and read more like Chupacabra, which is likely another archetypal image rather than a real creature.

    Pottos do have spines of a sort, but they are not erectable or detachable. The spines are projections of the vertebrae, which have grown through the skin along the animal’s back. For defense, the potto rolls itself into a ball, head between its front legs, thereby putting the spines between himself and the attacker.

  38. ADSTARK responds:

    I want to believe this story is true, but the whole “SEAL” thing and “video is classified” sounds like a lot of smoke and mirrors to disguise a very well thought out hoax. That being said there have been some 55 new species discovered in Borneo in the last year so who knows, there might actually be a quilled evil monkey-creature lurking in the Congo, just highly unlikely.

    I want to believe

  39. ozman responds:

    A little after the fact , but…

    F215, you’re mistaken about the SEALs ( and other SOF) operating in western Africa in general and the Congo in particular. They have operated there, intermittently, for more than 20 years. Why? There are strategic resources in the region and other nations and non-national entities want a share. Let it go at that. They also conduct frequent (almost perennial) training exercises with Rwandan forces, so it would not surprise me at all that they would have been “observers” or “advisors” for the Congalese operations. British SAS could just as easily have been along on that op, too. In fact, it’s likely that the Brits were at least in the area.

    Whether this account is true has nothing to do with SEAL presence there and a claim of being a SEAL is, as you pointed out, quite verifiable. I’m only calling to your attention that USSOCOM operators can and do go almost everywhere on the planet. Sometimes, though, it’s best for them not to talk about it.

  40. Marine113 responds:

    Well as a future member of the U.S. military and a firm believer in unknown Bipeds, I can say I believe this story. Because if this “confidential source” is a Navy SEAL then he has absolutely no reason to lie. But if this is just some average joe looking for attention, then he should be arrested for impersonating U.S. Military personnel.

  41. alfred45 responds:

    I have seen something similar to the african Kalanoro in southern Ireland in 1986. While going for a jog one morning about 6.00am i was approaching a wooded area beside our farm. I suddenly noticed this grey like ape creature sitting down on the grass verge beside the road. Being curious i started jogging on the spot to take a look, it was about 2.5 to 3.0 feet tall, with a grey body and hardly any hair. Anyway i assumed it was a descendent of some ape ancestory and being near a wood thought it wasn’t an unusual sight so i carried on with my morning jog. On the way back home from my jog i noticed it was gone, and was dissapointed that i didn’t take a closer look, however if i did it might have considered me a threat. Anyway looking at the photo of the african Kalanoro i must say it bears a striking resemblance to the ape i saw that morning, everything except the excess body hair.

  42. F215 responds:

    “F215, you’re mistaken about the SEALs ( and other SOF) operating in western Africa in general and the Congo in particular. They have operated there, intermittently, for more than 20 years. Why? There are strategic resources in the region and other nations and non-national entities want a share. Let it go at that. They also conduct frequent (almost perennial) training exercises with Rwandan forces, so it would not surprise me at all that they would have been “observers” or “advisors” for the Congalese operations. British SAS could just as easily have been along on that op, too. In fact, it’s likely that the Brits were at least in the area.

    Whether this account is true has nothing to do with SEAL presence there and a claim of being a SEAL is, as you pointed out, quite verifiable. I’m only calling to your attention that USSOCOM operators can and do go almost everywhere on the planet. Sometimes, though, it’s best for them not to talk about it.”

    I was being VERY specific about the location and time frame, as well as the branch of SOF, and I am well aware of the capabilities of the various SOF units. Don’t confuse the issue by throwing in SF missions in Rwanda for comparison. This story is complete and utter nonsense, just like the wanna-be who reported it.

  43. charlottehasalwaysbelieved responds:

    Well i think this is an extreme possibility! its always so much easier to believe that we are superior know all and have found all! absolutely not the case! not to spark anyones fire but how come it is so easy for most to believe in god? you never see it do you? it all comes down to the reason religion was established in the first place to control doubts,fear and to make people more susceptible to imposed belief.
    although it is easy for most to believe the earth was made in a day it isn’t for me! how can you say evolution wasn’t real? i think we shouldn’t be so full of our selves to say “oh if there where something out there we would find it.” we are always in a power struggle.
    face it people weird things happen everyday! Mr.Coleman had said about nature being very strange! maybe said primates had something similar to what happened to this woman a 40 year old indonesian school teacher has developed a slight problem over the years – She grows wire from her stomach. The first symptoms started in 1991 and have since continued. The wires vary in size from 10 to 20 cm long.

    One of her sisters said that she tried to help by trimming the wires. Alas, whenever she trimmed the wires, the wire retreated as if it were hiding and then popped up in another part of Noorsyaidah’s body.

    I truly don’t know what to make of this, and neither do experts.

    There have been 4 Medical Specialists taking this matter seriously and have treated her in several ways. And as the result, doctors can’t figure out what exactly is happening to her. The doctors have taken an X-Ray image from her stomach and found that there are more than 40 metal wires inside her and some of them are bursting out of her skin.
    weird huh? its happening to known humans why can’t it be a natural occurrence for a species we know nothing about?!
    i do believe there are things out there that we do not see. it happens to too many people, for it just to dismissed as a hoax! our government covers everything up from elections to personal matters. of course if something comes along to make us look like an inferior race of course we are going to extinguish it!
    so i guess the guy was out on his mission and said to himself, “hey i know how to spice up my life! i will just lie about seeing some strange primates!” yeah, i could maybe see if he was seeking publicity like those other jerks but, he decides to remain anonymous to avoid criticism!
    i would like to know more about the cryptic collected by the man with the NASA van or the thing that was airlifted from afganistan!
    i guess i have to say i like facts just as much as the next person but, when a majority of your country believes a single force made the earth in a day(even though we have bones dating back millions of years that there were inhabitants before us)(also that man was an evolved species) you have to believe in something a little more convincing!

  44. Python27 responds:

    The ape you are looking for for is the as yet documented “Crested Chimp”, the sub-species of gorilla. A relative of mine who wasn’t a Seal, but did accompany them as a guide several times in both North and South Congo. I don’t know if any of the teams are the ones who took the footage, but the ones he lead were on a search and recovery expeditions. He had to warn them about the local ape populations because the chimps can be super aggressive, but the gorillas are shy like normal. These apes are NOT supposed to be there and most researchers think they are a valid undocumented subspecies. The “Crested Chimps” have overturned cars and allegedly a child. Its threat display consists of raising its shoulder and back hair. There is a video of them (the crestless type) on youtube at a primate sanctuary under the headline “giant chimps”. They are thought to be split into two groups. One was crestless, and the other type has a crest like a gorilla. It was thought they may be hybrids of chimps and gorillas, but that description has lost support by primatologists.

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