Real Wild Woman Gone Wild: Kidnapped by Nguoi Rung?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on January 18th, 2007

nguoi 2

One drawing of how the Nguoi Rung reportedly shows itself to locals in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia (Kampuchea).

A wild woman has been caught. A feral human being, that is.

All the details have not been collected. After all, the focus of this story can’t speak to her family of origin, yet. But this much is known, a real woman, missing for almost two decades, has been found in the rainforest of Southeast Asia.

I’m wondering, what if this woman was kidnapped 19 years ago* by the Nguoi Rung, the wild forest people of Vietnam? Was the little eight-year-old girl, who was herding buffalo in the remote jungle along the (Kampuchean) Cambodian-Vietnamese border, snatched by the unknown hominids of the area?


*I counted it up. It is 1988 to 2007 = 19 full years ago, with the Year 2000 being part of the math mix in the middle there.


At first thought to be a “Forest Person,” a Nguoi Rung, this individual was treated carefully by the locals. One person said they had seen a “naked human being, who looked like a jungle person.”

And then she was captured. “She is like half-human and half-animal,” said Mao San, police chief of Oyadao district in Rattanakiri province. “She’s weird. She sleeps during the day and stays up at night.”

Reuters is reporting:

A woman has been returned to her home in Vietnam’s Central Highlands 18 years after she went missing as an eight-year old girl tending cows near the Cambodian border, her father told a newspaper on January 18, 2007.

Policeman Ksor Lu long believed that his daughter had been eaten by a wild animal until last Saturday when he was told that loggers had found “a forestman” at a village in Cambodia’s province of Ratanakiri.

Lu arrived and “recognized his daughter from the first sighting” even though her body was blackened and she had long hair down to her legs and could not speak, according to the account in the Vietnam Rural Today newspaper.

Cambodian Half-Animal Woman

Lu said his daughter, Ro Cham H’pnhieng (above) of the Jrai ethnic minority group, probably spent most of the time in the jungle in Cambodia since she went missing in 1989 .[It is noted as 1988 in most reports.]

The loggers told Lu that they caught her after realizing that someone had sneaked up and taken their lunch.

Lu said that at first it was difficult bringing her back to normal life because she resisted showering, wearing clothes or using chopsticks, fending him off and shouting and crying.

Four days later she started cooperating, Lu said.

“It is not easy indeed but life is waiting ahead for her.”

nguoi 3

For more info on the Nguoi Rung, click here.

Update: “Second ‘Wild Person’ Seen”, January 20, 2007.

Later on January 20, 2007: Here are breaking new details about the “Wild Man” and the search for him.

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.

14 Responses to “Real Wild Woman Gone Wild: Kidnapped by Nguoi Rung?”

  1. alanborky responds:

    Interesting idea, Loren: pity they probably didn’t swab her for dna traces of anything she came into contact with before they got her all scrubbed up and spick and span.

    Mind you, if they didn’t wash her hair too much before it was shorn, and if the clippings weren’t subsequently destroyed, something along those lines might still be possible: who knows what such tests might uncover?

    If nothing else, they should do a dna comparison between the girl and the alleged father.

    Hopefully she’ll learn to communicate something of what transpired during her lost years: her observations should be at least fascinating, but possibly even highly revealing, both for and against the existence of the Nguoi Rung.

  2. joppa responds:

    Wow! I had buddy in College whose uncle was special forces in the Laos/Vietnam/Cambodia area. We got an earful of wild jungle tales one summer night over beer and barbecue. The tales included sightings of yeti-type apes scaring the heck out of soldiers on both sides of the fight. The old soldier who was in the area in the late 60’s said it was the most wild and exotic jungle with more wildlife than anywhere he had ever seen. Tigers would stalk you, apes would scream at you and big hairy forestmen would throw rocks at you. The VC just shot at you. I think that this area is where the first big capture will occur.

  3. fuzzy responds:

    BoyOBoy, if she ever learns to talk, what will she have to tell us?

  4. vet72 responds:

    Ditto on the “Wow!” I’m glad you posted this because my father, God rest His Soul, was stationed in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in the mid to late 60s. I can remember as a young teen about some of the “strange things” he and his fellow soldiers had encountered during patrols. Sometimes they were scarier than getting into a “firefight” he’d say. Nguoi Rung sounds familiar as far as I can recall but there were other “weird things” he would talk about. I wish I had taped those conversations because they were really interesting to say the least. Thanks for a great post!

  5. BugMO responds:

    Interesting that the police chef said that she sleeps in the day and stayed up at night. I believe that most mystery apes (Bigfoot, Skunk apes, Momos,etc.) are said to come out at night. Is there a connection there? Has there been past reports of the Nguoi Rung in the area? And are there other stories of people being kidnapped in the area?

  6. Ceroill responds:

    It does remind me of previous examples of ‘rescued’ feral people. Usually these have been chilren as I recall. Since she was 8 when she disappeared, there should be some chance of her eventually recovering some language skills. I saw this on the main newsfeeds earlier today, and knew Loren would pick up on it, and give a bit more info than I’d had earlier. Thanks Loren. Keep us posted.

  7. MBFH responds:

    A friend sent me a link to this story earlier today and I joked that she may have been kidnapped by a Cambodian Bigfoot, without actually having heard of Nguoi Rung. I think it’s an interesting theory – you’ve got to ask how else a young child could survive almost two decades in a harsh environment otherwise.

  8. Sharm responds:


  9. mystery_man responds:

    Whether this story involves the Nguoi Rung or not, it is still fascinating in its own right. Reports of feral children and children said to be raised by wild animals have always intrigued me. It really makes you think about how much our environment can shape the way we are. To live all that time out in the forest away from human contact and to survive in a world without the need for speech or human cultural conventions. The ones who found her said she is “weird” but what is weird really? They are basing their concept of weird on human perceptions. To her, that is just the way life is and we are the weird ones. It just takes my imagination away. If only this girl could (or would) talk, I’m sure there would be some stories to tell.

  10. Darkstream responds:

    @alanborky: From early reports I read about this story from the other day a DNA test is already planned. She’s *somebody’s* daughter so they’re being careful to make sure they place her in the correct home.

    I’m glad to hear she’s acclimating better. Early reports claimed she wouldn’t keep her clothes on and had even attempted to return to the forest.

    Poor kid.

  11. Kathy Strain responds:

    I find this story to be one of the most interesting stories I’ve heard in a long time. I’m not sure that the girl as the 8 year old that went missing (I would be surprised that at 8 and well established in speech, she would forget how to speak), but none-the-less someone helped this women survive in the forest since a very young age. Very, very interesting.

  12. Loren Coleman responds:

    It is early morning on January 20th, and I’ve just posted a new entry in this unfolding story, “Second ‘Wild Person’ Seen”.

  13. Loren Coleman responds:

    January 20, 2007: Here are breaking new details about the “Wild Man” and the search for him.

  14. Mnynames responds:

    Seems to be a spate of “Wild Man” reports…do we have a trend for 2007? I was just reading about a guy they just arrested in the Appalachian mountains, who’d been living there for 20 years, now and then stealing supplies from campers. He’s clearly not as wild as this girl, but that’s what they’re calling him.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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