A team of British explorers trekking through the Karancini National Park of Sumatra, in the treacherous jungles, spotted what some believe to be the Orang Pendek, or “Short Man.” The Orang Pendek has been since pre-colonial times throughout the jungles of Sumatra.
The creature is described as five feet tall, with roughly the stature of a human, but with hair all over its body and an almost apelike appearance. It walks on two legs like a human, but is also reported to have superhuman strength, able to rip logs apart with ease. Recently the Pendek has been in the mind of certain circles of modern science due to the fact that another creature, the “Flores Man,” or “Hobbit” was found on the Indonesian island of Flores. Scientific estimates of the bones of the Hobbit estimate it to be no older than 12,000 years old, sufficiently giving it a place of honor as the oldest non-human humanoid ever to have lived. So recent was its survival, in fact, that legends say that the hobbit-like creatures may have lived alongside homo-sapiens, and even coexisted within societies.
Some theorists contend that the Orang Pendek may be a relative of Bigfoot and Yeti, but as no conclusive evidence has been brought to light regarding these creatures, scientists have to work with only circumstantial evidence that leaves this mystery inconclusive.
The team expedition’s zoologist, Richard Freeman says the creature must be some unidentified species of ape, adding, “We are not talking about a unicorn or a griffin, we are talking about an ape that’s unknown to science.” The two week expedition was hailed as a success, and samples of hair and brush are being sent out to several labs in the hopes that DNA tests will conclude that the creature is a new species.
During the expedition, the team found much evidence of the creature. “We found several sets of tracks in mud and earth,” Dr. Freeman said, “I know those tracks are not made by any species known to be living in the park”¦ It was an ape, but not a known type of ape, it’s more adapted for upright walking.” Two members of the expedition also saw the creature, but unfortunately did not get photographs of it. Of course these were actual scientists, and their observations are usually given much more gravity than the average witness due to their backgrounds and ability to make observations and collect data. They will, however, be bringing more evidence-collecting equipment if the DNA tests suggest a new species of ape.
If this creature is of the same origin as the “Flores” man, what will it tell us about our own origin? Would such a creature grudgingly embrace society, or would it return to the jungle? Perhaps it is already aware of us, but purposefully shuns human activity. Of course this is pure speculation. One thing we can count on, however, is that this creature, if real, has successfully evaded the scientific and public eye for quite some time (several thousand years, from the looks of it) and may be more difficult to track now than ever.