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Orang Pendek Spotted?

No. Orang pendek striped. At least, that’s what the Centre for Fortean Zoology claims. Their expedition to Sumatra left Indonesia yesterday, and made the following report:

“Dave Archer and Sahar the guide saw orang-pendek!

It was squatting in a tree around 100 feet from them. It was the size of an adult chimp and dark brown in colour. They could not see the face, hands or feet. Its head was shaped more like a gorilla’s than a chimp’s and it lacked the long mane of hair some witnesses describe. A darker strip was visible on the back. It had broad shoulders and the upper half of the body, including the head, was 40 inches (we measured afterwards). The coat was thick like a mountain gorilla’s. We have hair samples and rattan that the orang-pendek was chewing on. Sahar saw it jump down and walk away on two legs. Dave missed a photo opportunity when he tried to get a better vantage point.

We found and photographed very clear footprints in a different area but could not cast them as we couldn’t get hold of any plaster of Paris. We collected many hairs from this area.

Dampness screwed the moving camera’s battery. It was virtually dead within 48 hours of us reaching Gunung Tuju. We took lots of photos. Dave’s moving camera was drained by humidity too. We have some film but not a vast amount. We filmed a big cat sequence.

Loads of adventures happened including almost sinking in flooded canoes, thinking we had OP cornered up a tree and clothes being soaked in raw sewage!

The rattan will probably have OP DNA on it like a mouth swab. These are the best results from any expedition ever.”

BEE! Best expedition ever! Well, except for the one to the moon, maybe.

It’s a bit odd that this expedition, which went all the way around the world, just wasn’t ready with any cameras, and couldn’t get that photograph. If I were on that expedition, I wouldn’t wait to get a photograph from “a better vantage point”, and I would think more than one expedition member would be ready to take pictures. The idea that the orang pendek was “measured afterwards”, after it walked away, as having a three and a half foot tall upper body, after the creature was only seen from 100 feet away, at an unusual angle, up in a tree, is also a bit of a stretch.

orang pendek expeditionMaybe it’s a new species of ape. However, one possible explanation that the expedition doesn’t seem to have considered is that what they saw was an orang… utan or another kind of ape, like a siamang. Both are quite capable of walking away on two legs.

I’m betting that a DNA test from that rattan and that hair comes back inconclusive. How would someone conclude that the DNA is not from an orangutan?

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