The Mande Barung (sometimes spelled Mande Burung or Mande-burung) is an apelike creature thought to reside in the tropical rainforests of the Garo Hills, which straddle Northeast India and western Bangladesh. It’s thought to be related to the Tibetan Yeti, the Chinese Yeren, the Almas of Mongolia and the Caucasus, the Bigfoot or Sasquatch of North America’s Pacific Northwest, and by extension the Skunk Ape of Florida.
Bangladesh, incidentally, has to contend with not only the Mande Barung, but a second pesky cryptohominid, pretty impressive for a country of its size. I speak, of course, of the Ban-manush or Nyalmo, about which, in case you were wondering, Wikipedia offers this convincing argument for the stark-raving-madness of crowdsourcing anything more complex than standing there looking confused.
But…what was I saying about the Mande-Barung? Ah, yes: A post on Mania.com by Nick Redfern (about whom more anon) informs me that a British team departing October 31, 2010 will begin a methodical search for the Mande Barung in the India part of the Garo Hills. The team is supported by the Center for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). A few pertinent deets from Mr. Redfern:
The 5-man team will be led by Adam Davies – the author of the monster-hunting-themed book, Extreme Expeditions – and will also consist of Dr Chris Clark, Dave Archer, field naturalist John McGowan, and cryptozoologist Richard Freeman; the latter a former keeper at England’s Twycross Zoo and the author of the book, Dragons: More Than A Myth.
Jonathan Downes, the founder and director of the , says of these strange and elusive animals: “The creatures are described as being up to ten feet tall, with predominantly black hair. Most importantly, they are said to walk upright, like a man. Walking apes have been reported in the area for many years. These descriptions sound almost identical to those reported in neighboring Bhutan and Tibet. Witnesses report that the Mande-Burung – which translates as forest man – is most often seen in the area in November.”
The Center for Fortean Zoology, of course, is one of the unusual suspects when it comes to cryptozoology. Their site is an absolute must-visit if monster-hunting is your gig. They are named, of course, after Charles Fort, the granddaddy of researchers into anomalous phenomena who died in 1932. As their “About Us” entry says:
At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them.
The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is – we believe – the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology – the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world.
Redfern, of course, is the now US-based British UFOlogist and cryptozoologist whose books include Cosmic Crashes, On the Trail of the Saucer Spies, Three Men Seeking Monsters, There’s Something in the Woods and, yes, yes, the classic Man-Monkey.
He also is listed as a contributor to Mind-Controlled Sex Slaves and the CIA which, damn you, no, I did not write under the pseudonym “Lester Love” in the ’80s.