Ahool

Giant BAT-like creature of Southeast Asia. Etymology: From its call. Variant name: Aul.

Physical description: In flight, looks like a flying-fox bat but larger. Dark-gray fur. Monkeylike face. Large, black eyes. Flat forearms topped by claws. Batlike wings. Wingspan, 11-12 feet. Feet said to point backward.

Behavior: Nocturnal. Squats on the forest floor with its wings pressed against its flanks. Flies low over rivers in search of fishes. Call is "AH-OOooool," repeated three times. Said to kill people with its claws.

Distribution: Mountains in the western part of Java.

Significant sighting: Ernst Bartels was sleeping near Cijengkol, Java, Indonesia, in 1927 when he was awakened by the sound of flapping wings and the call of an animal that sounded like "a-hool."

Possible explanation: An unknown large bat with an enormous wingspan, possibly a microbat, suggested by Karl Shuker.

Sources: Ernst Bartels and Ivan T. Sanderson, "The One True Batman," Fate 19 (July 1966): 83-92; Karl Shuker, "A Belfry of Crypto-Bats," Fortean Studies 1 (1994): 235-245.

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