Ngiioi Rtfng

WlLDMAN of Southeast Asia.

Etymology: Vietnamese (Austroasiatic), "forest man."

Variant names: Briaou (in Laos), Khi trau ("buffalo monkey" or "big monkey").

Physical description: Height, less than 5 feet. Covered in reddish, gray, brown, or black hair. The back of the forearm is said to have a sharp bone. Allegedly has a tail.

Behavior: Bipedal. Climbs trees easily. Uses its forearm to cut through jungle undergrowth. Food consists of roots, plants, and the sap of banana trees. Shakes trees for insects. Sleeps in rocky areas. Said to raid villages in search of food. Attracted to human campfires at night. The mountain peoples formerly ate them. In Laos, it is said to eat humans, with a preference for the intestines.

Tracks: Humanlike but smaller. Length, 11 inches. Width, 6 inches. Long toes.

Habitat: Montane forests.

Distribution: Three-border region of Vietnam (including the Annam Highlands), Cambodia, and Laos.

Significant sightings: Late on the night of August 23, 1947, a group of Jarai, Sedang, and Bahnar mountain people were traveling from Kon Mahar to Kon Braih in the Annam Highlands of Vietnam when they surprised a hairy man who growled and ran away into the forest.

Zoologist Dao Van Tien learned about the Wildman when he stayed at Thuan Chau, Vietnam, in 1963. His informant said it sneaked into houses at night and stole food.

A U.S. Army company depot commander named Powell fired at something moving outside the perimeter while he was on guard duty at the ammunition area of the base at Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam, in 1967. Some drops of blood were found, and an odd footprint, said to be neither human nor ape, was photographed.

Wildman reports became so common during the Vietnam War that in 1974, Gen. Hoang Minh Thao, commander of North Vietnamese forces in the highlands, requested a scientific survey of the region north of Kon Tum. Professors Vo Quy and Le Vu Khoi from Hanoi University and Hoang Xuan Chinh from the Institute of Archaeology in Hanoi were part of the expedition. No Ngùo'i rung were found.

In 1979, Dao Van Tien heard of a slightly taller Wildman in the highlands around Pleiku, Vietnam, that was in the habit of ripping into banana trees to get the sap.

Professor Tran Hong Viet found the footprint of a Wildman in 1982 on the slopes of Chu Mo Ray Mountain in Kontum Province.

Anthropologist Helmut Loofs-Wissowa collected stories in 1996 about a Wildman called Briaou around the village of Ban Kador, some 30 miles to the north of Muang Xépôn in the highlands of Laos.

Sources: Henri Maître, Les jungles Moi: Exploration et histoire des hinterlands Moi du Cambodge, de la Cochinchine, de lAnnam et du bas Laos (Paris: E. Larose, 1912); Wilfred Burchett, La second resistence Vietnam 1965 (Paris: Gallimard, 1965), pp. 161-167; Jim G. Lucas, "Hunger Keeps Marines Sharp," New York World Journal Tribune, November 1, 1966; "Ape Story Lingers," Army Reporter, April 27, 1970; Bernard Heuvelmans and Boris Porchnev, L'homme de Néanderthal est toujours vivant (Paris: Plon, 1974), pp. 345-351; Dao Van Tien, "Wildman in Vietnam," Tap Chi'Lâm Nghiêp, 1990, no. 6, pp. 39-40, and no. 7, p. 12, http://coombs.anu.edu.au/~vern/wildman/tien. txt; "Vietnamese Zoologists Investigate Wildman Reports," ISC Newsletter 11, no. 3 (1992): 9-10; Xuan Quang, "On the Tracks of Forest People from Tay Nguyen," 1996, http://coombs. anu.edu.au/~vern/wildman/thieunien96.txt; Helmut Loofs-Wissowa, "Hominides reliques en Australie et au Laos," 1996, http://perso. wanadoo.fr/cryptozoo/dossiers/austlaos.htm.

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