Re: Wild man of Borneo?

J. Moore (
Thu, 15 Jun 95 10:40:00 -0500

Vi> I caught a mention on the radio the other day, apparently serious
Vi> enough to make its way onto a newscast, that some folk or other
Vi> in Borneo had announced that they were `close to' tracking down
Vi> the `Wild Man of Borneo'. This struck me as odd for a number of
Vi> reasons: serious researchers don't usually announce that they're
Vi> `close to' something. They wait til there's really something there.
Vi> And I always thought the WMoB was some sort of 17th cent.
Vi> misdescription of the orang.

Vi> Anyway, this report went on that WM sightings are still being
Vi> reported, and someone or other is convinced it's some sort
Vi> of hairy hominid, and they're closing in on its home territory.
Vi> I dunno, maybe it was a slow news day.

Vi> <== faster % Pete Vincent

There are tales and reported sightings there (as in many places) of
purported hominids, but nothing has come of it so far. I'm not one of
those who says it's impossible for sasquatch, or the almas (Pamir mtns.)
or orang pendek (Borneo and Sumatra) to exist, and some of the reasons
given as to why "they *can't*" are as silly as some of the proponents'
views, but we really haven't gotten much out of any of the business so

Sadly, few people are going to try seriously looking, which is too
bad because there's definitely some sort of anthropological study
therein, ie. it's either hominids (big story), massive world-wide fraud
(big story), mistaken ID of all sightings (understandable with amateurs
but unlikely with many locals and pros, therefore big story), or
long-term myth and legend from many many areas (big story). The biggest
problem here is that it's probably one of these things and they're all
grist for research but in different sub-fields. People don't want to
invest loads and loads of time and money researching something when they
don't know if it's gonna end up being in their field, and very few
people cross even into two sub-fields of anthro, much three or four.
(That in itself is a sad affair with unfortunate ramifications in
interpretation of paleoanthropological stuff.)

Jim Moore (

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