What is Sumatra Hiding? In early 2008, ISLANDS contributor Joe Yogerst found an old friend — and much more — deep in the jungles of Sumatra. The friend, Debbie Martyr, is an avid protector of the tigers on this Indonesian island and an avid searcher of the orang pendek, a humanoid creature best described as the Sumatran Sasquatch. She had first heard about the orang pendek (Bahasa for “little man”) while climbing the Mount Kerinci volcano. But then she saw the thing with her own eyes.
The creature that Debbie sighted looked like a hairy bipedal animal about three and a half feet tall with broad shoulders and powerful arms. That ephemeral encounter was enough to convince Debbie that the orang pendek was more than legend. Scores of people have reported spotting it over the past 200 years, and Debbie has seen it several more times. She and British wildlife photographer Jeremy Holden have collected the creature’s scat and clumps of its hair, and they’ve found nests. Until they get a photograph, capture a live specimen or find remains, however, there’s no proving what the creature really is. Read the full story.