Tuesday 1 May 2018

Giant Ape Attacks Hunters in Guatemala

     There! That headline should have caught your attention. This month I have decided to take a break from my reviews of historic sea serpents, and go back to translations of bigfootery. In 1962 the International Committee for the Study of Human-like Hairy Bipeds was formed, and for the next few years they published articles in the Italian population journal, Genus. Imagine my chagrin to discover that it was no longer held in the reference library where I had read it in my youth! Not to worry; it turned out to be published online by JSTOR, and one could download six free articles every month.
     Some papers are in English, and you can even read Ivan Sanderson's original description of the Minnesota Iceman. The whole of volume 21 for 1965 - more than 400 pages - is given over the discussions of "abominable snowmen" in various parts of Asia. Unfortunately, the whole of it is in Italian, a language with which I am unfamiliar. Since it will take a while to learn the language, anyone who wishes to undertake the task is welcome to be a guest on this blog. In the meantime, I feel I owe it to the world to translate the Spanish and French articles, commencing with this short article.
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Citation: Dorion, R.C. (1963). Mono apareció por tierras de Izabal. Genus 19:163-5

of Guatemala communicates the following information, published on 12 December 1962 by the daily La Prensa Libre of Guatemala. [For some reason, this sentence is in French, while everything else is in Spanish.]
Ape appeared in the grounds of Izabal


     At the point of losing their lives, in the hands of what they considered an anthropoid of gigantic size, four hunters thus found themselves when they entered the mountain area of the Irayoles, situated between the village of Juan de Paz, of the municipality of Los Amantes and Lake Izabal, at being surprised by the said beast when they were sleeping peacefully.
     The leader of the expedition was Mr. Tomás Morales, resident of the village of Juan de Paz, and on Monday 3 of the current month [ie December 1962], at an early hour - accompanied by three other hunters from the region - he entered the mountain area.
     The whole of the day was dedicated to the hunt. Two of them went armed with their corresponding rifles of calibre 22 and the others with work machetes. When the night came down, they got ready to sleep in the part of the mountain known as Tipón Volcano, and after having prepared the meals, organized turns at standing watch for whatever might happen. Morales and another of his companions had the first watch until 12 o'clock at night, seated at the edge of a fire.
     At 12 o'clock, they awoke their travelling companions and instructed them to maintain the blaze and to be alert, because during the period of the watch they had heard strange noises, of something moving around nervously in the undergrowth, breaking dry bushes as it travelled.
     Morales and his companion fell asleep immediately. They were so tired they could scarcely hold their eyes open for a few minutes. Nevertheless, those charged with the second watch did not comply well with their commission. They did not poke the blaze, and soon fell asleep.


     Moments later absolute silence reigned, when the four hunters slept. The fire went out. They woke up when they heard some cries nearby. Morales and his first turn companion were suddenly held fast by two powerful arms, heavily covered with hair. Both were being lifting into the air. Morales remained between the chest of the horrible, hairy beast which, with an enormous hand [obscure] his mouth, and his other companion was seized by the waist. The beast intended to take them into the interior of the forest.
     The second turn companions woke up immediately and fired at the gigantic beast - of some two metres eighty centimetres [9ft 2 in], as Mr José Lino Accituno reported - 18 shots in total, but without any effective result. Probably the thickness of the skin and the quantity of hair which covered it deadened the impacts.

     One of those who were being made prisoner by the anthropoid and whose mouth remained free, let out fearful cries. He was trying to retrieve the matches from his purse, but was unable to do so, as long as the beast was slowly travelling towards the interior of the forest. Suddenly he succeeded in crying out that they should try to set fire to the thick mantle of hair which covered it, and one of them approached and did so.
     The hair of the strange, enormous animal began to burn like tinder. When it felt that its hair was burning, it let go of its two victims and hurried off, like a torch, into the forest.

     The four hunters, when they had got over the terror, set out to return to the village. Morales and his companions in adventure came out of it with slight knocks and bruises, as a consequence of the strong pressure which the beast exerted against their bodies.
     They took their implements and got out of that ominous place.
      As described by Mr Aceltuno, a labourer of the road to the Atlantic, Mr Morales has reported that he is dealing with a strange individual.
      They consider that when [obscure] it measures two metres eighty centimetres. Its hands are broad, its fingers especially bulky. Likewise is lower extremities.
      It has been informed that the authorities of that department have not been advised of the presence of this strange animal, so they suggest an expedition in order to attempt to locate it. Besides, it is believed that there exist more individuals of this species.


  1. Was any follow up done on this? I realize it was 1962 and few people investigated incidents like this. Especially in inacessible places like the interior of Guatemala. Are any of the participants still alive, I wonder?

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