new expedition is in the works, and certainly there are no shortage of tracks being found in Malaysia. But who has been finding them, and where? And what do they say they look like, beyond the media hype? Today we take a moment to straighten out a bit of recent history from an informed point-of-view.
In an exclusive interview with Jan McGirk, Southeast Asia Correspondent to the British newspaper, The Independent, Cryptomundo has obtained new details about the finds of “Bigfoot” tracks on the recent high-profile Malaysian expedition.
Less we forget, it was McGirk who has been filing some of the most in-depth articles out of Johor, giving names and dates about sightings when the routine articles have merely been listing vague “old reports” of creatures in the woods.
For example, on January 29, 2006, in her article in The Independent, McGirk wrote:Last August , a frog catcher from the Orang Asli tribe claimed he encountered an auburn-haired tropical Yeti scratching itself on a tree. Hamid Mohd Ali, 31, stopped about 30ft short of the creature which was twice his height. “I could see its teeth but I did not wait to find out if it was smiling at me or whether it saw me as its meal,” he said. “In this year alone, four villagers have claimed to have seen it and we think this is because of the shrinking jungle.”
…Malaysia, where tribal people call the creatures…Mawas, or Hantu Jarang Gigi, (“snaggle-toothed ghost”), will be the first country openly to endorse an official attempt to track them down.
Therefore, this week, I discussed with McGirk the background on these cryptid incidents. Well-publicized Johor tracks have been found. Personalities and various organizations were involved, not unlike what many of us are familiar with in the States. I wanted a sense of what was happening from someone there. Here’s what McGirk told me:
That intriguing Johor cast was taken from an impression in the soil by the Singapore Paranormal Investigators, a group of volunteer researchers, while three of their team were in southern Malaysia on 20 February 2006.
It was their second day-trip to check out reported sightings of “Bigfoot” (called “Mawas” by traditional Malaysians). They encountered Kong, a local construction worker who spoke some Mandarin, and he told them about outsize tracks he had noticed on a newly tarred road near Bukit Lantang. Photos of these had been featured in local newspapers.