Thursday, May 22, 2008


National Geographic Channel - Original Air Date: 2005-6

This show looks for the orang pendek of Sumatra, the meter-tall "little man of the forest."  The show sends an investigator out into the rain forest to try and capture the creature with photographic game traps.  Eyewitness accounts are, as usual, compelling--but is there any proof?  There are casts from prints, and a hair sample.  But could they be a hoax -- like Piltdown Man?  The show also looks at the Minnesota Ice Man (supposedly the work of a special effects house headed by a former Disney imagineer) and Oliver, the "missing link" chimp who now lives in a primate protection center.  A DNA test proves Oliver's mother was a central African chimp, and--disappointingly--his father was, too.  Oliver is just an odd-looking chimp.  Meanwhile, the supposed orang pendek prints are--in the opinion of one expert--not evidence of a new, bipedal primate.  But what about the hair?  The DNA sequence is human--though there is some chance it was contaminated by its collectors.  The photo traps turn up many interesting animals, but no orang pendek.  The search goes on.


Anonymous said...

There's another documentary about Orang Pendek here: it talks to lots of people who have seen Orang Pendek.

Stephen D. Sullivan said...

There was also a good Orang Pendek show on Destination Truth.