Monday, June 29, 2009

MONSTERQUEST - Curse of the Mokey Man

History Channel -- Original Air Date: 6/10/09

MQ goes to India to search for the legendary monkey man.  Early animations make this seem like another bigfoot show.  (As you know by now, one out of three MQ shows seems to be about bigfoot.)  There are eyewitnesses of attacks by the creature, one of whom was beaten unconscious in an encounter in Delhi in 2001.  Another has scars from an attack.  Police have no explanation for the series of attacks aside from, perhaps, mass hysteria or mistaking a chimp or other ape for something larger.  The show moves from Delhi to northern India to investigate more attacks.  The show says that descriptions of the monster date back to Pliny in Roman times.  The team goes to the Garo Hills nature preserve, and we start to get the usual tales of huge footprints and broken branches high in trees (not elephants, they say), and perhaps beds ot trampled grass.  Naturally, we get the usual tromping around and setting of camera traps.  (And I feel compelled to ask, has a crypto creature ever been caught on one of these?)  They recover some hairs (whether from their own efforts or from a witness is unclear), and send them for anylsis.  One of the researchers interviews a woman who claims one of the creatures broke into her house.  It had bloody hands and mouth, and left traces on the hut, which the researchers gather for analysis.

Meanwhile, the hunt continues.  One spiritual man suggests that the monkey man may even be Hanuman, the Hindu helper of the gods.  Next, the team goes to a bone-seller market, where various bones are being sold for their (folk) medicinal values.  No monkey man there, though.  The spate of "attacks" seemed to have lasted 20 days, and an expert brought in to examine the wounds, didn't think they matched wounds/bites of a known animal -- but rather the incidents are the result of mass hysteria.  From the day the hysteria finding was published in the newspapers, the attacks stopped.  The hairs analyzed belong perhaps to a red panda, rare and not known in those parts.  The monkey man blood sample turns out human -- raising the question whether the blood was contaminited, or the attacker merely human.  The camera trap turns up animals and several mysterious blurs.  Since one of the cameras is attached to a solar transmitter, it will continue to transmit until the equipment fails.  That's a nice improvement.  One of the researchers suggests that the hysteria in Delhi may be caused by smaller monkeys driven to desperate acts by hunger.  In the wilds, though, he thinks there is still some chance of an unknown creature -- though perhaps the tales are of an animal now extinct.

While turning up no more evidence than the other MQ bigfoot shows, this show comes off better because of highly rational statements by some of the researchers.  A nice change of pace.

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