In 1925 Dr. Ernest Bartels, son of the noted ornithologist M. E. G . Bartels, who discovered many new bird species in Java, was exploring a waterfall on the slopes of the Salek Mountains when a giant unknown bat, the Ahool, flew over his head.
Named after its call “a long “ahOOOooool” -this as-yet uncatalogued bat was, according to cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson, still reported from time to time. Bartels’s account had been passed on to Sanderson by Bernard Heuvelmans. In an article about the Ahool written in 1966, Bartels and Sanderson noted that sightings of this giant bat have been reponed throughout western Java. According to the locals, the Ahool is quite real and known in several areas; it is not merely a folkloric beast.
The Ahool looks like a huge bat in flight, larger than any known flying fox (a fruit-eating bat). The Ahool, however, is a fish-eater. It allegedly uses its enormous claws- situated at the tops of the forearms, which are part of the wings-to capture large fish from the rivers it lives near. An Ahool is said to be the size of a one-year-old child, dark grey in colour, with a head like a macaque or gibbon.
Sanderson thought the Ahool was an Oriental form of the giant unknown bat he had seen in Africa, known most popularly as the Kongamato, although he knew the Kongamato as the Oliriau. Sanderson felt the Ahool, like the Oliciau or Kongamato, was an unknown giant bat related to the species Microchiroptera.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark