While in the Malaysian state of Sabah in 1970, the British zoologist John MacKinnon, who would become world-renowned for his discoveries of new mammals in Vietnam during the 1990s, found short, broad, human-like but definitely nonhuman footprints of a shy, nocturnal Proto-Pygmy similar to Nepal’s Teh-lma. They were the footprints of what the locals called the batutut.

MacKinnon’s initial reaction tells us much about how mainstream scientists often deal with evidence of cryptids. “I stopped dead,” he would later write in his book In the Search of the Red Ape. “My skin crept and I felt a strong desire to head home.” But MacKinnon pressed on, noting that “farther ahead I saw tracks and went to examine them… I found two dozen footprints in all [but] was quite happy to abandon my quest and shelter under a leaning tree-trunk waiting out a sudden rainstorm.” MacKinnon later related the Batutut footprints’ lasting impact: “I was uneasy when I found them, and I didn’t want to follow them and find out what was at the end of the trail. I knew that no animal we know about could make those tracks. Without deliberately avoiding the area I realize I never went back to that place in the following months of my studies.” The Malaysian Batutut appears to demonstrate an extension of the geographic range of the kind of unknown primate also known as the Teh-lma, the tiny frog-eating Yeti that lives in the tropical valleys of Nepal.


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

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