Here's another picture I remember as a kid. It's a photo of some kind of monkey-like creature that's become known as De Loys' Ape. I had to research a little bit (offline) for a good conclusion on this one. It seems to be rather hard to find a good storyline for it besides what you read on the net. I've got little bits and pieces in a couple of compilation books that don't like to research anything, just stating the story the way it was originally told.

De Loys' team attacked by ape-like creatures

   So here's the story. In 1917 a team of 20 some geological surveyors, led by Dr. Francois de Loys, went into the remote South American jungles for, ummm, geological surveying?? After 3 years, the team had been plagued by disease, venomous animals and hostile Indians, leaving only a handful left. In 1920, the team came across 2 ape-like beasts coming at them through the trees. The creatures walked upright, were about 5 feet tall and had no tails. One was male and the other female. As the creatures noticed the geologists, they began to tear up the ground around them. They then defecated in their hands and proceeded to throw feces at the geologists (that fact about monkeys prevented me from buying one years ago...). As the apes came nearer with a further threat of attack, the geologists opened fire, killing the female and wounding the male which got away.

Unknown hominid stew, anyone?

   De Loys and the men examined the carcass, took some pictures and then chopped up the body - possibly using the skull for a salt holder! Here's a bunch of serious scientists, looking at what they were calling the find of the century, and they're asking the cook to boil the head. They snapped off some pictures but either their boat capsized or there was a flood, depending which story you read, and they lost all the rest of the pictures leaving only this one remaining. After some years, a certain friend of de Loys, French anthropologist Georges Montandon, saw the picture and they went public. They tried to convince the world scientists that it was the missing link. They even gave de Loys' ape the scientific name Ameranthropoides loysi, which means Mr. Loys' Ape-like American.

Ivan T. Sanderson's view of De Loys' Ape

   For a good conclusion on this mytery of de Loys' Ape, I finally had to resort to the Great Ivan T. Sanderson's Abominable Snowmen - Legend Come To Life. According to Sanderson, there are no known or rumoured "ABSM's" (abominable snowmen) in these parts of South America. There are reports in other areas of hominids, but this Columbian area itself does not have any and is in fact home to a well known species of the ateles spider monkey. This picture shows the monkey (also known as the Beelzebub species) in a more natural posture. You can easily see the colouring of the eyes and mouth and how the 2 pictures very much resemble one another. The de Loys picture does show a creature without a tail, but it could be hidden or the geologists could have chopped it off. Sanderson also points out that the box the de Loys' ape is sitting on is a well-known kind of box that was used for shipping fuel to parts of South America and throughout the world. Those boxes, which he calls easily identifiable by the writing under the ape's foot, are only 15 1/2 inches tall. He puts the height of the monkey at around 4 feet, well below the 5 feet de Loys and Montandon claimed. Sanderson, a very well-respected pioneer of hominid studies, says, "the original photograph is not just a case of mistaken identity; it is an outright hoax, and an obnoxious one at that, being a deliberate deception."

De Loys' Ape - Another ape bites the dust...

   That about sums it up, I'd say. Quite a few of the articles I've written recently have turned out to be hoaxes after doing some research. There's always that very slight chance that it's real like I'm sure a lot of people will believe anyway, but I'll take a professional like Sanderson's word over 100 other websites anyday. I tell you, though, I get bummed out when I keep writing about these things turning out to be hoaxes - de Loys' Ape is just another one. There goes another of my life-long mysteries down the drain.

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