Sometimes referred to as the Ujit or “forest people,” the existence of the Batutut was first brought to the attention of the western world by renowned British zoologist John MacKinnon, after he discovered over 24 sets of small, squat, semi-humanoid footprints in a rain forest during an expedition to the Malaysian state of Sabah, in 1970.
MacKinnon – who would later achieve scientific fame (not to mention garner the love of crypto-enthusiasts worldwide) for his discovery of a slew new mammals in Vietnam during the 1990’s – found an array small, wide, human like footprints.
In the book he authored in 1974 about his experiences titled “In Search of the Red Ape,” MacKinnon claimed that he was overwhelmed with an intense feeling of unease after discovering the tracks and made a decidedly non-scientific point of avoiding the area during the remainder of his studies in the region.
”The rhino may be rare, but at least it is a well-known and scientifically documented animal, which is more than can be said of the batutut. I was traveling alone along a hill ridge on the far side of the river where I had never ventured before. The path was good, though rather muddy and I hadn’t a care in the world. Suddenly I stopped dead, amazed at what I saw. I knelt down to examine the disturbing footprint in the earth, a print so like a man’s yet so definitely not a man’s that my skin crept and I felt a strong desire to head home. The print was roughly triangular, about 6 inches long by four inches across. The toes looked quite human, as did the shapely heel, but the sole was both too short and to broad to be that of a man and the big toe was on the opposite side to what seemed to be the arch of the foot. Further ahead I saw more tracks and went to examine them. There were imprints of both left and right feet, though which was which I could not tell from their curious distribution. Many of the prints had been obliterated by pigs but a few were quite clear. I made drawings of some of these and notes of their relative positions. I found two-dozen footprints in all, scattered along some fifty yards of path…”
“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.”
Once he safely arrived back at camp, MacKinnon showed his sketches to his Malay boatman inquiring what kind of animal might have made them. The story goes that without a seconds hesitation, the boatman replied “Batutut,” after which he described beast’s haunting call as a drawn-out tootooooo… tootootoooo, from which its (admittedly unusual) name was derived.
While MacKinnon might have introduced the world at large to this animal, the first know description of the creature comes to us from 1947, when a French colonist who encountered this monster referred to it as “L’Homme Sauvage” or “wild man.”
Eyewitness describe this creature as being approximately 6-feet in height and covered with hair with the exception if its face, palms and (oddly enough) knees. Its hair has been described as black, brown, reddish or gray and it as been seen foraging both alone and in groups.
In 1982, Tran Hong Viet of Hanoi’s Pedagogic University, reported that he had found similar footprints to those that MacKinnon discovered near Chu Mo Ray in the Sa Thay District while making an extensive post war inventory of natural resources and in his book, “Very Crazy GI – Strange but True Stories of the Vietnam War,” Veteran Kregg P.J. Jorgenson relates an actual sighting of what may be a Batutut, but which soldiers in Vietnam referred to as a ROCK APE.
MacKinnon later went on to assert that he believes the beasts to be a relic species of Meganthropus palaeojavanicus, while famed cryptozoologist, LOREN COLEMAN, has stated that these creatures may be a surviving population of Homo erectus or Neanderthal – a description very much like that of the ALMAS.
Startlingly similar creatures have been reported throughout Southeast Asia, including Vietnam, Laos and northern Borneo, where witnesses describe the fiend as a vicious, 4-foot tall predator that has been known to kill humans by tearing out their livers.
This animal has also been associated with the Vietnamese Hairy-Hominid, the NGUOI-RUNG and is ostensibly related to the relatively small, shy, frog eating HAIRY-HOMINID known as the TEH-LMA said to hail from Nepal.