March 16, 2012

In Search of the Wild Ape-Leprechauns of Borneo

A Brief Account of an Unprecedented Cryptozoological Research Expedition With Conclusive Results
Excerpted from a Paper by Professor Pandareus von Grundenstein

        We humans have an enduring fascination with the idea that there may be outsized wild versions of ourselves striding through the remote wilderness clad only in matted fur and mystery.  Cryptozoologists have long searched for evidence of huge, hairy ape-men such as Yeti, Sasquatch, and the notoriously malodorous Skunk Ape, and yet hard scientific evidence for the existence of such giant wild-men has been elusive.  In the face of much eye-rolling from the established scientific community, cryptozoologists have a tendency to mutter consoling factoids about coelacanths and okapis.  Alas, such analogies fail to convince the skeptics.  What we need, if we wish to place the search for our hairy wild hominid relatives on a sound scientific basis, is not far-fetched tales and wild-goose chases after every tuft of fur in every Tibetan monastery.  No, what is needed, and what my research team has at last provided, is a solidly factual study of a closely analogous case, proving once and for all that long-lost giant hairy ape-versions of humanoids do indeed exist.
Fig. 1: The O'Hooligan photograph, a hoax.
        In order to explain the analogy between the case studied by my team and the case of our own semi-human relative Bigfoot, I shall begin with the history.  At the time of the Enlightenment during the eighteenth century in Europe, educated understanding shifted from a superstitious acceptance towards what we know today as the scientific method and a rigorous reliance on observable phenomena.  It was at this time that the native Irish little people, the hominid species known as Tuatha luchorpan, or leprechauns, came to view their own over-sized, hairy, wild relatives as mythological.  Ancient tales of such creatures were dismissed as there existed at that time no hard evidence to support them.
        It was not until the 1970’s, as the ability of leprechauns to mount expeditions to more remote areas increased, that new reports of huge, ginger-whiskered wild ape-leprechauns began to surface.  The famous “O’Hooligan photograph” [Fig. 1] set the leprechaun media on fire, and although Dr Seamus O’Seamus satisfied the scientific community that those photos were the product of a hoax, still the imagination of the leprechaun public was enflamed.  These photographs were followed by others, including the controversial “O’Shillelagh video,” and, perhaps most famous, the intriguing photographs of the intrepid leprechaun explorer Paddy O’Finnegas.
        So it continued, as it does still among humans today, where books and television programs endlessly speculate about the potential existence of wild humanoid relatives, yet are endlessly inconclusive.  For the leprechauns, however, this situation began to change in April 2010 when Professor Eóghan O’Gill of Burren University received some samples of long ginger hair collected from the supposed haunts of the Wild Ape-Leprechauns of Borneo.  It was then that he contacted me to join a team to travel to Borneo and search for conclusive evidence.  Because there are no leprechaun populations in Indonesia, Malaysia or Brunei, I was recruited as human liaison between the leprechaun team and the human populations with whom we would be working.
        Immediately upon arrival we received our first tantalizing evidence: the Malaysian guides who met us remarked that the leprechauns in our team looked “just like miniature forest people dressed up in silly suits.”  We asked them at once if they could lead us to these “forest people.”
        We set up a base camp in the jungle outside Sandakan, and prepared our search.  According to our guides, the forest men could be lured with all kinds of fruit, and more significantly, boiled potatoes and soda bread.  We had no idea what to expect after so many cryptozoological expeditions have ended inconclusively.  We tried to brace ourselves for disappointment.  And yet our guides seemed confident.
        “No, seriously,” our lead guide told us, “We’ve all seen these guys a hundred times.  And haven’t you leprechauns ever been to a major zoo?”  But nothing could have prepared us for the thrill of our first sighting.  Before dawn we gathered in the blinds, scientific instruments at the ready.  It wasn’t long before Professor O’Gill exclaimed “B’gorrah!  What’s that?”
        Peering eagerly through the jungle growth, we saw a humanoid creature climbing through the branches not thirty metres away.  Compared to an ordinary leprechaun it was huge, towering nearly as tall as a human’s shoulder, but its powerful build and bandy legs would have made it look perfectly natural at a traditional cobbler’s bench.  Red hair covered its entire body, and as it came closer to investigate the soda bread, we glimpsed a twinkle in its eye that dispelled any remaining doubt.  This could be nothing other than a giant ape-leprechaun.
        Other sightings followed the first, and we were able not only to photograph and record behavioral data, but also to collect DNA samples to be analyzed back at Burren University.  It was these samples that would confirm our incredible discovery, or leave us in the dark once again.  The leprechaun team could not hide their excitement, but until they received the results of the DNA analysis, no one could be sure.
Fig. 2: Sure and how could anyone doubt he's related to the leprechauns?
        In the meantime, we did our best to approach some of the bolder ape-leprechauns, and Professor O’Gill attempted to communicate with a flanged male who seemed especially curious about us.  Our guides had given him the name Patih, which Professor O’Gill has hypothesized must be a variant of the traditional leprechaun name Paddy.  Patih seemed unable to make the vocalizations required for the Irish Gaelic language, but he attended to Professor O’Gill’s conversation with an interest far beyond that of a mere wild beast.  When our expedition was nearing its conclusion, the team presented Patih with a traditional leprechaun style hat and vest, specially made to fit a giant ape-leprechaun. [Fig. 2] Patih used the hat to gather boiled potatoes, but wore the vest from that time on.
        Back at Burren University, I eagerly awaited the results of the analysis along with the other members of our team.  When all the data had been analyzed, we knew that this was one of cryptozoology’s watershed moments.  There were multiple clear indicators of common ancestry between Pongo pygmaeus: the “forest people” of Borneo, and the Tuatha luchorpan of Ireland.  In short, we had conclusively proven the existence of a giant hairy wild ape-version of a hominid, and this can mean only one thing.  If the giant wild ape-leprechauns are not mythical but in fact have been living all this time hidden from leprechaun scientists in the remote jungles of Southeast Asia, there can be no doubt that giant wild ape-men could also exist in some remote area where human scientists have yet to find them.

[Pictures: manipulated photo by Rory O'Hooligan, 1973;
completely authentic photo by Tomás O'Grandeigh, 2010.]


Pax said...

This certainly made my St. Patrick's Day. Wasn't there another brilliant article by Pandareus von Grundenstein some years ago in "The Journal of Irreproducible Results"? Something that conclusively proved the existence of an earlier arms race between Greece and India?

Anonymous said...

Ah, at last the return of the famous Prof. von Grundenstein. I haven't seen his work since that earthshaking article he did, what was it, nearly 30 years ago. How can one forget that intellectual reach, studying the relationship between the absence of arms in Greek statuary and the excess of arms among Indian god-like figures? And all of this brilliantly leading to a new theory of disarmament or arms control. It originally appeared in "The Journal of Irreproducible Results " and later was reprinted in "Sex as a Heap of Malfunctioning Rubble," pp. 90-92.
Now the old genius is at it again and I, for one, am thrilled to have known him all these years.
Great of you to discover his recent work.

The Aging Wordsmith

Nan said...

I await, in eager anticipation, your April 1st post.

Anne E.G. Nydam said...

Ha ha, April 1 falls on a Sunday this year, so no April Fools tricks from me! ;)