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Tuesday, 31 May 2011


Saturday, October 09, 2010

DALE DRINNON: More On Ucumar

Back at the beginning of August, the fillowing news item was being circulated in some of the Yahoo cyptozoology groups:

Ranchers Capture "Fanged, Hairy Humanoid"

Source: El Tribuno (Salta, Argentina)

The legend of the Ucumar Zupai is reborn in a wilderness near El Creston, some 40 kilometers west of San Jose de Metan. Farm owner and nephew had gone out to round up the cows when the strange specimen appeared. Two ranchers in the vicinity of Cerro El Creston, some 40 kilometers west of San Jose de Metan, hunted down a strange creature of humanoid appearance, but with unusually large and sharp incisors.

The similarity between this specimen and local tales of the mythic "Ucumar" – the manlike figure covered in short black hair – has renewed the debate in Salta over the existence of the local "yeti". The presence of a creature having such characteristics has been news for decades in the forested areas to the south of the province, particularly in Rosario de la Frontera, where eyewitness accounts have been collected.

Photographs of the remains of the specimen gunned down in the cloud forest of Cerro El Creston were taken by Martin, a resident of Metan who did not wish to give his name, at the property belonging to the ranchers who shot it.

The photo – taken with a cell phone – clearly shows a hominid specimen with long fangs and protruding eyes.

The Story

The ranchers are an older man, 79, whose initials are J.S. and the other is his nephew, E.S. Both requested anonymity to ward off curiosity seekers.

Almost shyly, Martin told El Tribuno about his experience with the strange being during a visit to his friends the ranchers. "That Saturday I arrived and they told me what had occurred during the morning. I entered the home and there it was, hanging from its feet, its hands tied to one side and extending down to the floor."

Unhurriedly, he continued his story: "I asked him what it was, and they couldn’t answer. They only said that in the dark of night, they thought it might have been a puma or a goblin, because they only saw its enormous green eyes shining by light of the flashlights."

According to the young man, J.S. and E.S. had gone out on the evening of 23 July to round up cattle, as they were planning to brand the livestock on the following day. Amid the darkness, they heard a nearly deafening sound on the edge of one of the hills surrounding their property. They cast light upon the source of the noise with the flashlight, and found themselves staring at two enormous green eyes that nearly froze their hearts. "They told me they thought it was a goblin, and to scare it away, they fired a shot. They were unlucky enough to hit it in the head."

Apparently, the bullet entered through the lower left side of the jaw, exiting through the upper right eyebrow ridge. Due to this impact, the alleged "Ucumar" collapsed instantly. "The dogs that were with us, accustomed to finding wild pigs, ran toward the carcass, and when my friends chased them, they came across that thing."

The two gauchos carried the remains back to their ranch to analyze it at length. The next day, with sunlight, there was no doubt about it: they had shot an Ucumar, although to confirm this, it would be necessary to go into deeper study. For the time being, all we have are speculations and suspicions.

What can indeed be confirmed is that the veterinary specialists consulted by El Tribuno state that the specimen "hunted" by accident is not native to the region.

Carcass Hurled Down a Canyon

Martin continued to relate his experiences with the ranchers of Cerro El Crestón. He noted that "On Saturday morning, J.S. asked us to cut off his head and throw the body far away, as he did not wish to be the victim of any revenge."

The revenge that Martin referred to is that the being they had found was allegedly a "cub" of an Ucumar, which could take reprisals against him for having shot and killed its young.

The state that it was a "cub" due to the diameter of the specimen’s skull, which measured some 15 centimeters. They calculate the creature’s height at some 60 to 70 centimeters.

"Overall, the people who live in these parts believe greatly in these things: goblins, the Ucumar...matter of fact, I must admit I felt afraid. At one point I thought about bringing the body to Metán, but I got scared," said the fellow who spoke with El Tribuno.

Martin explained that "we cut off its head, which remained at the ranch. But we wrapped up the body in several bags and threw it down a canyon."

J.S. the owner of the ranch where the strange events transpired, lives alone in the area. His nearest neighbor is 15 kilometers away. The man is visited by his nephews every so often.

"It Had Fingers and Toes"

The witness who got to hold the body of the hunted hominid explained that "it was covered in short black hair all over its body, except for the face. It was impressive to see the size of its incisor." He added that the manlike figure had fingers and toes.

"The truth is that it was a one of a kind experience. I had never seen anything like it. When we go to the ranch at Cerro El Creston, we find hairs stuck to the tree trunks, as though "it" was scratching itself against them. There are many animals in the area, but none with fur resembling that of the creature they hunted," Martin explained.

"I Never Saw Anything Like It"

Marcelo Choque, a forensic veterinarian for the Provincial Police under the Environmental Division of the service, was startled to see the photographs of the strange specimen’s skull, shot by a rancher in the heights of Cerro El Creston in Metán. "I never saw anything like it. It’s clearly an anthropomorphic figure, but I can’t tell you the species. And I could much less explain the exaggerated size of its incisors, which give it a monstrous appearance."

The expert paused to think for a moment and continued. "There are no anthropoids in the are where they shot it. And the ones belonging to our fauna do not possess in any way the humanoid characteristics showing in the photo. If it is a monkey of some sort, it would be a rarity, an unclassified species or a genetic aberration. I’m stunned and I think it would be necessary to travel with a team of experts to the area where the skull is kept in order to conduct an analysis of the remains."

-And in reply I added the following in a couple of the groups I belonged to:

THAT is the head of a monkey, probably a howler monkey. The living specimen was only about two feet tall. BUT one description of the Ucumar says it is like an outsized, tailless howler monkey and that is the sort of report they are thinking about.

"Ucumar" is however not a precise name and it is used vaguely to refer to unknown bears, bearlike monkeys or apemen with equal force. I can see what the reports are driving at and I do think that the creature they are talking about would be like a large howler monkey. In this case, though, the heads and skulls the article is talking about are only ordinary, smaller monkeys. They are also not the young ones, they have the adult dentition.

The "Large Howler Monkey" is otherwise identified as the Mono Rey or Mapinguari in other areas, and is said to be the height of a short man but more heavily built. I imagine that means it is the size of a large chimpanzee or a small gorilla. That it has large tusks and it is suspected of killing livestock are also traits associated with the reports in these other categories.

Best Wishes, Dale D.

Howler Monkey Skull for comparison

Subsequently I came across this sculpted head from the South American Chimu culture, which I take to be an "Ucu" if only because it has a bear's nose added onto it. It was labelled as a feline but not only is that not like a cat's nose, the ears are entirely humanoid.

Among other featues on this sculpted Ucu, the cheek teeth are entirely flat and the jaws and teeth overall are ape-like, similar to an orangutan's. They are not cat-like, bear-like, nor do they even match a howler monkey's skull. The eye sockets are shown in the wrong place, but it is probably significant that the skull as illustrated in the sculpture even has eye sockets. Most carnivores do not even have that much.

So while the head as shown in the photographs is a false alarm, I think the mistake is made for something that is actually real and mysterious in South America and illustrated crudely by the sculpted Chimu head. It is an ape with big tusks jutting foreward like an orangutan's and it is called Ucu or Ucumar-Zupai, although also other things are called by the name: " Ucumar" is applied to different unrelated things such as bears. I definitely think it must be something that resembles an orangutan although its face may differ (that part is harder to say because the sculpted head is very likely to be somewhat stylized and inaccurate.) And it is known as far South as parts of Argentina, where it is also called a "Goblin" (Trauco)

Best Wishes, Dale D.

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