(Forewarded by Bigfoot Lunch Club)
Native South African Roland Jaffe, 35, is on a mission. A University graduate from Johannesburg with a degree in zoology, he immediately gravitated to the field of cryptozoology, or the study of strange and scientifically unknown animals. Early on in his career he was pursued by enigmatic cryptozoology financier Mario Pellington (no photo available), who has bankrolled his search for what has been described as the "African Bigfoot."
|Roland Jaffe: African Wild Man Tracks the African Wildman|
The name Waterbobbejan literally means "water baboon," and it has been described as everything from pygmy sized to seven feet tall. Its fur is sometimes red, sometimes as black as scorched earth. There are numerous eyewitness sightings of the beast from the deep woods to the rural outskirts of African cities. I was able to interview Jaffe, the worlds preeminent expert on this subject, over the phone in late April of this year. D: What brought you to this kind of research? J: Vanity I suppose. Vanity and stubbornness. When I was young my schoolmate s frightened me with stories of the Waterbobbejan, and I fought back by telling them I would defeat the beast one day. They all grew out of it and I didn't. I read every book on the subject and ultimately began to learn about zoology in general. As you can imagine, I didn't have too many dates when I was in school! D: You're married now, though. J: My wife Nadine and I met at University, and even though she didn't know about these creatures, I was able to teach her basically what I knew... Colloquial stories, and frightened tribesmen. After we graduated, we went to different parts of the continent and talked to natives, city dwellers. This creature is all over the country in some form. The best known ones are reported in Guinea, Sierra Leone, the Ivory Coast, and the Congo Basin. I've heard stories in Namibia, Kenya, and as far north as Egypt. D: Egypt? J: I should probably leave it at that. It's part of our ongoing research at the moment. I have to say I'm a bit skeptical about that one, though, but you have to take them all seriously. D: Did bigfoot build the pyramids, then? J: (Laughs) Maybe, maybe. You never know with those big feet. D: Tell me about Mario Pellington. J: Not much for me to tell, really. I've never seen the man face to face. I've spoken to him on the phone. What's there to say about Mister Pellington? Deep pockets. He believes that some of these creatures exist. I had to sign a contract with him telling him that whatever we find, it'll be named after him. Homo Pellingtonus or Homo Marius or something like that. He seems to be quite a character, financing all us kooks out there looking for Waterbobbejans and Plesiosaurs. I think the man knows that eventually one of us will succeed, and that'll be his gift to the world! D: Have you ever seen one of these creatures yourself? J: Not in the flesh, no. I've examined a genetic sequence taken from what one witness claimed was a tuft of its fur. The sequence was similar to a human's, with one extra chromosome. The fur itself was thick like a dog's. I wish I could see one just once and know for sure it really exists! Then maybe my life wouldn't feel like a potential waste of time (laughs). D: Why do you think this creature doesn't seem to appear in the fossil record? J: There are plenty of gaps in the fossil record. It is possible that this animal has only been around as long as us, and the remains might be eaten or god knows what. It is a good question, however, and one that does little to bolster my arguments. I just refuse to believe that something so commonly seen could be a figment of our species' imagination. I'll give you an example: We went into a remote village near Tanzania. The natives there had never seen white people. We showed them pictures of animals, illustrated next to a human being for scale. We showed them a picture of a giraffe, and they recognized it. We showed them zebras, Rhinos, apes, as well as animals they never would have seen like Komodo Dragons and Camels. They did not recognize these strange animals, but did recognize a picture of the Waterbobbejan, known in that area as the "Agogue," [Sic-Meaning the Kikomba instead, the larger apeman of the two rather than the smaller one] pictured as an oversized human with a pointed head, unusually long arms, and a thick coat of black fur. D: Does that by itself convince you? J: Not by itself, no. But in light of the other eye-witness sightings, I think it begins to add up. I believe the thing is out there, and I will find it if it is. If not, I'll eventually find something else to do like go back into the jungle with pictures of dinosaurs! sources
"Tarzan need not apply," International Explorer Magazine, volume 5 issue 78, International Explorer Press 1998 Interview with Roland Jaffe April 28, 1999 Photo credit Tessa Robison, Nadine Parks-Jaffe From what I can tell, these Waterbobbejan reports lead us right back to the same problem with the mansized manbeasts of Africa as before: there is a more apelike form that leaves a track with an opposed toe and a more humanlike one without the toe in opposition, and the two are regularly confounded and called by the same name. The Egyptian report seems to conform to the Woad el-Uma, which has an opposed big toe and therefore is a kind of large amphibious monkey or ape
WILDMAN of North Africa.
Etymology: Arabic, “son of the mother.”
Variant names: Amanit.
Physical description: Size of a human. Covered
in reddish-brown hair. Females have breasts.
Behavior:Aquatic. Walks erect. Said to live in
the river or adjacent lakes and go on land only
before the periodic floods. Eats fruits.
Tracks: Length, 10 inches. Four long, narrow
toes and a large, fully opposed toe. Prints are 3
feet apart, but the feet are pointed at a 70-degree
angle oblique to the direction of travel, as if it
progressed by lateral leaps. [Quadrupedal chimpanzees
are also known to travel in a slantwise direction rather
than taking the direct path straight ahead ]
Distribution: Nile River, northern Sudan.
Significant sighting: On June 17, 1832,
Joseph Russegger found unusual tracks made
during the previous night in the sand along the
Nile River near the third cataract. They
emerged from the water, approached Russeg-
ger’s camp, and returned to the river after tra-
versing some rough and marshy terrain.
Sources: Joseph Russegger, Reisen in Europa,
Asien und Afrika (Stuttgart, Germany: E.
Schweizerbart, 1841–1849), vol. 2, pp. 53–56;
Baron Johann Wilhelm von Müller, Fliegende
Blätter aus meinem Tagebuche (Stuttgart,
Germany: Hofbuchdruckerei zu Gutenberg,
1851), pp. 57–61.
In the Sudan this is known as the Wa'ab:
GIANT HOMINID of North Africa.
Etymology: Bedawi (Cushitic) word.
Physical description: Very tall. Covered with
red hair. Has no joints.
Behavior: Speaks several languages.
Distribution: Southern Sudan.
Sources: “Jointless Waab, of African Sudan:
One of World’s Fabulous Creatures,” National
Geographic News Bulletin, April 25, 1950;
“Reward for a Waab,” Western Folklore 9
And here is the definition for Waterbobbejan:
Unknown PRIMATE of South Africa.
Etymology: Afrikaans, “water baboon.”
Variant name: Fudu (Tswana/Bantu).
Physical description: Baboonlike animal.
Height, 6 feet. Reddish hair. Long, powerful
Behavior: Shy and solitary. Prowls the out-
skirts of farms, raiding livestock. Strips oranges
off the trees.
Habitat: Near water, in caves or behind wa-
Distribution: Northern South Africa.
Significant sighting:In 1965, two boys saw the
animal on the Leeufontein farm between Koster
and Swartruggens, North-West Province, South
Present status: Rumors about the animal have
existed since the 1880s.
(1) The Chacma baboon (Papio cynocephalus
ursinus) is well known in the area but only
grows to about 2 feet 6 inches long.
(2) The Samango monkey (Cercopithecus
mitis labiatus) is even smaller. However, in
at least one instance, a farmer shot and
killed a samango, claiming it was a
Source: Sian Hall, “Rumble in the Jungle,”
Fortean Times, no. 111 (June 1998): 24–27.
All definitions transcribed from George Eberhart, Mysterious Creatures, 2002