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Monster hunters from the West yesterday revealed how they have returned from a jungle expedition with possible evidence of an Indonesian "Yeti".
The intrepid team from the Centre of Fortean Zoology (CFZ) spent more than three weeks in the steamy jungles of Sumatra in search of the legendary apeman Orang Pendek.
Returning to the centre's base in Exeter this week, they say they have gathered evidence that could prove the existence of the creature, which has allegedly terrified and captivated the people of Indonesia for centuries.
Orang Pendek, which translates to short man, is essentially an upright-walking ape, standing about 5ft tall. It is broader than its knuckle-walking relative and immensely strong.
Tests by experts at Cambridge University and in Australia have shown hairs and a footprint found on an Indonesian expedition by Newcastle's Andrew Sanderson and two fellow explorers do not belong to any known species.
The intrepid trio were searching for the mythical Orang Pendek, also known as the Sumatran Yeti. A paper on their discovery will be published soon.
RUETERS - Mon August 11, 2003
KATHMANDU - A Japanese expedition equipped with infrared cameras will scour the Nepali Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti, or abominable snowman, the team leader said Monday.
Yo#eru Takahashi said he had seen footprints on Mount Dhaulagiri during trips to the world's seventh-highest mountain in the 1970s and 1990s which he believed belonged to the Yeti.
Takahashi said his 14-member team would leave Saturday and spend six weeks on the slopes of the 8,167-meter (26,795-feet) mountain to track down the mythical hairy, ape-like creature believed to live in the snowy caves.
The team comprises seven Japanese climbers and seven Nepali sherpas and will take cameras that can detect body temperature.
Yo#eru Takahashi, 65, claims to have seen a group of three yetis on his last visit to Nepal, in 2003, but maintains that the light quality during the evening sightings was too poor for him to take photographs.
This time - his fifth such mission - his seven-strong team is equipped with state-of-the-art motion-sensitive photographic equipment and they plan to position it along a ridge at an altitude of 4,800 metres in a range of mountains some 200 km from Kathmandu.
"The ones that I saw were small, around 85 cm tall, but it was getting dark and it was difficult to see them properly," said Mr Takahashi.
"I don't know what they are, but they appear to be some sort of hybrid of chimp or orangutang without a tail."