Eyewitness: Mr. Rahman Kitab and his wife.
Location: Rawa Bento Swamp Forest
Approximately halfway between the towering Kerinci volcano and the mysterious mountain lake Gunung Tujuh lies an extensive tract of marshland and jungle-clad hills known as the Rawa Bento Swamp Forest. This area has an interesting history of Orang Pendek sighting and some of the first tracks ever described by a foreigner were found here in 1915 by the Dutch naturalist Dr. Edward Jacobson.
Only about one meter tall with very broad shoulders and a bulging abdomen, it was walking bipedally in a somewhat awkward side to side manner.Its arms slightly outstretched to the sides and from time to time it would reach out and grab at branches for support and balance.The limbs were of human proportions and its powerfully built body was covered in short brownish-red hair similar to that of a wild boar.The eyes did not reflect light when the flashlight was directed at them,indicating that it was most likely some form of primate and not just a misidentified known animal.
During the encounter,which lasted almost ten minutes, no audible sound was made by the creature as it slowly made its way along the field and then disappeared into darkness of the jungle.Due to the muddy terrain no discernible tracks could be made out, however,several years later he found what he believed were Orang Pendek footprints in the neighboring forest.
The entire event was also witnessed by his wife, making it one of the rare occasions where an Orang Pendek was observed by two individuals.
At almost 2000m above sea level ,Danau Gunung Tujuh (the Lake of Seven Peaks) is the highest lake in southeast Asia and is reputed to have a depth of 250m. This crater lake has long been considered by the inhabitants of the Kerinci region to be the home of a short but powerfully built primate whom they call Tirraw, and nobody knows the remote valleys that surround the lake better than Mr. Jur. A semi-permanent resident since 1974 he has assisted on every major Orang Pendek expedition to the lake since the early 1990s but has never been interviewed,until now.
Prior to becoming declared a national park some twenty years ago,Mr Jur extensively hunted and trapped large game such as samba deer,wild boar and interestingly feral goats which roamed the marshes and closed canopy forests that enclose the lake,often spending weeks alone in search of his quarry.The area was also home to a large number of Sumatran tigers whose presence has significantly diminished over the past several decades, however pug marks can be still be found on occasion.
Location: Rawa Bento Swamp Forest
While traversing through dense rainforest in the late morning about an hour from his village, Mr.Matidris made his way into a clearing where to his shock he saw two creatures walking side by side. Frightened by the angry looking expression on their faces he quickly climbed up a tree and for the next few minutes was able to watch them from an initial distance of just over five meters. His vantage point enabled him to closely observe the pair as they slowly made their way across the forest floor.
Once he felt safe he climbed down and began examining their tracks.On closer inspection he believed that at one point prior to encountering them they were walking quadrupedally as he saw what appeared to be hand prints on the forest floor.
On a sunny morning around 9am Mr.Poniman made his way up to the end of a potato plantation on the slopes of Mount Kerinci. Like many of the inhabitants of the area,he worked the fields surrounding this enormous stratovolcano and had visited this particular location countless times but this day was to be very different.As he neared a clearing which was bordered by a dry stream bed with dense forest behind it he came upon a strange animal which was standing upright and somewhat resembled a pygmy gorilla.