A possible run-in with flying monkeys presents one of the greatest fears for just about anyone who’s lost outside a mysterious castle. No good comes from flying monkeys and, unlike most other animals, they don’t appear to be more afraid of you than you are of them. But you don’t have to be near a big, dark castle to have a run-in with flying monkeys a la King’s Quest IV.
Indonesian legend tells of creatures named the Orang-Bati, five-foot tall half-monkey, half-bat monsters with “black, leathery wings, red skin, and a long, thin tail,” according to American Monsters. Orang-Bati roughly translates to “men with wings” although the creatures appear to be more monkey-like than anything. The Orang-Bati apparently swoop down on villages at night and abduct kids and babies, perhaps as a food source.
A similar creature said to exist here in the United States is the awesomely-named Batsquatch. The Batsquatch phenomenon began in Washington State back in 1994 when a mountain climber named Butch Whittaker alleges to have taken photos of “a nocturnal primate with bat-like features, purple skin and wings like a pteranodon, who is blamed for the disappearance of various livestock in the area,” according to Topless Robot.
These photos aren’t publicly available, though, so people have been suspicious about the veracity of Whittaker’s claims. Renowned Cryptozoologist Loren Feldman believes the Batsquatch to be an interesting creature, saying, “The original report is unique, and there are beginning hints of others, which may merge with other sightings. No movies or television episodes, as far as I know, have dealt with the Batsquatch, and it is a goldmine of the spooky, scary, and the cryptozoological.”
As for scientific explanations for the Orang-Bati and Batsquatch-like creatures, some believe that eyewitnesses may be misidentifying the monsters with real-life giant fruit bats or flying foxes. While neither species reaches five feet tall, as the Indonesian legend goes, both animals are known to grow large enough to have wingspans of five feet or greater.
If you think run-of-the-mill bats are scary, imagine having something with a five-foot wingspan and what looks like the head of a fox buzz past you in the dark. Here’s a photo of the Spectacled Flying Fox:
It’s really six in one, half dozen in the other as far as how terrified I’d be if I ever saw the thing in the above picture up close or if I saw something like the thing in the above picture except with the body of a monkey up close.
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