Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 21st, 2006
“‘Monkey man’ causes stir” announces the headline, and one might think that another possible cryptozoological wonder (at least, the more cryptid one above) was out and about again in India. But not so fast.
The media report from June 21, 2006, reveals another kind of “Monkey Man,” as it turns out, unfortunately named as such.
Thousands of people are flocking to an impoverished Indian village in eastern West Bengal state to worship a man they believe possesses divine powers because he climbs up trees in seconds, gobbles up bananas and has a “tail”.
Devotees say 27-year-old villager Chandre Oraon is an incarnation of the Hindu monkey god Hanuman — worshipped by millions as a symbol of physical strength, perseverance and devotion.
“He climbs up trees, behaves like a monkey and is a strict vegetarian, but he is no god and his condition is just a congenital defect,” says Bhushan Chakraborty, the local medical officer.
Tucked away in a hamlet in Banarhat, over 650 km north of Kolkata, the state capital, devotees wait for hours to see or touch Oraon’s 35 cm tail, believing that it has healing powers.
Doctors said the “tail” — made up of some flesh but mostly of dark hair — was simply a rare physical attribute.
“It is a congenital anomaly, but very rarely do we find such cases,” B Ramana, a Kolkata-based surgeon, told Reuters.
Thanks to Cryptomundo stringer Chris for passing this one along.