The Mande Barung is a cryptid rather like Bigfoot, except it speaks Hindi instead of English. While Bigfootsies lurks around the US and Beaver Land, the Mande Barung goes around hassling people in Northeast India and even in Bangladesh, where he is known as “that Indian bastard.”
The name Mande Barung means “forest man” and the animal is pretty much your standard Bigfoot type, what with being 10 feet tall, covered in hair, weighing several hundred pounds and having a habit of hanging around basketball courts.
People have reportedly been spotting the things for a long time, but recent sightings include one in 2002, when some forest ranger type dude and his team were conducting a survey of tigers, animals which are often troublesome in India due to their habit of stealing sarongs off washing lines. This chap, one James Marak, claims that he and his team saw the famous critter but, of course, despite the team being 15 strong, nobody had a camera with them. Not wanting to miss out on the attention, several of Marak’s relatives jumped in and also claimed to have seen the mysterious creature, as well as a Goat Man and several Chupacabras…
In 2007, another spate of sightings led the Indian authorities to set up a scientific study to look into the matter. This study can’t have been too scientific as it seems to have consisted mostly of asking people questions such as, “Say, you haven’t seen any big, hairy bastards hanging around, have you?” Not surprisingly, several people answered with a “yes,” and if that doesn’t prove the thing is real, I don’t know what does!
Of even greater credibility, however, is something called the Achik Tourism Society, a group which clearly could have no ulterior motive for supporting the idea that there is a huge tourist trap lurking in the nearby woods. According to them, there is nothing living in the area which could be mistaken for a Mande Barung – no gorillas, chimps, orangutans, or Donald Trumps anywhere in sight. The group also claims to have photos of footprints and claim that the critters are herbivores, which seems rather like saying, “Come on in, rich tourists, the things aren’t dangerous unless you resemble a carrot!”
As you can tell, I am taking this one with a bucket of salt. And the phony “foot print” in this photo doesn’t help any. Looks to me like someone just scraped a foot-like shape in some moss…
I don’t completely dismiss the idea of the Mande Barung, mind you. But i do find it to be less likely than Bigfoot – at least the latter was reported for centuries before the white man ever arrived in North America. This latest critter seems to me too much a case of “keeping up with the Joneses.”