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De Loys Ape -- Mono Grande

Many have heard of the mono grande ("large monkey") or de Loys ape stories from South America. But there is much more to the history of large ape or monkey sightings there.

These large creatures have been referred to many other names, both locally and around the world.

In 1523, a Spanish explorer, Pedro Cieza de Leon recorded many sightings of large apes in the areas he explored. These were called marimondas.

Sir Walter Raleigh also came across reports of large monkey-like creatures in South America.

In 1769, Dr. Edmund Bancroft listed and described five foot tall apes from the stories the native tribesmen shared from the region of Guyana and Suriname. They called these creatures didi.

Alexander von Humboldt, a German naturalist, explored and recorded stories of hairy ape men between 1799 and 1804. These salvaje ("wild") were said to build huts along the Orinoco River and kidnap women, even sometimes eating human flesh. In 1825, Baron von Humboldt reported that a large ape called vasitri ("big devil") had kidnapped a woman from San Carlos, Brazil.

British explorer Charles Brown collected even more didi reports in 1868. And a British magistrate named Haines claimed to have seen two of the creatures near Rupununi, Guyana in 1910.

An Italian explorer searched for the mono grande along Guyana's Marazuni River in 1931. Although he never caught sight of one, he did collect new eyewitness accounts.

Phillip Hershkowitz, an American scientist, retraced the route de Loys [his adventures are recounted further along in the post]  After his expedition, he concluded that that the mono grande was nothing more than a mythical creature based on exaggerated descriptions of spider monkeys.

In 1951, a Frenchman, Roger Courteville, was said to have a photograph of an unknown ape from Rio Tarra, which lies between Colombia and Venezuela. Skeptics viewing the photo, accused him of altering the original photo to support a hoax. Unfortunately, I have been unable to discover either the alleged doctored photo or the alleged original photo.

Bernard Heuvelmans and Charles Dewisme had planned an expedition to Colombia in the early 1960s. Neither of them pursued these plans.

Pino Turolla, a Yugoslavian nobleman, claimed to have had two sightings of large unknown apes while he was in Ecuador during 1968. He is said to have taken a photograph of them, but the photo remains unpublished.

A botanist, Gary Samuels, while studying the fungi in the jungles of Guyana, ran into a five foot tall "roaring" ape in 1987.

Simon Chapman, author, and his two companions looked for mono grande along the Madidi River in Bolovia in the 1990s. They came up empty handed.

And now the best known claims of discovery about this being. Swiss geologist Francois de Loys led expeditions prospecting for oil on the Colombia/Venezuelan border between 1917 and 1920.  There is a claim that out of the original 20 people who set out, only 4 survived. This was said to be due to disease and skirmishes with natives. It seems odd as others say that his "expeditions" were short trips in, never taking them very far from a city or other settlement. Of course, there is the possibility because of illness and the threat from natives, members could have left the expedition and been replaced with others, leaving only 4 original members of the team.

It was in 1920 and the team was camped on the bank of a tributary of the Tarra River when they were approached by two large creatures. De Loys thought at first that they were bears, then realized that they were monkey-like. There was a male and a female who both appeared to be angry. They were howling and gesturing at the men and began to break and hold branches. They also threw their feces at the men. Fearing for their safety, they opened fire, killing the female and possibly wounding the male, who ran from the camp.

The creatures seemed to resemble the spider monkey but was claimed to stand at 4 foot 5 inches. De Loys also said it had only 32 teeth while New World monkeys have 36. It was said it had no tail. The creature was propped up and posed on a crate for photographs. Then the skull and skin was preserved for evidence.

The rest of the story varies a little here. Some versions say that the evidence except for one photograph was abandoned along the route when they were attacked by Natives. Another story said it was lost when de Loys canoe was overturned.  Yet a third blames a flood.

A friend of de Loys, George Montandon, found the photo among de Loys belongings and published it with a description of the ape. He called it Ameranthropoides loysi.

Controversy still reigns over this creature. Most recent researchers believe that de Loys discovered nothing but a large sized spider monkey.  Ivan Sanderson suggested it was more specifically a white-bellied spider monkey. He regarded the identification of the photo as an unknown ape "an outright hoax, and an obnoxious one at that, being a deliberate deception".

Loren Coleman regarded the creature as a hoax but felt that Montandon was the perpetrator and that de Loys had no such intent to deceive.

Believers say that de Loys encountered an unknown species. It was a surviving protopithecus brasiliensis. [a large spider monkey of the Pleistocene epoch.]

Dr. Enrique Terega worked with de Loys in Venezuela. He told a story of how in 1919 a spider monkey with an amputated tail was given to de Loys as a gift by a friend who was a practical joker. While they were stationed together in the city of Mena Grande, Saudi Arabia, the monkey died. That was when de Loys took the famous picture of the monkey on the crate. In the original uncropped photo,there appears to be the stump of a banana tree. The tree is not indigenous to South America.


2022 ZMP - Colorized by Zombie Media,LLC

[Please Note: Sadly Nancy passed away at the first of January, 2022. We will continue to honor her and her research by sharing her work. RIP Nancy. -Thomas]

Nancy

"I'll spark the thought; what you do with it is up to you."
 "Those that know, need no further proof. Those that don't, should not demand it from others, but seek it for themselves."
 

This Post By TCC Team Member Nancy Marietta. Nancy has had a lifelong interest in the paranormal and cryptids. Nancy is also a published author and her book, The Price of war, has been met with great reviews.



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