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El Mono Grande or Deloy's Ape 

(I will be adding information from my personal files about El Mono Grande regularly...)

-an excerpt from the World of the Unexplained

The heavily populated areas of the world seem to be the only ones from which no reports of man-beasts have come. Western Europe is presumed to be a man-beast-free zone, but further east, there are many reported sightings. Even in the northern wasteland of Siberia they have been seen, especially in the eastern area of Yakutia, where they are known as Chuchunaa. Reports have also come from China and throughout South East Asia, from Australia (the Yowie), from Africa, from South and Central America.

In this photograph, the dead ape-like creature, propped up with a stick, looks intriguing. Dr. Francis de Loys was on an expedition in the rainforest near the Venezuela-Colombia border in 1920 when two ape-like creatures stepped out of the bushes, walking on their hind legs. They were about 5 feet (1.5m) tall and angry, so the party of geologists shot at them, killing the female. Only one of the photographs they took of it survived and this has been the center of controversy among cryptozoologists. Some believe it to show a spider monkey, although a larger version than usually seen in the area; others consider it may be an unknown ape. French zoologist George Montandon gave it the name of Ameranthropoides loysi (Loys' American ape). Perhaps the creature is responsible for the reports of ape-men walking upright which have come from places such as Guyana and Nicaragua.


Deloy's Ape


More about El Mono Grande sightings in the Grand Savanna, Venezuela... Excerpted from Pino Turolla's book 

Chapter 5 - The Diamond Seekers.

"...The following morning, I woke up at the first light of day to find Antonio and Ramirez had already started a good fire. A fog covered the mountains that surrounded the savanna and the clouds were low overhead, but there was no rain. "Today is going to be a good day," Antonio said. "We might be able to walk further than we had planned." After breakfast we packed our gear, and by seven o'clock we were on our way, on the trail that would eventually bring us to Marirupa Salto (Falls), a spot that I believed would be worth surveying under water.

We trekked for hours on a narrow path that curved like a serpent upward from the savanna toward the southeastern slopes of the surrounding mountains. The trail was heavy with mud, the incline made the going even more difficult, and finally I said. "Antonio let's stop here and take a break."

"No, senor," he said, "Better we go away from here, out of the area. This is El Mono area." Seeing the puzzled look on my face, he added, "Si senor, el Mono Grande."

"A big monkey," I said, "How big?"

"Senor, el Mono Grande is big like you."

"A monkey my size?" I said in amazement. "Six feet tall?"

"Si senor, si!"

"Oh, come on, Antonio. Don't tell me such stories. How can there be a monkey that size?"

"Senor, I saw him. My son was killed by one of these monos. They are big. They are strong. They defend themselves and attack you with a club."

I looked at Antonio and perhaps he saw the disbelief in my eyes. But his expression was dead serious, and I knew him well enough to know that if he was not sure of what he said that he would not mention such things. If there were big monkeys in this area, I wondered if they could be something similar to what has been reported in North America, the animal known as "Bigfoot." I tried to reassure Antonio. "I have a rifle," I said. "If anything happens, we can defend ourselves. Don't worry." But Antonio insisted that we move quickly.

Late that day, after we had passed the first range of mountains, we were out of the terrain in which Antonio had seen the mono. The sun was low on the horizon when we stopped and made camp for the night. Each of us went about our chores; Ramirez collected wood for the fire, Antonio fetched water from a nearby stream, and I opened the pack to put together the evening meal. But for some reason the atmosphere was tense and my companions were not in a talkative mood. Were they still frightened about el Mono Grande? I was burning with impatience to ask Antonio further questions about the animal, but I sensed a certain reluctance on his part to discuss it. So I decided to open a bottle of trago, and as we drank and the tension slowly eased, I steered the conversation to Antonio's encounter with the big mono.

In bursts of words punctuated by long pauses, he told me an incredible story. A few years ago, he and his two sons were hunting on the slopes of the mountain range through which we had just passed. As they entered a heavily wooded gorge, three huge furry creatures came into their field of view, set up a horrible howl when their territory was invaded, and grabbed heavy branches, which they began swinging like clubs. The creatures came toward them and Antonio discharged the shotgun he was carrying in their direction. But that didn't stop them. Antonio and his sons turned and fled down the trail, but his younger son fell. Antonio ran back to help him, but one of the creatures was already over the boy with a club, and before he was able to reload his old muzzle-loader shotgun, it had disappeared into the forest leaving behind his battered son. Staring into the fire, Antonio said, "The boy died a few hours later as we were carrying him down the trail."

Now I understood his fear, and that night I turned and twisted in my sleeping bag for hours. Antonio's words kept reverberating in my head and every nocturnal sound was magnified. When daybreak came at last, the sky was gray and overcast. It took most of the day, trekking through mud and rain with only an occasional ray of sunshine piercing through the clouds to warm us up, before we finally reached the Marirupa Salto. Only eight hours away, across the mountain to the west, was the small plateau with a landing strip where in three days I was to meet Captain Vaseo, the bush pilot who was scheduled to fly me back to Cuidad Bolivar.

Excerpt from Chapter 6 - El Mono Grande 

"...There was another mystery from my first trip that I hoped I would be able to investigate. But I did not bring the subject up until after we had reached our old base camp on the savanna and I had presented Antonio and Ramirez with the gifts I had brought for them and their families. Then I said, "Antonio, I want to go back to the area where you saw el Mono Grande." He just looked at me.

I had been fascinated by Antonio's story of his encounter with the big mono, and when I returned to Miami after the first trip, I had decided to pursue it further. A big-game hunter named Ralph Scott, the donor of the famous white tiger to the Miami zoo, was a good friend of mine, and one evening I mentioned Antonio's encounter to him.

There must be some truth to the story," he said. Then he pulled out a book and showed me a photograph of a large primate that had been shot in 1920 by Francois de Loys, a Swiss geologist, in the Sierra de Perijaa of the Venezuelan highlands. The animal in the picture seemed to fit Antonio's description. It was not as massively built as a gorilla; its general proportions and facial appearance were closer to the gibbon; it stood over 5 feet tall, and could clearly be seen to have been quite strong.

Intrigued, I did some further research and learned that Alexander von Humboldt, the famous German scientist and explorer, during his explorations of the Upper Orinoco River in the Guiani Highlands in 1800 had heard of and reported the reputed existence of a large hairy primate in that area. It was said to be able to build shelters and steal Indian women. But reports of the existence of such primates in the virgin forests of South America did not come only from the Guiana Highlands. Cieza de Leon, in his Cronicas del Peru, mentioned reports of large hairy creatures in remote areas of the country. The Indians, he wrote, mated with the female, and their offspring grew tall and hairy, with monkey features. They could not speak a language, but they wailed and howled.

I placed little faith in such reports, but I had brought a copy of the photograph Scott had showed me and reaching into my pack, I pulled it out and showed it to Antonio. He looked at the picture and an expression of complete incredulity came over his face. He couldn't believe his eyes. "Where did you get this?" he asked. Ramirez looked at the photograph over Antonio's shoulder and his eyes grew big.

"From a book," I replied. "The animal was shot forty eight years ago by a Swiss geologist. His account of the incident says that the creature was as big as a human. Do you think that this is the kind of animal that you saw?"

"Yes," Antonio said. "It looks very similar. I've never heard of this incident, but if you have the picture, it must be so."

Nothing more was said on the subject for the next three days while I collected new sediment specimens from various sites on the plateau, from the riverbanks around its perimeter, and from the surrounding mountains. With the help of Ramiriez and Chancho, I also recovered several fine stones. Meanwhile, Antonio busied himself with another project. Pablo Corrals had suggested that we build an airstrip on the savanna, which would be much more convenient than the location we had used before. He planned to send in a few of his own workmen to clear the strip. All we had to do was some preliminary clearing and rolling; so Antonio went in search of a tall, straight tree that could be cut down, trimmed and used as a roller to smooth the strip after it was cleared.

Finally all our work was done, and I spoke again of my determination to be taken to the canyon where Antonio had seen the big mono. I explained to him in North America some people had claimed to have spotted creatures that were similar to the description of what he saw, but no one as yet had been able to bring back irrefutable proof of their existence. Perhaps if the creatures he had seen were still in the area, I might be able to confirm it and, in the future, mount an expedition to try to make contact with them. I was finally able to convince Antonio that no harm would come to us as we had the protection of much more powerful and efficient firearms than he had carried.

When we set out from the camp, we began hiking southeast across the savanna and after a few hours entered the forest where followed a narrow track through undergrowth so thick that it reduced our vision to only a few feet on either side. Only now and then did a small clearing enable us to have a field of view of 6 to 10 meters ahead. When we entered the canyon where Antonio had seen the big mono, the Indians became very alert and apprehensive, stepping very carefully, and sensing every sound and movement in the brush around them. I was carrying a 3.5 Winchester automatic and kept it at the ready. Tension was mounting as we slowly made our way along the trail. The subdued light created lurking shadows and a mood of mystery. It was getting toward late afternoon when we suddenly heard a howl, very loud, coming from somewhere in the thick vegetation. The Indians froze. The howl was a loud as the roar of a jaguar, but was higher and more shrill in pitch. It reverberated through the forest, encircling us as if it came from all directions. Something was moving, crashing powerfully through the underbrush.

The Indians turned abruptly and raced back along the trail, yelling at me to follow. But I was frozen in my tracks, my heart beating so hard that I could hear it. Then suddenly the howling stopped. I waited, and when I had regained control of my movements, I advanced slowly along the trail, my finger on the trigger of the gun. Then, as I reached a small clearing, the howling started again, in one crescendo after another. But again, as suddenly as it had started, it stopped. It was then that I saw two furry patches running away from me with a leaping sort of step through the foliage that bordered the clearing. As they bounded across the surface of a group of boulders at the far end of the clearing, I was able to catch a glimpse of them. They clearly were erect, hairy, apelike creatures, and appeared to be over 5 feet tall. Then they disappeared around the rocks into the jungle, and I heard the crackling sound of dry twigs and branches as they hastily forged their way through the thick underbrush.

I waited for what seemed an eternity for something else to happen, trying to impress on my mind what I had just glimpsed. I opened my mouth to yell to my companions, but no sound came out. Finally I turned and retraced my steps, and encountered them advancing cautiously back up the trail. "They're gone," I said. No one uttered a word. We continued up the trail this time with me, rather than Antonio at the head, with the Winchester in readiness. We crossed the clearing and climbed the summit of a hill, then hiking toward a remote jungle trading post, Casa Eureda, some four hours away where we would spend the night. We did not see or hear the creatures again.

The owner of the Casa Eureda invited us to share a meal of fried codfish and boiled potatoes, and when the meal ended, the Indians went off to a common house that was maintained for them, to stretch out on a platform for the night. It was raining and I looked around to see what sort of shelter I could crawl into. The owner cut short my dilemma by saying, "Senior, the best I can offer you is my stock room." I laid myself out on four bags of rice, with about fifty flanks of salted cod hanging overhead. The stench of the fish was pungent, but as I lay there on my rice mattress, what I had seen and heard that afternoon passed through my mind again and again. All night long every minute detail kept reappearing before my eyes like an endless nightmare. I was sure that the encounter had really occurred, but something deep within my consciousness was not ready to accept it. Not until two years later in Ecuador would this extraordinary experience come into sharp focus.

In the morning, smelling like a fishmonger, I am sure, I rejoined Antonio, Ramirez and Chancho, and we started back to our camp on the savanna. Antonio took his natural position at the head of the file, and by mid-morning we were approaching the place where we had encountered the monos the day before. Antonio beckoned us to stop, and he listened for a few moments. He detected nothing and said, "It's all right, we can go ahead." I had my hand on the Winchester and said, "Why don't I go first now?" He nodded, I took the lead, and we proceeded along the trail.

We saw nothing, and within three hours we were out of danger and Antonio had resumed his place in the lead. Had he not done so, I would have suggested it. The Indians living in the interior have extraordinarily well-developed senses. No amount of experience on the part of an outsider can equal the natural awareness the Indians have of the dangers that may be present around them. They can hear a snake moving across the ground many meters away, or a jaguar grumbling far into the distance. "


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