Tag Archives: hominids

#15 – The Nakani & The Valley Of The Headless Men

There are lots of theories as to why we are yet to conclusively prove the existence of even one variety of Bigfoot-like cryptid. The explanations range from their natural fear of man to their wily cunning in deliberately avoiding us right through to their simple lack of numbers. The inaccessibility of their terrain can also hamper efforts.

Ooh, and one more possibility – in the case of the Nakani, one of the reasons they’ve never been killed or captured is their tendency to brutally behead any and every silly fucker stupid enough to come looking for them. After all, it’s hard to drag a corpse back for the scientific community to analyse when you’re a little preoccupied being dead yourself.

Also known as the Nuk-Luk, these hairy neanderthal-like ‘bushmen’ are said to inhabit the Nahanni Valley, an area of one of Canada’s most unpopulated and spectacular national parks. Fed by hot springs and sulfur geysers, the valley is often shrouded in mist and would make an absolutely badass spot for a supervillain’s hideout:

This was a long way to go for a bit of dogging.

This was a long way to go for a spot of dogging.

Of course, most supervillains have death rays, or laser sharks, or weaponised panda armour or something equally ridiculous. The Nakani seem to be remarkably advanced, but only in terms of their Bigfoot cousins – they make do with tools and primitive clothes.

In 1964, a naked Nakani was spotted by John Baptist and several other trappers at the junction of the Liard and South Nahanni rivers. It growled at them and fled into the woods. Two months later near Fort Simpson, a fourteen-year old boy and his father encountered a similar hominid, this time dressed in a deerskin and carrying a stone axe. Both parties described the hairy body, pointed back of the head, flowing beard and facial features remarkably similar to those of a typical Neanderthal.

Oh look, it's Ron Perlman in his pyjamas.

Oh look, it’s Ron Perlman in his pyjamas.

Encounters are still reported to this day and range from glimpses of the creature itself to hearing its odd whistling call, or passing hikers suffering stones thrown at them and their camps by unseen things in the bush. Some claim to have left hunting kills out on their properties overnight, only to find them neatly stripped of their skins the next morning. Given the track record of other areas of the Nahanni Valley, these encounters are tame – after all, you don’t give areas nicknames like The Valley of the Headless Men or The Funeral Range if they seem like the perfect places to build a series of candy factories staffed by puppies.

Although they weren’t the first disappearances in the valley, the legend began in earnest with the deaths of prospectors Willie and Frank McLeod, whose headless corpses were found at the height of the gold rush in 1908. Since then two other headless bodies have turned up in the Nakani’s apparent home turf, with at least a dozen or so other people vanishing completely (less conservative estimates put the figure at nearer 50). Although the established wildlife of the Nahanni Valley means it isn’t the safest place in the world at the best of times, neatly ripping off heads isn’t particularly bearlike behaviour. We can also rule out an insanely committed serial killer due to the 100-year span of the disappearances. At between five and six feet tall, the Nakani isn’t the biggest hominid in cryptid folklore, but it certainly seems to be the most murderous.

RUN! IT'LL KILL US ALL!

RUN! IT’LL KILL US ALL!

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#11 – The Momo

In one of the earliest and shittiest examples of infuriating celebrity name truncations going, ‘Momo’ is actually short for the ‘Missouri Monster’. And like one half of the pattern-following power couple RiBrown, it’s a thoroughly unlikeable beast that has a tendency to beat the crap out of attractive women sat in cars. Thankfully though the similarity ends there, as the Momo is yet to shamelessly resurface and somehow still sell rubbish records to teenaged idiots hoodwinked into believing that if you love someone then it’s alright to backhand them in their annoyingly undeserving chops every now and then.

"Are you serious? People actually seem to have forgiven me?"

“Are you serious? People actually seem to have forgiven me?”

In other news, I doubt RiBrown is a nickname that anyone actually uses for those two. ChriHanna is probably equally possible. Ergh, I hate life.

First up, I need to put on my pedantic hat and point out that ‘Bigfoot’ has become a bit of a misleading umbrella term for anything tall and hairy that comes out of the woods. It should in fact be a moniker specific to the myriad of similar hominid sightings from America’s Pacific Northwest. The Momo (or ‘Eastern Bigfoot’) is a markedly different beast from the archetypal Bigfoot in a number of ways; it has no apparent neck, a large head set directly on its shoulders, and a face completely covered in the same long, dark hair that coats the rest of its body. Basically, imagine a seven-foot tall Cousin It with arms and feet and you’re halfway there. Then add a fuckton of blood and a dead dog slung under one arm and you will have successfully baked that thought-batter into the sort of fucking horrible nightmare cookie that you ought to be ashamed to feed even your mortal enemies.

All that's missing is a pointy guitar and this would be the most metal photo of all time.

All that’s missing is a pointy guitar and this would be the most metal photo of all time.

Reports of a Bigfoot-like creature have popped up in the area around Louisiana since the 1940s. Momo’s distinctive heavy metal look has been linked to a famous sighting further north in Monroe, Michigan in July 1971. Christine Van Acker encountered the beast while sat with her mother in the car. Momo, apparently convinced from the look of her that he’d caught Myra Hindley, promptly reached into the car and punched Van Acker in the face. She was left with a black eye that she went on to plaster all over the national papers alongside a sketch of her attacker apparently drawn by a six year old with a brain injury:

MonroeMichigan1965Honestly, from that sketch, she could well have been attacked by a Boohbah.

"Let's make a kid's TV show about a bunch of animate clitoral hoods! I can't see that being weird at all!"

Cross a dayglow parka with a clitoral hood, and you’ve apparently got a hit kid’s TV show.

The real fun began further south and a year later near the outskirts of Louisiana. Doris Harrison was inside the house, with her two younger brothers playing outside. Suddenly she heard them scream; looking out the bathroom window, she saw a blood-drenched Momo stood by a tree, carrying a dead dog under one arm. The creature soon skulked off into the woods, apparently unwilling to elevate its dinner plans from Korean food to delicious redneck children. This first sighting sparked a good few days of hysteria; residents reported dogs becoming sick or disappearing, horrible odours and terrible howling sounds coming from the area. A neighbour, Ellis Minor, shone a light out into his yard when his dog barked one night and became the second person to come face to face with the Momo, which again fled into the woods.

Casts were made of the large three-toed prints the monster left behind and delivered to Lawrence Curtis at the Oklahoma City Zoo. He deemed them to be a hoax, but whether hoaxers staged the whole affair or just jumped on the bandwagon after a genuine cryptid sighting remains to be seen.

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