Ameranthropoides loysi

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Ameranthropoides loysi is the name of a primate-like creature, allegedly encountered by geologist François De Loys in 1920 near the Tarra River in South America. According to De Loys' account, he and a party of surveyors were attacked by two ape-like creatures; they shot one of them in self-defense. De Loys took a photograph of the creature, and from the photograph it can be seen that the creature is sitting over a crate with a stick under its chin. Many people claim it was a hoax and the creature in the photograph is actually a spider monkey. Others claim the creature has anatomical differences from spider monkeys.[1]

However, multiple accounts tell of De Loys as a prankster and joker who was given a spider monkey with no tail and posed a photo of it on a crate. One of De Loys' Bolivian associates was unaware of the hoax until he visited a French museum with a display on the "Ape" years later, and recognized it immediately as De Loys' pet monkey. Further evidence against the original account is the presence of a banana tree, which indicates it was not taken in a jungle. Many cryptozoologists themselves use these pieces of evidence in the case against the creature's existence.[2] Paranormal researcher Jerome Clark notes that the lack of a useful comparison object (say, a human) makes it impossible to determine the creature's size.[3]

While no evidence for the existence of such a creature has ever been found, there is evidence of a darker motive behind the hoax than a simple practical joke or grab for attention. George Montandon, one of De Loys' associates who accompanied him on the expedition, was an outspoken racist and Nazi collaborator during World War II. Montandon served as director of the Musee del'Homme under Nazi occupation and curated Le Juif et la France, a grotesque propaganda exhibit on the supposed racial differences between Jews and Gentiles which was hosted by the museum and toured Vichy France from 1941-1942.[4] He was eventually killed by the French Resistance shortly before the liberation of Paris, and was posthumously stripped of his academic credentials by Charles de Gaulle. He was a supporter of the now-discredited racial theory of "hologenesis", which stated that different ethnic groups were descended from different primates rather than a common human ancestor and this hoax was allegedly an attempt on his part to manufacture "evidence" for the theory.[5]

There is only one known photograph of the creature, and only a handful of alleged sightings. Although it is possible that other photos were taken, none are known to survive.[6] The creature itself was reported to have been skinned and stored, but the remains were understood to be lost later when De Loys' expedition ran into trouble.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. The creature at UFO Digest
  2. De Loys’ Well-Known Prank
  3. Jerome Clark, Unexplained! (1993), pp. 310-315
  4. George Montandon's Malicious Monkey Business
  5. De Loys’ Ape and what to do with it
  6. A Frenchman named Roger de Courteville claimed to photograph a similar creature in the 1950s; his photograph was almost immediately spotted as a cropped and edited version of the original De Loys photograph.