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Profiling the “Ape-Men” of Guyana

Situated on the northern coast of South America, Guyana is a place that, like so many other locales dominated by thick jungles and high mountains, can boast of being the domain of a Bigfoot-style entity. It is known by the people of Guyana as the Didi. It resembles Bigfoot in the sense it has a humanoid form, and is covered in hair. But, there is one big difference. The monster of Guyana possesses razor-sharp claws, which is at variance with all other apes. This has given rise to the theory that the Didi may actually be a creature known as Megatherium, a huge sloth that died out millennia ago. Or, just perhaps, it didn’t die out. On the other hand, many witnesses to the Didi have remarked on its eerie human-like qualities, despite its savage and primitive appearance.

In November 2007, an ambitious expedition was launched by the U.K.’s Center for Fortean Zoology to try, once and for all, to resolve the mystery of the Didi. Almost immediately upon arriving, the team was exposed to a number of accounts of Didi activity. Many of them were downright hostile. For example, residents of the village of Taushida told of how, around 2003 or 2004, a Didi abducted a young girl from the area. According to the story, two pre-teens, a girl and a boy, were strolling across the plains when a huge, hair-covered hominid loomed out of a dense, treed area and charged in the direction of the terrified pair. In an instant, a huge arm grabbed the girl and the beast bounded for the camouflage of the surrounding woods. The boy, filled with fear, raced back to Taushida to report what had happened. Despite a quickly launched and intensive effort, the girl was never seen again.

Didi of Guyana.

Didi of Guyana.

Demonstrating the possibility that the Didis are not huge sloths, Damon Corrie, a local chief, discovered a cave in the mountains that contained what were described to the CFZ as clubs and shields, but which were clearly fashioned by, and for, something far bigger than a human. Since sloths do not make tools and/or weapons, a good argument can be made that their creator was a large, unknown humanoid.

A further report provided to the CFZ dealt with a 1950s-era encounter, in which a man – while traveling back to Taushida after a successful day of hunting in the mountains – almost literally stumbled upon a huge Didi. It was sleeping in something akin to a hammock, but fashioned out of tree branches, vines, and leaves. Fortunately, the creature did not wake up, and the petrified man crept quietly out of the area. Then, when a significant distance away, he fled for his life. The story, however, was not quite over.

Taushida village in Guyana.

Taushida village in Guyana.

In mere hours of getting home, the man fell sick. For the superstitious people of Taushida – who perceived the Didi as a creature possessing supernatural powers – the man had become the victim of the equivalent of a witch’s hex. Fortunately, this was not the case. While the possibility exists that the Didi could have supernatural origins and powers (as is believed to be the case with numerous Bigfoot-like animals), in this incident, the local witch-doctor deduced that the man had been plunged into a deep state of shock, rather than falling under a malevolent spell of the Didi.

Interestingly, the CFZ uncovered more than a few accounts suggesting the existence of a small, primitive humanoid that lived on the fringes of Taushida. At least, until around the dawning of the 1980s, when they either moved onto pastures new or became extinct. The creatures – known to the people of Taushida as the Bush People – were less than four feet in height, lived in tepee-like structures that were built around tree trunks, and had distinct, red faces. Somewhat amusingly, although the Bush People lived very private lives and did not overly mix with the villagers, they did share a passion for tobacco, which the village folk regularly left at the edges of the forest for their dwarfish neighbors!

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Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.
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