Where There’s Smoke, There Are Monsters – And Fire

Although Wikipedia states that the location of Nevada’s Lovelock Cave is “restricted,” it’s actually very easy to find. It’s situated south of the town of Lovelock, Pershing County. It’s a sizeable, shadowy cave – around 150 feet in length and 35 feet in width – and one which has a great deal of history and controversy attached to it. Excavations which began in the early 20th century revealed that the cave was inhabited by humans for thousands of years.

According to the Paiute people, in times long gone they waged war on a mysterious race of red-haired giant humanoids known as the Si-Te-Cah. They were massive, violent, rampaging humanoids that fed voraciously on human flesh. Reportedly, the last of the Si-Te-Cah in Nevada were wiped out in the very heart of Lovelock Cave. They were forced into its depths by the Paiute, who filled the cave with bushes and then set them alight. The man-monsters reportedly died from the effects of fire and smoke [italics mine – for a good reason, as will soon become apparent]. It was the end of a reign of terror that had long plagued the Paiute. Ancient tales of equally ancient Bigfoot, perhaps? Maybe. Or, possibly nothing but good old folktales. But, there is something else worth noting. Namely, that this story has its parallels elsewhere on the planet.

Lovelock Cave

Situated in south-east Asia and Oceania, Indonesia is made up of a huge amount of islands; in fact, literally thousands. One of those islands is Flores. The Nage people of Flores tell of a somewhat human-like ape called the Ebu gogo. The Ebu gogo was covered in hair, had distinct ape-like qualities, but walked upright, like us. At barely three feet tall they were hardly on a par with Bigfoot, but that does not take away the fact that, for the Nage people, the creatures generated a great deal of folklore and history. All of the Ebu gogo on Flores lived deep inside an extensive network of caves, somewhere in the central part of the island, and which extended in length to almost a mile.

The people of Flores reportedly had an uneasy and sometimes violent relationship with the Ebu gogo, to the point where they finally decided to get rid of them, in a drastic fashion. The village elders invited the creatures to a massive feast, one in which the Ebu gogo were encouraged to drink as much powerful wine as they could. The ever-hungry beasts didn’t need telling twice and they were soon stuffed and drunk. At the end of the night, the beasts staggered back to the caves, and fell into deep, alcohol-induced sleeps. Then, when the Ebu gogo were out for the count, the villagers hauled a huge amount of palm fiber to the cave, set it alight and asphyxiated the creatures as they slept [italics mine]. Reportedly, however, two of the Ebu gogo – a male and a female – were seen fleeing into the woods, something which suggests the possibility that they may not have become extinct, after all.

In the latter part of the 19th century a British adventurer and explorer named Hugh Nevill was told of a race of creatures that were part-human and part-ape but which were, by the time Nevill heard the story, dead and gone – somewhere in the vicinity of five human generations earlier. They resided in the southeast corner of Sri Lanka and, before their assumed extinction, were constantly at war with another race of hairy humanoids known as the Nittaewo. Both types of creature were fairly small; around four to five feet in height and covered in hair. They also shared a liking for living in deep, natural caves and caverns, and had a love of fresh, raw meat. They were not totally savage, however, as is evidenced by their apparent use of primitive stone tools.

It was not their constant warring with each other that wiped out the Nittaewo and their unnamed furry foes, however: it was man. Reportedly, the last of the Nittaewos were killed in a violent confrontation at a cave in the Kattaragama Hills. A very similar story was told to an explorer named Frederick Lewis, a story that also suggested the Nittaewos were long gone. In this case, the account came from one Dissan Hamy, whose grandfather reportedly helped build a huge bonfire at the mouth of the cave, as a means to kill the creatures by smoke inhalation [italics mine].

What we have here are three stories of strange, and sometimes dangerous, creatures that were human-like and covered in hair. Accounts of them range from Nevada, USA to Sri Lanka – and also to the islands of Indonesia. And, they all involved the killing of the beasts in question by smoke and fire – and in caves. There are other such near-identical ancient examples, too…but you get the picture.

So, what’s going on here? Are we seeing numerous man-monsters killed in almost identical fashions – but in widely varying places? Are we dealing with a strange – and almost supernatural – kind of inherited memory? Maybe, an inherited memory of one, original and real event, but which became the inspiration for even more such tales of questionable origins? Or, in the same way that all across the globe we can find near-identical tales of monsters that haunt old bridges, crossroads, stone circles and more, perhaps all of these accounts are folklore-driven and have become accepted as reality. The questions are many. The answers are few.

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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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