When we think of strange creatures, monsters, unknown animals, and mysterious humanoids, there's a tendency to assume they are large. But, in many cases, that's actually very far from the truth. Sometimes, we're talking about quite small unidentified entities. With that said, here are few examples. We'll begin with Ivan T. Sanderson, who was a highly respected monster-hunter and someone who became the recipient of a number of stories of unknown, small humanoids in our midst. But, first, a bit of background on Sanderson himself. At The Bigfoot Portal, there's this: "Ivan Terence Sanderson blazed the trail into cryptozoological investigation. Sanderson actually originated the term 'cryptozoology' in 1947. One of the first in the scientific community to treat Bigfoot as a serious phenomenon, he helped generate the excitement and scientific rigor that invigorates Sasquatch research today...Sanderson founded the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU) to delve into phenomena disregarded by traditional scientists. At the Smithsonian Institute’s request, Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans inspected the infamous Minnesota Iceman."
One fascinating report came from a woman who preferred anonymity and who Sanderson only referred to as "Mrs. V.K." Her off the record account is, however, in no way tainted by the lack of a name. She wrote to Sanderson, in 1959: "I am a housewife but I majored in biology, attended our state university and have an M.A. in plain zoology. My husband is an experimental chemist and my eldest son is a technician in the Air Force. I come from Mississippi but we have resided here (in Kentucky) for ten years now. I wonder if you have ever heard of the Little Red Men of the Delta?
"Nobody thought anything much of them where I was raised except that one had better be careful of shooting one because it might be murder, or so the sheriff might think if anything came off it, but I was surprised to find that the folks hereabout know it too though they took some years to talk about it to me. My husband is a New Englander and these folks don’t talk much. They [the Little Red Men of the Delta] are said to be about the size of a ten year old kid and able to climb like monkeys and to live back from the bayous. They talk a lot but keep out of gunshot range and mostly go into the water. They are people and the muskrat trappers say they often wear scraps of discarded linens, old jeans and such."
Mac Tonnies had something to say about small humanoids in his 2010 book, The Cryptoterrestrials. He said: ““I have a reliable first-hand report of 'little people' at large in the American northwest. My source encountered a small congregation of these beings in a wooded area. Human-like in all essential respects, the beings were nevertheless small, like normal people in miniature. Although the encounter was brief, my source was able to glean some important information. The 'little people' claimed to predate known North American cultures and possessed their own language. As in so many other accounts of meetings with ufonauts or 'paranormal' entities, they appeared Asian, again inviting speculation that they originate from a ‘lost’ community that has opted for a peripheral role, effectively hidden from the mainstream."
In the Central American country of Belize exists an enigmatic and mysterious entity known as the Duende (also spelled Dwendi, depending on the particular region of Belize). A fascinating commentary on the Duende surfaced in 1961, from one of the world’s most respected seekers of unknown animals, the late Ivan T. Sanderson. He said: "Dozens told me of having seen them, and these were mostly men of substance who had worked for responsible organizations like the Forestry Department and who had, in several cases, been schooled or trained either in Europe or the United States. One, a junior forestry officer born locally, described in great detail two of these little creatures that he had suddenly noticed quietly watching him on several occasions at the edge of the forestry reserve near the foot of the Maya Mountains. These little folk were described as being between three foot six and four foot six, well- proportioned but with very heavy shoulders and rather long arms, clothed in thick, tight, close brown hair looking like that of a short-coated dog; having very flat yellowish faces but head-hair no longer than the body hair except down the back of the neck and midback."
One of the most significant accounts of the Mau people came from big game hunter Roger Courtney. In his 1940 book, The Greenhorn in Africa, he related a number of accounts of sightings of, and confrontations with, the Mau – or "Mau Men," as Courtney was told they were also called. Courtney said that one of his interviewees "…went on to tell how his own father, who was driving his sheep to pasture on the slopes of Mount Longenot, fell into the hands of these gnomes when he went into a cave, following the trail of blood left by one of his sheep that had been stolen. He was stunned from behind, and when he came round he found he was surrounded by strange little creatures." Courtney added that his source related his father’s further words as follows: "The Mau men were lower even than those little people of the forests for, though they had no tails that I could see, they were as the monkeys that swing in the forest trees. Their skins were white, with the whiteness of the belly of a lizard, and their faces and bodies were covered with long, black hair." Moving on:
Although there are vague stories suggesting that Madagascar is the domain of several, distinct kinds of anomalous apes, certainly the most talked about one is the Kalanoro. Like so many other such creatures in Africa, they are fairly small, falling into the Littlefoot category. These three-toed things reportedly have their own, fairly complex, language and speak in a soft voice that sounds eerily like a woman’s. Caves are their chief abodes; that is, when they are not raiding villages for food. A fascinating report of the Kalanoro surfaced in 1886, from G. Herbert Smith: "We next come to the forest, and from there we get endless stories of the Kalanoro, a sort of wild man of the woods, represented as very short of stature, covered with hair, with flowing beard, in the case of the male, and with an amiable weakness for the warmth of a fire. An eye-witness related that once, when spending a night in the heart of the forest, he lay awake watching the fire, which had died down to red embers, when he suddenly became aware of a figure answering to the above description warming himself at the fire, and apparently enjoying it immensely. According to the story, he put a summary end to the gentleman’s enjoyment by stealing down his hand, grasping a stick, and sending a shower of red-hot embers on to his unclothed visitor, who, immediately, and most naturally, fled with a shriek. Another tells how, on a similar occasion, the male appeared first, and after inspecting the premises and finding, as well as a fire, some rice left in the pot, summoned his better half; the pair squatted in front of the fire and – touching picture of conjugal affection – proceeded to feed one another!”
In 1938, a startling letter was published in the pages of Discovery magazine. It was written by British Army Officer Cuthbert Burgoyne. According to Burgoyne, nine years earlier – in 1927 – he had a close encounter with a pair of unknown apes or monkeys while aboard a Japanese cargo boat that was heading for Portuguese East Africa. They were, apparently, known locally as Agogwes. In Burgoyne's own words: "We were sufficiently near to land to see objects clearly with a glass of 12 magnifications. There was a sloping beach with light brush above, upon which several dozen baboons were hunting for and picking up shellfish or crabs, to judge by their movements. Two pure white baboons were amongst them. These are very rare but I had heard of them previously.”
Then, as Burgoyne noted, something amazing happened: "As we watched, two little brown men walked together out of the bush and down among the baboons. They were certainly not any known monkey and they must have been akin or they would have disturbed the baboons. They were too far away to see in detail, but these small human like animals were probably between 4 and 5 feet tall, quite upright and graceful in nature. At the time I was thrilled as they quite evidently were no beast of which I had heard or read. Later a friend and big game hunter told me he was in Portuguese East Africa with his wife and three other hunters, and saw mother, father and child, of apparently similar animal species, walk across the further side of a bush clearing. The natives loudly forbade him to shoot."