Agogwe (also known as Kakundakari, Kilomba, Sehite, Agogure, Agogue and Orang Pendek)

Location: East Africa, Sumatra

Danger Level: Very Low

Agogwe range in height, from about 1.3 meters (4 foot) to 1.7 meters (5 foot 7 inches) tall, are covered with hair and they are said to walk upright like humans. In Tanzania and northern Mozambique, they speak of the agogure or agogue, a human-like, long-armed pygmy with a coat the colour of fired earth. It is thought that it could be a surviving species of Gracile australopithecine, a bipedal primate known to science from approximately 2.5-4.5 million years ago. Australopithecine footprints did have a somewhat diverged toe (although far from opposable), but the overall height and the rest of the description fit.

Agogwe are covered with hair and they are said to walk upright like humans.The first recorded sighting was in 1900 by a Captain William Hichens who reported his experience in the December 1937 edition of Discovery magazine thus: “Some years ago I was sent on an official lion-hunt in this area (the Ussure and Simibit forests on the western side of the Wembare plains) and, while waiting in a forest glade for a man-eater, I saw two small, brown, furry creatures come from dense forest on one side of the glade and disappear into the thickets on the other. They were like little men, about 4 feet high, walking upright, but clad in russet hair. The native hunter with me gazed in mingled fear and amazement. They were, he said, agogwe, the little furry men whom one does not see once in a lifetime.”

When Hitchens was criticized and ridiculed, Cuthbert Burgoyne wrote a letter to Discovery magazine in 1938, recounting his sighting of something similar in 1927 while coasting Portuguese East Africa in a Japanese cargo boat. They were close enough to shore that they could view the group using a “glass of twelve magnifications”. They watched a troupe of baboons feeding and… ” As we watched, two little brown men walked together out of the bush, and down amongst the baboons. They were certainly not any known monkey, and yet they must have been related, or they would have disturbed the baboons. They were too far away to be seen in great detail, but these small human-like animals were probably between four and five feet tall, quite upright and graceful in figure. At the time I was thrilled as they were quite evidently no beast of which I had heard or read. Later a friend, and big game hunter, told me he was in the Portuguese area of East Africa with his wife and three hunters, when they saw a mother, father and child (apparently of the same species) walk across the further side of the bush clearing. The natives loudly forbade anyone to shoot.”

Charles Cordier, a professional animal collector who worked for zoos and museums, followed the tracks of the Kakundakari in Zaire during the late 1950s and early 1960s. Once, said Cordier, a Kakundakari had become entangled in one of his bird snares. “It fell on its face, turned over, sat up, took the noose off of its feet, and walked away before the nearby African guide could do anything.”