Season One, Episode Five, Wildman of Vietnam
Original Air Date: Thursday, October 7, 2010
Episode five begins with Steve and Francis in southeast Asia to get the ball rolling on the teams research into the Vietnamese Wildman. Kathryn, Mike and Scott are back home in the Beast Lab researching the origins of the legend. The Wildman of Vietnam is said to roam the rainforests. The beast walks like a man, has superhuman strength and an appetite for flesh. According the Kathryn, the legend has been around for centuries.
First person accounts of the Wildman of Vietnam have been given by inhabitants of Vietnam as well as by American soldiers who fought on Vietnamese soil during the Vietnam conflict. One American soldier who was willing to tell the tale of what he witness during his tour of duty is Gary Linderer. Linderer was stationed in central Vietnam in 1968. He had been in country for approximately a month before encountering the Wildman. He was dropped into the jungle by helicopter before dawn. When the sun came up, he saw the creature. Linderer recorded his recount of his experience on video. Linderer describes the creature as being approximately 5'6"-5'10" tall and the eyes were very clear and intelligent looking. Mike begins constructing their creature by starting with the form of a man.
In Hue, Vietnam, the region where Gary Linderer was stationed in 1968, Steve and Francis want to get the Vietnamese side of the story. Nguyen Duy Thanh is their driver/translator while in Hue. He will be taking them to meet a man who knows the legend inside and out. On the way, their jeep stalls and a downpour begins as they have arrived in Vietnam during the monsoon season. Francis manages to hitch a ride for he, Stevie and Nguyen with a passing truck driver. They finally arrive at their destination 3 hours late.
They interview Ho Van Hanh (village elder/Vietcong veteran) about the Wildman. He still believes in the survival of the Wildman and describes the appearance of the creature for Francis. According to the legends, the face is round and somewhat similar to the monkey's and the eyes resemble monkey's eyes. Ho Van Hanh relates vivid descriptions of the features of the Wildman and Francis sketches what is described so the team back at home can start constructing the creature. Mike updates the figure of the man on the computer with the new features uploaded from Hue by Francis.
Steve and Francis next go to Hanoi to speak with a professor who claims to have a plaster cast of a footprint made by the Wildman. The impossible to navigate traffic is making things difficult for them so Steve decides to run to their destination, the Hanoi Pedadgogical College, while Francis takes a skateboard. The lack of street signs causes both men to become lost in the congested streets of Hanoi. Francis arrives at the College first. At the College, they meet with Dr. Tran Hong Viet (Zoologist, Hanoi Pedadgogical College). Dr. Viet believes the Wildman is an original form of man and is classified as Homo Erectus, scientifically. They view a photograph of the footprint. Dr. Viet found the print in 1982 in Kon Tum (in central Vietnam). The very curved arch of the foot separates the print from that of a human. Viet explains that while the foot looks like that of both an ape and a human, it is neither. The physical cast cannot be filmed by the Beast Legends cameras because of research agreements and future publication agreements the scientists have entered into. While Steve and Francis are looking at the cast behind closed doors, Scott takes a copy of the photograph to a friend of his in Iowa.
After leaving Hanoi, Steve and Francis head into the wilds of Vietnam where Gary Linderer shot his footage in 1968. They guys and their translator head into the jungle to see the Wildman's alleged habitat first hand. The area isn't jungle anymore as it has been cleared for farmland and wouldn't be a suitable habitat for the Wildman.
Scott is in Pocatello, Idaho visiting with Dr. Jeff Meldrum (Anatomist, Idaho State University) to discuss the photograph of Dr. Viet's Wildman footprint. Dr. Meldrum has analyzed hundreds of suspected Bigfoot prints from all over the world. Dr. Meldrum believes part of the print looks like a drag-out rather than part of an actual foot. Meldrum provides Scott with a visual of how the print of a bear would look with a drag out on its print. There are bears in Vietnam capable of making a print the size in the photo Scott has from Dr. Viet and Meldrum feels it is very possible the print could be a misidentified bear print. However, Gary Linderer is positive what he saw in 1968 was not a bear.
Steve and Francis next head off to see the fossilized remains of Vietnamese orangutans. They speak with Dr. Vu The Long (archaeologist) who carefully lays out each piece of the skeleton for the guys to see. Francis sketches out an orangutan skeleton from the bones while Steve describes the mannerisms of the orangutans. Mike updates the Wildman on the computer with the new information from Steve and Francis.
Another eyewitness in southern Vietnam saw more than one Wildman and saw them for a longer time than Gary Lederer was able to see the creature in 1968. Steve and Francis speak with Hoang Trong Quong (farmer) about the sightings he has had. On an overcast afternoon, Quong saw the creatures while he was collected wood in the forest. Their faces were similar to human faces and the bodies covered in sparse, light brown hair. The distance between Quong and the creatures was two meters. The creatures jumped from the trees they were in and ran away when they saw Quong running away.
Steve and Francis go next to the location of Hoang Trong Quong's sighting, Ke Bang National Park, where they will be heading into the jungle. Approximately 60% of the Park has probably never been visited by a human being, ever so it is a largely unresearched and dense territory. Based upon Quong's description that the creatures were comfortable both in the trees and running on the ground, Steve describes the features the Wildman's feet should have. Mike updates the feet on the computer image. He also updates the teeth based on speculation of what the creatures might eat.
Steve and Francis are looking for the perfect cave for their creature to call 'home'. They find a cave that is flooded with water. Steve swims in but finds no dry areas where the creature could live. A distance away they find a cave that would be perfect for the Wildman. They come across a small herd of cows that proves to Francis how a large creature could move silently through the thick jungle.
Back at the Beast Lab, the team assembles to watch their complete Beast Movie. At night, in the wilds of Vietnam, the creature leaves its cave as a lone man walks through the jungle. The creature watches the man from the trees then jumps to the ground. The sound of a captured monkey causes the man to begin running and the creature is in pursuit. The man is able to escape but the creature devours the captured monkey.
Beast Legends airs every Thursday night at 10 P.M. (9 p.m. Central) on the SyFy Channel. The final episode, Bird Monster aired on October 14, 2010.
For More Information:
Official Web Site: http://www.beastlegends.com/
Official SyFy Site: http://www.syfy.com/beastlegends/index.php
TV Rage: http://www.tvrage.com/shows/id-26229/?vote=10
Francis Manapul's Official Website: http://www.francismanapul.com/