Should you choose to venture to the Molucca Islands of Indonesia, specifically the island of Seram it is strongly suggested that you not take your infant or small child. Seram is the reported home of the Orang Bati. A 5 foot winged simian type creature that abducts and eats small children.
Tales of the Orang Bati date back to the 1500’s. Visiting Christian missionaries have reportedly been told horrific stories of the creature since that time. The Orang Bati is said to resemble a primate with red skin, orange hair, a long thin tail and black leathery bat-like wings. It is also said to emit a long mournful wail when it is hunting. The creature is said to be nocturnal and comes to the villages at night to abduct small children which it take back to the dormant volcano where it lives to eat. The name Orang Bati translates from the Moluccan language as “men with wings”.
In 1987 Tyson Hughes, an English Missionary, began an 18 month mission to teach the Moluccans farming. He was told the stories of the Orang Bati and although he was skeptical he related the stories to friends and collegues back home. By all reports Mr Hughes skepticism came to an end about halfway through his 18 months when he supposedly had a nocturnal encounter with an Orang Bati himself. After that, he felt it was his mission to get the story of this creature out into the Western World.
Although there is no physical evidence of the Orang Bati there are several theories as to what it could be. One theory is that the descriptions are a bit off and it is actually a Pterodactyl that has survived the centuries living in the remote caves and dormant volcanos of the island. Another is that it may be an undiscovered species of monkey-faced giant bat. Yet others believe it may be the worlds first species of flying simian.
The most popular and seemingly the most plausible is that what people are seeing are giant fruit bats, commonly known as flying foxes. Some scientists believe that the flying foxes are actually descendants from primates and what the villagers are seeing are possibly some bats with genetic remnants of their tails. It is important to point out at this point that some fossil records of the species do show skelatal remains of tails which scientists believe were used to maneuver during flight.
Sightings of the creature continue to this day. Pterodactyl? Flying Monkey? Misidentified Giant Bat? As always…. you be the judge.