New Animals from Vietnam
The remains of a previously unknown deer-like animal were recently displayed at a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, by members of the the World Wildlife Federation
(WWF). It has been identified as a species of muntjac, a large barking deer, making it one of the ten new large mammals 'discovered' by scientists this century. The researchers haven't yet found a live one, but it's known locally, where it is hunted for meat, and is known as 'sam soi cacoong' - 'the deer that lives in the deep, thick forest.' It's the third new Vietnamese mammal to be recognised by science in the last five years, joining the Saola
aka The Vo Qoung Ox (Pseudoryx nghetinhensis) and the Mang Lon
muntjac deer (Megamuntiacus vuquangensis), as well as the Ga Lung Pheasant
aka Vo Quy's Pheasant(Lophura hatinhensis).
Interestingly, there's quite a lot of research going into the search for the Nguoi Rung or Vietnamese Wildman, following the 1982 discovery of a footprint by Professor Tran Hong, now of the Pedagogic University of Hanoi, measuring 28 by 16 centimetres, wider than a human foot, with much longer toes.
The Nguoi Rung or 'Forest People' (Also a direct translation of the Indonesian name 'Orang Utan') are said often to visit the firesides of Vietnamese highland people, but never speak in anyway intelligible, and have been seen climbing trees or shaking them to get at insects. Bernard Heuvelmans author of 'On the Track of Unknown Animals' (Which this Blatherskite is reading avidly), reckons that it could be what he has named Homo Pongoides, a hominid remnant of early man, although some of this research is based on a rather dubious specimen known as the 'Ice Man' which was toured from 1968, through sideshows in the U.S., by Frank D. Hansen (who also owns the world's oldest John Deere tractor). For more about 'The Abominable Showman', see Ian Simmons article in Fortean Times FT83:34. The reports from Vietnam still persist, however. For more information on the Ngui Rung, follow the links above.
Ruminations on Gaseous Livestock
On August 26th, Reuters issued a report stating that a possible contributor to global warming - methane gas created by belching and flatulent 50 million sheep in New Zealand. A lot of sheep, especially when you consider that there's only 3.7 million people in New Zealand. The methane emissions are eight times the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) methane emission average per head of population due to the vast quantity of ruminant livestock. Methane has more of a global warming potential than most gases - carbon dioxide is apparently 21 times less harmful. Global warming is an effect caused by formations of gases in the atmosphere, preventing heat escaping into space.
We're Scrambled Chaps, Grab your Brollies
Priceless, just priceless, thought I on hearing that the U.S. B-2 Bomber , which cost $1.5 billion each, had a fatal flaw. It can't go out in the rain. Gadzooks, the weather must be only gorgeous in the States, now that the combat planes are sorted out, they can do away with the softtop roofs on convertible cars. The radar absorbing-coat substance used on the B-2 rapidly degrades in contact with rain, heat and humidity. After every flight the plane needs to be recoated - and needs to be left to 'cure' in a cool dry environment. Amazing as it may seem, the Pentagon doesn't see any reason why the plane can't operate away from home, although they admit it will cause a few problems. So remember kids, next time you see a black triangle in the sky, acting suspiciously, make sure you have a water pistol handy. . . (Sources: Electronic Telegraph, New Scientist)
Dave (daev) Walsh
28 August 1997
daev at August 28, 1997 5:28 PM