Published October 18, 2010
North America has its 'Bigfoot' and China has its 'Wild Man.'
A group of Chinese scientists are on the hunt for the Yeren, the Chinese equivalent of our Bigfoot. Scientists and international researchers refer to the Yeren as "Wild Man" and are on a renewed quest to find him.
Thirty years ago, China's Academy of Science sent three teams of researchers looking for the mysterious creature. Those teams turned up surprising results: hair, excrement, footprints, and a possible 'Wild Man' sleeping nest. Alas, those findings weren't conclusive so they are at it again.
This time around the members of the Hubei Wild Man Research Association are hoping to collect donations to help catch the legendary creature. They need $1.5 million to kick off the project.
This research is not without its merits. Over the years people have reported 400 sightings of a reddish hair ape-like man that looks a lot like an Orangutan but stands nearly 7ft tall. Nicholas Redfern, one of the world's leading cryptozoologists, thinks this newest expedition in China is worthwhile because of the fossil record.
"A lot of monster stories can be traced back to myth and folk lore. What people don't know is that in this instance we actually have the fossil record of a large ape-like creature that lived in that area over 300,000 years ago," Redfern told FoxNews.com.
In fact, primatologists have jaw bones, teeth and other bones from a creature found in that area known as Gigantopithecus that would've measured nearly 9ft tall (but probably hunched like an ape).
Redfern has been involved in countless research expeditions and they've all had one thing in common: lack of funds.
"It'd be great if we could have a team that could go out there for a year," he told FoxNews.com. "The chances of going into the forest for one week and stumbling across something are very slim. It's like the people who go to Loch Ness for a day or two hoping to see the monster; it just doesn't happen."
So even if the Hubei Wild Man Research Association raises enough money for a prolonged expedition, is it possible this creature still roams the forests of Asia?
"Conventional science and zoology tells us that Gigantopithecus has long been extinct, but very often science gets it wrong. The final word isn't always the final word," Redfern said.