Francois De Loys

Francois De Loys

Swiss petroleum geologist
Country: Switzerland

Biography of Francois de Loys

Francois de Loys was a Swiss geologist and oil explorer who allegedly discovered an unknown primate in 1920 during an expedition in Venezuela. Born in 1892, de Loys dedicated his life to exploring and searching for oil deposits in South America. From 1917 to 1920, he led a team of researchers in the Tarra and Catatumbo river basins on the border of Venezuela and Colombia.

The expedition took place in the Sierra de Perija, a mountainous region covered in dense forests and inhabited by the Motilone Indians, who were considered a dangerous tribe. It was during the final days of the expedition, while resting on the banks of the Tarra River deep in the jungle, that de Loys and his team encountered two primate-like creatures standing on their hind legs.

At first, de Loys mistook them for bears due to their large size, but upon closer inspection, he realized they were monkeys. These creatures screamed, swung on tree branches, and even wielded a branch as a weapon. When they began throwing excrement at de Loys and his exhausted companions, the team shot and killed the female specimen, intending to capture the more aggressive male. However, the male escaped into the forest.

De Loys and his team wanted to preserve the skin and skull of the primate, but they were lost during the expedition. Only one photograph of the creature survived, which de Loys placed in his notebook without realizing its significance. Several years later, his friend, French anthropologist Georges Montandon, came across the photograph and became intrigued.

Montandon compared the proportions of the primate and the box it was seated on and concluded that it resembled a human-like monkey. In 1929, de Loys shared his story with the "Illustrated London News," and Montandon published his findings in the "Journal de la Societe des Americanistes" and presented them to the French Academy of Sciences in Paris. Montandon named the primate Ameranthropoides loysi, advocating that it was a new species.

However, their claims were met with skepticism and ridicule from naturalists and anthropologists. The scientific community questioned the authenticity of the photograph and criticized Montandon for using indigenous stories about aggressive monkey-like creatures as evidence.

Although Montandon's theory was ultimately discredited, the controversy sparked further research into mysterious humanoid creatures and cryptozoology. Today, many cryptozoologists believe that remote corners of the planet may still house enigmatic human-like creatures like the Yeti and Bigfoot.

Interestingly, an 18th-century naturalist named George Edwards depicted a creature with some resemblance to de Loys' primate in one of his drawings. However, it is important to note that Edwards never traveled outside of Europe, and the creature in his drawing combines features of orangutans, chimpanzees, and gibbons.