In his book book "Very Crazy GI: Strange But True Stories of the Vietnam War," Kregg P.J. Jorgenson describes the chilling eyewitness account of US soldiers encountering a mysterious not-quite-human but not-quite-ape red-haired creature locally referred to as Nguoi Rung.
For some, it immediately brings to mind stories of the popular monstrous cryptid known as Bigfoot.
Nguoi Rung, otherwise known as "The people of the Forest" refers to a hitherto undiscovered species that roam the Kontum Province near the borders of Laos and Cambodia in Vietnam. In addition to numerous sightings made by Viet Cong and NVA soldiers, US troops have also come across the Nguoi Rung as this excerpt explains: "Gary Linderer was on a six-man patrol with the 101st Airborne’s Long Range Reconnaissance Patrols. While struggle through the underbrush, he ran into “deep set eyes on a prominent brow… five feet tall, with long muscular arms.” The creature “walked upright with broad shoulders and a heavy torso.” His battle buddies told him he just saw a rock ape, but Linderer had seen Rock Apes before. This was no Rock Ape."
While the locals are familiar with stories of these mysterious creatures, it was only when war came to Vietnam that they became widespread.
According to reports, a number of scientists who were tasked with investigating Nguoi Rung have located footprints that allegedly belong to them: "Dr. Vo Quy, a respected ornithologist and environmental researcher from Hanoi, discovered a Nguoi Rung footprint on the forest floor and made a cast of it. The cast was wider than a human foot and too big for an ape. In 1982, another Vietnamese scientist, Tran Hong Viet discovered more footprints, which led zoologist John MacKinnon to investigate the region. MacKinnon called the area a “tiny, pristine corner of the world unknown to modern science.”
The lack of proof about Nguoi Rung has put the stories of this semi-mythical creature in the same league as those of the Yeti which purportedly roam the Himalayas and the Sasquatch of North America.