Archaeologists are convinced that the ‘men of Flores’ disappeared 12,000 years ago. Now he is convinced that the species is still alive

We don’t really know where Tegu was when he was told that there was a body on their land. We do know that it was May 24, 2010. A group of women had found him around the corner from the Church. Among them were his wife and his sister-in-law. The result of Portuguese influence, the Island of Flores is a Catholic stronghold in the middle of the largest Muslim country in the world. The corpse was small, they told him; it was human-shaped and covered with gray hair, almost fuzz. However, his face was very much like that of a monkey and his nose, “like that of a skull”.

At first, Tegu (who was in his 40s and was an agricultural engineer) didn’t believe them. But, minutes later, when he walked up with his friend Stefanus of his, he saw it with his own eyes. They took the body and buried it. With this and other stories from the Flores Highlands, anthropologist Gregory Forth exposes in his book ‘Between Ape and Human’ a really controversial hypothesis: that he Homo florisiensis still alive.

An anthropologist on the island of Flores

Marcella Oscar Ursk8pt0elg Unsplash
Marcella Oscar

For decades, Gregory Forth He was a professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta. His work has focused on studying the Kéo and the Nage, two traditional peoples on the island of Flores. It was there, examining the linguistic and ritual roots of popular mythologies, that he came up with the idea that the ebu gogo and other stories of ‘wild men’ could have as a real basis the Homo florisiensis.

However, in recent years, the testimonies about bodies found in different places in the Highlands of the island made him go further. Is it possible that these hominids are not only behind the mythical origin of the stories, but still alive today? Is it possible that in some regions, hidden among monkey populations, they have gone unnoticed by the modern eye?

Forth’s thesis, evidently, is yes.

The curious (intra)history

In 2003, in the Liang Bua cave, a skeleton of about 18,000 years old was discovered. Right there, a year later, another nine individuals were found. They were clearly humanoid, but very small. So much so that the press and the scientists themselves began to refer to them as hobbits: they did not usually exceed 25 kilograms and had a much smaller brain than current humans.

Currently, the most plausible explanation is that, when they arrived at the island of Flores, the Standing man they underwent a very big process of ‘island dwarfism‘. This is something that we have seen in many species and that would explain well the particular characteristics of these humans.

Although at first, it was estimated that these little humans they could have lived until about 12,000 years ago; the truth is that, as new archaeological evidence appears, that date goes further and further back in time. What is clear is that the decline of this species begins with the arrival of the Homo sapiens to East Asia.

Is it possible that they are still alive?


These archaeological data are not the only ones that make Forth’s thesis controversial. The fact is that the island of Flores is a territory the size of the province of Granada where two million people live. Double that in the province of Granada. That is, it is a well-known and densely populated area. There is no doubt that there are areas where a supposed species could hide, but doesn’t seem like it’s even likely.

Much more interesting is the other hypothesis: that the stories that are still told today about external creatures have their origin in creatures that really existed. It is something very difficult to test, but it turns traditional stories into a kind of Iliad (remember that Troy was discovered, precisely, by taking the famous classic poem seriously): a way of looking at our past listening to our present. Come on, they don’t need to be alive so that those little men from Flores don’t teach a lot of things.

Image ! Karen Neoh

Source: Xataka by

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