By Michael Jordan
The young hunter crouched on the makeshift platform that he had constructed in the tree, several feet above the forest floor. It had been a good night. He had already killed two labbas and was optimistic that he could bag at least one more before the night was over.
He was only 22 years old, but Joseph Brown, from the Amerindian Village of Santa Mission, was already a seasoned hunter. In fact, he had been hired to hunt ‘wild meat’ for a legal firm in Georgetown.
It was around eight o’clock and, from his experience, he knew that this was the hour that labbas roamed the forest.
Brown was about to clamber down the tree to pick up the second dead labba when he heard a strange sound below, somewhere behind him. And the sound was heading in his direction.
Keeping his 16-gauge shotgun at the ready, Joseph Brown switched on his torchlight and trained the beam in the direction from which the sound had come.
To his astonishment, by the light of the torch, he saw, not an animal as he had expected, but what looked like a tall man.
The ‘man’ was about six feet tall and was standing still, just staring at him.
Joseph Brown flashed his torchlight on and off three times, as a signal to the ‘man’ on the ground. He assumed that the ‘man’ would respond by speaking. The strange ‘man’ made no sound.
And then it suddenly dawned on the hunter that, besides his silence, there was something else very strange about the ‘man’ on the ground.
Joseph Brown realized that the ‘man’s’ eyes were glowing in the dark, the way that a cat’s would.
Brown sensed that he was in grave danger.
He immediately trained his 16-gauge shotgun on the stranger and squeezed the trigger. The silence was shattered by the boom of Brown’s shotgun.
Sure that he had hit his target, the now terrified hunter, still clutching his shotgun, scrambled down from the tree and ran all the way to his home, some two miles away, leaving the dead labbas behind.
He immediately told his wife about his strange encounter in the forest.
The following day, he also informed other men in the village about the ‘man’ he had shot.
Taking about ten friends with him, Joseph Brown returned to the spot where he had killed the labbas.
According to Mr. Brown, the men observed splotches of blood on the ground. The trail of blood ended at the Kamuni Creek, a few miles away. However, there was no trace of the ‘man’ that the hunter had shot.
Brown said that he also confided in the attorney who had employed him to supply wild meat. According to the hunter, the attorney cautioned him not to divulge this information to the Police, since Brown could get into trouble over his strange story.
“He said: ‘You must stop hunting…I had a bad dream about you.’”
But that, he said, was not the end of the matter.
Brown said that about six months later, he was with some other villagers in an area about two miles from the Kamuni Creek, when they stumbled on a skeleton that appeared to be that of a human. However, they found no trace of the skull.
“We wanted to find the head. The head would have told us what it was,” Brown said.
The villagers concluded that the skeleton belonged to the strange ‘man’ that Joseph Brown had shot.
“We waited to see if there would be any reports of anyone missing from the area but we got no reports,” Brown said.
Eventually, some of the villagers eventually concluded that Brown had had a close encounter with a ‘massacurraman’, a creature that features prominently in Amerindian folklore.
The ‘massacurraman is said to be a hairy, man-like creature that inhabits waterways and sometimes attacks vessels.
According to Brown, at around that time, there were reports of a strange man stalking some villagers.
Occasionally, also, dogs and livestock would mysteriously vanish from the village. This was also blamed on the ‘creature.’
But what does Joseph Brown believe?
Now 71 years of age, Mr. Brown concludes that the thing he shot was not human.
According to him, he was using buckshot that night. He explained that buckshot could stop a ‘wild cow’ (tapir) in its tracks.
He pointed out that the ‘man’ he had shot had apparently fled over two miles before succumbing to his injury. Brown believes that no human could have run that distance with a buckshot injury.
Although he is no longer a young man, Mr. Brown still occasionally hunts. Since then, he has killed jaguars and other dangerous animals that inhabit Guyana’s jungles. But he surely hopes that he never again has an encounter like the one that occurred at Santa Mission so many years ago…
If you have information on any unusual case, please contact us at our Lot 24 Saffon Street office.
We can be reached on telephone numbers 22-58465, 58491 or 22-58458.
You can also contact Michael Jordan on his email address: [email protected]
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