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Home >The Legend of El Ucumar


The Legend of El Ucumar


The Ucu, sometimes called Ucumar or Ukumar-zupai, is a reported Bigfoot like creature thought to live in the mountainous regions in and around Chili and Argentina. The Ucu is described to be the size of a large dog and walks erect, it is also thought to prefer the more tropical regions of the Andes mountain range. According to natives the Ucu likes to eat payo, a plant with an inside similar to cabbage, and emits a sound like uhu, uhu, uhu, which Ivan T. Sanderson compared to the noises reported by Albert Ostman, who claimed to have been held captive by a family of Sasquatch in 1924.

One of the first documented sightings of the Ucu took place in May of 1958 when a group of campers in Rengo, 50 miles from Santiago, Chili, reported that they saw what they could only describe as an ape man. Police were called out to investigate; they took reports from the witnesses, one of which was Carlos Manuel Soto who swore that he had seen an enormous man covered with hair in the Cordilleras, one of the Santiago’s 6 provinces.

In 1956, geologist Audio L. Pich found seventeen inch long human like footprints on the Argentina side of the Andes Mountains at a height of over sixteen thousand feet. The following year similar tracks where discovered in the province of La Salta, Argentina. Not long after, residents of Tolor Grande informed newspaper reporters of a nightly chorus of what they described as eerie calls emanating from the near by Curu-Curu Mountains. The cries, which where attributed by the locals to a creature known as the Ukumar-zupai, frightened the community for some time, and according to anthropologist Pablo Latapi Ortega, traditions of these giant ape men continue to this very day in Argentina.

The Evidence

To date no physical evidence of the Ucu has been brought to light, for evidence which pertains to a similar creature please refer to the Unknown Explorers page on Bigfoot.

The Sightings

In 1958, Carlos Manuel Soto witnessed what he described as an enormous man covered with hair in the Cordilleras, which is one of Santiago’s 6 provinces.

The Stats – (Where applicable)

• Classification: Hominid • Size: 5 – 7 feet tall • Weight: Unknown • Diet: Paya and other local vegetation • Location: The Andes Mountains • Movement: Bipedal Walking • Environment: The more tropical regions of the mountains

Additional information:

Giant hominid of South America.

Etymology: After its ululating call.

Variant names: Sachayoj, Ucu, Ukumar-zupai (in Tolar Grande). In Bolivia and Peru, the spectacled bear is known as Ucamari or Jucamari.

Physical description: Half man, half bear. Covered in long, black hair. Bearded. Small eyes. Large hands and feet. Opposed toes.

Behavior: Bipedal. Makes eerie, ululating calls (“uhu, uhu”) at night. Eats wild fruit and honey. Said to abduct women for breeding.

Tracks: Humanlike. Length, 17 inches.

Habitat: Mountains, caves, and rocky areas.

Distribution: Tolar Grande, Mount Umahuaca, El Chorro, and Baritú National Park in Salta Province, Caliliegua in Jujuy Province, Chaco Province, all in Argentina.

Possible explanation: The Spectacled bear (Tremarctos ornatus) is found in the Andes as far south as northern Argentina. Its occasional forays into Argentina could contribute to Ucumar folklore.

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