Teacher, teacher, there’s a hairy creature!

A textbook case of mass hysteria/mass psychogenic illness.


Teachers at Mathiba Primary School in Maun had to abruptly end classes last week Friday after students reported seeing a hairy little creature.

Regional Director for North West District in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development, Acro Maseko said that they had to send students back home after Standard 6 and 7 students claimed to have seen ‘a black little hairy creature which resembled a human being.’

Maseko further said that although teachers did not see anything, students screamed and ran amok while others fainted which made it hard for classes to continue with classes on that day.

Ah, yes. It happened around noon. Ten students were taken to a local clinic to be checked out. No harm done. And the school will use prayers and have a meeting with the parents to end such events. They mention bringing in professional councillors, which sounds like an excellent idea. It would be good to know how to nip these events in the bud before they get out of hand.

  10 comments for “Teacher, teacher, there’s a hairy creature!

  1. Chris Howard
    May 26, 2013 at 4:22 PM

    Just for the record, I’ve never been to Maun… that’s my story, and I’m sticking to it!

  2. Nos482
    May 26, 2013 at 6:29 PM

    Having absolutely no idea where Maun was my first thought was ‘rat standing on it’s hindlegs’.
    But after some google-fu I realized Manu is in Botswana…which has at least three different kinds of monkeys -.-
    But then again, I’d probably freak too if I saw a chacma baboon. They can be quite vicious.

  3. May 26, 2013 at 6:48 PM

    It occurred to me, reading this, that the kids might well have seen “a black little hairy creature which resembled a human being.” A bit of poking around on Wikipedia confirms that the Okovango Delta is home to a species of bush baby, several species of Chlorocebus (“vervet”) monkeys, and the Chacma baboon. My money’s on Chlorocebus.

    Maun is reasonably urban (population ~50K), and as the center of the area tourist industry, has a higher than average standard of living. My guess is that the kids are probably no more familiar with the local wildlife outside their city than I was with US wildlife growing up in Indiana in a similarly sized town. I know that if a white-tailed deer or a raccoon walked up to my classroom when I was that age, it would’ve been pretty disruptive.

    In short, I think the problem may be superstitious adults more than hysterical kids — I don’t think it’s pathological to claim to have seen a black, hairy humanoid in a part of the world where black, hairy humanoids are common in the wild. Although, a wild monkey that wanders into the city might well be sick with an infectious disease, and should probably be tracked down.

  4. May 26, 2013 at 9:44 PM

    I often put the place name in the tags.

  5. John Frick
    May 27, 2013 at 1:22 AM

    And then there’s also the fact that over 100 people in WV in 1966-67 saw a 7 foot tall winged creature with glowing red eyes to remind us that strange encounters with beings that should not exist do happen in this crazy world of ours.

  6. May 27, 2013 at 2:15 PM

    I was and occasionally still am a teacher, and the words “students screamed and ran amok while others fainted which made it hard for classes to continue” describe pretty accuratley the appearance of a bee in a classroom, let alone some sort of crypto-homunculus.

    @John Frick

    I take it you mean the mothman (*cough*owl*cough*) I’ve been picked up on this recently, so let me say two things. Firstly, haha! Yes! Great satire! People often claim to see things that don’t exist!

    Okay, secondly: if that wasn’t satire, then I’d tentatively question the words “fact” and “saw.”

  7. May 27, 2013 at 2:17 PM

    Ahem. “Accurately.” I beg your pardon.

  8. John Frick
    May 27, 2013 at 3:00 PM

    Rich, I don’t doubt that people have seen something incredibly strange in the area where Mothman was seen. In 2004, me, my brother and the former fire chief of Point Pleasant saw a formation of 4 orb like UFOs like thoses seen in Mexio city here:


    Now I don’t know enough about air currents to say if what is shown in this video are balloons or not, so they may be balloons. But the 4 orbs we saw were exactly equidistant apart, and were oriented in a perfectly straight line up and down (never wavering from that exact traight line). They then rotated onto their side, looking like this ” . . . . ” staying in an exactly straight line and equidistant as they did so (imagine having a straight see through stick going up into the air vertically with 4 white dots painted on it then slowly tipping it to a horizontal position). The orbs then moved completely into a perfect square, then the top orbs and bottom orbs merged together to form a – ” : ” -one orb over the other, they then drifted out of sight. Of course I don’t expect you to believe me because you clearly don’t think such an event is possible, but me and 2 other people saw it so I know I wasn’t seeing things, and I KNOW for myself that incredibly strange, unexplainable things do happen. We all saw the same thing and none of us could explain it in terms or balloons, blimps, birds or known aircraft. I realize that this is one of those things that you have to see to believe, but once you do see you do believe that things exist that are way outside of the realm of our current scientific knowledge.

  9. May 27, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Okay. I’m going to argue with what you say, but just so you know, I don’t mean any of this snarkily; just so this doesn’t turn into internet rage.

    1. So we’re not talking about mothman, just odd things that have been seen in the area where the mothman was seen? What sort of area? How close? And how are they related? How does a seven foot tall figure (with or without arms, depending on when you ask the eye witnesses) link to lights in the sky? If they’re not the same thing why don’t you “doubt” that people have seen strange things? Are all these strange things connected because it’s the same area? Do you believe the mothman sightings because you saw something different but a bit weird in roughly the same place?

    2. I know it’s tempting to give credence to weird events by citing authority, but the ‘former fire chief’ is just as prone to inaccuracies as any other eye witness, and be just as unable to explain things as any regular person. It doesn’t matter that he’s a former fire chief.

    3. I wouldn’t say that “such an event [isn’t] possible” – I believe you saw something, I believe that you felt it was inexplicable. If three people saw it, then it was probably there. I’m quite prepared to believe that. I have doubts about your interpretation of the event, though, certainly. I’ve walked into a room and seen a cat when there was no cat there at all. I could conclude that a) I’m insane, b) the cat is somehow projecting itself astrally from some other location or dimension and is flickering in and out of my reality, or c) my brain made a mistake in interpreting what I ‘saw.’ I don’t mean by this that you imagined what you saw; I mean interpretation can be questionable.

    4. The video. I’m not seeing anything in the video that looks like a mass fly past of UFOs, other than UFOs in the most literal sense. They’re objects, flying, and I don’t know what they are. I know nothing at all about their height, the wind conditions on the day, or even what they really look like – they essentially seem to be single pixels when the video gets zoomed in. (But in the spirit of hearing hoofbeats and thinking horses not unicorns, they do seem to be just sort of floating rather than flying, and stretched out as if distributed along an air current.)

    5. “None of us could explain it… I realize that this is one of those things that you have to see to believe, but once you do see you do believe that things exist that are way outside of the realm of our current scientific knowledge.”

    Why, though? Why does something that you personally can’t explain have to therefore be “outside the realm of our current scientific knowledge”? It’s such a big leap to make, to go from ‘I couldn’t explain it’ to ‘it’s alien lifeforms in their spaceships’ or even just ‘it cannot be explained by science.’

  10. June 15, 2013 at 5:12 AM

    “They mention bringing in professional councillors, which sounds like an excellent idea.”

    I’m not sure how a bunch of bureaucrats are going to help. Counsellors, on the other hand… 😉

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