by Scott Harper
Think about the state of Hawaii, and a lot of things come to mind—beaches, palm trees, pineapples, and luaus. Sasquatch probably don't make the list for most people. However, in recent years there have been sightings.
The earliest one I've found is from 1973. A group of people laid out catfish traps in a river at night. The next morning they went to gather the traps, and the fish. They heard something screaming in nearby bushes. They ran, and encountered an 8-foot-tall, male, hairy being walking toward them. Turning back toward the river, they spotted a 7-foot-tall female coming toward them from that direction—presumably what had been screaming at them moments earlier. The friends changed direction, running away, and leaving the creatures behind to help themselves to the fish in the traps.
It's only in the past few decades that sightings of what we think of as Sasquatch have been coming from the state of Hawaii. Why? The leading thought seems to be that the creatures have stowed away aboard cargo vessels traveling from the mainland United States to Hawaii. Though such ships are inspected in an effort to keep invasive species from reaching the sandy shores of Hawaii, not everything is kept out. Recently, a 15-pound female raccoon was discovered walking across a desk on board a cargo vessel bound for Hawaii. If such an animal can, it's assumed, simply walk on board undiscovered, why couldn't an intelligent, curious creature such as a Sasquatch sneak aboard once in a while?
Historically, though, in keeping with the main theme of these articles, Hawaii has other things to take the place of Sasquatch. These are called the Menehune (meh-neh-HOO-neh), or Little People. They're said to be short-statured humanoid beings, roughly 2-feet-tall, and hairy. They are said to hide in the lush forests during the day, and only come out at night.
While there are many who do not believe in the Menehune, it's interesting that a census from 1820 listed 65 people as Menehune. And many structures are credited to having been built by the Menehune—roads, ponds, temples, dams, etc. It seems possible that the Menehune were on the islands before modern man, and may still exist as a very small population, hiding out, not wanting to be rediscovered.
One hypothesis is that the Menehune were, or are, actually modern-day descendents of the so-called "hobbits" of the island of Flores. Skeletal remains of Homo Floresienses were discovered on Flores in 2003. Some people think that they had, at some point in the past, migrated to the Hawaiian Islands. Once there, they became known as the Menehune.
Despite a tiny handful of modern-day sightings, though, nothing much historically seems to be found regarding the Menehune beyond a handful of legends that get told over and over again. Strangely, nothing at all regarding the Menehune seems to appear prior to the late 1700s. Is this evidence of arrival of the beings on the islands then? Is this cause to believe that the Menehune are, as so many people think, nothing more than a myth? Or has the apparent arrival of Sasquatch on the islands had something to do with the disappearance of the Menehune in recent years?
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