Police artist's impression of the Monkey Man of New Delhi
The Monkey Man of New Delhi is a strange monkey-like creature that was appearing at night and attacking people in New Delhi, India in 2001.
Eyewitness accounts were often inconsistent, but tend to describe the creature as about four feet (120 cm) tall, covered in thick black fur, with metal helmet and claws, glowing red eyes and three buttons on its chest. Other have described it as a bandaged figure, or as a helmeted thing.
The Monkey man is strong and agile, can see in the dark and said to be able to shapeshift (into a feline).
Many people reported being scratched, and two (by some reports, three) people even died when they leapt from the tops of buildings or fell down stairwells in a panic caused by what they thought was the attacker. At one point, exasperated police even issued artist's impression drawings in an attempt to catch the creature. Many people today still believe this "monkey man" continues to haunt the streets.
- On May 13 2001, 15 people suffered injuries ranging from bruises to bites and scratches.
- On May 15, a pregnant woman fell down some stairs fleeing after neighbors shouted that they had seen the Monkey Man.
- A four foot tall wandering Hindu sadhu was beaten up by an angry mob who mistook him for the Monkey Man.
- On May 18, a van driver was set upon and sustained multiple fractures in another case of mistaken identification as Monkey Man.
- Further sightings were reported in Kanpur in February 2002 and New Delhi in July 2002, the latter describing a monkey-like machine that sparkled red and blue lights.
Three thousand extra men in Delhi were assigned by police, as of May 21, to track down the Monkey Man. Police also offered a reward equaling $1,065 U.S. dollars (in rupees) for the creature's capture. However, the creature has never been caught or even photographed.
Villagers in Assam have been terrorized by a wolflike Bear Man. As of May 27, more than a dozen people claimed they were attacked by it. The creature is alleged to make itself invisible before its attacks, and it is said to vanish when trapped in a ray of light. The Army, after investigation, could not substantiate any of these peoples' claims. The Assam Science Society, likewise, dismissed any such creature's existence in the district.
- Theories on the nature of the Monkey Man ranged from being the Hindu god Hanuman, to an Indian version of Bigfoot, to a cyborg that could be deactivated by throwing water on the motherboard concealed under fur on its chest.
- Monkeys run wild in New Delhi and on the outskirts of the city. Sometimes they pounce on unsuspecting pedestrians or enter houses.
- Some consider it as an example of collective hysteria triggered by illiterate rural immigrants, a high level of superstition, and the fact that much of the population slept in the streets and on roofs well within the reach of real monkeys. Their fears may be exacerbated by sweltering heat and darkness due to electricity cuts. The scratches sustained by victims were considered most likely to have been caused by cats, rats or small monkeys
- A senior police officer of the Delhi police, quoted in the Daily Pioneer circa May 16, said, "The whole drama was very carefully enacted by the anti-social elements who wanted to test the nerves of the Delhi Police." They blamed this alleged sabotage on Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence, for whom the "mischief mongers" were reportedly causing the terror. "It seems a group of people in masks are terrorizing people," the Statesman newspaper quoted an unidentified police officer as saying.