In 2001 during the month of May, a wave of fear was passed among the residents of New Delhi as a strange humanly sized monkey was spotted there. Early reports claimed that the mysterious monkey has attacked humans leaving scars and ultimately dead bodies. The mysterious creature was called the Monkey Man by the residents. Many international agencies, police, news media were wakened up to trace down the mystery behind the Monkey Man.
The description of Monkey Man varied from person to person and was obscure. The reason behind it could be that all the sightings were made under the dark sky and before anyone could have a good look at it or capture it, the Monkey Man would leap away into the darkness. Some people described Monkey Man as a human-sized monkey with glowing red eyes and long arms with sharp claws or even metal gloves just like Freddy Krueger. Others, however, described the Monkey-man as having a more vulpine snout and being up to eight feet tall, and muscular, it would leap from building to building. While some even stated that the Monkey Man wore a helmet, leather jacket, sunglasses and rode a motorcycle. However, most of the people claimed that they have only seen a shadow of something. Thousands of rumors about the description of the Monkey Man were spread.
Police Officials And News Reporters On Monkey Man
Indian media aired this news in the most dramatic way possible in order to gain TRP. This created a sense of fear among the public which triggered the demand for more police security. But police officials had no idea of how to deal with such a bizarre situation as they have never handled a case something like this. In order to solve the case as early as possible police officials set up prize money of 50000 rupees (1000$) for the person who will help them to catch the Monkey Man. Instead of getting a positive result, the police officials started to get thousands of crank calls. People started to call police officials and gave them false clues just to win 50000 rupees. After the set up of prize money, more sightings were reported and more attention-seeking description of the Monkey Man was also reported.
As days passed the panic increased among the individuals, they took laws into their own hands. Groups of people started patrolling the streets at the night. They armed themselves with firebombs, sticks, and whatever they could gather. One day a van driver was heavily beaten by a mob as they thought him to be the Monkey Man. He was hospitalized with major injuries.
Victims Of Monkey Man
A crazy thing about the case was that there was no real evidence of the mysterious attacker. Without any real evidence like photographs, footprints the main attention was now on the forensic team. According to forensic reports, the injuries were not caused by the Monkey man and it was all hallucination.
All the injuries i.e. scratches, rashes caused by the encounter with Monkey Man were similar to those caused by rat or dog bites. People were compelled by seeing the photos and videos of injuries that were widely shared across media platforms.
After having a closer look at the injuries a different story arrived that some people had faked injury just to gain media attention while others reframed their existing injury as the injury caused by the Monkey Man. In August 2003 a journal article by S.K. Verma and D.K. Srivastava of Medical Sciences filed a report based on the Monkey Man attack. In this report, it was written that between May 10 and 25, 397 cases were recorded out of which only fifty-one cases were detailed enough for medical examination.
About two-thirds of the victims of the attack were male and were aged between twenty and thirty years. The majority of the victim belonged to the poor section of society, they were mostly the residents of East Delhi and nearby. They all reported the act between midnight and 6 AM. One of the most striking features that were observed by the researchers was that the victims had wounds caused by a pointed object. About 88% had linear wounds while the rest displayed deep tear wounds.
Adding to the mob attacks mentioned earlier there were also many accidents caused by mobs while escaping from the Monkey Man. A man fell off the rooftop after spotting a mysterious creature that could be possibly the Monkey Man. Also, there was a pregnant woman who fell down from the staircase and died after she heard about the Monkey Man spotted nearby. All these accidents happened in the dark. Lately, the local power authorities decided not to switch out the lights routine. In some parts, the poor class was also allowed to sleep inside the apartments.
Eventually, the injuries were not evident enough to get to an outcome or determine that it was Monkey Man. Though the paranormal experts still believed that there was a mysterious creature or possibly the Monkey Man.
Social, Cultural, and Environmental Factors On Monkey Man
Back in those years, any sound in darkness was seen as a threat of an attack. People begin to stay surrounded by other people during the blackouts. The socioeconomic factors that contributed to these attacks were illiteracy and lack of education. If the situation is to be compared to the sightings of Chupacabra in Puerto Rico, there is one similarity to be found which is that the rumors spread only among the poor.
Considering the physical appearance of the Monkey man, the religious aspects were also taken into account since it was believed that the creature was half man-half monkey, reminiscent of Lord Hanuman, a Hindu god who is widely worshipped in Asian countries.
A few commented that the creature was indeed a robot that was being controlled by someone at the comfort of his couches in order to create panic and confusion among the police to use it as a cover for some major assassination.
Mass Sociogenic Illness And The Monkey Man
After the complete analysis based on the Monkey Man has the all evidence of Mass Psychogenic Illness (MPI) or Mass Hysteria. Sometimes Mass Hysteria is often misinterpreted as a sickness that sufferers are making up. A manifestation of the illness is verifiable and does not originate from an imaginary or unrelated event. The issue is instead what is causing the illness – whether it is from an external environmental contaminant or a form of suggestion-driven social contagion.
People can easily become affected by social contagion during times of high stress and anxiety, especially during times of tight quarters. Symptoms of MPI can differ widely in context and manifestation but are usually characterized by sudden onset of dramatic (but clinically insignificant) symptoms. In addition to these underlying causes, there are also psychological and/or environmental stressors, such as workplace discipline or boredom (in this case, a heatwave).
Usually, there is some trigger, such as an ambiguous smell, sight, or sound. Social contagiousness is one hallmark of the condition-that is, it spreads like a virus from person to person, usually to people the victim has come in contact with directly, like a friend, family member, co-worker, or classmate. People who belong to the lower class or one who lacks social support and is cut off from the social circle are affected by mass hysteria. Even though the Monkey Man incident is bizarre, it is not the only one of its kind; in fact, it is best understood as part of a larger phenomenon known as Phantom Attackers. They are enigmatic creatures with strange dresses up and appearances. They are usually males and use to intimidate people. One such incident includes a dark strange cloaked figure reported on the streets of London between 1830 to 1870. It used to threaten mostly women and children and was named Spring-Heeled Jack by the residents.
Even though details of all the incidents varied vastly they all have one thing in common all the incidents had proper sightings reported by victims to the security officials and the incident was highly highlighted by the new media and individuals. Also, the police officials were criticized for not catching the Phantom Attackers. But later the incident faded away with no arrest or resolution. Later after all the investigations, it was declared that no such bizarre Phantom Attackers existed just like in the case of Monkey Man.
The Downfall OF Monkey Man
Throughout all the terror of Monkey Man, police officers did their best. They worked day and night for the security of the people and increased patrolling. Police Officials did all this not because they thought that they were actually going to catch the Monkey Man but rather they wanted to stop the panic among the people and stop the criticism they were facing. Police officials received thousands of crank calls and false rumors so in order to stop all these police officials threatened people with fines and jail which resulted in the decline of the pranksters and false rumors.
Even those who had real sightings feared to reach out to police without any strong evidence. This led to the disinterest of the media on the case and lately, the news about the Monkey Man declined which in turn led to fewer sightings. This whole incident lasted about two weeks, from May 10 to May 25. Scientists and psychologists who recognized the cause predicted the pattern. Most cases of mass hysteria are self-limited, with a bell-shaped rise and fall in report numbers, usually marked by a sharp increase followed by a rapid decline.