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Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Real Rock Apes Of Vietnam Cryptid Or Common?

The Vietnam Conflict was a strange and deadly time for both the American troops and the Viet Cong.
Many outlandish tales came out of that jungle as such stories often do. But one of them concerns what Bigfooters refer too as Rock Apes.

The Rock Apes got their name from the American soldiers because of their penchant for throwing rocks. They were rumored to have a mean fast ball.
Bigfooters claim that there are many Rock Ape tales which filtered out of the jungles of Vietnam.
In reality though I have found a handful of tales about strange bipedal monkeys which would step out of the bushes, yell at troops making hostile sounds and one account of an actual battle with hundreds of Rock Apes attacking a newly formed American outpost atop a mountain which was obviously the home of the Rock Apes. The fray is coined the Battle Of Dong Den.
Bigfoot researchers have tried to label these Rock Apes as a Hominid, or cousin of Bigfoot.
I'm going to have to disspell that notion as we have images and a first hand account.
The Battle of Dong Den did occur and it is documented that a large force of Rock Apes did over run the outpost.

However here is the tale..

This portion comes courtesy of Vic Socotra:

In early 1966 it was the site of the infamous "Battle of Dong Den," when elements of Alpha Company were overrun by several hundred Rock Apes.
Maybe the apes resented what had been done to flatten the top of the hill. Maybe they objected to the human presence in their habitat. In any event, the battle of Hill 868 became legendary in the annals of combat.
The Marines on the Hill called the Captain and told him they had movement in the foliage, a possible large formation of Viet Cong.
The Captain said "stay in place. " The fire-base would back them up with, artillery if necessary.
The radio crackled back: "Never mind we have a large number of rock apes all around us."
The Captain reiterated the order to not reveal their position by discharging weapons.
Hill 868: "These rock apes are getting close."
"How close?"
"If he gets the handset he can tell you himself."
"Well, throw rocks at them to chase them away."
Not a good strategy. The Apes have a mean fast-ball.
The Marines on Hill 868 called back: "Shit!! They are throwing back and they throw harder than we do! Request permission to open fire."
There was a loud thump, perhaps that of a sizeable rock impacting the radioman and a scream mixed with curses, growls and various descriptive adjectives in the background.
The Captain: 'No shooting!! Don't give away your position!"
 Hill 664: "Were fixing bayonets…"
Then the radio crackled with the screams of pain and anger from Marines and apes alike.
Hill 664: "Were goin' hand-to-hand!"
Before the Captain could respond, he heard the hill explode with a full-fledged fire fight, one sided, the sounds all of American weapons.
The Captain couldn't get any response from the Hill on the radio, and dispatched a squad to reconnoiter the situation. When they got to Hill 868 they found Marines and rock apes strewn all over.
They called the Captain and told him the rock apes were mostly dead, the Marines were mostly pissed, the rest were unconscious. The encounter left four serious med-evacs, none of them apes.

This next portion comes courtesy of thecryptozoologist.m.webs:

Randy Merrill: OK, I found several accounts of the "Infamous Battle of Dong Den" as well as several other minor encounters. Then I found a pic I think I saw before of you holding up a dead ape. Can you verify for me that it's authentic and that what you're holding is really one of the so-called "Rock Apes"? If so, is that its tail you've got it by? There was some speculation among my fellow cryptos that they were tailless. Thanks Dave!

Dave Doc Snider: Hi Randy, this is the animal that we all referred to as a rock ape. It stood about 4' tall and was outside the wire on Dong Den down in a tree line. I hit it in the forehead with a M-79 round. It might have been another animal whose name... we did not know. I have also googled rock ape and it appears that there is a conspiracy to make it a distant cousin of 'Bigfoot'. hehehhehe We were on a patrol in Antennae Valley and was awakened early in the morning at first light by a terrific racket coming through the trees. Everyone was grabbing their rifles and and fighting belts ready to fight off the battalion of NVA when we discovered it was just a tribe of rockapes swinging through the trees passing us by...................and we didn't have any time to dig rabbit holes.

Randy Merrill: Dave, can I quote you in my most recent post about the Rock Apes? Also, some folks I showed your photo to think that white thing your holding it by is a tail; I think it's some sort of cloth or something. Can you clarify which? It would make a big difference in identifying the species. Thanks again, my friend!

Dave Doc Snider: Randy, anything I say here, please feel free to use. I am holding the tail of the animal. The upper body was brown with a hint of redness. The ass cheeks and tail were white, the outer cheeks and hips were black all the way down to the feet. The forearms were white with black hands. It is hard to determine the facial features, they were messed up by the round.................

Randy Merrill: Excellent description Dave! And thanks for giving me permission to post your comments!

Randy Merrill: Oh, and by the way, are you saying you hit him between the eyes with a grenade launcher??

Dave Doc Snider: Yes, hit him on top of the head, took off the head. In some of the pictures I am seen holding my 16, but have a distinct memory of using the 79. My buddy in California also remembers the 79..............44 years is a long time.

So obviously this is not a hominid but a rather common monkey that allegedly stand on 2 legs at about 4 feet high and throws both rocks and insults alike. Very interesting stuff.

Another thing of interest in the Rock Ape phenomena involves the legendary Minnesota Ice Man...but that's a different story for another time. I have some interesting things to say about that incident as well.

By Mr. Dark

Mr Dark, Jason Russell, Dallas, Texas horror, Texas fright, Dallas horror convention, Jason Brazeal


  1. These are probably big Rhesus monkeys. There is a big population of them on Gibraltar since before WWII. They threw rocks at military personnel too. They're under the protectorate of the British gov't as far as I know.