Crocodile returns body after summoning ritual

Magical Realist

Valued Senior Member

"UNITED NEWS INTERNATIONAL (UNI) — Locals of an Indonesian village believe that a crocodile returned the body of a dead man after being summoned by a witch doctor.

The man, identified as Syarifuddin went missing after a crocodile attacked him as he bathed in a river on July 18.

Villagers contacted police and initiated a search but were unable to find Syarifuddin’s body.

They then contacted a local “crocodile charmer” who performed a ritual to supposedly summon the crocodile to return the body.

When a crocodile appeared along the river near the village, carrying the uneaten body in it’s jaws, villagers recorded the bizarre sight on video.

The croc left the body near the banks of the river after being driven off by villagers yelling and throwing sticks and stones.

Video of the return went viral in Indonesia, leading many people to believe the ritual had worked."
Warning: not for the faint-hearted..

I officially examined the video and it appears to be authentic. Note the reaction of the crowd. The story itself is reported in several online news sources and appears to be genuine. I am at a loss for explaining it. What do you think?
Hard to say for sure without a medical professional examining the body to approximate time/date of death - however, that body looks like it could have been dead several days (though I'd expect it to be more bloated and paler being waterlogged so long, but it may not have been in the water the entire time) - what I'm curious to know is why the Croc didn't eat/destroy the body - a typical crocodile death roll would easily remove a limb, but it appears they were all there?

Very curious indeed. I would like to know more about this supposed "crocodile charmer" - the only thing that comes to mind when I think of "charming" a predator like that is, well, food. I think we can rule out "trained" crocodile early on, since to my knowledge they are not exactly of the, hm, mindset to allow humans to domesticate them
It has been reported that you can cure warts by killing a chicken in a grave yard at midnight while eating a twinky.

Geeze, these threads are so goddamn stupid. I am done so that I don't start have my IQ drop from just reading it.....
A bit more on it:

A crocodile was just filmed returning a man’s dead body to landafter being supposedly “summoned” by an alligator witch, has learned.

The deceased man, Syarifuddin, was reportedly bathing in the Berau river this past Tuesday with friends when the alligator dragged him underwater.

“He was just in the water and the crocodile humped at him and took him,” said friend Andi Resmin, who was with the victim at the time.

According to local resident Eet: if a person “bathes naked, they will be definitely be eaten by crocodiles, for sure. If they wear clothes they will not be ambushed.”

Relatives desperately tried to rescue them, but even police were unable to find the body. Villagers then called a witch doctor, who allegedly specializes in “crocodile witchcraft.”

He apparently cast a spell on the creature, pleading for it to bring back the man, alive.

The incredible video shows the alligator swimming up to the surface clutching a deceased Syarifuddin by the leg and pushing him to shore.

Two other alligators emerged with it.

It was “very weird,” said Police chief Inspector Talisayan Faisal Hamid.

Villagers seem to think the crocodile was guarding the victim’s body underwater, since his body was technically unharmed.

Local media reported that a 41-year-old man named Syarifuddin was bathing in a river in Berau, East Kalimantan - about 1,500 km north-east of Jakarta - when a two-meter long crocodile snatched him and took him further into the river.

A friend who was at the scene when the incident happened on Tuesday reported the accident to local police, but Syarifuddin could not be found. The next morning, local villagers asked for help from a "crocodile charmer".

After the charmer preformed a ritual, a crocodile appeared with a dead body in its mouth, leaving it near the riverbank, reports said. It is not known if the crocodile which delivered the body was the same crocodile which killed the man.
A crowd gathered on the riverbank and recorded the bizarre incident with their mobile phones - spawning several viral videos that have become the talk of Indonesian social media. Despite the tragedy, many users praised the crocodile which returned the body.

"If the crocodile intended to eat a human, there would be no flesh left," said one. "Some animals have good intentions."

Others were blaming the victim for the tragedy. "Humans should not go to where the wild animals live," said one user going by the name "A-Z Colour".
In a country where professions like "rain man", "ghost whisperer" and "crocodile charmer" are common, the inexplicable event also received many comments with supernatural sentiments. One person called the crocodile which returned the body a "friendly incarnation from old times." and user Amelia Putry Jimy Daher said that while normally predators will eat human flesh, "this crocodile might not be just a regular crocodile. It sounds mystical."

Huh... freaky.
It has been reported that you can cure warts by killing a chicken in a grave yard at midnight while eating a twinky.

Geeze, these threads are so goddamn stupid. I am done so that I don't start have my IQ drop from just reading it.....

Lol, I get where you are coming from Origin - while I would need some heavy evidence to support that this was actually the result of black magic, it is, none the less, one helluva thing that the croc A) brought the body back B) didn't destroy said body and C) brought it back just after some ritual. Easily could be coincidental, but even I have to admit - that would be some eerily coincidental timing for all that.

Now, if this "crocodile charmer" could make them go fetch sticks or the like on a regular basis... well, then I'd be downright worried... a man with the ability to control an army of crocodiles... goodbye florida! (Well, those are gators I think... )
[...] I officially examined the video and it appears to be authentic. Note the reaction of the crowd. The story itself is reported in several online news sources and appears to be genuine. I am at a loss for explaining it. What do you think?

Accounts of "crocodile charmers" in the 19th century describe them as having a predictive grasp of crocodile habits, and a knack for manipulating and even riding them (the superficial incantations were purely to impress onlookers). So I suppose there's the possibility of training one. Seems quite a stretch that it could be such a "pet" that it would resist damaging slash devouring the human victim and protect the corpse from other predators. They're not confined to living prey -- some crocodiles have a strong sense of smell that can detect a rotting carcass from kilometers away.

Plus the overall set-up would require extraordinary clockwork. "Only works in movies" outlandish:

Deliberately have the croc snatch a bather (or take advantage of a trained croc happening to arbitrarily do that).

Condition the beast to secure the prize somewhere or even take it directly to the charmer for storage.

Have an accomplice among the community's residents who expressly advocates to others "Let's go to the crocodile charmer to get the body retrieved!". And that specific one if he's not the sole reptile-meister around.

Then privately "summon" the trained croc or one among a schooled group of them beforehand to take the corpse and keep it at ready / nearby to dispense when the charmer performs the ritual at the riverbank.

What would be the purpose for such an elaborate game? Publicity, advertising, enhance the crocodile chamer's reputation to an all-time high?
  • Richard Boyle: Hunting crocodiles in small outriggers, as depicted in the engraving, is not mentioned by any of the writers, but other means are, most remarkably those employing ‘crocodile-charmers’. Comparable to the ‘shark-charmers’ who ‘protected’ the divers at the Pearl Fishery, they appear to have existed throughout South- and Southeast Asia: in “Crocodiles and Humans in Southeast Asia: Four Centuries of Co-existence and Confrontation” (2007), Peter Boomgard discusses the crocodile-charmers of the Philippines in detail.

    [J. Emerson] Tennent describes the apparently amazing feats of these individuals in the following anecdote: “A native gentleman who resided for a long time at Caltura [Kalutara], tells me that in the rivers which flow into the sea, both there and at Bentotte [Bentota], crocodiles are frequently caught in corrals, formed of stakes driven into the ground of shallow water, and so constructed that when the reptile enters to seize the bait placed within, the aperture closes behind, and secures him. A professional crocodile-charmer then enters, muttering a spell, and with one end of a stick pats the creature gently on the head for a time. The operator then boldly mounts astride its shoulders, and continues to soothe it with one hand, whilst with the other he contrives to pass a rope under its body, by which it is at last dragged on shore.”

    Crocodile-charmers also ‘protected’ travellers, using a water-disturbance technique that Forbes explains thus: “When a party has to pass through deep water, crocodile-charmers are always successful in bringing their employers along without accidents. Such conjurors as I have seen took care that the whole party had assembled on the bank, while the incantations, accompanied by splashing of water, were in process; then, when the crocodiles were effectively muzzled, all rushed in together, thus creating sufficient disturbance to frighten the cowardly slothful reptiles, and to show that there may be safety as well as confidence from the manoeuvres of a crocodile-charmer.”
    --Crocodile tales from the 19th century... (Sunday Times)
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Here is a crocodile charmer riding a croc. Seems more like a trick than real magic.

Kids once rode the alligators at this reptile farm:

c. 1920s - The California alligator park

Training crocodiles is apparently a novel idea to many westerners; but perhaps not to these scattered, centuries-old practitioners and handlers of the East. Still, even if the whole village contributed to staging such a videotaped event, there's surely something illegal about using a dead human for that, even in the land of Suharto's historic purge / genocide. (Barring the corpse being a synthetic prop from an Alien-101 FX cinema shop.)

  • [...] They are, Follett says, extremely intelligent creatures; certain breeds have specific character traits and each animal has its unique personality. [...] "It's just like training a dog," Follett explains. "Except, well, it's a bit harder." Until 10 years ago, training crocodiles wasn't really a concept people thought much about. "The purpose of training is to give the animals enrichment for their brain and to help keep their body active and engaged, and it's also for our own safety," Follett explains. Trained crocs are generally much less aggressive, which means Follett and his full-time keeper, Jamie, can go inside their cages to clean and maintain equipment, as well as allowing vets to take voluntary blood tests when they're ill – though that is not often.

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According to one text account, this "witch doctor" / "crocodile charmer" wasn't even around when the croc returned the body (and possibly not sighted at the riverbank at any time beforehand). So if some villagers merely believe via rumor that such a person had been consulted hours or the evening before, then that significantly disparages both the bogus "set-up" and the coincidence possibilities (no charmer to even erroneously correlate the event causally to). Leaves just unusual crocodile behavior, which is likely to happen sooner or later as the victims accumulate over the years / decades.
Assumption : Video is genuine.

1. It is highly improbable that a hungry croc will carry it's food like this and drop near the bank.

2. Or could it be that croc was full and he had no idea what to do with his prize, so he just carried it in vague direction and that happened to be towards the bank?

3. The theory of croc charmer would have credence only if the charmer was present there performing some chanting/stunt. The croc would have come forward with the corpse and drop it there and wait for the further instructions from the charmer (kind of going away).

The video is not at all suggestive of any guided or tranced move and thus I am inclined to believe that Sr #2 is the most likely explanation.
Did anybody mention there's no video, which is cool, of the charmer?


I meant the video it self is cool.
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Did anybody mention there's no video, which is cool, of the charmer?

Late and indirectly: #9. Couldn't get the vid to even work in the initial round (busy with too many users, maybe). The BBC article described the situation as: "After the charmer preformed a ritual, a crocodile appeared with a dead body in its mouth, leaving it near the riverbank...".

Not only did the croc not appear just after the ritual, it's unclear as non-heresay that such a charmer was actually recruited, period -- whether performing the spell antics at the riverbank at an earlier time or at his/her residence.

Plus this character, if real, sounds more and more like a generalized (bogus) thaumaturge than the traditional crocodile charmers who reputedly had specialized experience handling the aquatic reptiles; and predictive knowledge of their habits. (Again, the latter's use of mumbo-jumbo was to impress customers and deflect attention from the real skills and occasional conditioning / training tricks -- keep it esoteric, keep the trade secrets safe).

:EDIT: I meant the video it self is cool.

Yep, prehistoric-looking things either moving / carrying or thrashing human meat about in their jaws usually are. ;-) Would have to go back a few months to that bulging python being slit open to remove the Indonesian man that was its victim to beat that.

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