This took place in the early 1960s. It happened to my father and his elder sister. He was around 4-5 years old and she, 12-13 years. This is my aunt who shared the story. They are more than 20 years old now.
At that time, my father was living with his family (his father, his mother and his sister) in his native village in Africa (Ivory Coast, West Africa). It is a small village of around 1500-2000 people.
When they were not attending school, my father and my aunt accompanied their parents to their field. So to explain a bit in our country, it's not like in Europe or the USA where the fields are nearby farms. There, the fields are located far from villages, sometimes at 5-10 km in the dense forest. So every morning except Sunday, villagers are walking 2-3 hours through the rainforest to reach their fields, work, and around 4:00 pm, they make their way back, again through the forest to return to the village before nightfall, carrying either food or firewood for cooking. There is no road, just narrow trails in the forest. It can be scary, but usually, it's pretty safe if you stay on the trails. Sometimes you can meet snakes, foxes, monkeys, large birds, and other wildlife. Before, there were elephants and big cats, but they are no longer around because of deforestation and poaching.
Well that day, my father and his elder sister accompanied their father (my grandfather) in the field. Everything was normal as usual. On their way back, since grandpa was carrying more loads, he walked more slowly, so my aunt and my father who carried smaller things walked faster and pulled ahead of him. My aunt walked in front of my father and they did not speak, eager to get home. The trip went off without a hitch. Suddenly, at one point my aunt had a strange feeling of emptiness behind her and she turned to see that her little brother was not behind her.
Surprised, she started shouting the name of my father ... he didn't answer.
She started to panic. He should've been behind her. So she threw her charge and began to run by retracing her steps, while shouting the name of her little brother. For several minutes, she saw nothing. Then, at one point, she spotted something in front of her on the trail, which she described as a tiny creature (around 1.10m-1.20m). This little creature was carrying a little boy on its back! She said that the creature seemed to have its feet positioned upside down. She stared at it, shocked.
Then she shouted loudly to the creature: "Hey you!" to ensure that was what she thought. The creature turned to face my aunt. It was not human and she was sure that that was my father on its back. When the creature saw my aunt, it started running, still with my father on its back. My aunt chased after it. The creature left the trail altogether and bounded into the dense forest, but it was not counting the determination of my aunt who entered the dense forest herself. She pursued them through the forest for several minutes.
Since she was faster than the creature (which was slowed with a child on its back), she finally caught up. She lunged at him, screaming: "Give me back my brother! Give me back my brother!" grabbing her brother and pulling him back. The creature also grabbed onto my father. Then, seeing that my aunt was clinging, it let go of my father who fell to the ground and just vanished before her eyes.
My father was groggy and was in a state of daze. My aunt took him by the hand and got out of the forest to go home. At home, when he regained consciousness, grandpa and grandma (my aunt had told them what had happened) asked him how he ended up on the back of this creature. He said he saw no creature. He said he walked behind his sister when the creature appeared to him as the doppleganger of his father. It came from behind and asked him if he was tired and asked him to climb on its back to go home. He agreed because he thought it was his father. Even when his sister was pursuing the creature, he still saw himself on the back of his father ( my grandpa was 1.75 m in height and the creature 1.10-1.20m !!) until he fell to the ground.
The incident did not occur again. They never knew what had attempted to kidnap my father. But I know that even today, sometimes, people disappear in the forests, especially children. When I was little girl and I sometimes went to the fields, we were asked to always stay in the group on the trail and not to respond if we heard someone call us in the forest.
Now I know why.