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A new monograph on the Russian "Snowman"
"Wildman" hair from The Russian Far East
Hair found on the Kola peninsular in 1986
Sightings in the Russian Far East
A bilingual Russian website on "Relict Hominids"
Apes in the coldest region on earth?
"Wildman" attacked Pakistan villager
Newspaper report about Almasty sighting
Lesovik in Kostroma province
"Snowman" in 2000 in Kargopol district
Steps of Snowman in the Crimea
Encounter in the Hissar Mountains
Tribuna  about Gynja Mort  in Komi
Simbirskij Kur'er  about "Snowmen" in Tajikistan
An interview with Igor Burtsev in Tribuna
Interview with Dmitri Bayanov in Moskovskie Novosti
Yakutia about Chuchunaa
Tajna Zizni on 'Avdoshki'  in Novgorod province
Interview with Mikhail Kirokosjan, Astrakhan (2003)
"Wildman" killed in the Pamirs in 1962?
Russian TV documentary In search of the Snowman
Wildmen skeleton found in the Urals?
Findings in Novgorod province
"Snowman" follows schoolgirls in the southern Urals
Tatarstan newspaper about "Snowman" tracks in Kyrgyztan March 27, 2005
Marijskaja Pravda regarding an encounter with a "forest man" in 2003 April 13, 2005
Sighting in Omsk province, Southwest Siberia in 2004 April 22, 2005
Expedition planned in Western Ukraine April 30, 2005
A new web site of the Moscow "hominologists" May 4, 2005
Snowman. The Russian track.
TV documentary with Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann
May 7, 2005
TV documentary Snowman: The new track May 27, 2005
Books on "Snowman" by Igor Burtsev? June 1, 2005
Radio interview with the chairman of Kosmopoisk (2004) June 11, 2005
Russian newspapers on sigthings in Perm province in 2005 February 27, 2006
Russian Tourism Company offers trips  On the Trail of the Sowman    March 13, 2006
Astrakhan newspaper about an encounter in 1999 May 20, 2006
Expedition in the Altai Mountains in 2006         March 30, 2006
More about the Russian TV documentary Snowman: The new track     April 12, 2006

Photo report of an expedition in Kirov province, Russia, in 2004   

April 26, 2006
Ukrainian newspaper reported on an expedition in the Caucasus in 2005    May 14, 2006
Caucasus Times about Almasty observation in the Caucasus              July 4, 2006
Moscow "hominologist" gives bone sample to the USA for investigation
October 11, 2006
Gregory Panchenko on the results of his Caucasus expedition in 2005
October 16, 2006
Russian newspaper about "Snowman" encounter in Tajikistan November 2, 2006
Molodoj Leninez about encounters in central European Russia (2004) November 13, 2006
Kalgamashka on the lower Amur river  November 27, 2006
Fedko V. N.: Where does the Snowman live? December 16, 2006
Igor Burtsev on the Examination of two Skulls  from Abkazia/Caucasus   January 8, 2007
Russian website show painting of the “Snowman” in Tajikistan January 30, 2007
On the Results of a Altai Expedition in 2006 February 8, 2007
A website on the research in the Kirov province February 24, 2007
Atlas of the Snowman  available March 1, 2007
Latvia newspaper about encounter in Yakutia March 24, 2007
Encounter in Kyrgyzstan April 4, 2007
Sighting in the Southern Urals April 29, 2007
Volkhov on Nikolaj Avdeev's encounters in the Urals 1990-2003 August 6, 2007
TV Documentary with Igor Burtsev in June 2007
August 20, 2007
Almasty bones examined in Paris? September 22, 2007
Correspondents met Nikolaj Avdeev in the Southern Urals October 28, 2007
Encounters in the Southern Urals

March 3, 2008

Russian TV documentary about life and work of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann June 29, 2008
Zhizn‘  about Chuchunaa in Yakutia (Eastern Siberia)  October 30, 2008
Possible encounter in Belarus December 30, 2008
A new Russian magazine with publications about “Relic Hominoids”  January 20, 2009
Apes in the Russian Kaluga province? February 9, 2009
New article about Gregory Panchenko February 28, 2010
Nezavisimaja Gazeta in 2008 about possible Almasty footprints March 25, 2010
New hominid DNA from the Altai, southern Siberia
April 21, 2010
Discovery of possible "wild man" footprints in Eastern Ukraine May 28, 2010
"Belka Natashkina" about Alexey Anokhov in Turtess Holiday July 22, 2010
Azerbaijan TV on an Encounter in the eastern Caucasus October 12, 2010
Russian TV Regarding an Observation in the Northwest Caucasus in January, 2011 March 27, 2011
   
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October 16, 2002

A new monograph on the Russian "Snowman"

In her publication 'Hominoides reliques au Caucase' in Hominologie et Cryptozoologie n° 4, 2000, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann refers to an hitherto unknown monograph as being „ in print “ : L´Hominoide relique, 399 pages, in Russian. The author is the Russian fieldresearcher Vadim Makarov, a chairperson on the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists (RSC).

Makarov is a retired officer of the Soviet Army. After his retirement his profession appeared in Russian publications as engineer too and in 2002 as "scientist - biologist" *. Specialists in the old Soviet Union assign him to the group around Bayanov and Koffmann who share the same basic convictions. In his book In the footsteps on the Russian Snowman (1996) Bayanov describes Makarov as a specialist in identifying footprints and hair. In the 2001 French edition of this book the wording under Makarovs picture (p.110) has been changed and in this way the reader discovers that Makarov is Koffmann´s sucessor as president of the RSC. It is well known among Russian researchers that Makarov has an extensive collection of footprint casts which he obtained during his many expeditions to Central Asia. It is also well known that not only did he see the "Snowman", but also he managed to photograph it .

On June 7, 2002 the well known Russian newspaper Komsomol'skaya Pravda carried the headline „The Snowman emigrates to Russia“ and devoted a whole page to the subject. The newspaper informed about the current publication of an Atlas of the Snowman by Vadim Makarov, and published an interview with the author. The reader was told that Makarov´s Atlas reports on dozens of expeditions by Chinese, Mongolian, American and Russian researchers. In addition, the newspaper reported that the Atlas contains the results of twenty years of research by Makarov, who had led many expeditions.

One aspect is particularly surprising in that participants at the Relic Hominoid seminar in Moscow’s Darwin Museum heard Makarov described as a researcher yet he took great pains to avoid giving important fielwork data, such as the exact location and circumstances of the meeting with the "Snowman“, to the audience. Makarov made himself obvious among the seminar visitors by frequently vigorously interjecting „Ne nado! Ne nado!“ (Unnecessary! Unnecessary! ), when he wanted to break off a dialog and was successfully able to prevent answers from speakers to the visitors, when they asked for basic facts.

However, one must acknowledge that Makarov´s main working area in Central Asia, the mountains in Tajikistan, was over many decades one of the important areas for researchers in the former Soviet Union. Very little is known in the West about the results of the many expeditions which took place over the past forty years. Certainly, Makarov`s book  Atlas of the Snowman, is an important publication if it really contains, what the Komsomol'skaja Pravda promises. Unfortunately there are doubts of which one hopes that they do not prove to be true.

* Kuzina, Svetlana. 2002. The Snowman emigrates to Russia, 
          Komsomol'skaja Pravda, 100, June 7, p.12  (in Russian).



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March 1, 2003

"Wildman" hair from the Russian Far East

The biologist, Evgeni Zlotukhovski, reported the discovery of three unusual hairs in the Primorye area. Two medical doctors, Pavel Kovalev and Sergej Sobotovich, one night in Autumn 1999 on one of the upper feeder streams of the Armu river, saw an unidentified creature resembling a large ape which moved silently and cautiously. They found the hairs the next day on their tent after having been away for an hour. The hairs were ten centimetres long and 0,16 mm thick..

They were submitted to the laboratory at the Ministry of the Interior in Moscow for x-ray analysis but were not found to be compatible with any known animals from the area. A further examination at the medical Centre for Genetics in the same city was undertaken and Ludmila Tylezkaja, previously director of a judicial biology department, declared that the hairs shared many characteristics with human hair. *

The place where the hairs were found lies in a thinly populated forest region in the far east of Primorye territory. The Armu river runs 300 kilometres south of the town Khabarovsk, which is 150 kilometres from the Sea of Japan. The Primorye territory has been the destination for various 'Snowman' expeditions even in the days of the old Soviet Union. .


* Neskoblinova, Oksana. 2002. Don' t go into the taiga children - uncle Yeti is roaming there,

                                 Komsomol'skaja Pravda
 (Vladivostok edition), February 2 (in Russian).


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March 8, 2003   

Hair found on the Kola peninsular in 1986

On February 26th, 2003, the Russian journal Itogi (Balances) published an extensive articel with the titel The Soviet 'Snowman'.* Among others the authors reported that already in 1986 Leonid Yershov, a member of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists, found "Snowman" hairs in the Lovozero region on the Kola peninsular in an expected 'Snowman' bed. The hairs were handed over to the Murmansk Office of Forensic Medicine and the "complex analyse" came to the conclusion that the hairs came not from any known mammal from the region but from a vegetarian creature. Yershov´s report and Bayanov´s comment to it (Bayanov, 1996) about wildmen sightings in the Lovozero region began only with the happenings in August 1988. 

   (see:  Child of the Tundra come to us!  and
   Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the Footsteps of  the Russian Snowman. Moscow: Crypto-Logos.
*  Babichenko, Denis; Serkov, Dmitri. 2003. The Soviet "Snowman", Itogi, 48 (338), February 26  (in Russian).                                                                                              

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March 11, 2003

Sightings in the Russian Far East



In an article by N. Semchenko*, entlitled "The 'Snowman' lives on the Khuppinsk pass", which appeared in 2002, the Russian newspaper Tikhookeanskaja Zvezda (Pacific Star) informed about "Snowman" sightings during the last decade.
The hunter Sergej Zavadsko saw about hundred meters away a strange creature "... like a giant gorilla ... bigger than 3 meters. His powerfull body was covered with thick coat, his eyes was glowing." The eyewitness Z. Ziankovezko from the settlement Vanino** descript the "Snowman" "like a boulder of muscels and coat". Next morning he found 45 centimeters long footprints left by the creature with a stridge length of over 5 meters. According to another regional newspaper a geologist died because of an heart attack after his meeting with a "Snowman" in the same region.

Three hunters from the town Sovietskaja Gavan** met "face to face" with an aplike giant. Because of his aggressive behauviour they fled and one of them shot on the being. All of this sightings happened in the wilderness on the Khuppinsk pass in the Sikhota-Alin mountains***, Khabarovsk district. The article ends with mention some diary notes by Ilja Nikivorov, member of an topographic expedition to Mongolia in 1939, in which he reported on wildmen events.

*      Semchenko, N. 2002.`The "Snowman" lives on the Khuppinsk pass,
       Tikhookeankaja Zvezda, 22, February 8  (in Russian).
**     On the Pacific coast.
***    The highest peak of the Sikhota-Alin moutains is Tardogi-Jangi (2090 m).

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March 19, 2003

A bilingual Russian web site on "Relic Hominoids"

The deputy president of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists (RSC), Dr. Michael Trachtenherz, has his own web site on "Relic Hominid" research: www.alamas.ru. This is the first web site of a leading RSC member and one of the very few bilingual sites on the subject in Russian and English. Trachtenherz writes: "The site will work in close cooperation with the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists. The interesting events of the past as well as the last results will be told here."

Trachtenherz has for many years been leader of expeditions to North and East Russia. He belongs to the 'Hominologists', the group around Bayanov and Koffmann, which is the only Russian research group relatively well know in the West. Currently the most extensive part of the site is Vitaly Khakhlov's report on the results of his fieldwork (1907-1917) on the ' wildmen' in Khazakhstan and Kirghizia, firstly published in 1959 *.

The site announced the edition of Gominologia (Hominology)**, a new Russian periodical, edited by Igor Burtsev under the redaction of "enthusiasts and the specialists" Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Igor Burtsev, Dmitri Bayanov, Michael Trachtenherz and Vadim Makarov. They express the intention to give "a believable picture" of the research and their results in past and future. A brief summary of the first number is given.


*    Khakhlov, Vitaly: `On the "wild men" in Central Asia´,
     Information materials of  the Commission for the Study of  the "Snowman" question.
     (Redaction B. Porshnev and A. Shmakov), vol. 4, 13-105, Moscow, 1959  (in Russian).
**   In 2003 the name of the journal has been changed into Vestnik Gominologii (Courier of Hominology).

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March 28, 2003

Apes in the coldest region on Earth?

The Russian newspaper Yakutsk Vechernij (Evening Yakutsk) reported in Dezember 2002 with the titel In search of the Snowman 1  about the journey of two reporters on the track of a strange animal. The journey was inspired by an article 2  in the 29th March edition of the same newspaper.

In a village in the Verkhoyansk region, Barylas district, an unknown animal had been caught in a wolf-trap in the middle of March 2002. It was already dead when discovered and described "like a primate" about the size like a large dog. The whole body, apart from feets and face, was covered in fur. It had a long tail. There are three versions about what happened with the corpse: The teacher Jakob Potapov from the neighbouring settlement Borulakh said that the body had been taken to the capital Yakutsk. Someone else claimed that the animal had been torn to pieces by dogs and the third version was that "frightened people" had buried the corpse together with the trap.

The chief ot the Sartan town concil, Sergej Slepzov, talked about another similar case half a year earlier. A young man, Albert Slepzov, had found by coincidence a dead unknown animal which was similar to an ape. In this connection it was suggested that it could be a Chuchunaa  3  as the 'wildman' are known in the region. Older local people who had seen the dead animal called it Aabasi kiila 4.

The reporter Elena Tikhonova and the photographer Michael Kotschetov contacted the relatives of Albert Slepzov in the settlement Badagaj. These confirmed that Slepzov had found a strange animal but were unable to say what happened with the corpse. However, according to the council workers of the Verkhoyansk region, Albert Slepzov´s father had buried the body. On hearing this the reporters started out from the capitel Yakutsk to find Albert Slepzov in the Verkhoyansk region. After two hours flying time and twelve hour car driving on dirt tracks they arrived in the village Junkur where Albert Slepzov was supposed to be but wasn´t.

After various difficulties had been overcome, they were able to find the eyewitness's 64 year old father, Afanasi Slepzov, in another place. He reported that his son had found an unknown animal with a long tail in a trap at the end of the October 2001. The colour of the coat was an unusual yellow. The boy was afraid and left the animal behind in the wilderness. Back at home he made a sketch of his find. After a few days Afanasi Slepzov tried to find the animal with a companion but, according to him, unsuccessfully due to new snowfall.

The reporters confronted Slepzov with the statements of other people in the village that in reality he had found the animal and had hidden it. Slepzov denied this. The questioning was not continued as it was obvious that the subject made him uncomfortable. According to statements of other village residents, Slepzov had initially kept his son´s discovery secret and had first begun to talk about it when rumours were already circulating in the village. It was not possible for the reporters to visit the scene of the second finding in March 2002. Some time later a Moscow travel agency offered to finance another expedition.

The place where this happened lies on the arctic circle in the autonomous Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), eastern Siberia, with the capital Yakutsk about 200 kilometres east of the main ridge of the Verkhoyansk mountains. This area is one of the coldest on Earth where the winter temperature can fall to minus 70°C. It is possible to reach many settlements only by air or over roads which are passable only at certain times of the year.

1   'In search of the Snowman', Yakutsk Vechernij. December 7, 2002 (in Russian).
2   'Chuchunaa captured in the Verkhoyansk mountains?'  Yakutsk Vechernij. March 29, 2002                                              
3   All reports about the local "Wildman", the Chuchunaa, agree that it has no tail.
4   Aabasi kiila - aabasi animal. Aabasi is the Yakut version of the existing names like Albasty, Almostu,
     Almas etc. found in all Turkic languages. In Yakut mythology it also means an evil spirit.


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April 11, 2003
                                                                                                          

"W
ildman" attacked Pakistan villager

According to local Pakistan newspapers, the Rossiskij Ufologicheskij Daidjest * reported about a new wildmen event in Pakistan. The exact date was not mentioned, but it happened probably in autumn or in winter 2002. A 20 year-old citizen of the Pakistan village of Kharipur, Radschu, left his house and heard strange sounds from the bushes in front of it. Suddenly an aplike male creature, about 1,20m high, covered with thick black coat, came out of the bushs and attacked and scratched him. Radschu cried and run bag into his house. The 'wildmen' fled from the apple garden when other men using torches began to search around Radschu´s house. Eyewitnesses reported about the high shrill cries of the creature. Old villagers remembered they has seen such "strangers from the mountains" many times in the past, particulary in winter, when they came into the villages in search for food.

*   `Again the "Snowman" ´, Rossiskij Ufologicheskij Dajdjest (Russian UFO Digest), 49, January, 2003  (in Russian).



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February 10, 2004

Newspaper report about Almasty sighting

The South Russian newspaper Gazeta Iuga* reported in August 2003 on the sighting of an Almasty in the northern Caucasus. „In the last days of July “  2003 the 18 year-old Zalim Bolov from Psygansu village met an Almasty. The newspaper quoted him with the following words:

I went several times at nigth to our rented fields, which are about 8 to 10 kilometres away from the village. We had been watching the cereals because wild pigs had often been trampling down the wheat. On this night, about ten-thirty, I sat on the edge of the wheat field with my gun, intending to frighten the wild pigs, about 70 metres from the forest. There were five of us distributed along the edge of the field about 25 to 30 metres apart. It was very quiet. I heard the crackle of twings from the forest edge. Someone came out of the forest in my direction. It was dark and, at first, I thought that it was a man. When he was about 8 to 10 metres away, I could see him clearly. He was more than 2 metres tall, completely covered with hair and had long arms. He came directly in my direction. I stood up, pointed the gun at him and said in Kabardinian: ´Don´t come any nearer! I will shoot!´ He stopped, looked in my direction, turned around and went back to the forest. As he went away I could hear his load moaning and groaning, then he started to cry. I was frightened and went to where my friends sat.

Muzarin Tkhashugoev, who sat nearest, recalled that Bolov was very exited: „His eyes were completely round and he tried to talk us into going home “. All five villagers had heard the moaning and groaning. According to them it was nothing like any sound they knew. The villagers from Psygansu think that the Almasty came to the field to eat the weath. According to Gazeta Iuga, villagers recall that in the 50s and 60s villagers had often reported meeting the Almasty near the settlement.

The village Psygansu is in the North Caucasus, in the republic of Kabardino-Balkaria, about 8 miles away from the capital Nalchik. In the last decade a few new 'wildmen' sightings have found their way into the newspapers of the North Caucasian republics. However, measured against the current frequency of such sightings, newspaper reports are very rare.


*  Guzejnov, Oleg.2003. In Psygansu, one remembers the "Snowman" again,
       Gazeta Iuga (Newspaper of the South), 34 (495), August 21  (in Russian).
       http://www.gazetayuga.ru/archive/2003/34.htm

    For more information on this encounter see:
    Questioning of a possible eye-witness in the village Psygansu, Caucasus



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February 19, 2004

Lesovik  in Kostroma province (Russia)

Vladimir Romanov* wrote in issue no. 213 of the newspaper Krasnyj Sever (Red North) about the frequent appearances of "Snowman" in the Kologriv district. Local people called the creatures Lesovik, which means "Forest man". The first information about such creatures in this area – the great forests on the Unsha river – was at the end of the 19th century.

Almost every second local hunter od fisherman, who had been to the distant headwaters of the river Unsha, declared that thea had themselves seen the Yeti.“ wrote Romanov, and gives the typical story of an eyewitness: "I went through the forest and felt a cold, penetrating stare from behind. When I turned slowly around, the hairy giant was standing next to the trees about 30 to 40 metres away without blinking.

The reports describe the outward appareance of the creature consistently: 3 metres high, upright, heavily muscled, wide shouldered, almost without neck, face covered with hair, wide mouth, small squashed nose and ill-tempered eyes. The creature is not aggressive according to the reports. Most of the meetings happened in August and September. At this time of the year the forest is particularly frequented by hunters and mushroom and berry collectors. Hunters from the town Vologda met the creature in the regions Semogoronej, Beketov and Vijterga. According to Romanov, there is no concrete proof of its existence.

The newspaper further reported that there were frequent sightings in Kargopol district, Arkhangelsk province as well as at the northern end of the Voshe lake. Part of this lake belongs to Vologda province. Following Romanov many newspapers in the Arkhangelsk province reported in 1991 that before the very eyes of a surprised cowherds two hairy 'Forest men' stole a cow on the banks of the Voshe lake. On year later, the newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda  reported that the hunter Brjanzev from the town Kargopol had committed suicide because he feared the wrath of the 'Snowman'  whose wife he had killed.

On January 29th in the newspaper Chronometer Alexej Ilika** quoted the eyewitness Veniamin Poshilov in connection with a sighting in Kologriv district: „Together with a friend (...) I was fishing in the river Markanga. By change I looked across the river at opposite bank and saw him there in the undergrowth. He stood immobile and looked across at us. He was less than 3 metres high and covered with brown fur, almost without a neck and with a low forehead. For 2 to 3 minutes he looked at us. We turned away for a moment but when we looked at the other bank again there was no-one there. He had literally disappeared.

According to Ilika, such creature also came up to an experienced hunter´s campfire. He was shocked and hid himself in a small hut from where he watched it. The creature remained near the fire for about ten minutes before disappearing. Another eyewitness also saw a great hairy creature while fishing. In his words lay „ the monster streched out on a tree trunk “. The sketch of a 'wildman' from Kostroma province, following an eyewitness report, was first published in the West by Marie-Jeanne Koffmann (1991: 42)***. The town Kologriv and the river Unsha are found in Kostroma province of the European Russia, about 180 miles north-east of Moscow. Vologda province is the southerly neighbouring province of Kostroma. 


*     Romanov, Vladimir (2002) 'Hairy monster from the Kologriv forest', Krasnyj Sever, 213, October 11 (inRussian).
**    Ilika, Alexej (2003) 'Here lives the monster', Chronometer, 5, January 29 (in Russian).
***   Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne (1991) `L 'almasty yeti du Caucase´, Archeologia, 269,  pp. 24-43.


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May 29, 2004

"Snowman" in 2000 in Kargopol district

The Russian newspaper Vremja MN * reported in 2000 in the column "Press of the region" about two sightigs in Kargopol district: "The snowman appeared once again in the swamps of ivanovo in Kargopol district, Arkhangelsk province. (...) Vladimir Popov, a tractor driver from Zerechnyj village saw him as he collected berries. Another eyewitness, Vladimir Pigodin, is equally convinced about the existence of this creature. As a school boy in the eight grade, he once noted such a figure at a distance of 50 meters from a nearby village called Nokola. This creature stood right in the middle of a field, facing the village with hand covere face. Looking at its character, it was more or less like a human being, except that it was quite strong, covered with fur and without clothes."
The Kargopol district is located about 470 miles to north of Moscow. The shores of the White Sea make the northern border of this province. Almost every year, the regional press of the Arkhangelsk province reports about such kind of observations.

* Vremja MN , no. 178, October 21, 2000, p. 2  (in Russian).
   Thanks to Nadja Fedoseeva for forwarding this information.

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June 5, 2004


Steps of Snowman in the Crimea

Under this headline the great Russian newspaper Trud 1 (Work) reported in 2000 about sightings of hairy bipeds on Crimea Peninsular, Ukraine. A monk from a ilsolated monastery near mount Roman-Kosh is quoted with the following words: " Many has seen him. But the abbot did not allowed to talk about it. (...) He is completely covered with fur. He runs as quickly as an ape. But on the legs. And the size...like a basketball player.“  Many of such reports come from the region around the town of Bakhcisaraj, South Crimea. According to the author the "Snowman" has been seen many times on the slopes of Ai-Petri 2 mount too.

The local hunter Nikolay Sevrjukov from Simferopol town: „I saw him by myself. At first I thought it is a bear. He went along the slope and it seemed to me as he had broken branches. I came closer and saw: Oh my god ! A men, not a men, but on two legs, fully hairy and strong like a bull. Instantly he feeled me, jumped and disappeared.“  Apparently there are many such reports in the peninsular. It has been assumed that the creatures lives in the thousands of caves in the Crimea Mountains. The Russian magazin  Cudeza i Prikljucenie (Miracles and Adventures)3 writes in 2000 in an anonymous short message likewise on "Snowman" encounters in the Crimea: "(...) Farmers, geologists, hunters and monks (...)" saw the creature. „The Yeti stolen cickens, fruits in the gardens and left prints of his foots. Crimea scientists belief in the phenomenon too.“ A unnamed person saw a manlike "hairy monster with red eyes “ in a cave.

The places metioned in both publictions are in the Crimea Mountains which forms the Southeastern eastern coast of the peninsular. The mountain range is covered in great parts with forests and bushes. The Crimea was the destination of expeditions of researchers like Maya Bykova (Zareva, 2000: 37)4. The native turkic population, Crimea Tatars, is familiar with the creatures since ancient times and use the name Albasty for it. Dmitri Bayanov reported 1985 5  (republished in 1996: 63-64) a sighting from the Crimea Mountains.


                                                                 


1   Leskova, Natalja. 2000. Steps of Snowman in the Crimea, Trud, 113, June 6  (in Russian).
2   Highest peak on the Crimea ( 1234 metres over sea level ).
3   Anonymus. 2000. 'The Bakhcisaraj Yeti', Cudesa i Prikljucenie, 12, p.19  (in Russian).
4   Zareva, Irina. 2000.  XX century. Chronicle of the Inexplicable: These mysterious animals.
     Moscow: Astrel‘  (in Russian).  
5   Bayanov, Dmitri. Bigfoot Co-op, December 1985; republished in:
     Bayanov, D. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow: Crypto-Logos.

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June 10, 2004

Encounter in the Hissar Mountains

Under the headline "Night rendevous in the Hissar Mountains“, reported Victor Novikov * in the Russian newspaper Lichnoe Mnenie (Personal Opinion) about his encounter with a 'Snowman' in the Western Pamirs. On July 23, 1990, the author, together with his escort, spent a night at Lake Pairon. In the morning, he stood up and went to the fireplace. It was still dark. In a tranquil of silence, he heard from a distance, footsteps of a creature. With his torch, Novikov flashed in the direction where the footsteps were coming from. He saw a 2-2.5 meter hairy human like creature that stood at a distance from where they were camping. Novikov whistled. That creature whistled back, turned around and stood motionless. Its eyes emitted a phosphorescent light. „It looked in a very serious, sharp and unfriendly manner. Its face reminded him of a backed apple.“  It uttered a groaning like scream, turned and dissappeared in the moutains.

Lake Pairon is a famous among Soviet-Russian "Snowman" researchers. Bayanov** published an encounter on Lake Pairon. The Hissar Mountains became known through publications on "Snowman" expeditions organized by Igor Burtzev, Moscow, and the Czech-Ukrainian researcher Igor Tatzl from Kiev.


*   Novikov, Victor. 2003. Night rendevous in the Hissar Mountains, Lichnoe mnenie, July 9  (in Russian).
**  Bayanov, Dmitri. 1984. A field investigation into the relict hominid situation inTajikistan, Cryptozoology
, vol. 3.

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June 26, 2004

Tribuna about  Gynja-Mort  in Komi *

In the Russian newspaper Tribuna, Vladimir Ovchennikov** reported on July 18, 2003, inter alia, about a wildmen sighting in Komi Republic. Until recently, the local researcher Lenian Ignatov, from Jagkedz village, Ust-Kulomsk district, had been tracing the ‘Snowman‘. Already during his childhood, Ignatov had heard about stories of an over two meter tall red haired giant, which in this region had been called Gynja-Mort. However, all these stories were from the beginning of the last century. The most recent information came from a hunter, who claimed to have seen this creature „...at a distance of 100 meters twenty years ago.“ According to Ovchennikov Ignatov reported: „ The hunter told me: It was a huge man. He had two legs, which were extremely crumbled. The body had the colour of chestnuts.“

Ignatov collected eyewitness reports from the village, which left him convinced that the Gynja-Mort actually lived here. It seems that this creature did not fear much and that it may not have caused any harm to the villagers. Inhabited settlements in this countryside must have been rare. In the 1970s, there ware in this region wood factories which worked in the forests with heavy technic. „The hairy men just disappeared in those days and no one knows where it went.“, said Ignatov. These factories are no longer in existence since ten years now. Ignatov is very optimistic that the "Snowman" will return. „...The Taiga will become again thicker and inaccessible.“ The Komi republic makes the northwestern part of European Russia. The Ural Mountains make up ist eastern border. It covers an area of nearly 416.000 qkm with about 1,1 million inhabitants (1996). Jagkedz village lies approximately 1000 km northeastern of Moscow.


*     We are grateful to Alexander Burmak for this information.
**    Ovchennikov, Vladimir. 2003. The hairy man has gone to the North?, Tribuna, July 18 (in Russian).



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July 19, 2004

Simbirskij Kur'er  about "Snowmen" in Tajikistan

In the Russian Newspaper Simbirskij Kur'er (Simbirsk Courier), Arsenij Korolev 1) reported in 2002 among others about a 1982 expedition oft the Tajik Academy of Science in the Hissar Mountains in the western Pamirs. The academy was equally involved in the 'snowman' problem. According to Korolev, in the 1980s, many adventure lovers came to Tajikistan in search of snowmen. During their holidays, media workers organised themselves into groups and came to the Hissar Mountains. A great number of publications followed as a result and the local press was full of stories concerning the Gul' 2).  He writes: “Only few, however, knew that this puzzle would be solved by the scientists of the Tajik Academy of Science."  Tatjana Vasileva, at that time a scientist at the academy, is quoted as following: “Despite all that, the scientists were not inactive. Of course we were inquisitive to follow the traces of the snowman, particularly so when this legends was just close to us. But the leading stuff of the Academy was against an official expedition. The only thing that we could do was to organize an expedition that was dealing with soil profiles. At the same time, we could also search for traces of the snowman.”  

At the beginning of May 1982, a ten member expedition left for the Hissar Mountains. Flora and fauna related materials were collected and examined to find possible eyewitnesses of the snowman. The expedition team noted that the locals themselves would reluctantly talk about the Gul. Often, they changed the subject quite abruptly. In most cases, no personal experiences would be reported except for encounters through another person. The expedition found no traces of  "Snowmen".

Furthermore, Korolev reported about an encounter with a police chief of Tadshikabad 3) who spent the weekend with friends in the mountains:  “After lunch, the friends went to the river for a bath. The policeman was tired and fell asleep. He only woke up because someone was shaking his car. He looked back and saw a Gul beside his Shiguli 4). The Gul was pushing the Shiguli forward. Then, the creature placed its hands at the rear windscreen of his car. Full of fear, the policeman shot up and the Gul ran away. But the prints of his hands at the rear windscreen of his car have remained. A Tajik detective has taken these prints and has forwarded them to the police department of criminal investigation."


1    Korolev, Arsenij. 2002. On the tracks of Snowman, Simbirskij Kur'er, 45-46, March 30 (in Russian).      

2    Regional name for the 'Snowman' in the Pamirs.
3    Town in Tajikistan, about 125 miles northern of the capital Dushanbe.

4   Russian licence production of Fiat. The most common car in Russia.

Thanks to Nadja Fedoseeva (St. Petersburg) for this information.

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August 1, 2004

An Interview with Igor Burtsev in Tribuna

The Russian Newspaper Tribuna (Reviewing Stand) published in May of this year an interview with Igor Burtsev about ‘Snowman’ research in Russia. The Interviewer, Sergej Vinokurov *, explains that in Moscow there is a fund called Kryptosphera designed to support the search for the "Snowmen". The fund is connected to an International Centre of Hominology in Moscow. According to Vinokurov, Igor Burtsev is the director. He belongs to the leadership of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists and has been involved with the research of the "Snowman" question since the 1960s. The following gives an abridged version of the interview.

Vinokurov: Igor Dmitrievich, what kind of science is Hominology really?

Burtsev: Hominology is the science of the so-called Snow people. It began in the 50s of the last century in the USSR. During this time, reports of beings similar to humans began to be reported from all corners of the Soviet Union, including the Pamir. Professor Boris Porshnev - a well-known scientist - collected this reports. Based upon his own initiative, the Academy of Science of the USSR founded a scientific commission for the research of the mystery of the Snow people and sent an expedition in to the Pamir. At this time, the Pamir was regarded as the epicentre of the search. If a sceptical scientist was driven to prove the existence of an unusual primate in our land, then it could only happen in Pamir, near the Himalayas. Regrettably, the Pamir expedition returned with nothing. The idea of who, what, where, and how to search for the beings was not clear enough. The expedition left with the ideas that the biggest unknown being would only be in the least accessible areas of the planet. Therefore, they set off for the Himalayas, in other words, the Pamir. No one had thought that before starting the search for the Snow people, they should first gather as much information possible from the inhabitants about where one can observe the Snowman.

The unsuccessful Pamir expedition served as a symbol for attacks from the conservatives. Therefore, the Commission for the Research of the Snow people had barely been founded before it was closed down again, without listening to the protests of important scientists. That does not mean, however, that the interest in unusual primates in our country disappeared. Professor Porshnev worked on this problem for many years with the help of enthusiasts. The Snowman was named the 'Relic Hominid'. Porshnev proved the existence of the last group of higher, orthograde (upright walkers), non speaking Primates in a ‘interim stage between animal and man’ which introduced the ‘missing link descended from man.’ As such, he imagined that Snow people existed even in the present day. After his death, it was forbidden to address the topic in printed materials. But the important work of Porshnev - the monograph ‘The present stage of the question of relict hominids.‘, of which 180 copies were printed in 1963 for the research use of the members of the executive Committee of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR, is even today not accessible to biologists.


Vinokurov: Who is still seriously working today in the field of Hominology?

Burtsev: There are Hominologists practically everywhere in the world, but in China there are official scientific organizations financed by the State, that are working on these questions. But the Chinese Hominologists are not in a hurry to present the results of their research to the world. But for us in Russia - the birthplace of the science of the snow people - Hominology is still not an official science. The opponents of this idea say: ‘The existence of the snow people - that is a myth.’

Vinokurov: To be honest, I believe that too...

Burtsev: I don’t intend to prove the existence of the snow people to you. There are thousands of people who have observed him accidentally. In the last decades, we have collected a large number of eye witness reports, and dozens of cement prints have been made of his trails. On some of these, one can even see his skin patterns. The trails are different than those that come from apes or man.


Vinokurov: Igor, why has no one caught a snow person until now? Catch him and show him to the world. I think, the official science give you a “green light” immediately then.

Burtsev: We have been so harassed with this question! Believe me, it is extremely hard. One could say it is practically impossible. The scientific director of our centre, Dmitri Bayanov noted once that for the capture of terrorist number one Bin Laden one would pay millions of dollars, and no one has caught him yet. And we are conducting our search with practically no money, our pockets are only filled with enthusiasm. But there are cases where people have captured snow people. In September 1989 the Bigfoot was caught in the yard of a farm in the south of the Saratov district: he was stealing apples.[...]  [Following is Burtsev’s description of catching a forest being with guards from a fruit orchard near Saratov in south Russia.]  And in Dagestan during the time of the great war a snow person was shot, because he was thought to be a spy. Although in the documents of the Military doctor Karapetjan it is certified that it was no human in the general sense.

Vinokurov: Are there cases where the Hominid has had contact with humans?

Burtsev: There have been reports of such contact for a long time. We are now in contact by mail with Mary Green and Jannis Koy, who live in the deep in the countryside of America. They run a farm in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. The women claim that from time to time snow people come on their farm to visit, to enjoy some home cooking. Jannis explains that the story has its history in the post-war years. At that time (in the 40s) her grandfather chopped down a tree on the territory. And suddenly he heard a penetrating child’s scream. Either the tree had hit a child or he fell from the tree, in any case in front of him was a slightly injured, yet very hairy boy. The grandfather took him into the house, and together with his wife helped him heal, and then began to ask the neighbours if anyone was missing an unusually hairy boy.

Meanwhile, the boy began to regain his strength and damaged the house, at which point they banned him in the storehouse. Then suddenly his parents came to him: two powerful, hairy Bigfoot creatures. Thus began the friendship of the family with the forest giants, which lasted for decades until the death of the grandfather in 1996. After the death of the grandfather, the contact with the snow people was interrupted for a time. But three years ago, Fox (the name they gave to the giant) began to visit the farm again. At this point, the story began to become more well known. But Mary Green and Jannis Koy protect their forest friends and do not let any curious on-lookers or journalists on their property. The women, recognizing our authority, agreed to cooperate with us and regularly exchange information about the developments there and receive advice once in while about what they should do. This is how our international centre actively participates in the research of the history of the Bigfoot on the farm.

Vinokurov: Are there similar cases in and around Russia?

Burtsev: In the 70s we went on an expedition to Abkazia. The local residents there told Porshnev an interesting story. At the end of the 19th century, hunters caught an absolutely wild woman in the forest, who was covered with down. Based on the descriptions, it was the female of the snow people. The hunters took her back to the village and put her in a stall. Gradually the woman got used to the people, and eventually gave birth to a baby boy, fathered by one of the local men. This boy lived to be 67, and died at the beginning of the 50s. We dug up his grave and discovered a skeleton 2 meters long, which was fairly well preserved. The skull is now held by us in a safe, but until now we have not had the chance to examine it. Anthropologists, to whom we have shown the skull, believe that the skull shows both progressive and primitive traits. He had a wide forehead, a pointed nape, and a broadly ridged surface, which would attest to unbelievable physical strength.

Vinokurov: Eyewitnesses, who have had the luck to run into Snow people in the forest, assert that these beings possess a hypnotic power - which stops the thoughts and behaviours of humans. Is that really so?

Burtsev: I don’t want to claim it, but it is really so. But when I dug up the grave of the son of the wild woman, I became very sick to the point that I lost consciousness. And when I brought the bones back to Moscow, I had a fever of approximately 40 degrees. I was brought directly from the train to the central clinic, and even though I spent three weeks there, no one could diagnose my disease. Later, when I talked with Vadim Chernobrov his story really affected me. He was along on the expedition ‘Komopoisk’ in October 2002 in the area of Kirov, in Vjatka. During the expedition he and some members of his group did not feel well, with symptoms such as pains in the heart and sometimes a partially blindness. Therefore, they could never stay for an extended time in the area of the suspected den of the snow people. They turned back. The further they went from this place, the more their heart function and their sight normalized. One of the members could not stand the psychological pressure or shock, and had to leave the area earlier. You can judge for yourself...

Vinokurov: In your opinion, when will our snow neighbour be ‘discovered’ ?

Burtsev: Man can only speak conditionally of the discovery which was made known in Antiquity and the middle ages. The birth of the ‘renewed’ discovery of the Bigfoot was made in the 20th century by Hominologists. In one of his articles, Professor Porshnev wrote: ‘It is one discovery, which has been repeated many times.’ It’s about the recognization of these facts. With this goal, we have started to publish a scientific-popular journal called ‘Courier of Hominology' .

Translation by A. Braun.

*
Vinokurov, Sergej. 2004. 'He eats everything, doesn’t bite, and causes heart attacks,
                                        Tribuna, May 28 (in Russian). Interview with Igor Burtsev.

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September 18, 2004

Interview with Dmitri Bayanov in  Moskovskie Novosti

In 2003 the newspaper Moskovskie Novosti (Moscow News) published an article by Anna Rudnizkaja 1), which included an interview with Dmitri Bayanov. The following is a translation of the abbreviated article.

“ [...] A popular Russian weekly newspaper also commented on resolving the mystery of the Snowmen. ‘Where did the Snowman go?’ citizen Sidorov from Omsk asked the editorial staff and received the answer: ‘He didn’t go anywhere because he never existed in the first place. According to an ex-KGB officer, operation ‘Snowman’ was conceived and implemented by the KGB 2) in the 1980s when the people of the USSR stood in endless queues for food and basic commodities. It was necessary to divert the attention of the people away from the poor living conditions.’

As Dmitri Bayanov showed me the cutting from the newspaper he was naturally restrained but his expression was clear: If ever he met this ex-KGB officer in a dark alley…
Dmitri Bayanov, the main speaker at the Californian Forum, is the leading expert on Snowmen and head of the seminar at the Darwin Museum in Moscow. The seminar is attended by about 15 people of various ages and professions. Dmitri Yur’evich himself earns his living doing translations. Among the participants are teachers, engineers and artists but not a single holder of a degree in hominology. And there cannot be one because there is no such science as hominology. The appellation (from the word ‘Hominid’ – a human creature of the Primate family) exists but there is no science. At least, the rest of the learned world refuses to recognize what Bayanov and his colleagues do as scientific.
‘They will deeply regret that later’, Bayanov is confident ‘Cybernetics and genetics were also once called bourgeois pseudo-sciences but are now officially accepted. Our day will come.’

[...]  While the scientific revolution, spoken about as essential by hominologists for so long, has not yet happened, the article 3)  changed the spirit of at least one person.
Bayanov devoted 40 years of his life to this unrecognized science. When the commission at the Academy of Sciences was disbanded, the hominologists branded as pseudo-scientists and publication of a new book by Porshnev
4), already at the printers, stopped, while he himself died of a heart attack, his faithful disciple gathered a handful of followers and started up a seminar at the Darwin Museum. They launch expeditions to the Pamir and Himalayan mountains, gathering eyewitness accounts and documenting evidence and occasionally publishing thin brochures about the results of their studies under the title ‘Courier of Hominology ’ and dream if not about state support then perhaps about a rich sponsor.

[Bayanov:] ‘Don’t you know of an oligarch who might be interested in the problem? What they demand of us is, catch and bring one for us to see and then we will believe you. But how can we catch one? You can’t hunt a bear empty-handed. Theoretically, the Russian branch of hominology is the strongest but our foreign colleagues are more likely to make a break-through in the practical sphere sooner than we are.’ Despairing of ever getting support at home, several years ago Dmitri Bayanov wrote a letter to Bill Clinton. He did not simply drop it into a mail box in Moscow but sent it along with an American he knew to be sure it arrived safely. In the opening paragraph he congratulated Clinton on his election as president of the United States of America, pointing out the difficult path to victory, and in the next 15 paragraphs described the plight of Russian hominologists and the importance of their studies for the future of mankind.

[Bayanov:] ‘It is impossible to build a humane society without precisely knowing the origin of man and who his ancestors were.’ To President Clinton’s credit, he replied to this letter. Dmitri Bayanov keeps the sheet of paper with a signature, stamp and three lines of text in a special folder. ‘Thank you for your attention. We value your involvement in the problem and wish you success in your work.’ the president wrote. […] At the same time Bayanov does not approve of some of his American colleagues’ methods.
[Bayanov:] ‘They even chase him with a gun. But this is a human being. We prefer camera traps. But it is very difficult to find him. He senses when he is being photographed and can simply smash up the trap. In the United States one researcher complained to me that Bigfoot visits his farm and all he needs to do is set up 30 traps and the following day we would have high-resolution photographs. But each camera trap costs US$ 400 and he doesn’t have so much money. He bought five and waits.‘ [...]

[Rudnizkaja:] ‘You have a film 5), you have footprints and there are again numerous reported Yeti sightings but you are nevertheless not taken seriously. How do you think the situation could be changed?’
[Bayanov:] ‘First of all, we hope that the generation of scientists who have called us liars will be replaced by a new generation. Sometimes science is like that: A new generation comes along and makes a breakthrough. Secondly, there is the last straw effect. All the knowledge that we have accumulated must eventually become public property and thereby a fact of science life. The Snowman has been treated with contempt. We want to change that.’
[Rudnizkaja:] ‘What do you need this Snowman for? […] No money, no fame, only mockery…’
[Bayanov:] ‘You see, I once saw Brezhnev 6)  on a podium and I understood that human nature still contains many secrets.’ […] ”


1   Rudnizkaja, Anna. 2003. Children of the Yeti, Moskovskie Novosti, 41 (in Russian).
2   KGB (Komitet gosudarstvennoj besopasnosti) - earlier title of the Russian Secret Service.
3   Meant is a not further defined article by Boris Porshnev in Voprosy filosofii  (Questions of Philosophy).
4   Porshnev, Boris. 1974. On the beginning of human history, Moscow: Mysl (in Russian).
5   Meant is the Patterson-Gimlin film.
6   General secretary of the Soviet communist party 1966-1982.



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October 18, 2004


Yakutia about Chuchunaa

Yakutia, one of the leading newspapers in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia) published in May 2004 an article concerning nature and its protection in Yakutia. It had the following paragraph:

“The Screaming of Sendushnyj.
Mount Kuorat-Khaja lied opposite the fishing village of Chekurovka. 2  On a dangerous steep slope lied the ruins of an aeroplane. Some old people claimed that in 1957 hunters from the surrounding villages killed a Chuchunaa, the snowman. It is said that its body was brought on the Lena river to Yakutsk
[capital of Yakutia] and disappeared there. The legend has it that Chuchunaa lived in the mountains of Verchojansk. It caught reindeers, the skins of which it wore. It is further said that upon meeting people, the snowman would scream quite terribly. In the Tundra, this snowman was named Sendushnyj, after ‘sendukha’, an old name of Tundra. Although this legend defeated any commonsense, it refused to die. On the other side of the mountain range, in the areas of Najba 3, some reported of a highly discreet creature that was called Ikki-Mterlljakh, literally meaning ‘two meters tall’. It is claimed that those who were hunting, fishing and/or collecting firewood along the riverbank saw the snowman. It is also reported that as dawn set in, he would enter the village."

1   Gukov, Alexander. 2004. In the wild districts of ice and winter storm',Yakutia, May 21 (in Russian).
2   A village in Yakutia, along the Lena river, about 90 miles before the river mouth in the Lena delta.
3   A village on the coast of the Laptev sea (Arctic Ocean), about 75 miles to the east of Chekurovka     
     village (see footnote 2)
.

 

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October 28, 2004

Tajna Zizni  on Avdoshki  in Novgorod province

In September 2003, Tajna Zizni (Secret of Life) published an article by Elena Kuzmina 1) on the ‘Snowman’ in Russia and, among other things, about newly discovered traces of Snowmen in the woods near the town of Malaja Vishera, Novgorod province, about 100 miles south-east of St. Petersburg. The region became known to the Russian media in connection with the ‘Snowman’ through the book Avdoshki. Encounters with Snowman (1996), by Oleg Ivanov in which he claimed to have observed ‘Snowmen’ over decades in the area. The Track Record 2)  of the Western Bigfoot Society informed in 1997 that Valentin Sapunov has send them the book. Bayanov 3)  published in 1999 a comment to the book in Bigfoot Co-op.

Under the sub-headline “On the track of Avdoshki”, Kuzmina wrote in Tajna Zizni : "Still another fact has been discovered about the existence of the Snowman in the woods of Novgorod. Two weeks ago the Moscow cryptozoologists-scientist [Names of these ‘cryptozoologists’ are not mentioned]  [...] who had been in Malaja Vishera, again found traces of the Yeti in a wood on the swamp island of Terekhun. As the Petersburg scientist Valentin Sapunov, one of the rare specialists on the Snowmen in Russia, heard about this he dropped everything and left for Malaja Vishera. He stayed with Oleg Ivanov, the native poet and passionate hunter of the Yeti. The searching season begins for Oleg Mikhajlovich [Ivanov's patronym] usually in spring when the snow melts. [...] And most importantly - in spring one can better find tracks in the moist earth. [...] The Yeti is a migratory creature, the poet claims. In Novgorod province one still meets him in the Khvojnin and Ljubytin districts. Sometimes he goes into Leningrad [St. Petersburg]  province. In our region one of the subspecies of Avdoshki lives – the northern. They are larger here than those, for example, in the south. [...] In our province there are perhaps three specimens [...]  His remains were once actually found in Kirov province during the civil war. [...] "

Kuzmina’s article contains no further information about the fieldwork of the Moscow 'cryptozoologists', Sapunov and the traces found. According to her, the name ‘Avdoshki’ goes back to a woman with the name Avdota who lived in Selishchi village a long time ago. According to narratives of the natives, one day she went into the woods, began to live in caves and  disappeared after a few years. Later, one saw her with a hairy man with whom she allegedly had children.

In the "Snowman" scene in the former Soviet Union there were the following opinions about Ivanov’s publication: 1. Everything is a complete invention. 2. It contains a small number of real experiences and the majority is fiction. According to Oleg Ivanov, he added some fiction to a true story (see Bayanov, 1999 3). 3. Other insiders think the most of it is believable. It was known that Oleg Ivanov invited experienced fieldworkers for a joint search for traces. Tracks which they found with him near Malaja Vishera were considered by them to be genuine.


1   Kuzmina, Elena. 2003. Eternal mystery?, Tajna zizni, 7, September 1 (in Russian).

2   The Track Record, 63, January 1997.
3   Bayanov,Dmitri. 1999. Hominids between Moscow and St. Petersburg',
     Bigfoot Co-op, vol. 20, December, pp. 3-6.

We are grateful to Nadja Fedoseeva (St. Petersburg) for sending Kuzmina's article.

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October 31, 2004

Interview with Mikhail Kirokosjan, Astrakhan (2003)

The Astrakhan edition of the newspaper Mosvovskij Komsomolez 1) published in 2003 an interview with the cryptozoologist Mikhail Kirokosjan. The following translation covers the central points of the interview.

[Sokolova:]  [...] Were there really Snowmen in Astrakhan?
[Kirokosjan:] Among the Astrakhan-Russian people, until the end of the 19th Century, there was a legend about ‘Lopasta’ which was later identified with ‘Rusalka’. She lived in the reeds and in the steppe. [...] In the ravines of the Volodarsk district there was a village with the name of Albastinskij ( ‘Albasty’ is the Nogaian description for ‘wild people’). Possibly they were called that with good reason. Some event happened there which was connected to the appearance of the 'Snowmen'. [...] In the 1920s they were seen in Kalmykia 2)  close to a small sea of reeds and in the 1930s Albasty were on the bank of Bis-Chokho. [...]
[Sokolova:] But are there current reports about meetings with the 'Snowmen'?

[Kirokosjan:] Not too long ago, in October 1998-99, two unexpected ‘wild men’ visitors were noticed in the north of the Astrakhan province. On one occasion a male example was seen and in another a female with a child. Although, naturally, one cannot say with any certainty that this was a female. [...] The ‘Snowmen’ which appeared in our province were of medium size, about 1.8 m and covered in fur. It is quite possible that this isn’t the only case. Many people saw these creatures but were afraid to tell anyone about it. [...] At the end of May 2000 a series of footprints from a large specimen and a child were found on the border between the province of Astrakhan and Volgograd. [...] As the specialists from Moscow saw them they decided that they were tracks from 'Snowmen'.
[Sokolova:] What attracts these rare visitors?    
[Kirokosjan:] Probably their migration routes lie here. When it begins to get colder in the central part of Russia, where they mainly live, and food becomes less and less, some of the Lopasta will go south where it is warmer to prolong their active period. [...] Probably single specimens spend the winter in the Karst region in the north of Kazakhstan. So is it possible that they simply go through the province of Astrakhan to get to the caves to sleep. [...]

1997-2000 Kirokosjan organized four expeditions of the Astrakhan branch of the Russian Geographical Society in the Volga-Ural sand territory. According to  www.alamas.ru (2003)  he published in 2002 a book in Russian: In search of mysterious Cryptids. The south Russian town of Astrakhan is the capital of the province with the same name and lies at the estuary of the Volga and the Caspian Sea. The eastern border of the province forms the state border between Russia and Kazakhstan.



1  Sokolova, Tamara. 2003. Snowmen could pass by you tomorrow, Moskovskij Komsomolez, 11 (in Russian).
2  The Republic of Kalmykia lies on the western border of the province of Astrakhan. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann also
    carried out interviews among the natives in Kalmykia.

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November 4, 2004

Wild man killed in the Pamirs in 1968?

In August 2001, the Russian magazine Karavan + I  published an article 1)  about the killing of a wild man on the old Soviet-Afghanistan border. According to the author, border guards of the Kevran 2)  unit in the Pamir Mountains saw a "Snowman" during the winter of 1967/68. They reported their observation to their superior, Kuzkov, the officer in charge of the unit. He did not, at first, pay any attention to it.

The soldiers of the next watch again saw a creature and reported the fact. Subsequently, the duty officer accompanied the soldiers to the spot and personally observed the creature. Kuskov informed his superior officer, a colonel in Khorog – a settlement on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border. News about this reached the Central Asia Command where, in February 1968, a high-ranking officer gave the order, ‘Catch him or, if that isn’t possible, eliminate him!’. Thereupon, the border guards shot the creature and took it to the border post. The body was stored in a woodshed. A subsequent article 3) in Karavan + I  in September 2001 on the happening disclosed that the body was taken to Moscow in great secrecy.

The magazine questioned two scientists to establish what had happened to the remains of the "Snowman". One of these was Georgy Skvorzov, director of the programme Animals in inhabited settlements and, according to Karavan, for many years a collector of information about the ‘Snowmen’.
[Karavan:]  Georgy, do you believe in the existence of the Snowmen?
[Skvorzov:]  Of course. The Snowman has not only just been seen once in the mountains of Tibet, in the Pamir Mountains, Siberia and the northern Caucasus. In recent time these sightings have been fewer. Probably these very cautious creatures are hiding from the advancing human civilisation. [...]
[Karavan:]  Do you know about the affair at the end of Winter 1968 when our border guards killed a Snowman in the Pamir Mountains and brought his body to the capital? Did scientists get their hands on this specimen?
[Skvorzov:] We have slightly different information if we are talking about the same event. According to my information the body of a Snowman was found by a shepherd in the Pamir Mountains in autumn 1968. But at that time our scientists only received pieces of the fur and the eye-teeth. [...]

The magazine confided that their editor had been visited by an ex-border guard called Andrej. He had served in the Pamir Mountains during the 1960s and had confirmed the killing of a "Snowman" at the place mentioned. Further information about what happened to the body or about the fur and eye-teeth was not given.


1  Gurov, Boris. 2001. Snowman against the USSR, Karavan + I, 37 (289), August 19 (in Russian).
2  Settlement on the Tajikistan-Afghanistan border, about 100 miles eastern of the Tajik capital Dushanbe.
3  Gurov, Boris. 2001. On the tracks of Snowman, Karavan + I, 41 (293), October 10 (in Russian).


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January 13, 2005.

Russian TV documentary  In search of the Snowman
.

During 2004 a documentary with the title "In search of the Snowman" * was repeated on various Russian television channels. Its topic was the existence of the 'Snowman' in the European part of north Russia. To begin with, a commentator described as "searcher Andrej I." reported about an observation by cavers in 2003. They saw a human-like, hairy creature one night in a cave area in the south of St. Petersburg province and saw its tracks. The cave into which the creature disappeared was examined by "searcher Andrej I." **  in the TV documentary. He also commentated at other parts of the documentary.
It was pointed out, in connection with "Snowman" sightings in North-West Russia, that northern Russia has the largest continuous forest in Europe. The documentary film did not question the existence of the "Snowman" phenomenon. Three hypotheses were put forward as an explanation:

1. Surviving Neanderthals
2. An unknown ape
3. 'Dropouts' from society

Various scientists spoke, among them Vaceslav Tarantul, deputy director of an institute for molecular genetics, Leonid Firsov, director of the St. Petersburg Primate Centre, Stanislav Dobryshevskij, anthropologist, and Svjatoslav Medvedjev, director of an "institute for researching the human brain". The well known Russian researcher, Dr. Valentin Sapunov, commented most extensively. The television team went with him to places where meetings with "Snowmen" had occurred in the St. Petersburg area. Sapunov explained his theory about 'Snowmen' as "biological humans" - an alternative to the "social humans"  which Homo sapiens represent.

An electron-microscope photograph of a hair found in the St. Petersburg region was shown as a presumed "Snowman" hair. According to Sapunov it was tested in the "Centre for Biological Research at the Academy of Sciences in the Czech Republic". It could not be ascribed to any known mammal. Sapunov also showed a fragment of a tree trunk with scratch marks found on the "forest island Terekhun"in the Novgorod region. In his opinion these marks come from a "Snowman".

He reported further that he had repeatedly worked in palaeontological collections at home and abroad and had seen "strange bones" which could not be classified. According to Sapunov these were accepted by the "owners of the archives" as "rare pathologies" of human bones. In his opinion these bones could possibly be ascribed to the "Snowman". Particulars about these bones and their repositories were not disclosed.


*    Ugrjumov, Sergej  (director): On the track of the Snowmen. The documentary was shown by,
      among others, the first channel ORT of the Russian television on June 9 th and October 11 th 2004.
**   His surname is only given as"I.". Possibly this is a local researcher.


.

January 15, 2005

"Wildman" skeleton found in the Urals?

The Chelyabinsk biologist 1), Nikolaj Avdeev is a well known personality in the Russian "Snowman" scene. In 1987 Bayanov 2) published in  Bigfoot Co-op  a summary of two letters to him from Avdeev with some comments. These contained Andeevs field work in the Komi Republic. Jane and Colin Bord's 1989 book 3)  contained a photograph of Avdeev.

In the Russian journal Uralskij Sledopyt (Ural Stalker), Avdeev published a report 4) in 2002 about the killing of a ' Wildman' by villagers in the southern Urals about 1913. The saga took place in Ibragimovo village on the river Techa, about 30 miles north-east of the city of Chelyabinsk in the eastern southern Urals. According to Avdeev, he learned about the story from the Bashkir living in Chelyabinsk, Fail Sadykov, who had heard it from his grandfather, Galim Garipov, who claimed to have seen the dead creature when he was still a child. At the time, the newspaper Permskie Gubernskie Vedmosti  is said to have carried a message about the case.

According to Garipov, a wild, human-like, hairy creature appeared at that time in the vicinity of Ibragimovo village. In the regional folktales and legends it is referred to as Shurale. The creature killed domestic animals at night and filled the surrounding forest with savage cries. The village inhabitants armed themselves with hayforks, axes etc. and hunted and killed the Shurale. It had been buried in a flat earth hole. But it was yet alive and was found dead beside the hole it the next morning.

Superiors were informed who visited the village and looked at the dead creature. Avdeev: "They examined the slain Shurale and although he was human-like, he differed considerably from modern humans: He was black, completely covered in hair, with pronounced brow-ridges, a small squashed nose, without a forehead, with a massive neck, arms which reached to under the knee, eyes with a red colour, great white teeth and blunt nails."  The creature was buried in the forest outside the village by the local Mullah. Nasifa Galimovna Sadykova, Fail Sadykov's mother, recalled that her father had shown her the approximate position of the grave when she was a child. According to Avdeev, together with his informant Fail Sadykov he undertook several trips to the area in search of the grave.

The village of Ibragimovo lies in the area of the atomic-power station Majak which had had an accident in 1957 whereby, according to present day information, about twice the amount of the leaked Chernobyl radioactivity was released. As a result about 10.000 people were evacuated as well as the village of Ibragimovo which still remains uninhabited today. In the search for eyewitnesses of the event, Avdeev found an old man, Keramat Abdulin, who had previously lived in Ibragimovo. He is quoted with the following words: "When I was twelve years old, one of my older friends didn't just tell me about Shurale but also showed me his grave upon which we stood and danced about as a test of courage."  Abdulin sketched a map of the village with the position of the grave and visited the spot with Avdeev. An "immediate inspection" however revealed that the grave was not at the spot Abdulin thought he remembered.
Avdeev reported that Fail Sadykov had recently sent him a further message: Usman Benshaditov, the son of the Mullah who had buried the Shurale, said he knew the spot where the grave was: "Look next to the river on a small hill beside the crossroads."

In the newspaper Zhizn-Khabarovsk, appearing in Khabarovsk city (Russian Far-East), Vladislav Verigo 5)  wrote in August 2004 that the "scientist and biologist"Nikolaj Avdejev seemed to have found "the grave of the Snowman"  in the Urals:
"...
The excavation of the grave proved to be sensational in every way. From the first moment Avdeev had established that the skull from the grave was larger than that of a human one. The brow is low like the Neanderthals' with strongly pronounced superciliary arches and jaws, particularly the lower. The biologist immediately sent photographs of the discovery and the skeleton, which had broken bones in many places, to the professor of the St. Petersburg University, Valentin Sapunov, who answered at once: 'Continue with the excavation. That is a very interesting specimen. Don't fail to measure the bones. [...]"

According to Verigo, an examination of the skull was carried out by two scientists from St. Petersburg, the morphologist Garutt, member of a zoological institute and the anthropologist Chartanovich from the Institute of Anthropology and Ethnography. Garutt observed that the face of the skull had an unusual animal expression and that the creature must have possessed enormous strength. Valentin Sapunov supposedly found similarities with the skull unearthed by Igor Burtsev in Abkhazia. According to Verigo, scientists offered Avdeev a further "Yeti grave" to open in the Urals, to which he is supposed to be on the way. Verigo's article contained a portrait photograph of Avdeev as well as a photograph of the Shurale skull.

At the beginning of August 2004 the Ufa edition of  Komsomol'skaya Pravda 6)  had already reported that Nikolaj Avdeev had succeeded in finding a "Snowman skeleton" in the Urals, but did not publish details of the circumstances of the find and no photographs.

The terms Shurale, Jarymtyk and Urman Jase are used in the folklore of Bashkir and Kazan Tartars for a wild, human-like creature. According to folklore tradition it lives in the forest and its whole body is covered in hair. Its description is similar to that of the 'Leshij', a personality in the Russian folklore.


1   The well known Chelyabinsk journalist and correspondent for the Komsomol'skaya Pravda, Sergej Smirnov,
     claimed in an article in 2003 about the 'Snowman' problem that Avdeev is not a biologist but a mechanic
     in a Chelyabinsk granite quarry instead.
     [Smirnov, Sergej. 2003. On hunt for a ghost´, Tribuna, July 26  (in Russian) ].
2   Bayanov, Dmitri in Bigfoot Co-op, May 1987, republished in Bayanov, D. 1996. In the footsteps of the
     Russian Snowman,
Moscow: Crypto-Logos, 185-189.
3   Bord, Janet and Collin. 1989.  Modern mysteries of the world, London: Grafton Books.
4   Avdeev, Nikolaj. 2002. The mystery of the Shurale from Ibragimovo, Uralskij Sledopyt, 2, 70-72 (in Russian).
5   Verigo, Vladislav. 2004. The skull of the Yeti found´, Zhizn-Khabarovsk, 32, August  4  (in Russian).
     Probably this concerns a reprint from another Russian newspaper or journal.
6   Shakhov, Stanislav. 2004. The corpse of the Snowman was found in the neighbouring province,
     Komsomol'skaya Pravda
 (Ufa edition), August  3 (in Russian).


.

January 30, 2005

Findings in Novgorod province

The following information was contained in an article [1]  published in Novgorodskie Vedmosti, a Novgorod newspaper:   "In the same region [2] where the Moscowers discovered prints of large feet, Sapunov [3] found nail like traces on a tree: four clearly marked bruises from teeth could be observed. These 'tooth-prints' closely resembled those that were found by the scientist in Karelia few years ago. At that time, the laboratory analysis carried out at the Institute for Genetics (where Sapunov works) revealed that the distance between the canines of this creature were 2.3 times bigger than that of a contemporary human being."

[1]    Anonymous. 2003. On the traces of Avdoshki, Novgorodskie Vedmosti, 28 (2298), August 23 (in Russian).
[2]    Novgorod province. For further research in this region see  Tajna Zizni on `Avdoshki' in Novgorod province  and  
        Russian TV documentary `In search of the Snowman'.

[3]    Dr. Valentin Sapunov, St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

.

February 7, 2005

"Snowman" follows schoolgirls in the southern Urals

In an article 1)  in 2004, the Ufa edition of Komsomol'skaja Pravda reported among other news that teenagers had one night seen a human figure covered in hair near the village of Verkhnemancharovo 2)  in Ilishevsk district, Bashkortostan (Bashkira). At first, the village adults paid no attention to the report.
The Moscow schoolgirls Arina Geronteva, Sveta Geronteva und Lena Fakhirulina who were staying in the village at the time were interested in the story and were later able to see the creature for themselves at the edge of the village. It was large, moved crouched-over and raced towards the watchers who ran away. Statements by the villagers describe the creature as "a large person", 3 metres tall and which only moves about at night.

One inhabitant of the village asserted that he had seen the creature in his car headlights and had been followed by it. In the next issue 3)  of  Komsomol'skja Pravda  it was reported among other things that the three Muscovite eye-witnesses had found fresh footprints about 30 cm long by 10 cm wide at one spot. The stride length was about 2 metres. Nearby they found an imprint of a very large hand. They had the impression that the creature had slipped in the mud and had fallen down.

According to the newspaper the character of  'Albasty' also existed in the Bashkirian folklore. 'Albasty'  is described as a creature which usually comes to the villages at night. It can kill people by pressing them against his chest with his unusually long arms. Another similar creature in the Bashkirian folklore is the character 'Shurale', a hairy, two-legged creature of huge size. According to popular belief, people who became lost in the forest were tickled to death by 'Shurale'.

The following information came from Gulnara Shakirova and was published in three editions of Komsomol'skaja Pravda in August 2004. According to Shakirova, in the light of the above mentioned events the Komsomol'skaja Pravda organised a small expedition to the forests of Ilishevsk district. Together with local inhabitants "a trap" was set in a clearing where the 'Snowman' had often been seen. The expedition did not succeed in observing anything but only heard an "inhuman cry". 4)

The local Nurgaliev family went into the forest to collect nuts. Thereby, the father of the family, Fidrat Nurgaliev, went deeper into the forest. As he pulled a branch of nuts towards himself, he suddenly saw an enormous, hairy creature which was also collecting nuts two metres away from him. Both were frightened and ran away from each other in different directions. At two o'clock in the morning, the teenagers Rusil Khaliulin and Almaz Khaidarov from Verkhnemancharovo village went to a field hoping to see the 'Snowman'. Horses were grazing near a granary and about four o'clock the horses began to mill about and whinny. Looking beyond the horses the boys saw a great dark silhouette which was moving towards them. The boys ran away. 5)

The seventeen year old Dinar Dimukhametov told how he and others were in a car at night driving outside the village. When they got out of the car to have a smoke they noticed a dark figure coming directly at them. They became frightened, got into the car and drove quickly back to the village. The creature followed them. Dimukhametov: "We didn't drive less than 100 kph but he ran almost alongside the car. It was as if he wanted to play Tag with us. We were able to shake him off. It was terrible!" Rusil Khaliulin reported that he found his horse far away from the spot where he had tied it up. The horse was bloody and shaking as if it had been hunted for a long time. On the right side it had numerous wounds, one of which had obviously been caused by three claws. 6)


1   Shakov, Stanislav. 2004. Snowman follows schoolgirls,
     Komsomol'skaja Pravda (Ufa edition), July 30 (in Russian).
2   The village lies in the foothills of the southern Urals, about
     110 kilometres north-west of Ufa, the capital of the Republic
      of Bashkortostan (Bashkiria), Russian Federation.
3   Shakov Stanislav. 2004. `The Snowmen hunts villagers of Ilishevsk
     district´, Komsomol'skaja Pravda (Ufa edition), July 31 (in Russian).
4   Shakirova, Gulnara. 2004. `How we searched for the Snowmen,
     Komsomol'skaja Pravda (Ufa edition), August 5 (in Russian).
5   Shakirova, Gulnara. 2004. How we searched for the Snowman,
   
 Komsomol'skaja Pravda (Ufa edition), August 6 (in Russian).
6   Shakirova, Gulnara. 2004. How we searched for the Snowmen,
     Komsomol'skaja Pravda (Ufa edition), August 9 (in Russian).

 

.

March 27, 2005

Tatarstan newspaper about “Snowman” tracks in Kyrgyztan

The newspaper Vechernaja Kazan, from Kazan, the capital of Tatarstan, Russian Federation, shared the following in August 2001: “A hunter from the Narynsk province [Kyrgyztan] discovered tracks of an unknown being in the mountains. Scientists were able to take a photo of these tracks - length: 45 cm, width: 35 cm. Experts assume that the hominoid (if it was one) came here from the neighboring Pamir, where Tajik rebels have caused him to shy away.” *  
The Republic Kyrgyztan has been in the past and present the target of many expeditions on the hunt for the “Snowman”.

* Anonymous. 2001. The Snowman surfaced in Kyrgyztan, Vechernaja Kazan, 134 (2241), August 22 (in Russian).
   We thank Ludmila Kalinina for the tip about this article.

.

April 13, 2005

Marijskaja Pravda  regarding an encounter with a “forest man” in 2003

The newspaper Marijskaja Pravda, from the Republic Marij El, Russian Federation, reported in 2003 about an encounter of the hunter Igor “Belozerov” [according to Igor B.'s request, his family name was changed by the newspaper] with a “forest man”. According to the newspaper, the hunter had heard stories about the “forest people” from his father, who claimed to have seen them in the 50s. Up to four years ago, Igor B. didn’t believe such stories. He was on a hunt and returned in the evening to a hunter’s hut in the Kilemarsk forest. The door had strong springs, so that it shut by itself. On this evening, he sat down to eat in the hut with his back to the door. This was opened, and then closed again immediately. No one could be seen outside. During the night, the hunter awoke suddenly. A being stood bent over him, which looked similar to both an ape and a man.

Igor B.:  “The face was hairy, with a very strongly developed brow and a large, flat nose. I wanted to scream and jump up, but I was paralyzed by fear. This thing studied me for about one minute, which seemed like eternity to me, straightened himself, and then went through the door. Strength returned to me. This night guest was two meters tall, strongly built, with wide shoulders, and not clothed despite the cold.”  *

Igor B. explained that there are not few of these reports in the Marij El Republic. According to Marijskaja Pravda he was able, some time after the described encounter, to observe two such beings. Further details were not explained here. The Kilemarsk forest is about 60 km west of Joshkar Ola, the capital of Marij El Republic. The Republic is about 440 miles east of Moscow. It borders on the north with the Kirov province, from which many of these observations have been reported in the last years.

* Belenkov, Jakob. 2003. Our other worldly forest, Marijskaja Pravda, February 4  (in Russian).



.

April 22, 2005

Sighting in Omsk province, Southwest Siberia, in 2004

The Novosibirsk edition of Komsomol’skaja Pravda published an article in November 2004 about observation of hairy beings similar to humans in the Kyshtovka district of the Omsk province, southwest Siberia. On August 22, 2004, the 14-year-old Vitali Korneev claims to have observed such a being as he was guarding cows during the day in open pastures near the village Komarovka. He is quoted as follows: “Not more than 30 meters away from me something moved: not a person and not a bear. He was two meters tall, maybe a bit more; had wide shoulders and was somewhat bent. He was completely covered in brown hair, except for the palms of his hands, which were smooth like those of humans. The eyes were also human, but the nose was like that of an ape: pushed in; only two nostrils were to be seen. I noticed that the being moved smoothly and silently… Not like bears […] ”

According to the authors, the teenager was very frightened and ran back to the village. On the way he met the forester Oleg Timoveev and two neighbors and told them what he had seen. The adults went immediately to the place where the observation happened. Because it had rained the day before, there were tracks. Oleg Timoveev: “There were clear footprints of the stranger on the damp ground - such as I have never seen before. The length - I measured them with a stick - was 31 cm, and the width at the widest point was 11-12 cm, only the heel was narrow, like a human. […] I can say precisely that these were not human tracks. […]”

Andrej Sukhorebrov, the police chief of Kyshtovka district, was also at the place with two colleagues. They filmed the tracks. Sukhorebrov: “I studied the tracks for two hours and one can assume that they really did not originate from an animal, because our colleagues have gone on bear hunts since they were children, and if these were from one of our bears, they would have recognized that immediately. Also, a human can’t leave behind such prints. […] So I am sure, that in the forests of Kyshtovka an unknown being is around…”  The authors mention further observations of such beings in the Kyshtovka district in the last years.*  The village Komarovka lays on the river Tara in an area of forests and marshes, about 200 miles northeast of Omsk. The city, about 50 miles north of the state border between Russia and Kazakhstan, is the center of the province with the same name.

* Beljakov, Vladislav; Gladkaja, Olesja. 2004. The Yeti: a genetic mutant or did it come from the space?  
   Komsomol’skaja Pravda
(Novosibirsk edition), November 11 (in Russian).

 

.

A
pril 30, 2005

Expedition planned in Western Ukraine

In winter 2005 Ukrainian newspapers and TV reported about a planned “Snowman” expedition in summer 2005 in Rivne (Rovno) province, Western Ukraine. Rivne province, about 200 miles western from the capital Kiev, borders in the north with the Pripjat swamps (Belarus). A number of “wildmen” reports exist from this area. In 2004 footprints and excrements has been found in the Rivne forests. The expedition will be organized by a society from Zaporozhe, Ukraine. On of the organizers, the Ukrainian Vladislav Kanjuk, took part in many “Snowman” expeditions during the Soviet time. According to him he saw “Snigovoi ljudini” (Ukrainian for ‘Snow people’) 14 times in the Pamirs and in the Altai. He claims to be the first Ukrainian who has photographed the “Snowman”.


                                                        


Krushel’niz’kij, Volodimir (2005) ‘Expedition to Rivne on search for Snow people starts from Zaporozhe’,
Rivne vechirne
(Evening Rovno), 5, January 20 (in Ukrainian).
Kopach, Vasil’ (2005) ‘Hunt for Snow people’, 145, February, Rivnens’ka Gazeta (Rovno Newspaper), (in Ukrainian).


.

May 4, 2005

A new web site of the Moscow "Hominologists"

The Moscow ‘hominologists’ established the Cryptosphere Found for Furthering Scientific Exploration and Searches and International Center for Hominology. It has its own web page: http://hominology.narod.ru.   According to the site, the founders of Cryptosphere Found also authored its contents. Igor Burtsev is President of the Found, and Dmitri Bayanov, the scientific chief of the International Center of Hominology. Currently, the group formulates its aims as follows: “To report comprehensibly the truth about the quest for and research into the 'Snowman', and to describe problems related to the study of mysterious bipeds.”

In the introduction to the web page, Igor Burtsev writes: „Our site was conceived by a group of experts specialised in problems related to the 'Snowman'. It was created to continuing truthful and objective examination of the problem, and to convey reliable information on these questions to interested individuals. […] We are convinced that our web site will not just find its readers, but will also help researchers to unite in the goal of successfully studying the problem of hominids.” At present this text is available only in Russian. An English version is announced (on stand of April 2005).



.

May 7, 2005

Snowman. The Russian track.*
TV documentary with Dr. Marie
-Jeanne Koffmann

The documentary TV report in Russian deals with the “Snowman”  theme and its research in the territory of the former Soviet Union. It was first broadcast in Russian TV in 2003. A number of eye witnesses reports on encounters during the last years. Among these is Boris Liberov, a hunter. Through many newspaper reports, the account of his encounter with an adult and a juvenile “Snowman” in Kirov province** became known in Russia. In the documentary, the hunter appears in the woods near his village, relating his encounter. Various sketches of the “Snowman” are illustrated in the film, apparently based on eye witness descriptions.

The documentary is framed with a backdrop of scenes showing  Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, apparently in her Moscow apartment. She contributes general commentary on research into the problem and its history, but refrains from commenting specifically on reports given by eye witnesses in the documentary. Referring to the 1958 Pamir expedition, Koffmann notes that three caves were inspected. In one cave a sleeping pad with straw was discovered, as well as traces of hair. A few short historical film sequences which have no reference to time or location may possibly show sequences of this expedition. In addition, a few brief segments show eye witnesses from the French film Almasty, yeti du caucase (1992, realization Sylvain Pallix).

Koffmann’s commentaries contains essential statements like the following: “And a cadaver, this I can say categorically and with total scientific conviction, a cadaver can contribute nothing to our knowledge of the morphology. Absolutely nothing. We know it inside out, to the last bristle, to the last part of the foot. […] The Soviet research, the work done by Soviet comrades, has rightly been recognised by the world’s great anthropologists. People such as Yves Coppens  […] They seem hardly able to find the right words for describing their interest and astonishment at the research done by the Soviets, and, of course, they have a deep desire to see the work completed. […] ”

The documentary continues that „The latest report concerning Almasty comes from Siberia…”. Film sequences of the landscape at the river Ankara, taken by a video camera, depict a dark man-like figure on the steep riverside, who is said to be a “Snowman”. Details are unclear in the film, which originated in the province of Irkutsk, South Siberia. The documentary was broadcast several times on Russian TV in 2003 and 2004. Credits indicate that documentary material originated from the personal video archive of  Dr. Koffmann.


*   Producer Tatjana Vardanjan. It was broadcast in Russian TV cannel 1 (ORT)
     among others on September 11, 2003, and
 January 19, 2004.
**  On ‘wildmen’ in Kirov province see: Encounters and research in Kirov province, Central European Russia.

 

.

May 27, 2005


TV documentary Snowman: The new track

On the 19th of May 2005 the Russian TV channel TNT broadcasted in the serie Unbelievable But True  a documentary on “Snowman” research in the Russian Federation. On of our Russian coworkers has send a summary by email. According to him, the report mentiones Alexander Starostin, Igor Burtsev, Dmitri Bayanov, Gleb Koval, Vadim Chernobrov and other researchers. Expeditions into the Caucasus, to Middle Asia and Kirov district has been mentioned. Three messages concering the North Caucasian republic of Kabardino-Balkaria: Two locals claimed to have seen the “Snowman”. It was further reported that about ten years ago a village girl had been captured by an Almasty.


.

June 1, 2005

Books on "Snowman" by Igor Burtsev?

To this day in the West, essential aspects of Russian literature dealing with "relic hominids" on the territory of the former Soviet Union remain unknown. Searching for and analysing of this literature is integral to studying the problem in Eurasia. Various advices indicate that books by Burtsev exist which deal with this subject. Up to now, the existence of such books has been unknown in the West. In the current known publications of the Moscow "hominologists", books by Burtsev are not mentioned.

A German journalist, Alexander Smoltzcyk, has drawn attention to such a book. He was particularly interested in the Caucasian "Snowman" and visited Abkhazia in 1994, where he met with the archaeologist, Dr. Juri Voronov. Voronov, who knew Burtsev personally, referred Smoltzcyk to a monography by Burtsev, entitled, The snowman on the territory of the USSR.[1]  The Pamir traveller Johann Gornenskij, who was also interested in the ‘Snowman’ problem, wrote the following in his book Secrets of the Pamirs: “…However, young enthusiasts followed […], Burtsev and Tatsl, but one is better advised to read these authors’ books.” [2]

Leonid Yershov, a member of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists (RSC) and, according to Bayanov, “a leading hominologist of the Kola peninsula” [3], wrote in 1989 on Maya Bykova’s expeditions on the Kola peninsula in the following words: “ I. D. Burtsev [Igor Dmitrievich Burtsev] was also occupied as a member of the present expedition. In his books, genuine rarities nowadays, he has long dealt with this theme.” [4] Burtsev is a RSC board member and also belongs to the Moscow ‘Hominologists’. He is presently editor-in-chief of Istochnik (Spring), a district newspaper in Moscow. Its editorial office on Ossenij Boulevard  functions not only as the address of the Crypto-Logos publishing house, but also of the periodical Vestnik Gominologij (Courier of Hominology) and the Cryptoshere Fund for Furthering Scientific Explorations and Searches and International Centre of Hominology (May 2005).

Burtsev has been an active researcher since the 1960s. He had close personal contacts to a high state administrative body during the Soviet period. As a result, he was a key figure among the Moscow "hominologists". Only these connections and his commitment enabled many activities of the "hominologists", in spite of restrictions under the Soviet regime. These included foreign correspondence, meetings, publications and visits by foreign researchers. Research done by Russian co-workers from our study group for Burtsev’s books in Russian libraries have yielded no results to date.

[1] Smoltczyk, Alexander (1994) 'Journey to Abkhazia. Part III. The snow woman’s great-grandchild',
     Wochenpost, 41, October 6, pp. 48-49 (in German). Dr. Voronov, personally occupied with the
     'Snowman' problem, was vice prime minister of Abkhazia. He was killed in September 1995.
[2] Gornenskij, Johann (2002) Secrets of the Pamirs, Moscow: Veche, p. 184  (in Russian).
[3] Bayanov, Dmitri (1996) In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow: Crypto-Logos, p. 203.
[
4] Yershov, Leonid (1989) 'Snowman: Myth or reality?' Poljarnaja Pravda, September 15 (in Russian).
     Yershov works as a criminologist in Murmansk. In publications he is usually referred to as “co-worker
     of the Murmansk harbour”
. His true profession is kept secret in Russia for reasons of security.


.
June 11, 2005

Radio interview with the chairman of Kosmopoisk (2004)

On the 6th of June 2004 the Russian Radio station Mayak broadcasted an interview with Vadim Chernobrov with the title Snowman. Myth or reality? Chernobrov is chairman of the Russian organisation Kosmopoisk. According to Burtsev and Bayanov the organisation took part in search and research of Snowman in Russia and has one sector of Hominology *. Chernobrov took part in the fieldwork in Kirov province where his group found a supposedly "Snowman" camp **. In the interview he comments this finding. The main part of the interview deals not with "Snowman", but with phenomena like corn circles. It can be heard under http://www.radiomayak.ru/schedules/244/15594-audio.html

*    www.hominology.narod.ru/true.htm  (June 2005)
**   see under 'Reports':  Encounters and research in Kirov province, Central European Russia.

.

February 27, 2006

Russian newspapers on sigthings in Perm province in 2005

Some local Russian newspapers reported about sightings in Perm province in the summer of 2005. Elena Tupitsyna, a resident of the village Mizhuj, saw, along with her relatives, an unknown animal around one in the morning. It was "white with long, unkempt fur, and less than two meters tall."[1]  In the newspaper Parma Novosti  it is described as one meter tall. It’s movements were similar to humans. One of the adults whistled and the being disappeared in the forest.

At the end of the summer of 2005, a similar being was also observed from the guard of a store in the village of Gurin, not far from Mizhuj village. He described "a large, furry ape.” The being was seen again in the same village: two teachers were going home at dusk and noticed a being which was covered with unkempt, light-colored fur. In August 2005, three teenagers from Kudymkar city were sitting by the edge of the forest and roasting potatoes. They saw how three beings came out of the forest: “...one was smaller than the others - white and unkempt.” [2]  The local Komi people have named this being Chochko mort, which means in Komi language “white man”.

Villagers from Mizhuj village have also reported that two years ago, four Chochko morts were observed in a neighbouring village at night during the hay harvest. Fourteen residents of the village saw the four humanlike creatures. They were described as being two meters tall. According to the newspaper the local population has known about Chochko mort for a long time.[2] The city of Perm is located about 600 miles northeast of Moscow in the western forelands of the Middle Urals. The district’s centre Kudymkar, mentioned here, lies about 80 miles northwest of Perm.

[1]  Kuznetsova, Marina (2006) 'Our Snowman', Orlovskij Meridian, 02 (356), January 11 (in Russian).
[2]  Khorosheva, Anastasja (2005): 'Fairy tale of Mizhuj forest', Parma Novosti, 33 (504), August 18 (in Russian).

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March 13, 2006

Russian Tourism Company offers trips  On the Trail of the Snowman

The Russian tourism company OOO DS Travel Club *, a part of the Diners Club Russia, is now offering trips On the Trail of the Snowman  in the Kirov forests in central Europan Russia. The program of this trip, described as an expedition, includes, among other things, questioning of eye witnesses, setting up observation cameras, setting out baits, and a search for the “Snowman’s” camps. For more information on "Snowman" in Kirov province see under 'Reports': Encounters and research in Kirov province, Central European Russia.

* http://travel.diners.ru/ru/excursions.php



March 20, 2006


Astrakhan newspaper about an encounter in 1999

The local researcher Mikhail Kirokosjan reported in 2003 about "Snowman" in Astrakhan province (south of European Russia) in an interview with the Moscow newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolez.[1]  In October 2004, the local newspaper Chronometer-Astrakhan described an encounter in 1999 in Akhtubinsk district, Astrakhan province. The city of Akhtubinsk lies about 80 miles east of Volgograd (former Stalingrad ) on the Volga river, 25 miles away from the Russian-Kazakh border.

According to the newspaper, there is a half-wild fruit plantation in the district. A small lake covered with reeds is a few hundred meters away. In the fall of 1998, two hunters, who were spending the night on an island in the reeds, heard the noise of reeds breaking at night. It sounded like this was caused by an animal. The rattling lasted the entire night, and was caused in their opinion by a large animal, which they wanted to drive away. The hunters could not see it. The next day they could only find broken reeds around them. The noises came again the second night, but this time it sounded like it was caused by two beings. The next morning the hunters left the area.

In 1999, a resident of the Akhtubinsk district went to the plantation mentioned above to gather apples. He went deep into the plantation and suddenly noticed a dark silhouette hiding itself in the shrubs. At first, the man didn’t give this any thought. Suddenly, he saw a being squatting in the bushes which resembled a man. It was naked, male, completely covered in brown fur. The eyewitness: "He was watching me. He was so close, that you could see his eyes. A human gaze always expresses something, but this...was just an animal gaze, penetrating and alert."  Suddenly, the being disappeared and the eye witness left the plantation quickly.[2]

1  See above: Interview with Mikhail Kirokosjan, Astrakhan (2003)
2  Trigolosova, Irina (2004) 'On the track of Snowman', Chronometer-Astrakhan, 28, October 12 (in Russian).



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March 30, 2006


Expedition in the Altai Mountains in 2006

The newspaper Altaiskaja Pravda* announced in February 2006 a new "Snowman" expedition. Their destination is the south of the Gorno-Altaisk Republic, southern Siberia. The planned expedition route runs from the Ust-Koksa settlement to the sources of the Katun river in the Belukha mountain massive on the Russian-Kazakh border. The Altai mountains are one of the "classic" "Snowman" territories in the former Soviet Union. Sponsors from the Gorno-Altaisk Republic are supporting the expedition. It was planned to leave on February 8, 2006, from Ust-Koksa. Further details were not reported.

For more information about the 'Snowman' in the Altai see also under 'Reports':

'Wild men' in the Russian-Kazakh Altai and Sayan
.

* Gerasimov, Aleksej. 2006. Expedition on the track of "Snowman", Altaiskaja Pravda, 31 (25406), February 4 (in Russian).

 .

April 12, 2006


More about the Russian TV documentary  Snowman: The new track

On May 27, 2005, we informed about a Russian TV reportage Snowman: The new track. The report was broadcast in 2005 numerous times on the Russian TV channel TNT, including the first of August. A member of our study group had the possibility to see it. Here are some further significant details:

The main part is the field research in the Kirov Province during the last few years. Several researchers, which according to Russian newspapers have participated in the Kirov field work, discuss the topic: Igor Burtsev, Gleb Koval, Vadim Chernobrov, Andrej Tshemodanov and Anatolij Fokin.1 According to  Fokin, video cameras recorded strange shadows during a two-month observation in the Kirov forests. Sergej Drushko, the report’s commentator, adds that when these films are played slowly, a hairy leg can be seen. The film sequence was shown in the report. Several eye witnesses report about their encounters in the Kirov province.

One of these is similar to an encounter on the Kola Peninsula from 1988.2   In the Kirov forests, some teenagers were spending the night in a hunter’s hut. A wild man attempted to force himself into the hut. Gleb Koval: “… He  [the wild man]  was able to open the door. The Yeti grabbed a boy, left with him and was bellowing during this. He picked up the 15 year old boy as easily as a feather. One of his friends took a firework and lit it. It exploded loudly. The Yeti let the boy drop and ran away.”

According to Drushko, a tuft of hair was found in the Kirov province. A DNA analysis showed that "it did not belong to a species known by science". Plant pollen has been found in the hair which is only present in the North Caucasus - according to Drushko "especially in Kabardino-Balkaria." The Balkarian eye witness Vitali Borchaev reported about his encounter in the central Caucasus in Balkaria and shows the place where this happened.

Dmitri Bayanov tells the Albert Ostmann story. Bayanov: "We know that they [the wild men] truly kidnap men. They kidnap human women. The women kidnap the men." Burtsev and Bayanov express the hunch that in case of an ecological catastrophe, the wild men have a better chance of survival than Homo sapiens. Bayanov: "If a catastrophe happens, they might survive better than humans. They are waiting for their time."

Furthermore, the report shows some amateur film footage from a Pamir expedition from the 80s. This was narrated by Igor Burtsev. In this, Nina Grinyova shows her encounter in 1980 in Pamir apparently in the original location.3  Additionally, one can see the creation of a plaster cast of a footprint in the Pamirs.The report contains some mistakes and confusion: among other things, personal names are given incorrectly and localities are falsely named.


1   See under 'Reports': Encounters and research in Kirov province, Central European Russia.
2   Yershov Leonid in: Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footdsteps of the Russian Snowman, Moscow, 1996, pp. 190-201.
3   Burtsev, Igor.1981. Expedition 'Hissar-80', Bigfoot Co-op, June 1981, republished in:
     Bayanov, Dmitri.1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow, 1996.



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April 26, 2006

Photo report of an expedition in Kirov province, Russia, in 2004

During the last years several "Snowman" expeditions were organized in the Russian Kirov province. One of these expeditions lastet from the 5th up to the 9th of May 2004. Members were Maxim Golubev, Evgenij Troshin, Sergej Ananov and Vera Smolina. The Russian website  www.x-files.ru*  published a photo report of this expedition. For further informations on "Snowman" in Kirov province see under 'Reports': Encounters and research in Kirov province, Central European Russia.

*
 www.x-files.ru/com_x/030504

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May 14, 2006


Ukrainian newspaper reported on an expedition in the Caucasus in 2005

The Ukrainian newspaper Tekhnopolis * reported on an expedition in the northern Caucasus. Anatoly Sedorenko, a former correspondent of this newspaper, participated in the expedition in summer 2005. According to the newspaper, this was a international expedition. Groups were formed, which then investigated a specific area. Sedorenko claims that once during this expedition, he awoke around 3:00 a.m. and heard two men speaking. He did not know the language, but it reminded him of the Balkarian language. He also heard noises that reminded him of wild pigs. As he came out of the tent, he saw an Almasty  that was quickly running away and mumbling. According to the newspaper, he was lured by wine and the smell of alcohol: the Almasty drank about half a liter of wine and left footprints. Plaster casts were made. A photo of such a plaster cast was published in the newspaper. The area of work was only given as the northern Caucasus.

Zhukov, Andrej. 2005. 'Kramatorsk people on search of "Snowman"',
Tekhnopolis, 31 (681), August 4 (in Russian).


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July 4, 2006


Caucasus Times  about Almasty observations in the Caucasus

On January 16, 2006, the Prague information agency Medium-Orient reported in  www.caucasustimes.com  on Almasty observations in Kabardino-Balkaria, North Caucasus. On January 15, 2006, in the Dolina Narzanov valley, two hunters from the Zolsk district* met an unusual figure, which was crawling on all fours. The hunters shot a few warning rounds, because they believed that it was a large bear. The unknown being stood up and the hunters understood that it was a „Snowman“. According to the eyewitnesses, the being disappeared with the agility of a wild animal in the depths of the forest. The hunters claim that they found there tracks of a foot with four toes, which were unusually long: 80 cm. A tuft of red-brown hair was also apparently found there. Another eyewitness from the Zolsk district is quoted as such: A short while ago I parked my car and went to collect water from the mountain stream. When I came back, I noticed a 2 meter tall being next to my car, covered with dark fur. When he first noticed me approaching, he escaped fearfully into the forest.

* Zolsk district in the western part of Kabardino-Balkaria - main working area of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann.

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October 11, 2006


Moscow Hominologist gives bone sample to the USA for investigation

According to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda, Igor Burtsev was invited to the USA.1 There, he will deliver a bone sample of a skull to a “Laboratory for the Genetics of the Neanderthals of the New York University" for analysis. Burtsev found this skull in the 70s during an excavation while he was looking for the grave of Zana in Abkazia, Caucasus. This is alleged to have been a female “Snowman”. Zana was captured and tamed in the 19th century in Abkazia. It is claimed that the skull that was found comes from one of Zana’s children.2  Burtsev: “American and German scientists want to decode the genetic makeup of the Neanderthal.” Burtsev would like to know if the scientists can prove there is DNA from a Neanderthal in the sample. Komsomolskaja Pravda quotes him with the following words: “If that is so, then I could claim that this is the descendant of a “Snowman.” And the “Snowman” itself is a Neanderthal.” Igor Burtsev, one of the Moscow Hominologists, is a leading member of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists. A photograph of this skull was published by Dmitri Bayanov (1996). According to Bayanov the skull is "a combination of modern and ancient features, which aroused great interest among anthropologists".3

1  Lagovskij, Vladimir. 2006. A Caucasian Prisoner. Komsomolskaja Pravda, August 11 ( in Russian).
2  Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow: Crypto-Logos, p.50
3  op. cit. ( note 2)  p. 50




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October 16, 2006


Gregory Panchenko on the results of his Caucasus expedition in 2005

Gregory Panchenko published the results of his expedition in the Caucasus in summer, 2005, in a German cryptozoological periodical.1  He shares the "main results"  of the expedition was, among others, new information on observations of children and young adults of the Almasty from the years 2003-2005.  Panchenko writes, that  "...not only does the population of the 'Snowmen' exist, that one can almost says it is blossoming."

According to him  the expedition searched for more than a week for the body of a "Snowman" which had been found by a local in 1997 and supposedly buried under a stone: "Unfortunately, we didn't find the skeleton, but one could continue the search in the next expedition." Panchenko admits that he did find a human shin bone.  According to his statement, he also found a collarbone, which local people had taken from the skeleton of a supposed  "Snowman" in 1982.  Shards of teeth from a shattered skull, which the locals had also seemed to be an Almasty, were collected.  

Supposedly, a local resident declared that he was willing to show a place in a cattle stall where he claimed to have seen a "Snowman" during the last falls and winters.  Panchenko writes that he has reached "an agreement  with the local government" that "a future  real German expedition [...] will enjoy privileged treatment [...]Furthermore, there is the possibility that this expedition has a good chance of being carried on successfully."  It is not shared where this expedition worked in the Caucasus.  However, one can assume that all the information refers to Panchenko's old work area: the central and western part of Kabardino-Balkaria, northern Caucasus. Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann also spent three months, from the middle of July up to the middle of October, in Kabardino-Balkaria in 2005.

With this, for the first time in the history of the Soviet-Russian Caucasus research, numerous material discoveries were published in the West as the results of only a single expedition.  Panchenko's statement to the current Almasty population is significant in view of Koffmann's statements to it. In 1984 she published: " [The population] must presently be at a critical or even lower level." 2  In 2003 she said:  Only a few single specimens remain which were brought through the ruins of the former areals".3 One can assume that Panchenko's article is also an attempt to find further supporters among the readers of this periodical for future field research.  His mention of an agreement with the local government in view of a future real German expedition also hints at this. According to the local mentality in Kabardino-Balkaria - also from a governmental side - there is no interest for such field work. There would be absolutely no permission needed for this, either.

According to Dmitri Bayanov, Panchenko is a biologist and comes from the Kharkov city in the Ukraine. 4  As a student, he has participated since 1984 in Koffmann's field research in the northern Caucasus.  There, he supposedly had an encounter in 1991 at night with a being that is assumed to be an Almasty.5  Panchenko has lived for the last few years in Germany. There it became known in cryptozoological circles that he has personally observed Almasty in the Caucasus numerous times.  He is the author of the book Catalogue of Monsters (2002).6


1   Panchenko, Gregory. 2005. An expedition to the Caucasus in 2005 - On search for the Snowman.
     Pterodactylus
; 24-25, p. 53  (in German).
2   Koffmann, Marie, Jeanne. 1984. Brief ecological description of the Caucasus Relic Hominoid
     (Almasti) based on oral reports by local inhabitants and on field investigations.
 p. 83
     In Markotic, Vladimir and Krantz, Grover. 1984. The Sasquatch and  other Unknown
     Hominids
. Calgary: Western Publishers.
3   Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne in: Snowman. The Russian Track (TV report),
     producer: Tatjana Vardabjan. Broadcast in Russian  TV channel 1 (ORT) among others on
     September 11, 2003 and January 19, 2004 (in Russian).
4   Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow : Crypto-Logos. p. 53.
5   op. cit. ( note 4), pp. 53 - 62.
6   see Bookreview: Catalogue of Monsters.


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November 2, 2006

R
ussian newspaper about "Snowman" encounter in Tajikistan

Vladimir Smeljanskij reports in the Russian newspaper Rabochaja Gazeta about a business trip to Tajikistan.*  In the village Sary-Chashma close to the Afghani border, a teenager told him about an encounter. He claimed it happened to his father in the early 1990s. At the time, his father was working as a cowherd. One evening, he noticed that a cow was missing. As he was searching for the cow in the dark, he came across a ravine, fell, and caught himself on a vine. He called for help. Suddenly, he heard a snort. At first he thought it was the missing cow. Then, in the light of the moon, he saw a figure: “… large head, short torso, unbelievably long arms, bent yet strong legs, and very large feet. And the entire body was covered with dark brown fur.”

The being came to the edge, held a stick down for the man and easily hoisted him up. The two stood there a few seconds face to face. The man saw huge hands with thick fingers, ears close against his skull, and small eyes. The being was a little taller than 1.5 meters and with his broad shoulders seemed almost square. The being apparently reached for the knife on the herder’s belt and ripped it away. As an exchange, he gave him his stick. The being then turned the man around by grabbing his shoulders and gave him a light shove. In the village, at first everyone was skeptical of the herder’s story. But then the elders remembered: “In the Pamirs, you really do meet these half-man, half-animal beings. Sometimes it helps the herders, who think of it as a mountain spirit. But only a few have been lucky enough to see it.”

* Smeljanskij, Vladimir. 2006. Moutain spirit. Rabochaja Gazeta, 5, May 24  (in Russian).


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November 13, 2006


Molodoj Leninez
about encounters in central European Russia (2004)


According to the Russian newspaper Molodoj Leninez *, the residents of the village Virga claim that an unknown being has been living in the surrounding area of the village for a while. This being steals small animals from the settlements. A resident of the village claims to have seen the being with his own eyes. It was chopping at the wood of a house on the edge of the village one evening. Suddenly, his dog started barking and could not be calmed. The man believed that his neighbor had guests: “I went to the fence and saw – someone was standing 100 meters away from me. A person – yet not a person. A gorilla – yet not a gorilla. And it wasn’t like a bear … . Stood and looked directly at me. I was so afraid, the blood ran cold in my veins.”  The being disappeared shortly thereafter. No clear tracks were found. Two days later, the neighbor of the eye witness heard noises at night in the farm. She thought it was a thief, but couldn’t recognize anything in the dark. She lit a candle and went to the window. Directly in front of her, she saw a “hairy mug.”  She didn’t trust herself to leave the house until the morning. Later she realized that two chickens were missing.
The village Virga is about 50 miles northwest of Pensa city. Pensa is the capital of the province with the same name, about 250 miles southeast of Moscow and 100 miles away from the Saratov region. In 1989, some encounters in the Saratov region became known.

*  Belkin, Jacob. 2004. The Snowman exist. Molodoj Leninez, 42 (7192), October 19  (in Russian).


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November 27, 2006

Kalgamashka on the lower Amur river

The Russian newspaper Vsja Rossija segodnja  reported that the hunter Nikolaj Dechuli from the Daergi settlement found unusual footprints a few times. He has often seen an unknown being, which he thinks is a bear in the first instant: A giant covered in thick fur stood a few meters from him. His face was the most surprising – it was disproportionaly small in comparison with the large body, and had wrinkles like an old person. The local natives, Nanai, call these beings Kalgamashka, Kalgama, Pujmur or Kal'djami. According to the newspaper, fishermen from the Najkhana settlement claim to have recently  seen such a giant on the bank of the river.*  It is not told when exactly this encounters happened. The settlements Daergi and Najkhana lie about 85 miles northeast of the city Khabarovsk on the Amur river. Khabarovsk is the capital of the province with the same name in the far east of Russia.

* Savchenko, A. 2006. Kalgamashka on the lower Amur. Vsja Rossija segodnja, 6816 (in Russian).

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December 16, 2006

Fedko, V. N.: Where does the Snowman live? *

The author writes that he worked as a professional hunter in the 80s and early 90s, among other things. His particular interest was hunting wolves. A shepherd invited him on a wolf hunt in summer 1985. This was in the Tien-Shan Mountains, in the Chon-Burkut valley, toward the mouth of the river Sary-Tzhas. Fedko: When I came from the cliff, about 5-6 meters in front of me on the path, I saw a giant person. He had more height and strength than me. His entire body was covered with fur. We stood there and looked each other in the eye. For animals, this is a challenge. We didn’t stand across from each other for more than a minute. I wanted to shoot into the rocks above his head, when he made a sound between “uch” and “och.” He took one step back, jumped up and pulled himself up, then disappeared between the rocks.

Fedko described the being as no less then 2.5 meters tall. His face was not covered in fur, and his eyebrows were thick and almost touching. He estimated the weight to be at least 150 kilograms. Fedko: No one was surprised to hear my story about meeting the Snowman. It shows that the local sheep and yak herders meet him occasionally, but he doesn’t attack humans if they don’t attack him. The district that is names is in east Kyrgyzstan, about 70 miles east of the city Karakol, near the Kazakh border.


*  Fedko, V. N. 2005. Where does the Snowman live? Tajna Vlast', 20  (in Russian).

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January 8, 2007

Igor Burtsev on the Examination of two Skulls from Abkazia/Caucasus
 

In August, 2006, the Russian newspaper Komsomol'skaja Pravda 1  reported on the examination of a skull assumed to be from a “relic hominoid” from Abkazia. Igor Burtsev, who found the skull, was invited to visit the USA for this.2
Burtsev wrote in the Russian website http://mughamir.livejournal.com: He was in New York from July 13-20, on an invitation from NG-TV. The DNA of the skull from Khwit and another female skull from a neighboring grave of Khwit were examined at New York University. NG-TV filmed his talk with a geneticist and an anthropologist.

According to Burtsev, the preliminary result of the DNA analysis is: The skulls are most likely related. Khwit’s skull is an Australoid type. Some measurements of the skull are greater than the maximum vales known from modern man. The female skull is an African type, with a strongly defined lip and teeth prognatism. Despite the DNA relationship of the skulls, the anthropologist is skeptical that they are related because of the many morphological differences. Nothing is shared about Burtsev’s hypothesis of a genetic relationship to the Neanderthal. A written report of the examination is expected.


1
 Lagovskij, Vladimir. 2006. A Caucasian Prisoner. Komsomol'skaja Pravda, August 11 (in Russian).
2  Moscow hominologist
gives bone sample to the USA for investigation.

 

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January 30, 2007


Russian website show painting of the “Snowman” in Tajikistan

The website Tochikoni Rossija, a Tajik-Russian Mass Media Project published a photo of the St. Petersburg artist Nikolaj Potapov with his painting of a “relic hominoid”. (www.tajinfo.ru/article/1162144220/pindex.shtml) In the 80’s, Potapov was a participant in a "snowman" expedition in Tajikistan. There, according to the website, he witnessed a “snowman.” He portrayed the being he saw in this painting. This picture has been published numerous times in Russian journals and newspapers.

Even today, there are still no known photos of the “relic hominoid” from the former Soviet Union in which one could recognize the physiognomy. Therefore, the drawings and pictures which came from people who can draw their observation professionally and realistically are significant. Several such pictures are known from the area of the former Soviet Union. Examples of this are the drawings of an observation from the Caucasus by N. Goracharov [1] and one by a local artist from the Caucasus in the French film Almasty, yeti du Caucase.[2]

Additional professional drawings have been published from the Caucasus by Dmitri Bayanov in his book: In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman (1996): two portraits of the Almasty. According to Bayanov, these came from the eyewitness reports which were collected by Marie-Jeanne Koffmann.[3] Vadim Makarov published, in addition to the portraits and the drawing by A. Goncharova, a picture of a complete body of an Almasty – obviously by the same artist.[4] This had already been published in 1986 in a Swedish monograph by Bayanov and Burtsev and there described as “realistic”. [5]

Since Boris Porshnev’s time, the hypothesis that the Caucasus Almasty is a Neanderthal has existed. This is also a theme in the recent Russian literature on “relic hominoids”.[6] There are new digital reconstructions of the physiognomy of the Neanderthal, on the basis of skull reconstructions made by Christoph P. E. Zollikofer and Marcia S. Ponce de León on the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zürich.[7] The habitus of these reconstructions is very different from the published drawings from the Caucasus. The reproductions are missing the pronounced pongide character, particularly from the portraits published by Bayanov and Makarov.

In 2002, the Moscow "hominologists" published for the first time that Koffmann and members of her team could observe the Almasty numerous times – in daylight and at a relatively short distance too. [8] This leads to two questions on the drawings published by Bayanov and Makarov: Did such researchers/eye-witnesses also participate in the creation of these drawings? If not, how do these researchers/eye-witnesses judge these drawings? The statements made by the locals in the Caucasus are usually influenced by local superstitions and religious taboos. Often, it’s hard for them to describe their observations in a sophisticated manner. This is also a reason why the observations of the researchers are of particular importance.

1   Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas of the Snowman. Moscow: Company Sputnik+, p.181 (in Russian)
2   Film Almasty, yeti du Caucase. (By Sylvain Pallix et al.,1992)
3   Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Mocsow: Crypto-Logos, p. 26
4   op. cit. (note 1), pp. 181, 183
5   Poshnev, B,; Bayanov, D.; Burtsev, I. 1986. Snömannens Gata. Moscow: Progress, Göteborg: Fram.
6   Vinogradova, D.; Nepomnjaskchij, N.; Novikov, A. 2003. Neanderthals alive. Moscow: Veche (in Russian).
7   Zollikofer, C.P.E.; Ponce de León, M.S. 2006. Neandertal-digital: alte Fossilien - neue Ein- und Ausssichten.
      Roots/Wurzeln der Menschheit. Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn/Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz. pp.141-150
8   op. cit (note1), pp. 179-80; (see Atlas of the Snowman by Vadim Makarov)

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February 8, 2007

On the Results of a Altai Expedition in 2006

In February 2006 the Russian regional newspaper Altajskaja Pravda  announced to organize a "Snowman" Expedition in the Altai Mountains.[1]  In 2006, the newspaper reported on this expedition in a series of about 30 articles by Alexej Gerasimov. The expedition was sponsored by a local businessman. Based on the volume and scope of the publications, only a few concrete results were published. They consist mostly of eye-witness reports. A selection of these follows:

Ivan Starygin, born in 1945, spent his teenager years in the village Souzga on the banks of the Katun river. The adults did not allow the children to go to the other bank. Located there was the former village Tavda. Starygin wanted to go there once, together with other teenagers. Their teacher forbid it at first, but later agreed to go there together with the students. At night, the teenager saw there a two meter tall, hairy figure, similar to a man. One of the boys whistled, and the being whistled back. Another boy whistled, and again another whistle answered.[2]

In May, 1967, a driver from the village Inja in the Ongudajsk district saw a being similar to a man, two meters, tall, on a mountain passage. It was covered in hair. Also in May 1967, a local resident saw a Almys female with two half-grown children. [3]  They were sitting on their back legs. It appeared as if the female was combing her children’s hair. The observation was made at a distance of about 100 meters. [4]

Nikolaj Keberekov told that he worked as a shepherd in the 1950s, and he found the print of a bare foot, larger than a mans, in the mud around the glacier Ak-Kem. He knew that it was an Almys immediately; he had heard of them from his grandfather. Another time, while on a hunt, he saw an Almys from a distance of 500 meters. It was very large, covered in gray hair. Keberekov went to the place where he had seen him and discovered there a track, similar to that which he had seen at glacier Ak-Kem. The footprint was 10 centimeters longer than his own and significantly wider. (Keberekov had a size 42 foot.) Finally, he saw the Almys himself: he had wide shoulders and long gray hair on his head. Another time Keberekov saw a female Almys with a child. She was wading through a creek. The child sat on her back and had wrapped its arms around her neck; the mother was supporting it with her arms.[5]

A teacher, who did not want to be named, told the following: He was with his pupils on the way to the mount Belukha on the river Ak-Kem. At night, they set up camp. The teacher got up at night to stoke the fire. Then, he heard how someone came into the camp and ate rusk from the pupil’s rations. A pail clattered. In the morning, they discovered that all the bread was gone, but only part of the rusk. The teacher stressed the difference between this and how a bear would behave: the pail was not licked clean and not tipped over. Sugar and sweet cream were not touched. In the ashes of the camp fire, the teacher discovered the print of the front part of a large human foot. The toes were clearly recognizable, particularly the large toe. It was larger than the others. In order to not worry the pupils, the teacher said that the evening visitor had been a large wolverine. But one of the schoolgirls later said to him: “You lied to us then! It was a large uncle. I saw him, because I couldn’t sleep. He stood right next to our tent and was smelling very strong.”  It is not messaged in which year this happened.[6]

A resident of the village Katanda in the Ust-Koksa district reported the following: In February, 2003, a nurse was spending the night in a house in the village. She saw a naked, hairy man, who walked around the house numerous times and looked in the window. He was about two meters tall. The print of a large, naked human foot was found at the house. Later, other village residents claimed to have seen the man too.[7] At the end of each article, the readers of Altajskaja Pravda are asked to share any information they have about the “Snowman” with the newspaper editors.

The Altai Mountains are one of the "classic" "Snowman" areas in the former Soviet Union. They were the location for many expeditions. In 1987, the Moscow "hominologists" Bayanov, Koffmann, Makarov and Trachtenherz placed an call for submission in the newspaper Komsomol'skaja Pravda, which appeared throughout the whole Soviet Union: the readers should tell the editors if they knew something about “relic hominoids”. Later, as a result, the three areas with the best chances were named: the Caucasus, northern Russia, and the Altai Mountains.[8]


1  Expedition in the Altai Mountains in 2006.
2  Gerasimov, Alexej. 2006. On the tracks of the Snowman. 11. A complicated, nocturnal subject.
    Altajskaja Pravda, 137-138 (25512-25513)  May 13 (in Russian).
Almys – one of the local terms for the "Wildman" in the Altai.
4  Gerasimov, Alexej. 2006. On the tracks of the Snowman. 12. Who was scared off by the tanks on the river Inja?
    Altajskaja Pravda, 155-156 (25530-25531) May 27 (in Russian).
5  Gerasimov, Alexej. 2006. On the tracks of the Snowman. 20. The Almys isn’t afraid of goats and dogs.
    Altajskaja Pravda, 351 (25726) November 4 (in Russian).
6  Gerasimov, Alexej, 2006. On the tracks of the Snowman. 27. Almys ate the leftover of some young tourists’ dinner.      
     Altajskaja Pravda,
413-414 (25788-25789) December 23 (in Russian).
7  Gerasimov, Alexej. On the tracks of the Snowman. 17. Who scared the nurse from Katanda?
    Altajskaja Pravda, 180-181 (25555-25556) June 17 (in Russian).
8  Golovanov, Jaroslav.1987. After the Snowman! The first self organized ‘KP’ expedition of the program ’Relic hominoid’
     returned from the exploration. Komsomol’skaja Pravda, December 31, p. 4 (in Russian).

For further publications on "Snowman" in the Altai Mountains see:  ‘Wild men’ in the Russian-Kazakh Altai and Sayan.

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February 24, 2007


A website on the research in the Kirov province

For the first time in the history of the problem in Russia, Russian researchers based in a presumed "Snowman"-habitat are reporting in the internet about field research that has been going on for several years, continuing up to the present. The website of the local researcher Anatoly Fokin gives comprehensive information on fieldwork in the Kirov region from 2002 to 2006: www.snegnij-chelovek.narod.ru.

Since 1999, the region Kirov has been known for its many Russian media reports on "Snowman" sightings.1  In an interview in Komsomols'skaja Pravda, Dmitri Bayanov mentioned the Kirov region as a work area rich in perspective.2  In his talk at the Bigfoot conference in Willow Creek, USA, in 2003, he invited foreigners to Kirov. Anatoly Fokin is architect and krajeved (local historian) and comes from Kirov. According to his statement, he has been working on the problem since 2003. In 2004 Komsomol'skaja Pravda published an article on Fokin`s fieldwork in Kirov province.3  His research is financially supported by a Moscow businessman. Among other things, this businessman has financed an off-road car and the purchase of two huts. The huts are meant to be set up for scientific work. Even in 2002, Igor Burtsev, Moscow, spoke of the intention to build a base for observations in the Kirov region.4

The website brings together many photos from the field. The most comprehensive parts of the site are a Chronology of Events 2003-2005 and a portrait of 10 expeditions. These expeditions from differing people and associations took place between 2002 and 2006. Further reports on current work have been announced. According to Fokin, among other things, sheltered feeding places have been built. In the chronology, it is claimed that in fall 2005, a "Snowman" family approached one of these places. Grounds presumed to be used as storage, foot prints, and other evidence of their presence are shown in photos.

Because of the numerous media reports which have made the Kirov region known in the last years, its importance can be overestimated. Other areas in the European part of the Russian Federation were, as we know today, more important for field research in the past and they are more important at present.


1   Encounters and research in Kirov province, central European Russia.
2   Kuzmina, Svetlana. 2003. One hundred thousand dollars for he who proves: the Snowman is a fake,
     Komsomol’skaja Pravda, October 1, p. 2 (in Russian).
3   Varsegov, Nikolaj. 2004. A Snowman hunter. Komsomol'skaja Pravda, June 29 (in Russian).
4   Polozov, Andrej. 2002. The Snowman is not a myth: it’s possible he lives near Vjatka,
     Vjatskij Kraj, Mai 1 (in Russian).

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March 1, 2007


Atlas of the Snowman available

Vadim Makarov’s Atlas of the Snowman *  can be borrowed through interlibrary loan from the University Library of Freiburg, Germany.**  The book was published in 2002 in Moscow. 200 copies were printed. This is probably the most complete book on research of so called “relic hominoids” and their results in the former Soviet Union since Boris Porshnev’s monograph The present state in the question of the problem of relic hominids (Moscow, 1963). Vadim Makarov is a former president of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists. 

*   
See bookreview
**  Online catalogue: http://www.ub.uni-freiburg.de/olix/olix.cgi
   

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March 24, 2007


Latvia newspaper about encounter in Yakutia

The Russian language newspaper Vesti Segodnja *, which is published in Latvia, published an article from Dmitri Mart in 2005. He writes that in the regional press from Yakutia, reports about the Chuchunaa are sometimes published. According to Mart, the Yakut newspaper Kyym reported the following story: The worker Gavril Starkov told a correspondent of the newspaper that during the afternoons he would observe the ducks on the river Indigirka with binoculars. He was alone. Suddenly, he heard a strange rustling. He lowered his binoculars and saw a shadow move past him. He saw a being similar to a human three to four meters away. It was about two meters tall and completely covered with hair. Starkov was shocked and went into his tent to get his weapon. Suddenly, Starkov’s dog came and attacked his owner. He had to defend himself against his own dog. The human-like being disappeared. Starkov went to the river to travel back to the village in his boat. On the riverbank, he saw large footprints, at least 35 centimeters long. He realized that he had seen a Chuchunaa. The encounter happened in the Tebuljakh district. It is not told when this event happened.

*   Mart, Dmitrij. 2005. I believe in the Snowman. Vesti segodnja, 210 (1859), September 12. (in Russian).

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April 4, 2007

Encounter in Kyrgyzstan

The newspaper Vechernaja Cheljabinsk*, which appears in the city Cheljabinsk in Western Siberia, published the following report in 2001. The author was visiting locals in the southern part of Kyrgyzstan, near the border of Tajikistan. A local hunter, Aslanbek (his last name is not given), told the following story: “Early in the morning, I was on the lookout for ducks in a gorge, close to the lake. Suddenly, I felt a strong fear. It was foggy, but I felt like someone was close by. There was something in the wind, the fog parted, and I saw an Almysty. He was big, about two meters, and bent over like an old man. He was completely covered in dark gray hair and stared at me. I stared back for a few minutes, and was afraid to move. I expected him to kill me. The elders tell how an Almysty can kill from a distance. But this one turned around and disappeared in the canyon after a few minutes. I ran away from there. Since then, I don’t want to go hunting anymore…”  The encounter is said to have taken place in 2000.

Ivanov, Andrej. 2001. The hunt for the “Snowman". Vechernaja Cheljabinsk. Juny 4  (in Russian).

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April 29, 2007


Sighting in the Southern Urals

A reader of the Russian newspaper Komsomol’skaja Pravda*, the retiree Gennadij Genin, wrote the following to the editors: A few years ago, he worked as a police officer with a service dog. He spent the night with the dog in the district Satka once. Close to morning, he heard angry barking. When he came out of the tent, Genin saw his dog barking at a bush. There was an “indeterminate silhouette, similar to that of a human” with two eyes that glowed. The “animal” responded to the barking with a noise similar to that of a magpie. The dog was afraid, tucked his tail under, and pushed himself up against Genin’s legs. Genin couldn’t understand what could make the dog so afraid – a dog which had even participated in bear hunts. The red eyes in the bush disappeared. In the dawn light, Genin saw in the bush a large human footprint in the dry grass, lightly covered with snow.

Later he learned that the Satka area is known for the appearance of the “Snowman”. It is not shared when exactly this happened. The Satka settlement lies about 90 miles west of Cheljabinsk city in the Southern Urals. Even in 2002, Igor Chernysh reported in a Russian journal**, among other things, that the residents of the village Suleia often meet “the human-like animal, which is covered in brown fur and can run very fast […]” in the forests. The village Suleja lies about 10 miles northwest of Satka.

*   Markova, Elena. 2006. The dog couldn’t stand the gaze of the snowman. Komsomol’skaja Pravda. January 26 (in Russian)
** Chernysh, Igor. 2002. Jagmort. I saw the snowman with my own eyes – claimes our author.
                                       Chudesa i Prikljuchenie. 5, p .5 (in Russian)

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August 6, 2007


Volkhov
on Nikolaj Avdeev's encounters in the Urals 1990-2003

The Russian newspaper Volkhov reported in March 2006 about Nikolaj Avdeev’s field work in the southern Urals. According to the author Avdeev began his research in the Caucasus and in mid-Asia. Later he worked in the polar Urals. At the beginning of the 1980’s it was also claimed that the "Snowman" had been observed in the southern Urals: close to the village Novgorny, near to the city Sneshinsk.2

Avdeev left this village together with his colleague Sergej Shishkov in April 1990 to go on a search. Not far from Novgorny, they found scratch marks on trees that are typical for the “Snowman”. In the mountain range Zigalg, it is claimed that Sishkov became an eye witness. Avdeev described his own observation in this area with the following words: “On July 28, 1990, I went down the path and noticed a pile of branches. This hadn’t been there one day before. After I had gone 20 meters further, the pile flew apart and the Snowman appeared from it. He turned his head this way and that. I took my camera and this bent being with long, hanging arms came in my direction. I had wanted to meet him, but when I did see him, all I wanted to do was run away without turning around!”  Avdeev claims that he took a picture of this being while he had this chance. He collected hair that was hanging on the branches, and sent them, along with the photo, for examination to the “State Optical Institute” and the biological department of the St. Petersburg University.

The St. Petersburg biologist Valentin Sapunov judged the photo as follows: “On the photo, one can see a being similar to a human pictured with an estimated height of 2.5 meters. The being has a massive figure and well-defined muscles. The being is male, covered with hair, which was matted down, probably because of rain. Based on the height and proportions of the object, one can estimate that the being weighs 250-300 kilos.”3 By comparing the hair to those of apes, it was determined that the hair came from a being similar to humans.

Each year from 1993-2000, Avdeev pitched his tent from spring to fall on the mountain Nurgush (1200 meters), the highest peak of the Cheljabinsk province. There, in 1993, it is claimed that the “Snowman” came to his tent at night. Avdeev heard steps and that someone was beating against the tent. He took his hatchet and flashlight and went out, but didn’t see anyone. In the morning, he saw that the maps had been ripped over the tent.
Sometimes, Avdeev went with his wife. Once, it is claimed that the “Snowman” imitated Avdeevs voice, and called for Avdeev’s wife. She herself saw the “Snowman” when he was imitating Avdeev’s voice.

It is reported that he had a further encounter in September 1996. He heard someone beating against the tea pot, which was hanging in front of the tent over the camp fire. He shone his light outside the tent and saw footprints in the snow. Then he saw the being itself, five steps away: “The face was black, wrinkled, with a small nose and massive jaw. But the worst was the eyes: red and without expression.”  Avdeev and the being looked at each other for a moment, then the “Snowman” tried to "push away" the beam of light from the flashlight. Then he turned around and disappeared in the forest. According to the author the last time Avdeev saw the “Snowman” was in September 2003, between the mountain ranges Nurgush and Jagodny. It was raining. Avdeev sat at the edge of the forest. He saw a “Snowman” 40 meters away, "bouncing" as he walked on his toes.


1   Bershnaja, Irina. 2006. If one wants to believe. Volkhov, 12, March 22 (in Russian).
2   Novgorny village is about 40 miles northwest from Cheljabinsk city in the southern Urals
3   This photograph was published in Komsomol'skaja Pravda on October 27, 1990.

For more information on Avdeev`s fieldwork see:
On Nikolaj Avdeev’s expeditions in Western Siberia
and  Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Mocsow: Crypto-Logos, pp. 185-189.


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August 20, 2007


TV Documentary with Igor Burtsev in June 2007


In June 2007, a Russian TV documentary, within the program of National Geographic was broadcast on various channels in some countries of the former Soviet Union: Reality or Fantasy: The Snowman from Russia.
The Belarussian http://www.teleset.gomel.by announced the documentary as follows: We are making it known, together with Igor Burtsev, who describes himself as a hominologist – a scientist, who studies human-like beings – that Snowmen have occupied the earth since ancient times. In his collection, he has hair samples, plaster casts of tracks and even two skulls, which possibly come from the Snowman. Together with Igor, we are traveling to the USA for a DNA analysis, which will confirm or deny that these skulls are part of the remains of prehistoric primates.

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September 22, 2007


Almasty bones examined in Paris?

The German website www.kryptozoologie-online.de reported in July 2007 on the Weird Weekend 2007, organized by the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), which took place in August in Great Britain:
"One of the speakers from this year`s Weird Weekend (the eight of the yearly meeting of the CFZ) is a Ukrainian biologist, who has spent years searching for the Russian eyuivalent of the Yeti. Gregoriy Panchenko has been has been on the trail of the Almasty - the name of the beast in the Caucasus Mountains - for more than a decade. In 1991, he saw one of the creatures himself in a shed ofa remote farm. He also claims to possess the bones of a dead Almasty, which were recently examined by a team of scientists in Paris. Gregoriy wanted to present his research results to the west for the first time."
 
The source of the information about the bone examination was not given. Gregory Panchenko is one of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann's close coworkers and board member of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists. He has lived for the last few years in Germany.

For further informations on Panchenko's fieldwork see:
Gregory Panchenko on the results of his Caucasus expedition in 2005  and
Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow: Crypto Logos, pp. 53-62

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October 28, 2007


Correspondents met Nikolaj Avdeev in the Southern Urals

Correspondents of the Russian newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolez Ural  met the researcher Nikolaj Avdeev, along with his co-worker Anatoly Bovik in his field work area in the mountain chain Nurgush. This is located in the Zjuratkul’ national park in the Southern Urals, about 90 miles west of the city Cheljabinsk. According to the author, Avdeev is now 58 years old, and has been working on the search for the wild people for 17 years. Anatoly Bovik claims that he has found a camp of the forest people.

Avdeev told the correspondents: During the 1990s, reports of encounters with the forest people were coming more frequently from the villages on the Great Nurgush Mountain. One resident of the village Meseda - about 20 miles south of the national park – said: “Leshij – that’s a man, just very hairy.” Father Peter, the priest of the village Tjuljuk – 20 miles southwest of the national park – said: “No, there’s no Snowman here, but once a villager and his wife returned from mowing the grass at night and suddenly heard some sort of steps, and heavy breathing. The ducked into the shadow and saw that something large and hairy passed them by… that was the Leshij.”

Avdeev claims that he took a picture of the “Snowman” in 1990. A detail of this photo, which only shows the figure, was published in various Soviet newspapers. The newspaper Moskovskij Komsomolez Ural published the complete photo. Experts from the St. Petersburg State University confirmed that this is an original photo: “In the picture, one can see a living being that is covered in fur.” According to the author Vladislav Verigo, many sceptics claim that in the photo, an ‘ogre’, very similar to a mannequin in a fur coat, can be seen. Avdeev has been accused of forgery many times. Among others it was claimed that he made plaster casts of footprints at home.

In the spring of 1990, Avdeev set up a tent base camp on the mountain Nurgush, which has been expanded into an observation station. He felt like he was being observed there. Among other things, he heard the smacking sound of steps walking away in damp earth coming from the brush. In the summer of 2006, the observation station was vandalized, possibly from poachers. There is no information whether Avdeev continues his field work in this region.*

* Verigo, Vladislav. 2007. On the tracks of Snowman. Moskovskij Komsomol’ez Ural. 34 (529), August 22-29 (in Russian).

For more information on Avdeev's fieldwork see:
Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Mocsow: Crypto-Logos, pp. 185-189,
"Wildman" skeleton found in the Urals? ,
On Nikolaj Avdeev’s expeditions in Western Siberia ,
Volkhov on Nikolaj Avdeev's encounters in the Urals 1990-2003.


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March 3, 2008


Encounters in the Southern Urals

The Russian newspaper Na Grani Nevozmozhnogo * mentions Nikolaj Avdeev’s fieldwork in the Urals. He was able to find traces of tracks, excrement and hair. According to the newspaper they were examined by experts from the Troizk Veterinary Institute. It was determined that they are very similar to humans. It was claimed that it was possible to determine the age of the being: 3 years old. **

The newspaper reports about some encounters in the Southern Urals : The lower officer Juri Volkov heard stories from soldiers about a hairy being, similar to humans. Early morning, around 2 a.m. , he heard strange screams. On the evening of September 10 he then saw a hairy being, no shorter than 2.5 meters, at the edge of a swamp. The being was only about 15 meters away from him. It went past him and glanced at him briefly. The lance corporal Erik Galiulin described another encounter: on the 19th of September, around 4 p.m. , he was on guard about 5 kilometers away from a military object. There, he saw a large, hairy, two-legged being. The figure was somehow “square”, covered with dark fur.

Igor Zagoskin from the village Novogornovo was hunting on the Ulagakh lake. As dusk fell, he noticed a hairy being in the reeds. It was lying on its stomach between the bushes. Zagoskin thought that it was a large badger and turned it onto its back – but human-like eyes were looking at him from a hum-like face. He balled his hands into fists, held them to his chest, and didn’t react. He went into the village to get some help, but when he came back, nothing was left in the reeds.

In the spring of 2002, a guard from the zoo of Cheljabinsk city was alerted though the strange barking of one of the guard dogs. The dog was very worked up, and tried to break free. The guard and some random visitors of the zoo were witnesses to how a large, hairy being tried to jump over the fence of the park. Just as he had almost cleared the fence, the dog broke free and attached the interloper. The being fled, following a short fight. Cries and murmurs could be heard coming from his direction. The dog returned in the morning covered with blood. Tufts of gray hair and footprints were discovered on the fence. The blood and hair were examined. The examination reveled that the hair did not belong to any known animal, but rather to an unknown primate.

The size of the footprints were 50 x 25 centimeters, the length of the stride was about 2 meters. The next morning, and employee saw a three-meter tall being in the forest near the zoo. He walked away from it. The zoo’s veterinarian, Valentin Gorbenko, examined the hair and tracks. According to the newspaper, he thought that this “Snowman” came to the zoo looking for food following his winter hibernation. He also thinks that the creature was a descendant of one which was seen at the zoo 10 years earlier. The article ends with a mention of Maya Bykova and the famous encounter of Ivan Turgenev in the 19th century. The Cheljabinsk zoo story was the topic of a discussion in the Russian "Snowman" scene. A significant number of people do not find this story to be believable.

*    Lotokhin, Vladimir. 2005. Snowman from the forbidden zone. Na Grani Nevozmozhnogo, 18 (375) (in Russian).
**   For more information on Avdeev's fieldowrk see:
      Correspondents met Nikolaj Avdeev in the Southern Urals

 

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June 29, 2008

Russian TV documentary about life and work of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann

In 2005, the great Russian television company VID produced a documentary about life and work of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann: 
Madam and the Snowman. Since then, she has been shown many times in Russian TV. Significant parts of the film were recorded in the summer of 2005 in the Northern Caucasus, during Koffmann's three-month stay for field research. They were filmed in and around the Kabardinian village Sarmakovo. Koffmann’s research base has been located in this village since the 60’s.

The documentary begins and ends with commentary and a description of one of Koffmann’s own encounters with Almasty in Kabardino-Balkaria.[1] According to the commentator, this sighting happened in 1992 – the year in which the Koffmann-Pallix expedition took place.[2] The exact location of the encounter is not named. When asked about this encounter in the documentary, Koffmann only states the following: “Excuse me, but I am not going to talk about details. I observed a figure for a few dozen seconds. According to all indications, it was this being.” According to the commentator, the being suddenly appeared and stood still, as if he wanted to be sure that he was noticed. He calmly looked at the human. Then, as if he was moving in slow motion, he went towards the forest and disappeared between the trees. There are no recordings of this observation. The commentator calls this sighting: “… the encounter, which she [Koffmann] could not speak to anyone about, at that time.

                                                                               madam


Koffmann reports in about the first expedition of 1958 extensively, which she participated in as a doctor. It is reported that she worked in the Caucasus later: in Dagestan and Azerbaijan. Koffmann: “The border guards in the Caucasus and mid-Asia told me: They have orders, when they meet these beings they should behave exactly as if they are meeting regular humans. This means: give orders. Ask them to show their identification. And if they don’t follow these orders or go away without answering – shoot them! And therefore many have been shot.” It is said that Koffmann moved her search area to Kabardino-Balkaria, to Sarmakovo village in 1962. The documentation shows Koffmann in this village and its surroundings, such as the Ekipzoko valley.

Based on what the commentator says, the oldest villagers confirm that most of the “Snowmen” were killed during the World War II. The solders didn’t know how to act around these fearsome creatures and shot them. Koffmann shows an area on the river Malka, at the edge of Sarmakovo, where, according to her, she found two very good Almasty footprints. The year when this discovery is made is not shared. Furthermore, she also shows a place on the Malka river where she found a stash of food, collected by an Almasty and stored in a cave.[3]

The commentator also reports about a very good Almasty footprint find of Koffmann, whose authenticity has been confirmed by workers from the Interior Ministry. But the well-known footprint from the Tienshan, which has been published many times in Russia – as well as from Koffmann in Science an Religion (1968) and in Archeologia (1991) - is shown with this.[4] The story of Khabaz Kardanov is also mentioned: a resident of Sarmakovo, who had a friendly relationship with a female Almasty. Koffmann shows a location close to the village, where he claims that an Almasty helped him with the hay harvest.

She also talks about the general meaning of the problems and says, among other things, “It is a shame, because Russia was the first country which realized the meaning of this problem. It would be nice if Russia could also bring it closure.” The commentary which says that Koffmann stopped her field work in Caucasus in 1992 is false. It is claimed that she only returned in 2005. Koffmann spent several months in Sarmakovo for her field work in 1993-96, 1998 and 2000. A few short parts of the documentary are parts from the Russian TV documentary film Snowman. The Russian track and from the French film Almasty. Yeti du Caucase.

Italics are translations from the Russian.
[1]  According to Vadim Makarov, Koffmann had a few encounters with Almasty. One of these encounters - in 1994 in Kabardino-Balkaria - is described in more detail by him. (Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas of the Snowman. Moscow: Sputnik: 181 (in Russian)
[2]  In 1992, Koffmann organized, along with the French filmmaker Sylvain Pallix, this expedition - Almasty 92 - to Kabardino-Balkaria. Pallix produced a film about this: Almasty. Yeti du Caucase.
[3] This is probably the place that Koffmann found in 1966 (Koffmann, M-J. 1968. The steps remain. Science and Religion.4: 90). (in Russian)
[4] Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1968. The steps remain. Science and Religion. 4: 86. (in Russian)
Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1991. L'Almasty.Yeti du Caucase. Archeologia. 269: 39


October 30, 2008


Zhizn‘  about Chuchunaa in Yakutia (Eastern Siberia)
 

In November 2007, the Russian newspaper Zhizn’ (Life) published an article about the local wild man “Chuchunaa” in Yakutia, Eastern Siberia.1  The newspaper quotes the geologist Vladimir Chirikov, who lives in Yakutia: “The creature lives in caves in the mountain range, where the hot springs are.  He protects his shelter against the cold and animals with rocks.”  The geologist claims that he has found these caves in the mountains multiple times, which were closed with large rocks.  He had previously found them open.  He explained that he can tell the difference between stones that lay there naturally and those which have been laid by someone.  According to Chirikov, the Chuchunaa moves rocks which are so big even three men couldn’t have moved them.  The mountain range Kisiljakh is named, where local hunters have had encounters with Chuchunaa and have found his tracks more than once.  The native Yakuts and Evenks  describe this place as a “forbidden place.”  Even a long and intense look at these mountains is considered by the native elders to be an “An’y” (sin).

Chirikov claims that the Chuchunaa kidnaps people, which he says happened to one of his relatives: One day she disappeared during a strong frost when she was still a child.  Her parents looked everywhere for her without success.  They called off the search because they thought that the child had frozen to death somewhere.  But after two years, the child returned.  She said that she had lived with “mountain people,” who lived in caves.  These people didn’t use any fire, but it was still warm in the caves.  They couldn’t talk and were covered in hair.  Only the face was free of hair.  They could whistle and had piercing screams.
Another one of Chirikov’s relatives, Nikolay Semenovich Klepantin, saw a Chuchunaa: In winter, he was hunting for reindeer.  A snowstorm struck, and he started to head home when he suddenly heard a whistle.  He saw a hairy person, who hid himself in a crevice.  Klepantin was afraid and left that area.

The newspaper also describes, without naming the year, that in the Verkhoyansk area in Yakutia, a primate was found in a trap.  According to the local teacher Jakob Potapov, the primate was already dead at the time of the discovery.  Old natives who saw the animal described it as an “Abaasi kiila.”2 One can assume that this case is the discovery which the local newspaper Yakutsk Vechernij (Evening Yakutsk) reported about in December 2002. 3


1  Jarovikova, Elena. 2007. In Yakutia the Snowman has been found. Zhizn’, November 6  (in Russian).
2  “Abaasi kiila” is the Yakut version of the existing names like Albasty, Almostu, Almas etc. found in al Turkic languages.
     In Yakut  mythology it also means an evil spirit.
3   See: Apes in the coldest region on Earth?





December 30, 2008


Possible encounter in Belarus

Belarusian newspapers, among others Saidarnasz', reported in summer 2008: According to the news agency Interfax, in the summer of 2008 there were rumors about a hairy, human-like being in the Lida district, Belarus.  This district is in the upper northwest of the country, and borders Lithuania and Poland.  Teenagers claimed that they had seen such a being while he was running across a maize field.  A policeman from Lida district stated that the police did not find any tracks of any unknown being.  A police inspector questioned an adult eye-witness.  According to him this person described: “… in a very colorful and detailed manner, a strange being which was sitting in an apple tree and ate unripe apples.” 1 Some time later, there was information that this type of being was also seen in the neighboring Voronovo district.  The Voronovo settlement is about 20 miles north of Lida. In July Komsomol'skaja Pravda (Belarus edition) reported about the case, published photos of footprints and a video with eyewitnesses.

There are historical reports about possible wild humans from this  area in Belarus, which belonged to Poland up until the Second World War: In 1661, a wild, hair-covered boy was found in the Grodno forests.  He was brought to Warsaw and given to the Polish king as a gift.  He was completely covered in fur, did not speak any human language, roared "like a bear" and was very strong.  In 1694, a wild boy was once again caught in the Lithuanian  forests.  The city Grodno lies about 20 kilometers east of the current Polish – Belarusian border.  The districts named above lie about 70 miles east of Grodno. Vadim Makarov mentiones in his Atlas of the Snowman an encounter near Mozyr city in the South of Belarus, about 30 miles from the Ukrainian- Belarusian border, from the early 1970s. 2  The well-known Russian researcher Maya Bykova also worked in Lithuania.  According to her, she took the first trips to search for the “Snowman” in the Baltic states.  In 1991, she mentioned that the Lithuanian and Latvian forests as a current habitat for the Wildmen.3

1   Mar’janov, Valdimir. 2008.  Did a Yeti relocate to Belarus? Salidarnasz’, July 7 (in Russian)
2   Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas of the Snowman. Moscow: Sputnik (in Russian)
3   Bykova, Maya. 1991. About elder, the Kiev uncle and the “Snowman”. M’s Triangle, 8 (14), p. 4 (in Russian)




January 20, 2009


A new Russian magazine with publications about “Relic Hominoids”
 
Since April 2008, a new magazine in Russian language has been published in Kharkov city, Ukraine: Ochevidnoe i Neverojadnoe ("Obviously and Unbelievable").  It is published together with the Kharkov magazine Nauka i Tekhnika ("Science and Technics").  As of December 2008, there have been five editions of this magazine.  Biologist Gregory Panchenko, a close fieldwork colleague of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, was the editor-in-chief of these editions, and their table of contents has been published firstly in 2008 in the Russian website Arkhiv Fantastiki .

Each of the five editions has about 20 articles over 100 pages.  The editions contain 30 articles by Panchenko in total. Since January 2009 the magazine has his own website. There can be seen that  the most of Panchenko's articles are about cryptozoological topics, including such on “relic hominoids.”  Of these 30 articles, 10 were published under two of Panchenko's pseudonyms, "Grigoriy Urinson" and "Isaac Bromberg", on other topics including "flying saucers".  Furthermore, the editions also have articles from Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Dr. Mikhail Trachtenherz, Dmitri Bayanov and Anatoly Sidorenko.*

The full content of the articles from the first five editions is currently not available in the web.  It can be assumed that these publications also contain results from the fieldwork on "relic hominoids" from the territory of the former Soviet Union which are not yet known in the West. In December 2008, Panchenko published a statement in the website Russkaja Fantastika  in which he stated that he would not continue as editor-in-chief of Ochevidnoe i Neverojadnoe, due to a difference of opinion about the future style of the magazine.


* For more inforamtion on Anatoly Sidorenko see:
   Anatoly Sidorenko about the British expedition 2008 and former Caucasus field work


February 9, 2009

Apes in the Russian Kaluga province?

In August 2008, the Russian newspaper Komsomol’skaja Pravda published an article from Andrej Perepelizyn. Together with his colleagues, he collected folklore about  “strange apparitions” in the Southern Kaluga province, including stories about the Domovoj, Leshy, Devil, etc. Perepelizyn writes that instead of the stories they were seeking, they got information about “apes” which supposedly previously lived in the region’s forests.  A resident of the Soroki village, Maria Ivanovna Minakova, stated: “They were there.  I never saw them myself.  The old people talked about them, that they lived in the forest.  They swung around in the trees… They swore like men.  They were like humans […] Their entire body is covered in fur.  Their breast is like humans.  Their arms were long.”  The author remembers that he had previously heard about the “apes” in  Kaluga province: In the Zhistrinsk district in the village Korenovo.  There, the 85-year-old W. I. Arinina told him about it in 1998:  Long before the war, two women who were collecting nuts saw two apes.  These apes swung around in the nut trees close to the river.  The author discussed the possibility that these apes had escaped from a zoo or were “Snowmen.”
The northeastern border of the Kaluga province is about 30 miles southwest of Moscow.  There have been similar reports from the areas around Moscow in the past decades. 2

1  Perepelizyn, Andrej. 2008.  In Russia, there have always been apes. Komsomol’skaja Pravda. August 11  (in Russian)

2  For more reports from Moscow region see: "Snowman" encounters around Moscow



February 24, 2010

New article about Gregory Panchenko

In 2009, the large Ukrainian newspaper Segodnya (Today)[1] published an article on Gregory Panchenko, regarding his expedition with a British group of the Centre of Fortean Zoology to Kabardino-Balkaria, Northern Caucasus, in the summer of 2008. [2]

In addition to informations about this expedition which had already been published, the newspaper quotes Panchenko as stating the following: "Personally, I was most impressed with the case where two different adult men each told me the story - one year apart - about what they had experienced when they were teenagers. They saw Almasty when they were both sitting on a horse. The observation in itself was not really unusual. The fact that most impressed me was that so many of the details were identical. (Of course, neither of the eye witnesses knew that I was meeting with the other - and anyways, they hadn't seen each other for 15 years.) The only difference between the two stories also impressed me, but this difference can be easily explained. When the horse sensed and saw the Almasty, it suddenly reared up, and only one of the two men could stay on: the one sitting in the saddle. The other man was sitting behind him and holding onto his partner. This man said: 'When the horse suddenly stood still, as if made from stone, I hopped off but was able to land on my feet. I didn't fall down and wasn't afraid. But my old friend was very shocked, even though he stayed in the saddle.' The man who remained in the saddle remembers the story differently: 'My friend fell off the horse and rolled on the ground. He was so afraid that his teeth were chattering. There was no reason for me to be afraid. I stayed on the horse as a Dsigitt should.' Other than this, all the details about the encounter and the description of the Almasty were completely identical between the two men [...]." According to Panchenko, the Almasty are not only surviving, but also multiplying. Almost every expedition brings more evidence of children.

According to the newspaper, Panchenko first participated in a Caucasus expedition in the mid-1980s. At the time, he was a biology student at the Kharkov State University, Ukraine. Anatoly Sidorenko was the leader of this expedition, who was able to meet the Almasty in 1983.[3] The newspaper printed a photo of Panchenko on his way to the Caucasus in 2008 and claims that the 2008 expedition was "filmed for British television". They are most likely referring to the film The Moutains of Mystery made by the British group.[4] It contains some significant conclusions about earlier field results of the soviet-russian researchers. This film also reports of Anatoly Sidorenko's encounter in the 1980s in Kabardino-Balkaria: At an abandoned farmhouse close to the settlemet Nejtrino: "...from a hiding place he saw a specimen, past by four meters away. It was under two meters tall [...] It had grey hair [...] its nose was humanlike but smaller [...] it had short neck, swanged long arms [...]." [5]

Sidorenko also claims to have seen a different object from the Caucasus field research, a large snake, in a cave near the village Sarmakovo. In the film, Panchenko explains on observations of  Almasty in a very small territory inside the Elbrus district: "[...] they have not seen, but they know about...especially in Gubasanty and Kisgen any year somebody tells about meeting with Almasty. That is absolutely usual for them [...]."  This refers to the localities of two small former Balkarian villages on the deforested left slope of the upper Baksan valley, Elbrus district.


[1]  Pasjuta, Alexander. 2009. A quarter century going after the Yeti. March 4, Segodnya (in Russian),
[2]  For more information about this expedition, please see:
      Two Russian Publications on an Expedition in the North Caucasus in 2008 and
      Anatoly Sidorenko about the British expedition 2008 and former Caucasus field work
[3]  For more information on Anatoly Sidorenko, please see:
      Anatoly Sidorenko about the British expedition 2008 and former Caucasus field work
      Since the early 1980s, Panchenko and Sidorenko have participated as team members in
      Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann's Caucasus field work in Kabardino-Balkaria.
[4]   The Mountains of Mystery (2009) A CFZ film.
[5]  The report of Sidorenko's close encounter has renewed interest in the question about the
      development of Almasty portrait drawings, published by Dmitri Bayanov (1996) and
      Vadim Makarov (2002) from Dr. Marie-Jeanne  Koffmann's collection. For further information
       about portraits of "Relict Hominids" in the territory of the former Soviet Union, see:
       Russian website show painting of the “Snowman” in Tajikistan



March 25, 2010


Nezavisimaja Gazeta  in 2008 about possible Almasty footprints

The great Russian newspaper Nezavisimaja Gazeta  published an article in 2008 about a footprint find in  eastern Karachay-Cherkessia, Northern Caucasus, among other topics. There was a meteorological station on the plateau of  mount Bermamyt,  during the Soviet time,  which has not been in service since the end of 1990. According to the newspaper, Valeri Kopzov, at that time the chief of the station, and his colleagues heard about encounters with Almasty, the local wildman, several times.*
Often, the station was visited by tourist groups with their Karachay or Balkarian guides. Once,  such a group did not return to the station as expected and Kopzov started to search for them. When he found the group, it came out they were delayed because they had found mysterious footprints in the snow, nearly 50 centimeters long and similar to human footprints. The tracks suddenly stopped at  a perpendicular rock wall. The year this happened was not mentioned. Mount Bermamyt lies on the upper end of the Khazaut valley, close to the village Khazaut which is nearly abandoned today.  Valley and village are the sites of frequent encounters with Almasty, the local wild man. A photograph of  Khazaut valley with mount Bermamyt and a report  about an possible Almasty observation in Khazaut village has been published in: Footprints in the Northern Caucasus in 1978:  Finder and circumstances.

* Suprunenko, Juri. 2008. Kaptar from mount Bermamyt. September 10, Nezavisimaja Gazeta (in Russian).


April 21,  2010

New hominid DNA from the Altai, southern Siberia

A research group from the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, with the geneticist Svante Pääbo, isolated a possibly unknown hominoid DNA from a finger bone from the Denisova Cave in the Altai mountains, southern Siberia. The bone’s age is estimated to be around 30,000 to 48,000 years old – apparently it is neither Neanderthal nor Homo sapiens. Fossil discoveries known to be from Neanderthals and modern humans have been found in the same area.

The Altai is also known as one of the “classic” areas in the territory of the former Soviet Union with reports of living "wildmen". In 1987, the Moscow "hominologists", the group around Dmitri Bayanov and Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, organized a call to action in the Komsomol'skaja Pravda newspaper: the residents of the Soviet Union were asked to share what they knew about the "wild man". As a result of this call, three areas were determined to be particularly rich in perspective for future expeditions: Russia’s north, the Caucasus and Altai.


Further reading:
Bower, Bruce. 2010. Ancient DNA suggests new hominid line. Science News, vol. 177, no. 9, p. 5.

"Wildmen" in the Russian-Kazakh Altai and Sayan
On the Results of a Altai Expedition in 2006



May 28, 2010

Discovery of possible "wild man" footprints in Eastern Ukraine

According to a short message in the Ukrainian newspaper Vostochny Projekt , edidet in Kramatorsk city, in September 2009, the cryptozoologists Gregory Panchenko from Kharkov and Anatoly Sidorenko from Kramatorsk found signs of life and footprints from the “Yeti” in the Konstantinovka district, Donetsk province ("Donbass"), near the water reservoir Kleban-Byk in August 2009.  An article with a photo about the expedition was announced to be coming in a following edition.*  So far as is known, this article has not yet appeared. 

Vadim Makarov – a member of the Moscow group around Dmitri Bayanov and Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann - also published in his  book  Atlas of the Snowman (2002) regarding Donetsk province, the industrial center of the eastern Ukraine.  He wrote:  “… Anatoly Sidorenko collected many stories about the observation of “wild people” in the 1970s and 80s in a few areas of the Donetsk province and the bordering provinces. […]  According to Sidorenko, even in this heavily populated industrial center, there are quite a few places with such thick brush that humans haven’t walked there in decades. […] Sidorenko and his helpers have examined many of such places and have discovered some camps which are those of the “wild men,” in their opinion."  Makarov also published an eye witness report from a woman who is said to have observed a “wild man” in the Donetsk district in 1979.**

*   Anonymouse. 2009. Yeti on the Donbass. Sensation!  Expedition of Kharkov and Kramatorsk cryptozoologists
     found traces of the snowman in the distric of the Gleban-Byk water reservoir. September 10, Vostochny Project 
(in Russian).
**
  Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas of the Snowman. Moscow: Sputnik. pp. 42-43 (in Russian).


July 22, 2010

"Belka Natashkina" about Alexey Anokhov in Turtess Holiday

The November/December issue 2008 of the Ukrainian journal Turtess Holiday, published in Russian language in Kiev, contained an article about Alexey Anokhov and his participation in  expeditions searching for the “Snowmen” in Russia.[1]  Anokhov is a close fieldwork colleague of Gregory Panchenko and Anatoly Sidorenko.[2]  In 2008, together with them, he participated in an expedition of the British Center of Fortean Zoology to Kabardino-Balkaria in the northern Caucasus.

The title photo of the article shows a sheep stall in a typical Balkarian landscape.  According to the author, Anokhov has been working on the Snowman for the last 19 years, inspired by his father, Sergey Anokhov.[3]  He took his first trip searching for the "Snowman" in the polar Ural Mountains in 1990.  This trip is said to have been very productive: Anokhov heard piercing screams – likely from a wildman – for one and a half hours, in the shrubs from the opposite bank of a river.  Experienced hunters in the team could not determine what kind of animal it was.  This success inspired him to live alone in the forest tundra of the polar Urals for two months the following year.  Among other things, he also visited the Kirov Region with his father, where they worked together with the local researcher Anatoly Fokin.[4]  Anokhov is quoted as following to Gregory Panchenko: “Starting in 1984, he saw something large and hairy a couple of times – even though he didn’t like to talk about it ‘officially.’  He doesn’t have any proof, and to gab about it’ isn’t fitting for a cryptozoologist.. […]” 

Regarding his Caucasus Expedition in 2008, together with Panchenko, Sidorenko and  the British group, one can read: “There are practically not any new stories, civilization is moving forward and the Almasty are drawing back more and more.  In the areas where it used to be easy to find Snowmen, this time, they’re not there anymore. […]  After the last trip, we put together a list of the areas with the most chances […]  In the Caucasus, cases where the Almasty drank light wine were documented.  After that, even in the 1980s, the researchers could calculate the ‘daily ration” of an Almasty." [5]

According to the author, Panchenko and Sidorenko developed a procedure of questioning eye witnesses.  This allowed them to differentiate if the eye witness was telling the truth or not.  The story of the Balkarian hunter Sagid S. is mentioned, which claims that he found the body of the female Almasty a few years ago.[6]   It is also disclosed that a few years ago, "Germans, looking for fame and sensationalism” were searching for Almasty in Kabardino-Balkaria.  The article is illustrated with additional photos.  They show: Anokhov visiting Igor Burtsev in Moscow, on an expedition in northern Russia, and pictures from Kabardino-Balkaria.

An further article on Anokhov - about his current work as a producer of souvenirs and other  bamboo products - was published in 2007 in the Ukrainian journal Vlast' Deneg..
[7] The author’s name, “Belka Natashkina”, is most likely a pseudonym, since this type of name is very uncommon.  The author is probably Anokhov’s girlfriend Natasha, who participated in the 2008 expedition.  “Belka Natashkina” is named as the person who took the article’s photos, along with Anokhov.

[1]  Natashkina, Belka. 2009.Yeti. Glasa na protiv. Turtess Holiday, 8, pp. 86-91.
[2]  For more information on Sidorenko, see:
      Anatoly Sidorenko about the British expedition 2008 and former Caucasus field work.
[3]  Dr. Sergey Anokhov, director of the Kiev Institute of Applied Optics at the Ukrainian Academy of Science.
[4]  Further reading about research in Kirov region:
      Encounters and research in Kirov province, Central European Russia
[5]  It was made known that in the Soviet time, the researchers around Koffmann attempted to lure
      Almasty with wine. Apparently that also worked in 2005. See:
      Ukrainian newspaper reported on an expedition in the Caucasus in 2005
[6]  See:  Regarding the possible discovery of an Almasty corpse.
[7]  Gaevaja, Julia. 2007. Bambukoved-Ispytatel'. October 10, Vlast'. Deneg.



October 12, 2010


Azerbaijan TV on an Encounter in the eastern Caucasus

On April 4, 2010, the  Azerbaijani TV channel Leader reported on an encounter with “Snowman” in the Eastern Caucasus in 2010 during the program “QA”.  A few herders from the village Hina in Azerbaijan saw a “Snowman” slowly pass by their hut in the morning and evening of the same day.  During the show, one of the herders, Elnur Talibi, reported on this observation at the location where this happened.


March 27, 2011

Russian TV Regarding an Observation in the Northwest Caucasus in January, 2011

In January, 2011, the Russian TV Channel “Rossija” reported on an observation with the headline "Suddenly, the Yeti appeared on the Kuban". *  This happened close to the village Merchankoje, 5 miles east of the city Krimsk, Krimsk district, Krasnodar region.  The area is in the furthest western part of the Caucasian isthmus, where the so-called “Forest Caucasus” transitions into the steppe region.

In January 2011, a few people were driving in a car along a street by the small river Kuafo in the evening.  Among them was the local resident Uso Darsonjan.  At the edge of the forest by the village Merchanskoje, they suddenly saw a strange being, similar to a person.  It was standing on the bank of the river.  It was about 1.80 meters tall, and its entire body was covered with dark brown fur.  When the car got closer, the being jumped over the river and disappeared into the forest.  The police and mayor from the neighboring village were informed.  A few men came to the area, but couldn’t launch a search because of the darkness.  The next morning they came back, together with local hunters, and saw clear, large tracks in the snow, about a size 48 shoe, which led into the forest, about 200 hectares large.  In the TV report, Uso Darsonjan reported from the location of the event and stressed that the being did not wade through the water, rather, it jumped over the small river.


* Suddenly, the Yeti appeared on the Kuban.   
   The region northwestern of Caucasus main range is often called "Kuban region". It is named after the river with the same name.