Later conversations with Sagid about the location of the grave revealed significant inconsistencies. Once he said that he had found the body at the upper edge of the slope – lying out in the open. In another talk he said that he had found the body exactly under the rock where he “buried” it by piling stones on top. Based on my knowledge of the local mentality, it makes no sense to point out these differences to a local in this type of talk. It is not possible to have dialogue with logical arguments in many cases. Therefore, I didn’t confront Sagid with these inconsistencies. In another talk he claimed that during his search on the slope he had seen a "white Jinn" (a spirit in the islamic believe) there. He said that this seemed to him as a sign that he should not find the grave. 5 When asked more concrete questions about the anatomy of the body, Sagid reacted with obvious discomfort. In order to maintain his willingness to help, and not push it, no further detailed questions were asked about this. Previous experiences also suggest that descriptions of the Almasty’s anatomy by natives is often tainted by fear and superstition.
According to former experiences, as well as the assessment of the case through Balkarian friends – including those with higher education and a certain distance to their own culture – it is most likely that Sagid had truly found the body of a hominoid.
The most important sign of can be considered the mother’s statement. He and his mother both named the same mountain range as the location where the body was found. Because of the local tradition, it is highly unlikely that Sagid lied to his mother. Also, Sagid’s personality – as a serious, closed, religious man – speaks against him telling such a lie. It puts the personal reputation of the man in question to make up such a story about this type of discovery. The personal reputation is the most important value in the local culture.
H.-M. Beyer, July 2008
Because of Porshnev’s description the members of the German study group, working in Sarmakovo, thought that Khabaz Kardanov had left the village forever. 4 But this was obviously not true. According to Hassan Kardanov’s statement, his cousin Khabaz lived his entire life in Sarmakovo. He worked for the wine factory there, which still exists today. His job was, among others, to travel with shipments of wine to Siberia. During these transports, he was sometimes not at home for a few weeks. He died, according to his cousin, in the late 80s in Sarmakovo.
Hassan Kardanov told how Marie-Jeanne Koffmann often visited him when he worked in the village administration: “She often came to me and asked me to help her.” 5 He claimed further, that she asked him several times, among other things, to speak to his cousin, that he should show her the Almasty. When asked about Koffmann’s intentions, Kardanov said, “She wanted to catch the Almasty.” As a return favor, Koffmann promised Khabaz Kardanov a three-room apartment in Moscow – “rjadom Gagarina” [next to Gagarin].6 Hassan Kardanov explained that at that time, just as it is today, the dream of many Kabardinian villagers was to live in Moscow, because of the better wages and prestige. However, Khabaz turned this offer down. Hassan Kardanov quoted his cousin with the following words: “And even if she [Koffmann] gave me the entire district of Moscow, I wouldn’t give her the Almasty.” Hassan Kardanov didn’t know anything about a ransom that his cousin demanded for the Almasty in 1959, but he didn’t say that such a claim must be untrue. Hassan was asked if Khabaz also had contact to the Almasty in the 60s and later. He said that there were such rumors of this in the village and referred to Koffmann’s offer to his cousin.
He said further that he met his cousin once in the 60s during the hay harvest near the village. He came back after a some time and was amazed that his cousin had finished the entire harvest in such a short time. He asked him about it. Khabaz said that “she” had helped him. It should be noted that in the Russian TV documentary Madam and the Snowman (2005) Koffmann shows a locality on the edge of the village Sarmakovo, where, according to her, the Almasty helped Khabaz Kardanov during the hay harvest. In this connection no year is mentioned. Hassan Kardanov said, that his cousin lived alone in his house, about 300 meters away from Koffmann’s home in the center of the village Sarmakovo, until his death. During the talks with him, Hassan Kardanov appeared to be a serious, honest man. Although he has reached retirement age, he still works in the administration for pension funds in Zalukokoashe, the administration center of the Zolsk district.
The Khabaz Kardanov case is also dealt with in the present literature about “relic hominids”, following Porshnev’s description.7 It must be noted, that also other Moscow researchers like Igor Burtsev and Dmitri Bayanov took part in Koffmann's fieldwork in Sarmakovo in the middle of the 60s.8 However, according to Hassan Kardanov’s descriptions, this case from the early days of Caucasian fieldwork is presented differently as that which Porshnev published in 1968. Keeping his publication in mind, this leads today to a question, which is also significant for other publications: How completely was Porshnev and other authors informed about the fieldwork in the Caucasus?
According to Koffmann, before the revolution Kabardinians, Circassians, Karachays and other Caucasian nationalities used them [Almasty] often for agricultural works: in the gardens, for cutting wood, for bringing water and others. The farmers fed their unusual helpers and sometimes they gave them old trousers and jackets.12
The mountain guide Leonid Zamyatnin collected eyewitness reports in the Caucasus according to Dmitri Bayanov.13 He lived in the settlement Terskol on the foot of Mt. Elbrus and published in 1986: “The residents of Kabardino-Balkaria claim that even 40 to 50 years ago an Almasty lived in almost every house of the mountain villagers. The Almasty was given food and that brought the families good luck.” 14
One question in the present field work is if purposeful, repeated contact or a lengthy relationship between Almasty and humans exists today. Since the late 90s there have been significant hints collected that point to the likelihood that there are still such contact people today. This is a main point of current field investigations of the German study group in the Caucasus.
1 Personal communication of K.C. Beyer and H.-M. Beyer with Hassan Kardanov (November 12, 2005,
Shortly thereafter, they saw a very large, human-like being about 100 meters away. They describe it as bent over, covered with light brown fur, without a neck and with very long arms. The being disappeared in the forest. The girls were afraid and ran back to the tourist station, and told their story to a guide. He went back with them to the place, and saw large footprints, similar to a human’s bare feet. Later, also other pupils saw the being near to the tourist station numerous times on the same day: once it was running through the forest, another time it was sitting on a rock. On the next evening and in the night, loud, strange screams were coming from the forest close to the tourist station. It is thought that these screams came from this being.3
Ludmila Kolesnikova (left) among her pupils (Alpinist camp"Elbrus", Kabardino-Balkaria, August 15, 1998) and the ski slope,
Marie-Jeanne Koffmann was asked for the screams by Bernard Heuvelmans. In a letter to him from 1983 - after Heuvelmans dead available in his archive in Switzerland - she wrote about the recorded screams from Mahuzier’s film. In her description, the question of who made the screams has been answered. She wrote: “ I’m afraid I must disappoint you, regarding the recorded screams – it was a jackal, which also tricked me. […] In the next night, as the screams started again, Sylvain Mahuzier, the nephew of Alain, laid himself in the forest and surprised the animal himself, by shining a flashlight on the animal as it started to scream. A moment later, when a young jackal came to him, he stopped screaming.” Koffmann describes the screams in the letter as “… something of Canide, in any case.” 5
The probably first description in literature of a possilbe scream of the Caucasus "wildman" came from the Russian hunt inspector Vladimir Leontiev. In 1957 he collected informations among the natives on "Kaptar" or "Chepter" (local names of the "wildman") in the mountains of southern Dagestan, eastern North Caucasus. He investigated the new established Gutan nature reserve in Tlarata district. There, in the evening of August 8, he heard two strange, loud screams, not simliar to humans or any known animal. In the next morning he saw in a distance of about 50-60 meters a humanlike being, very similar to the descriptions of "Kaptar" he got before from the natives. His report was published in 1959 in volume 3 of the Informations materials of the commisson of the study of the"Snowman" question. Leontiev decribed the scremas as "Very loud, strange, not comparable with any other sound [...]".
The Ukrainian newspaper Tekhnopolis, edited in the city Kramatorsk (Donezk district, Eastern Ukraine), reported in 2005 about a Caucasus expedition of one “Anatoly Sedorenko”.  Now, thanks to newspaper publications in 2008 in the Ukraine, it is known who this is about: Anatoly Sidorenko from Kramatorsk. Two of these 2008 publications are interviews with Sidorenko, which appeared in the Ukrainian regional newspaper Vostochny Project, published in Kramatorsk. According to him, he studied together with Gregory Panchenko at the Kharkov State University. In one of this interviews, Sidorenko describes Panchenko as his old friend and a like-minded person.
Two Russian Publications on an Expedition
in the North Caucasus in 2008
Sidorenko’s article, A few words about an expedition, names the expedition’s work area as follows: “The 2008 expedition for research of the so called ´Snowman´, organized by the journal ´Ochevidnoe i Neveroadnoe´ [Obviously and Unbelievable] worked
in the traditional districts of research, in gorges … however, as known for readers of the magazine, to namecall these gorges is not desirable.  Shortly spoken, on the central part of the mountain range, and in the high mountain zone of Prielbrusje.” Meant is the Elbrus region, Kabardino-Balkaria. Sidorenko writes, the field work was conducted according to the “Kharkov Method”. This method was said to have been developed by Kharkov cryptozoologists. It adheres to displaying bait in places where the Caucasus “Relic Hominoid” (“Almasty” - following the Kabardinian name for it) regularly appear and then observing it at night, among other actions. 
Panchenko writes further, that during the 2008 expedition three possible camps of the Almasty were found. Analyses of the hair and excrement found there are pending. He writes that such camps could have been found earlier. Experts have determined that the hairs found there originate from a large primate. He shares that the expedition also received information about other “cryptids” such as giant snakes, hyenas, and leopards: “But there aren’t only scarce reports about the Caucasian leopards – there are many. It is also ´tired´ of extinction and is multiplying (like the Almasty?).”
No new Caucasus field results were published by the ex-Soviet side from the time 1992 to 2002. In the west, there was also the opinion that the ex-Soviet researchers had left the Caucasus – in favor of other areas – and that due to the crisis in Russia field work was not taking place.
It must be remembered that significant field results from the Caucasus, were held back from the west by Koffmann and her Moscow colleagues over 40 years. Therefore, it was first published in 2002 that the ex-Soviet researchers, could again and again observe the hominoids in Kabardino-Balkaria, at least since the early 70s. For the majority of these encounters it is still unknown in the West who of the researchers, when, where, and how often they could observe and under which work methods they occured. The situation in the Northern Caucasus is, based on the current knowledge, probably unique in Europe and its border areas: Regular encounters, even those in densely populated area, where single individuals live in close relationship to humans, also today.
Addendum (June 2009):
During the German study group’s field work in the Caucasus in autumn of 2005, it was searched for and questioned eye witnesses in the Balkarian village Kichmalka, district Zolsk, Kabardino-Balkaria. It was known from one of Koffmann’s publications in Zarja Kommunsima, the district newspaper, that the person who discovered the well-known 1978 tracks lived in this village: the Balkarian Ruslan Shamanov. The photos of these tracks are, most likely, the most frequently published from the former Soviet Union. Dmitri Bayanov describes these tracks as Koffmann’s “major achievement over the years” and wrote: "The footprints, by our best judgement, were truly left by an Almasty."  Vadim Makarov judged the photos and the plaster casts of the tracks as “the best in the USSR and possibly, the world.”  In 1980, Koffmann published that tracks of such quality have been found for the first time in the world. Until today, how this discovery came to be has only been published in detail by Koffmann in Russia and is therefore not well known in the west.
Vadim Makarov’s description of the circumstances is different than Koffmann’s. He writes: “…the guard explained that the dogs were barking very loudly at night, but when he went out, they were pressing against his legs. He didn’t see anything. However, in the morning, he discovered the tracks. In total, there were 23 prints, which were in a line. The lenght of the steps was about one meter. The specimen who visited the tourist station was not one of the biggest. His size was about 1,60 m. 
In a personal talk in September 2005 by members of the German study group with Ruslan Shamanov in his house in Kichmalka, he confirmed Koffmann’s account in Zarja Kommunisma and completed: At the time of the find, he was 18 years old and was working, like his father, as a gamekeeper and therefore he was staying in the Khazaut valley. When he saw the being, he first thought it was a bear in front of him. Then he noticed that it was larger than a bear and was walking on two legs. He had his hunting gun in his hand and was prepared to shoot. But then he remembered what his grandmother had once said to him: “If you shoot at Almostu, the bullet will come back and hit yourself !" Therefore, he didn’t shoot and the being disappeared.
He also reported that he had seen such a being when he was a child. This happened in the years 1968-1970 in the Karachay village Khazaut in the valley of the same name. At the time, he was about eight years old and slept in the same room as his parents and grandparents. The room was lit with a weak lamp. At night, he glimpsed a hairy being similar to a human, which was bent over the table. It was quickly eating some food from the table from its hands. All the time, it looked around nervously. Shamanov was afraid and shook his grandmother and pointed silently at the being. His grandmother held his mouth and pushed his head into the pillow so that he couldn‘t see anything. Later, the family never talked about this incident. Shamanov stressed that the creature he observed had long hair on his head, but it was not a dark color. Because of the weak light, he couldn‘t describe the hair color any better.
When he was asked about other eye witnesses, he told : as a teenager, he went with his father on a hunt once and a while. One time, they found tracks similar to humans in the snow, which Shamanov now thinks are Almasty tracks. He asked his father for the tracks. The father stomped over the tracks and claimed that they were bear tracks. But Shamanov, who knows bear tracks, is still convinced that they were Almasty tracks. He also explained that his father had seen Almasty several times himself, but never talked about it. During the talk, Ruslan Shamanov avoided the Balkarian word “Almostu” and instead spoke of “him.” When asked what he meant by this, he reluctantly replied: “He, who you asked about.” Furthermore, he used the Russian word “Domovoj” (house spirit) as a name for the subject. During the talk, he stressed that “he” is a clever and cautious being, who is hard to observe. 
In 1982, Koffmann published that in April 1981, Ruslan Shamanov discovered in the snow near the village Khazaut, “a copy” of the tracks that were discovered in March 1978. She wrote: “They were made by the same being as those from March 1978.”[…] There was snow, you could follow the being.”  In the talk with the Germans Ruslan Shamanov confirmed that find. However, he was not sure if these were tracks from the same being. In his opinion, the 1981 tracks were narrower as those from March 1978. According to his statement, he did not have any further encounters or track findings.
The finders of the 1978 tracks: The Balkarian brothers Iljas (left) and Ruslan Shamanov (Kichmalka village, Kabardino-Balkaria, October 2005)
and a part of the tourist station 'Dolina Narzanov' in the Khazaut valley. Close to this station Ruslan Shamanov saw the being who left the tracks at night.
 Photos of these footprints were published, among others, in:
Bayanov, Dmitri; Burtsev, Igor; Porchnev, Boris. 1986. Snömannens Gata. Göteborg: 266-69.
Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow: 39/40.;
Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1980. Wild ancestors. Do they exist? Zarja Kommunisma. 25 (2579) February 28: 4 (in Russian).
Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1991. L’Almasty. Yeti du Caucase. Archeologia. 269: 36;
Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas of the Snowman. Moscow: 180 (in Russian).
Marikovsky, Pavel. 1991. Snowman. Myth and reality. Alma-Ata (in Russian).
 Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian snowman. Moscow: Crypto Logos: 39.
 Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas oft he Snowman. Moscow: Sputnik Company: 180 (in Russian).
 Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1980. Wild ancestors. Do they exist? Zarja Kommunisma. 25 (2579) February 28: 4 (in Russian).
 Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1980. op. cit. (note 4).
 Makarov, Vadim. 2002, op. cit. (note 3).
 Personal communication with Ruslan Shamanov, Kichmalka, October 23, 2005.
 Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1982. The search is continued. New examinations in the area of research on “Snowman”.
Zarja Kommunisma 13(2169) January 30: 4 (in Russian).
 op. cit. (note 7).
 Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1992. L' Almasty du Caucase. Mode de vie d'un hominoide. Archeologia, 276.
Some of the villagers then visited the location and found humanlike footprints 62 centimetres long with a stride length fo over 2 metres. Local hunters also visited the spot. Scientists from an ornithological expedition working in the area heard about the encounter and visited the village three weeks later. Among them were the ORT reporters Natalya Astafaeva and Sergey Isakov, who were able to film and to examine the still visible traces. The weight of the creature was estimated at 200 kilos and the eyewitnesses were questioned in detail. A number of uprooted conifer trees were found in the locality and because these were too big for humans to uproot were believed to have been torn up by the "Snowman".
One of the Russian informants** of our study group, who was able to see the television documentary, gave a detailed E-mail report which included a number of items which supplemented the newspaper article: In the film the boys indicated the place where, having crossed the river***, the creature came on land. The width of the river was estimated to be between 80 and 100 metres. One of the eyewitnesses demonstrated how the creature had climbed up the bank on all fours. The entire bank was covered by short grass and the upper edge of the bank lay 6 to 8 metres above the river water level at angle of 30°.
The footprints were found in the coniferous forest next to the river bank, but in the TV report they were measured as being 65 centimetres long and the stride as being 2.10 metres. At the spot were one print was filmed, the forest floor is almost without vegetation and covered with pine needles. One of the uprootes conifers was shown in the film and it´s size estimated at 1.50 metres. The most experienced hunter of the area examined the tracks and described then as authentic. At the end of the television report Alexander Sorokin (director of a "laboratory for rare wild species") concluded that the creature was is an interesting subject for study where unconventional as opposed to traditional zoological methods should be used in research.
In his article Leonid Ivanov reported also about the stories told by old people from the village. They recalled that after the Second World War villagers from the area had found a toddler covered in body hair in a haystack. They took it home and fed it like their own children. Later scientists came and took the child away.The native people of the area, Khanty, called that creatures "Forest people" and avoid places of possible contact. There are rumours that these "Forest people" sleep in winter like bears. More eyewitnesses from western Siberia were mentioned. At the end of his report Ivanov points out that Vladimir Pushkarev, who disappeared while on an expedition in western Siberia, had worked on this subject in the Yamal-Nenets District and his expedition diaries had not been published to this day.
The locality of the sighting, the village of Azovy, is in the autonomous Yamal-Nenets District, whose territory is about three times the area of Great Britain. Politically, it is part of the Tjumen region and lies in the forest Tundra on the Small Mountain Ob, a tributary of the most western of the great Siberian rivers Ob. The 488,000 people (1996) inhabiting the Yamal - Nenets District are Russians, Tatars, Komi and ethnic Siberian Nenets and Khanty.
The area of the lower Ob is one of the significant "Snowman" territories of the former Soviet Union and was the destination of many expeditions. However, the names of only three researchers in the last century have been associated with this region in the West: Vladimir Pushkarev, Maya Bykova and Nikolay Avdeev. Pushkarev did not return from his expedition in September 1978. The area in which he disappeared is only about 150 kilometres west of Azovy village.
Speculations about the cause of his disappearance included the possibility that his death followed a meeting with a 'Wildman'. According to popular belief among the native people, the 'Wildman' is dangerous and can kill humans. In the last few decades a number of mysterious deaths have occured in the northern Ural and the adjoining areas. Several times people have not back from the Tundra. Some bodies found shortly after death showed no visible cause while others indicated a possible confrontation with a "wildman". Similar occurrences have been reported in other northern Russian regions.
* Ivanov, Leonid (2002) 'Almesty', Adyge Psal'e (Circassian Word), 183 (19.803), Sept. 26, p. 3 (in Circassian).
The migration of people of non-chechen nationality, in the majority Russians, away from the capital Grozny and some of the large settlements in Chechnya began at the beginning of the 1990‘s. This was caused by worsening economic conditions and the beginning of ethnic conflicts. Military operations started in 1994 in the republic. Because of this, for the first time since the return of deported Chechen people in the 1950‘s, a large number of non-local people lived in the countryside. Since the subject was considered taboo by the indigenous population, the influx into the countryside was expected to generate new reports from the republic about "wildmen" sightings. There were several reports of captured or killed 'wildman' in the Caucasus from the time of the Second World War. Only one of these cases became known in the western literature: An Armenian medical officer of the soviet army, Vasghen Karapetian, had examined a captured Kaptar in Dagestan.
In April 2002 Evgeny Kamyshev 3) wrote in the Russian newspaper Megapolis Express about a meeting between Chechen fighters and „strange apes“. The information came from the Arabian El-Buraida agency. The agency cited a Chechen „field commander": “About half a year ago we killed one of these strange apes which resemble people.“ He also stated that his fighters were still being annoyed by „triable relatives“ of the dead creature. They had caused stone alavanches and had attacked a fighter who had strayed from his unit. More details were not reported.
In connection with the discovery of "Snowman" excrements in the Novgorod region, Russia, in 2003, Nikita Rubzov 4) wrote: „Valentin Sapunov thought that in today’s world the 'Snowman' is most likely to be found in ...Chechnya. Because scientists have noticed for along time: Snow people and many other animals appear were war is. It is astonishing that war creates fewer problems and disturbances for animals than the peaceful agriculture does. They quickly get used to shots and explosions.[...] “5).
Vadim Makarov, president of the Moscow Russian Society of Cryptozoologists until 2003, explained in June 2002 : „Already at the beginning of the 1990s, the Yeti began to migrate to Russia out of Central Asia and the Caucasus as armed conflict started. In the last years they have often been found in the areas Saratov, Tambov, Kostroma, Leningrad, Moscow. This had not happened in the thirty years history of researching this phenomenon! “6) The same opinion he expressed in december 2002 7). The regions of armed conflict are relatively very small, limited territories when compared to the whole area of the Caucasus and soviet Central Asia. Because the hominids could get out of the way into neighbouring regions with the same ecological conditions, from where eyewitness accounts have been reported also in the last decade, Makarov's hypothesis is doubtful.
July 31, 2004
In August 1988 some teenagers on the banks of Lake Lovozero had encounters over several days with a hominid whom they called Afonya. (For a detailed description of the meetings see Yershov, 1996 3) ). In December 1988 Maya Bykova wrote in Bigfoot Co-op, “In September, three members of the Soviet Association of Cryptozoologists – Victor Rogov, Mikhail Gavrilov and myself – made a reconnaissance trip to the Kola Peninsula to check the reported sighting.” 4) In one of her Russian publications about her fieldwork on Kola she wrote in 1991: In 1988 three [people] saw the invisible animal beyond the Arctic Circle (V. Rogov, M. Gavrilov and I ).” 5) Bykova also reported about her own first observation of a hominid on Lake Lovozero in September 1988 in her book “He is, but he must not be.” (1991) and wrote, in addition, in the following words: “One month after these eventful happenings [referring to the experiences of the teenagers in August 1988] V.Rogov, M. Gavrilov and I were in the same cabin.”
This lair could not have been made by an ordinary animal, like a bear or a wolf. For that particular abilities are needed and one must have certain powers of reasoning. On the fourth night we succeeded in seeing the creature for the first time. It went around the small house and its head showed itself at the level of the only window, at a height of about 3 metres. When we saw this in the moonlight, what we had been searching after for so long, we suffered a real shock. The fear was wild, almost animal-like. One had ambivalent drives, to creep into the corner and hide and at the same time look and look. The rabbit must feel something like that when facing the snake. Afterwards, we saw the creature a few more times. And we were always frig.htened when it appeared. From the fear we could conclude that it was already somewhere nearby. [...]."
“The outward appearance of the creature was similar to a large humanlike ape with a height of 2.75 to 3 metres, with wide shoulders and extraordinarily developed muscles. The fur was light grey, medium length and the hind quarters almost white. Short strong neck, low forehead, strongly pronounced jaw. The face was almost without hair, covered with deep lines. The eyes were not particularly large and flickered angrily. We had almost immediately understood that we had invaded his domain and he wanted to drive us away. The fear was so great that we couldn’t photograph it and the camera was at that time also not good. We sent the material evidence of the animal, for which we had searched a long time, to Moscow: Hair, footprints, chewed rowan berries 8), excrement, painted pictures and photographs which unfortunately came to nothing. Maya Genrikhovna had acquaintances in the Police Institute where she had taken the pieces of fur we had found for an expert opinion. The final report stated: the fur belongs to no known animal species.” 2).
In her publication of April 1989, In the cabin on chicken legs (meant is the cabin on Lake Lovozero) Maya Bykova also mentions the lair found in September 1988, the chewed rowan berries, hair and footprints. There she wrote “In the year of these unusual happenings I was ready for a contact and had mastered a sound which imitated Afonya’s call. I was able to identify this with the help of Roman Leonov 9), who had heard it twice. We called Afonya after 11 o’clock at night on the 20th of September for a quarter of an hour. And he, although at this time who knows how far away he was, came back. That happened as, already despairing, we had returned to the hut. The third hour of the night began. He had warned us of his presence by twice throwing a stone on to the roof of the hut. Shortly thereafter he himself sprang on the roof, made a few jumps, walked twice backwards and forwards and had, I guess he had heard our exited whispers (we lay on the upper pallet), had lain down and tried on the side of the little window to reach us whisperers. His hand passed slowly across the window on to which I had pressed my face. Then he sprang down and went around the hut. I caught a glimpse of him in profile. Almost at the same time, I heard a long drawn-out yawn from behind the door. It was obviously unnatural, demonstrative. Mikhail Gavrilov wanted to go outside but together with Rogov we 10) held him back. There in the darkness he could have become ‘an object of investigation’ himself.” 11).
Among the people who visited the locality on Lake Lovozero after the boys’ encounters and after the sightings by Bykova´s team were Igor Burtsev from Moscow and Marina Popovich, the well-known female Russian test pilot, who had participated on several "Snowman" expeditions. Five drawings 14) of t "Afonya"– two of which are frontal views of the head based on the sightings at the cabin – were published by Bykova two years after the above mentioned encounters.
Vadim Makarov, President of the Moscow Russian Society of Cryptozoologists until 2003, also portrays in his book Atlas of the Snowman (2002) the meetings between the teenagers and the wildman on Lake Lovozero. He describes Bykova’s fieldwork on Kola with only one sentence: “In 1989-91 M.G. Bykova made observations at these places, where according to her words she heard the cries and whistles of the Hominids a few times and several times successfully saw him but at a great [sic!] distance.” 15) Makarov presents in a table 16) with Russian fieldwork results in the same book Bykova’s own Wildman sightings on Kola for three years: 1989, 1990 and 1991. He doesn’t mention the year 1988 in which the above mentioned encounters took place.
At the XXI Zigel conference on 19 November 2000 in Moscow, A. Klemeshov 1) held a lecture with the title: “On the Observations of Relict Hominoids in the Moscow Province.” In this, he references, among other things, the following:
The Moscow newspaper Moskovskaja Pravda published a collection of "Snowman" encounters around Moscow in an anonymous article 2) in December 2000. These reports originated from different newspapers. There, among others, is a report from the newspaper Pionerskaja Pravda from August 16, 1926. Five ‘pioneers‘ (members of the communist children’s organization) were walking through what used to be a farm in Kolomensk 3). On a slope they noticed a “gigantic ape” about 2.5 meters tall. Moskovskaja Pravda writes: “ [...] The last report from this area [Kolomensk] was filed in 1955: On 10 July the police officer Karpov saw on the bottom of a canyon, 12 meters away from him, a ‘powerful being, about 2.5-3 meters tall, densely covered with gray-brown fur, with low hanging arms and a pressed-in head.’ The police officer shot at the being a few times with his pistol. He also reported this to his superiors through an official report.”
In 1982, students from the University of Moscow were working during the potato harvest in the Serpuchovsk 4) area. In the forest they saw a “powerful red-haired ape, who disappeared with enormous speed between the trees a hundred meters away. It could not have been an escaped primate from the nearby zoo, because of the fact is that he ran on two legs. Even trained apes cannot run on two legs with that speed.”
According to Moskovskaja Pravda, in July 1986, 5 tourists were spending the night near the Moscow Vnukovo Airport 5). They could not fall asleep because someone was walking around their camp near the river and upset a bucket. In the morning, they discovered a fresh print of a large human foot, more the 45 centimeters long, on the river bank. In the 1990s, some people saw the hairy relict a few times in Chechovsk 6) and Istrinsk 7) area around Moscow. On July 26, 2000, a tourist observed in the forest near a children’s summer camp on the River Oka, in the Serpuchovsk 4) area, a large hairy being: “ ... It was as if he had sensed his gaze, held still for a moment, looked at the human with red-lighted eyes, and then went quietly on his way and disappeared between the trees...” The being is described as follows: thick, gray fur, dark skin on his face and palms, a height from approximately 2.5 meters, very strong developed shoulders, practically without a neck, a pressed-in nose, a strong brow, a crest-like growth from the large head. “One had the impression that he sat directly on his shoulders.” The eyewitness remembers: The arms, which reached to the knees, moved as he walked, just like a human. The being moved quickly and without sound. The observation lasted about a minute. Since the forest floor was dry, there were no tracks found. In the following night, the being was seen three more time in the bush.
Mikhail Burleshin 8) describes the following two encounters from the Moscow area in the newspaper Secrets of the Power. On the morning of November 13, 1998, Anatolij Dobrenko, guard at a child sanatorium in the village Samorjadkovo, Moscow area, went walking. He noticed the unusual behavior of his dog. He sniffed at fresh trails in the snow, but did not bark like usual, but returned with his tail between his legs. As he looked around, the guard saw the hairy back of a naked man disappear between the trees. By the time a “Specialist of the cryptozoological society” arrived on the scene, the tracks had already melted. In 1996, Mikhail Gavrilov from the village Avdotino, Stupino district 9), was fishing on the river Severka: “He sat without moving for a long time of the bank of the river. Suddenly a strange being surfaced out of the water right beside him. The fisher and the ‘underwater being’ were frozen from amazement, and Michail could get a good look at the surfaced being: narrow, low forehead, no eyebrows or eyelashes, eyes without pupils, narrow nose, head and shoulders covered with long (6-8) cm fur.”
Maya Bykova also describes in one of her books 10) a sighting from the Moscow area: “Here is a report, written by me in our days from the words of my coworker E.F. Berezkina. My parents lived since 1947 in the Podolsk district 10), Moscow province (My mother still lives there). I remember my father’s stories from the hay harvest, about 1955-57, as I was still in school. In July, we moved the hay on afternoons to dry, and we laid down near the hay stacks. Father closed his eyes and after a few minutes sensed that someone was nearby. He opened his eyes and saw a naked human run by him, covered with long hair. Because of a few characteristics, he thought it was his wife. My sister, who was sitting on the other side of the hay stack, cried out when she saw the runner. [...] “ (Bykova, 1991: 37). “[...] Immediately after the second world war, there were known cases where this animal used the bunkers and trenches of the soldiers. I wrote down a story, that happened at the beginning of the 50s in the Voskresensk district 11), Moscow province (Sovchos Faustovo). It tells the story of my coworker L. Vazova: ‘The area here is picturesque, forests, two lakes, nearby the river Moskova. The 11-12 year old children from our Sovchos often went into the forests and played war games. Once they discovered an abandoned dirt hut in the forest... They were interested in it. They were curious to discover who lived there, because inside they found an oven and a cot. The children decided to observe the hut and once saw how a large hairy animal, who walked on his hind legs, entered, bending over at the entrance. They followed him, but there was no one in the hut, as if it has dissolved in the air. They ran home, screaming ‘In the forest lives a ghost or the devil’.“ (Bykova, 1991: 29)
Vadim Makarov also mentiones these two cases in his book Atlas of the Snowman (2002) in shortened form in the chapter Present Areas of the Relict Hominoid (Testimony from Eyewitnesses) under the sub-headline Moscow province.12)
Makarov's book includes the following information in a table of Soviet-Russian field results:
The likely first report of "relict hominoids" around Moscow in the 20th century in the English language was made by Dmitri Bayanov in Bigfoot Co-op in February 1993, reprinted in his book In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman (1996): “Our latest: on November 6, 1992, a giant wildman was seen by a reliable witness in a wood 37 kilometers north of Moscow ! That is the nearest sighting so far to the seat of our seminar. Now we keep our fingers crossed and look forward to the subject of our studies appearing live at our next seminar session.” (Bayanov, 1996: 216).
On the one hand, such encounters so close to a city of 9 million people seems unbelievable. On the other hand, one must consider the ecological conditions in the Moscow area, which are different than those of other European metropolis. Large wastelands and undeveloped forests reach to the city border. A few miles away from the city and off the main roads, one can find a landscape with villages that are isolated from the 20th century, with the exception of electrical power. They are hardly different than the settlements 500 miles further north in the Russian wilderness.
Hedrick Smith, correspondent for the New York Times in Moscow, and an excellent expert of Russian behavior, described the unchanged conditions in 1976 in his book The Russians 16) : “Follow the narod [people] into the countryside and the modern world peels away with astonishing suddenness. Not only the peasantry but the countryside presses in close around Moscow. It surprised me to see that just ten miles from the Kremlin, [...] city life and its modern conveniences simply come to an end. [...] It is as if modern civilization radiated outward from true cities in concentric circles and the further out, the fewer amenities, the harder the life." (Smith, 1976: 203).
In August 2004, the Russian newspaper Komsomol'skaja Pravda reported in an article by Vladimir Lagovskij 1) that the Moscow `Hominologist´ Igor Burtsev is expected on a farm in the USA. The residents of the farm claim to have contact to numerous Bigfoots. The farm is located in the Appalachian Mountains in the US state of Tennessee. The correspondent of the Komsmol'skaja Pravda, Andrej Kabannikov, is expecting Burtsev in Washington, and from there the two will travel into the Appalachians. Burtsev is described as an organizer and participant of many expeditions, as well as the “President of the ‘Kryptosphere’ Funds” and the “Director of the International Center for Hominology” in Moscow.
According to Komsomol'skaja Pravda, the contact between the farmers and the Bigfoots began in the 1940s. The grandfather of Janice Carter Coy, the current owner of the farm, cut down a tree from which a young Sasquatch fell. The grandfather took him home in order to treat his wounds. Later, two huge, hairy Bigfoots appeared and took the young one with then. The Sasquatch child began to visit the grandfather on the farm regularly, and was also given food. The grandfather explained to his family members that he was feeding a fox. This is how the Sasquatch got his nickname “Fox”. Janice Carter Coy saw the Sasquatch together with her grandfather for the first time in 1972. She was seven years old at the time. The grandfather died in 1996, at the age of 90. Janice left the farm for a few years, and when she returned, she rekindled the friendship with the Sasquatch. Janice Carter Coy: “At this time, he was already somewhat bent over and his originally black fur was turning gray, his beard had lost its fullness, and his head was already so bald that in the back you could see the neck vertebrae, two big bumps."
Komsomol'skaja Pravda writes: "Janice shares the following: Fox had had a girlfriend with the nickname Sheba, who gave birth to no less than seven children between 1973 and 1989. Some of them “married” each other, others with 'foreign' Sasquatch who had migrated there. The woman claims that some of the females trusted her so much that they would give her the 'Snow children' to hold in her arms. The ones who came to the farm: the grandfather Fox, his daughter Niki with her “husband” Bo and their son Shejatom, and another grandchild Kanoenej - a giant more than three meters tall and weighing more that 500 kilograms. That’s Janice approximation. Fox himself was not the strongest of the relatives according to her - he weighed about 300 kilograms.” The same article contains an interview with Igor Burtsev:
[Burtsev:] “You see, Janice had trust in the Russian researchers. She read our book 'In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman', which had been translated into English, and realized that we are not the type of people who want to kill him for future research.”
Already one month before this interview with Burtsev, Dmitri Bayanov 2) published an article in the Russian journal Svet. Priroda i Chelovek (`World. Nature and Man´) about what has happened in Tennessee. He writes that Mary Green, a Bigfoot researcher, and Janice Carter Coy have begun to write a book about their “Observations and Experiences” with Bigfoot on their farm. In order to do this, they asked Bayanov for permission to use material from his book In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman for their own book. According to Bayanov, the Bigfoots on the farm receive their food in a bucket, which is hung on a tree branch overnight. Bayanov: “However, feeding the giants requires a good amount of money, and Janice’s family is not one of the richest. The hominologist Will Duncan, from the state of North Carolina, provides the money. He has stayed numerous times on Janice’s farm, has talked with family members, and questioned eye witnesses from the neighboring farms. Duncan doesn’t doubt the truth of Janice’s reports, and those of her relatives and neighbors.”
On August 31th, Komsomol'skaja Pravda published a further article on this topic, written by Vladimir Lagovskij 3) including a photo taken by Janice Carter Coy. In the photo, one can see trees. Three dark areas in the foliage are marked with white circles. According to Janice Carter Coy, these areas are the Bigfoots “Fox” and his two grandchildren. A body shape is not to be recognized. In the article Igor Burtsev comments on the photo with the following words: “That will do. The woman took the photo as best she could. She wrote to us that she was afraid.”
[Lagovskij:] “Weren’t you afraid?”
According to Lakovskij, in March 2004 Janice Carter Coy took some hair from the forest being “Fox” during a meeting with him. Lagovskij: "Janice gave a sample of the pulled-out hair to the biology professor Henner Fahrenbach, who is a research assistant at the Research Center for Primates in Oregon. Recently, the results have come back from the expert. The hair, noted the scientist, comes without a doubt from a primate, to a being similar to a human, but not from modern man - Homo Sapiens - and none of the apes known to science. Fahrenbach was amazed at the unusual color of the hairs of the Sasquatch - ‘not even the original residents of Africa have such intensive pigmentation’ he wrote […]." Lagovskij writes further: “Janice Carter Coy is convinced that ‘her’ Sasquatch can speak. Naturally, not like us-the sounds come from somewhere from the depths of the throat, if not even a bit from the breast. As the grandfather of Janice, Robert Carter (who died in 1996) was alive, she started, with his help to write a dictionary of the language of the Sasquatch. Up till now, she has written the meaning of about 500 words-a colorful mixture of different Indian languages.[…] " Burtsev: "Janis has taught Fox a few English words, which she recorded on a tape. She sent it to us and we can hear: Fox sounds hoarse and draws out his vowel sounds, as if he is sighing.".
In the next issue of Komsomol'skaja Pravda, Burtsev was quoted regarding his planned intentions on the farm as follows: “I don’t have a specific plan, but we have scouted out good places for an ambush […] and if it doesn’t work out as planned to make friendly contact, we’ll have to take a risk: photograph with a flash. I have a digital camera with me, night vision technology, a video camera, and a film camera with normal film.” 5) According to the newspaper, Burtsev also wants to try and find the grave of a Bigfoot child. Janice Carter Coy is supposed to have mentioned that in 1973, she watched as one of “her” Bigfoots buried one of its children. She knows the location of the grave.
In a further article from Andrej Kabannikov 7) in Komsomol'skaja Pravda on 18th October 2004, with is reported that Igor Burtsev has spent more than a month on the Farm in Tennessee. Kabannikov, the Komsomol'skaja Pravda correspondent in Washington, too, has visited the farm. The basement of the farm, is supposedly visited by Bigfoots. Burtsev placed lures on the floor of the basement, and spread wood chips to trace the footprints. After two days, footprints with a size of "42" appeared. The feet are turned in. According the oldest person on the farm, these tracks belong to a 160 cm tall Sasquatch, five years old, with the nickname Skwiki. The type of a foot is the result of a trauma. One can see on the sole of the foot are evidence of the trauma, in the form of outward bulges.
Kabannikov writes about the grave of the Bigfoot child: “We found it without a problem. The only problem is that the land now belongs to the neighbours. […] The neighbour angrily refused an exhumation.” 6) During the time Burtsev was on the farm, it was also visited by a film crew from National Geographic. Kabannikov: “As Burtsev left the farm, he was enthusiastic of the signs of the presence of the Bigfoot. And he regrets that the expedition was so short.” 7)
A few weeks after Burtsev`s visit to the farm, on October 28, Mary Greens website www.tnbigfootlady.com was taken down. She took leave of her readers with, amog other things, the following words: " ...It's time for me to move away all of the negative forces that finally resulted in my decision to leave bigfoot research on the web to other more
bave sould. I will continue my
work and research [...] on the web: www.chattahoocheebigfoot.org."
For decades, there have been reports from locals who claim to have observed hairy creatures similar to man in the Kirov province and the neighboring provinces. The capital of the province, Kirov, (population: 460.000) was named in 1936 after the first secretary of the St. Petersburg communist party, Sergej Kirov. The city lies on the Vjatka river, about 560 miles east of Moscow. The old name of the city, Vjatka, is still used by the people today. Since 1999, primarily the regional media of the province reports of many stories on the topic. Therefore, the province has been visited by Russian TV teams, journalists, scientists and other researchers.  Various expedition groups have also visited the region, including the Moscow "hominologists" Igor Burtsev and Gleb Koval. The following contains a selection of significant parts from publications out of Russian local and national newspapers from the last few years.
In a talk with Svetlana Kuzmina, published in Komsomol'skaja Pravda in October 2003, when asked questions about where one must go to make a movie about the 'Snowman', Dmitri Bayanov replied, “In the Vjatka forest in the Kirov province. A few families of the Yeti live there. In the last few years, they and their camp-set up in the form of a tent made of broken tree trunks 5-7 cm thick-have been seen by locals. There are also such ‘shelters’ in the forests, seen by American researchers. However, they claim this is how the Bigfoots mark their territory. Recently, we have installed infrared camera in rings around these ‘tents’ in the Vjatka forest, which will be able to fix on the Yeti. But the main concern is that curious people don’t steal and break the machinery.” 
The Kirov newspaper Gubernskie Vesti wrote in October 2003, among other things: “In these days, Mr. Bayanov is expected in the Vjatka forests, more specifically, in Kirov , from where he wanted to break off and go with our local scientists on an excursion in the forest. Thus begins the mystification. Somewhere along the way Bayanov got lost; his telephones in Moscow and his mobile phone remained quiet. And because, up till now, we can’t locate the scientists from the capital, we are interested to know from his colleagues in Kirov: ‘Do Snowpeople really live in the Vjatka forests?’ ” 
Julia Smirnova wrote in Komsomol'skaja Pravda in August 2002: “Our special correspondent Nikolaj Varsegov, hunted the ‘Snowman’ in the Vjatka forests, which has been terrorizing the local population for many years. […] The ‘Snowman’, also called the forest spirit, Yeti, Lesnoj, Shilikun, etc., has lived in the Vjatka area since prehistoric times. Even the father of my mother explained that at the beginning of the 20s in his village Goskovshina, 20 Werst [about 12 miles] from Vjatka (today Kirov ) the old magician Anisim had become close friends with a Leshij. Therefore, everyone was afraid of Anisim and gave him a part of the harvest, so that the village was free from epidemics, fire, or something else. In the 60s, we village boys heard a lot about the ‘forest uncle,’ but treated it like they were stories about bears. We never did meet the one legend or the other, but we did know there were areas where we weren’t allowed to collect mushrooms. [...] But in the current Vjatka, there are no longer so many places where the forest spirit ('Snowman', Yeti) can live. One of these areas - Verkhoshishemsk, is 80 km south of Kirov . Yet even 40 years ago a number of Yetis settled in this inaccessible Taiga. Local hunters claimed that because of deforestation of the northern forests, with the roar of the motors and shouting, forced des Yeti to move to quieter areas." 
Julia Smirnova quoted Nina Ulanova, editor-in-chief of the local newspaper Verkhov’ja Shichmi: “There is a place here on the red river that is regarded as bad. No one ever cut the grass, collected mushrooms or berries, and everyone went out of their way to avoid it. Our village was not too far away. Once as children we decided to go there, because we were too late for school. There were four of us - 10 to 12 years old. There was beautiful May weather, the forest became green. Just as we had crossed the creek, we saw on the forest edge a large human figure, tall, but less than three meters. He stood 50 meters away from us, with huge broad shoulders, heavily covered with gray fur, but the most interesting this was - it was as if he was on a TV screen; it looked as if he had been drawn on a surface. Naturally,we were shocked and ran away.” 
The following was reported in Gubernskie Vesti about Eduard Kopytov, an inhabitant of the village Zabolote in the Kirov province: “He claims that the Snowman has lived in this territory of Verkhoshishemsk since the 50s. Eduard’s grandfather, Afanasij Petrovich, worked as a forester and in March 1957 saw a whole family of ‘Snowpeople’ in the area of the old street of Verkhoshishemsk-Orikhi. Another man drove down the same street in a winter in a horse drawn sleigh. That happened in the 50s. He says a Leshij suddenly jumped onto the sleigh. The horse was startled, and ran, practically flew, to the village and pressed in the barn door. The Leshij jumped off before the village. The man hid in fear in the sauna and his friends were able to revive him with home-distilled vodka. [...] ” 
The newspaper Trud wrote in the article “The ‘Snowman’ from Vjatka” in November 2003 about the experience of the forester Ivan Konovalov, who has worked in the Kirov area for 30 years. His report about an encounter in November 1985 is described as follows: “Snowflakes were falling. I moved through the evergreen forest and suddenly heard a loud noise. I turned around and saw a fearsome being, two heads taller than me and covered in long dark fur. He emitted a permeating smell. The animal braced himself against a sapling to push it to the ground. The reasonably thick tree bent under his pressure. Suddenly he sensed something and turned his face to me. Two deeply set black eyes looked at me, and I can never forget or describe their expression. Then he stopped his activity and quickly removed himself. I stood as if I had been hit by lightening and couldn’t move.' After this coincidence, the forester started to seek out the snowman to meet him once again. He met him face-to-face twice more. The second time it was a female Yeti with a child. She saw him and disappeared into the forest with low sighs, similar to a dog’s growl. He wanted to follow her tracks, but was stiffened, and for the week afterwards was restless, with insomnia and heart pains." 
In the same article, one can also read: “The hunter Vasilij Kapustin explained that he has often seen traces of the ‘Snowman’ and once he was able to meet him. The hairy being had attacked a young elk, had thrown him over his back and was going into the forest. When he saw the human, he was startled, gave him a surprised look, emitted a shout and jumped away as fast as lightening. Kapustin stayed there 15 minutes, according to him, and then went in the direction of the village. There, he suddenly looked at the clock-and saw that four hours had passed. He had a headache, similar to that which comes from homemade vodka. This hunter is not known as someone who tells tall tales.” 
Another encounter, reported in Gubernskie Vesti: “Alexander Mushikin, a pupil, went fishing with a friend in 2000. Near the Vakshinsk fjord on the River Vjatka he saw a being with a tall stature, thin body and long arms and legs. The being was colored black. Mushikin called for his friend and pointed to the unusual being, which was neither man nor ape. When the being heard the call, he disappeared into the forest with large steps. He didn’t leave any traces on the ground - it was too hard.” 
In November 2003, the newspaper Versty published a story of the forester Boris Liberov, from the village Suvodi, which lies on the border of the Orikhevsk and Verkhoshishemsk areas. “It just happened. I can show you the exact location: in the 123 rd quadrant of the forestry, half a kilometer away from the street that leads to Razbojno Bora, after Verkhoshishemsk and through the earlier village Oktjabrskaja. The forest is inaccessible there. It’s about 30-40 years old - not suitable for economic use. Therefore, no one comes to this location, other than hunters and me - during work. [...] I had shot a hazel grouse. And there-another! I shot with buckshot. The bird fell, and I began to look for it. Suddenly, I sensed that I was not alone. Someone was there. I heard a twig break. I just thought: an elk. And then, out of the evergreens 30 meters in front of me, came a figure. I couldn’t understand what it was. It was certainly not a bear, and naturally not an elk. It was an animal or something else - but no less than 2.5 meters tall. The head was similar to a human, but it was very large. Light gray fur. He stood and looked at me, and showed no traces of aggression. I can’t remember anything else.
Suddenly, another came out of the brush, but much smaller, apparently a child. He jumped out of the brush to see me better. But maybe it was just badly behaved. The adult tried to calm him, and gave him a light slap on the head with his paw. Then I snapped out of my astonished state and ran away. To tell you the truth: I was really afraid. I’m not afraid of bears, I have a police whistle and bears don’t like that sound. I’m also not afraid of wolves, because in the forest in the fall they find enough for themselves. But I was really afraid of this unknown thing. It was a very unusual being. [...] On the next day I went back there: but I didn’t find footprints or hair - I found absolutely nothing. There was only one unusual thing: there, where they had stood, were blackberry vines. All the berries had been picked, but not like a bear does it, rather it was accurate, as if they had been picked by hand. I believe that it was a snowman. I read about them once in a book. This was very similar to them.” 
What really kicked off the interest in the 'Snowpeople' in the Kirov province are the reports of the hunter Valerij Sergeev, now in retirement, who claims to have observed 'Snowpeople' in the Kirov area many times. He has often gone to authorities with the request to create a state reserve on the marked territory to protect that 'Snowpeople'. The stories of his encounters have been published in various local and regional newspapers, including Komsomol'skaja Pravda, Trud, Vjatskij Kraj, Gubernskie Vesti and Vjatskij Nabljudatel’. A few of these encounters have been made public with some variances in the story’s content between newspapers. The different newspapers data about the frequency and start of Sergeev’s encounters are contradictory. The beginning of his encounters is given as the years 1969 , 1978 , and 1982 .
Trud wrote in October 2000 about Sergeev’s encounters: “It began with the retired Valerij Sergeev’s visit to the editors of the local newspaper ‘Vesti’, who explained that since 1969 he as met the so-called 'Snowman' four times - a family of ‘wild people’, as he calls them. Valerij observed these beings in the evening dusk from a distance of 100-200 meters. He found their camps-caves with a diameter of 60-70 centimeters and not very deep. And naturally he has seen their tracks. The last time in the previous year, he followed their tracks eight kilometers. The retiree has told almost no one-he didn’t want to make a fool of himself. Just recently he decided to talk about it. According to Sergeev’s words, he estimates the Yeti family has lived not far from him since the end of the 60s. There were two adults and two children. When Sergeev saw the little ones, they reminded him (if you believe him) of sheepdogs that stood on their hind legs. He explains the appearance of the unusual beings as follows: ‘They are not massive. A bit crooked, with thick, dark wool. The front side is lighter. The head is massive, the ears small, the face is hairy and has a typical ape nose. The noises which are cried out are a bracing whistle. The tracks are similar to both bears and humans. They differentiate themselves from animals, because they don’t have claws and a pronounced silhouette. One of the toes ‘looks’ to the side. A typical print is 30-35 centimeters long, at the toes its 12-15 cm wide.’ In Sergeev’s opinion, the 'Leshak' is active at dusk and night, does not hibernate in the winter and moves according to the tracks of the wild pig herds.” 
Komsmol'skaja Pravda quotes Valerij Sergeev as follows: “ 'The first of these cases happened in August 1978', the former hunter recalls. 'I was collecting blackberries o n the swamp, and suddenly saw the tracks of large, bare, human feet. A bit later, I heard that someone was following me, hidden in the vines. I called, ‘Who’s there?’ but the reply was a large branch thrown at me from 30 meters away. I said, ‘who’s playing tricks?!’ and over the grassy area came three women in heavy fur coats, as it appeared to me. The second time was the beginning of the 80s. I was hunting game and came to the abandoned village Goljama. Suddenly I saw on the other side of the bank hollow two hairy beings, coming toward me on thick hind legs. As they approached, I realized that these were young, half-grown ‘Snowpeople.’ I drew my weapon, and at that moment, a sharp whistle came from the old sauna, 50 meters away, and a large figure appeared, probably the mother. She waved with her arms, as if she was calling the children toward her. They whistled back, but continued moving toward me. Then, with large steps she cut off their path and positioned herself between me and them.
Another story of Sergeev: “At the end of October 1980 or 81 we were driving on a forest road with an ‘Uazik’ [Russian Offroad Vehicle]. It grew dark: suddenly, a herd of wild pigs ran in front of our car and immediately following-an upright figure. My first thought was: this is a wild pig, walking on his hind legs. But at the figure on ‘two legs’ got further away, we realized: ‘That’s our wild man.’ It didn’t happen too far away from the village Zonikha on the Sovod river.” 
Andrej Polozov wrote in Trud in October 2000 that he visited the former hunting grounds of Valerij Sergeev, with Sergeev and the hunter and journalist Sergej Ostanin. In Polozov’s report, one can read: “ […] ’There, on this side of the forest […] is a bear cave,’ said Valerij ‘There is their camp.’ After we had wandered around the whole day, we came to a large, dried out puddle. Sergeev bent down on his knee and looked at something unrelated. ‘Here they are!’ … There was a chain of tracks in the mud, directly on the forest path. But you couldn’t follow them, because they were immediately lost in the sand. The clearest print was the first one, 35 centimeters long, from a bare left foot. One could see the prints of the five toes particularly well: the foot apparently slipped in the direction of the dried puddle. The track of the right foot—one meter away, as if the being had stepped to the side; the third print was harder to see; the fourth and fifth were lost. We decided that these were 3-4 weeks old. From the length of the stride were determined that ‘It’ must be about 2 meters, 30 centimeters tall. We came back with a car and made a plaster cast. All of this happened in a corner of the Kirov region, 130 kilometers south of the region’s center. Naturally, we showed the plaster cast to specialists […]” 
In November 2003, Trud reported that members of the Russian organisation ‘Kosmopoisk’ (Cosmos-Search), along with two hunters were on the search for the “Snowman” in the forests of Kirov district. The leader of the organization, Vadim Chernobrov, was quoted as follows, “Nights, we pitched camp on a large grassy area. In my backpack, I had various pieces of bait, which we hoped would help us to lure the Snowman. During the first night, we were very tired and didn’t have any energy to put out the bait. They stayed in my tent. We put out the fire and set up a night watchman - a young searcher from Vjatka. I fell asleep and can’t remember anything. The first thing we discovered in the morning, was that my tent had been ripped, as if someone had been at the fabric with their teeth and tried to get inside. The backpack was a half a meter away; I went out and it was as if a brick had hit me: our watchman sat on the treetop of a pine tree and clung to the prickly branches. He held a small hatchet, and had cut off all the branches under him. We could only get him down after a lot of trouble. The fellow was white as a sheet from shock. He couldn’t say anything, he just packed his things and went off the direction of the village. It’s a long and somewhat dangerous way, but the fear to stay in the camp was clearly stronger. In the next nights, we sent out experienced watchmen. They couldn’t report anything terrible. The rings of bait laid out around the camp didn’t bring any success. But on the day that we went deeper into the forest, we found unusual things: trees accurately cut down, as if for a wood stock; on the trees were traces of teeth or claws. And in the forest the searchers found a ‘camp’ made up of tree trunks, that had been bent precisely in half.” 
According to Trud, Vadim Chernobrov went into this “Wigwam” and saw that the ground had been covered with branches and foliage. There was no one inside. Twigs were piled up in the middle of the room. Chernobrov moved them away and saw a hole in the floor, about one meter in diameter. The searchers believe that this is related to an underground tunnel, however, without special equipment they did not trust themselves to go in. Polina Dobroljubova interviewed Vadim Kudryavtsev, leader of the Novosibirsk branch of ‘Kosmopoisk’ in the “Parlamentskaja Gazeta” in January 2004. Kudryavtsev says that the discovery of this supposed camp of the 'Snowman' is related to the fact that footprints and tufts of fur were also discovered there. Kudryavtsev: “ […] When we allowed local scientists to examine them, they confirmed that this very thick, red fur did not belong to any of the known mammals in the Kirov province. […]” 
In 2002, in the Kurortnaja Gazeta Maria Anan’eva quoted Vadim Chernobrov with the following words regarding the camp that was found, assumed to be that of a 'Snowman' : “Inside, we discovered tracks of the Hominoid. They were 45 cm long and the stride was 95-105 centimeters. He can reach trees 260 cm high and bend them! We did not find other signs of life of the Snow man. We showed our video footage and photos to American crypto- zoologists. They noted that the Kirov hominoid’s camp is identical to the winter camp of the Snowman which was found in America .” 
In October 2003, Gubernskie Vesti also published the report of another field researcher participant: Andrej Tshemodanov. He is described as the “Kirov colleague” of Dmitri Bayanov. The newspaper quotes him as follows: “ […] Honestly, it began for me two years ago. At the time I worked for an environmental protection organization, and a unique person came to me - Valerij Sergeev. He explained to me that he is known to a ‘snow man’ family. […] Two things made me listen to him: first, he was not just someone ‘off the street,’ rather, he had worked many years as a hunter in the Verkhoshishemsk area; he was in ‘public service’. Secondly, he explained such details that would be hard to just make up. A normal person would not even think about such details, but they are meaningful to a biologist. […]
Yeah, and honestly, despite all this I still couldn’t believe that it was all true - it seemed to me a lot like a miracle. He wanted to take me with, he said, to show me and prove it. Shortly thereafter came a group of cryptozoologists from Moscow , under the leadership of Burtsev. With them was the correspondent Telnov from the newspaper ‘Zhizn’, which loves sensation. These people put a lot of pressure on me. On June 6, 2002 , we set off together on an ‘excursion’ in the Verkhoshishemsk forest. With us was a hunter, rational and calm; one who doesn’t believe in God or the devil, and therefore believes in the ‘Snowman’.
We searched the entire day, and combed through half of the area. The localities there are close and calm. If there was a division of German tanks stationed there, you wouldn’t find them very fast. Since the end of the 60s there have been quite a few abandoned villages. We discovered some type of tracks twice, and Sergeev was convinced that t h e s e were it, but when we got closer, these proved to be bear tracks or another type, but not human. But then, when we were tired and the only thought on our mind was going home and having a cold beer, we saw from our car a print on the street, which from a distance looked similar to a hoofprint from an elk. We stopped the car. The hunter went to the print and stopped cold a few meters in front of it. We called to him: What’s there? But he only murmured and his eyes bulged out of his head. And there were mosquitoes everywhere….
I also went there. And you know, if you would say that I had a shock, that would be an understatement. I was completely in something like a trance. In the middle of the damp sand (the street was softened by the rain) I saw the clear imprint of a bare foot. It was a shocking size! […] That wasn’t the only print. There were two others, less clear, on the edge of the path, one meter apart (imagine the size of the stride!). The print itself was 56 centimeters long. Further away, the prints disappeared into the moss, which reached to the side of the path. It was not possible to follow them. […]
Shortly thereafter, we set off on a trip to the surrounding villages, in order to find other eye witnesses. We didn’t have to search long; the people came out of their own initiative and talked. Earlier, they didn’t say anything, because no one believed that their stories could be true. They were afraid that people would take them for a patient from the Ganina hospital. Now they say: Now it is possible to talk. And they told us many details, which would be hard to make up. In the village Suvodi we found a forester named Liberov, who had once met a very unusual family, which he first thought were bears. He only saw them about 3-4 seconds, but his trained eye ‘photographed’ some details which appeared unusual to him. The color of the fur and the length of the extremities did not seem to be like that of bears. There was a female with children, and she gave them a slap on the bottom, like humans. We made a map, which showed the places where the unusual sightings happened, as told by the eye witnesses. This is the way we were able to get a picture of the general area of this being’s habitat: between the Kishkilja and Shishmy rivers. […] In August of this year the Moscovits same again, but at that time others […]
The second expedition: […] I saw unusual pines, ‘broken’ off in the height of 2-3 meters, in the form of an oriental tent. Marks on the trees, which couldn’t have been made by elks, also appeared unusual to us. Elks peel the bark about two meters up, from top to bottom. Imagine, there was an entire row of asps, peeled by elks, and then suddenly some trees are peeled in a different height: 2.5-3 meters high; and the bark was peeled in a different manner. These were all indirect clues. […] At the end of October- November, God willing, we should start on the next expedition.” 
( II ) March 21, 2005
The Moscow ‘Hominologist’ Igor Burtsev gave an interview in the newspaper Vjatskij Kraj in connection with the events near Kirov, which was published in May 2002. In this interview, Burtsev is described as the “leading specialist for relic hominoids in Russia" . Following are some of the significant parts of this interview:
In the website of the Moscow publishing house Provinzia, their correspondent Sergej Petrunin reported in 2003 about his search for the 'Snowman' in the forests of Kirov . According to his statements, he was traveling there together with Valerij Sergeev, Igor Burzev, and Gleb Koval. According to www.alamas.ru (on the stand in 2003), Gleb Koval is one of the Vice presidents of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists, comes from Kirov, but now lives in Moscow. Petrunin: “ […] Even before us, in the last year, people have tried to find the Leshij. And because the Leshij possesses magical powers, we invited sensitive people. People with untraditional abilities have limited the area of the search with the help of biological frames, they have determined a concrete forest area where the Snowpeople live. The searchers have set up a camp of tents and have set out scented bait, and... by the first night they had been ‘attacked’ from someone: someone ran around in circles, whistled, and made knocking noises, just like the time we spent the night in the dead village of Shidel. In the morning, we discovered the same large, flat footprints, with toes without claws, and even a fallen tree.
In the Nishni Nogorod city newspaper, Prospekt, Petrunin also writes, that when he was in the forests of Kirov, he experienced more than once an unexplainable restlessness, which once turned into true fear. Furthermore, he reports that when he was together with Igor Burtsev, Gleb Koval, and Valerij Sergeev in the Verkhoshishemsk district, he found tracks of a large, flat foot, "size 46”, with large toes without claws. The print was photographed. Later the group claims to have found more prints which were clearer. Petrunin says these prints were also photographed. Petrunin continues to say that the group heard a “quiet whistle”. 30 meters away, they noticed a “dark shadow” which was photographed by Gleb Koval. 
Also in the website of Proviniza Petrunin writes under the subheadline “Vjatka’s ‘fairy tale’ picture of the Leshji is very similar to that with the hunter Sergeev heard and saw”:
The Leshiy is a forest spirit or demon and an important figure in Russian folklore. Names like Leshij, Leshak, Lesnoj and Lesovik derives from the Russian word "les" (=forest). In 2003, Dr. Mikhail Trachtenherz announced in his website www.alamas.ru, for the first volume of Gominologia [today Vestnik Gominologii (Courier of Hominology)], a publication of Igor Burtsev and Gleb Koval on the “Details on the current developments of the events in Vjatka”. Vestnik Gominolgii is a new journal published by the Moscow "hominologists", and should have, according to www.alamas.ru (on the stand in July 2003), 6 issues a year.
The numerous newspaper reports as well as the reports of regional radio stations about the 'Snowman' or Leshij in the Kirov province could lead to the conclusion, that in this area, in contrast to the neighboring areas like the republics of Marij El and Komi, that an unusually high number of encounters happened here during the last years. Actually, the field situation in some of the neighboring areas is not significant different. There, too, every year brings observations of the "Snowman" by the locals. Reports about the encounters here, however, are rarely related in the media. The reason for the many media stories in Kirov is that one resident, who is believed to be honest, claims to have seen such beings more than once. He has personally sought contact to the media and public institutions to lobby for the protection of the “forest people”. The areas of his observations, given by him, all lie relativity close (40-50 miles) to the large city Kirov. The places of the encounters are easy to reach through the existing infrastructure, which is not in place in some of the areas further east and north.
The existence of the abandoned villages, mentioned in the publications, are a result of the general migration to the cities during the Soviet times, which continues on today, and was further stimulated by the economic developments after Gorbachov. The causes lie in the difficult lifestyle in the Russian villages. Hedrick Smith, a correspondent for the New York Times in Moscow and well-versed in Russian behaviors wrote about this in 1976 (p.203) : “In the ‘non black earth zone’ of north Central Russia, a region roughly as far north as Hudson Bay and with an inhospitable climate to mach, the writer Boris Mozhayev lamented not long ago that village life is ‘decaying slowly disintegrating’. He described what I myself have seen on drives north of Moscow : peasant cabins listing from neglect, and the uncamped pasture land slowly giving way to the returning underbrush.” 
The work of the Moscow researchers in the area stimulated further media interest and publications - also because the expedition participants themselves have sought out contact to journalists and report about their work. The majority of the country population consists of 90% Russians in the Kirov province. This has made the situation easier for Russian researchers, who have often been confronted with the resentment against Russians by non-Russian residents, particularly since the collapse of the Soviet Union. In total, however, the newspaper reports only provide an incomplete picture of the field research that has happened. The continuation of this can be expected in the coming years, as a result of the good conditions explained above.
In August 2003 the newspaper Gazeta Juga from the city Nalchik in Kabardino-Balkaria, North Caucasus, published a report about an encounter between an 18-year-old Kabardinian named Salim Bolov, from the village Psygansu and an Almasty.* Because such observations are not usually reported in the local media I visited this village to check out the case, during my field research in the Caucasus. I traveled to Psygansu in September 2004. This is a typical Kabardinian village, which stretches for a few miles along the right bank of the Cherek River. Villagers confirmed that there was an Salim Bolov in the village. I arrived at the Bolovs house and met a middle aged woman, she said that she was Bolov’s mother. I explained why I had come. She confirmed that her son had seen “something like that”. I learned that Salim was spending the week in the capital city Nalchik, but would be back next Sunday. I announced that I would visit again the evening of that Sunday. On October 3, I went once again in the late afternoon to Psygansu. In front of the family’s house I met Salim’s father, Zuper Bolov, who had probably expected me. After a few minutes Salim appeared. I greeted him in Russian and explained the reason why I had come. He appeared embarrassed, but confirmed with a few words that he had experienced what had been reported in Gazeta Juga. I was invited into the house for tea.
The following interview was conducted in Russian. Salim and his parents were present. The mother served us, but did not participate in the discussion, which is usual for the region. The father and son spoke a basic Russian with a strong accent. The embarrassment and distance between the locals and strangers, which is often present with this topic, disappeared once I used a few Kabardinian phrases, which cheered up the family. As typical for the region, the father dominated the talk, answered for his son more than once, interrupted the conversation and added to it. I had to ask more than once that the son should be the one to answer my questions.
Salim Bolov’s description agreed, for the most part, with the one that the newspaper had reported.** After the father read the newspaper article, which I had brought with, he explained that “the boys” had not been watching the grain on that evening, as the newspaper reported, but that they were on a illegal pig hunt. He asked me not to publish this in the Kabardino-Balkaria. He is gamekeeper, and “the people” would then say that the son of the gamekeeper is a poacher. Gaming, particularly wild pig, of which there are many, is widespread. The meat is sold to Russians, but sometimes they also eat it; however, the locals do not like to speak about this because of the Islamic ban on this meat.
The number of steps of the Almasty that Bolov heard, he guessed to be “about 20”. He stressed that he believed he was approaching a human. When he was asked about the appearance of the being, he couldn’t name any specific anatomical details and described the being as just “very big, strong, dark and hairy”; he couldn’t see any details of the face because it was dark. When Salim was asked about the scream and “crying”, he said that the scream was “not like that of a human or animal”. He couldn’t describe the “crying” that followed any better. He answered “no” to my question if the sound was like human crying, and he said there was “something like crying” to be heard. I asked if he could repeat the scream and the crying. He said he couldn’t. He was also not willing to attempt an imitation. His minimal distance to the creature was, according to his words, about 5-6 meters.
All in all, Bolov’s story seems believable to me. The existence and observation of the Almasty itself did not appear to be unusual to the father and son, although they couldn’t name any other concrete observations of the Almasty. The only notable thing for them, it seems, was the large shock of the sudden appearance of the being close to them, as well as the fear that came from the unexpected appearance. The father stressed that he knows his son as fearless, and he had never seen him as afraid as he had after this meeting. Salim could barely sleep in the following night because of his fear. The place of this described meeting lies in a hilly landscape with meadows, fields, and forests where the foothills of the main Caucasus chain runs through. According to Zuper Bolov the area of the observation is about 6 km South of the village (Gazeta Juga mentioned 8-10 km), and can only be reached by foot. My experience, however, shows that distances named by the locals are often very imprecise.
In answer to my question how the encounter landed in the newspaper, the father explained that one of his relatives who lives in neighborhood of the village, has contact to editorial staff of a newspaper in Nalchik, and reported that encounter there. Zuper Bolov said that despite the newspaper story almost no one in the village has expressed interest in the story. He did not know of any similar observations in the past years. He only knew that “the old people say that earlier there were lots of Almasty". The complete conversation lasted about 40 minutes. It couldn’t be continued any longer, because my Balkarian driver pressured us to wrap it up, in order to reach Nalchik before it got dark.
Hans-M. Beyer, December 2004
* Guzejnov, Oleg. 2003. In Psygansu, one remembers the "Snowman" again.
“On the eighth day of our river journey, during the night by the fire on the bank, our attention was caught by twigs breaking. When we looked in this direction, we noticed two glowing animal eyes, about two meters off the ground, which eliminated the possibility that they were the eyes of a bear, or some other kind of animal - unless it was sitting in a tree, which was highly unlikely. After Sergej Shishkov tried to approach the being twice, the being retreated back into the woods. When Sergej turned on his electric flashlight, he could determine that a large dark mass was retreating into the darkness. A little while later the owner of the glowing eyes returned for the third time […] and moved around the fire but never got closer […]. We never even thought once about shooting. It was an unbelievable feeling, which is hard to describe. At any rate, it was no paralyzing fear. As said, the silence stayed for too long, and I […] whistled. A return whistle came at once, as if he had been waiting for my signal. I whistled twice. And I was answered exactly so. I liked this game - I whistled three times, and the answer was three whistles. There is no chance that it was an echo, simply because of the time difference of the answer. Furthermore, the answer whistle was so penetrating uncomfortable, that it sent shivers down my spine. A bit later we heard that the whistler was returning to the forest.
"Wildmen" in the Russian-Kazakh Altai and Sayan
In September 2003 the Russian newspaper Komsomol’skaja Pravda reported about the discovery of the leg of a large mammal by a group of alpinists under the headline “The Leg of a Snowman excavated on a Altai glacier?” The color photo of this leg published in the newspaper shows an easily recognizable foot sole and claws, says that it is probably a bear, but in no way could it be a hominoid or pongid. The newspaper article closes with a short commentary by Igor Burtsev, Moscow, as well as the announcement of an interview with Dmitri Bayanov. Additionally, the article stated: “…’Messages about Snowmen frequently come from the mountain Altai. Expeditions searching for the Yetis were organized in Altai in the 80’s. They all ended without a result; despite this there were more than a few witnesses among the locals. It happened, that people met with him together’ -- explained the director of the faculty for physical geography at the State Mountain-Altai University, Professor Alexander Marinin.” According to Marinin, there have been such encounters in the Altai-districts Ulagansk, Ongudaj and Kosh-Agach. 
Dr. Michael Trachtenherz, one of the vice presidents of the Moscow Russian Society of Cryptozoologists (RSC), published the Komsomol’skaja Pravda article in his website, along with some of Igor Burtsev’s commentaries about the find. Further mentions of the Snowman in Altai are not included. Even though this discovery is clearly not that of a primate, it caused an unusually large media response in the Russian Federation and led to numerous headlines like Yeti found in Altai !. In fall 2004 Russian media informed readers of a planned "Snowman" expedition in the Altai. It will be arranged by the Russian organization Kosmopoisk with participants of the scientists from the Siberian department of the Russian Academy of Science.
The reason it was thought that this discovery could be the leg of a "Snowman" was because of the many reports (past and present) of encounters with hairy beings, similar to humans, from the Altai mountains. Together with the Sayan mountains on the eastern border of the republic Gorno-Altaisk and in the republics Khakassia and Tuva, the Altai, along with the Caucasus and the Pamirs, was considered one of the “classic” areas for such encounters in the South of the earlier Soviet Union. The area has been visited by numerous expedition groups and single researchers, including such known field researchers like Vadim Makarov, former president of the RSC and other participants of the Moscow Smolin-Seminar. Another known personality of the Russian "Snowman" research worked in the Tuva republic: the St. Petersburg zoologist Rostislav Danov. His field work began in the 60’s in Marie-Jeanne Koffmann’s team in the Caucasus. Later he worked independently from her in the Pamirs and other areas. The zoologist Professor Alexander Mashkovtsev, member of the former Snowman Commission at the Soviet Academy of Science, investigated Sayan caves in the 1930’s and found the bones of a subspecies of a reindeer, which could have descended from a domesticated reindeer, according to the opinion of some scientists. 
Wild people are an element of the folklore of the Altai and Sayan inhabitants. Stories which don’t fit the characteristic folklore tradition are also circulating today. In the Russian-Kazahk Altai the names “Almys” and “Albys” for the being has spread, similarly “Albasty” and “Alvasti” is used by Altaians and Tuvinians. Legends from the locals say that in the past a long lasting struggle between the Almys and humans took place, and the result was the withdrawal of the Almys. These legends are similar to those which exist in the former Soviet Central Asia, the Caucasus and Persia.
Pavel Marikovskij mentiones in one of his books the story of the Kazakh A. Mogilev. According to him an unusual wild men, covered with fur, was captured by forest workers on the southern border of Altai province in the 1830's. He was brought into a village, prisoned for one day, but in the evening he was freed. Volume 3 of the Information Materials of the Commission for the Study of the Snowman question from 1959 contains the letter of a certain J. Zikunov in the section Altai and Sayan Mountains, which he wrote to the editors of Snamia Kommunisma, a local newspaper in Ust-Kamenogorsk city on the foothills of the Kazakh Altai. The newspaper had published a talk with Boris Porshnev about the existence of the 'Snowman'. Zikunov shares that his grandfather had told his wife that he himself had participated in catching a wild human in the Kazakh Altai in the 19th century. At that time, the residents would sometimes set out meat and bread near this Altai settlement. Tracks showed that “a wild human” collected the food. A teacher from the same settlement apparently ran into children of the wild humans in a cave while he was hunting. When the parents returned, they attacked the teacher. He shot, at which they shrunk back. The Kazakhstan newspaper Express K published in 2003 a short talk with a local researcher in Ust-Kamenogorsk province who is interested in 'Snowman' since 30 years. He said he uses lures and found footprints in Gornoj Ul'binki district. 
Volume 3 of the Information Materials also contains a letter from the Estonian J. Nerman to the Snowman Commission from the year 1959. Nerman, who stayed in the 30’s in the current city Abakan (Khakassia) in northern West Sayan, questioned the locals about the behaviors in the mountains and learned that wild humans were there and these people were dangerous. He also learned about the catch of one of these humans, who had been caught in the mountains two weeks before his arrival. He was put in a metal cage in Abakan one week as a show. This happened in 1938 or 1939. Nerman could never find out where the wild human was brought after that. He also mentions his report to Alexander Mashkovtsev about the catch of a wild human in the Mongolian Altai. 
Boris Porshnev writes in his monograph The present state in the question of the problem of relic hominids: “On the basis of this report, one can guess that the Altai mountains 100 years ago not only counted to the migration centers, but also to the reproductive centers of the Snowman, because observations of juveniles and pairs are mentioned. There are also clues that lead one to think that this reproduction area of the Snowman included the ridge of the Abakan until recently. […] In August 1962, a tourist group discovered excrement on the ice on the southern face of the Belukha (Katun glacier) […] at a height of 2500 m. This was spread about over an area of 2 qkm. It was shaped similar to human waste, but this consisted, to a large part, of undigested or half-digested grass. It is impossible that the waste belonged to a wolf, and similarly not from bears, snow leopards, or deer. Who were they from? (The samples were brought to Moscow ).”
Porshnev received letters from the forester Alexandra Poletajeva. She shared that in 1952 she had seen tracks, unknown to her, on the ridge of the Sayan mountains. The tracks were sunk into the snow and were practically a round form, 25 cm long and without claw prints. The animals apparently moved on two legs. These were not bear tracks, which she knew well. She followed the tracks about a kilometer and discovered when she returned that the being had followed her. She hurried back to camp and told the Tuvinian hunters about this situation. They advised her not to go to that place and said, “That are our ancestors; don’t go there otherwise they will carry you away.” Porshnev arrives at the conclusion: “The natural situation in the mountains of Altai and Sayan lead one to believe that in the past this was one of the most important centers of the Snowman’s existence.” 
At the Moscow "hominologists" initiative, in 1987 a "round table” about "relic hominoids" was organized. A coworker of Komsomol’skaja Pravda participated: the well-known Russian journalist Jaroslav Golovanov, author of numerous publications about the "Snowman" in the USSR. The newspaper dedicated an entire page with the title “Searching for the Relic Hominoid” to the meeting. The publication contained short statements about the problem from the following participants: Sergej Klumov, V. Chernyshev, Dmitri Bayanov, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, Vadim Makarov and Michael Trachtenherz. Readers that knew something about the problem were invited to share this with the Moscow editors. The residents of removed, poorly accessible areas were particularly encouraged to write in, as well as the border guards of the north and south country borders. It was announced that the most interesting letters from readers would be published. Komsomol’skaja Pravda was one of the most popular newspapers in the Soviet Union. The statements with the call for submission appeared country wide. In 2003, this page of Komsomol’skaja Pravda was also published in Michael Trachtenherz website, but not the reaction to it (on stand of March 2005). 
A half a year after the summons, Jaroslav Golovanov informed in Komsomol’skaja Pravda about the reactions under the headline “After the Snowman! The first self organized ‘KP’ expedition of the program ‘Relic hominoid’ returned from the exploration: [...] The editors received more than 2000 letters. The result of an analysis of this letters and a comparison of its dates and those which have been collected in the Darwin Museum Moscow in the Seminar of the Question of the Relic Hominoid […] we have determined, that today there are some areas rich in potential, in which we can expect to meet with these interesting beings. This applies to: the mountainous region of the Altai, small, sparsely populated (relatively speaking) local islands in the foothills of the Caucasus, and the wide space of the fields north of the 60th latitude, which borders on the Urals in the west and east.” What’s remarkable is that in this connection, the Pamirs were not mentioned. 
One piece of information about the wild men in Altai from the first half of the 20th century comes from the Czech Rudolf Luskač. He has worked as a forest engineer in the Soviet Union since 1927. In this job, he traveled all around the entire country, visited the Russian North, Soviet middle Asia, the Urals, west and east Siberia, and therefore came to areas that have been rarely visited by foreigners. After the second world war he worked in the Czech ministry for Land and Forestry. He has published numerous books about his travels in the Soviet Union, which have appeared in Prague since 1948. Luskač was friends with the substitute director of the petrographical Institute of the Soviet Academy of Science, Dr. Alexej Zvetov. In 1935 Dr. Zvetov invited Luskač to an petrographical expedition in the southern East Siberia. There, about 50 miles south of the city Tynda in the Amur province, Luskač had an evening encounter with a being, which the locals consider a "Golub-Javan" (one of the local names for the wild men). Luskač began to be interested in the wild people and spoke to Dr. Zvetov about this. He knew of such legends and explained that he had first heard of the "Golub-Javan" in 1932, in the foothills of the Pamirs, but he took these stories of the natives to be part of the local fairy tales.
In 1933, Dr. Zvetov led petrographical research work in the Belukha massive of the Altai. Luskač quotes him as follows: “On our way back, some of the local guides refused to spent the night in a rugged gorge […] because in the fall the Golub-Javans migrate through this canyon. It’s not advised to meet them. They told me, that these beings live in small groups and in the winter come down from the inaccessible high mountains to the less elevated areas. Encounters with them are dangerous.” Zvetov expressed his doubts. Regarding this, the medic of the group assured that he himself had seen such beings in the Altai and told the following story: He was spending the night in a mountain hut and was awoken by high screams. Through the window he saw some forms similar to humans in the moonlight who were eating the results of his hunt, two snow sheeps. In the first moment, he thought they were bears. Then he took in the long arms, the practically upright walk and thick, gray-brown fur. The faces were hairless, and the head came to a point, with long, stiff hair that fell to the shoulders. They were all larger than humans, and held their heads with thick browns and large eyes upright. It seemed they had an argue and let out sharp screams. Even female specimens with long breasts could be recognized. The beings attempted to look into the hut through the window. One particularly large specimen tried to break down the door of the hut. When the group left, they proved to be good climbers. Since then, the medic avoids this mountainous area. According to Luskač, Dr. Zvetov stressed, that the medic and the other local guides were experienced, serious men, and therefore he does not doubt the believability of the story. 
Heinrich Silanov, a Russian geologist and participant of "Snowman" expeditions in the Soviet Union, describes in one of his publications a personal experience, which reminds the story of Albert Ostman. Ostman claimed that in 1924 in British Columbia he was kidnapped by a Sasquatch as he lay in his sleeping bag. Silanov worked in 1959 with a group of geologists in the Sayan and reports: “In August 1959 we were doing geological work in the valley of the river Bol’shoj Abakan [northern West Sayan]. We were traveling by horse. […] One day, toward evening, we arrived in a region where the Taiga ends and where are the alpine meadows. We rested on a large meadow, which was completely grown over with tall grass, unsaddled the horses and began to prepare to spend the night here. The married couple Donov settled down in the tent and we pitched an awning for ourselves. […] We fell asleep quickly; the day had exhausted us. A long scream woke me up, which came from somewhere near the Taiga. […] And suddenly, another scream. I discovered that Sasha Pjankov was no longer with us. […] We turned on a flashlight and saw the following: a wide track of flattened grass led from the tent into the darkness. In the same moment, I heard a scream coming from the direction in which the track led. We hurried to be of help, and quickly saw in the light of the flashlight Sasha, who was practically lying in the water in his twisted sleeping bag.
Based on his shocked face, we could see that he had not come here voluntarily. N. Donov approached us quickly with a flare gun. With a light hiss one racket after another flew into the air and illuminated a giant animal, which was struggling up the slope in the direction of the Taiga […]. Since the grass was tall, we couldn’t determine his height, but there is no doubt that he was taller than two meters: thick fur, a large head which was grown out of the body. The animal crossed the steep slope unusually agilely and disappeared into the Taiga. Sasha returned to his senses and told as he woke up, because someone was carrying him away in his sleeping bag. He thought that it was a trick of ours and thought: ‘They’ll have their fun and then stop. But then I realized that it was someone else, because to drag a sleeping bag with me in it, one had to be very strong. I began to call for help. The bag was dropped, but after a short time, I was carried further, this time over stones.’ Sasha screamed again, and then we came to help. […] We didn’t know anything of the “Snowman” at that time, and therefore thought it was a large wolverine. […] In the morning we saw in the shallow water the large tracks of the sole of bare feet, which were not very similar to animal tracks.” 
Rudolf Balandin published in 1996 the story of Lev Miroslav Cevalkov, employee of the Altai-Mountains Area Museum. According to Balandin, Cevalkov did not believe in the existence of "Snowman" until “a good and old acquaintance”, a history teacher from the Altai, told him of his encounter in the Ongudaj district. Balandin quotes Cevalkov as follows: “In summer he helped his father herd the horses out of the higher mountains meadows. They returned home together with their colleagues and horses. It was around evening time. In front of them they noticed a woman. It appeared to him as if she was wearing a fur coat backwards. They caught up to her. The horses began to whinny. She didn’t answer any questions and did not turn around. The group began to feel uneasy. ‘Let’s ride’ said one. ‘It’s not necessary for us to go up to her.’ At this moment, she turned around. The face was hairy, flat, and without nose. Two large eyes looked as if they were lit up. The mouth was thin and wide like an ape. An awful smell came off her. A true Almystka! [feminin form of 'Almys'] The mounted their horses and rode away. It was awful. Afterwards she was seen around the village Kupchegen. It’s not known where she disappeared to. […] My acquaintance rode up quite close to her. He noticed than even though he was sitting on his horse, her face was at the same level as his eyes. That means she was more than two meters tall. […]” It is not mentioned when this encounter happened. 
One of the "Snowman" expeditions in the Russian Altai took place from June through September 1996. One of its participants, the psychologist Sergej Shishov, published in connection with this an unusually (for Russian periodicals) exhaustive report in the journal Znag Voprosa. This contains excerpts from the expedition diary. According to Shishov, a Russian border guard observed from a helicopter in 1995 in the Altai three hairy beings similar to humans. As a result of this observation, it led to an expedition, apparently at the initiative of the Russian Defense Ministry. An unnamed zoologist participated in this expedition, who allegedly worked earlier with Boris Porshnev, according to Shishov. The expedition was supported by Russian border troops. It is claimed the participants were able to observe, photograph, and even mark tracks of an anthropoid being. The following is a translation of some significant parts of Shishov’s report:
“…The locals, Oriots, Kumandins, Tubalars and Telengits know of its existence since prehistoric times. They call the hominid “hairy uncle” and “grandfather”. They often borrowed the names from other people: Gul’-Bijaban, Albasty, Arsuri, Kadshi… They were deathly afraid of him and attributed capabilities to him that also appear in folklore about the Yeti of the Himalayas . Of course, in most of the legends the details are mythological.
In 1995, the helicopter pilots of a border patrol saw, during a round trip in the mountains of the border area, on a snowcap […] three hairy beings similar to humans, which climbed the icy ridge as easily as a man walks down a boulevard. The helicopter approached the group of anthropoids. At this moment, something happened which borders on the edge of human understanding. The ape-like humans simultaneously squatted down, stretched their paws in the direction of the helicopter… and disappeared from the sight of the observers. One must keep in mind two important facts: The military, who reported about the event, were really professional and had been working in the high Katun […] for more than one year, and they had often gone on these flights 'blind'. They orientated themselves in the chaos intuitively on valleys, low valleys, and the crest of high mountains. And secondly: at the moment of the strange gymnastic exercises of the arthropoids, the pilot felt a sharp pain in his temples and a burning in his eyes. His eyes started to water. Nothing like this had ever happened before to the officer. It was not possible to land on the snow cap, because it was covered in a thick crust of ice - incidentally, no tracks could be left behind on the ice. There were also no caves, cracks, or caverns where the three puzzling beings could have hidden themselves.
One of the pilots also had the same impression as R. Izzard - the author of the first systematic history of the Yeti: ‘On our snowcaps, you can see any fleck just LIKE COCKROACHES ON A TABLECLOTH [emphasis added by S. Shishov], but these… they simply disappeared from our sight. …’ By this time, it was already in the middle of glasnost, and therefore the officers reported this experience to their superiors, and it also came to be known that such cases had happened more than once and not just with the group of the air patrol, but also to observers on the ground. But these observations had not have any further consequences. […] But this time, the report interested someone from the border troop’s district headquarters. It was forwarded on to the defense ministry and as a result, an expedition with the goal of checking the information was formed. All the details about this were done in the form of a diary - as an example of a report for the interested officers. And of course, we only wrote the events in the diary which we thought the reader would find interesting.
Pages from the diary: […]
It’s one thing to sit in an apartment in Moscow, drink ‘Bavaria’ from a covered glass and hear reports about the unusual events that happen on other continents. But you feel completely different when you are in some sort of yurt [tent] and look into the eyes of an old Oirot, who is telling you how the forest uncle ripped the head off his father: ‘First he penetrated him with his eyes, and father let his weapon drop. Then he approached my father, kicked him in the chest and ripped his head off. I found the head without hair. The wolves had eaten the rest. I don’t need money, I’d help you just because.’ […] He himself had seen the relic hominoid twice. The Oirot’s description was similar to the classic one, down to the details: ‘I couldn’t see the uncle, but my heart was already hurting and my legs had failed. I was very afraid. Then, look there, a hairy man came down the mountain. He looked at me, but he didn’t touch me. After that I spent two days in bed - I was dizzy.’ […]
July 2 […] Today the report came by radio that in the upper Kal-Chut border patrols had seen a group of anthropoids, moving over the snowcaps toward the Mongolian border. Kal-Chut - that’s about a hundred kilometers east of our camp. I personally was convinced that it was another group of hominoids, even though there are a variety of them. The anthropoid is a wanderer, an eternal nomad. Going through the deserted crests of the Altai, he can walk with his stride of 1.2 meters about 50-70 werst [30-40 miles] a day. And even more than that, since country borders don’t exist for our older brother. One also has the impression, that in this area only the border patrols on the Russian side are working. […]
July 12: Today we could once again see the ‘Gentlemen of the area’. […] Once our eyes had adjusted to the new light, the zoologist called out and pointed forward. Five hundred meters from us, on the edge of the numerous clefts, an unmistakable anthropoid being was easily climbing on a cliff. From the distance, you couldn’t make out any details, but it was not a bear – the only animals which one could mistake for a relic hominoid from a distance. The length of the body and the lower extremities were proportional. The fur was dark. The upper extremities moved strongly and helped him climb. […] After a few seconds the hominoid disappeared into the dark shadows of a stone crack, which led to the outflows of the foothills. […] It was impossible to think of following it. […] That evening the high lieutenant, who had successfully taken a picture, demonstrated the picture-taking ability of his military technology. On the print, one can see stones, cracks that are covered with green lichens, and the contours of a powerful figure moving himself forward, covered by the shadows of the boulders. The detail of the camera is amazing, but the information content is small, because you can’t identify the pictured silhouette. […]
According to Shishov, the expedition was also able to find a trail of tracks with clear footprints. The length of the tracks was 62 centimeters, the width 23.5 cm. The large toe was very wide and not opposite of the others. The ball of the foot was pressed into the ground 3.5 cm, and the heel was particularly defined. All prints were measured and photographed. A plastic cast was made from one of the prints. The zoologist present estimated the height of the animals to be 2.4-2.6 meters and his weight to be no less than 300 kilograms. The exact location of the base camp of the expedition is not shared by Shishov. From his statement “Kal-Chut - that’s about 100 km east of our camp” - he probably means 'Kalgut' - one can assume that the camp was in or around the edge of the Belukha massive.
The name Altai comes from the Mongolian and means ‘golden’, which could refer to the available gold reserves, which are still industrially mined today. The highest Altai peak, Belukha, reaches a height of 4499 meters. There is a difference between the Altai in the Russian and Kazakhstan territory, as well as the Mongolian Altai, the Gobi Altai and a smaller part in China. The mountains create the spring area of the Siberian rivers Ob, Yenisej, and Irtysh. The eastern neighbouring republics of Gorno-Altaisk Republic are Tuva and Khakassia. Some Altai territories like for example the area between Chulyshmanskoe Nagor’e and Shapshal’skij mountain range (the border area of Tuva) are even today only allowed to be entered with special permission. Parts of the Russian-Kazakh and Mongolian Altai are contaminated with radio activity because of the former Soviet nuclear testing grounds Semipalatinsk in north Kazakhstan. The economic infrastructure that existed in the Soviet time is for the most part no longer there today. Distant settlements, that were earlier regularly visited by helicopters, are now almost completely isolated. The male population, in particular, in these settlements has a very high rate of alcoholism.
Translations from the Russian by T. Maksimova.
Safarbi Beshenov, 32 years old, Kabardinian, gamekeeper and cattle hand, Kamenomostskoye, Zolsk district
Beshenov was asked about almasty for the first time in summer, 2005. As an experienced hunter, he knew about the subject, but explained at the time that he had never seen anything like that. In 2005, he helped the German study group to find a cave in the Malka valley, where bones are said to have been found. Beshenov seemed to be a direct, serious person. His Kabardinian hunting buddies describe him as fearless and dependable.
Gamekeeper Safarbi Beshenov and a view from the northern slope of Mt. Kenzhal (2829 m) to a part of upper Malka valley with some subvalleys. In one of them, Krishnaja Balka, Beshenov had a night encounter with a possible almasty.
Zaur Likhov, 45, Kabardinian, chief gamekeeper, Kamenomostskoye, Zolsk district
Members of the German study group spent a few days together with Likhov. After a few hunting expeditions together, he became more open and friendly. There was a final meeting with him in September 2009 near the village Kichmalka, Zolsk district. Likhov was met by accident as he was on his way to his home village, on his off road vehicle. He reacted very positively to this chance meeting. Without being asked, he told the Germans about his encounter once again. By this point, he spoke so openly that he said that at the time, he was very afraid, and never wished to repeat “something like that” in his life ever again. If can often be determined that locals, when around other people – particularly strangers – don’t like to talk about almasty. Often, they are afraid they will be laughed at by telling such stories. In many cases, they only talk openly about the subject when they have the feeling that they know the listener well and can trust him.
Salavat Makushev, 58 years old, Kabardinian, cattle hand, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
It should be noted that Gregory Panchenko, one of Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann’s close coworkers, also reported on two specimens with light-colored fur in the pasture valleys south of Sarmakovo, the neighboring valleys of Khudatojko: A large, male individual with silver-gray fur, observed in summer of 1991, and a somewhat smaller individual with “light fur”, observed in 1988. Even today, residents of the Sarmakovo claim that by the 1960s and 1970s light-colored specimens had been observed in and around the village. The forestless meadow valleys like Kuruko, Sarmako, Akbochejko. und Khudatojko, close to the village of Sarmakovo, were one of the main fieldwork areas during the soviet time. Russian researchers have observed almasty here several times.
Zalavat Makushev and the lower part of Khudatojko valley, where he is said to have seen two almasty in May 2009, a half mile away from the sou- thern edge of Sarmakovo.
Shadshir Bajev, 71 years old , Kabardinian, retiree, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
In other conversations on the subject he also reported that his brother Bedal had also had an encounter with a female almasty. He said that this almasty is said to have been friends with a former resident of Sarmakovo – Khabaz Kardanov. According to Bajev, his brother had previously worked as a tractor driver on the collective farm in Sarmakovo. He had a friendly relationship with Khabaz Kardanov. During this time, Kardanov worked in summer and autumn seasonally as a guard for a fruit plantation on the slope of the Mount Dzhinal, about 1.5 miles south from the village. The area is called Shigaligo valley.
Furthermore, Bajev reported that once in the 1970s, he heard strange, very loud screams from the slope of the Dzhinal mountain, about a half mile away from the northern edge of Sarmakovo, early in the morning. It was still dark. He was at his home in the western part of the village. The dogs in the village began to bark. Some of the neighbors had also heard the screams. Everyone had the opinion that the almasty had screamed.  Bajev also reported that earlier, his father had kept bees in the Ekipzoko valley, three miles from Sarmakovo. He told him that once during the night his dogs were barking loudly. About 30 meters away, he saw an almasty, which the dogs had encircled. The almasty moved strangely toward the dogs, then the dogs went away and the almasty was able to escape.
Bajev also said that he had a long-term, good relationship with Marie-Jeanne Koffmann. When he was working as the manger of the gas station for the Sarmakovo collective farm during the soviet time, Koffmann often came to him and urgently asked him for some free petrol for her car. He remembered that it was strange because she didn’t only fill the tank of her car, she also filled two large canisters. She trusted him so much that she left her off-road car on his property when she was gone for months at a time.
During the talk, Bajev showed a copy of a page from one of Koffmann’s articles in the French magazine Archeologia in 1992. Koffmann gave him this page with a photo of him and his family, during a visit in the late 1990s.
Shadshir Bajev and the rests of the fruit plantation on the northern slope of the eastern peak (1186 m) of Dshinal monutain range, about 1,5 miles northern from Sarmakovo, where his brother Bedal is said to have had an encounter with a female almasty in the 1960s.
Andimirkan Maremkulov, 43 years old , Kabardinian, teacher, city of Nalchik (capital of Kabardino-Balkaria)
At the beginning of September 2009, Rita and Ruslan Maremkulov from Sarmakovo gave a tip about a relative – a potential eye witness from the city
Some days later, Pjotr asked again why they had bothered him again at night. Someone had strangled him during the night as he lay in bed in the trailer. Half asleep, he pushed the hands away, which woke him up, but he hadn’t seen anyone. All his colleagues denied doing this. The next day, Pjotr left the area because he had a few days off. His bed was empty. Two or three days later, Maremkulov did not sleep well. The trailer’s door did not lock and in the trailer were not any electric lights. Around 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning, the door opened and someone silently entered the room. When it was opened the door made a special noise. At first, Maremkulov thought it was a colleague and adressed him with his name.
When he was asked about other unusual events, he said that while he was working at the quarry, food supplies were sometimes disappearing – including those from a shelf which was open to everyone. The men didn’t think this meant anything, though. They thought that the things were stolen by homeless people, who sometimes worked as helpers for seasonal farmers at the summer farms in the area. Some of them were thought to be dangerous because they were former prisoners. He said it also had happened that these people killed the herders whom they were working for.
Andimirkan Maremkulov also told about an event from his childhood in Sarmakovo. He lived with his parents in the eastern part of the village. Around 1979-80, in the spring, he was alone at home one evening. It was already dark, and their two large dogs began to bark. They were barking as if a stranger was approaching the house. Maremkulov left the house and went into the courtyard. There, he saw a large person standing behind the courtyard gate. At first he thought it was the neighbor, who was also relatively large. He called to the person with the neighbor’s name and asked, “Is that you?” The person didn’t answer. When he came closer he realized that this person was significantly larger than his neighbor. He went to the gate, opened it, and saw the person leaving the gate in the direction of a small stone wall, about one meter tall. The person jumped over the wall. Maremkulov then realized that this person was not human, because a human could never jump like that.
Trailers and mashines at the granite quarry today. The trailers are in the center of the picture (left). The trailer in which Andimirkan Maremkulov slept and claims to have had a meeting with an almasty (right).
Mukhadin Kliynshev, 56 years old , Kabardinian, cattle breeder, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
The upper Kuruko valley where Kliynshev saw the supposed almasty in the sheep barn is the same locality where Gregory Panchenko had his known encounter in 1991. According to Dmitri Bayanov, at the time the information came from a Kabardinian Ali Mukov, that braids had appeared in his horse’s mane in a barn in Kuruko valley. Gregory Panchenko is said to has observed an almasty in that barn watching the horse at night. Mukov also reported in Sylvain Pallix' film Almasty. Yeti du Caucase about Panchenko's encounter. In July 1998, Ali Mukov was visited at his home in Sarmakovo by a member of the German study group. A Kabardinian interpreter from the neighboring village Kamenomostskoye, who Mukov knew personally, was also present. Mukov was asked to tell about Panchenko and his observation once more. The question seemed to make him very uncomfortable. At first he claimed that he didn’t know anything about that and that he didn’t know the people involved. When he was told that Marie-Jeanne Koffmann had published this story, he became very embarrassed. After a period of silence, he finally said that he knew of Gregory Panchenko and Marie-Jeanne Koffmann. He also knew what they were looking for. But he insisted that he knew nothing about braids in his horse’s mane and Panchenko's encounter.
Mukhadin Kliynshev and the site of the former farm on the upper end of Kuruko valley, where he worked in the 1970s and where Marie-Jeanne Koffman installed photo traps.
The remains of the barn in the upper Kuruko, where Kliynshev saw an almasty (left). A general view of the same location. Now, beekeepers are located here. Gregory Panchenko, a close coworker of Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, is said to have had an encounter in the upper Kuruko in 1991 (right). Dmitri Bayanov (1996) mentioned his "...own vigils in Kabarda, including that very ravine of Kuruko..." 
Aldigeri Tilov, 82 years old, Balkarian, retiree, Zhankhoteko, Baksan district
Aldigeri Tilov and the hut in Gubasanty, part of a former State Farm, where he had seen a possible almasty in the mid-1990s.
Aldigeri Tilov examines a collection of drawings of "wildmen" and pre-hominids in his house in Zhankhoteko (left). Khadshi Khadshiev, one of the oldest citizens of Tegenekli, who is said to have known the grave of an almasty child in the forest near tto his village (right).
Larisa Orisheva, 45 years old, Russian, teacher, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
According to Orisheva, because of the rumors the family was visited by Marie-Jeanne Koffmann a few days after the event. Orisheva told Koffmann about her observation and showed her the footprints in the garden. Koffmann made plaster casts of the tracks, and investigated the window and the windowsill. She took fingerprints from this. During Koffmann’s talk with Orisheva, Orisheva asked what could have happened if she hadn’t screamed. Koffmann told her that usually, in those cases, the almasty comes into the room, opens the closets and looks through everything. Usually it doesn’t touch the humans. She stressed that this case was not unusual and has happened in the village before. At the end of the talk, Koffmann recommended: “If you don’t believe in the existence of the almasty, you shouldn’t tell anyone about that !”
Orisheva's Kabardinian husband, Zaur Orishev, works at present as a director for forestry in Zolsk district. In September 2009, he reported the following: It was around August 2003 that he came home from the hay harvest in the evening: he drove two cars with his own men from the neigboring village Sovkhoznoe to Sarmakovo. It was already dark. He sat in the second car. His son was in the first car, with five other boys. When they could see Sarmakovo, the front car suddenly stopped. Some of the boys came towards the second car, very worked up. One of them asked the men: "Did you see that?" One of the boys claimed to have seen a dark haired woman, holding the hand of a small, hairy child, crossing the street in front of the car. The son of Orishev admitted that he had only seen a shadow.
The potential eye witness could not be reached during the time of the documentation. Orishev explained that he got out of his car and looked in the direction that the woman is said to have gone. There he saw a dark silhouette standing near a directional sign, about 50 meters away. It was similar to a large, human figure. It was leaning against the sign. The men got back into their cars and drove home.
Orishev also reported: His grandmother lived in the eastern edge of Sarmakovo. There, she had a large garden with plum trees, which were planted thickly and therefore made a type of hedge. A path led through the trees. Once, in the 1960s, his grandmother was walking along the path through the garden and heard strange noises in the brush. She went to the place where the noises were coming from and pushed the branches apart. She saw two almasty sitting on the ground and eating plums. They were pulling the branches down and picking the plums. They broke open the pit with stones and ate the inside. The grandmother went away quietly. Orishev also knew that his grandmother regularly put food for the almasty in the garden, even though she didn’t talk about it. Orishev is a known and respected person in the village. It appeared that he didn’t have any sort of taboo about the subject, but also no particular interest. He said that he has heard stories about the almasty since he was a child and that in his opinion, it is hard to find someone among the very old villagers who is not an eye witness. By this he means the generation which was born around 1920.
Hassan Altudov, 74 years old, Kabardinian, retiree, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
Khamzat Misiev,16 years old, Balkarian, jobless, Bylym, Elbrus district
Some young Balkarians claim to have had multiple encounters with almasty in March 2009. It has been said this happened at a herder’s hut in the middle part of Baksan valley, Elbus district. This case remembers to a report by the Murmansk criminologist Leonid Yershov. This stated that a group of teenagers had, during the summer 1988, contact over several days to a hominoid, which they named Afonya, in the centre of the Kola Peninsular. During the research into these events, the hut was visited together with one of the possible eye witnesses: the 16 year old Khamzat Misiev from the Balkarian village Bylym. The hut is located about two miles above Bylym, about 200 meters from the busy main road in the valley, separated by the river and only reachable by a bridge close to Bylym. The locality is called „Dshaumal“ in Balkarian, but the Russian name „Deviaty Kilometr“ (meaning “the ninth kilometer”) is more common.
At the time this event was documented, he hadn’t yet returned from Murmansk. Khamzat Misiev and the other boys were convinced that Kurdanov had a confrontation with an almasty that night. The documented events are based mainly on what Misiev told. Ismail Uzdenov was questioned. He could confirm Misiev’s report, but he couldn’t be questioned about all of the details because he talked about the events with obvious discomfort and did not want any photos or videos made. None of the other participants could be questioned in 2009, because they were no longer in the village.
Khamzat Misiev and the herder's hut, where the observations took place.
The hut as seen from the street from Bylym to the city of Tyrnyauz (left). A general view of a part of the middle Baksan valley: One can see Baksan river and the street Bylym-Tyrnyauz. The arrow shows the location of the hut, two miles south-west of Bylym (right).
Adam Khashkulov, Kabardinian, 49 years old, tractor mechanic, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
Adam Khashkulov. He stands in front of the wall where he saw two heads. The wall is higher now and part of a shed.
Adam Khashkulov with one of his neighbours exactly at the place in his garden where he saw two almasty (left). Adam Khashkulov's garden (right).
Akhed Kalov, Kabardinian, 49 years old, factory worker, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
Akhet Kalov and and the gate to his courtyard with the street in Sarmakovo where he is said to have seen two almasty in summer 2001.
Khaset Patova. She stands exactly at the place in her courtyard where she is said to have seen two almasty sat on a bench.
Nurbi Khashkulov, Kabardinian, 50 years old, historian, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
Nurbi Khashkulov and the street in Sarmakovo where he saw in his childhood an almasty crossing the street.
Madinat Khaupsheva, Kabardinian, 81 years old, retiree, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
Zaur Kalov, Kabardinian, 32 years old, factory worker, Sarmakovo, Zolsk district
In July and August 2009 it was several times attempted to speak with Kalov personally, but every time he declared by phone that he had no time for a talk. His neighbour assumed that he was afraid of such talk. One time it was only possible to meet with Kalov's mother at his home. The mother acted very friendly at first, but when she understood the reason of the visit she turned down any attempt at additional talks with the words: "Leave us alone! We want to live in peace!" Later Kalov only agreed to report his story again to his neighbour on the phone.
Khizir Khashkulov, Kabardinian, 82 years old, retireer, Zajukovo, Baksan district
In 1999, the story of the Balkarian cattle breeder Bakalaj Khodujev were recorded by the German study group in the Balkarian village Gundelen, lower Tyzyl valley. Around 1997, he heard loud, strange screams, which he thought were the screams of almasty. This happened at night, in the fall, at his herder’s hut on the slope of Mt. Dzhambash (1928 m) on the edge of the middle Tyzyl valley, about one mile away from the place where Alexander Ocheretko had heard the screams in September 2009.
Alexander Ocheretko and the truck with his bees in the middle Tyzyl valley. In the background is the slope where the screams were coming from.
 For a more detailed description of the development of farming in Kabardino-Balkaria's Zolsk district, see:
K. C. Beyer © 2010
A previously unknown Almasty observation by Gregory Panchenko in the Northern Caucasus in 1988
In 1992, in the French magazine Archeologia, Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, main authority of the Caucasus wild man, published a story about an observation by one of her close co-workers, Gregory Panchenko with a possible Almasty in Kabardino-Balkaria in the Northern Caucasus.  In February, 1992, Dmitri Bayanov also published about this observation in Bigfoot Co-operative. This observation was also published in his book
 Koffmann, Marie-Jeanne. 1992. L‘Almasty du Caucase. Mode de vie d´un hominoide, Archeologia 276, p. 62