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Cryptozoology

Has the Yeti Come to the Moscow Region?

By Edward Crabtree

A group of Russian enthusiasts says they have new evidence of the existence of a Russian bigfoot — and it was found just outside of Moscow.

On a table inside the capital’s illustrious State Darwin Museum last month, surrounded by glass cases containing beetles and moths, lies the purported proof: a fragment of tree bark that appears to have been marked by a large primate.

The bark sample was taken by Andrei Stroganov, a biophysical technologist at Moscow’s Agricultural Academy, from an uprooted two-meter-long tree trunk that he says had been planted in the earth and marked with horizontal scratches. Stroganov found the curiosity in July in a forested area near a railway line in the Solnechnogorsk district — just five kilometers from the Moscow satellite town of Zelenograd — while scouring the forests for signs of the Almas, as the Russian bigfoot is known, after hearing reports that such a creature had been spotted in the area.

“The Almas is cosmopolitan,” jokes Stroganov in response to an expression of alarm at its apparent proximity to the capital.

“I am not worried: They are benevolent and need our protection.”

Igor Burtsev, an athletic septuagenarian who has become Russia’s most vocal publicist for Almas research and is also present in the Darwin Museum, concurs. He calls the as yet mythical creatures “Forest People” and sees them as a hybrid species, half-human and half-something unknown.

Stroganov has placed the tree bark behind Perspex glass, over which he has drawn measurements. He thinks the marks resemble a paw print measuring nine inches across. There are no thumb marks, nor are there the claw marks of a bear.

Stroganov takes swabs of the bark prints and, with Burtsev videoing the proceedings, secures them in small plastic folders. They will air-mail these to Alabama in the U.S., where the Russian-born researcher Vladimir Yamschekov will do a morphological study of the traces and check out any DNA.

Burtsev heads a closed online Russian-speaking community of researchers and investigators that includes members in Ukraine and Kazakhstan. They all share the belief that the Almas announces its presence with stick structures.

Burtsev has just returned from a 1,730-kilometer journey to the city of Miass in the Urals region of Chelyabinsk, where he stayed with someone who claimed to have seen a Almas and be able to show just such signs of the creature’s habitats.

He was reluctant to discuss the details, saying only that he had seen “confirmation” of the Almas’ presence there.

“There is more information on this than when I started 50 years ago,” he said. “Then again, people have less time now and travel is more expensive. The bigfoot scene in America is bigger.”

Indeed, the quest for definitive proof of bigfoot, the towering man-like ape that reportedly walks on two legs and terrorizes loggers and campers in North America, has been well documented for decades. The search for his Russian counterpart is less well known.

The Soviet government set up a “Almas Commission” in 1958 to conduct field work on the matter after Everest mountaineers returned with tales of the yeti. The commission was short-lived, but areas like the Urals, Siberia’s Kemerovo region and the Caucasus became known as the stomping ground of the real-life Almas.

Burtsev, who lives with his daughter in a Moscow suburb, is waiting on a visa to visit America. There he will reconnect with bigfoot advocates such as Thom Cantrall and Randy Bisson, and hopes to generate interest in an English-language book he has written on the Kemerovo Almas.

Science joins the quest

Russia’s yeti-hunters have not only allies abroad, but also those who argue against the Almas’ existence.

Professor Bryan Sykes, a 67-year-old geneticist and fellow of Wolford College, Oxford, has written his own book debunking some purported evidence of the creature’s existence. Sykes previously helped identify the bones of the last of the Romanovs, Russia’s royal family murdered by the Bolsheviks in 1918. Now, in “The Yeti Enigma,” due out in September, he draws on the same expertise to look at alleged yeti evidence. He claims that all the 39 supposed yeti hairs and teeth samples that he tested came from ordinary animals. Sykes has also suggested that the Himalayan yeti is a species of polar bear.

Last October, Burtsev took on his nemesis in a TV series called “The Bigfoot Files” broadcast by the U.K.’s Channel 4.

The two men also clashed over a skull in Burtsev’s possession believed to have belonged to the son of a “wild woman” who had been held in captivity in Mongolia 150 years ago. After testing some samples, Sykes hypothesised that she might have been a black African slave, or a descendant of a group of people who migrated to Mongolia from Africa thousands of years ago. Burtsev insists that the skull’s shape is not that of an ordinary human.

Michael Trachtengerts, a colleague of Burtsev who also featured in the program, remains unswayed by Sykes’ arguments against the existence of the yeti.

“The samples he tested were doubtful,” he says over a recent lunch in a Moscow cafe. “Hairs from Siberia were identified as belonging to a North American brown bear! How is that possible?”

Trachtengerts, who has his own dual-language website on the Almas, remains optimistic that proof will soon be found. He is nearly 80.

Mission to America

While Burtsev waits for his U.S. visa, his collection of footprint casts — as well as the contentious skull — remain stashed away in a Moscow garage. Burtsev hopes to transfer them to a sanctuary in the form of the State Darwin Museum.

The museum has provided a haven for the Almas hunters since 1960. They gather there every month. This does not necessarily mean, however, that the museum officially believes in their cause.

“I specialize in birds, and haven’t looked into this problem,” says Vitaly Kontorshchikov, a staff member of the museum’s ecology department who was present at the bark examination.

“However, we can say nothing until we have some real bone samples. No bones — no science,” he said.

This leaves the usually garrulous Bourtsev silent. He merely offers a sphinx-like smile.

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Cryptozoology

Loch Ness monster spotted in a Chinese lake?

The ranger of the national park on the Changbai Plateau in China has published photographs in which, he says, you can see a strange creature living in the local lake Tian Chi. Talks about it are going on since 1962.

A man named Xiao Yu noticed an unusual dark object on the surface of the reservoir during his daily walk. He began filming the “monster” until it disappeared under water a few minutes later.

Lake Tian Chi is 4.9 square kilometers on the border of China and North Korea. Sometimes the North Korean military go fishing here on boats, but on the Chinese side, fishing in the lake and unauthorized visits to the park are strictly prohibited. Xiao Yu noted that he had seen boats on the lake more than once and would never have mistook them for a “monster.”

The caretaker’s message caused a stir in the Chinese media and social networks. The fact is that reports of a strange creature in Tian Chi have appeared regularly since 1962. He was nicknamed “the Chinese Loch Ness monster” and made the subject of conspiracy theories.

Biologists declined to comment on what exactly the park employee could see in the photo, because it is difficult to see something  in the picture in detail. They recalled that there are many plausible explanations for the Scottish Loch Ness monster. It can turn out to be both a large eel and periodically floating logs of Scottish pine.

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Cryptozoology

Bigfoots attacked tourists in the Ozark National Park, Arkansas

Fort Smith native Ellen (not her real name) tells us a thrilling and frightening encounter with Bigfoot in the Ozark National Park – outside Campbell Cemetery on Tuesday night. According to Ellen, she and her husband Robert decided to find a secluded place to live a couple of days far from civilization and even so that numerous tourists were many miles away.

Therefore, they chose the area of ​​the old abandoned Campbell cemetery, where no one had wandered in for about a hundred years. And now, according to Ellen, she and her husband heard something like an animal growl, permeating the air and coming from somewhere in the thicket. After a few minutes, the growl intensified and seemed to be closer.

“It sounded like some hefty creature had found its lunch,” says Ellen.

However, what slightly frightened Ellen was that their dogs, which always bark at the approach of predators, suddenly shrunk, huddled near the tent and began to whine. Then Ellen and Robert, in order to somehow cheer up the dogs, got out of the tent and also began to growl. But the joke failed.

In response to their voices, the growl from the thicket became really aggressive and began to spread around, from which Ellen and Robert realized that there were at least two creatures. Ellen did not even think about some “Bigfoot” and assumed either large wolves, or even bears, when suddenly hefty sticks and stones flew into the tent.

This infuriated Robert and assuming that some hooligans were hiding in the bushes, Robert gave the command to the dogs to teach the offenders a lesson.

“It was the biggest mistake of our life,” says Ellen and begins to cry.

According to her, when the dogs disappeared into the thickets from there, at first the sounds of a struggle were heard, then one of the dogs uttered such a monstrous cry that Ellen had never heard anything like it in her life. After that, everyone began to howl, whine and scream, and pieces of dogs flew towards the tent.

At first, Ellen and Robert thought that these were big stones again, but when they saw that a dog torn in half had been thrown at them, they came into indescribable horror and, leaving everything, rushed to run. Ellen and Robert went to the police first.

The police found a tent and equipment, but there were no pieces of dogs there, so the couple announced that they were crazy. However, friends told Ellen that something similar happened in the national park last month and we just reported about it.

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Cryptozoology

What aliens are doing at Loch Ness

What connects aliens to the Scottish lake monster? And why did many eyewitnesses say that a mysterious force prevented them from taking photos or videos of this monster? There are no answers to these questions yet.

Loch Ness, located in Scotland, is primarily famous for its mysterious monster, nicknamed Nessie, which according to various theories is either a huge eel, or a seal, or a prehistoric dinosaur. In turn, some associate the appearance of Nessie with the activities of aliens, and not from scratch.

It is true that strange lights or disc-shaped UFOs are regularly seen over Loch Ness, but there is also an eyewitness story about how aliens landed on the shore of the lake. This happened on August 14, 1971, when the eyewitness Jan Ove Sudberg (now deceased) was 23 years old. Early in the morning, between about 8:30 and 9:30 am, he was on the shores of Loch Ness in the Foyers Bay area.

Suddenly he stumbled upon something amazing and it was not a monster. Sudberg saw a clearing ahead, on which stood an unusual large object, shaped like a huge cigar. It was about 10 meters long, and at the top there was something like a cockpit. Near the object were “pilots” – humanoid creatures.

There were three of them and they were dressed in tight suits, similar to diving. When they entered the object and the object then rose high into the air, then Sudberg realized that he was observing aliens. As the ship gained altitude, it began to slowly fly over the hills towards the nearby Loch More Lake.

The story doesn’t end there. Sudberg was not a Scotsman, he came to Loch Ness as a tourist and flew back to his native Sweden shortly after seeing the aliens. And there a new stage in this strange story began. In Sudberg’s house, unusual phenomena began to occur, a poltergeist, he began to receive mysterious phone calls, and later even Men in Black came to him.

Soon Sudberg contacted the British researcher of anomalous phenomena, Ted Holiday, and told him his story. He also complained to him that he could not photograph UFOs and aliens in the photo, although he had a camera with him. He felt as if some force paralyzed his will and did not allow him to do it.

It is curious that Holiday later repeatedly encountered a similar phenomenon from Nessie’s eyewitnesses. All of them, when they saw the monster in the lake, for some unknown reason, either could not photograph it, or tried, but they did not succeed.

He also found out that much earlier eyewitnesses of Nessie faced this phenomenon. On November 12, 1933, eyewitness Hugh Gray captured a photograph of Nessie, which is considered the first 100% authentic photograph of the Loch Ness Monster.

Gray’s photo shows something serpentine floating in the water. However, few people know that when Gray saw this creature in the lake, he took as many as five pictures before it went under water.

However, only one out of five photographs showed the monster, the rest of the negatives for some reason turned out to be empty.

The conclusion seems to be obvious: the monster in Loch Ness is more than just a large eel, it has some powers to protect it, and in some way it is connected with UFOs and aliens.

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