Posted by: John Kirk on March 15th, 2006
Just a handful of years ago I was perusing an article in a Mongolian overseas online magazine. I was absolutely flabbergasted and very much relieved to read that there had been a sighting of the long lost bipedal hairy hominid of that country known as the Almas. For many years news of Almas sightings was rarely heard of outside Mongolia primarily because the country was gripped in the sort of secrecy as Iron Curtain countries once were.
The location of the sighting was in the Eej Hairhan Mountains of the Gobi-Altai Aimag in the western part of the country. A female driving instructor by the name of Ts. Tuvshinjargal was out hiking with a male companion, when she was actually attacked by a strong manlike being with reddish hair covering its entire body. The woman’s companion came to her rescue and beat off the raving hominid, which then disappeared back into the mountains from whence it came. The woman reported her encounter to the authorities and the story somehow made its way to the Internet.
This Mongolian online publication is fairly trustworthy and conservative. It is actually a cultural electronic publication that highlights events in Mongolia from the sublime – such as this story was – to the mundane e.g. stories about public housing construction in the capital of Ulaan Bataar. It was reassuring to me to hear that at least one Almas was indeed still inhabiting the western wastes of this land and had not yet succumbed to extinction. This is some 60 – 70 years after the heyday of Professors Rinchen and Jamtzarano of the Mongolian Academy of Sciences who painstakingly gathered data and evidence for decades of the existence of these unclassified hominids.
There are certain cryptids that you do not hear much about because they dwell in remote areas and news of these creatures emanating from Mongolia is extremely hard to find. We do not know if this Almas is the last of its breed and why it tried to snatch the woman. Was it a burning desire to mate, was it being territorial or just misunderstood? We will never know.
It was good to see Adam Sanderson from England undertake an expedition to Mongolia is search of the dreaded Mongolian Death Worm and I had sort of hoped that Adam and his team would run into an Almas during his search. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Adam made some progress into the origins of the Death Worm, but he never saw any sign of the Almas. The hide of an Almas used to reside suspended from the ceiling in a Baruun Hural monastery in 1937, but has long since disappeared from view. It would be incredible if the hide was somehow located and positively identified as that of a bipedal unknown hominid species. We can live in hope.
One of the founders of the BCSCC, John Kirk has enjoyed a varied and exciting career path. Both a print and broadcast journalist, John Kirk has in recent years been at the forefront of much of the BCSCC’s expeditions, investigations and publishing. John has been particularly interested in the phenomenon of unknown aquatic cryptids around the world and is the author of In the Domain of the Lake Monsters (Key Porter Books, 1998). In addition to his interest in freshwater cryptids, John has been keenly interested in investigating the possible existence of sasquatch and other bipedal hominids of the world, and in particular, the Yeren of China. John is also chairman of the Crypto Safari organization, which specializes in sending teams of investigators to remote parts of the world to search for animals as yet unidentified by science. John travelled with a Crypto Safari team to Cameroon and northern Republic of Congo to interview witnesses among the Baka pygmies and Bantu bushmen who have sighted a large unknown animal that bears more than a superficial resemblance to a dinosaur. Since 1996, John Kirk has been editor and publisher of the BCSCC Quarterly which is the flagship publication of the BCSCC. In demand at conferences, seminars, lectures and on television and radio programs, John has spoken all over North America and has appeared in programs on NBC, ABC, CBS, PBS, TLC, Discovery, CBC, CTV and the BBC. In his personal life John spends much time studying the histories of Scottish Clans and is himself the president of the Clan Kirk Society. John is also an avid soccer enthusiast and player.