July 14, 2009

Gaiko Groans: Grodno Gorilla Gone

Belarus (Belorussia, Byelorussia)ˈbɛləruːs/ (Belarusian: Беларусь, Russian: Беларусь or Белоруссия) is a landlocked country in Eastern Europe, bordered by Russia to the north and east, Ukraine to the south, Poland to the west, and Lithuania and Latvia to the north. Its capital is Minsk, with one of the other major cities being Grodno (Hrodna). Forty percent of the country is forested.

Belarusian police in Minsk on Tuesday, July 14, 2009, said they no longer were searching for a mystery ape last seen in marshy woodlands bordering Latvia.

“It was a monkey that got loose from a circus,” said Aleksei Gaiko, a police spokesman. “It probably died during the winter snows.”

“It was no monster,” Gaidko argued. “Most likely the animal got loose from a circus, and the circus owners just didn’t want to admit the loss because if they did they would have had to pay for the search effort.”

Belarusian law enforcement agencies considered the case closed and were no longer searching for the animal, he said.

The “escaped from a circus” (or “carnival,” “circus train wreck,” “traveling zoo”) explanation is one of the most frequently used unsubstantiated debunking claims for the source of “uncomfortable” sightings of unusual animals in many locales worldwide. American intellectual and author Charles Fort, writing during the 1920s and 1930s, coined the term, “The Wipe,” to characterize these types of “explanations.”

Farmers living in Belarus’ northern Grodno province in the summer of 2008 reported dozens of sightings of an ape-like creature in the neighboring swamps.

Witnesses usually described what they saw as close to human-sized, and moving on two or four limbs. It most often often was sighted eating corn in farm fields in the Lidsky district of the Grodno province.

Accounts varied widely on the creature’s hair color, some observers recounting it had white or light grey fur, and others saying the animal was dark grey or black.

Police assisted by hundreds of volunteer hunters attempted to track down the “Grodno Hairy Beast,” as the creature was generally called, but were unsuccessful.

The last sighting of the unknown hairy hominoid was during the early autumn of 2008 in a rural Belarusian region near the Latvian border.

Sources: Wikipedia, EarthTimes, Interfax, and the books of Charles Fort.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

Filed under Breaking News, Cryptotourism, CryptoZoo News, Eyewitness Accounts