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From Russia, With Love: New Snowman Photo

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 27th, 2007

Avdeev Yeti

Thanks to Cryptomundo correspondent Oleg who lives in the Urals, the actual photograph that goes with the blog written in August (completely reproduced below) is posted here, for the first time.

The correct Snowman photograph is now here, to revise the earlier confusing mix of a compelling story and a mismatched fake photograph.

What do you think of the image, folks?

At the bottom is the fake photo that was placed, originally on the German site, with the Ural Snowman sighting info.

++++++

The Russian newspaper Volkhov reported in March 2006 about Nikolaj Avdeev’s field work in the southern Urals.1  According to the author Avdeev began his research in the Caucasus and in mid-Asia. Later he worked in the polar Urals. At the beginning of the 1980’s it was also claimed that the “Snowman” had been observed in the southern Urals: close to the village Novgorny, near to the city Sneshinsk.2

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

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

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

Sometimes, Avdeev went with his wife. Once, it is claimed that the “Snowman” imitated Avdeevs voice, and called for Avdeev’s wife. She herself saw the “Snowman” when he was imitating Avdeev’s voice.

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

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

Source: Volkhov on Nikolaj Avdeev’s encounters in the Urals 1990-2003, August 6, 2007.

Various Russian media reported that in 1990 Avdeev was able to photograph the “Snowman”. This expedition lasted, according to Komsomol’skaja Pravda, the entire summer and a part of the fall. They worked in the mountainous area of the province Cheljabinsk (southwest Ural). Avdeev and Shishkov claim to have seen “…a manlike hairy being almost three meters tall.” there. Avdeev observed a hairy being, which came from a pile of asps. According to him, he was able to photograph it. The Soviet Central-TV reported in 1990 in the program Vremja (‘Time’) about this case and also showed the photo. In October of  the  same  year,  it  was published in Komsomol’skaja Pravda.  This black-and-white print (9 x 13 cm) shows a light figure similar to humans behind bare asps. One can differentiate a possible upper body and head. Details of the head or extremities are not able to be recognized. The area of the lower body is covered by [branches of the aspen] trees.

Source: “On Nikolaj Avdeev’s expeditions in Western Siberia,” May 4, 2005.

Russian Snowman

The above photograph making the rounds of European hominology sites in August 2007, turns out to be a fake, according to our Ural source, and has nothing to do with the above story. –

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.


22 Responses to “From Russia, With Love: New Snowman Photo”

  1. Ceroill responds:

    Ahhh. Thanks for the update, Loren. Very interesting, if as inconclusive as every other photo I’ve ever seen of an unproven creature.

  2. twblack responds:

    Picture is not that good. Looks like a hood of a sweatshirt on top of his head. The big question is if so many encounters why only 1 pic???

  3. Oleg responds:

    Hello!
    My name is Oleg and I search yeti in Ural too.
    Believe me, this photo is real. Avdeev is serious researcher. In this summer I went there to search yeti and I found his tracks. Yeti really lives in Ural. I will go there again in November and I am pretty sure, that I will find at least his tracks.
    twblack, You are right, there is many encounters, but the inhabitants of the Russian villages are very poor, and they even have no cameras. They even do not take interest in Yeti! They are afraid of him!

  4. drjon responds:

    I suspect it’s a local in a fur hat and coat…

  5. Loren Coleman responds:

    French cryptozoologist Jean luc Drevillon describes what he sees:

    La chose qui saute tout de suite aux yeux est le fait que la tête ne soit pas rentrée entre les épaules,elle est droite et élevée (ce qui est louche), il y a un semblant de cou, de plus il pourrait y avoir un menton, le crâne est rond et il ne semble pas y avoir de front en pente, le visage est plat. On peut deviner une bouche sans lèvres apparentes, on devine aussi où se trouvent les yeux mais alors les arcades sourcilières ne sont vraiment pas saillantes. On ne voit pas la main gauche qui sort du plan de l’image, de l’autre coté on peut voir la peau nue de la main droite. Des ombres sont projetées sur la créature par les branches environnantes, notamment une ombre horizontale sur la tête qui fait croire que la créature porte une casquette.

    Amicalement jean luc.

    Which roughly and robotically translates into:

    The thing which jumps immediately to the eyes is the fact that the head did not return between the shoulders, it is right and high (what is equivocal), there is a pretence of neck, moreover it could be a chin, the cranium is round and it does not seem y to have inclined face, the face is flat. One can guess a mouth without apparent lips, one also guesses where the eyes are but then the arcades sourcilières are really not projecting. One does not see the left hand which leaves the plan of the image, other with dimensions one can see the naked skin of the right hand. Shades are projected on the creature by the surrounding branches, in particular a horizontal shade on the head which makes believe that the creature carries a cap. In a friendly way Jean Luc.

  6. 3tIeNnE responds:

    One thing that makes me think this one could also be faked is the way the fur falls on the side of his chest… Am i the only one to see multiple folds, just like a costume that doesn’t fit (that isn’t 100% ajusted and tight)?

  7. dharkheart responds:

    I concur with DrJon.

    Even with the picture being grainy, after enlarging it all I saw was a guy with a beard wearing a fur hat and fur coat. The left hand looked as if he was wearing mittens, too.

  8. ShefZ28 responds:

    I agree with 3tIeNnE.

    The fur reminds me of the way the Ewok costumes looked in Return of the Jedi.

    I’m not saying the picture is fake, but that was the first thing I noticed.

  9. szen responds:

    I think it’s not fur – it’s feathers, so it’s only a bird, even wings are visible.

  10. sschaper responds:

    A male Caucasian wearing a fur coat. At least, that is what the pic looks like.

  11. mystery_man responds:

    I can’t put my finger on it. Maybe it’s the strange looking fur that looks oddly like a fur coat, or the lack of any immediately discernible facial features to examine. Perhaps it is the what seems to me to be, bizarrely, a well kept bowl cut on the top of its head. It could be because I personally do not see an exceptionally “massive figure” nor “well defined muscles”, although I cannot be sure of the size due to a lack of clear reference points, but rather it actually seem quite within a normal human’s body shape and size from the impression I get. It could be any or all of these things, but for some reason I just do not get the feeling that I am looking at an actual undiscovered hairy hominid when I look at this picture. I could be wrong, but sorry, no cigar from me at this point.

  12. sasquatch responds:

    The “Fake” picture looks more real! Baggy costume from cheap rental store.

  13. bill green responds:

    hey loren & everyone this is a very interesting new photo of the yeti or snowman but the photo needs to researched studied etc alot more. thanks bill green

  14. szen responds:

    here is enhanced version http://img102.imageshack.us/img102/74/russiansnowmanwg5.jpg

  15. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Mmmmm……

    Would like to see the photo in color (was it not taken with a color camera?).

    What do you think of the arms guys? They don’t seem too long to me…

    And the creature doesn’t look too “bent” either, as it was described in the account.

    PS: Good look in your expedition Oleg. Hope you hit the jackpot, tovarisch! :-)

  16. CrimsonFox79 responds:

    Definitely looks to me like a man in a coat and hat.
    I also think that just b/c a picture may not be real, it isn’t necessarily deliberately faked either. The people who take the photos may honestly think they are getting something unusual on film. In a dense wooded area in a cold region, a human wearing a bunch of fur will probably look like a yeti from a distance.

    I’d also like to point out that… a real yeti/sasquatch/etc. possibly would have thick dry chunky fur like this rather than silky.
    Wild beasts don’t have grooming products, and things with long thick hair in the wild usually get matted with a similar effect to dreadlocks.

    What makes me think the photo isn’t a real Yeti is the top of the head looks like a round hat, and I don’t see any hands at the end of the visible arm which could mean that it’s a sleeve overlapping the length of his hands.

    Hopefully more research can be done. Is there any kind of funding that can provide cameras to researchers in areas that can’t afford it?

    Also keep in mind that no matter how many pictures you take it’s hard to get a clear shot of anything. So it is wrong, IMO, when people complain that pics are blurry.
    I am an experienced photographer, and as a photographer I know that sometimes you waste alot of pictures before getting one decent one. Having a dog pose in front of me where 50 pics come out bad due to many things- slight shake of my hand, the dog moving, the lighting being off, etc. to make blurry pictures. I generally take close-up shots of insects. I get one really nice, clear shot for every 50 pics that you cannot even tell its a bug! So it’s not a valid criticism, IMO, when someone who’s an amateur (or even professional) with a camera doesn’t have a bunch of crisp, clear shots. B/C it is not really easy to do this.
    Professional/experienced photographer gets 50 super-blurry shots of a spider sitting still 2″ away from the camera… what on earth do you expect from someone whipping out a camera to take a fast unexpected shot of a moving cryptid in the distance???
    I really wish the whole “why aren’t there clear shots of these animals” argument would die out b/c as a photographer, I know what an invalid argument it is.
    But sadly, thats *always* the immediate reaction for any new cryptid photos.

  17. Bob K. responds:

    Its a poor quality photo, whatever it may be a photo of. IMHO, it adds nothing to the discussion.

  18. mystery_man responds:

    red_pill_junkie- Well, my thoughts on the arms are that they look pretty much like the arms of any normal person. I cannot see anything that leads me to think they are any unusual length or thickness whatsover. The nice, even thickness of the arm all the way to where is seems to stop indicates some sort of fur coat to me. The fur could be “matted from the rain”, but I think it could just as easily be that of a coat. I am highly skeptical of this one. Nothing at all that I can see here rules out a guy out in a fur coat and cap to me.

  19. cabochris responds:

    Why the fake photo is better! On the claimed real Snowman photo, shoulders seem too narrow.

  20. size 13 responds:

    Otters

  21. Cryptonut responds:

    I’m buying the bird angle. Looking at the picture it looks like a bird with it’s back to the camera and the outline of the wings on the top right and the bottom left. Even if it is the real deal, the picture is not good enough to convince anyone….

  22. springheeledjack responds:

    Rorshek bigblob…or a guy in a coat…the bird angle is interesting, but again,…too little detail to say, “yep, you got it!”

    However, I have faith in the research being done up there…I find the voice imitation interesting…I have heard that before of whatever may be wandering the countryside up there…not sure what to make of it, but it is intriguing…



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