Russian Relic Hominids

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 4th, 2007

Russian Bigfoot

The German Study Group of Sub-Human Primates has summarized the following news out of Russia:

The website Tochikoni Rossija, a Tajik-Russian Mass Media Project published a photo (above) of the St. Petersburg artist Nikolaj Potapov with his painting of a “relic hominoid”. In the 80’s, Potapov was a participant in a “snowman” expedition in Tajikistan. There, according to the website, he witnessed a “snowman.” He portrayed the being he saw in this painting. This picture has been published numerous times in Russian journals and newspapers.

Even today, there are still no known photos of the “relic hominoid” from the former Soviet Union in which one could recognize the physiognomy. Therefore, the drawings and pictures which came from people who can draw their observation professionally and realistically are significant. Several such pictures are known from the area of the former Soviet Union. Examples of this are the drawings of an observation from the Caucasus by N. Goracharov [1] and one by a local artist from the Caucasus in the French film Almasty, yeti du Caucase.[2]

Additional professional drawings have been published from the Caucasus by Dmitri Bayanov in his book: In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman (1996): two portraits of the Almasty. According to Bayanov, these came from the eyewitness reports which were collected by Marie-Jeanne Koffmann.[3] Vadim Makarov published, in addition to the portraits and the drawing by A. Goncharova, a picture of a complete body of an Almasty – obviously by the same artist.[4] This had already been published in 1986 in a Swedish monograph by Bayanov and Burtsev and there described as “realistic”. [5]

Since Boris Porshnev’s time, the hypothesis that the Caucasus Almasty is a Neanderthal has existed. This is also a theme in the recent Russian literature on “relic hominoids”.[6] There are new digital reconstructions of the physiognomy of the Neanderthal, on the basis of skull reconstructions made by Christoph P. E. Zollikofer and Marcia S. Ponce de León on the Anthropological Institute of the University of Zürich.[7] The habitus of these reconstructions is very different from the published drawings from the Caucasus. The reproductions are missing the pronounced pongide character, particularly from the portraits published by Bayanov and Makarov.

In 2002, the Moscow “hominologists” published for the first time that Koffmann and members of her team could observe the Almasty numerous times – in daylight and at a relatively short distance too. [8] This leads to two questions on the drawings published by Bayanov and Makarov: Did such researchers/eye-witnesses also participate in the creation of these drawings? If not, how do these researchers/eye-witnesses judge these drawings? The statements made by the locals in the Caucasus are usually influenced by local superstitions and religious taboos. Often, it’s hard for them to describe their observations in a sophisticated manner. This is also a reason why the observations of the researchers are of particular importance.

1 Makarov, Vadim. 2002. Atlas of the Snowman. Moscow: Company Sputnik+, p.181 (in Russian)
2 Film Almasty, yeti du Caucase. (By Sylvain Pallix et al.,1992)
3 Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Mocsow: Crypto-Logos, p. 26
4 op. cit. (note 1), pp. 181, 183
5 Poshnev, B,; Bayanov, D.; Burtsev, I. 1986. Snömannens Gata. Moscow: Progress, Göteborg: Fram.
6 Vinogradova, D.; Nepomnjaskchij, N.; Novikov, A. 2003. Neanderthals alive. Moscow: Veche (in Russian).
7 Zollikofer, C.P.E.; Ponce de León, M.S. 2006. Neandertal-digital: alte Fossilien – neue Ein- und Ausssichten.
Roots/Wurzeln der Menschheit. Rheinisches Landesmuseum Bonn/Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz. pp.141-150
8 op. cit (note 1), pp. 179-80; (see Atlas of the Snowman by Vadim Makarov)

Russian Bigfoot

These tracks of the snowman and a single track from the Pamirs have all been lumped into a single category of “snowman.”

Thanks to Mark A. Hall for pointing out this info.

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.

20 Responses to “Russian Relic Hominids”

  1. toolmaker responds:

    Am I correct in understanding that before the collapse of the Soviet Union, they had a government-funded agency which studied relic humans (Almasty) within their borders?

    Both the Soviet government and the KGB have gone by the wayside now, replaced by the Russian Federation and a different internal security service. But those files must still exist somewhere. I see no reason why they would destroy them.

    Have any Russia-watchers an idea where the files might be, and if they are at all accessible by foreign investigators?


  2. Mnynames responds:

    One might ask Paul Sonehill, a frequent contributor to Fate magazine. His expertise is Russian UFO files, but likely could point somebody in the right direction (As well as perhaps offer translations of anything found).

  3. joppa responds:

    I think that the best chance for capture of a bigfoot type creature will come from Central Asia.

  4. Tengu responds:

    Me too.

    And yes, they take such matters seriously.

    The people of the caucasus are very protective of their wildmen, and would not let any harm come to them.

    that mountain range is mostly limestone and full of caves and grots. You could hide an army there and no one would know.

  5. The_Carrot responds:

    That’s an interesting illustration for two reasons:

    1) From everything I’ve read It doesn’t appear to match the descriptions of the Almasty, and

    2) It certainly doesn’t appear to be a relic Neandertaloid.

    Is it possible that we’re looking at two distinct species of hominoids in Russia?

    It’s always struck me that Bayanov, Koffman and Porshnev are off the mark when they classify the Almasty as Neandertals. With the recent discoveries of Erectus fossils in Georgia and the eyewitness descriptions it seems to me that when it comes to the Almasty we’re dealing with a modern population of H. Erectus descendants.

    Note I say ‘decendants’. They’ve obviously evolved over the years, perhaps sliding slightly backwards, but the lack of cultural evidence fits. Neandertals had a fairly sophisticated culture and it’s difficult to see them reverting away from that completely whereas Erectus appears to have had a minimal culture *at best* (although I believe that the Southeast Asian erectus population may have been more sophisticated; how did they reach islands in sufficient numbers to start a population if they didn’t have some sort of boats?).

    I’d also further note that Erectus settled *everywhere*. Africa, Europe and Asia. I believe that at some point we’ll discover Erectus remains in Australia. There’s also one tantalizing skullcap from Mexico that MAY be erectus.

    So, if the Almasty are relic erectus groups, what’s that thing in the picture?

  6. greatanarch responds:

    Absolutely fascinating, though the original web page (what little I can decipher from the automatic translation) looks a bit sensational, with accounts of UFO activity. A pity it gives no idea of which part of the Pamirs this is.

  7. alanborky responds:

    “The statements made by the locals in the Caucasus are usually influenced by local superstitions and religious taboos. Often, it’s hard for them to describe their observations in a sophisticated manner.”

    Unfortunately, exactly the same applies to the researchers whose “observations…are of particular importance”, because to paraphrase, “it’s hard for them to describe their observations in ANYTHING BUT a sophisticated manner”.

    Hence we have “sophisticated” researchers dismissing the “primitive” perceptions of locals which don’t fit in with their own “sophisticated” preconceptions as “usually influenced by local superstitions and religious taboos”, (whereas those same “primitive” locals might argue their perceptions are actually superior, being based on the little matter of generations of life and death survival on a daily basis in environments often never even visited by these “experts”).

    And then we have the still more “sophisticated” denunciations by “true” scientists unhesitatingly dumped upon “flim-flam” merchants or “downright fools” like Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, without even once being bothered to consider the likes of Meldrum’s evidence.

    Ah, if only we lived on a planet where we realised the “little people” are all of us, and that no one really knows best, especially those of our “leaders” who imagine THEY do, what a glorious world this could be.

  8. mystery_man responds:

    Interesting theory above on possible surviving Homo erectus, but I don’t think there is any reason to think that Homo erectus would have neccessarily evolved to a great degree. Mankind evolved from apes and we still have apes. If Homo erectus was well suited to this environment then it could have feasibly remained unchanged. I highly doubt there would be any devolving going on. What would be the reason for this? The whole way evolution works is to make species better suited to and more efficient in their environment so it would not make sense for them to “slide backwards”. Overall, I tend to think Homo erectus evolved all right, into US. But there could have been that survived the way they were, I suppose. One thing I do feel is that the descriptions to not lend themselves to being Neanderthals so that leaves us with coming up with other possible candidates. What else could these be?

  9. qumrum responds:

    “Mankind evolved from apes and we still have apes.” Yes, but was there any help?

  10. MBFH responds:

    Great stuff Loren. I agree with Joppa and Tengu, in a way. I think that Asia is the place where a Bigfoot type creature/creatures is/are likely to survive. There is an incredible amount of virtually untouched wilderness in which an adaptable creature coudl survive undiscovered. As for capturing one out there, you’d have to find it first…

  11. Al responds:

    Personally, I find all of the above comments interesting. One angle that I have on my mind though, is that of locomotion. Unless we are talking about multiple species here (which is entirely possible), is there any information or evidence that Erectus was equally comfortable in quadrupedal motion as bipedal? Here in the US, these animals appear to be able to change their method of motion and are equally comfortable in either mode.
    At present, I would have to stick with the Giganto descedent theory.

  12. mystery_man responds:

    Giganto is a good theory for the North American version, but the descriptions from Asia tend to be a little different. There is every possibility that they are not the same species at all or even two different earlier ancestors of man. Of course without any evidence this is mostly speculation, but just going from eyewitness accounts, the two seem to be different creatures.

  13. things-in-the-woods responds:

    I also tend towards the erectus theory for the claimed old world hominids (or at least the eurasian ones- the picture the russian guy painted almost certainly isn’t a neanderthal, and the lack of material culture almost certainly rules them out- neanderthal material culture was very sophisticated; they had hafted weapons, clothing, used fire), and i’ve also come round to it for the north american sasquatch. This is not because there is any real evidence pointing that way- but rather only because the more i think about it, the more improbable the giganto theory seems.

    I used to consider this the best explanation, but as someone on this site pointed out, if we are to put any credence by the footprint evidence for sasquatch, then what we have is a hominid rather than an an ape (and if its a hominid its most likely erectus or a closely related species). Ape feet have divergent big toes that just aren’t reported for sas. I suppose they could have evolved more hominid-like feet, but it just makes it all so much more unlikely. We also have erectus distributed at least as widely in east asia (the putative route into north america) as giganto, and probably much later in time.

    It still isn’t very likely, but i think it’s more likely that this hominid that had so successfully emerged out of africa and spread across large swathes of europe and asia, could make it to north america across the bering land bridge, than what was probably an ape that was much more specialised in its adaptation to tropical or sub-tropical forest.

    Incidently, I don’t put much weigth in the painting that is shown- did the guy see the creature himself? if so, how long after the event did this guy paint it?

    If he didn’t see it himself, it looks to me like he might just have talked to some locals who had stumbled out of the local cinema having just seen king kong.

  14. The_Carrot responds:

    What I meant by the possibility of surviving H. Erectus populations ‘devolving’ was not physically devolving, but (for some reason) losing some of their existing culture.

    For example, the evidence strongly suggests that h.erectus used fire, but I don’t know of any reports of almas using fire. I’m hypothesizing that IF there are surviving pockets of erectus decendants that are responsible for the reports of almas they seem to have lost some of their culture.

    H. erectus had a thinner layer of culture than Neandertal; I find it very hard to believe that surviving Neandertals would lose almost every vestige of culture (use of fire, clothing, sophisticated tool creation/use, probable language) simply because there was soo much to lose. Erectus didn’t have that much to lose and may have found it much easier to give up certain cultural elements.

    In any event, in my opinion the alamsty reports sound an awful lot like uncultured h. erectus both in physical description and behavior.

    (Note: I’m just talking about almas here, NOT Bigfoot-like creatures. The more I study the subject the more I’ll reluctantly agree that this is a multi-species problem).

  15. things-in-the-woods responds:

    The_Carrot: ya got there before me…

  16. joppa responds:

    I would give up fire if it kept those pesky humans from hunting me down. Interesting, perhaps several of these creatures “lost culture” in order to survive.

  17. mystery_man responds:

    Ok, The_Carrot. I see what you meant. That makes sense. It is a very interesting possibility to consider.

  18. mystery_man responds:

    What about footprints? Has there been any comparative analysis done between the footprints found in North America and the ones in Asia?

  19. Kronprinz_adam responds:

    The drawing ist just…scary…

  20. Kronprinz_adam responds:

    Hi! It is possible to know more about Mr. Potapov’s encounter? The picture is simply amazing, where can we get a larger foto?

    I agree with Carrot, this could be a multi-species problem…the european Woodewasa and the Almasty (who, according to some reports, have a flattened nose) may be different species that bigfoot-yeti. Some authors consider Woodewasa and Almasty either relict neanderthals or homo erectus (that’s why they are both called “neanderthaloids”, and, if the “Minesotta Iceman” would be real, it will fit into these classification.

    Bigfoot, Yeti, russian Snowman, australian Yowie…do they really are Giganthopithecus? It is hard to say, because from Giganto we just know some teeth and jaw bones, no complete skull or skeleton (anyway, artists have depicted whole pictures of Giganto eating bamboo in South China together pandas and early humans). Evolution is a process that maybe we do not understand completely. If a cat-size, rodent like “Eohippus” can evolve into a large, powerful horse in some millions of years, does an Australophitecus-like hominid may evolve into a powerful, nocturnal but not-completely human, Bigfoot?

    What does Skunk APe and central american Sisimite may be? Good question!

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