They’re Real: Siberian Yeti Update

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 20th, 2009

The faint outline of a Siberian Yeti track found in a cave can be seen in this Russian photograph.

“I just learned of a press report by the German division of the Russian news-agency called ‘RIA Novosti’ that gives some more and new – even curious – information about the Siberian Yeti sightings and the alleged expedition,” writes Andreas Muller, in an email to Cryptomundo.

Muller has sent me a “fast translation of the German press report,” which I share below, after fine-tuning some edits for an English-speaking audience:

Bishop searches for Siberian Yeti

Kemerowo, Feb. 19 (RIA Novosti). On Thursday, Bishop Artistarch of Kemerowo and Nowokusnezk started to travel to the Assas-Cave south of the Donez basin (Western Siberia), a place where allegedly traces of a Yeti have been found.

Earlier, the local administration of the Kemerowo region in the south of Western Siberia had published a report stating that inside the cave local hunters had seen human-like creatures of 1.5 – 2 meters tall, covered with a thick fur. The report was accompanied by a photo of discovered traces of the unknown creature. [View it above.]

With a snowmobile, the only means of transport to the cave, the Bishop – together with the chief of the region and several escorts – is now on his way to the caves.

The exact whereabouts of the Bishop and his team is unknown at the moment because the cave’s location is beyond the reach of the local mobile-phone network.

The Asass-Cave lies 500 kilometers distance from the region’s capital city, Kemerowo, and about 80 kilometers from the next bigger town called Taschtagol.

As RIA Novosti has learned from the local administration’s press service, there are also plans to conduct a full research expedition, to validate the Yeti reports. So far financing is still in question but local businessmen as well as passionate hunters have already declared to voluntarily support the search.

Drawing by Harry Trumbore, from The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates. Copyright Loren Coleman & Patrick Huyghe, 1999, 2006.

Additionally, here is the full-text of the other February 19, 2009, UK Daily Star account:

New Search for Ginger Minger Yeti!
by Will Stewart

A family of Yetis is being tracked by hunters after reports that the creatures are living in a mountain cave complex.

The animals are said to be more than 6ft tall with ginger-black hair and leave large, distinctive footprints that include toe marks.

Sightings have been made near the remote Russian mining town of Tashtagol in Siberia.

Galina Pustogacheva, spokesman for the town, said: “There have been reports over the years about these creatures, but the number has increased dramatically.

“We have had more than 10 sightings in recent weeks.”

The creatures have been seen walking on two legs by villagers from the hamlets of Elbeza and Kabarza and tourists visiting the region around the Azass caves on Mount Shoriya.

Sightings have worried locals and forced officials to launch an expedition, led by hunters and anthropologists.

“People here are scared the creatures will attack villages because of hunger,” said Nikita Shulbayev, deputy head of the local administration.

“We made a decision to send an expedition to research this issue.

“We need to understand whether they are dangerous for people. We need to calm people down.

“Scientists from Kemerovo University will help us discover what the creatures are – whether they are a rare kind of bear or a surviving primate from pre-historic times.”

No photographs have been taken of the beasts. “No-one can get close enough,” said a hunter.

But one witness said: “The creature reminds me of a bear. In his footprints one can clearly see toes.

“He is 1.5 to two metres high. He is covered with red and black hair and can climb trees.”

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.

34 Responses to “They’re Real: Siberian Yeti Update”

  1. fmurphy1970 responds:

    Interesting report. I think we would all hope that this story is true, but there are a couple of things that don’t add up i.e. why is a bishop leading an expedition on a snowmobile to find a bigfoot? And how could there have been 10 sightings in a couple of weeks and not one photo?

    Waiting for more news with anticipation…hope it doesn’t turn out to be another Georgia bigfoot!

  2. swnoel responds:

    I can only assume Biscardi will be holding a press conference in the not so near future, all joking aside.

    My guess is bogus, why would anyone release this without getting clear photos and evidence first?

    They have an opportunity to set up camera traps, but they’d rather drive the animal off, by infiltrating it’s area.

    I’ll wait for the clear, indisputable evidence.

  3. Samson77 responds:

    looks like the yeti was wearing snow shoes

  4. captiannemo responds:

    All those cell phones with cameras and not one photo of a Yeti or Sasquatch…..Hmm…….troubling.

  5. flame821 responds:

    I’ll play the devil’s advocate for this one 😉

    While I find the photo of the foot print unimpressive, I’m not going to discount the reports entirely. Please remember this is not happening in Western Europe (and mobile coverage there can be quite spotty in some areas) or in America. This is happening in Siberia.

    Not being a recent visitor to the area I have to assume that what I’ve heard from my brother (his last visit to Russia was about 10 years ago) is still fairly accurate. Outside of large cities mobile(cell) phone access is pretty poor. So the chance of someone having a phone on them in the outskirts AND getting a decent vid or photo and uploading it isn’t so high. Not to mention MOST mobile phone have pretty awful cameras. They are good for maybe a 20-30 foot distance (if that) but basically they are made for close up photos and become grainy when enlarged.

    As for the Bishop leading the expedition – do we (or Mr. Coleman) know if he has any scientific training? The UK article did mention an anthropologist, perhaps he took some other coursed while in seminary? Or maybe he is just the ‘go to’ guy in the area.

    I’m hoping the people on the expedition have the sense to REALLY look in those caves, gather evidence (like biological waste) and any fur, bones, etc and bring it back without contaminating anything. Short of an actual body its probably the best we can hope for.

  6. cliffhanger042002 responds:

    It sounds like a pretty remote area for it to be a hoax. But I do agree about finding the lack of photographic evidence suspicious. Considering the high number of sightings, and the photos of the “Yeti Track”, it does beg the question of why there are no Yeti photos if they have narrowed the search down to a particular network of caves. Sounds like mounting some trail cams in the entrances to those caves would be a fool-proof way of getting photographic evidence. Or maybe a trap of some sort to capture a live specimen. Or perhaps a trained sniper with a tranquilizer gun. So if this isn’t a hoax, we should expect some conclusive evidence very soon, whether in the form of photographs or in the form of a live/dead specimen. Of course if it is just a hoax, all we will get is excuses.

  7. gkingdano responds:

    The Words: Tourists and Need Money tell it all.

  8. cryptogirl responds:

    This has all the excitement of a 1930’s adventure serial. I’m gonna pop some popcorn!

  9. shumway10973 responds:

    the cave floor looks like something out of Land of the Lost. I would want to wear shoes too. I don’t know anyone who would go to these lengths for a hoax. We are talking Siberia! As in, “you made our leader very angry–go to Siberia!” This place has mosquito swarms to large that people would rather swim in frozen rivers than be in the paths. This is not the kind of place the average person would want to do a hoax, especially if they are from out of town. The whole johor thing a couple summers ago, I can see. It’s warm and they got some pretty women to follow them around. Not saying its not a long shot (at least). I’m just going to not get too excited until they have one in custody. By the way—to the people on the expedition…if you start bothering them, they will leave. That seems to be the nature of big foot and yeti. Almas are different, though. Sit down there and have a party with vodka and the females will join you.

  10. cryptidsrus responds:

    I also doubt it is a hoax. The bishop goes all the way to the boonies/ends of the earth to perpetrate a hoax??? Doubtful…

  11. Wiseman responds:

    For me the fact that the footprints photos are inimpressive and out of ordinary (in the snow) is in itself something that tends to make me believe.

    Let me explain ; when a guy who find funny to screw around creating ”evidences” he usually go with what he always see, in this case it would have been tracks in the snow, not just one in a cave.

    And while i’m at it, with the cality of the cells photos even these days, no photos would be evidence by itself, for me at least.

    So while i’m still very skeptic I find it better to see the good and possible points.

  12. Wiseman responds:

    Sorry!!! I just rode my comment and apologies for the very bad grammar (you see, I’m a French guy so sometimes its hard to have good quality in English)

    Je m’en excuse.

  13. alcalde responds:

    “why is a bishop leading an expedition on a snowmobile to find a bigfoot? ”

    Well, if it was Lionel Fanthorpe, it would make sense. My question is, if there were Bigfoot in Siberia, wouldn’t Sarah Palin have seen them from her house?

  14. ghosttheory responds:

    Howdy all,

    The footprints to me look very generic, but that does not prove anything.

    I remain skeptical until we see more proof, either scientific paper, photos or video….

    *trying to not get my hopes up 🙂

  15. dorje responds:

    I haven’t been able to find any mention of a Bishop Artistarch in any web search except for the mention here on cryptomundo. I have real doubts about the credibility of this report.

  16. Quakerhead responds:

    The fact that anyone (bishop or otherwise) would mount an expedition to Siberia in winter leads me to think that they’re serious. Let’s keep our eyes, ears,and minds open until we get more information.

  17. Averagefoot responds:


    There are links to articles on the Bishop here and here. I simply googled him.

    Note the spelling of his name in the second link.

  18. Averagefoot responds:

    A little info on him and a picture.

    I was reading in another article that they were going to wait til summer for the expedition. Though in the mountains of Siberia I suppose one might still need snowmobiles.

  19. thehoch responds:

    We’re all pawns in Bishops little game. With that said, I hope he finds more than evidence…how about a picture or video footage.

    And if he does find a carcass I hope to God he doesn’t have two off duty Siberian deputies helping him.

  20. BigTruth responds:

    The longer a picture of Bigfoot isn’t captured by SOME TYPE OF CAMERA….the more a final nail is put into the coffin for Bigfoot existence.

    It really gets hard to believe BIGFOOT exists and can evade the millions of cameras peering into his territories.

  21. sschaper responds:

    The track is exceedingly unconvincing, but odds are any given Russian Orthodox bishop is also a KGB agent are quite high. As someone with paramilitary training in his past, and as a leader in the community, it would make sense for him to lead an expedition, both to protect the village -and- the creatures, whether brown bears or primates.

  22. steele79 responds:

    as someone who’s job it is to work with feet that footprint looks pretty fake from that pic. either that or Bigfoot has some serious flatfeet

  23. Loren Coleman responds:

    “Sschaper,” I just don’t understand the need to add incorrect speculative information to this already speculative exercise.

    No one today can be “a KGB agent.” People may be former KGB agents, only.

    On December 21, 1995, the President of Russia Boris Yeltsin signed the decree that disbanded the KGB, which was then substituted by the FSB, the current domestic state security agency of the Russian Federation.

    Why would anyone even say that the chances are “quite high” that “any given Russian Orthodox bishop” is a “KGB agent”?

  24. nunster responds:

    Looks like a snow shoe print. Where are the toes, heal, arch? Or that is one flat footed big foot. hahaha How do we know it wasn’t taken in a local cave or something.
    Funny how “”some”” people will fall for things like this.

  25. Scari responds:

    Fake, no pictures or other solid evidence just a footprint haven’t we seen alot of footprints in the past? this isn’t new to find footprints and these oddly look like snow shoes of some type. Why do people try to fool the world if they truly believe these exist? all they’re doing without solid proof is make Yeti/Bigfoot more of a laughing stock, maybe that’s their agenda?

  26. LordBalto responds:

    “# dorje responds: February 20th, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    “I haven’t been able to find any mention of a Bishop Artistarch in any web search except for the mention here on cryptomundo. I have real doubts about the credibility of this report.”

    The name is actually Aristarch, pronounced, I presume, Aristark. He’s a legitimate bishop in the RO Church, and he’s based in Siberia. See Google for more info.

  27. dorje responds:

    Averagefoot. Thank you for the link. That spelling makes much more sense. I realize that they were going from Cyrillic to a latin alphabet, but still, the original stories spelling was pretty bad. I knew that any bishop should be pretty easy to google and I was coming up with nothing, nada, zilch. OK, this is more credible. Siberia is not the unpopulated wasteland that some believe. It has a lot of vast, empty area, but it also has some large cities and a lot of settlements.

  28. Scari responds:

    Barren wasteland or not that doesn’t prove that a picture of a footprint that looks more like a snow shoe than a biped of any kind is anything more than no proof whatsoever.

  29. LordBalto responds:

    “I realize that they were going from Cyrillic to a latin alphabet, but still, the original stories’ spelling was pretty bad.”

    No, actually, the error occurred in the translation from German to English. The name appears in the German article, thus: Bischof Aristarch von Kemerowo und Nowokusnezk.

  30. Storfot responds:

    One thing that makes me wonder is that “People here are scared the creatures will attack villages because of hunger,” said Nikita Shulbayev, deputy head of the local administration”.

    Does it mean that there is not sufficient sources of food in the forests? Can this be confirmed from any sources? Further, does it mean the inhabitants in those areas are aware of the Siberian Bigfoot’s existence? Why would they otherwise be worried about the risk of villages being attacked? Are they considered harmless unless there is a lack of food sources? Also I can’t help but wonder how they could attack a village? Are there so many Siberian Bigfoots that they could attack a human village? Many questions and few answers. 🙂

    As the rest of you I wish this will provide us with solid evidence but I doubt it.

    Note the approach by the authorities. Wonder if for example local authorities in the US or Canada would get involved in such a project with out covering up?

  31. Azriel5600 responds:

    Loren wrote: “Why would anyone even say that the chances are “quite high” that “any given Russian Orthodox bishop” is a “KGB agent”?”

    According to agents or others who have defected to the West, the Communists infiltrated the media, churches, etc. Considering how much time and effort the communists put into such things, the chances are “quite high” that “any given Russian Orthodox Bishop” is a former KGB agent. Though “former” KGB is kind of inaccurate too for some people. I recall some Russian Businessman once saying that there is no such thing as a “former” KGB.

  32. sienna693 responds:

    Our scientists have been finding all of those skulls and bones stating they are cavemen. We haven’t ever found any skeletons of the Bigfoot. So what if we really have, as all pictures and visual sightings, and drawings are pretty darn close to all those neandrothals they picture and talk about. Think about it!

  33. Igor Bourtsev responds:

    We also are curious why the Bishop should visit the spot…
    (His name is Aristarch, not Artistarch)

    The Donez basin is in the Ukraine, not in (Western Siberia). That is the Kuznetsk basin there 🙂

    There are a lot of questions yet about this case…
    I could vizit that place to check but the trip would need much funds I don’t have it… If they invite me to come and pay for the trip – I could go there. One Moscow newspaper promissed to arrange my trip. But yet no sign of this…

  34. CryptidHuntr responds:

    hmmm.Isn’t it wierd how most of the time there is only one footprint and no DNA in them? Does that seem wierd to anyone else?

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