Almas Skull Sample?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 13th, 2006

Mark A. Hall alerts Cryptomundo to a new dispatch out of Russia, “Moscow Hominologist gives bone sample to the USA for investigation”. It appears to be from the skull of an alleged Almas’ relative, Khwit.

Black Almas

Click the Richard Klyver’s Almas drawings, above, for a larger view.

According to the Russian newspaper Komsomolskaja Pravda, Igor Burtsev was invited to the USA(1). There, he will deliver a bone sample of a skull to a “laboratory for the Genetics of the Neanderthals of the New York University” for analysis. Burtsev found this skull in the 70s during an excavation while he was looking for the grave of Zana in Abkazia, Caucasus. This is alleged to have been a female “Snowman”. Zana was captured and tamed in the 19th century in Abkazia. It is claimed that the skull that was found comes from one of Zana’s grandchildren (2). Burtsev: “American and German scientists want to decode the genetic makeup of the Neanderthal.” Burtsev would like to know if the scientists can prove there is DNA from a Neanderthal in the sample.

Komsomolskaja Pravda quotes him with the following words: “If that is so, then I could claim that this is the descendant of a ‘Snowman.’ And the ‘Snowman’ itself is a Neanderthal.” Igor Burtsev, one of the Moscow Hominologists, is a leading member of the Russian Society of Cryptozoologists. A photograph of this skull was published by Dmitri Bayanov (1996) (2). According to Bayanov the skull is “a combination of modern and ancient features, which aroused great interest among anthropologists” (3).

1. Lagovskij, Vladimir. 2006. A Caucasian Prisoner. Komsomolskaja Pravda , August 11 ( in Russian).
2. Bayanov, Dmitri. 1996. In the footsteps of the Russian Snowman. Moscow: Crypto-Logos.
3. op. cit. ( note 2) p. 50.

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.

18 Responses to “Almas Skull Sample?”

  1. Darkwing2006 responds:

    Isn’t Bayanov the guy who stayed at the Carter Farm for several weeks?

  2. lastensugle responds:

    Wow, this is really something, can’t wait to hear the results of this one! I’ve always been fascinated by the story of Zana, hope they find out if Almas are Neanderthal. I still say they are! Can we be sure these are really the bones of a Zana relavive?

  3. Bob Michaels responds:

    The October issue of the Smithsonian has an article on deciphering Neanderthal DNA. Svante Paabo is the Director of the Genetics dept at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig Germany. He has developed new ways to extract DNA from MOAS, Marsupial Wolves. He was part of the team that sequenced Ice Man of The Tyrolean Alps. His ambition is take on the question, What is the nature of our kinship with extinct homininds? He and his team are in the process of comparing the Genome of Neanderthal with that of Modern man.

  4. Sky King responds:

    Yup. Can’t wait to see the drawing of the eyes.

  5. captiannemo responds:

    They offer you steak and all you get is baloney.

  6. Bennymac responds:

    Not for nothing, but those Russian article are very interesting. Good reading….

  7. cabochris responds:

    It would be wonderful if proof positive comes back! What a great day that would be!

  8. EastexQueenB responds:

    DNA would be helpful. I hadn’t heard of this story before I read this post. I did some quick reading up, and find it a fascinating story. I also read an article where Grover Krantz pronounced the skull of Zana’s son Khwit as “modern”, and another saying that there may be indications of a Neandertal influence and that it may be recessive to Homo sapiens. Whatever the determination, it’s sure to keep the pot of scientific debate stirred.

  9. jayman responds:

    At least this is something testable. I always wondered why no DNA testing had been done on Khwit’s skull earlier.
    I do remember too that based on morphology, Grover Krantz dismissed the idea that Khwit’s mother could have been a Neanderthal.

  10. kittenz responds:

    I’ve always thought that there might be small, isolated pockets of Neanderthals that survived for much longer than the general population, maybe even to the present but at least into the last millenium or so.

    Actually I wonder if Neanderthal people may be at the root of some of the Yeti – Bigfoot – Almas legends. Why do we modern humans always picture Neanderthals as a warped reflection of ourselves? I mean, Neanderthals were a part of the megafauna that evolved to withstand ice ages.So why do we always depict them as nearly as hairless as ourselves?

    I think it goes back to the time when it was thought that Neanderthals were our direct ancestors. We pictured them as relatively hairless compared to other animals, much as are we ourselves.

    I propose a much different depiction of Neanderthal people. I think it is very reasonable to presume that they had a heavy pelt – actual honest-to-gosh fur, which probably shed in summer to a shorter coat & grew heavy again in winter. Why not? I mean, THEY WERE ICE-AGE MAMMALS – why couldn’t they have been furry? I think that makes much more sense than Neanderthal having evolved all these other features for surviving long periods of intense cold, only to have to huddle in their caves shrouded in half-cured skins of other animals.

    After all, unlike Cro-Magnon people and other modern types, we have no direct evience that Neanderthals even wore clothing at all. They survived for at least a couple hundred thousand years in some of the harshest cold conditions ever seen on this planet. I see no reason at all not to think that they may have been heavily furred. Many other primates are.

    We have become accustomed to thinking that since our own bodies are nearly hairless, all hominids must have been so. But since no one alive has ever seen any of the extinct hominids, and they became extinct before written records existed, we just don’t know. It makes sense that a hominid evolved for the Ice Age would have a furry pelt.

  11. afigbee responds:

    Article describing a new finding that Neanderthals are more closely related to chimpanzees than humans.

    (Ever had a look at Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev?)

    Is there a photo of this Russian skull online anywhere?

  12. U.T. Raptor responds:

    I remember it being speculated in a book I read that remnant Neanderthals could have been the inspiration for ogres, trolls, and the like.

  13. sschaper responds:

    There was a recent article that Europeans have about 5% Neandertal DNA.

    The skull in the drawings does not look right for Neandertals. More like a pongid than a hominid.

  14. dharkheart responds:

    The story of Zana, or Zanya, is one I’ve found to be particularly interesting.

  15. crypto_randz responds:

    This is a great article, I’m familiar with the story of ZANA, I’ve read much information. I think more in the existence of the yeti and snowmen, neanderthals if they can prove the skull is neanderhal what an amazing discovery. I’ve always tended to believe that the yeti was real from documentation I’ve read. Witnesses that have seen the yeti say this thing is huge and very smart. I tend to believe anyway that the yeti was neanderthal. Only time will tell if the skull is authentic, so everyone keep an open mind. You never know if one of these things gets caught.

  16. lastensugle responds:

    Like some, natives mostly, North American know for sure that sasquatch’s for real, so does some, natives of otherwhere, know almas are real. I’m guessing they’re Neanderthal, seems the most likely to assume. They’re still here n’alive, struggling to maintain a living in our world. I say they’re Neanderthal, furry, speaking with their hands n’ everything, but here! Yetis not Neanderthal, more sasquatch-ish, but Almas are sooo Neanderthal!

  17. Judy Green responds:

    This is some of the most exciting news I have heard in a very long time. I surely hope we get to hear the results of the testing and it doesn’t get lost out there in cyber space somewhere! I have seen an image of Khvit’s skull somewhere so I will try and find it and post the source.

  18. Judy Green responds:

    Okay, I found it, however, I don’t know that it is on the Internet anywhere and I don’t have a scanner. It is not a very clear image, but it is in Grover Krantz’s “Bigfoot Sasquatch Evidence” on page 336.

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