What Is A Yarwen?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 4th, 2006


Has a Yarwen been captured in Maine? Read more about that question here.

In this column, I wish to explore what kind of monsters (from creatures to humans) might be behind the use of such a word as "Yarwen."

First, let’s consider that this term is not being used loosely, but very specifically to describe a person’s killing of an adult cryptid and the transporting of its baby. The mental graphic images of a young hominoid in a cage in New Jersey, yes, Jersey, are just more than I can take, but I’ll press onward, in the service of cryptozoology’s branch of etymological forensics.

First, let’s start with the "Perez" emailer’s comments, for he seems to be talking clearly about some kind of Bigfoot in the "north woods" of Maine. Or is he?

The cryptopoacher described the animal he killed as "about 8.5 feet tall, with orange-brownish hair, and extremely heavy." The youthful snatched Yarwen (which he called "the cub"), he said, was "3.5 tall and weighs exactly 121.5 lbs. it is extremely docile."

Why did this person use the name "Yarwen" and say he "slew" the older animal?

What is a "Yarwen"?

As mentioned in my initial posting, "Yarwen" is used in rare cases in conjunction with banter in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. There also may be a link to the popular World Of Warcraft online game.

What is a "Yarwen"? No web answers are easily obtainable for a definition for "Yarwen." How can Google, Wikipedia, and Boing Boing fail us in this way?

Yarwen is no where, as far as a location name, either. Yes, there is an Australian town named Yarwun, postal code 4694 in Queensland, but that has nothing to do with this Maine tale.

Jean luc Drevillon, the French hominologist who discovered the photographs behind the "johor hominid" hoax, contacted me and writes:

Dear Loren. Greeting. In [regards to] your last message about the captured yarwen in Maine, I know the origin of the word "Yarwen." Probably, Yarwen steams from "Yarwin." Yarwin is the name of the fictional character of a Wookiee in the Star Wars saga.


(The incorrect spelling is "Wookie." Wookiee is the official and correct rendering of these fictional inhabitants of Kashyyyk. – LC)

Jean luc Drevillon concludes:

Your prankster is a Star Wars enthusiast.

Perhaps. Perhaps not. [Please note a comment posted late on Sept. 4th: "I’m a member of the Wookieepedia (starwars.wikia.com), the Star Wars wiki, and there’s no mention whatsoever of this character on the site. And without sounding overconfident… if it’s not here,…it’s not in Star Wars."]

The "Yarwen"-coining person certainly does seem to travel in the linguistic circles of D&D, WOW, and Star Wars. But could the individual just be borrowing a handy created or confused name?

I’ve heard from more than one individual that there exist some email underground hints, which have been floated about for two weeks that someone "from New Jersey" is trying to sell a "baby Bigfoot from Maine." Is it an Internet rumor started to get some interest going in an indie movie, some pre-teen’s idea of a prank, or a factual possibility based on someone’s idea of reality?

What if this person just couldn’t spell "Yeren" – the name of the Chinese Wildman? Others have done worse, mixing and matching images and names as they please.


The traditional Chinese drawing of the Yeren.

For example, occultopedia took the Abominable Snowman image (below) from the cover of Ivan T. Sanderson’s revised paperback:

Ivan T. Sanderson

And labeled it the Yeren (following) on their website:


A site calling itself cryptozoo.monstrous used the drawing of the "Mountain Yeti" from a Wizards of the Coast Magic Card (below):


And re-named it incorrectly the "Chinese Yeh-ren" (following):


People can’t even keep their Yeti straight from their Yeren. How would we expect someone who has a history on the Internet of directing people to insurance deals (yes, this "Yarwen" poacher has left an email footprint on the web) to know the difference between slaying dragons and shooting Yarwens?

Who knows what a "Yarwen" is? Do you? As the answer is revealed, will it be one that has more to do with science fantasy or cryptozoological reality? Why is this alleged person with handcuffs who says he is "in law enforcement" and lives in Paterson, NJ, use the word "Yarwen"?

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.

39 Responses to “What Is A Yarwen?”

  1. LaFlamme responds:

    Chewbacca? Our loony friend is talking about Chewbacca?

    I think one of the earlier bloggers said it best by comparing Perez to the Comic Book dude from the Simpsons. “This high speed modem is intolerably slow!”

  2. ZenBug responds:

    Does anyone think it’s an odd coincidence that “Yarwin” – and indeed all wookiees – look remarkably like the Chinese Yeren? Does George Lucas dabble in cryptozoology?

  3. Dudlow responds:

    If true, I would find it impossible to overcome my complete revulsion for any brain-dead moron who would deliberately butcher one of these beautiful creatures -a mother with child, no less! (Did I hear someone say ‘an eye for an eye’? And is Maine one of those States with BF anti-kill legislation on the books?)

    Beyond that, the tale of the youngster reminds me of ‘Jocko’, “something of the gorilla type standing about four feet seven inches in height and weighing 127 pounds”, as reported in the article titled ‘Strange Creature Captured Above Yale, B.C’, from the Daily Colonist newspaper (Victoria B.C.), dated July 3rd, 1882. John Green detailed the event in his 1968 book, ‘On the Track of the Sasquatch’.

    Briefly: It seems a railway crew captured the young Sasquatch, bound his limbs, threw him in the baggage car and took him into Yale, B.C., where they purportedly exhibited him. After a short period of time, nothing more was ever heard or seen of him.

    One can only hope the Maine story is just another ‘plesiosaur’.

  4. autumn responds:

    many good observations already made. as for a cage – a large dog crate or kennel would work. still, maybe too big for a house (or basement lair, as has been mentioned already). where in nj is he? is this youthful ‘yarwen’ (alone, scared) in his (parents’) back yard? even a youth would be very strong. at our local zoo, the staff don’t go in with the orangutans or gorillas. the animals are not aggressive, but even an accidental bump or pat could injure a human, even from the toddlers. seems most likely he’s attempting to bait a bigfoot trap of a different sort.

  5. autumn responds:

    oh, and any ideas how he actually measured and weighed it? when the mn dnr weighs (tranquilized) black bears, it takes several people.

  6. Ole Bub responds:

    To the Cryptopoacher…

    The body of the slain adult validates your prize…failure to disclose it’s location diminishes your bargaining power…JMHO

    Please coordinate your demands with those in a position to assist you…don’t allow the situation to deteriorate…think long and hard about the welfare of the juvenile and the smartest way to play your hand…JMHO

    Loren’s request for “proof of life” and substantiation of your claim…is understandable and reasonable…JMHO

    No Bigfoot…No Bucks…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  7. looladoob responds:

    Everyone is talking back and forth about if it is a hoax or not.

    The man comes out and says, with pride, that he killed this animal’s mother, and cuffed it to a rollbar in his truck! A little sick maybe? Now he wants money for a baby animal that people may not be able to take care of?

    And does he think he’s winning brownie points for admitting that he murdered something’s mother? Ya whatever, I’d pay a million bucks to some idiot who relishes in carnage and kidnapping.

  8. cor2879 responds:

    This is one case where I hope the story isn’t true. While I don’t subscribe to any “Bigfoot are humans” theories, I still think it would be a tragedy for one of these creatures to be shot and killed in this way, particularly a mother. Of course I’m not real worried either… This guy is likely either naive and hoping to shake Loren for a few bucks, or he’s a few fries short of a happy meal.

    Interesting though about the Star Wars references… in your previous blog Loren I noted that it sounded like he was trying to get you to join the Dark Side.

  9. Nachzehrer responds:

    I thought that the (probable) hoaxer might have read at least some bigfoot lit. The “Perez” could be from Danny Perez and the “yarwen” a combination of “yowie” and “yeh-ren”.

  10. crypto_randz responds:

    Who knows what a yaren is, show me a CLEAR photo or a decent video then i will believe in the capture of the cub or yaren, the cub is 8.5 ft tall am i correct?

  11. kamoeba responds:

    C’mon folks…this guy is obviously some nerd trying to pull a fast one and maybe somehow make some bucks in the process (or John Mark Karr, I’m not sure which). Hey, I’d like for Yarwens, Yerens, and Yetis to be proven real as much as the next Cryptomundo reader, but geez, this guy’s story is so full of holes and red flags it could be a golf course! There’s a saying that goes “It takes one to know one”. And as a former nerd living in my parents’ basement, I think I know a nerd when I see one. This guy is just some nerd with no proof of anything and no knowledge of how to effectively pull of a hoax. Do you think he also emailed Tom Biscardi?

  12. naiabobiya responds:

    OK folks, I was born in southern NJ and spent some serious time in central Maine. Let me tell you right now that this guy is simply missing a few doses of his lithium. He needs to call his therapist and renew the prescription perhaps, whatever he has to do to get some help.

    Sadly, he’s probably some 30+ year old guy living in his Mom’s basement in Chatsworth, couldn’t catch the Jersey Devil so he made up a story about “Yarwen”, uh, by the way, it’s SASQUATCH, YETI, BIGFOOT…Yarwen? What little imaginary world is this guy in? D + D? Oh pleez. How ’80’s. Grow up big guy. If you’re for real, you need to get some manners and quit acting like the kid who stole from the candy store and plans to resell all of that stolen candy without getting caught.

    Just so that you know, you could be in some big trouble for just lying about this sort of thing. You didn’t shoot in self defense and there isn’t any hunting in Maine until later in the season. You were breakin’ the law dude. By the way Loren, my husband is a computer genius and says the authorities could easily find out where this guy has been logging in from and his contact information. It’s all done legally, of course. Because we don’t know what the intellectual capacity of Big Foot is yet so they might have an intelligence similar to our own and if this guy is dumb enough to think that he can just shoot at anything he likes, then he needs to have some hunting lessons.

    I would call the police in NJ and Maine and tell them what is up and let them handle it. If this guy is off his rocker, then he might have accidentally killed someone.

    I would turn him in, just to be safe.

  13. Lee Pierce responds:

    121.5 lbs of Yarwen poop.

  14. naiabobiya responds:

    Oh yeah, handcuffs? Just for fun? Hmmm.

  15. Cutch responds:

    Sorry, Mr. Coleman, but the “Yarwen” thing related to Star Wars is waaay off base. I’m a member of the Wookieepedia (starwars.wikia.com), the Star Wars wiki, and there’s no mention whatsoever of this character on the site. And without sounding overconfident… if it’s not here (even as a redlink), it’s not in Star Wars. The closest thing would be the Wookiee Senator Yarua, but no “Yarwen”.

  16. ilexoak responds:

    Don’t folks from Jersey tend to accent the second syllable as in, Yar(we)n. The “we” is added to emphasis the “n”, maybe. All the measurements end in point 5’s which is also sort of poetic in a rap sort of way.

    Sounds like this guy is, “messin wid u ma-in” hopin for a little up front money before he disappears. Reminds me of the movie, “Matchstick Men”.


  17. labrat responds:

    Does anyone have a shovel?

  18. kamoeba responds:

    Being a former nerd in my parents’ basement, I think I have a recollection of a planet called “Yavin” in the Star Wars universe? I don’t see much connection to hairy hominids there, though. I am simply assuming this guy mistook “Yarwen” for “Yeren” because he’s got so much sci-fi/fantasy stuff running through his head he can’t keep it all straight. This guy’s story is also similar to the plot of a mid-1950’s Japanese sci-fi movie known as “Half Human” in North America. In that B&W film, I believe it is the juvenile who is killed.

  19. Mnynames responds:

    Having (Hopefully) established myself as both a resident of New Jersey and a nerd who spent many years living in a basement in the previous Yarwen post, I’ll add my geek knowledge to the pot-

    I think he might be referring to the Yeren, although why he wouldn’t just say Bigfoot or Sasquatch is beyond me. We have Sasquatch here in New Jersey, but they tend to be misidentified as the Jersey Devil. “Red Eyes” is the only local colloquial name I know of for them. The other possibility is that this is just a “quiz”, a made-up name completely.

    As for poster #2’s thought concerning George Lucas’s interest in CZ, well, he may be right, but that interest is probably best expressed in his Indiana Jones stories (Especially the video games, which he did consult on- I know one of them features a Kraken). As for Wookiees, well, they are not based on unknown primates (That last Yowie video notwithstanding). Chewbacca is Han Solo’s loyal sidekick, and was basically based on George’s fond memories of his dog, Indiana. When the production artists were developing the look of the character, George told them to base him off of a dog, hence the very non-primate nose of a Wookiee.

    Lastly, as for this joker being from NJ, I have my doubts. Yes, I’ve met some geographically ignorant folk in my time, but I believe I’m safe in saying that most residents of NJ know that NJ is a long way away from Maine. Say what you will about the rest of this guy’s story (and there’s been some great comments here), but I think that the drive through 7 states with the baby handcuffed to the roll bar is where it completely falls apart.

  20. blackdammit55 responds:

    This guy is from N.J. and has handcuffs and a rifle in the Maine woods for what reason? I know of no state that allows handcuffs to be used to subdue wild game.

    Then there is the $10,000,000.00 price tag why not 20 mil. or 30mil? Of course that is contingent on the claim that this a real live baby Bigfoot.

    I don’t think it’s more than likely someone’s barn yard animal.

  21. Capt. Jack responds:

    With all due respect, Mr. Coleman, I’m just a little surprised that you guys are giving this story so much press. It’s probably exactly what this hoaxster wants and is destined to turn out like the Johor Hominid debacle. Just my .02!

    By the way, the “Chinese Yeh-Ren” picture looks remarkably like Homer Simpson.

  22. timi_hendrix responds:

    Maybe he was trying to say Yeren?

    Meaning Monkey Man

  23. Loren Coleman responds:

    Ha ha, Capt. Jack, with all due respect, how angry would you be if we “did not” report on this and the guy turns out to be legit? Or you have to read about it someplace else a week from now?

    It seems like since over 100 comments have showed up on this one story there is a level of interest and curiosity to get to the bottom of this story.

    With all due respect…”giving this story so much press”? Oh really? ….it’s only been mentioned in two blogs…it is the comments that drive interest here as much as what we might find interesting.

  24. Capt. Jack responds:

    I see your point. I guess I’m just a little tired of these yahoos that come out with well publicized hoaxes that tend to harm true cryptozoological research.

    The discussions here are fantastic and, having studied crypto for many years, I hope I can make some intelligent observations. (Or not so intelligent, no fun in that) Time to dust off my old copy of “The Abominable Snowman Adventure” from my library…

  25. Miseryoak responds:

    Not to sound too much like a Suess fan but Yarwen does rhyme (more or less) with Loren. Also not trying to give this guy too much credit but, maybe yarwen is a acronym or anagram for something. I’ve been trying that angle (with absolutely no luck)

    Gosh, we’re spending an awful lot of time on this.

  26. skunkape_hunter responds:

    This man has clearly captured a plesiosaur, what is wrong with you people ?!?!

  27. fredfacker responds:

    He’s spun a nice YARweN anyway.

  28. crypto_randz responds:

    This story has been discussed enough there is no proof this YARN exists, like i said before a 8ft baby yarn i dont think so.

  29. crypto_randz responds:

    The yarn i really need to see the captured baby yarn on video like this guy was talking about.

  30. stompy responds:

    The reason that this fiction has generated so much interest amongst Cryptomundo readers is that the plot is so offensive to us. The clown revels in the fact that he grabbed a gun and “slew” the adult when most of us would have instead grabbed a camera. Oh and you gave it away with “slew” you pathetic loser.

  31. Finback responds:

    “As mentioned in my initial posting, “Yarwen” is used in rare cases in conjunction with banter in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. There also may be a link to the popular World Of Warcraft online game.”

    Um, I’m curious as to what source that’s from. I’m unfamiliar with any creature named “Yarwen” from either the Warcraft series or from DnD. Can anyone there cite a reference from one of the sourcebooks for this?

    From what I’ve seen online, the closest match is maybe someone’s *character* named Yarwen in a DnD game, but in no way is that the same thing as a creature from any game system.

  32. shadowparks responds:

    Report this nut bag to the proper authorities. Let them handle this to determine if his story is legit. Anyone can claim anything and waste everyone’s valuable time. I’m selling the Brooklyn Bridge if anyone is interested. 🙂

  33. andy_howey responds:

    I was stationed in Maryland in the late 80s, and I have a friend who lives in New Hampshire whom I would visit on occasion.

    It’s maybe five or six hours drive at the most, even minding the speed limit.

    That’s going from Maryland, through Delaware, NJ, NYC, Mass., into NH. Kittery, ME. is about 1/2 hour from Manchester, NH, maybe less.

    I’m not defending the person who claims to have a baby “whatever” — just trying to point out that the transportation aspect of his story is feasible, even if the overall story is bolonga.

  34. mystery_man responds:

    Maybe someone should get Tom Biscardi to go check it out. He might be able to bring its hand back.

  35. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    I too will weigh in with my geek hat and say that while there are “yeti” in World of Warcraft (yeti with goat horns, but yeti in name, nonetheless), there are no critters I’ve encountered so far called yarwen that I can recollect. Of course my highest level character is only level 42, and since the game allows you to go to 60, there are plenty or areas and instances (dungeons) that I haven’t been able to explore.

    But still, no yarwen that I am familiar with.

    It does remind me, though, of the name ARWEN, as in Arwen Undomiel, Elrond’s daughter and Aragorn’s bride from Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings trilogy.

    I tend to agree with the posters who feel this “Perez” character may have mixed up several different fantasy, sci-fi and crypto threads in his head.

    Fair enough. I do that sometimes myself.

    But then again, I don’t go claiming to have killed an 8.5 tall creature, buried it under some pine needles and kidnapped its off-spring.

  36. Maer responds:

    Loren, I agree with Naiabobiya, contact the police. People like that should NOT be near guns, and at the least, isn’t what he tried to do “extortion”?

    You may also want to contact Animal Cops, because if the guy has this little Yarwen in a pen which doesn’t allow freedom of movement, there are gonna be animal cruelty charges.

  37. ratz061 responds:

    I have noted a distinct “migration” of BF type creature from the Pacific Northwest, across the Western and Central plains, and NOW these creatures are turning up in Maine?! And this has been since the 1950’s!

    Not one to cast this out at first sight, I would like to know just how this “migration” has transpired. Are these perhaps seperate species? Or are they different types within the same species, that are specific to the areas they are sighted in?

    It just seems to be rather odd to have BF type animals “travel” from northern cal. in the 1950’s across the country, and in 40 some odd years start to be seen in areas here to fore never seen in the past.

    Please help, I want to believe.

  38. Shaman responds:

    I have also researched the name “Yarwen”, and your reference to D&D (Online, in this case) and World of Warcraft is not quite accurate. It’s actually a player’s name for his character(s) on those 2 online roleplaying games. Looking at the character profile of “Yarwen” on DDO (Dungeons and Dragons Online), his location does not correspond with the originator of the term in question here, so I don’t think there’s any connection there. The other instance of “Yarwen” from World of Warcraft is also a player’s name, but the location can’t be determined. It could be the same person since some gamers play multiple games and have a tendency to use the same name for their characters.

  39. FodderButWiser responds:

    That’s easy, Loren;

    Yarwen is thy Llord and God, and there shall be no false reports before him.

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