September 4, 2006

What Is A Yarwen?


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 (, 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.

Filed under Abominable Snowman, Bigfoot, Books, Breaking News, Cryptotourism, CryptoZoo News, Cryptozoologists, Cryptozoology, Eyewitness Accounts, Folklore, Hoaxes, Media Appearances, Movie Monsters, Pop Culture, Public Forum, Sasquatch, Swamp Monsters, Yeti, Yowie