Bigfoot Encounters

A large part of the earth is unexplored, uninhabited, unmapped, unknown, and a great many unbelievable creatures — long believed extinct or merely myths have been found there. Now, after 30 years of scientific research and study, this famed zoologist makes the startling statement...

Abominable Snowmen Are Here!

By Ivan T. Sanderson

True Magazine, November 1961
Sooner or later somebody always asks me: "You don't think there is such a thing as an Abominable Snowman, do you?" My reply is always the same: "No. I believe there are hundreds if not thousands of unknown anthropoids, of at least half a dozen kinds, running all over five continents." And I usually add for good measure: "But they're not men, none of them lives in snow, and we have no right to call them abominable."

That has ended a great many conversations, and not a few friendships, but with all the evidence, which has become available over the years, I feel it's almost in a league with asking me if I really believe that the earth is round.

To begin with, let us dispose of the ridiculous title "Abominable Snowman." It is a complete misnomer and extremely misleading. Worse, it is usually prefixed with the article "the," just as if there was but one lone, mate less, childless and parentless monster that has been pounding about the eastern Himalaya and south Tibetan upper snowfields for 50 years — a forlorn abomination, left over from the past or, perhaps, just spontaneously created out of the mists.

As to the adjective "abominable," I don't think we can call any living creature by that name. The things are probably quite decent; just scared, and demanding only that they may lead their lives in peace. Whether they may be called men is also debatable. In my opinion, some are and some aren't. I am firmly convinced that they range from extremely primitive humans, without true speech, tools or knowledge of fire making, and still in varying degrees hairy, to one or two still undiscovered large apes in Africa. In between, some appear definitely to be Neanderthal sub-men such as inhabited Europe in the ice age but which have lingered on in eastern Asia, while others are even farther down the Hominid (Man) branch of the family tree, being what used to be called "Ape-Men."

Then, quite different from all of these, there is the creature the Nepalese call the Meh-Teh, the original "Snowman," and which is to science truly abominable. By the footprints it leaves and all the descriptions of it and its behavior by eyewitnesses, it is the most bestial of all. What is more, the tracks it leaves are not Hominid, Pongid (Ape-like), or even really anything in between. They are quite unlike anything we know, dead or alive.

But it is the word snow that bugs the whole business. Since words are intended to convey meaning, nobody can be accused of stupidity for supposing that this title is intended to indicate either a man made of snow, or a man that lives in or on snow. Since nobody seems dense enough to believe the former, one can only assume the latter.

But this, too, is ridiculous. Many of these tracks have been found on permanent mountain snowfields, and there is nothing at all under these snowfields, which could sustain any living creature. While they cross these snowfields when going from one place to another, thus leaving the tracks which have been seen by Sir Edmund Hillary, among others, they actually live in the forests which, admittedly, often come right up, to the snowline.

Having thus, I hope, disposed of the business which has done more than anything else to muddle the whole issue, I will now proceed to answer your second question: "But how on earth 'could' there be such creatures running about all over the lot?"

This is a very good question because it can be easily disposed of. First, a very large part of the land surface of our earth is uninhabited. A considerable part of this is still unmapped, unused, and has not even been explored. About a seventh of it is said to be covered with permanently frozen soil, and over most of this, which is in the Arctic and sub-Arctic, there sprawls an endless forest of tightly packed spruce trees known as the taiga. This runs right around the top of the world from northern Russia, through Siberia, to the Bering Straits, and then picks up again on the lowlands of the Canadian Northwest Territories and continues unbroken right across our continent to Labrador. It is virtually uninhabited, and only in the two last decades have roads been driven into it.

Of the remainder of the land surface, a third is either uninhabitable hot desert or its surrounding scrub lands. Little of the latter is permanently settled, and the major part is totally unused and seldom crossed. Of the remainder, nearly half is covered with forests. Although some of these forests are dotted with human settlements, they are mostly what we call wildernesses, and most of them are unmapped. People get lost in Maine every year, and there is a 15,000-square-mile block in northern California that is only just being surveyed. There are areas of over 1,000 square miles in the Mississippi Valley bottomlands that are crossed by only one third-class road and can show but half a dozen settlements.

There are great tracts even in old Europe that are complete wildernesses, but even more fantastic are the uninhabited blocks in subtropical and tropical countries like southern China proper and India, which we think of as positively bulging with population. And Communist officials empowered to look after "minorities" in China reported only five years ago that completely wild, hairy people without speech, clothes, tools or knowledge of fire had been captured in the border province of Yunnan and taken to the capital city of Kunnling.

There is another reason why I am so certain that "Abominable Snowmen" can be existing in many areas of the world. This is due to the fact that many huge creatures have been discovered, and even in regions where the local people had no idea that they existed. In 1960, for example, the regular "Mountie" air-patrol spotted in the Canadian Northwest Territories, not 100 miles from the new road being pushed up to the Arctic Ocean from Alberta, and within 50 miles of a Mission Station established a century ago, large herds of what is either the second or third largest form of the Ox Tribe. These were groups of pure-blood Woodland Bison (Bison athabasca), an enormous ice-age species not known to exist in a pure strain anywhere.

This was bad enough, but at least it was in the seemingly endless Taiga forest. In 1958, however, another creature — also either the second or third largest member of the Ox Tribe — turned up in the thickly populated Indo chinese Peninsula. This creature is quite fabulous, the males having wide-spreading horns like the extinct Aurochs of Europe, father of all our western domestic cattle, but with huge tassels sprouting upwards from about a foot below their tips. What is even more significant, the discovery of this animal was at first positively denied in scientific circles, although the man responsible took a complete skin and skull to Paris.

I could go on and on: the Coelacanth fishes, thought to have been extinct for 60 million years, turning up on the breakfast tables of the Comoro Islanders; the second largest land mammal, named Cotton's Cerato or White Rhinoceros found only in 1910; the forest giraffe or Okapi of the Congo in the same year, and so on. But what is the use? May not these two sets of facts — the general unexplored nature of our earth, and the discovery right up till now of herds of huge beasts right at our back doors — suffice to affirm my contention that many undetected creatures 'can' still be existing almost in our midst?

At this point, I believe you will be saying to yourself: "Yes, this is all very well, but those are real animals. These snowmen are nothing but stories, however important and reliable the people who have told these stories may be. Is there any concrete physical evidence of their existence? The answer is a definite "Yes."

I think we will have to admit that foot tracks are fairly concrete, so let's begin by taking another look at those of Abominable Snowmen or ABSMs (as I will refer to them from now on) and at the circumstances in which they were found.

Footprints can appear in all manner of soft and resilient surfaces; both dry, like sand and gravel; and wet, like mud and snow. Despite all the folderol about those found in snow, far more have been found in mud and sand, and of course exclusively so in all lowland areas in subtropical and tropical lands. The story of their discovery is seldom dramatic, but when it is, it is exceedingly so.

The best known is undoubtedly that of the famed mountaineer, Eric Shipton, in the Everest Area in 1951. The next most familiar is the California affair, which I reported in 'True' in December 1959. In both cases it was not, however, so much the incident itself that made such an impression, but the definite and more or less unassailable proof that was obtained at the time in the form of photographs and plaster casts, plus the fact that in both areas the tracks were seen by several people at the same time.

Further, these people were educated men with reputations of the highest order. Yet, the world at large was not ready at either time for such an event, nor was the public in any way prepared to accept it.

Eric Shipton was exploring a range of mountains near the Everest Block named the Gauri Sankar, on the South Tibetan Rim. One Michael Ward and the Sherpa, Sen Tensing, accompanied him. On the afternoon of the 8th of November they stumbled upon a fresh track made by a Meh-Teh. This was in powdery snow on the southwestern slope of the Menlungtse. The individual imprints were absolutely clear-cut. Their maker walked on two feet. The track was followed up for over a mile to an ice moraine, into which the men could not follow. The Meh-Teh had jumped some crevasses and had dug its toes in to do so just as any human would.

The tracks and prints were photographed, and the form of these prints and the stride of the track corresponded with similar discoveries of dozens of others, both previously and since. The photographs, and molds based on them, were exhibited in London alongside those made by bears and a large monkey. I may add that the keynote of this exhibit was "Now you can see for yourself that these so-called abominable snowman tracks are only those of a bear — or a monkey!" If you will compare the tracks pictured with this article with those of a bear or a monkey you will see how ridiculous this is. How even a stay-at-home scientist in a museum be so stupid I fail to understand.

The California affair was altogether different. There, enormous footprints turned up night after night all over a new road being bulldozed into a wilderness area not 100 miles from the town of Eureka. They were inspected by several dozen hard-boiled and highly practical-minded bulldozer operators, loggers, and road-engineers and even by press photographers. They were up to 22 inches long, appeared night after night out of the impenetrable forests, went up and down impossible slopes, meandered around the machinery left parked at night, and then wandered off back into the wild with 60-inch strides. They caused a great stir, which prompted some enquiry. This brought to light the fact that such things had been reported off and on for a century all over the area and as far away as Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Further, they linked up with similar sightings in British Columbia.

Tracks, which play such an important part in the whole business of ABSMery, have been found all over the world. Several of the casts made from these tracks are so clear and perfect that the musculature of the bottom of the feet that made them has been worked out in detail. In some types this proved to be very human in form, as with the so-called Almas of northeastern Russia. In others, it is absolutely not human, as in the Meh-Teh. In the Oh-Mahs of California, with a second pad under their big toes and their apparent webbing of all the toes up to the first joints, we have something almost — but not quite — human.

This is really quite an impressive showing, and when we come to properly appreciate the fact that tracks have been reported by Mongolians, Chinese, Nepalese, Tibetans, Russians, Persians, Africans, Malays, Hollanders, Belgians, and members of most other European nationalities all over the world, and by Canadians and other North, Central and South Americans — year in and year out for over a century, it becomes very hard to see how anybody can really doubt the existence of ABSMs.

Also, you will have to admit that such theories as the hoax, the misidentification, the tall-tale or the pure lie become so utterly ridiculous that they are not worth even discussing. The real trouble about them, however, is that they are just about the only points of view you ever read on the matter. And one and all, they are nothing more than attempts to disprove the whole business by trying to debunk one small aspect of it. No better example of this can be given than the circus put on by Sir Edmund Hillary early this year.

Hillary stated in an article published before he went to the Himalayas that his secondary objective was to get what he called a yeti (an over-all local misnomer for any ABSM). He is a mountaineer, not a zoologist or anthropologist, so he went clean through the country in which the ABSMs live and up on to the sterile, foodless, mountain snowfields. Also, he had a party of no less than 600 along with him. Failing, as a result, to get within miles of any ABSM, he was faced with two choices: either admit failure, or somehow disprove the whole idea.

He chose the latter course; had a "scalp" made from a skin taken from a rare local animal named a Serow; borrowed one of the old caps made to look like an ABSM scalp (and which was admitted to be a fake by the villagers he got it from); invited a most excellent Nepalese gentleman named Kunyo Chumbi to come along and flew off around the world, displaying the cap on television and handing out hairs and bits of skin to scientists. With these bits went a challenge to identify the hairs and dried blood. It took a scientist in Paris just one day to identify the hairs (as being from a Serow) but, strangely, micro-photos of them did not match those made of hairs pulled from other scalps in Nepal by other scientists! On the basis of this confusing and meaningless test Sir Edmund presumed to claim that no ABSMs existed.

Then Hillary was asked: if the debunking of this scalp disproved the existence of all ABSMs everywhere, how about the tracks that he himself had several times reported? To this he produced the amazing reply that they were all made by a string of foxes following a leader and all landing precisely with all their feet in exactly the same hole, and then all these holes being enlarged by melting precisely to the same size and shape. (We have been unable to trace any reference to any species of fox ever being collected in these upper montane regions.) To the two questions, how then did these tracks invariably show not only clear toe marks of a very special arrangement, but also distinctive musculature impressions, and how could such tracks be made in mud which does not melt, he gave no answer!

Equally idiotic was the suggestion made by a person named Michael Peissel. Peissel wrote that men wearing a kind of mukluks, which had worn out in front so that they left toe impressions, made the tracks in the Himalayas. He further said that such tracks are deliberately pointed out by the Nepalese as a tourist attraction! Should this be so, even in that are, all said men must have had both feet constructed in one of the rarest known ways — an abnormality in which the second toes are longer than the first, and are also bigger, and separated from the others; while they must all have been positively enormous people with feet almost as wide as long, and all have been twice the weight of a normal large man.

Apart from tracks, the physical evidence for the existence of ABSMs consists of a few alleged scalps (and they are definitely not all made from the skins of goat-like animals), a few whole skins reported by Mongolian scientists; some mummified hands; several collections of fresh droppings; a lot of hairs; some analyses of old blood; and the identification of some odd internal and external parasites taken from said scalps and droppings.

Apart from this, everything is reportage — of weird calls made by, appalling smells from; animals found killed by; cairns on mountain tops being moved by; rocks being hurled by; beds being made by, and a few other minor categories.

Perhaps the most concrete evidence we have are two or three mummified hands. Two are preserved in a monastery in a small place in Nepal called Pangboche. There is a great mystery about one of these because it has only been photographed once, but then by one of the greatest students of the subject with the very highest standing — Professor Teizo Ogawa, of the School of Anatomy of Tokyo University. It is the most perfect shot and shows some most significant features. Professor Ogawa has not yet completed his examination of it, nor published his report, so that he has made no final pronouncement on its identification.

The other hand has now definitely been pronounced, and by none other than Professor B. F. Porshnev, head of the Special Commission to Study ABSMs set up by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, to be that of a Neanderthal sub-man, such as inhabited Europe and northern Asia during the last ice advance. Significantly, a fresh footprint from central Asia of a form of ABSM called Guli-Yavan almost exactly matches one left in an Italian cave some 50,000 years ago by a Neanderthaler. A stalactite curtain sealed the cave and when broken into in 1952, these tracks were found, as fresh as if they had been made the day before, in the clay covering its floor.

The other most definite and concrete evidence we have is the scat or droppings. This constitutes a substance that cannot be manufactured or faked. And in several cases there was no other animal known that could deposit them. Also parasites found in these droppings have been found to be odd in several respects, notably that some are known only from animals, some only from human beings, and others from nowhere previously. The same goes for certain mites taken off the scalps and other hairy bits of ABSMs examined.

This brings me to the question I know you have been hankering to ask: "Then, why hasn't anybody seen one?" This question often crops up in newspaper accounts and articles on the subject in a rather glib form, such as: "These creatures, never seen by a white man... (etc.)" This to me is an astonishing statement because there are literally dozens of reports of all the different kinds having been seen all over the world, and by all manner of people from the humblest peasants and most primitive tribesmen to military doctors in the Soviet Army, famous British mountaineers, and even roving American scientists. In fact, there are as many cases of "sightings" on record as there are of tracks.

The whole business, indeed, was kicked off in modern times by a very definite sighting. This was made by none other than the famous explorer and mountaineer, Col. C. K. Howard-Bury, when on the first real attempt to climb Mount Everest in 1921.

On November 21 of the year 1921, the party was on the way from a place named Kharta to the famous Lhapka-la Pass when somebody spotted a number of large dark objects moving about on a high snowfield well above them and at some distance. These were observed by the whole party and through binoculars, but they were too far distant to identify. When the mountaineers reached the area on the next afternoon they found large numbers of huge tracks which they described as being "three times as big as normal footprints."

They were obviously left by some creature walking on its two hind legs, but Colonel Bury later said he thought that "a large stray gray wolf" had made them! The Sherpa porters disagreed, saying definitely that it had been a party of Meh-Tehs, and this name got garbled by an Indian-telegraphist and came out as Metoh-Kangmi. This, an Englishman in India said, was Tibetan for "Abominable Snowman," (The expression happened to be Nepali, and the Englishman did not speak either that language or Tibetan, but let it pass.)

Actually, there had been others in that general area that had reported seeing the same or similar types of creatures. There is a person by the name of Hugh Knight who is supposed to have met one face to face. It was shaggy and carried a crude bow and arrow. Then there was the famous botanist-explorer named Elwes who reported to the Zoological Society of London that he had seen one run over a ridge in 1916.

After Howard-Bury, there was a positive rash of sightings by Europeans, most notable being the case recorded by one A. N. Tombazi, a member of the Royal Geographical Society of London, while on a photographic expedition to Sikkim. This gentleman observed one through field glasses for some time: it was grubbing for roots with a stick on the other side of a valley, and later he found its footprints (which were just like those of Shipton's ABSM).

Numerous Russians have also seen ABSMs, quite apart from the one reported in the Pamirs by A. J. Pronin of Leningrad University, which caused so much excitement in 1957. I can quote but one example: that of Prof. V. K. Leontiev, chief of the Conservation Department of the Dagestan A.S.S.R., which lies between the Caucasus Mountains and the Caspian Sea.

While on a routine reconnaissance of one of the enormous game reserves in his territory, this experienced field naturalist saw one of the local ABSMs, calling it a Kaptar, and observed it at a range of from only 50 paces until it disappeared ahead of him seven minutes later about half a mile ahead. His description is completely scientific and most detailed, and he took accurate scale drawings of the imprints it left. It was about seven feet tall, clothed in shaggy hair, had very wide, stubby feet with widely spread toes and an enormous big toe. Its head was small above the ears. It was stoop-shouldered and had a rolling, shambling gait, but when Professor Leontiev fired a shot at its feet, it waltzed about and then made off up a very steep slope with incredible speed. The full report is some 40 pages long and a masterpiece of Russian devotion to detail.

Detailed as the Russian accounts are, they are as nothing to those recorded by Mongolian scientists. Unfortunately it would be worthless repeating these because, in our lofty western manner we consider anybody living in the area east of Russia as what we choose to call "natives" and anything they, like our American Indians, Africans, and others say, we discredit. Let me therefore turn to the account of a Hollander of higher education, which was published in a scientific journal in Java.

This manís name was Mienheer van Herwaarden, and the incident occurred in 1923, in an area surrounded by rivers called Poeloe Rimau, in the province of Palembang, in the island of Sumatra. Van Herwaarden had been hunting wild pigs and "gone to bush" to await their appearance at a feeding ground. Something in an isolated tree caught his notice and, going to look, he saw clinging to the trunk a creature covered with thick black fur and with a considerable mane depending from its head and running down its midback. After observing it from only a few feet he started to climb the tree but the creature immediately moved upwards. After talking soothingly to it but getting no response, he tried bolder tactics and again started climbing, but this time the creature scrambled out on to a limb that sagged with its weight and then it dropped about ten feet to the ground and started running away. Van Herwaarden raised his rifle and had it in his sights when it was still but 30 yards away but then, he says, he could not press the trigger because the thing was absolutely human but for its fur and mane — and it was a female! Its mate was by this time also calling from the nearby forest.

One further case will I think suffice to lay to rest the absurd statement that nobody, let alone a "white man" has ever seen an ABSM. This occurred to an American long resident in Canada, named William Roe, in the year 1955, near Tete Jaune Cache in Alberta on a peak named Mica Mountain. Mr. Roe was taking a lone hunting trip, he having spent a lifetime in the wilds and being very fond of observing animals and doing a little hunting. When at a high altitude in a mixed coniferous and broad-leafed bush forest he came upon what he at first thought was a grizzly bear, at about 20 paces feeding on berries by pulling the branches of a bush and stripping the berries with its other hand or paw. This surprised him but then the thing turned and he saw that it was a huge, humanoid female, clothed in short, thick fur. They stared at each other and he raised his rifle but, like all the others, could not press the trigger. The ABSM shambled off and, throwing its held back, gave out a strange half-yelp-half-laugh. Roe followed it up and observed it on a nearby ridge; he then searched about and says that he found a place where it had slept and eaten various vegetable materials.

Combined with the numerous other reports of sightings of this type of ABSM, one has no reason to doubt this story. It is quite detailed in the original and makes a number of points that are exactly in accord with what all the others have stated. Among these are two medical doctors in California four years ago returning from an emergency late at night to a place named Redding at the head of the Sacramento Valley. Seeing what they took to be a person sitting by the roadside, they slowed down and dimmed their headlights with a view to offering a lift.

Suddenly the "thing" leaped up, took the road in two strides and crashed into the thick bush! Almost exactly the same thing was reported a year later by two hunters on the road where the first footprints occurred in 1958, and I have literally dozens of others from all sorts of people, including a young lady, now 21, who says she met one in the morning mists a little distance from where she was camping with her parents when she was 10 years old.

So, you may well say, people all over the world say they have seen or encountered these creatures, but why have not they, or we, captured one? This is also a very fair question, so I will give another reasonable answer... we have.

Such a statement, of course, calls for full documentation. Here it is, starting with the first record we have of such a capture on our own continent — and in southern British Columbia, Canada, no less; and not 100 miles from the United States border.

The particular incident occurred on the morning of July 3. 1884, on the railroad track bordering the Fraser River, near a small place called Yale, which is not 100 miles from the great city of Vancouver and only 20 from the long-inhabited shore of Harrison Lake. It may be called "The Jacko Affair." I herewith quote it in full from a Victoria. B.C. newspaper named The Daily British Colonist.

Yale, B.C. July 3, 1884— In the immediate vicinity of No. 4 tunnel, situated some 2O miles above this village, are bluffs of rock which have hitherto been insurmountable, but on Monday morning last were successfully scaled by Mr. Onderdonk's employees on the regular train from Lytton. Assisted by Mr. Costerton, the British Columbia Express Company's messenger, a number of gentlemen from Lytton and points east of that place, after considerable trouble and perilous climbing captured a creature who may truly be called half man and half beast. 'Jacko', as his captors have called the creature, is something of the gorilla type standing about 4 feet 7 inches in height and weighing 127 pounds. He has long, black, strong hair and resembles a human being with one exception, his entire body, excepting his hands (or paws) and feet are covered glossy hair about one inch long. His forearm is much longer than a man's forearm, and he possesses extraordinary strength. As he will take hold of a stick and break it by wrenching or twisting it, which no man living could break in the same way. Since his capture he is very reticent, only occasionally uttering a noise, which is half bark and half growl. He is, however, becoming daily more attached to his keeper, Mr. George Telbury, of this place, who proposes shortly starting for London, England, to exhibit him. His favorite food so far is berries, and he drinks fresh milk with evident relish. By advice of Dr. Hannington, raw meats have been withheld from Jacko, as the doctor thinks it would have a tendency to make him savage.

The mode of capture runs as follows: Ned Austin, the engineer, on coming in sight of the bluff at the eastern end of the No. 4 tunnel saw what he supposed to be a man lying asleep at close proximity to the track, and, as quick as thought, blew the signal to apply the brakes. The brakes were instantly applied, and in a few seconds the train was brought to a standstill. At this moment the supposed man sprang up, and uttering a sharp quick bark began to climb the steep bluff. Conductor R. J. Craig and express messenger Costerton followed by the baggage man and brakemen, jumped from the train and knowing they were some 20 minutes ahead of time, immediately gave chase.

After 5 minutes of perilous climbing the then supposed demented Indian was corralled on a projecting shelf of rock where he could neither ascend nor descend. The query now was how to capture him alive, which was quickly decided by Mr. Craig, who crawled on his hands and knees until he was about 40 feet above the creature. Taking a small piece of loose rock he let it fall and it had the desired effect of rendering poor Jacko incapable of resistance for a time at least. The bell rope was then brought up and Jacko was now lowered to terra firma. After firmly binding him and placing him in the baggage car, 'off brakes' was sounded and the train started for Yale. At the station a large crowd who had heard of the capture by telephone from Spuzzum Flat were assembled, and each one anxious to have the first look at the monstrosity, but they were disappointed, as Jacko had been taken off at the machine shop and placed in charge of his present keeper.

The question naturally arises, how came the creature where it was first seen by Mr. Austin? From bruises about its head and body, and apparent soreness since its capture, it is supposed that Jacko ventured too near the edge of the bluff, slipped, fell and lay where found until the sound of the rushing train aroused him. Mr. Thomas White, and Mr. Gouin, C.B.E., as well as Mr. Major, who kept a small store about half a mile west of the tunnel during the past 2 years, have mentioned having seen a curious creature at different points between Camps 13 and 17, but no attention was paid to their remarks as people came to the conclusion that they had either seen a bear or stray Indian dog. Who can unravel the mystery that now surrounds Jacko? Does he belong to a species hitherto unknown in this part of the continent or is he really what the train men first thought he was, a crazy Indian?

Now, whatever you may think of the press, you cannot just simply dismiss everything reported by it that you don't believe in. Further, this report is excellent, being factual, giving names that were obviously carefully checked even to titles such as the C.B.E. of Mr. Gouin, and hardly being at all speculative. In fact, it is really a model report and one that some modern newsmen might well emulate. Then, the persons concerned were not a bunch of citizens with names only to identify them; they were mostly people with responsible positions who must have been widely known at that time throughout the area, for the railroad played a very important part in the opening up and development of lower British Columbia. The reporter, moreover, himself took a very common-sense view of the business when he inquired what manner of creature this might be and stated flatly that it was completely human but for being covered with silky black hair and having exceptional strength in its arms.

Unfortunately, following this excellent report, the news on "Jacko" is pretty slim. The creature was held in captivity for some time, but there is no record of his ever having been examined by scientists. He was simply accepted as an odd event in a world in which odd events were happening all the time. Perhaps some part of him has been preserved and is lying in somebody's attic, or even in a museum. It's happened before. There have been quite numerous other reports of captures, from all over the world; I have over 50 on file. None, however, is as plain as the case of poor little "Jacko" - outside of Russia, Mongolia and China, that is.

To give these even in brief would call for a large volume, so I quote but one that has for a time seemed to me to be outstandingly straightforward. This case comes from official records of the Soviet Army Medical Corps to the Special Commission appointed by the Russian Academy of Sciences to Investigate ABSMery, under Professors Porshnev and Shmakov. The incident occurred in 1941, and was put on record by one Lt. Col. V. S. Karapetyan. It states, in his own words:

From October to December of 1941 our infantry battalion was stationed some 30 kilometers from the town of Buinaksk (in the Dagestan A.S.S.R.). One day the representatives of the local authorities asked me to examine a man caught in the mountains and brought to the district center. My medical advice was needed to establish whether this curious creature was a disguised spy.

I entered a shed with two members of the local authorities. When I asked why I had to examine the man in a cold shed and not a warm room, I was told that the prisoner could not be kept in a warm room. He had sweated in the house so profusely that they had had to keep him in the shed.

I can still see the creature as it stood before me, a male, naked and barefooted. And it was doubtlessly a man because its entire shape was human. The chest, back, and shoulders, however, were covered with shaggy hair of a dark brown color. It is noteworthy that all the local inhabitants had black hair. This fur of his was much like that of a bear, and 2 to 5 centimeters long. The fur was thinner and softer below the chest. His wrists were crude and sparsely covered with hair. The palms of his hands and soles of his feet were free of hair. But the hair on his head reached to his shoulders, partly covering his forehead. The hair on his head, moreover, felt very rough to the hand. He had no beard or moustache, though his face was completely covered with a light growth of hair. The hair around his mouth was also short and sparse.

The man stood absolutely straight with his arms hanging, and his height was above the average — about 180 cm. He stood before me like a giant, his mighty chest thrust forward. His fingers were thick, strong, and exceptionally large. Overall, he was considerably bigger than any of the local inhabitants. "His eyes told me nothing. They were dull and empty — the eyes of an animal and he seemed to me like an animal and nothing more.

As I learned, he had accepted no food or drink since he was caught. He had asked for nothing and said nothing. When kept in a warm room he sweated profusely. While I was there, some water and then some food (bread) was brought up to his mouth; and someone offered him a hand, but there was no reaction. I gave the verbal conclusion that this was no disguised person, but a wild man of some kind. Then I returned to my unit and never heard of him again.

Yet I know that you will still be saying "But why haven't we got one?" There are several reasons. First, the vastness and impenetrability of the areas where these comparatively rare creatures live. Secondly, the fact that for the most part being hominids, if not full men, they possess both a degree of what we call intelligence and a goodly quota of what we call animal instincts. Even primitive peoples are often uncanny in their ability to keep out of sight and their senses are unbelievably acute. All of this renders even a chance encounter quite unlikely.

But the main reason is that up until fairly recently we have never gone about the problem of finding one with much knowledge or common sense. We have looked for them in the wrong places, and we have gone about it in the wrong way. We are now, I hope, going about it in the right way, and I have every reason to believe that we will be successful. I, for one, am looking forward with a good deal of pleasure to seeing what the "experts" have to say when they come face-to-face with one of the thousands of "Abominable Snowmen" which are living today on our mysterious planet.

© Ivan T. Sanderson.

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