Results of Chimpanzee Pheromone use in Snowman/Wildman Field Investigations
By Valentin B. Sapunov, St. Petersburg, Russia
This is a summary of the results of a 1989 expedition, which attempted to obtain evidence of the Snowman, the reported Soviet hominid or hominoid, in the Chimkent and Dzambul regions of the western Tien Shan mountain range of Soviet Central Asia. The expedition was conducted in July and August, 1989, and was headed by Alpinist Gleb Isaenkov, with the author serving as scientific leader. The program involved original strategies for the detection of the Snowman. One of these strategies appears to have met with success. The strategy in question involves the use of a sexual pheromone from the African chimpanzee, Pan troglodytes. The chemical compounds were obtained from the urine of a young female chimpanzee, 3 years of age, at the Institute of Physiology of the Academy of Sciences in Leningrad, Russia. Sterilized pieces of cloth were saturated with the pheromones.
Experiments were conducted in the Aksu River Valley, altitude of 2,500 meters (8,200 feet). Snowman sightings have been reported in this area. The valley is difficult to penetrate, and we were the first humans to enter it in 1989. The surrounding mountains reach a height of between 4,000 and 5,000 meters (13,000 and 16,500 feet). We placed the target cloths on easily visible trees. The trees were also selected according to the surrounding soil conditions, with the idea of track preservation.
During the night of August 1st, my colleagues heard heavy footsteps and smashing sounds. In the morning, we found large, bipedal footprints about 50 meters (160 feet) from camp, and 25 meters (80 feet) from a target cloth.
The length of the footprints was 32-33 centimeters (12.5-13 inches) and the stride was 105-110 centimeters (41-43 inches). From this, a height of 2.2 meters (7 feet, 2.5 inches) was determined. The weight of the animal involved was calculated to be at least 250 kilograms (550 pounds).
At 6:30 a.m. on August 9th, we heard footsteps again. Upon leaving our tents, we heard the rapid motion of a large body moving through the bush. We followed rapidly with cameras, but no sighting of the creature itself was made.
Upon examining the area around the camp, we determined that the Snowman had approached the first cloth and torn it into strips. This tearing was done by hand, not with teeth. The Snowman had also broken a branch from the tree, in a way similar to how I have observed hamadryas baboons (Papio harnadryas) doing in the field.
The same procedure had been followed with the second cloth. We were able to determine that the creature had approached to within 3 meters (10 feet) of our camp, right up to the camp's clothesline. Upon our arising, it rapidly departed. At one point, it left a fist-track on the ground. The tracks from the August 1st incident were identical to those from the August 9th incident. No further incidents took place during the expedition.
We conclude that the Snowman is present in the Tien Shan region. We also conclude that ape pheromones serve as good sexual attractants for locating the Snowman. We hope to undertake further fieldwork in search of the Snowman hoping that the use of ape pheromones will again prove successful.
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