|Results of Chimpanzee Pheromone Use in Snowman (Wildman) Field Investigations
By Valentin Sapunov, Professor of Biology
This report summarizes the results of a recent 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 what we consider to be some of the 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 urine of a young female chimpanzee, 3 years of age, at the Institute of Physiology of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R., in Leningrad. Sterilized pieces of cloth were saturated with such pheromones.
Experiments were conducted in the River Aksu valley, at an 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. The trees were also selected according to the surrounding soil conditions, with the idea of track preservation.
During the night of August 1, 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 clothe. 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 9, we heard footsteps again. Upon leaving our tents, we heard the rapid motion of a large body moving through the brush. 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 hamadryad baboons (Papio hamadryas) 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 August 1 incident were identical to those from the August 9 incident. No further incidents took place during the expedition.
Based on our fieldwork, 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. We hope that the use of ape pheromones will again prove successful.
Sapunovís article was also published in the ISC Journal, 1989. Department of Control of Medical and
Biological Systems, St. Petersburg State University formerly (1924-91) LENINGRAD STATE UNIVERSITY, St. Petersburg, Russia
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