Dr. Septunov reported the results of his expeditions in the summer of 1995 in Anomaliya, a Russian newspaper dedicated to covering anomalous phenomena (Issue 22, 1995). He is one of the few courageous scientists who continue with this controversial research, although they themselves are on the edge of poverty.
No funds are being allocated for any significant research, and Dr. Sapunov is fearful for the future of Russian cryptobiology. Being a true scientist and patriot, Dr. Sapunov cares for the ecological well-being of his country. Yet he has noticed that science is being dreadfully neglected in today’s Russia.
And still the scientists carry on their work, collecting data about the mysterious “snow man.” Ties that had been severed when the Soviet Union disintegrated are slowly being restored.
Information is now coming into Petrograd (as its denizens like to call St. Petersburg) from the Baltic states and Central Asia. Some information has been exchanged with American researchers, too. The Caucasus Mountains have been cut off from research because of armed conflicts, but research in the Pamir-Altai Mountains, the Urals, and in the Russian Northwest goes on.
In the summer of 1995, Dr. Sapunov and his colleagues took part in an expedition of the Center for Ecological Safety. The area of operation was the Viborgskiy region of the Karelsky Isthmus (a 90-mile-long isthmus in Karelia, northwest Russia, between the Gulf of Finland and Lake Ladoga).
Dr. Sapunov was also a participant in the exploration work of the “Kriptobiologiya” society in the Sortavelsky and Olonetsky regions of Kareliya; the area is known for the absence of human inhabitants.
Dr. Sapunov has studied a number of reports of a huge being stalking the area. Russian military border guards have confirmed that they have tried to capture the mysterious creature, but to no avail.
One sighting of a “snow man” took place July 30, 1995, at 11:00 a.m. Igor K., a technician from Petrograd, was walking in the forest, near the Vaskelovo village. He recalls suddenly becoming very disoriented. Igor knew the area quite well, yet he kept “walking in circles.”
A feeling came to him that a strange dusk has descended. Finally Igor came to a clearing in the forest. He noticed a giant silver-furred man at a distance. The three-meter-high creature made a few steps toward Igor, but then disappeared behind trees.
Dr. Sapunov received this report late, and was unable to personally investigate the area until September. Sergei Turkin, another Bigfoot researcher, came along. The ground where the sighting took place was dry and covered with grass.
No interesting ground traces were detected. However, some dried-out trees nearby had a strange type of damage to their bark. A creature with thick chisel-like nails had torn away the bark, up to a height of three meters. Whatever it was, it apparently had a taste for the larva of the bark-eating insects.
In June, Dr. Sapunov had visited Riga, Latvia. He had been invited by his Latvian colleagues to help open a “snow man” exhibit in the Museum of Nature. Also during this visit, Dr. Sapunov participated in the planning of an expedition to find the “snow man” in the Pamir-Altai. (the Altai Mountains are a mountain system in Central Asia, Northwestern China, and West Mongolia. The highest peak there 15,000 feet. The Pamirs are a mountain system mostly in Tadzhikistan. The highest Pamirs peak is 25,000 feet.)
The scientists had worked out a scheme to lure the “snow man” by using the sexual pheromones of female apes. A pheromone is any of various chemical substances secreted externally by certain animals that convey information to and produce specific responses in other individuals of the same species.
Dr. Sapunov was not able to join the expedition, but his Riga colleagues under the scientific leadership of M. Kudryavtsev, a biologist and criminologist, were able to explore the mountainous route.
There, in the mountains of the Altai, the “snow man,” approached the camp, growled, and breathed heavily on three consecutive nights, attracted by strong sexual secretions from female apes. Each time, it left its memorable footprints; the scientists had no trouble identifying them.
The scientists tried to take pictures of the creature, having brought along a special camera for the job. But every time the creature appeared, these experienced, strong and well-armed men were stricken with panic and terror. As hard as this may be to believe, Dr. Sapunov himself has reported feeling such fear on many occasions while pursuing the elusive creature.
Dr. Sapunov has made many important findings about the “snow man.” The creature is an ecological antipode to homo sapiens. It likes to visit those areas that have a lower anthropogenetic load. That is why the “snow man” has been sighted in forbidden, closed-off areas — the borderlands, nature reserves, and similar places.
For example, in the southern part of the Ural mountains (a mountain system in Russia extending from the Arctic Ocean to the North border of Kazakhstan, traditionally regarded as the boundary between Europe and Asia), there have been many recent encounters with the “snow man.”
This area was closed off for a long time because of radioactive pollution. Once the radiological toxicity had diminished and the environment was healed to some extent by nature, the anthropogenetic pressure remained low, and the “snow man” seems to have made its way there. If same processes take place in Chernobyl, it is natural to suppose that the “snow man” may eventually appear there as well.
The conclusion is: areas where “snow man” encounters are most frequently reported tend to offer the creature an ecological advantage.
It is interesting to note that the Russian sports industry has paid attention to the scientists’ findings; the military-industrial complex has perked its ears up as well. The “snow man” embodies progressive biological solutions for the adaptation of humankind to its habitat. What humans get from material culture, the “snow man” has obtained in the course of biological progress.
There has been profound research in Russia on the creature’s movements (based on available photographs and films). And back in 1994, a Russian military college began studying the movements of the “snow man,” hoping to use the creature’s survival techniques in military applications.
One of the most interesting (and relatively recent) encounters took place in November of 1992. Anatoly Dobrenko, who lives in the village of Samoryadovo (Dmitrov District, Moscow Region) and works in a local children’s sanatorium, was walking his Alsatian dog near his sanatorium.
Suddenly the dog bristled up and snarled angrily. Anatoly then saw a two-legged hairy monster about a hundred meters away. The creature was moving away, toward the forest. The man says that he could make out “rusty-colored matted hair on the creature’s back” from the distance.
When Dobrenko’s son, Igor, an army captain, learned about the encounter, he visited the area of the sighting, accompanied by some employees from the sanatorium. Igor found some well-preserved prints of huge bare feet in the mud that were nearly 50 centimeters long and 15 centimeters wide at the broadest part. The participants treated the prints like material evidence, covering them for better preservation.
Later Igor reported his findings to a newspaper, and the newspaper arranged a thorough examination of the location of the sighting. Local dwellers were interviewed, some of whom had seen signs of the unusual guest’s presence before.
The search party discovered the place where the creature had spent at least one night: the attic of an abandoned summer cottage. Not one but two creatures seemed to have been there. The second set of tracks evidently belonged to a female; the feet were smaller. The investigation of this case has not ended.
There have been interesting sightings in the Arkhangelsk Region as well. In autumn of 1989, Professor of Medicine Dr. N. Aleutsky flew to the local taiga to gather some herbs. He was on the bank of a river when a bear cub came up to him and yelped.
The Professor heard the cub’s mother roaring nearby. Dr. Aleutsky had a knife with him, but felt it would be a poor defense against an angry beast. The doctor hastily abandoned his basket full of mushrooms and raced back to his boat.
Suddenly he heard a blood-chilling scream from behind. Turning his head, the doctor saw a gorilla-like creature holding the bear in its hands. The beast was 2.5 meters tall, its body covered with thick brown fur.
It was a female, and its large teeth were bared. Holding the bear by the hind legs the creature tore the animal in two without any visible effort. The whole episode lasted just a few seconds.
Dr. Aleutsky told his bizarre story to two of his companions. They decided it would be wisest to forget the event and not tell anybody about it. Only after some time had passed did they decide to report the story.
Luckily the eyewitnesses had a sound biological background. But as more time passed, Dr. Aleutsky couldn’t help but begin to doubt the earthly existence of the creature he had sighted.
Yet another sighting took place on January 24, 1992 in the village of Sosnino — six kilometers from the ancient Russian town of Kargopol. Two creatures covered with long grizzly hair entered the barrack of a army unit engaged in road construction. One was enormously tall, about 2.5 meters, the other was half the size.
Circumstantial evidence suggests that the larger one was a female, and the other one was its child. The baby jumped on to the soldiers’ night-table while its mother stopped by the stove, waved its long arms, and gave a series of short cries in a very low voice. Then the strangers, who encountered neither understanding nor approval, ran away and hid in the forest.
During this incident, the strange creatures were sighted by a dozen people. More soldiers had seen the creatures a short time before, in the morning, evening, and at night, but they did not believe their eyes. After the incident some soldiers felt ill and went to consult the unit’s doctor. One witness could not utter a word. His speech returned several days later.
The strangers left behind some tufts of hair (they have not been identified so far), a drop of coagulated blood and large footprints. The footprints were 50 centimeters long, 15 centimeters wide and 20 centimeters deep; the snow was knee-deep for humans.