First reported Edit
In 1420 the first known printed reference to the Almas was documented by Hans Schiiberger.
Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Mongolia, Russia, Tajikistan
Asia and Russia
Almases are typically described as human-like bipedal animals, between five and six and a half feet tall, The body hair of almas is often described as curly, the jaws are large, and the eyebrow ridges are heavy. Visible areas of skin on the face, hands and feet are usually dark. The body hair is usually described as red or reddish-brown, sometimes as black.
Almas are most likely hunter gatherers which means their diet would consist of both local plant and animal life. The Almas (or almasti) is a variety of wildman or Bigfoot that is reported from the Altai Mountains in Mongolia and the Tien Shan Mountains in China (near the border with Mongolia). Sometimes, researchers consider the almas to have a much wider range, and the term is applied to any Bigfoot-like creature reported from Mongolia or regions of the former Soviet Union. For example, the abnauayu of the Caucasus Mountains is sometimes considered identical to the almas.
Also called the bnahua and the ochokochi, this ape-man is reported from the regions near Armenia, a long way from the border of China and Mongolia. Available evidence seems to indicate that the almas near the border of Mongolia and China, if they exist, have been split into two populations which are rapidly dying out.
Almases appear in the legends of local people, who tell stories of sightings and human-Almas interactions dating back several hundred years. Drawings interpreted as Almas appear in Tibetan apothecary's book, Materia Medica. British anthropologist Myra Shackley noted that "The book contains thousands of illustrations of various classes of animals (reptiles, mammals and amphibia), but not one single mythological animal such as are known from similar medieval European books. All the creatures are living and observable today." (1983, p. 98)
Sightings recorded in writing go back as far back as the 15th century. The first documented account was in 1420. Hans Schiiberger traveled through the Tien Shan mountains as a captive of the Mongols. During his imprisonment he wrote the following in his journal: “In the mountains themselves live a wild people, who have nothing in common with other human beings, a pelt covers the entire body of these creatures. Only the hands and face are free of hair. They run around in the hills like animals and eat foliage and grass what ever else they can find. The Lord of the territory made Egidi a present of a couple of forest people, a man and women, together with three untamed horses the size of asses and all sorts of other animals which are not found in German lands with I cannot therefore put a name to.” Russian novelist Ivan Turgenev met someone that he described as a troglodyte. Years later, he told the story to one of his French friends, Guy de Maupassant, who wrote:
“I remember a story that Turgenev told us. He was hunting in a Russian forest. He was wandering the whole day and in the evening he went out to a bank of a quiet river. The river was flowing in the shadow of trees, the water there was crystal pure and cold. Turgenev was gripped with a desire to swim in that water. He took his clothes off and jumped in the river. He was a tall, strong, well-built man, and he was a very good swimmer too. He was enjoying the current of the river with his body and soul. Grass and aquatic plants were caressing him. Suddenly, someone’s hand touched his shoulder. He looked around quickly and saw a strange creature. The creature was gazing at him with great curiosity. It looked like something in between a woman and a monkey. The creature had a wrinkled face of a monkey. Messy red hair was framing the face and flowing behind the back. Turgenev was flabbergasted. Horror chilled him to the bone. He started swimming to a bank of the river, even not trying to understand, what he just saw. However, the creature was swimming beside him, touching his neck and back and feet. Finally, the young man reached the ground and ran as fast as he could. He did not care about either his clothes, or rifle. He forgot about everything and was guided only by the immense uncontrollable wish to stay alive.
The monster was following him.It was running very fast too, uttering some squealing sounds. The young man could hardly catch his breath. He was about to fall down on the ground, but he suddenly saw a boy with a whip in his hands. The boy started whipping the creature and it ran away, yelling with pain. The courage of the little shepherd is explained with the fact that it was not the first time that he saw it.Later, someone of local residents told Turgenev that the monster was a crazy woman that was living alone in the forest and went completely insane. Yet, it was known in the 19th century that people do not get covered with thick hair all over their bodies, even if they lived alone in the woods.” Stories of the Alma were gathered in 1881 by N. M. Pzewalski. Refugees, soldiers, and Prisoners of War claimed to have seen Alma's while fleeing to Siberia during the Second World War.
M.A. Stonin, a geologist, was prospecting near Tien Shan in 1948.He awoke to cries by his guides that the horses were being stolen. He grabbed his rifle and went out to find a figure by the horses. It had long red-hair covering it's body. It fled at his shouts and he gave chase. Stonin couldn't bring himself to shoot the animal as it was so humanlike; and let it escape.
In 1957 a hydrologist named Alexander G. Pronin was on an expedition to study water resources. He reported that he had seen "A being of unusual aspect, and with arms longer than a normal man's." He watched it for five minutes, it then fled behind a rock. Three days later, it returned briefly'; and then a week later an inflatable boat went missing. It was later found upstream, the locals blamed the "Wild Man". Claiming they would steal household items and head into the mountains. Pronin wondered if an Alma had taking the raft up the river. Dr. Boris Porshnev and a few western researchers, including Dr. Myra Shackely, of Leicester University in England, speculate that perhaps the Alma is the last surviving group of Neanderthal Men. Dr. Myra visited Mongolia in 1979 saying the entire area is riddled with Neanderthal artifacts. And if they had managed to survive it would most likely have been in those areas were the Alma is reported.
In 1937, during a fight between Japanese, a Russian reconnaissance unit in Mongolia spotted to silhouettes coming toward them down a hill. The figures did not respond to sentries shouts and were shot. The next morning, the unit examined the bodies saying they were "a strange anthropoid ape". They were the size of a man and covered with fur. The bodies couldn't be returned to Moscow for further study.
A wildwoman named Zana, lived in the mountain village of Tkhina fifty miles from Sukhumi, in Abkhazia, in the Caucasus. It's been thought she might have been an Alma. She was captured in 1850, violent at first, she was domecticated over time; even able to assist with simple household chores. Zana is to have had sexual relations with Edgi Genba. It was also claimed that the men in the village would get her drunk on wine and Edgi Genba gave a prize to the man who could mount her. Zana gave birth to numerous children, several died in infancy. Some claim that these early deaths were due to genetic incompatibility with humans. Edgi Genba, gave away four of the surviving children to local families. The two boys, Dzhanda and Khwit Genaba (born 1878 and 1884), and the two girls, Kodzhanar and Gamasa Genaba (born 1880 and 1882), were assimilated into normal society, married, and had families of their own. Zana herself died in 1890. The skull of Khwit is still existant and was examined by Dr. Grover Krantz in the early 1990's. He said it was an entirely modern skull with no Neanderthal features. While Russian anthropologist MAKolodieva described the skull as signigicantly different from the normal males from Abkhazia and "approaches the skulls of Neolithic Vovnigi II of the fossil series" Around 1941, shortly after the German invasion of the USSR. A "wild man" was captured in Daghestan autonomous republic, just north of the Caucasus mountains by a detachment of the Red Army. Vargen S. Karapetyan, a lieutenant colonel of the medical service of the Soviet army, performed a direct physical examination of a living wildman. Karapetyan said this about the experience;
"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 in 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. This fur of his was much like that of a bear, and 2 to 3 centimeters [1 inch] 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 bare of hair."
The creature did not understand speech and appeared to be dim witted and blinked often. The creature was evidently afraid, but made no attempts to defend itself when Karapetyen pulled hairs from its body. From there the stories change but they all agree that the prisoner was later executed as a German spy. Of course, the body has never been found nor any hard proof brought forth.
Possibiltiy of ExistenceEdit
3. Neutral: Not enough evidence to support or disprove existence.
- Dan Vergano (28 June 2010). "Ancient legends once walked among early humans?". USA Today. Retrieved 23 January 2011.
- The Pamirs and the Caucasus region(retrieved 23 December 2010)
- The Mongolian Almas: A Historical Reevaluation of The Sighting By Baradiin