- The first step, characterized by the eco-ethnological data which constitute the context of the appearance of the testimonies:in order to confront the data furnished by the witnesses and those offered by the natural environment with a view to verifying or refuting the prima facie credibility of the existence of hominids.
- The second step, the definition of a protocol for collecting testimonies involving the matrix of several variables:
- the validity of the witnesses:Two types of informants were retained: the direct observer, who claimed to have observed one of these beings himself, and the direct informer, who gained his information from a direct observer.No testimony obtained by money, or coming from a source more distant than the direct observer was retained.
- the direct transmission of testimonies to the enquirers:The collection was effected directly in the language of the witness (Khowar or Chitrali) in order to avoid all the deformations inherent in the use of a translator.
- The systematisation of the testimonies:
- Basic information concerning the observation:
- observer: name, age, ethnicity, occupation
- observation: local name, environment, altitude, date, hour
- distance and duration of the observation
- what was observed: indices of the animal's presence, or individual(s), sex, age, height
- The witness's spontaneous account repeated several times, without intervention by the enquirer.
- The responses to a questionnaire comprising 63 points relative to the external appearance of the observed beings, and constructed from the characteristics evoked by Dr. Heuvelmans.
- An initial identikit picture produced from the responses and indications given by the witness without intervention by the enquirer.
- The iconographic indicators comprising different species of present day primates (Homo sapiens, great apes, local Macaca mullata), bears, reconstructions of fossil hominids and primates, as well as three representations of wild hairy men (in the broad sense), from the description described by Dr. Heuvelmans.
- A definitive portrait executed from the iconographic indications chosen by the witness.
- coherence and credibility of the spontaneous descriptions and iconographic representations at the heart of the same testimony
- coherence and credibility of the testimonies as a whole.
- the Chitralis (the majority): sedentary and living in villages in the valley floors.
- the Gujars: nomadic shepherds situated at the bottom of the social ladder, but occupying the high country.
- Jangali Mosh among the Chitralis, which means “forest man” or “wild man”. [Jangal = our word, “jungle”, and is the ordinary term in this area for wilderness, whether forest or desert.]
- Almasti more rarely. [In his other article, he defines this as “one who eats a lot”, but you will remember from a previous post that this is also used in the Caucasus.]
- Barmanu constitutes the most widespread name in the south. It means “robust”, “muscled”. Etymologically close to the spoken Hindi ban manus (ban manush) meaning “forest man”, it was perhaps introduced by the Gujars.
|Left: relic hominid of Chitral|
Right: Heuvelmans' specimen
Click here for Part 2, to read about specific eye-witness accounts.