Some months ago, when I published an article on the legendary "wild man of the Pyrenees", Javier Resines kindly informed me about various articles on the same matter on his own Spanish language blog. So, for those whose Spanish is limited, I shall provide a translation of his article of 30 March 2012. As explained, the closest town to the event was Irún (43° 21'N, 47° 20' W), an ancient Basque city close to the sea and to the French border.
A Yeti Near Irún?
|The site of the encounter|
The witness, Joxan, and his 14 year old daughter made use of a free day to undertake an excursion through the zone. After passing the summit of Bianditz, they took the Three Cromlechs Path which goes towards Errenga. In this instance, they heard some loud whistles and, about 200 metres away, saw something moving towards Peñas-Errenga which caught their attention.
|Enlargement of the first photo|
To complete and round off the strange scene, father and daughter affirmed that they noted a strong odour, "like a cowyard" in the area, an odour which persisted for half an hour. The animal, or whatever, was running for one or two minutes over the dangerous and steep ground until it disappeared from their sight due to the ruggedness of the terrain.
|The strange being|
In this case, the subject of the photo is clearly not a bear. However, the shape is consistent with a human being. Just the same, although witnesses tend to underestimate distances and overestimate times, I would expect that, at the distance involved, an ordinary person could distinguish a fully clothed human being. Apart from that, its behaviour in that wild countryside was not really consistent with that of a human being - especially if we consider the answering whistles.
Also, although the photo is not good enough to be useful in evidence, it is equally not good enough to be a fake. In other words, if someone wanted to produce a hoax photo, you would expect him to do a better job of it. I suppose, theoretically, Joxan may have taken photographs of an unnamed friend cavorting among the rocks, and as an afterthought decided it might prove useful for playing a trick on a blogger. Even then, one would expect him to take the photos a bit closer to the subject.
By and large, there is nothing wrong with the story and photograph except that they are fantastic.
There is one more thing to remember. We are so used to watching such good wildlife documentaries that is seems we are in the middle of it that we tend to forget the planning, patience, professionalism, and high technology involved. Wild animals do not organize their activities for the benefit of human photographers. This goes double for when the photographer is a rank amateur strolling through the woods with a camera or mobile phone, and when the animal in question is rare, shy, preferentially nocturnal, and which lives in areas where trees and shrubs get between it and the eye witness. Have a look at these "bigfoot photographs". Not very good, are they? But isn't this just what you would expect if a real animal were involved: one or two very good shots (? Patterson-Gimli), many which were obviously hoaxes, and a large number which are neither one thing or the other?