Wednesday, 22 February 2017

More on the Chitral Yeti

     If you look at a map of Pakistan, you will see, in the far north, a sliver of land squeezed between Afghanistan and Kashmir, with Tajikistan to the north. This is the district, and former kingdom of Chitral, and it is a world apart from the hot, level plains of the Indus Valley, where most of Pakistan lives. They even speak a different language, and the mountainous terrain is essentially the western extension of the Himalayas. Into this forgotten land, in 1988 and 1990, came the Catalan born French zoologist, Jordi Magraner in search of evidence for the bar manu, the local equivalent of the Abominable Snowman. Speaking the local language himself, he interviewed a large number of people, and came back with 27 testimonies of encounters with the legendary beast.
     Five years ago I published a translation of his report. It turns out, however, that this was merely a preliminary report. A more detailed document, amounting to 84 pages, can be found at here in PDF form. In view of its length, I have no intention of translating the whole document. Moreover, I consider the original report presented sufficient details about the environment, the animal's appearance, and its location in time and space. However, there is one addition which is important. The full report contains far more eyewitness accounts than the three which illustrated the earlier report. I have therefore decided to translate that section. Read it, and then ask whether you any longer doubt the existence of an unknown primate in the Himalayas.
    Note: French and Russian investigators into unknown bipedal primates tend to call them "relic hominids". In normal scientific parlance, however, hominids refers to the group comprising humans, the great apes, and our extinct relatives. It is far from clear where the "relic hominids" fit into the scheme.
The Collected Testimonies

     In the course of the two seasons of enquiry, we collected much information on the relic hominids of Chitral. Within this abundant material we have retained 27 testimonies of encounters, which have served as "specimens" for our study. The encounters permit a certain identification of the creature concerned.
   We here present some examples in a narrative style synthetising the report of the observers (spontaneous discourses) and the answers to the questionnaire. The terminology used in French [and English] to define the different anatomic parts in the report are the translations corresponding to the terms or mimes employed by the witnesses to describe these parts, for example: brow ridge = "brru nâl" in Khowar, bent forward = the witness's mime ... The measures given in centimetres correspond to the conversion of English measures used by the witness or to the approximate lengths expressed by gestures. The estimations of measurements are given such as they were transmitted to us, without readjustment on our part. The most technical results are presented in the section, "synthesis on the biology of the relic hominids".
     In order to avoid confusion, each time we use the term "man" to designate Homo sapiens sapiens we write it with a capital M: Man. We also use the term "hairy man" as a synonym for relic hominid.
     We recall that the witnesses have never been contacted by researchers working on this question. They are unedited testimonies.
     Important: the drawings representing these hominids are identikit portraits. One must not therefore consider them as realistic representations, made from nature, but as reconstructions  based on the testimonies and the reference pictures chosen. [The interviewers had a collection of 73 photos and drawings of modern and prehistoric species, which they presented to the witnesses. They are included as an appendix in the original French document.] The body proportions are a function of the duration and distance of observation, as well as the characters which most impressed the witness, for example the shape of the hands, the length of the members etc ...The longer the duration of observation the more realistic is the drawing; in the opposite situation, certain parts which caught the attention of the witness sometimes take on an exaggerated value. Nevertheless, we have preferred to remain faithful to the intentions of the witnesses in reproducing the descriptions given, without correction or interpretation on our part.

Testimony No. 2
     This has already been included in my earlier translation. However, the following information was added:
    A few days later, about one in the morning, our witness saw the hairy man a second time, in the same spot. The shepherd was coming down with a young woman; the hairy man took hold of her, the shepherd quickly tore her away from him, the hairy man ran away on seeing the axe Purdun Khan was carrying. The hairy man did not manifest any sign of violence ...[It's a pity they did not interview the young lady.]
Reference picture chosen: The ape man, but with dark skin. [This was a collection of drawings of body, face, hands, and feet, of a hypothetical creature halfway between an ape and a human.]
     According to our witness, he thinks the relic hominids more or less hibernate and do not reappear until March/April in the mountains. It is rare to see any of them in the winter, but it does happen that they go out in this season to feed, for example on juniper berries. He thinks they are omnivores, but dominantly vegetarian.
     It is interesting to note the huge size of the erect penis, then in repose, as other testimonies confirm that it is of small size. It is the first time that this type information has been recorded on the penis of the relic hominids of Asia. It remains to be verified whether if this is a constant characteristic, or whether it is due to a pathological problem.

Testimonies 5 and 7
   (See the attached drawing)
 Information on footprints and childhood memory of Sar Tor, Gujar goatherd aged 35/40, collected 16/03/88.

     ... Our witness, Sar Tor, saw the imprints on the loose soil one day in September 1987, when he was walking in the resinous forest above his home, at 2000/2500 metres [6,500 to 8,200 feet] altitude. The shape of the imprinted foot was similar to a human foot, but with the front part much wider. The length of the print corresponded to a Man of size 43/44 shoe size", that is to say about 26/27 centimetres [10 - 10½ in], for a width "of six inches" or 15 centimetres. The prints were very neat, and allowed the sign of the hair on the top of the foot to appear all around. The trail was heading towards the top of the mountain, every now and then indicating that the hairy man was using its hands to climb up the slope, the prints of these being visible on the spot. They were also of human appearance, being very broad and giving the impression of short, but fine fingers. When the witness said Man, or of human appearance, he was referring to the Gujars, who possess long, narrow hands, with relatively fine fingers in comparison to their size. It did not turn up any marks of hair, neither around nor on the palms of the hands, no more than on the soles of the feet, nor prints of claws ...
     ...The goatherd himself had never seen a hairy man, but he retains the description from his grandfather. Sar Tor was young at the time, and was listening ... According to the grandfather, the general demeanour of a hairy man is that of a Man, but the body is entirely covered with light tawny hair. The face is hairless, and from the bottom of the face down to the neck there is a sort of beard. The hair of the head hangs down to the shoulders. The nose is not apparent, it is, as if were, crushed; you cannot see the nostrils. The ears are bigger than a Man's. The eyebrows are not visible, as the hair of the head falls down in front. The eye lashes are long, but the witness did not remember the description of the eyes. The teeth are big, and protrude, without fangs. The body is squat, the chest broad, the neck thick and short. The height is the same as a Man's, ie between 1.70 m and 1.80 m [5ft 7 in to 5ft 11 in], for the Gujars are rather tall. The feet and hands are broad, the nails, similar to those of a Man, are long and recurved downwards. The hairy men live in the caves in the mountain and feed on roots, and the carcasses of goats and sheep. They are nocturnal but also go out during the day. They seek out Human women. [Note the height mentioned is consistent with the size of the footprints seen, using a body-to-foot ratio of 6.6, which is a useful predictor of human height, within a few inches.]
Reference picture: not presented, as he was not a witness to an encounter.

Testimony No. 9 (see attached drawing)
Information from Mohamad Nabi, Pathan goatherd aged 55, collected 10/04/88.

     . .. It was an evening in July 1987, towards 21 hours. The shepherd was returning with his goats towards the village, a lantern in his hand. Suddenly, he fell nose to nose with an adolescent hairy man. The latter then tried to touch Mohamad Nabi by extending its hands (in a defensive posture, not one of real aggression). The goatherd defended himself by striking the hairy youth with his staff. The two protagonists were on a slope planted with bushes and scattered trees, at an altitude of about 2300 metres [7,500 feet]. The two of them were separated by a big bush and were turning around. According to the Pathan, the action lasted about two hours, with him striking the hairy youth and the latter attempting to grab hold of him. The hairy youth was emitting guttural sounds, a form of deep breathing, a sort of groan. The shepherd was not afraid of its bite, but rather of the blows from its hands, these latter having long nails which the hairy youth was seeking to use. Its odour was very disagreeable and strong, like that of carrion. It measured 1.10/1.20 metres [3 ft 9 to 3 ft 11 in] in height, and was entirely with grey-brown hair. [We must assume that he was wielding the staff with one hand while grasping the lantern with the other.] The hair of the head was short; the face, the palms of the hand and the sole of the feet were glabrous. The skin had a dark colour, "like that of a Gujar". It wore no clothes. The forehead was absent, the nose small and crushed, the mouth did not have lips [everted lips are a human characteristic, absent in all other primates], the teeth were similar to those of a Man, without fangs. The arms appeared long to him, because of the hands and their slender fingers. The feet were human in shape but wider, especially the front part. The chest was well developed. At the end of two hours, the hairy youth ran away towards the forest situated above them. The goatherd stipulated that, during both the fight and the flight, the hairy youth was standing fully upright on is legs...
Reference picture chosen: The ape man, but bearing in mind that he was dealing with a young one, that it had short head hair and a dark skin.

Testimonies nos. 10 and 11 see attached drawing.
Information from Mohamad Nabi, the preceding witness, collected 10/04/88.

     ... Some days before our arrival on the site, this same goatherd, who had fought with a hairy youth, twice saw the trail of a hairy man on different mountains, one of which was just opposite our camp. On 3 April 1988, the trail was crossing a ridge, between 2,500 and 2,600 metres [8,200 to 8,500 feet] in altitude, and seemed to be climbing the valley towards the summit of the mountain. The prints appeared quite recent. On 8 April, the hairy man come from up on the mountain towards 3,500 metres [11,500 feet] altitude.The trail was crossing a valley and setting our again into the rocky escarpments where the markhors live, towards 3,000 metres [10,000 feet] altitude. The prints were a week old, according to our witness, but they were easily visible.
     In both cases it involved an adult hairy man, quite big judging from the size of the footprints; perhaps of the same individual. The tracks on both trails were identical in shape and proportions. The foot was long like that of a Man of shoe size 44/45, about 30 centimetres, [12 inches, equivalent to a height of 6½ feet] but very broad in front. The toes were easily visible, the big toe very clear. There were no marks of claws.
     (We  located, using a spy-glass and with the aid of the goatherd, the trail of 8 April, which was opposite our camp. One could clearly see the trail of a biped. The tracks came from the east, from up the mountain, crossing a valley and setting out again in the north in the rocky escarpments where it was impossible for a Man to resort without special equipment. The slope was very steep, the rocks very friable, the snow very thick (several metres in places). Considering the characteristics of this trail, it is unthinkable that it could have been made by a native. None of them would have ventured by day over such a terrain, without any foot covering. I have had the experience; in order to move about in such thickness of snow without sinking up to the waist or without leaving in an avalanche, it is necessary to progress by night, when the snow is frozen and stable. It was at that moment that the hairy man moved over the slopes; he alone was capable of going barefooted and in the depth of night in these dangerous zones. A single end of the trail was accessible, in a resinous forest, there where Nabi had seen the footprints clearly, and where the snow was not very deep. Alas for us, the avalanches, the fog and the rain did not permit us to go there until two days later. The tracks were no longer very visible and we were only able to confirm that they involved tracks of a biped on relatively important feet. On the contrary, with the spy-glass, at 60 times enlargement, we were able to analyse the behaviour of the hairy man. We followed its long and prudent detours in order to avoid the cabins occupied by the woodcutters. Its walk did not appear to be rapid and its strides was quite short in relation to the footprints, even in shallow snow. On the descent, it had a tendency to walk diagonally, rarely directly in the direction of the slope. On the high parts, heavily covered in snow, it gave itself up to several slides on its buttocks, on steep but short declines. In the direction of the ascent, on the opposite side, it climbed more or less parallel to the slope. There, where was snow was thick and slope important, it used it hands like oars. Some days later, we were able to observe a new trail, quite high on the mountain, similar to the first. On our part, we were unfortunately confined to our camp by the very changeable climatic conditions, which rendered the mountain dangerous. The warm weather and rain during the day precipitated numerous avalanches ...)

Testimony no. 12
     This was translated in my previous article, which see. However, the author did add the following:
     Several details lead one to think that he could have been dealing with an old individual: the slow flight, the aid of a staff, and those white hairs on its chest.

Testimony no. 16  (see the attached drawing)
     Information from Nur Hamid, Gujar goatherd aged 55, collected on 16/02/90.

     One day in April 1987, towards midday, when the sun was veiled, the witness was picking morels with his sister on the mountain, in a coniferous forest situated about 3,000 metres [10,000 ft] altitude. Suddenly, they saw a hairy man. It was 20 metres from them, hunched over in the middle of a bush, in a fetal position (mimed by the shepherd). When it saw them, the being headed towards them. The shepherd and his sister began to throw stones at it and shout. A second man ran over to help them. Finally, the hairy man was touched on the head by a stone, and fled very rapidly. "It ran as fast as a dog." It disappeared into the forest, downhill. The hairy man was tall; it would have measured 1.75/1.80 metres [5ft 9 in - 5 ft 11 in], the dark skin of its body was completely covered with reddish hair. The long, tangled head of the head hung down to its shoulders. Its imposing musculature and its carriage gave it a squat aspect. Its naked face bore a wide, turned-up nose, it big mouth revealed broad teeth of a human type, without fangs . . .
Reference picture chosen: the ape-man, but with dark skin and thicker eyebrows.

     It is interesting to note, as with other reports, it was the presence of the woman which attracted the hairy man. In the presence of Men alone, it always immediately takes to flight. [Testimony no. 9 would tend to refute that.]

Testimonies nos. 18, 19, and 20 (see attached drawing)
     Information from Mir Mohamad Khan, 30 years, Chitrali peasant-pastoralist, collected 01/04/90.

     In September 1989, the witness, who was leading his goats out to graze, saw tracks crossing a coniferous forest at about 3,000 metres [10,000 ft] altitude. It was fine weather and in the afternoon. The tracks resembles those of a Man in their presentation, 26 to 27 centimetres long [10 to 10½ inches, consistent with a height of 5 ft 6 to 5 ft 9] and very broad, about 16 centimetres [6¼ in]. The tracks came from the snow-covered peak of the mountain (the trail was visible from afar) and they were imprinted into the moist earth. This was the third time the goatherd had seen tracks. He was able to observe them in September 1987 and 1988, on dry ground, not far from the same spot, in the same general direction of the trail. The toes of the feet were well separated, and they did not show any lines [uncertain translation], a little as if they were hooked. It did not have any trace of claws. The heel was similar to that of a human. In each case, the strides were long.
     It is possible bearing in mind, the resemblance of the trails over three years, their morphological, topographic, and temporal similarities, that they represented three passages by the same individual. [He also illustrated it with exactly the same drawing as for testimonies 5 and 7, even down to the inscription at the bottom.]
Testimony no. 22
     This was included in my earlier translation, and you really ought to read it, because it concerns the abduction of a small child by a female bar manu.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
My Comments
      As I said at the beginning, it would be inappropriate to attempt to translate the entire paper and, in any case, most of the summaries of the animals, and the terrain in which they exist is pretty well covered in the earlier article. However, I might make a few observations of my own.
     Despite the term, "hairy man"' a better descriptor might be "bipedal ape". A chimpanzee with limbs of human proportions, plus long hair on the head, would look pretty much like these creatures.
     The area being the western extension of the Himalayas, it seems likely that the bar manu is the same as the yeti further east. But remember what I said in the earlier article: "yeti" is just the word borrowed into English. Many different terms are used in the different languages, and it should not be assumed that they all refer to the same species, or that the same word is used consistently.
     Expeditions in the 1950s heard legends of three different types of "abominable snowman", equivalent to the three gradations of the Three Bears: a very big one called dzu-teh, a middle-sized one labelled yeh-teh or meh-teh, and a mysterious small one, the teh-lma. Reinhold Messner showed that chemo can be identified with the Himalayan brown bear, so perhaps this is the dzu-teh, while the  teh-lma may be a gibbon, but what about the middle-sized one, the yeti? As a result of Magraner's work, it is pretty hard to deny that it really is an unknown species of ape.
     Back in 1958 Dr Bernard Heuvelmans related the "abominable snowman" to Gigantopithecus. In the same year, bigfoot made its debut in the United States. Since then, the yeti and the bigfoot have been linked in the popular imagination. But are they the same? Based on the evidence presented here, there is an overlap in range of sizes, but they differ in two significant details. The bigfoot or sasquatch is taller on the average and, more importantly, of massive build. The yeti, on the other hand, is slimmer, and more like a human being in proportions. Moreover, the the hair on the yeti's head is long, like a human being's. This is a social signal which, like everted lips, beards, and protruding breasts on non-lactating females, is unique to human beings. No known ape possesses long head hair.
     However, you might note the similarity between the bar manu/yeti, and the almasty of the Caucasus. They are probably the same species. Indeed, when I read Dmitri Bayanov's book, In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman (1996), I got the distinct impression that two different types of "snowman" were involved. On the fringe of what used to be the Soviet Union - the Caucasus, the Himalayas, and probably Mongolia - the smaller, slightly more manlike almasty/yeti prevails, while the beast of the boreal forests is the bigfoot. These boreal conifer forests, needless to say, stretch all the way from European Russia into North America.

1 comment:

  1. In fifty years of encounters the best pictures remain the California Patterson 8mm movie of a bigfoot female. Surely other pictures exist showing detail. But if they do not exist, then a basic premise must be the truth, Namely, that the mystery of bigfoot, yeti and all the others will be solved at the same time as UFOS. The two phenomena are linked in some way.