A Soviet scientist said Wednesday she came within feet of the legendary abominable snowman during an eyeball to eyeball encounter with the furry beast in the snow covered forests of western Siberia.
In what Radio Moscow described as one of the closest encounters of its kind, the creature reportedly stood and stared at her with red eyes, not making a sound, before her pet dog chased the snowman or yeti deep into the woods.
The scientist, Maya Brikova, told Radio Moscow she had spent 25 years studying the yeti. Her sighting occurred late last year when Soviet media reported three yeti encounters.
Brikova and two guides had stopped for the night in a forest cabin at an undisclosed site in western Siberia and were awakened by a sound of rolling logs. They said they rushed out to the porch and saw the creature they had waited so long to see.
‘The day was breaking and we could see everything clearly. I saw in front of me an animal about 2 meters (6 foot, 7-inches) tall, covered with fur some 6 to 7 seven centimeters (2.5 to 3 inches) long,’ Brikova said. ‘It was covered with so much fur, its lips looked like slits. The fur on its head and face was shorter than that of its body. The palms were red and bare. The creature studied us with great attention. Its eyes were red without any whites, and its ears didn’t stick out,’ she said.
Radio Moscow said there had been an estimated 5,000 eyewitness accounts of yeti sightings in the Soviet Union, mostly by peasants, drivers, shepherds and other rural people.
The sightings had been reported in the Caucases region, the Altai district of south-central Siberia and the northeastern Yakutia area.
Brikova said she had prepared herself for such an encounter, so that she could have ‘a very good look at this creature and examine it thoroughly. There was a distance of 5 meters (16 feet) between us.’
She said it had not been difficult to measure the hairy biped’s height because it was standing against a tree.
‘We just stood on the porch and didn’t move. The creature didn’t move either. Then, all of a sudden our dog dashed out, and the creature quickly hid itself in the forest. We looked around for it but never saw it again,’ Brikova said. —
Last month, the leader of Soviet scientific expedition told the official Tass news agency one of the creatures had repeatedly tried to make friendly contact with his reasearch team in the Pamir mountains near the border with Afghanistan.
Igor Tatsl, said his expedition had reported several nocturnal encounters with the yeti, which they had also seen in the twilight at a distance of about 30 meters (90 feet).
Radio Moscow described Brikova’s sighting as one of the closest encounters of its kind but did not say whether she had photographed or filmed the human-like creature. Although yetis, also sighted in the Himalayas, are dismissed by many scholars as a myth, some claim they could be a form of hitherto unclassified ape.
Radio Moscow said in the past 60 years, more than 100 specimens of large mammals had been discovered, ‘so the most unexpected discoveries are always possible.’
The Soviets set up a special organization at the end of last year to establish contact with the abominable snowman. Its head, Pavel Belenitsky said the group based in Leningrad will embark on an expedition from May to September to try and obtain photographs and video footage.
‘We shall not be hunting for the creature. We shall not be trying to get hold of nature’s mystery. It is more important to study its psychological traits, its habits, its migration routes, in short its life under natural conditions,’ he said.
The ministry of culture recently established a Society of Cryptozoologists to study the possiblity of its existence following the discovery of a report that Marshal Pavel Rybalko, a famed Soviet tank leader, carried a snowman-like creature in a railroad freight car for several days in 1939 during fighting against the Japanese in the Soviet far east.
Soviet authorities also claim there is evidence that Maj. Gen. Alexander Topilsky found a dead snowman after a shootout with White Russian troops in the 1920’s during the Russian Civil War.
By ROMAN ROLLNICK
Copyright: COPYRIGHT 1988 United Press International