The riddle of a picture with Caucasian Almasty
In 1980-th there was rise of interest in the Soviet Union to the problem of the snowman. The newspaper "Komsomolskaya pravda" had arranged a discussion at round table and informed readers how research of such creatures is going on. It had appealed to everyone who encountered such creatures or knew something about them to inform the editing board. In edition, it had declared also about support of an expedition to study these mysterious animals. The newspaper had received over 600 letters, many of them were given to Society of cryptozoology. Among them was a letter by geologist M. We'll explain later why we do not use in this article his full name
The author of the letter, veteran of the WW2, continued service after the war as air force pilot in Dagestan. He heard there from locals about wild hairy humanlike creatures, that live in the mountains of Caucasus, and even talked with eyewitnesses. After service he graduated Kharkov State university in Ukraine and became a geologist. When he was a student in 1955 he was sent to a field research expedition in upper parts of Kuban river. Soon field works were fulfilled, the students started for homes. A leader - university curator of the expedition, had suggested Ì. to go together farther to survey glaciers Sugan and Psygansu.
At the end of the third day they had risen to one of the glaciers. On the way they had the night rest with shepherds who, having heard where they intent to go, had warned them about "wild people" there. The shepherds said that they are dangerous. But the leader, qualified mountaineer who traveled through all Caucasus, said that he saw in some places barefoot tracks on the snow. He thought that these tracks and stories deserved no attention. They chose a suitable place for a camp, arranged all around and the tent, and went to the glacier.
All the day end they worked on Sugan glacier. The snow was falling all time. When they returned at evening to the tent they have found out that it laid on the ground inside out and all things were scattered and covered by snow. There were many unknown tracks around. But crusts, dried mushrooms, and concentrates in packs had disappeared. There were left canned foods in iron only. After the camp had been put in order, the leader begun to prepare supper. Ì. went to look around camp and found traces similar to those of a barefooted human. Following them he approached the rocks. He stumbled there and damaged his leg. Ì. continued to clamber with help of alpine stick on boulders where the tracks led. But soon he stopped as the stranger had climbed up almost steep rock where he could not rise without special equipment. In the evening geologists discussed the incident and decided to remain as there was enough canned food for some days. They went to bed. The leader arranged with legs towards enter of the tent, and Ì. chose opposite direction with head to the enter. So they slept almost till dawn.
At daybreak Ì. woke up and laid some time listening to sounds of a stream nearby. But then it had felt that someone stayed near the tent. The following is what he wrote in the letter:
"I cautiously unfastened two buttons of tent door and looked out. A thickset human figure stood at five steps from the tent. Precisely human, not animal. It was beginning of dawn, large stars sparkled and tops of snow-covered mountains were illuminated by the far sun. The human figure stood with hands aside on boulders.
I had awkwardly turned and suddenly screamed from a sharp pain in injured leg, circles appeared in my eyes. When the leader and me had got out of the tent, there already was nobody; only traces of the strange form left by big barefooted human showed towards the river. Steps were heard from there - somebody waded the river."
There were received rather many similar letters, informative and interesting. But this letter contained something especially valuable ¾ an image of the creature seen. The author of the letter affirmed that he has drawn the creature on fresh impression and sent us a photocopy of the picture (Fig. 1).
Fig. 1. The picture of Almasty on encountering in 1955.
Only the silhouette of the creature without details is seen on the picture. Some bulges are visible at sides of the thorax that allow to assume, that a female is represented there. But the figure has other asymmetrical budges on right part of hip and on the left leg (from front view). It was not clear to what elements they can correspond. If they were distortions made by the artist, the figure became unsuitable for analysis. Besides the author made sketches of hominoid tracks that had suspicious widely spread toes.
Correspondence with the author of the letters had not cleared the question. He confirmed that it was his own picture and he was not capable to get a photo at all because his camera was damaged at fall on boulders during survey of the tracks.
As a result of such uncertainties letters from Ì. with figures had been moved to archive.
At the beginning of 2004 authors decided to check some available data about hominoids and transform them to electronic form. Pictures by Ì. were scanned also. To better examination of the image we start to change its brightness and contrast on the screen. Unexpectedly for ourselves we had found out that some latent details inside the contour of the figure appeared. Such is impossible, if the figure on a sheet was drawn by hand or the contour was filled with a paint. But if it represents a photo such effect is quite natural. Different details of the hominoid figure were revealed and combined in the uniform image (Figs 2) by M.Trachtengerts.
Fig. 2. Reconstructed view of the Almasty that came to tent of geologists in sources of Kuban river.
The image of Almasty in the resulting picture is completely in accordance with numerous descriptions of observers. Her body proportions strikingly correspond with human's. She looks very muscular and, apparently, surpasses human in strength. Large breasts of Almasty females are also were described by many witnesses. It is became clear what was the base for budges on the creature hip. The Almasty wore a textile bandage with a knot on side. We see that she wore the bandage quite differently from peoples of primitive tribes who cover low part of stomach. Many observers note that Caucasian Almastys used to carry found rags and to turn their children in it at cold weather. Interesting to note that M. never said about any bandage as well about sex of the creature.
With such results we came to the conclusion that Ì. in his first letter had sent us the photo of Almasty ¾ that was taken in a hurry, without installations of sharpness and correct exposition. But it is the photo in any case. The analysis of a negative, if it is given to us, could show much more authentic details. Therefore, in spite of that many years has passed, we sent new letter to M. in hope that the negative was kept. We have received from Ì. very interesting letter, but he repeated about the Almasty image again all that he wrote earlier ¾ it is a picture made by him and no photo was available.
Now we found ourselves in rather piquant situation. What did we really analyze? What shall we do ¾ to refuse from our approach and result and do not publish it? But we are convinced, that our analysis has a sound foundation, that the received image of Almasty has scientific value. Therefore we have decided to publish our research without full name of our correspondent to spare him possible questions.
We thank M. for the letters.
Ó V.Makarov, M.Trachtengerts 2004
Translated by M.Trachtengerts