The Integrated Scientific Journal
2002, Iss.20 (43), pp.30-35

UNKNOWN PRIMATE OF HIMALAYAS

Michael S. Trachtengerts

Today there are very low possibilities for anyone to meet an unknown animal. In 1991 participant of the Joint Soviet-Chinese Glaciological Expedition Arkady Tishkov unexpectedly met and photographed a creature in Himalayas close to China-Nepal border. The snapshots were made by a camera with standard objective from distance about 100 meters, so the images in the frames had appeared very small. He had presented some short communications without use of the snapshots because of large granularity. Here I describe the creature as it is seen in pictures produced from the frames with new technique.

Background of the research

In middle of September a small group of the expedition carried out field investigations in vicinity of settlement Nyalam at heights 4800-5200 meters above sea level near China-Nepal border. Once on track to a glacier on southeastern slope of Mt. Xixiabangma Tishkov had seen a human-like creature. It was sitting on the sunny side of a stone on a moraine ridge about 120 meters from him. The occurrence had happened on September 22 at 12 o'clock in midday. At first Tishkov had run off downwards on a slope, then took off his bright jacket and with Zenith TTL camera in hands attempted to creep to a creature, being hidden behind stones. Altogether Tishkov had made four snapshots before the creature had escaped.

After the episode Tishkov had joined his group which continued movement to a destination. This very day he returned to the place of the sight and carefully surveyed the spot. He had measured extents of the boulder at which the creature was sitting and had determined, that the animal was less than 140 cm high.

On return to Moscow A.Tishkov made a report at seminar in Moscow Darwin museum (December, 1991). After report Tishkov had given to me 4 slide frames, photographs of excrement and landscapes without own plans connected with the Yeti problem [1,2].

The sequence of snapshots was established by the manufacturer marks on the film. The first frame had numbers 54 and 55, second - 56 and 57, third - 58 and 59, fourth - 60 and 61. Thus they made a row without gap.

Fig.1. General landscape view of the snapshots.

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Results

At beginning I found out that on the first three frames the creature is presented in shadow of a large central boulder. It was sitting practically on the same place in different poses. On the fourth snapshot image of the creature was not found at all. The Fig. 1 shows the field of observation in general and the white rectangle points the place of the creature. At appropriate magnification a small dark silhouette of the creature is visible in right part of the shadow. In original frame the silhouette was 0.4 mm high and 0.25 mm wide. I could not receive admissible image quality with direct use of scanners, accessible to me (4000 dpi optical resolution). Better results were obtained by photographic methods. The frames were inserted in a photoprinter and images of the creature were focused at film in a camera looking up without objective (on closed blind) at distance about 150 cm. After exposing the film was developed and new enlarged photographs were received from these frames. Many frames with magnified images were received at various expositions and optic filters.

This method does not remove granularity but helps to reveal many details of the creature. Here I come to the crux of the presentation. The granulation in images is so large that one may see in the pictures chaotic stains only. My experience shows that prolonged attentive looking at the images helps to gather in mind combined form of the creature. So below I say what I see. I am not sure that every reader will see the same at first glance, but as one expends more time on looking the pictures so more details he would reveal for himself. Also use of grayscale pictures helps to concentrate on the essence. The contours of the creature in every pose are represented for the same aim.

Fig. 2A shows the creature from frame #1. It was photographed at the moment when it was not yet scared off by the observer. It shows us its right side, its shoulders are turned a little to

Fig. 2. The area selected by rectangle (Fig. 1) was zoomed by photo reprint process from snapshot #1. In spite of extremely large granularity many details of creatures structures are visible. The reader can take advantage of the contour B for better recognition. One may need some time of attentive thorough examination to distinguish the creature from background.

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camera. It seems, that it did not look in direction of the observer. The animal was squatted on its knees and bent a little forward. Its feet were drawn out from under torso, so the creature sat on its shanks. The knees had sharp contours. No tail is visible. The heel of the right foot is completely behind back. The knees of a human in such pose are more advanced and the heels are under the body. Thus, the legs of the creature and thighs especially are a bit shorter, than that of a human. The form of the foot in general reminds the same of human.

The sitting creature holds the body vertically. The torso looks rather massive. The arms are bent in elbows, the hands are before stomach of the creature. The head seems relatively large in comparison with human one. It placed on short powerful neck. The forehead and sincipital part of the head are low and sloping. The upper part of the head has sharp break to back of it and nape. The nape smoothly turns to powerful back, that can be formed either by strong muscles of the neck, or by hair cover in this part of the head and neck. Between this part and back is seen a cutting. (End of hair hanging down from the back of the head?).

On the face advanced brow arches are clearly seen. Beneath them the large round eyes are visible. They are not too deep. The jaw is protrusive, but this prognathism is appreciably less, than that of anthropoid apes. The mouth is put less forward concerning position of nose. The form of the nose also differs from ape-like. It is not directed by openings forward-upwards and covers nostrils from above like to human. The height of the top lip is noticeably less, than, for example, that of chimpanzee. The mouth is wide. The lower jaw is beveled and has no chin. The large dark ear is seen on the head behind eyes and jaw. It is apparently a bit pointed up. Above it there are light-toned tapered up formations. On my opinion they most probably represent brushes of specific light hair that are distinguished from dark-brown cover of the whole body. They are also visible in Fig. 3A that shows the head of the creature at front view. These brushes grow on the head located above the ears.

Fig. 3A shows the creature when it already had noticed the photographer coming nearer. It was in the same place as in the first snapshot, but had turned to him. It was squatted on knees as before. It is possible that such pose on knees is habitual for the creature. The shank and foot are closed partly from view by vegetation. The pose of the creature is more straightened,

Fig. 3. The images received by magnification of the selected area in snapshot #2 (see Legend to Fig. 2).

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the head is raised and whole pose discloses some vigilance.

The head is outlined clearly enough. It does not seem so cone-shaped in a front view, as in the previous snapshot. On both sides of the head the directed upwards pointed dark details can be identified as large or hair-covered ears. On the head the above mentioned light formations, presumably brushes of a long white hair, are visible. The dark sites of the round eyes are rather narrow. The light spot allocates a nose pointed from eyes to upper lip and closing the nostrils. The wide mouth is slightly opened and the tip of tongue is seen (a red stain on that place was seen on color prints). With raised head the thick neck does not seem so short, as in the first position. The shoulders of the creature are not wide. They slope from neck downwards. Probably, such impression is created by mighty muscles on the top part of the torso. The right arm is lowered down to the ground and the large hand is visible. The second arm is bent in elbow and the hand is in front of the chest. The upper part of the arm has low contrast with background, that complicates definition of elbow position. Both arms in general outlines are rather similar to that of human.

The frame #3 (Fig. 4A) has low contrast because of sunlight change, but the figure in the shadow is still visible. Now the creature, watching the man, was disturbed seriously. It had not abandoned the place yet but had risen already, bent and began to turn to distant edge of the boulder.

Fig. 4. A, B - the images received by magnification of the selected area in snapshot #3. C - the same place without the creature from snapshot #4.



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The creature was on its knees with its thigh lifted. The right foot is half-bent behind and the toes rest against ground. The left leg was bent as in previous frames and the tip of the foot was seen from behind of the right thigh. The right arm was based on the ground by the back part of the hand. The second hand was bent in elbow and hand was below the head.

Many details of the face are shown well enough. The new direction of the turned head in this snapshot emphasizes brow arches and forehead sloping back. The pointed up ear looks in Fig. 4A rather large, than in previous frames. The light hair tuft is above the ear and the tip of the second is also seen. Behind them we see the top part of mighty neck, lowered to the back.

The position of the head emphasizes prominent cheek-bones around eyes. One can see light circles there. Below them the mandible becomes sharply narrowed. This feature was not so appreciable in previous snapshots. The bridge of the nose is seen on the face. It covers some part of the left eye and a cheek-bone, directs downwards and comes to an end formation that reminds a tip of a human nose. The shadow under it denotes a position of nostrils. The light upper lip covers dark lower lip and emphasizes the closed mouth. The lower jaw is oblique and there is no chin.

The new position emphasizes once again probable physical strength of the body and legs. Let's also note, that on the right foot of the creature an outstanding heel is supposed. As a whole its general structure seems to be closer to human than to anthropoids.

In Fig. 4C one can see the place in the shadow of the boulder without the creature. It serves for analysis of the background, where the previous snapshots of the creature are made. We see there a mosaic of some formations (Lichenes?) on surface of the boulder. From new point a cavern in its distant edge is seen just where the silhouettes were.

It is necessary to emphasize that Figures 2-4 contain the images which were not edited manually. They were obtained by appropriate expositions and development only.

The next step of the work was comparisons of the same details in the different frames and combining them in the consistent pictures of body elements. Electronic multilayer drawing technique with Adobe Photoshop software was used. In order to avoid deformations and other distortions, manual interventions were limited mainly to averaging of optical density of close groups of grains and contouring allocations of details (Fig. 5). Outside the creature contours optical density of the background (boulder and ground) is lightened. An artistic emphasis of the body forms was also omitted in some details to minimize artifacts. For the drawings numerous additional copies of frames executed at various expositions and photo contrast papers were used.

Fig.5. The pictures received with careful prolonged visual study present the creature in poses: A - from frame #1, B - from frame #2 and C from frame #3.

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The most attention in these figures is attracted to the hands. In Fig. 5A the creature holds the right hand with half-opened fingers in front of the stomach. Its palm shows upwards and is turned a little outside. Such pose is rather inconvenient for a hand of human. The thumb is directed inside of the palm. The hand of the left arm holds a dark object, possibly the rock, in such a way that the thumb is opposed to other fingers.

In Fig. 5B the creature turned to the photographer and holds a rock, which is seen as dark stain, in the right lowered hand. It also twisted the palm upward. In the left hand it holds a new object similar to a short stick. The palm of this hand also is exposed forward. It seems that the fingers do not grasped the object tightly. The thumb here is not opposed to others and supports the stick from the same side.

In Fig. 5C the creature leaned by the back part of the right hand against ground, holding a palm directed upwards also. The fingers are half-bent and the thumb points outside. The weak contrast does not allow to say confidently, that any object is seen in it. The left hand of the creature holds the same thing (a stick?), as in the previous frame. The arm is bent, but the hand is raised and is directed to us by the back. Thus, one can see that the creature uses rocks and other objects at least for self-defense, as it was afraid by Tishkovs coming near and near.

I also wish to add to abovementioned features of the creature what Tishkov [2] saw at the meeting on the spot:

- The creature moves on two legs quickly enough. On steep slopes the creature sometimes moves with help of arms.

- Niches under large boulders are used as its temporary shelters.

- Apparently, in period of vegetation it consumes plants and underground bodies of high-mountainous grasses.

- Its excrement is of dark, almost black, color and contains fibers of plants. That reminds human feces.

I may note that same ways to improve the images are remained to be applied in future. For example, the reliability of results could be increased by construction of three-dimensional composite objects which corresponding projections would coincide with the flat images. New opportunities from further development of visual engineering may be also expected.

Conclusions

I consider that the series of images and pictures prove presence of an alive human-like creature in the region. They can not be charged to play of lights and shadows, vegetation, stones etc.

Concerning the nature of this animal I do not go to start here discussion of the problem, because many consequences arise and need special treatment, and represent results of the work as is, with exception for necessity to give it a name.

More than two hundred years ago Carl Linnaeus in his Systema naturae had named some human-like animal as Homo troglodytes. Now there is no reason to identify the described above creature with the view of Linnaeus in that times. There is no reason also to specify the creature to the genus Homo on the basis of the first visual data. Furthermore, the species name troglodytes is used now for chimpanzee. It seems too hasty to connect the creature with existing taxons.

Therefore, it seems better to assign the creature an original neutral name and to follow, for instance, the case of assignment chimpanzee the name Pan, the mythical god of woods in Ancient Greece. Similarly, in some areas of Central and West Asia there are names for legendary nonhumans as variations of word alamas (almasty, almas etc.). This word in such sense was used long ago in 1936 in the title of adventure film for youth The valley of alamases (Moscow studio), till now sometimes appearing in cinemas. I offer to name the creature described above as Alamas alamas gen. et sp. nov. with new genus Alamas included in superfamily Hominoidae until/if new results could set it to another place in primate taxonomy.

References

1. Tishkov, A. 1992. New observation. Svet (Priroda i Chelovek) 6-7: 39. In Russian

2. Tishkov, A. 1993-1996. Observation of a yeti in the Himalayas of Tibet. Cryptozoology 12: 58.

Acknowledgements

I thank Dr. A.Tishkov for the frames given for the research.

Trachtengerts M.S.,2002