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Soviet Scientist: “Abominable Snowmen” Could Be Surviving Neanderthals

Feb. 17, 1964 - The “abominable snowmen,” whose appearance in Eurasian mountains has been reported but never confirmed, may represent a few surviving remnants of the Neanderthal man, according to a Soviet scientist. His hypothesis, published by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, recalls earlier reports from the Soviet Union of sightings of strange, hairy creatures that walk upright. The latest proposal has been made by Prof. Boris Porshnev of the Historical Institute of the Soviet Academy of Sciences, an authority on West European history and winner of the Stalin Prize in 1950. (The photograph below was taken at 19,000 feet in the Menlung Basin, Nepal, and allegedly shows the footprint of the abominable snowman.)

The Neanderthal man was short, thickset, and somewhat apelike in appearance. He dominated Western Europe from about 75,000 years ago to some 40,000 years before the present. His name is taken from a narrow valley in West Germany.

The first report of an abominable snowman seems to have been made by Col. Howard Bury, who led a reconnaissance of Mount Everest in 1921. His group came upon tracks in the snow that the native porters said were those of Yeti, which was translated “abominable snowman.”

During World War II, according to one account, a Soviet Army doctor was summoned by the local police to examine an “enemy agent” captured naked in the snowy mountains of Dagestan. The doctor found the creature to be completely covered with coarse hair, like that of a bear, and it apparently could not speak. The captive perspired so during the indoor examination that it was finally taken out into the midwinter snow, where it seemed more comfortable.

Western scientists have tended to discount such reports. They find it hard to believe that any such creature could survive, even in remote mountain areas, without more definite evidence of its existence. In recent years, many expeditions have invaded the Himalayas. Some were determined to capture a Yeti if they could and even carried air guns with drugged darts in case of a sighting. None, however, has been captured, either in the flesh or on film.


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