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URECAT - UFO Related Entities Catalog

URECAT is a formal catalog of UFO related entities sightings reports with the goal of providing quality information for accurate studies of the topic. Additional information, corrections and reviews are welcome at patrick.gross@inbox.com, please state if you wish to be credited for your contribution or not. The main page of the URECAT catalog is here.

End May or June 1930, 1931 or 1932, mount Elbrus, Kabardino-Balkaria, Russia, Shagir Zagureyev and other people:

Brief summary of the event and follow-up:

Jeanne-Marie Koffmann, a French-Russian surgeon who is looking for possible descendants of the Neantertal men who would still live in the Caucasus in Russia, has explored this region extensively, collecting folk stories and legends about a hominid called locally the "Almasty". On one of her trips she met Talib Kumyshev, 67, a respected Kahardian from the village of Kamennomos. His testimony, published in 1999, would be as follows:

"...It was probably in 1930, or 1931, or 1932, in June or at the end of May, when our cattle left for the alpine pastures of Elbrus. I was chief of the group. We had left to inspect the herds with the veterinarian. Well, rain had surprised one of my shepherds, Shaghir Zagureyev, very high up on the slopes, and he had gone to take refuge under a rocky overhang. As he approached it, he saw there were three almastys sitting under it. Shaghir was a little frightened, but as the rain was by then falling much harder, he decided to stay there anyway, though at a distance from them. They looked at one another. Then, the rain stopped and Shaghir came down to the farm. He did not say anything to anyone."

"Very early in the morning, I was awakened by cries, a tremendous noise, and I saw that the shepherds were running to assemble their herds and were taking the cattle down the valley. 'Why are they leaving?' I asked. 'There are almastys under the rock, up there.' ... At that moment Shaghir declared: 'It's true, there are three almastys sitting up there, I saw them yesterday evening.' I was then really angry... I said to Shaghir: 'You're an idiot. You were frightened by a bush.'"

"'No,' said Shaghir, 'I saw them'."

"'Well, why didn't you tell anyone?'"

"'Because the old people have warned: when you see an almasty for the first time, if you tell anyone about it you'll get a bad headache. Well, for me, it was the first time that I have seen one.'"

"I continued not to believe all this. They said to me: 'OK, go ahead, go see for yourself.'"

"We were about 10 to 15 people making a half-circle around that rock. We stayed there until dinnertime. Some went away, and others came up. Three almastys were seated under the overhang, two of medium size, and the other bigger. The one which was the biggest was in the middle. They were sitting on rocks, facing us, hunched over, with their heads down. From time to time they raised their heads slightly, and looked at us from under their brows."

"Their heads were very ugly, not nice at all. Their faces resembled human faces, but the nose is shorter and flattened. The eyes are slanted and reddish. The cheeks are very prominent, like those of a Mongol or a Korean, but more so. The lips are thin. The lower jaw is receding, as though cut on a bias. The hair is long, like that of a woman, and tangled. The entire body is covered with shaggy hair, resembling that of the buffalo. In some places this is long (torso, chest) and in other places it is shorter (arms, legs)."

"The big one had the chest of a man. The others had the breasts of a woman, but extremely long and covered with hair. The hair was very dirty. The stink was so strong that we could not stand it. The odour was like that of wild flax, when it grows thickly. Once, the one seated on the right mumbled something. I did not see their hands clearly, as they were held between their legs. The legs are rather short and bowed. The foot is like that of a man, but more spread out. All were wearing, wrapped around their waists, an old piece of a shepherd's cape. A young shepherd proposed to throw a lasso around one of them and bring it into the village. But all the others cried out that it is forbidden, that they must not be harmed, and that they must not be disturbed. I watched them from a distance of three or four metres, and I even approached to within about one metre. Did I touch them? I should say not! If you touch them, as Allah is my witness, you could no longer eat with your hands afterward, they are so dirty, stinking and repulsive. I remained 1.5 - 2 hours. When I left, other shepherds were arriving. I have heard my father recount that they suckle on cows."

This story, in very summarized form, appeared in the 2016 version of the ufology catalog INTCAT by the "skeptic" British ufologist Peter Rogerson.

Basic information table:

Case number: URECAT-001700
Date of event: End May or June 1930, 1931 or 1932
Earliest report of event: 1992?
Delay of report: 6 decades?
Witness reported via: Told anthropoids researcher.
First alleged record by: Article about the search for hominids in the Caucasus.
First certain record by: Article about the search for hominids in the Caucasus.
First alleged record type: Article about the search for hominids in the Caucasus.
First certain record type: Article about the search for hominids in the Caucasus.
This file created on: September 27, 2018
This file last updated on: September 27, 2018
Country of event: Russia
State/Department: Kabardino-Balkaria
Type of location: In the Caucasus mountains.
Lighting conditions: Not reported.
UFO observed: No
UFO arrival observed: N/A
UFO departure observed: N/A
UFO/Entity Relation: None
Witnesses numbers: 10 to 15
Witnesses ages: Adults.
Witnesses types: Local folks.
Photograph(s): No.
Witnesses drawing: No.
Witnesses-approved drawing: No.
Number of entities: 3
Type of entities: Hominids
Entities height: Not reported, normal.
Entities outfit type: Piece of old shepherd's cape around the waist.
Entities outfit color: Not reported.
Entities skin color: Not reported.
Entities body: Male and female, female have breasts. Rather short and bowed legs. Stinky.
Entities head: Like human, very ugly, very prominent cheeks, receding lower jaw.
Entities eyes: Slanted and reddish.
Entities mouth: Thin lips.
Entities nose: Shorter and flatter than human.
Entities feet: Like human but more spread out.
Entities arms: Yes.
Entities fingers: Not visible.
Entities fingers number: Not visible.
Entities hair: Haircut long like woman's, tangled. Entire body covered with shaggy hair like buffalo. Longer on the torso, shorter on arms and legs.
Entities voice: Mumbled.
Entities actions: Took shelter from rain under a rock.
Entities/witness interactions: Watched.
Witness(es) reactions: Observed, went.
Witness(es) feelings: Slightly frightened.
Witness(es) interpretation: Almasty, wild men.
Explanation category: Possible unknown hominids, or invention, not UFO-related.
Explanation certainty: High.

Narratives:

[Ref. cf1:] "CENTRE FOR FORTEAN ZOOLOGY":

Hominid survival

On March 29th 1992, 'The Long Beach Telegram' carried a story about an expedition to the Causacus [sic, Caucasus] mountains between the Black and Caspian seas in search of the “Almasty” or Caucasian wildman:

"Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, a French-Russian surgeon, mountaineer and scholar, has been on the Almasty trail for more than two decades and has collected more than 500 accounts and a plaster-cast footprint of the ‘forest man of the Caucasus.’"

"She travelled on horseback through the remote mountains between the Black and Caspian seas, talking to villagers who had seen the mysterious beast. Although sceptical at first, she became convinced that the Almasty was another in an array of species that roamed the Caucasian wilds. Retiring in France on a tiny Soviet pension, she never dreamed that one day she'd have the money to mount a full-scale scientific search."

"But then, she had not counted on Sylvain Pallix. Pallix, a documentary filmmaker, was fascinated by two articles Koffmann wrote for Archologia magazine. Tracking her down, he proposed finding sponsors for an expedition that he would film."

"The respected French paleoanthropologist Yves Coppens gave the search his blessing. Pallix raised half of the needed $1.8million. He's confident he'll find the rest. ``For three weeks, the telephone has been ringing off the hook,'' said Pallix, whose previous works have included a documentary on a Harley Davidson meet in South Dakota and one on Calvados moonshiners. ‘People are fascinated by the Almasty."

"A dozen people will leave Paris in June, to be joined by a dozen of Koffmann's scientific colleagues from Moscow. They will conduct their search in the Kabardin-Balkar region of Russia, just north of Georgia. The expedition hopes to find the beast, put it to sleep, take blood and skin samples and a plaster cast of the face and then let it awake in freedom - after putting a band on it so its wanderings can be followed."

"Appearing like a cross between an ape and a Neandertal, the Almasty reputedly can run up to 37 mph. It is said to be omniverous and sometimes travels with companions and babies. The last sighting of the Almasty was by a zoologist friend of Koffmann who reported spending six minutes watching one on Aug. 25, 1991"

[...]

Jeanne-Marie Koffmann explored this area extensively, and during her travels met, Talib Kumyshev, 67, a Kahardian, who was a respected elder man of the village of Kamennomos. His testimony is highly revealing:

"...It was probably in 1930, or 1931, or 1932, in June or at the end of May, when our cattle left for the alpine pastures of Elbrus. I was chief of the group. We had left to inspect the herds with the veterinarian. Well, rain had surprised one of my shepherds, Shaghir Zagureyev, very high up on the slopes, and he had gone to take refuge under a rocky overhang. As he approached it, he saw there were three almastys sitting under it. Shaghir was a little frightened, but as the rain was by then falling much harder, he decided to stay there anyway, though at a distance from them. They looked at one another. Then, the rain stopped and Shaghir came down to the farm. He did not say anything to anyone."

Very early in the morning, I was awakened by cries, a tremendous noise, and I saw that the shepherds were running to assemble their herds and were taking the cattle down the valley. 'Why are they leaving?' I asked. 'There are almastys under the rock, up there.' ... At that moment Shaghir declared: 'It's true, there are three almastys sitting up there, I saw them yesterday evening.' I was then really angry... I said to Shaghir: 'You're an idiot. You were frightened by a bush.'

'No,' said Shaghir, 'I saw them'.

'Well, why didn't you tell anyone?'

'Because the old people have warned: when you see an almasty for the first time, if you tell anyone about it you'll get a bad headache. Well, for me, it was the first time that I have seen one.'

I continued not to believe all this. They said to me: 'OK, go ahead, go see for yourself.'

We were about 10 to 15 people making a half-circle around that rock. We stayed there until dinnertime. Some went away, and others came up. Three almastys were seated under the overhang, two of medium size, and the other bigger. The one which was the biggest was in the middle. They were sitting on rocks, facing us, hunched over, with their heads down. From time to time they raised their heads slightly, and looked at us from under their brows."

Their heads were very ugly, not nice at all. Their faces resembled human faces, but the nose is shorter and flattened. The eyes are slanted and reddish. The cheeks are very prominent, like those of a Mongol or a Korean, but more so. The lips are thin. The lower jaw is receding, as though cut on a bias. The hair is long, like that of a woman, and tangled. The entire body is covered with shaggy hair, resembling that of the buffalo. In some places this is long (torso, chest) and in other places it is shorter (arms, legs)."

The big one had the chest of a man. The others had the breasts of a woman, but extremely long and covered with hair. The hair was very dirty. The stink was so strong that we could not stand it. The odour was like that of wild flax, when it grows thickly. Once, the one seated on the right mumbled something. I did not see their hands clearly, as they were held between their legs. The legs are rather short and bowed. The foot is like that of a man, but more spread out. All were wearing, wrapped around their waists, an old piece of a shepherd's cape. A young shepherd proposed to throw a lasso around one of them and bring it into the village. But all the others cried out that it is forbidden, that they must not be harmed, and that they must not be disturbed. I watched them from a distance of three or four metres, and I even approached to within about one metre. Did I touch them? I should say not! If you touch them, as Allah is my witness, you could no longer eat with your hands afterward, they are so dirty, stinking and repulsive. I remained 1.5 - 2 hours. When I left, other shepherds were arriving. I have heard my father recount that they suckle on cows."

[...]

[Ref. pr1:] PETER ROGERSON:

Late May/June 1930+/-2

MOUNT EBRUS (KABARDINO-BALKARIA : RUSSIA)

A shepherd Shagir Zagureyev was sheltering from the rain under a rocky overhang and encountered three hairy hominids, two female and one male. Shagir left them alone and left the spot. However by early morning other shepherds had seen the things and were panicking. A group of about 10-15 men, led by village chief Talib Kumyshev went to investigate and saw the three creatures. They had humanoid faces but with short flat noses, slanted eyes sand receding jaws. Their bodies were covered with hair and they wore bits of a shepherd’s cape around the waist. They had bowed legs and splayed toes.

Jonathan Downes and Richard Freeman in CFZ Yearbook 1999 p16 citing Jean-Marie Koffman citing Talib Kumyshev)

Points to consider:

The "Jean-Marie Koffman" cited in [pr1] is actually Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, PhD, French-Russian surgeon, who was in a search in the years 1980 - 1992 for a mythical creature in the Caucasus called the "Almasty" by the locals. This creature would be, depending on the various opinions, etiher some sort of local Yeti or Bigfoot, or surviving Neandertal men or Neandertal / Sapiens hybrids.

Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann says she collected, during her travels there, more than 500 stories about the "man of the forests" of Caucasus, as well as one alleged footprint of the creature.

The "Centre for Fortean Zoology" (CFZ) who published the [cf1] source above, "is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world."

The reason Peter Rogerson included an "Almasty" story in a ufology catalogue is that he was convinced that all reports are caused by human invention or imagination, where UFO reports, UFO occupants reports, ghost reports, cryptozoology reports etc.

But although this story may be invented by the main protagonists, it is certainly not a proven hoax, and not a proven misinterpretations.

Some scientists in the anthropology and archaeology field (I personally heard one real archaeologist say so on a French Neandertal site in Saint-Cesaire) are actually convinced, or at least ready to accept, that Neandertal humans are still living, hidden out in the wilderness, on our planet. Some are in the search of our Neandertal cousins. The Almasty legends or modern reports, they think, may be indication that they are still here.

In the same manner, some scientists now collect folk stories of "little people" on the island of Flores, since the famous "Flores hobbit" ancient remains were found.

One may claim these are crackpots, but I am not so sure they all are, and though I am in no way convinced other humans than homo sapiens still live on Earth, I do not think the opposite is a definitely proven fact either. The Almasty reported here may be an invention, they may be homo sapiens gone back to the wild, they may be Neandertals. I do not know, I cannot tell.

(What is certain in my mind is that no Neandertal ever piloted a flying saucer.)

So, to me, this report is not a valid example of a hoax, it is not a valid example of misinterpretation, and not a "close encounter of the third kind", a class of report supposed to be about UFO occupants.

List of issues:

Id: Topic: Severity: Date noted: Raised by: Noted by: Description: Proposal: Status:
-

Evaluation:

Possible unknown hominids, or invention, not UFO-related.

Sources references:

* = Source I checked.
? = Source I am told about but could not check yet. Help appreciated.

Document history:

Authoring

Main Author: Patrick Gross
Contributors: None
Reviewers: None
Editor: Patrick Gross

Changes history

Version: Created/Changed By: Date: Change Description:
0.1 Patrick Gross September 27, 2018 Creation, [cz1], [pr1].
1.0 Patrick Gross September 27, 2018 First published.

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This page was last updated on September 27, 2018.