In October of 2003, mountain climber, Sergey Semenov discovered the foot and leg of an unknown animal in the Altai Mountains – a place were legends of a hairy “wild man” have been circulating for centuries

Also known as the “Mongolian Wild Man” (or “Almasti” in Russia), the first known account of this creature hails from the 1420s, when a Bavarian nobleman by the name of Hans Schiltberger – who was being held prisoner by the Mongols – chronicled the existence of these “wild people” who lived like animals and were allegedly covered with hair, with the notable exceptions of their hands and faces. Schiltberger had encounter two of these beings himself after an unnamed warlord presented the specimens as a gift to his captors.

Said to dwell in the Altai Mountains near Tien Shan in the province of Sinkiang, legends of these amazing sub-humans had been passed down from generation to generation, until it finally caught the attention of noted Soviet scientist V.A. Khakhlov who, in 1913, sent a report of his investigations regarding these creatures to the Russian Academy of Imperial Sciences. The report has, unfortunately, vanished without a trace.

Between 1890 and 1928, Professor Tysben Zhamtsarano conducted the bulk of the research regarding this fascinating phenomenon, but, as was too often the case in Stalin’s Russia, this esteemed scientist was sent to a gulag and his notes and illustrations, which detailed his numerous expeditions, apparently perished with him. Zhamtsarano’s assistant, Dordji Meiren, even claimed to have seen an Almas skin, which was preserved in a Buddhist monastery near Mongolia’s Gobi region.

Unlike the North American BIGFOOT or Nepalese YETI, Almas are not believed to be directly linked to the presumed extinct gorilla known as the Gigantopithecus, but have been associated with the now extinct Neanderthal.

Dr. Myra Shackely, of Leicester University in England, has indicated that the region where most of the Almas encounters are recorded has yielded a plethora of Neanderthal artifacts. She notes that if Neanderthal-like creatures did in fact survive, it would most likely be in those areas were the Almas have been reported. It has even been suggested that the Almas may be a relic population of the human ancestor known as Homo erectus.

In the 21st century, controversy surrounding these amazing creatures was rekindled with renewed vigor, when in October of 2003, the BBC reported that a group of Russian mountain climbers led by Sergey Semenov have discovered the foot and leg of an unknown animal on the Severo-Chujsky ridge, approximately 3,500 meters up in the permafrost of the Altai Mountain range.

The remains, which have been x-rayed, are now in the center of a tremendous controversy. This debate pits scholars who believe that the portions of this hair covered carcass, which were brought down from the mountain, represent nothing more than a bear or the fossilized remains of a long extinct primate – against other scientists, such as professor Alexander Marinin, who insist that these fragments of flesh, hair and bone are from a recently deceased Hairy-Hominid, examples of which have long been reported in the region.

Although the debate regarding the origin of this mystery limb is still raging, there is a distinct possibility that this may be the best proof to date of the existence of hairy, bipedal humanoids in the Altai Mountains.

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