The Almas, Mongolian for 'wild man', is a cryptozoological species of presumed hominid reputed to inhabit the Caucasus and Pamir Mountains of central Asia, and the Altai Mountains of southern Mongolia. Most mainstream scientists consider the Almas to be a purely legendary creature.
Almas are typically described as human-like bipedal animals, between five and six and a half feet tall, their bodies covered with reddish-brown hair, with anthropomorphic facial features including a pronounced browridge, flat nose, and a weak chin. Many cryptozoologist researchers have been struck by the similarity between these descriptions and modern reconstructions of how Neanderthals might have appeared. 
Drawings of Almas also appear in a Tibetan medicinal book. British anthropologist Myra Shackley noted that "The book contains thousands of illustrations of various classes of animals (reptiles, mammals and amphibia), but not one single mythological animal such as are known from similar medieval European books. All the creatures are living and observable today." (1983, p. 98)
In 1430, Hans Schiltberger recorded his personal observation of these creatures in the journal of his trip to Mongolia as a prisoner of the Mongol Khan. Schiltberger also recorded one of the first European sightings of Przewalski horses. (Manuscript in the Munich Municipal Library, Sign. 1603, Bl. 210).
Nikolai Przhevalsky observed the animals in Mongolia in 1871 (Shackley, 94). He noted that Almas are part of the Mongolian and Tibetan apothecary's materia medica, along with thousands of other animals and plants that still live today.
British anthropologist Myra Shackley in Still Living? describes Ivan Ivlov's 1963 observation of a whole family of Almas. Ivlov, a pediatrician, decided to interview some of the Mongolian children who were his patients, and discovered that many of them had also seen Almas. It seems that neither the Mongol children nor the young Almas were afraid of each other. Ivlov's driver also claimed to have seen them (Shackley, 91).
Captured in the mountains in 1850, she was at first violent towards her captors but soon became domesticated and, indeed, was able to assist with simple household chores. Zana is said to have had sexual relations with a man of the village named Edgi Genaba, and gave birth to a number of children of apparently normal human appearance. Several of these children, however, died in infancy. Some commentators have attributed these early deaths to Zana's genetic incompatibility (as an Almas) with humans.
The father, meanwhile, gave away four of the surviving children to local families. The two boys, Dzhanda and Khwit Sabekia (born 1878 and 1884), and the two girls, Kodzhanar and Gamasa Sabekia (born 1880 and 1882), were assimilated into normal society, married, and had families of their own. Zana herself died in 1890. The skull of Khwit (also spelled Kvit) is still extant, and was examined by Dr. Grover Krantz in the early 1990s. He pronounced it to be entirely modern, with no Neandertal features at all. Khwit's tooth was examined in 2008 as part of the Monster Quest tv show. Genetics tests were unable to definitely show Khwit's parentage, but tests will continue.
Another case is said to date from around 1941, shortly after the German invasion of the USSR. A "wild man" was captured somewhere in the Caucasus by a detachment of the Red Army under Lt. Col. Vargen Karapetyan. He appeared human, but was covered in fine, dark hair. Interrogation revealed his apparent inability (or unwillingness) to speak, and the unfortunate creature is said to have been shot as a German spy. There are various versions of this legend in the cryptozoological literature, and, as with other Almas reports, hard proof is absent.
Another explanation is that they are purely mythological creatures, since no hard evidence (skeletons, specimens, etc.) has been found to date.
Hans Schiltberger's manuscript, Munich municipal library, Sign. 1603, Bl. 210
Myra Shackley (1983), Still Living? ISBN 0-500-01298-9
a b Newton, Michael (2005). "Almas/Almasti". Encyclopedia of Cryptozoology: A Global Guide. McFarland & Company, Inc.. 19. ISBN 0-7864-2036-7.
Myra Shackley, Antiquity, 56, 31 (1982)
Bigfoot and Other Ape-Human Creatures
The Almas - cryptozoo
A free article from Wikipedia under the terms of GNU license. Date retrieved: May 27, 2008.
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