Abduction is a common theme in the study of the unexplained, and is a term that has become almost synonymous with research into UFO phenomenon. As a child (or perhaps I should say, as a young researcher), there were few stories that troubled me on a personal level more than the claims of strange beings that entered people’s bedrooms and took them away in the night.
The abduction phenomenon has come to represent this particularly disturbing element for many of us, though it sometimes crops up in areas other than merely the realm of alleged UFO kidnappings, as I discussed recently in a somewhat controversial article, that even looked at the sexual undertones of such encounters. Ranging from cryptid captures, to alien abduction and other anomalous disappearances, it seems that reports of humans being spirited away by nonhuman entities are rife throughout the field of Forteana.
While these kinds of reports are well known, there are a stark minority of incidents that involve things being the other way around; while obscure, a few reports exist where non-human beings are occasionally captured by people… and more often than not, when the would-be captors are least expected to have a serious run-in with the unexplained. This begs the question: is there evidence that already supports the potential that mysterious, human-like beings have been captured in the past?
A rather obscure report of the capture of a “wild man” in 1941 by a Soviet Army colonel appeared in the May-June, 2011 edition of Fate Magazine:
Three Daghestan hunters came upon a strange spoor near a mountain stream; being unable to identify the tracks their interest was aroused ant the followed them high into the mountains.
When they reached a rocky plateau near the summit they lost the spoor and split up to search the region. IN about two hours one of the hunters saw the tracks again at the entrance to a narrow cleft in the side of the mountain. Beckoning his two comrades he again gave pursuit and by the idle of the afternoon came to the end of the cleft. There, crouched under a rock shelter and whimpering pitifully, was a strange creature. It was nude, barefoot and “unquestionably human.” It spoke no human language, however, but chattered inarticulately and whine when it was most frightened.
“It’s chest, back and shoulders,” said Karapetyan, who saw it several days later in the native village, “were covered with fluffy hair of dark brown color. This wool reminded me of a bear.”
The story goes on to say that extended pole arms were used to extract the creature from its hideaway, and that after its securing, the supposed arrest was not reported to scientists as a result of the distraction that inevitably transpires during wartime. And thus, the creature’s whereabouts, or eventual fate, remain a mystery.
There was a similar report from The United States as well, however, as reported by the Victoria, British Columbia Colonist in 1884. Described as “a British Columbia Gorilla,” the creature believed by many to be a juvenile Sasquatch was apprehended near the village of Yale by employees of a railroad operation travelling from the nearby town of Lytton. According to the Colonist report, the railroad employees managed to corner and apprehend the animal by positioning themselves above it on a bluff and dropping a stone onto its head.
Their description of the captured beast, which they called “Jacko,” was as follows:
“[T]he creature is something of the gorilla type, standing about four feet seven inches in height and weighing 127 pounds. He has long black strong hair and resembles a human being with one exception, his entire body, excepting his hands or paws and feet is covered with glossy hair about one inch long. Hid forearm is much longer than a man’s forearm and he possesses extraordinary strength, as he will take hold of a stick and break it by wrenching it or twisting it, which no man living could break in the same way.
Granted, it was not uncommon for the “daily” newspapers in that era to involve themselves in periodical hoaxes, out of a desire to increase readership (or perhaps, in a few instances, sheer boredom). Thus, one explanation for the mystery of young “Jacko” involves the perpetration of a hoax with absolutely no basis in verifiable historical fact. However, British Bigfoot researcher Peter Byrne had argued that this may not have been the case in his book Bigfoot: Man, Myth or Monster, based on a witness he claimed had actually seen the juvenile hominid while it remained in captivity.
So very often is it the case with alleged reports of the capture of cryptid beasts, however, that the stories involving the capture of these specimens are often so many decades (if not centuries) old that it becomes virtually impossible to determine whether there is any veracity to the claims at all. A number of reports similar to these date back to several hundreds of years in the Americas, and even as far back as the Middle Ages in parts of England and Ireland. Why, if not for purpose of fable or an outright farse, would stories such as these constitute any more legitimacy—and greater frequency—in the bygone days?