Jan 07, 2021 I Nick Redfern

More on Those Monstrous “Unknowns” Versus New Names

My previous article was on how a number of so-called "Cryptid" creatures - such as the Yeren of China and the giant lizards of Australia - are what many might call "unknowns." Really, though, they aren't unknown, at all. Rather, they are creatures from earlier eras that, against the odds, have managed to live alongside us, largely in stealth. I thought today I would share with you two more examples of how this issue of "unknown" versus "amazing, ancient survivors" isn't just tied to the aforementioned Yeren and those huge lizards. It should not come as a surprise to learn that the vast wildernesses, thick forests, and massive mountain ranges of Russia are home to Bigfoot-type beasts. They are known to the local folk as Almasty. For some researchers, the creatures are unknown apes. For others, like me, they are nothing less than still-surviving pockets of ancient humans. Both scenarios are amazing, in terms of their potential implications. But, whatever the true identity of the Almasty, there’s very little doubt that it exists. The sheer number of witness reports makes that very clear. The Almasty is a creature that has a long history attached to it, something which also adds to the likelihood of it being a genuine animal of very ancient proportions.

What is possibly the earliest report on record of the hairy, giant, Almasty came from one Johann Schiltberger. It transpires that upon his return to Europe in 1427, Schiltberger began writing a book about his experiences with the Turks. It was a book that surfaced in 1430 and which is made highly notable by its reference to strange and savage creatures that Schiltberger was told of, and which were said to live high in the Tien Shan Mountains of Mongolia, which border upon Russia. Schiltberger’s translated words state: "The inhabitants say that beyond the mountains is the beginning of a wasteland which lies at the edge of the earth. No one can survive there because the desert is populated by so many snakes and tigers. In the mountains themselves live wild people, who have nothing in common with other human beings. A pelt covers the entire body of these creatures. Only the hands and face are free of hair. They run around in the hills like animals and eat foliage and grass and whatever else they can find. The lord of the territory made Egidi a present of a couple of forest people, a man and a woman. They had been caught in the wilderness, together with three untamed horses the size of asses and all sorts of other animals which are not found in German lands and which I cannot put a name to." Completely unknown beings or ancient humans? I go with the second scenario. Now, let's take a look at something not so different to the Almasty - aside, that is, for its location.

A terrifying man-beast that has a particular penchant for ripping out the tongues of cattle, the Mapinguari is a violent thing that haunts the Mato Grosso, a huge Brazilian state, the name of which translates into English as "thick bushes," and which is dominated by plains, plateaus, and rainforest – the ideal locations in which hairy man-beasts just might hide and thrive. Randy Merrill, who has studied the history of the Mapinguari, says that, according to local native legends, the Mapinguari is "…a prehistoric cryptid that reportedly lived (and is still reported to live) in the Amazon rain forests of South America, particularly in Brazil and Patagonia. It was consistently described as …having red hair, long arms, powerful claws that could tear apart palm trees…a sloping back, a crocodile-like hide that arrows and bullets could not penetrate, a second mouth on its belly and backwards feet (said to make a bottle-shaped footprint)." Randy adds: "It was said to stand up to 6 feet tall when it assumed a bear-like stance on its hind legs, which it did when it smelled a nearby human. It also gave off a putrid, disorienting stench, emitted a frightening shriek, and could move slowly and stealthily through the forest, often surprising unsuspecting locals. Although it was believed to be carnivorous, by all accounts it did not eat humans. Finally, it was said to sometimes speak and to enjoy punishing hunters who violated religious holidays."

Unknown, primitive humans? For me, yes. Once again, I go with the scenario I presented in my first article on this issue. I don't see the Almasty as "unknowns" at all. I see them as pockets of very ancient humans, the existence of which is largely denied by mainstream science. The same goes for me with regard to the Mapinguari, too. No monstrous unknowns. Just rare sightings of early people.

Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern works full time as a writer, lecturer, and journalist. He writes about a wide range of unsolved mysteries, including Bigfoot, UFOs, the Loch Ness Monster, alien encounters, and government conspiracies. Nick has written 41 books, writes for Mysterious Universe and has appeared on numerous television shows on the The History Channel, National Geographic Channel and SyFy Channel.

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