Russians claim Yeti hair identified: Doubt abounds (Update: 200 Ninja yetis)

Russians announce they have hair from a human-like creature which is not a Homo sapien. You should BE VERY SKEPTICAL of this story. Even the source – what is akin to the Siberia equivalent of the Daily Mail – is equivocal in its headline.

Yeti – the best proof yet or an elaborate hoax?

DNA ‘tests’ of hair supposedly from a Yeti in a Siberian cave show it comes from an unknown mammal closely related to man, it was claimed last night.

The alleged findings were revealed on the official website of a regional government in Russia.

It claimed that two tests were carried out in Russia and one in the US. These had agreed the hair came from a human-like creature which is not a Homo sapien yet is more closely related to man than a monkey, it was reported.

‘We had ten samples of hair to study, and have concluded that they belong to mammal, but not a human, and not the animals known to the area where they were found, like a bear, or wolf, or goat, or any other animal,’ Professor Valentin Sapunov was quoted as saying.

The hairs were found in the Kemerovo region in Siberia in the same cave that was a destination of a 2011 scientific conference. American Bigfoot researchers were invited to discuss the creature. Dr. Jeff Meldrum, a credentialed expert who attended, was less than impressed. An exclusive report from Doubtful News is here.

Dr. Jeff Meldrum, professor of anatomy and anthropologist at Idaho State University, has spoken out about his recent excursion to Siberia to examine the existence of the Russian Yeti. Dr. Meldrum was a featured speaker at the Pennsylvania Bigfoot Conference in Youngwood, PA on Sunday, October 23. His conclusion: the yeti evidence was poor and he and other researchers were brought to Russia to add credibility to the local claim that yetis live in the area.

The claim of indisputable proof of the Yeti in this part of Siberia is at least a year old. But, the scientific community isn’t convinced.

The release of the results coincides with the coming ski season in Kemerovo. There is RAMPANT speculation that the Yeti promotions are publicity stunts to draw tourism. November 11 is Yeti Day! But, there’s no doubt some people do believe the creatures actually live there. The biggest proponent of the Yeti reality is Igor Burtsev (various spellings: Bourtsev, Burtsaev), who led the expedition last year. Curiously, he is questioning the validity of the hair ID claims!

The report says that three “world level universities” did the analysis of the hair(s). The hair was divided into three lots and sent to a laboratories in Moscow,  St Petersburg and Idaho (Meldrum’s?). But details end there. Did they all agree? How, exactly, was it tested? What did it show? Why wasn’t this written up as a scientific paper?  No word from Meldrum yet (I’ll keep looking; there is a good chance he will have something to say considering he found the cave discovery to be a complete setup and bemoaned the lack of scientific protocol).

To add to the strangeness and dubiousness of these Yeti reports, the article notes that the announcement on the Russian website turns a bit paranormal. The text as reported suggests the creatures have a super sense and know when things are about to happen. This is similar to what Dr. Burtsev has said –  they do have paranormal ability as well as weapons. He believes they are a relic Neanderthal population.

This report will be touted by the Bigfoot believer sites and ignored (probably) by the scientific community. Any such discovery means nothing until it is written up, examined and critiqued by others. They are making a HUGE claim and this is an unscientific and highly questionable way to go about declaring it.

UPDATE: (3-Nov-2012) More doubt and some additional unsupported speculation continues:

The Sun posted a report interviewing both Professor Valentin Sapunov, who claimed definitive DNA evidence of a Yeti this week and Oleg Pugachev, Director of the Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Science.

Sapunov seems to stand by the DNA results he claimed for the Yeti fur, while Pugachev, director of one of the labs that did the testing says they were not even able to extract any genetic material.

The above is from Bigfoot Lunch Club blog because I won’t link to The Sun piece. You can see the reprint there. But Sapunov goes on to explain “no confirmed sightings of yetis because the animals have an acute sense of danger.” He notes that at least 200 of them exist. The lab director says he is outright lying about the DNA. Hmm.

When anyone, scientist or not, claims supernatural senses to explain why he has no evidence, it’s time to just turn around and walk away from him. His credibility is zero. THIS kind of stuff is why the Bigfoot field is a joke. You can’t run a research area on speculative claims and nonsense.

Azasskaya cave

Azasskaya cave from the inside, during the 2011 expedition

  2 comments for “Russians claim Yeti hair identified: Doubt abounds (Update: 200 Ninja yetis)

  1. October 30, 2012 at 8:36 PM

    So how is this unidentified hair linked to a yeti? It was supposedly found in a cave, not on a living animal.

    Pure bs speculation.

  2. Michael Simpson
    October 31, 2012 at 12:31 AM

    I guess they’re not in the running for Spike TV’s 10 million.

    Definitely BS.

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