Monday, 22 December 2014
Review: Bigfoot Research: The Russian Vision
Paperback: 431 pages
Publisher: Hancock House Publishers Ltd ,Canada; American Edition, Second Printing edition (January 1, 2011)
Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
So, I looked at the cost. Quite expensive but 430 pages on Russian Hominology… now it is near impossible to find much of Russian Hominology and so I bit the bullet and ordered the book.
I had a brief correspondence with Dmitri Bayanov in the early 1980s –mainly regarding Sasquatch researcher John Green’s call for a Sasquatch to be shot and killed “for science”. I even got some new information on the Russian hominid scene. It was certainly an eye-opener to me. Sadly, TV has never fully looked at Russian hominology but prefers to stick to Sasquatch/Bigfoot with only an occasional look at Almas or, rarer still, the Chinese Yeren.
Anyway, the book arrived and I sat down to read it. Oh. It was not going to be all about Russian hominology after all. Serves me right for believing the advert. I’ve now found another advert and the book blurb reads:
“Bigfoot is a familiar word today around the world. Since the middle of the last century it indicates a mysterious giant primate of North America, who is also called Sasquatch. The Russian vision of this research is distinguished by at least three peculiarities: it is based on the combined evidence regarding these primates; it regards these humanlike beings as relict hominids (hominins by latest primate classification), i.e., the closest relatives of modern man, Homo sapiens; and it firmly takes the existence of these still enigmatic bipeds for a biological fact, not a popular myth or a scientific hypothesis. The purpose of the book is to substantiate these views and claims. The main philosophic question posed by it: What is it to be human?”
Seriously, that does not tell much about the book. In fact, as I started reading it I realised that my disappointment was uncalled for.
It is never really mentioned –especially on US TV- that the Russian hominologists and experts were the first to fully analyse and affirm that the Patterson-Gimlin film of a Sasquatch from Bluff Creek, in 1967, was genuine. It took a while longer for American experts to do the same. In fact, it was only after the advent of computer technology, enhancement and analysis that US experts deemed the short film “genuine”. The nice thing about this book is that it contains papers and extracts from papers that most of us in the West have not seen for various reason. The Patterson footage is looked at and discussed here.
The big debate on whether to shoot and kill (“humanely”?!!!) a Sasquatch for science still rages on and, as I have written a number of times before it should be totally abhorrent to anyone –let alone someone claiming to be a scientist- to just go out and kill a living creature “for science”! We live in the 21st century. The age of DNA –DNA which can convict a person of a crime in a court of law- and if the nay-sayers tell us this sort of evidence is not good enough then they are actually snubbing their noses at the very science they claim to uphold the principles of.
“Why do those hairs said to be from a Bigfoot not result in a ‘This is Bigfoot hair’ announcement by the labs testing it?” It’s a question I have been asked. Well, we find a hair and on testing the data base shows a scientifically known animal –Brown bear, deer or whatever. However, there is no “scientifically known” Sasquatch. I’ve mentioned many times how evidence needs to be gathered. “Unknown primate” is what we get from test results.
Russian hominologists are aware that killing an Almas is wrong but to “habituate” –get it used to one or two people- and film then gather samples is a good way to go. This is dealt with in depth in this book.
I mentioned in Some More Things Strange & Sinister, the American newspaper report I had found in library archives of a Sasquatch jumping onto and then riding a horse. “Ridiculous” was what I thought. I wish I had read this book first! Evidence of horse-riding DOES exist!!! Horse-mane braiding. Sasquatch/Almas vocalisation is also dealt with along with several claims of long term Sasquatch-human interaction in the US. But looking at reports and more, Bayanov tells us Almas-human interaction is not unknown.
Buy Bayanov also looks at the Chinese Yeren and the Australian Yowie. It is incredible that in such widely separated geographic areas there are so many correlations. There was no free access to the US press in the Soviet era so no country folk could read of Sasquatch and think “That’d be a great joke to pull!” Access to Australian newspapers and Yowie reports? No. But it worked both ways and as someone always on the look out for these reports the only thing I ever saw from China was in China Reconstructs in the 1970s and that I saw by accident as my brother had a copy!
Bayanov also looks at reports of alleged Almas kills and why hunters might not report such kills in Russia or the United States.
And Bayanov makes a very –VERY- good case for the “Father of Hominology” to be his old professor Boris Fedorovich Porshnev (1905-1972). In point of fact, reading the book you realise that, like the Chinese, the Russians were taking hominology very seriously and the only thing getting in the way of greater progress for the Russians was/is lack of financial resources.
I do not normally sit down and read a 400+ paged book over a day-and-a-half and ignore everything else. But in this case I had no choice! If reading about Russian hominology was not enough then Bayanov’s study of folklore about wildmen as well as looking at accounts of these dating back to ancient Greece and artistic depictions of wildmen in archaeological finds is a clincher. I think that a lot of us interested in hominology suspected that wildmen in folkore and Medieval accounts might have been some kind of relic hominid –“European Bigfoot” if you want to dumb it down. But in this book Bayanov makes the strongest case for this based on known literature and finds. He even refers to Linaeus and his classification of hominid types. Naturalists today use the Linnaean system of classification yet many are unaware of his hominid classifications because they were censored and then omitted later by ‘scholars’ who would have no such officially recognised “other species”.
The scope of this work covers far more, though –including the Minnesota “Ice Man” and just WHO may have really owned it.
I have always cherished my Sanderson Abominable Snowman: Legend Come To Life and I always will. However, if I had to recommend a book on the subject to anyone it would be this one. The fact that Bayanov’s book is decades newer and up-to-date on hominology helps!
Lots of images regarding wildmen in history and more make this the must read on the subject.