11 January 2013, 17:01

Visiting "Big Foot"

Visiting "Big Foot"

A village dedicated to the mysterious Big Foot, or Yeti, will appear at the mountain ski resort of Sheregesh in South Siberia. Adjoining one of the hotel compounds will be a Yeti-park with a separate house for the “relict hominid”.

Controversy over Big Foot, aka Sasquatch, aka the Snowman, aka the Wild Man of the Forest – and there are several other names for it – has been flaring on for more than half a century with some dismissing it as pseudo-scientific rubbish, while others earnestly convinced that the Yeti does exist. In Shoria, a picturesque mountain land in Russia’s Kemerovo region, the existence of Big Foot has been officially recognized. An annual holiday called Yeti Day was introduced there a few years ago. And now, visitors will be able to see Big Foot with their own eyes and even communicate with it, deputy head of the Sheregesh administration Igor Idimeshev told the Voice of Russia.

"We will organize a Yeti-park with a museum where natural proofs of Big Foot’s existence will be exhibited such as trees arch-woven by Yeti, and lots of other things. We will invite scientists to participate in the museum’s creation. And we will also hold science conferences dedicated to Big Foot."

Shoria, often dubbed a Siberian Switzerland for its scenic nature, is situated in the southern part of the Kemerovo region where the Sayan and Altai Mountains meet. Legend has it that Big Foot was often spotted there. The natives call him the Master of the Taiga.

Shoria has become a Mecca for Big Foot researches and reporters. And Kemerovo Govenor Aman Tuleyev even set a one-million ruble award for those who will find and bring to him a “relict hominid”. “We will have tea together,” joked.

While most anthropologists remain highly skeptical about the Yeti’s existence, Russian speleologist Anatoly Fokin is collecting eyewitness reports and artifacts that could prove the opposite. Starting from the late 19th century, local hunters have repeatedly seen manlike hairy creatures between 1.5 and 2 meters high. Giant footprints believed to have been made by a Yeti were found in one of the caves, the Azas Cave.

"In this cave we found the footprints and some hair of a Big Foot. This is a hard-to-reach cave. It’s virtually impossible to get there. If those had been human imprints, that would have been clear right away. Our expedition discovered a whole string of unique footprints typical of Yeti. We made a plaster cast of the imprints and sent a flock of the hair to a laboratory."

Researchers from the United States, Canada, Mongolia, Sweden, Estonia and China, who attended a Yeti conference in Kemerovo in the autumn of 2011, stated that the collected evidence confirm 95% that Sheregesh could indeed be a Yeti habitat.

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