Tuesday, 11. March 2014
06. 12. 12. - 14:00
A scientist who claims a community of 200 Yettis is living undiscovered on the frozen Siberian plains has been branded an abominable showman by rivals in Russia.
Professor Valentin Sapunov - who claims to have found Yetti hair - says the population of Bigfoots lives untroubled by man in the isolated Kemerovo, Khakassia and Altai regions of Siberia.
"The reason man hasn't found them is that they have an acute sense of danger," explained Sapunov, a doctor of Biological Sciences and Chief Fellow of Russian State HydroMeteorological University.
Sapunov created a sensation when he claimed to have discovered Yetti hair during an expedition to a Siberian cave last year.
"Tests on ten pieces of hair showed that they did not belong to a human. It is obvious that they belonged to a mammal, but not to a bear, goat, wolf or other animal living in the Gornaya Shoriya area," he said.
"Genetically it is different to a human hair by less than one percent. We can claim with 70% certainty that from the genealogical point of view, the creature is in between the human and a primate and is completely covered with hair," added the professor.
But his latest claims have been scorned by rival academics.
Oleg Pugachev - Director of the Zoological Institute of Russian Academy of Science - told local media: "Let me make it clear - Sapunov is blatantly lying."
"He came with some bits of hair to the Institute, and spent a lot of time in my office complaining that official science wants nothing to do with it and no-one wants to test them.
"He asked me to help. I took a pity on him and ordered our DNA specialists to carry out a test.
"They did not manage to extract any genealogical material because there were no hair bulbs."
"What snowman is he talking about? If he ever appear at our Institute I will not let him anywhere near the doorstep. I don't know how to stop the rubbish he is spreading in the media," he added.
US biologists have also expressed doubts over the claim.
One revealed: "There was no other sign of occupation in the cave, except a few empty soda cans and snack food wrappers."
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