Almas (also known as Abnauayu, Almasty, Albasty, Bekk-bok, Biabin-guli, Golub-yavan, Gul-biavan, Auli-avan, Kaptar, Kra-dhun, Ksy-giik, Ksy-gyik, Ochokochi, Mirygdy, Mulen, Voita, Wind-ma and Zana)
Danger Level: Very Low
Almases are typically described as human-like bipedal animals, between five, and six and a half feet tall, their bodies covered with reddish-brown hair, with facial features like pronounced browridges, flat noses and small chins. Many cryptozoologists believe that there is a similarity between these descriptions, and modern reconstructions of how Neanderthals might have appeared.
Sightings recorded in writing go back as far back as the 15th century. In 1430, Hans Schiltberger recorded his own observation of the creatures in the journal of his trip to Mongolia as a prisoner of the Mongol Khan. Schiltberger also recorded one of the first European sightings of Przewalski horses. He noted that Almasty are part of the Mongolian and Tibetan apothecary’s materia medica, along with thousands of other animals and plants that live today.
British anthropologist Myra Shackley, in ‘Still Living?’ describes Ivan Ivlov’s 1963 observation of a family group of Almas. Ivlov, a pediatrician, decided to interview some of the Mongolian children who were his patients, and discovered that many of them had also seen Almases. It seems that neither the Mongol children, nor the young Almas, were afraid of each other. Ivlov’s driver also claimed to have seen them.
Alleged Captive Almas:
A wildwoman, named Zana, is said to have lived in the isolated mountain village of T’khina, fifty miles from Sukhumi in Abkhazia, in the Caucasus. There is speculation that she may have been an Almas, but hard evidence is lacking. Captured in the mountains in 1850, she was at first violent towards her captors, but soon became domesticated and, indeed, was able to assist with simple household chores. Zana is said to have had sexual relations with a man of the village named Edgi Genaba, and gave birth to a number of children of apparently normal human appearance. Several of these children, however, died in infancy. Some have attributed these early deaths to Zana’s genetic incompatibility with humans.
The father, meanwhile, gave away four of the surviving children to local families. The two boys, Dzhanda and Khwit Genaba (born 1878 and 1884), and the two girls, Kodzhanar and Gamasa Genaba (born 1880 and 1882), were assimilated into normal society, married and had families of their own. Zana died in 1890. The skull of Khwit (also spelled Kvit) is still extant, and was examined by Dr. Grover Krantz in the early 1990s. He pronounced it to be entirely modern, with no Neandertal features at all. If Krantz’s verdict on the skull is correct, and the skull itself is indeed that of Zana’s son, it would indicate that Zana may have been a member of an isolated hunter gatherer tribe, so culturally different from her captors’ society as to make Zana seem non-human to them, even though she was indeed a modern human. How this may relate to the true identity of other reported Almases is unknown.
Another case is reported to have happened around 1941, shortly after the German invasion of the USSR. A “wild man” was captured somewhere in the Caucasus by a detachment of the Red Army. He appeared human, but was covered in fine, dark hair. Interrogation revealed his apparent inability (or unwillingness) to speak, and the unfortunate creature is said to have been shot as a German spy. There are various versions of this legend in the cryptozoological literature, and, as with other Almas reports, hard proof is absent.