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Relic Hominids of Central Asia: Extracts From The Report - Notes On Relic Hominids Of Central Asia

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BFF Donor

reprinted with permission 1/22/2020



rhi-2.jpg            The RELICT HOMINOID INQUIRY 7:16-68 (2018)


Article Reprint





Jordi Magraner



EDITOR’S NOTE: This English translation of a summary report of zoologist Jordi Magraner’s field research in northern Pakistan investigating the barmanu is a valuable contribution to the study of relict hominoids, in the tradition of the reports by M.-J. Koffman from the Caucasus. The Hindu Kush is a region that is essentially inaccessible to Western investigators, even more so under current political circumstances. Magraner’s  ambition and his sometimes-obsessive search, inspired by the late Bernard Heuvelmans, and his devotion to a life in the region with its varied peoples, eventually levied the ultimate cost. Magraner, age 44,  was found murdered in his home in Chitral in 2002. His proclivities extended beyond his search for the Wildman and rumors he was a CIA asset and homosexual or pedophile dogged him, overshadowing his professed accomplishments. His story was retold by Spanish author Gabi Martinez, under the title, In the Land of the Giants: Hunting Monsters in the Hindu Kush (Scribe), only just available in English in 2017. I read it while editing and formatting Paul LeBlond’s translation of Magraner’s 1992 report. It lent a context and animation to the report that brought its significance into sharper focus, making the experiences and travails producing  Magraner’s observations and conclusions all the more personal and explicable.


1Editor’s note: The terms “relic” and “relict” have been used in reference to rare surviving species. The RHI adopted the term relict as it conveyed the more biological connotation of a species that has survived from an  earlier period or in a primitive form; an animal or plant that has survived while others of its group have become extinct; a species or community that formerly had a wider distribution but now survives in only a few
localities as refugia.


*This article was originally published by the Association Troglodytes, Valence, 1992. It was translated into English by Paul LeBlond, with permission, Oct. 25, 2017, and reformatted by the editor and printed here with  permission. © RHI




These hominids have clearly not appeared from nowhere. The term “relic”1 used to describe them expresses the phylogenetic antiquity of this type of hominid, which seems to have survived as an anomaly in parallel to Homo sapiens sapiens (which is thought to be the only living hominid).

Relic hominids, better known as Wild Men, or Hairy Men, are thought to inhabit various areas of Asia, and particularly the mountains of Central Asia. Numerous tales originating in different countries, ethnic groups, as well as different cultures and religions speak of encounters with these creatures. In spite of the great diversity of witnesses, their descriptions are similar. In contrast with comparable stories circulating in the rest of the world, the uniformity of eyewitness reports, as well as their analysis show that in Central Asia, these reports go beyond the realm of folklore, myth or legend.

Tainted by media coverage and confusion with the legend of the Snow Man, the basic question of the possible existence of a hominid different from Homo sapiens sapiens has not received scientific attention, but for a few exceptions. Fieldwork has attracted passionate amateurs, lacking however in rigor and technique.

A methodical approach seemed to me a first necessity before expressing an opinion on the matter. So was born the idea of gathering new reports, proceeding in a fully scientific manner, as a zoologist. This approach was carried out for 15 months in Northern Pakistan, in the company of two friends, Erik and Yannik L’Homme.

For me, the investigation had to go beyond the accumulation of additional “proofs” of the existence of hominids. Its goal was to identify in the field those factors that strictly confirm the existence of hominids: meaning, on the one hand, documenting the human and ecological context and, on the other, applying a protocol to the analysis of reports. To achieve this, I needed a working basis to anchor the investigation; I had to develop a questionnaire pertaining to the anatomy of these creatures. Of all existing reports on relic hominids, only Heuvelmans’ meticulous examination of Pongoid Man2 provided a complete description of their physical characteristics. It was appropriate to use it as a reference.

Whatever one might think of Pongoid Man, I had to be content with what was available. Comparison with field data would confirm or refute their similarity. What mattered was to have a working hypothesis, as in all scientific work, and, in this case, to have at hand the most complete set of morphological features attributed to relic hominids.
There remained the choice of a study area.

Vietnam, the presumed home of Pongoid Man, was not at that time very suitable for fieldwork. Other areas where hairy hominids were thought to dwell: former-USSR, China, Iran or Afghanistan, were not any more welcoming to free exploration. However, I had to choose an area as close as possible to zones thought to be inhabited by relic hominids. My choice was then limited to northern Pakistan, and more specifically the district of Chitral, the wildest and least touristic area. This district, at the gate of Central Asia, used to be called Lesser Kachgaria. It abuts Chinese Kachgaria, also known as Greater Kachgaria, an area defined by Dr. B.F. Porchnev3 as a most favorable permanent habitat. Chitral was thus a promising choice. Further, as the region had never been the site of this type of research, the local population would not be influenced by previous investigations.


2The frozen hominid described by Heuvelmans in “L’Homme de Neanderthal est toujours vivant.” Heuvelmans B. and B.F. Porchnev, Plon 1974. Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman by Bernard Heuvelmans, translated by Paul LeBlond, with Afterword by Loren Coleman. San Antonio, TX: Anomalist Books, 2016.


3Dr. Boris Porchnev, historian and philosopher, former leader of research on relic hominids in the Soviet Union.

The investigation took place over 19 months, in two phases. The first phase lasted from December 1987 to October 1988. I was assisted by Yannick L’Homme, a photographer. The second phase lasted from January to October 1990. I was accompanied by Erik L’Homme, a historian. The first phase was devoted to familiarizing ourselves with the area. As a first step, we had to immerse ourselves within the environment where those creatures live.

A priori, two courses suggested themselves: 1) Studying the environment, the flora and the fauna, in order to identify the natural conditions favorable to the existence of relic hominids; 2) Studying the local human populations. It is impossible to fully understand eyewitness reports without some knowledge of the region’s inhabitants. To that aim, we carried out an ethnological study of this oral tradition society. We lived among them, discovering their customs, their social organization, and their thoughts. We also learned their language. It seemed to us necessary to interview witnesses ourselves, in their own language. This way, one would avoid the errors, simplifications, interpretations and omissions of local translators. However, we still drew on their expertise in difficult cases and for verification. This most valuable work allowed us to assess the veracity of testimonies, to set aside fanciful stories, and to avoid an approach biased by our personal ideas.

The core of our work thus focused on learning about the environment, its inhabitants, and the search for those areas most favorable to relic hominids. Our travels took us everywhere within the district and surrounding areas.

The second phase of our expedition endeavored to refine our methodology and to contribute significantly to our knowledge of the morphological, ecological and ethnological characteristics of relic hominids. We worked mainly in those areas identified as most favorable during the first phase.

In both phases, we attempted to set up lookouts and observation points in the hope of an encounter. We had available some teledetection equipment and light-amplifying optics. However, our goal was to develop a technique that would allow us to contact one of those creatures. Our means did not allow us the possibility of sufficiently lengthy field observations to hope for positive results. That would be a task for a much better-equipped team.

The Sselection of Witnesses
We have considered two types of informers:


1) the first-hand observer: a person who was an eyewitness;

2) the first-hand informer: a person who heard the information directly from the observer.

Experience taught us that in such an oral-tradition society the information obtained from a direct informer is still valid. The essential elements agree with the report from the first-hand observer. Of course, in the absence of the latter, some minor details are lacking, but the main identifying features remain.


For example: bipedal, the human appearance, the flattened face (non-prognathous), dentition, hairiness, the presence or absence of long breasts, head hair, non-hairy face, color, general proportions, etc. These are important features that all first-hand observers note and communicate in their report.

Regarding precision of eye-witness reports
One might be surprised, a priori, by the precision of the details reported by the observers. One must however understand that such oral-tradition societies, strongly linked to their environment, are still endowed with a keen curiosity and observation skills. Their life depends on it, especially for those nomadic shepherds, who are active hunters and gatherers. Whenever they encounter a human-looking creature, they unfailingly notice the details, as distance allows. For them to know how to look and identify is vital.

Recording eye-witness reports
Each report has been recorded as an oral statement including:


1) basic information on the location and conditions of the observation (distance, duration, date, time of day), the name, age and address of the observer (see appendix). The event as told by the witness. We have them repeat the story three or four times, without interruption;


2) a questionnaire: 63 questions on the anatomy and appearance of the creature (see appendix), including a preliminary sketch as drawn by the observer on the basis of the above, without input on our part (see appendix);


3) reference images: we then invite the observer to look at various drawings and photos of creatures that have some human appearance, as well as various anatomical forms of feet, teeth, head. These included the great apes, reconstructions of fossil hominids, the yeti, Gigantopithecus, bear in human-looking poses, and Pongoid Man. The witnesses then chose one or more image that most closely resemble what they saw;


4) A more definite sketch drawn in the light of additional information: only the first-hand observers were shown the reference images.
Our method allows precise and consistent descriptions, most carefully identifying the morphological features of the relic hominids observed. Eyewitness reports were gathered from the many valleys where we interviewed local people.

“The environment, the flora and the fauna are reminiscent of European mountains.”

Consideration of the environment and of the human population demonstrates the possibility of the current existence of relic hominids. The area includes extensive mountains ranges, inhospitable and difficult of access, with a very low density of human occupation (11 inhabitants per km2). Further, the population is concentrated at the bottom of the valleys. Most of the district is uninhabited. Thus, the population density falls quickly with elevation, where only shepherds roam. Recognition of this context is essential in order to grasp the credibility of the reports.

The Environment
The area of interest includes the district of Chitral (so named after its former capital city) and its surroundings, in northern Pakistan. It is fringed in the north and the west by the principal range of the Hindu Kush, the border with Afghanistan; to the east and the south by the secondary range of Shandur, the boundary with the Gilgit territory and the districts of Swat and Dir. The area covers the same latitude range as from southern Spain to the Maghreb.

Constrained by the Hindu Kush, the district is characterized by a highly varied topography, a wide network of mountain chains oriented mainly from northeast to southwest. Around 77 summits exceed 6,000 meters. The valleys are deep, narrow and difficult of access. The mountains are young and very steep. The lowest point is at Arandu (in the south, on the Afghan border) at 1,050 meters; the highest summit is Mount Tirich Mir, the highest point of the Hindu Kush at 7,708 meters.

The Chitral district by itself covers an area of 14,903 km2 (twice the area of the Isère department in France) but given the mountainous nature of the land, the total surface area is much larger. One can thus imagine, considering the whole of Central Asia, the potential area of relic hominid habitat.

Most of the district is made up of rocks from the upper paleozoic: quartzites, limestones and folded metamorphosed schists. There are also great masses of granitic gneiss. The clayey and sandy soils created by the alteration of these rocks are generally fertile, but fragile and extremely subject to erosion.

The hydrographic network is well-developed, thanks to the many glaciers, and the waters are of excellent quality. There is no pollution, except downstream of the city of Chitral, where the impact of development is beginning to be felt. Lakes and ponds are few, and usually at high elevation. The whole system feeds the Indus River, which eventually flows into the Indian Ocean.
Chitral’s climate is characterized by wide changes between winter and summer temperatures, as well as by winds. The north of the district enjoys a continental type mountain climate, with long dry winters, with temper-atures falling to -20o C and sometimes lower at high elevations. In south Chitral, the climate varies with elevation. In valley bottoms, it is Mediterranean, with dry summers. Above 1,600 m, a mountain climate prevails, with cold snowy winters. As early as September, the peaks experience the first snowfalls, progressively descending into the valleys in November.

Starting in December and practically until March, the whole district is under snow, except for valley bottoms downstream from the town of Chitral. The district is inaccessible by road for six months of the year, the passes being closed. Only the Arandu Road on the Afghan border remains open.

The Flora
From a biogeographical perspective, the study area lies within the Palearctic Zone (Europe, Northern Asia, North Africa and the Middle East) with intrusions of varying importance by elements of the Oriental Zone (the Indian peninsula, Indochina and Indonesia). By its mountainous nature, this area presents many similarities with the high mountains of Europe.

The vegetation is characterized by two major assemblages:

1) in the South, an area of dry forests of oaks and conifers (cedars, firs, pines, balsams), there is a rich flora including boxwood, walnuts, junipers, birch, willows, brambles, grass, composites, plantain, umbelliferae, heathers, sedges, cashews, oleaceae;


2) the North, bare and arid, is characterized by steppes typical of Central Asia, including artemisia, grasses, sedges, buttercups, heathers, birch, and dwarf willow.

In the North as well as in the South, it is only in the alpine and sub-alpine levels that there is a relatively abundant elevation band of grasses. Originally, one found basically the two floral ensembles that still characterize the district. However, because of human intervention, particularly since the last century, the wooded areas have shrunk considerably and those remaining are more and more modified. Where the forest has disappeared, farms and mainly steppes have replaced it, with severe erosion problems. Today, uncontrolled logging, winter pruning and over-grazing prevent any forest regeneration.

The Fauna
The original fauna is abundant and distributed in six main ecosystems: valley bottoms, farmlands, wetlands, forests, steppes and alpine zones. Each includes its own group of species.
Among vertebrates, mammals are represented by five species of artiodactyls (among which the ibex (Capra ibex sibirica) and the markhor (Capra falconieri), 15 species of carnivores including the snow leopard (Panthera uuncia), the brown bear (Ursus arctos), the Himalayan bear (Selenarctos thibetanus), the wolf (Canis lupus), the lynx (Felis lynx) and one species of primate (Macaca mulatta), as well as lagomorphs and many species of rodents and insectivores. However, the larger mammals (carnivores and artiodactyls) are particularly endangered and have been decimated by poorly controlled hunting, especially since the wide availability of modern firearms. Most of these species have been reduced by 80-90% or, for some, even more.

The avifauna includes many species, mainly passerines. Wooded areas are the richest in species and abundance. But here again, hunting pressure is intense, particularly on pheasants, waders, doves and thrushes. Most of the species are in regression. Reptiles are abundant. Some species of game lizards are found up to 3,500 m elevation.

The settling of modern man in these mountains goes far back in time, but the inhospitality of the environment and the nature of its geography have always kept human population density low. The population of the district was estimated at 80,000 at the end of the 19th century (less than 6/km2) and reached 116, 867 in 1961 (nearly 8/km2). It is now 160,000 (around 11/km2) for the whole district. No great civilization could develop there. Actually, this environment has allowed the survival to this day of a medieval, even archaic, social organization and way of life. Deeply feudal, Chitral is slowly discovering modern life.

In spite of having joined the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the old kingdom has kept its tribal character and the princes still embody moral authority. Recent modernization and the arrival of Pakistanese bureaucrats date mainly from the last Afghan war, a critical period when an influx of refugees had to be managed.

Chitral remains an area difficult to access and with very little tourism. Visitors come only to the town of Chitral and to a few nearby valleys. The district is nearly completely lacking in communication infrastructure.

The population consists of a number of ethnic groups, the principal one being the Chitralis, or Khows. Most of these groups are sedentary and in hierarchical relationships to each other. Life is concentrated in the valley bottoms and agriculture spreads out everywhere that the soil and irrigation allow.

Gujar shepherds are the only really nomadic group and the only ones that live in the mountains. They are at the bottom of the social scale and their life style is still very archaic. As soon as the snows melt, these shepherds leave the valleys with wife, children and baggage, and climb to the meager alpine pastures. These are the people from whom we obtained most of our reports.
Except for the polytheist Kalash tribes, all of the district’s inhabitants are Muslims, converted between the 14th and the 16th centuries. At this time, about 75% are Sunni Muslims and 25% Ismaelis, a branch of Shia Islam.

The modernization of the district, accompanied by an increase in human population and in domestic cattle, presents an overburdening pressure on the natural environment. This is an entirely new situation, a first in the history of the region. Nature, up to then pristine, now suffers from the growing human impact on natural ecosystems.

During our two investigation seasons we gathered a rich body of information about Chitral’s relic hominids. Among this material, we have selected 27 accounts of encounters, the data of our study. These encounters allow a solid identification of the creatures of interest.

We present here some examples in a narrative style, which synthesizes the stories of the observers (spontaneous comments) and their answers to the questionnaire. The words used to define the various parts of the anatomy are translated from the original or interpreted from the mimes used by the witnesses to describe them. For example, brow ridge in khowar = “brrou nâl”; a stooping posture = a mime by the witness. Measurements given in centimeters have been converted from Imperial measures used by the witnesses or from their approximate values expressed by gestures. Such estimates are reported as they were told us, without adjustment. The more technical results are presented in the section “synthesis of the biology of relic humanoids.”

To avoid confusion, each time we use the word “man” to mean Homo sapiens sapiens, we capitalize the M: Man. We also use the expression “hairy man” as a synonym of relic humanoid.
We remind the reader that the witnesses had never been contacted before by other research-ers. These are original reports.

[NB: The drawings of the hominids are identikit pictures. They are not to be taken as realistic depictions, done after nature, but as reconstitutions based on the eyewitness reports and selected picture references. Body proportions depend on the duration and distance of the observation; so do those features found most striking by the witness, for example, the size of the hands, the length of the limbs, etc. The longer the observation, the more realistic the drawing. Otherwise, some body parts that attracted the witness’s attention are sometimes exaggerated. However, we chose to remain faithful to the words of the witnesses, without corrections or interpretations.]

Eyewitness report No. 2
Information provided by Purdum Khan, 52 years old, Chitrali shepherd, recorded 25 Jan-uary 1988.

In September 1977, Purdum Khan, a shepherd, was watching his sheep at the top of the mountain, at an elevation of 3,500 to 4,000 m, sitting on a rock in the middle of the prairie. It was sunny, between 3:00 and 4:00 in the afternoon. Suddenly a stench attracted his attention to the lower area, an odor like that of a “three-day-old-dead cat or dog,” as he said. The shepherd then saw a hairy man, 3 to 4 meters from him, lower down. He stayed put, observing it in silence for two hours; the hairy man could neither see nor smell him.


The shepherd was not afraid; he had already heard about these creatures and he had his axe with him to defend himself if the need arose. Even though it was the first time, it was normal for him to see a hairy man and it is simply by curiosity that he decided to observe it.


The creature was a young adult male, of average stature (for the area, between 1.70 and 1.75 m – 67-69 in). It was sitting “like a Muslim” and was eating ant larvae or nymphs, which he picked with two fingers, his thumb and index. It was in full sun. Its muscles and chest were well developed. The general appearance was that of a Man; the body was covered with long reddish brown hair (8-10 cm – 3.4-4.0 in). It did not wear any clothing. The hair on its head was long; its face was wide “like that of a Tadjik” (people of Mongoloid appearance) with prominent cheekbones. It had some kind of beard and only its cheeks, its nose and the area around the eyes were hairless. Its nose was wide and flattened “like that of a Chinese,” with clearly visible nostrils. The brow ridges were wide and prominent. Its eyes dark and like those of a Man; so were its hairy ears. It had no forehead and its neck was very short. Its mouth was very large, without visible lips, with teeth similar to those of Man, but more massive. Its chin was weak and hairy. Legs and arms were rather long and more muscular that those of a Man. Its hands and feet were very wide, with hairless palms and soles, but the tops hairy. Nails on fingers and toes were similar to those of a Man, 2-2.5 cm (1 in) long. The shepherd added that the fingers were long and the feet very wide compared to a Man’s. His sex was erect and very large “like that of a donkey.”4 When the hairy man moved, he walked upright like a Man, chest forward, feet turned in. Its skin, visible through the hair, was dark “like that of a Gujar” (brown-skinned people). When a large dog approached, the hairy man left directly downhill, towards the forest.

A few days later, at around 1:00 in the morning, our witness saw the hairy man a second time, at the same place. The shepherd was climbing down with a young woman. The hairy man grabbed her, but the shepherd quickly took her back and the hairy man fled at the sight of the axe carried by Purdun Khan. The creature did not engage in any violent behavior.

Selected reference imagery: Pongoid Man, but with darker skin.

Our witness believes that relic hominids hibernate, more or less, and reappear in these mountains only in March or April. It is rare to see one in the winter, but they sometimes emerge during that season to feed themselves, for example, on the fruits of the juniper. He believes that they are omnivores, but mainly vegetarian.

It is of interest to note the great size of the erect penis, since according to other witnesses, at rest, it is very small. This is the first time this kind of information has been recorded about the sex of relic hominids. It remains to be seen whether this is a normal feature, or a pathological case.


4Local donkeys are only 1.0 m (3.3 ft) tall at the withers.



Hairy Man seen by Purdum Khan




Eyewitness reports No. 5 and 7

Information about footprints and childhood memories of Sar Tor, 35-40 year old Gujar shepherd, recorded 16 Mar 1988.

One day, in September 1987, our witness, Sar Tor, saw footprints in soft ground while he was walking in the conifer forest above his home, at an elevation of 2,000-2,500 meters. The shape of the footprint was like that of a human, but the forward part was much wider. The length of the print was that of “the foot of a man wearing size 43/44,” i.e. 26/27 centimeters; the width was about 15 cm (6 in). The prints were very distinct and showed at their periphery evidence of hair on top of the foot.


The tracks were directed towards the top of the mountain. Here Eyebrows are not seen, hidden by its hair. Eyelashes are long, but the witness can’t remember about the eyes. The teeth are large and forward, but there are no fangs. The body is thick-set, the torso wide, the neck short and thick. The stature is that of a Man, 1.7-1.8 m (67-71 in) (the Gujars are rather tall). Head and feet are wide; fingernails are similar to a Man’s, curved downwards. Hairy men live in caves in the mountains and eat roots and corpses of dead goats and sheep. They are nocturnal but are also seen during the day. They seek the human women.

Selected reference imagery: none, because the witness did not actually see a hairy man.



Footprint seen by Sar Tor



Eyewitness report No. 9
Information received from Mohamed Nabi, 55 year old Pathan shepherd, on 10 April 1988.

It was on an evening of July 1987, around 9:00 pm. The shepherd was returning to the village with his goats, lantern in hand. He suddenly found himself face-to-face with an adolescent hairy man who tried to touch Mohamed with his arms outstretched (a defensive rather than aggressive gesture). In defense, the shepherd hit the young hairy with his stick. The two opponents were on a slope with scattered trees and bushes at about 2,300 m. There was a large bush between them, around which they circled.


According to the Pathan, the action lasted for about two hours, he hitting the young hairy, the latter trying to grab him. The young hairy man uttered guttural sounds, a kind of deep exhalation – “ahan!” The shepherd was not afraid of being bitten but rather scratched – the young hairy was reaching with its long fingernails. Its smell was strong and unpleasant, like that of a rotting corpse. It was 1.1-1.2 m (43-47 in) tall and entirely covered with greyish-brown hair.


Its head-hair was short; its face, the palm of its hands, and the sole of its feet were hairless. Its skin was dark, “like that of a Gujar.” It did not wear any clothes. It had no forehead and a small flattened nose; its mouth had no lips and its teeth were similar to a Man’s, without fangs. The arms seemed long, because of the long narrow hands and fingers. The feet were human-like but wider, especially in the front. Its chest was very developed. After two hours, the young hairy fled uphill to the nearby forest. The shepherd added that during their fight and during its escape, the young hairy stood erect on its hind legs.

Selected reference imagery: the Pongoid Man, but taking into account the fact that it was a young one, and that it had short hair and a dark skin.

Eyewitness reports No. 10 and 11
Information provided by Mohamad Nabi, the previous witness, on 10 April 1988.

A few days before our arrival in the area, this same shepherd who had fought with the young hairy, saw on two occasions the tracks of a hairy man, on two different mountains, one of them being just in front of our camp. On April 3, 1988, the tracks were crossing a ridge, between 2,500-2,600 m in elevation, and seemed to be heading through the valley towards the top of the mountain. The tracks looked quite fresh. On April 8, the hairy man was descending from the summit, at around 3,500 m. Its tracks crossed a valley and continued towards the rocky scarps where the Markhors live, around 3,000 m. Those tracks were about a week old, according to our witness, but were still quite visible.

In both cases, an adult, rather tall, would have made the tracks judging from the size of the prints; perhaps by the same individual. Prints in both tracks were identical in shape and proportions. The foot was as long as that of a Man wearing size 44/45 shoes, i.e. 30 cm (11.8 in), but much wider in the front. Toes were visible and the big toe particularly clearly. There was no sign of claws.




Track and Wild Man seen by Mohamed Nabi


We found, with binoculars and the help of the shepherd, the track of April 8, facing our camp. One could clearly recognize the tracks of a biped. The footprints came from the East, high in the mountain, crossed a valley and turned north into rocky crags inaccessible to humans without special equipment. The slope was very steep, the rocks brittle and the snow very deep (many meters in some places).


Considering the nature of these tracks, it is unthinkable that they could have been made by a local native. No one would have ventured in such an area in the daytime, even more so in their bare feet. From personal experience, I know that in order to move through such thick snow without sinking to one’s waist or triggering an avalanche, one must proceed at night, when the snow is frozen and stable. It is at that time that the hairy man crossed those slopes – it was the only one able to walk through these dangerous areas bare foot and at night. There was only one end of the tracks accessible, within a conifer forest where Nabi had had a close look and where the snow was not too thick.


Unfortunately, avalanches, fog and rain did not permit us to reach the area until two days later. The tracks were no longer very clear and we could only verify they were indeed the tracks of a biped with rather large feet. However, with our binocular on 60X amplification, we could analyze the behavior of the hairy man. We followed its long and prudent detours to avoid cabins occupied by woodcutters. Its progress appeared slow and its stride rather short compared to the footsteps, even in shallow snow. Descending, it had a tendency to proceed diagonally, rarely than directly down the slope.


In deep snow, in the higher area, it slid on its buttocks down steep but short slopes. Going up, on the other side, it had climbed more or less directly uphill. Where the snow was very deep and the slope steep, it had used its hands as oars. A few days later, we observed, high in the mountain, a set of tracks similar to the first. We were unfortunately bound to our camp by the highly variable weather conditions, which made access to the mountain dangerous. Warming and rain triggered numerous avalanches during daytime.

Eyewitness report No. 12
Information gathered from Lal Khan, 55 year-old Gujar shepherd, recorded April 22, 1988, and also January 30, 1990.


Our witness saw a hairy man on three occasions, in 1985, 1986 and 1987. In 1987, Lal Khan was leading its goats to pasture. At around 13:00 he was herding them across a slope opening on a prairie at 3,450 meters elevation. The coughing of some goats woke up a hairy man lying at the foot of a large fir tree. The lower branches of that tree, growing in front of cliff, created a shelter reaching ground level.


The shepherd saw the hairy man coming out of its shelter. It did not appear particularly frightened at the sight of the Man and threw a stone at him. It then turned around and calmly crossed the prairie using a stick in its left hand in support. It aimed uphill and disappeared behind a ridge. Now and then, the wild man stopped to gather plants and to eat them. It took a long detour along elevation contours. The sighting lasted more than 10 minutes. The shepherd, frightened, gathered his goats and went back down the hill.

In 1985 and 1986, our witness saw the same individual in that same area, but from a much greater distance. At each encounter, the same scenario happened – the shepherd saw the hairy man, who left slowly leaning on a stick, while he, frightened, brought his goats back downhill.

In 1987, it was the first time he had seen it so closely (10 m) and that the hairy man had thrown a rock at him.

The witness described the creature as robust and very hairy. Completely hairy over its whole body except on its cheeks, the palm of its hands, its knees and ears. It had a beard, short head hair and broad shoulders, massive teeth, without fangs. Its hair was dark, except on its chest where it was white.


A number of details suggest that the individual might have been elderly: the slow departure, the use of a stick as a cane, the white hair on its chest.

Selected reference imagery: the Pongoid Man, but with dark skin and short head hair.



Wild man seen by Lal Khan


Eyewitness report No. 16
Information obtained from Nur Hamid, 55 year-old Gujar shepherd, recorded February 16, 1990.


On a day in April 1987, around noon, as the sun was behind clouds, the witness was gathering morels in the mountains with his sister in a conifer forest at about 3,000 meters. Suddenly, they saw a hairy man. It was about 20 meters from them, downhill, crouching in a bush in the fetal position (as mimed by the shepherd). When it saw them, it moved towards them. He and his sister threw rocks at it and started shouting.


Another Man came to help them. Finally, the hairy man was hit on the head with a stone and ran away hurriedly: “it ran as fast as a dog.” It disappeared in the forest, downhill.


It was tall, 1.75-1.80 m in stature (69-71 in). Its dark skin was entirely covered with reddish hair. Its long wild head hair came down to its shoulders. Its impressive muscles and its posture gave it a stocky appearance. Its face was hairless, its nose wide and upturned, its wide mouth showed human-like teeth, without fangs. It is interesting to note that, as in other similar cases, the presence of a woman attracted the hairy man. When faced with men alone, it always flees immediately.

Selected reference imagery: the Pongoid Man, but with dark skin and thicker eyebrows.



Wild Man seen by Nur Hamid


Eyewitness report No. 22
Information obtained from Chitralis Ata Ul Llah, six years old, and Abdul Hafiz, 4 years old, recorded June 2, 1990.

On May 24, 1990, around 10:30 in the morning, three children – two boys and a girl – were playing near a canal close to a village at an elevation of about 2,000 m. The weather was fine. The girl was the first to notice the hairy woman; frightened, she hid behind a rock. The boys did not notice the hairy woman’s presence until she was near them.


She was coming down the mountain. She walked over to the smaller boy, threw him on the ground and grabbed him. The other boy, terrified, ran down to the village with the girl. They saw the hairy woman running away up the mountain with the four-year-old boy, Gul Naz. The other two children, scared witless and not knowing who that “person” was, did not at first dare say anything.


The boy did not return directly home and hid in a neighbor’s garden. Around noon, his father, not seeing him back, went looking for him and found him hiding in the garden, still terrified. The father questioned him and the child told him the story. The parents alerted the village.


Large footprints were discovered near the canal. At first, based on the boy’s description of the ravisher as being dark of skin, the villagers thought that it might have been a Gujar nomad. A thousand people scoured the mountain, but in vain. Neither the Gujar nor the missing child were found. They then concluded that it was a “Pâri” (a spirit) that had kidnapped the child.


Three days later, some men using binoculars discovered some blue clothing at the foot of the rocks. One of them climbed up and found the missing child, dead, on a rock. The death was recent, hardly half an hour before; blood was flowing from a hole on the left temple and from another one on the left cheek. The child was only wearing a shirt; its pants and shoes had disappeared. The body did not show any other wounds or signs of ill treatment. They buried him and the case was closed – since this was the work of a spirit, there was nothing else to do.


The villagers did not even call the police, who in any case would not have bothered to come just because of the death of a child. Since we were surprised, it was explained that in a society where child mortality was high, the death of a child, especially one killed by a spirit, is accepted with resignation. The nearest police station was many kilometers away and during the farming season nobody would have wasted his time for a futile enquiry about the role of a spirit. Finally, since the police did not have a vehicle, it is unlikely that they would have bothered. But actually, after interviewing the witnesses, the boy and the girl, separately, it became clear that it was no “spirit” in the usual meaning of the term. The girl, older than the boy, had seen the event more clearly and gave us, in her child’s vocabulary, a most interesting description.

The creature was 1.65-1.70 m tall. Its skin and its long hair were dark. It was wearing a “great coat” and “high boots” of dark hair like that of goats (there is a long-haired goat in the district). The face was big and scary. Then she added that it must have been a woman since she had two enormous breasts that stuck out of the “coat.” It seemed strange to us that anyone should walk around in a fur coat and boots on a sunny June day. Besides, nobody locally has such equipment, even for winter use. It was apparent that the girl, in her words, was describing the pelt of a hairy creature. The answers that the children provided to the questionnaire indeed confirmed the identity of the creature.

As to the tracks, it rained two or three days after our arrival and the footprints were erased. Description by the villagers speak of footprints 23-25 cm long (9-10 in) by 12-14 cm wide (5-6 in). These proportions are compatible with the stature of the hairy woman.

As to the story itself, it is difficult to imagine reasons that drove the hairy woman to behave as she did. For myself, I favor the following explanation – the hairy woman had most likely just lost her own child and, grieving, was attracted by the voices of the children at play. Her maternal instinct focused on them; she took away the smallest child as a replacement for her own. After a while, the child managed to get away or was abandoned for some reason or other by the hairy woman. Trying to find his way home through the rocks, the young boy mortally fell. I think it is unlikely that the hairy woman would have killed him, given where the body was found. This is also the opinion of the villagers who recognized that the fatal wounds were caused by a fall. Such a case of diverted maternal instinct is neither new nor exceptional; there are numerous cases of such behavior among animals, both wild and domesticated. It is thus possible that it would also manifest itself in a creature close to us (as in a hairy woman).


Selected reference imagery: separately, both children immediately selected Pongoid Man, noting however the presence of breasts and the darkness of the skin.



The Hairy Woman seen by the children


Jangali mosh: a Chitrali word meaning “man of the forest” or “wild man” (jangali = forest, mosh = man). Used in the whole Chitral district but particularly in the south. It is the equivalent of jangli adami in Urdu (jangli = forest, adami = man) and of ban manus in Hindi (ban = forest, manus = man).

Barmanu: is a term widely used by Chitralis in the southern part of the district. It denotes any massive object (a cushion, a bag, etc.) or a hefty person (a big man, a chubby child, etc.). In this case, for hairy men, the Chitralis mean “the husky,” or “burly,” “muscle man” or just “big one.” In the northern part of the district, this word is practically unknown and is replaced by others. This word was perhaps introduced by the Gujars, who frequently use it to describe hairy men. Its etymological origin is related to the Indian ban manus; the Gujari language is related to Hindi. Those Chitralis in contact with the Gujars probably borrowed the word and extended its meaning to other items.

Pâri: means a “spirit,” a “genie,” even a “ghost.” This name is sometimes used in the south of the district, but is mostly used in the north and is sometimes the only word used to describe the creature. More than just a name, it’s also used to explain, according to the local inhabitants, the nature or existence of hairy men.

Diu: is the Afghan equivalent of Pâri. It is used mostly among Tajiks (refugees or nomads from the north) to denote the hairy man.

Through 27 eyewitness reports, we gathered a total of 31 incidents or contacts, including 24 encounters and 7 observations of tracks. These 31 incidents correspond to 27 individuals, of which 20 were seen (17 males, 2 females, 1 juvenile male) and 7 sightings of tracks (6 adults, 1 young). In total: 25 adults and 2 juveniles. We interviewed 21 people. Of the 27 reports, 21 were from direct observers, and 6 from direct informers. In total, 29 people experienced encounters (25) or saw tracks (4).

Over the 40 year period spanning the information gathered, only three took place during the first twenty years. 28 reports, i.e. 90% of the total occurred in the last twenty years. The last five years revealed 19 reports, 61 % of the total. 1987 was the best year, with 9 observations: 29% of the total. All this shows that our observations are mostly recent and that these creatures still frequent the Chitral district, at least until 1990, when we have three observations.

Of the 29 witnesses, 15 are Gujar nomads (51%), 10 are Chitralis (34%) and 3 Pathans (10%). Socially, we have a strong majority of shepherds: 20 witnesses (69%), farmer-woodcutters (14%), 4 children (14%) and one hunter. Most of the witnesses were adults: 25 persons between the ages of 24 and 70.

All the witnesses to whom we showed some reference imagery have systematically and immediately selected the Pongoid Man to represent the hairy men which they saw.

Morphological features. Determined from the spontaneous reports by eyewitnesses, their answers to questionnaires, and reference images. As to the latter, we recall that all witnesses selected the Pongoid Man. (see Appendix, the descriptive features from reports).

General appearance. The general appearance is human, as much as by its body shape as its bipedal locomotion. Characteristically, the body is stocky and massive, with highly developed musculature and broad shoulders. Further, as remarked by witnesses, the hairiness extends over the whole body. The face is nearly hairless, in contrast to the rest of the body and head-hair.

Stature of adults. Of the 19 adults about which we have information as to stature, the averages are as follows: for males, around 1.75 m (69 in). The tallest reported as 1.85 m (73 in) and the shortest as 1.70 m (67 in); for females, around 1.70 m (67 in), a number based however on only two individuals. There is not enough evidence to conclude that there is any sexual dimorphism with respect to stature.

Of course, these numbers do not correspond to measurements, but are only estimates provided by witnesses. They are thus relatively subjective. They also include head hair, meaning that for some individuals one should subtract 5-10 cm. The stature would then be 1.65-1.70 m for males and 1.60-1.65 m for females. Overall, the numbers give a good impression of the general shape of these creatures. They also show that they have a stature comparable to that of the local human population.

The skin. The skin is brownish. That may be its natural coloration, or it could also be tanned by the sun, or merely dirty.

Hairiness. The face is hairless, without real beard or mustache. Only a couple of witnesses mentioned the presence of a few hair scattered around the face. This is a detail that is difficult to notice at a distance, which might explain its rare mention. It is likely that such hair might be present in all individuals, except perhaps young ones. Eyebrows are not particularly bushy, except among some hairier individuals. The eyelashes are long. The ears are more or less covered with hair, depending on the individuals.

The males are very hairy from the lower jaw down their neck. For some witnesses that looked like a beard, but it merged with the rest of the hair on the upper part of the chest. It is hard to confirm that as a real beard or simply an extension of the pelt up to the lower part of the face. Among the observed females and the young, this feature is less developed or even missing; they are less hairy.

Head hair is present in all individuals. The hair is of varying length. Among some, it is short (a few cm), among others much longer (down to the shoulders) or very long (down to the lower back). The upper part of hands and feet are covered with hair, including fingers and toes. The inferior parts, palm and sole, are hairless. The knees are hairless.

The rest of the body is covered with hair, but this pelt is not a fur: the hair density is low and the skin is visible through it. The hair are 8-10 cm long, or even 10-12 cm in some cases; in most individuals (60%) the hair is dark (black, reddish black, dark brown) and in the others (40%) somewhat lighter (clear beige, reddish, reddish brown or grey). The head hair color matches that of the rest of the body hair.

Finger nails. Both on hands and feet, the nails are rather narrow, rounded, 2-2.5 cm long. They are curved downwards especially on the toes.

Body proportions. Torso is relatively long, broad and thick; the thorax well developed. The females have long hairless breasts descending to their belly. Back is strongly muscled, generally very rounded, a feature less noticeable when the individual stands erect. Shoulders are very broad in individuals of both sexes. Proportionally less developed among young ones. Arms are strongly muscled, seem longer than those of humans. However, their apparent length may be due to the length of the hands. The forearms are shorter than the upper arms. Legs are generally short compared to their body and to those of humans. Strongly muscular. The lower leg is shorter than the thigh. Hands are very large, the palms vary from wide to very wide. The fingers are long and appear rather thin compared to their length. The thumb is long, thin and appears weakly opposable; its position appears to be on the same plane as the other fingers. Feet are short and very broad, especially in the front. This feature is more pronounced among the young ones. In the tracks, the average length is 26.5 cm (10.5 in), the width 15.8 cm (6.2 in).

Morphological indices. Given an average stature of 175 cm, we obtain the following indices: Length of foot: 100 x 26.5/175 = 15.14, which is within the range of modern humans. Width of foot: 100 x 15.8/175 = 9, which is very high. This index is much larger than the human range. Foot aspect ratio: 100 x 15.8/26.5 = 59.62. This index is much above the range of variability of modern humans. The foot appears short, but that is a relative impression arising from its great width. The toes are all about the same size, crooked and fanning out. The big toe is spread sideways; the small toe is curved inwards. This detail was observed in footprints where, according to a witness, it was clearly visible.

Head and neck. The head is large and longer in the back to front direction. This also applies to a lesser degree to juveniles. The head appears sunken between the shoulders; the neck is short, broad and muscular. The forehead is sloping and narrow. The eyebrows are very pro-nounced, creating a “visor” above the eyes. The face is large and long. Cheekbones are very prominent and projecting to the sides. The lower jaw is massive, without noticeable chin. Jaws are prominent. Jaws, nose and eyebrows give the face a flat appearance. The lower face is dominant; the forehead is narrow and sloping. The eyes are far apart, similar to those of humans in shape, but larger. The white of the eye is clearly visible; the iris is dark, brown to dark brown. The nose is very broad among adults, less so in juveniles. All individuals have a very short nose, flattened and generally upturned. The nostrils are large and opened forward, even in the young. The mouth is larger than in Man, without lips and without a labio-nasal groove. The teeth are regular and similar to those of Man, but larger, without fangs. The ears are comparable to those of a Man and, similarly, of individually variable size. They are generally rather large. The ear lobe is long. The upper edge of the ear varies in shape (independently of how hairy it may be): in some individuals, it is rounded, in others, pointy.

Genitals. In males, the penis at rest is quite small. However, if the observation by eyewitness No. 2 holds for the whole species, it appears that the erect penis is particularly long. As the witnesses, all Muslim, are always reticent in speaking of this organ, we lack precise information as to the shape of the penis, and genital organs in general.


Sexual dimorphism. Besides genital organs in males and long breasts in females (at least in adults), sexual dimorphism is not evident. Stoutness and hairiness are comparable in both sexes. There may be a difference in stature, but we have too few observations of females to be able to confirm it.

Body odor. Strong and unpleasant, also in the young. Witnesses compare it to the smell of a rotting carcass. It might be a natural odor or simply their filth. We do not have any information on the smell of females and it is not possible to state that it is as strong, or less pungent, than that of males.

Voice. According to witnesses, their voice is strong, but without articulated speech. They usually emit grunts and guttural shouts. According to witnesses, their Muscular strength. Given their heavily muscled bodies, they are probably, at equal size, much more powerful than Men. We have some information as to the power of their legs, which are highly developed. As witnesses said: “It ran as fast as a dog,” and “It climbs as fast as a goat.”


Senses. Sight: one may assume that it is excellent. Even though these creatures are often nocturnal, they do not seem to be true nyctalopes. Smell: if one were to judge from the size and shape of their noses, it might be more sensitive than that of humans.

Geographical distribution. The hairy men of Chitral are not an isolated case in Asia. In all of Central Asia, as far as the Caucasus, similar reports exist or have existed. The names vary –Ksy-gyik, Almas, Goul-Biabane, Kaptar, etc. – but they all refer to the same living creature. According to Dr. B. F. Porchnev, in the past, the range of distribution of hairy men extended to most of Palearctic Asia.


Today, their range is likely to be much reduced, including the mountains of central Asia, the north of Indochina and probably the Caucasus. Overall, the distribution of hairy men is within the Palearctic zone and rarely beyond that natural region. In Chitral, according to the reports collected, it seems that hairy men are found mostly in the south of the district, in forested areas.

Ecological distribution. Hairy men are mainly found in forested ecosystems: 26 out of 31 reports are from the forest. Among those ecosystems, the coniferous forest is the most frequented habitat (20 reports, including from 11 from predominantly cedar woods and 9 from fir forests). The elevation distribution ranges from 1,500-4,500 m, but most of the observations are from 2,000-4,000 m, with a high proportion between 2,000-3,000 m. This ecological distribution seems linked to the presence of people. When comparing the information gathered with the area of human activity, we notice a definite separation between Men and hairy men, the latter being most frequently seen where human activities are minimal. This remark is however valid only for daytime. At night, there is practically no human presence above 2,500 m. It is then possible for the hominids to range between 2,000 and 6,000 m. There would then exist an ecological separation based on behavior, linked to the presence of humans. Presence in the forests is also confirmed by the local term for these creatures: Jangali Mosh (man of the forest, wild man).

Population dynamics. Judging from the information gathered, the hairy man population structure shows a strong disproportion in age classes and genders.


From a total number of observations of 27, there are 25 adults and 2 juveniles. Of the 25 adults, there are only two females for 17 males; the rest are from individuals whose gender was not determined. There are two possible explanations: either the females and the young ones are more nocturnal, which is quite probable; or the area is not one of permanent habitation and only the males frequent it often, females and juveniles passing through only rarely.

It is very difficult to estimate the exact density of these creatures. Our information is insufficient. Besides some particular locations, relic hominids are rare in the rest of the district, which leads one to believe that their density is not very high. We have not obtained sufficient information to assess the evolution of the density. However, it is certain that the hominids have become rarer or disappeared from some areas where they were seen in the past, for example, in the district of Dir.

Social organization. Given the state of our knowledge, it is difficult to say anything on this matter. We have only observations of solitary individuals and no information at all about any family or collective organization. That is the most obscure point about the habits of these hominids. In the Chitral district, it would appear that the individuals are scattered without any social organization, even on the smallest scale. That may however be only an impression created by their highly discreet behavior.

Diet. According to eyewitnesses, relic hominids appear to be omnivores, eating mainly a vegetable diet. That they are omnivores is confirmed by their dentition, similar to ours, but more massive. On the other hand, it is difficult to be certain about the dominant component of their diet. We lack information about any animal food.

As to vegetables, there are many that they can eat: wild plants such as garlics, roots, fruits (strawberries, acorns, plums, etc.), numerous herbaceous plants (plantains, grasses, parsleys, and, to some extent cultivated plants (corn, fruits, etc.).

As to animal-based foods, they will eat insects such as larvae or ant nymphs, and undoubtedly larvae living in wood, honey, and bees’ nests, etc. They sometimes eat corpses of wild or domestic animals. They are most likely able to hunt and catch small game. There is no lack of rodents or lagomorphs (like the pica – Ochotona roylei). Lizards are found up to 3,500 m and are an easy prey.

Seasonal variations. Given their omnivorous and undoubtedly opportunistic diet, their food choices must vary in function of their availability.

Feeding behavior. We have some information on this matter relating to their posture and use of their hands: sitting cross-legged to feed on insects held between finger and index finger; bent over and walking in that position to gather plants, mowing with their hands; standing up and walking, stopping from time to time to pick up berries, seized between thumb and index.
Territoriality, living area, dens. Witness reports indicate that individuals are erratic in their behavior and never remain very long in the same area, just a few days. The population is made of nomads exploiting a living area rather than a set territory. It makes sense to think that the living area for an individual (or family?) is quite broad, extending over many areas in response to the availability of food in different seasons. They do not construct any dwellings, even primitive ones, and only use natural shelters (caves, rocky overhangs, dense thickets, the base of large trees, etc.) or empty human buildings, like sheep pens. Such shelters, occupied only briefly, are not improved in any way. However, in the case of the shelter under a tree (report No. 2) we heard that the ground had been cleared, leaving the earth bare.

Seasonal activity cycle. In the Chitral district, hominids are particularly active in the spring, summer and fall. Those are the seasons when they are seen. In the winter, on the other hand, during the snowy season, and in spite of a constant although reduced human presence in the mountains, we have practically no information. It is possible that the hominids migrate in that season toward less snowy areas.

Daily activity cycle. According to the observations, relic hominids are active at night as well as during the day, but in proportions still poorly defined. Clearly these hominids are active at those times when humans are not. These correspond to two periods: one is from sunset to sunrise, at night, when people sleep; the other is from the end of the morning to mid-afternoon, a rest period and siesta time for humans.

Behavior towards humans. Data clearly show the eco-ethological separation between humans and relic hominids. The reason for this separation is more likely to be due to interspecific competition than to different ecological niches. As the witnesses confirmed, relic hominids undoubtedly avoid humans: just seeing a person causes them to flee. However, in some cases, particularly when meeting human females, this behavior is modified. We have heard many reports where these hominids seek contact with a woman, even in the presence of a Man. Even if hominids fear people in general, they are not aggressive. We did not hear of real aggression, with wounds or even death. We recall that in report No. 22, the death of the child was not directly attributable to the female relic hominid.

These creatures may be classified as hominids5 because of the following anatomical features: body proportions and posture similar to those of Man and quite different from those of the great apes; constant bipedalism, human-like feet, hands similar to human hands, presence of a distinct nose, eyes similar to a Man’s, and especially a dentition without fangs, which allows classification as hominids and not apes. The latter, even the anthropoid apes, have well developed fangs. In the evolution of humankind, fangs disappear with australo-pithecines and the adult canine remains small up to Homo sapiens sapiens.

Chitral’s relic hominids are identical to Heuvelmans’ Homo pongoides, as confirmed by the following: all witnesses systematically and exclusively chose Pongoid Man from the reference images; the questionnaire was based on the descriptive features of Pongoid Man, All these features are found in the Chitral hominids. It is then reasonable to conclude that they are the same species. Pongoid Man is no longer one of a kind, or a hoax: there exists a whole population of similar creatures.

As long as no osteological and genetic examination of a specimen has been carried out, it is much too early to bestow a species name on the relic hominids of Chitral. One may however attempt to limit the choices. Two hypotheses come to mind. Either it is a totally unknown type of hominid, not present in the fossil record (one cannot exclude such a possibility), or it is a kind of hominid known as a fossil and which has survived to this day. That is highly probable. Similar cases have been found in zoology, species considered extinct and known only as fossils but found alive in our times.

The reasons are as follows:
1) The relic hominids of Chitral cannot just have appeared recently and spontaneously; their speciation is at least as old as that of Man. Such antiquity suggests a link with fossil species.


2) Numerous similarities are found with the anatomy and structure of the most recent fossil hominids, the Erectus/ Neanderthal branch.

3) Such similarities are also found in their ecological relationships (see Appendix).

4) There is no paleontological contra-diction with the geographical distribution of those fossil hominids.

Finally, for the same reasons, B.F. Porchnev and B. Heuvelmans identify these relic hominids with extreme Neanderthalian forms.

There remains the question of culture. That of the relic hominids does not correspond to the paleontologists’ and prehistorians’ idea of the most recent fossil hominids. This question opens perspectives of capital importance, which could bring new ideas to the theories of human evolution. However, without wishing to address this matter prematurely, one should not forget that culture is closely linked to learning – it is an acquired trait. It is thus quite unstable and changing and one can imagine that it could be lost, since it is not innate. But for now, the answer lies in field work!


5 Editors note: In current terminology this should be “hominins."


Survey methodology and results. Our work has not been a disconnected accumulation of information gathered from stories told by the local population, nor a collection of tales from collective memory. It has been a methodical survey focused on the analysis of eyewitness reports to confirm the presence of relic hominids in Chitral. Our methodology has allowed us to assess the credibility of the information by comparing the reports through a strict protocol applied to each one.


The results allow us to conclude that:
In Chitral, there is no legend, myth or folklore circulating about relic hominids. There is no reference imagery or abstract description of these creatures. We find only two differing interpretations regarding the nature of these beings and their presence in mountains. This double interpretation is based on the ethnic and social structure of the population.

Chitrali society is strongly hierarchical, among various ethnic groups and within these groups. In spite of the mountainous nature of the district, most of the ethnic groups, and thus the majority of the population, lives in the valley bottoms without real and frequent contact with higher elevations. The mountains are left to the lower classes, shepherds and loggers (often the same people) and to the Gujars, nomadic shepherds at the bottom of the social scale. These people, shepherds and loggers, are the only ones to keep in touch with the high elevation forests and the mountains.

For those shepherds who encounter them, relic hominids are human-like creatures, wild hairy and living like animals. They are considered on the fringe of animals and humanity. For them they are men (by their appearance and bipedalism), but not humans (hairiness, animal habits, lack of speech and social organization): they call them Jangali Mosh – men of the forest (or wild men). This interesting distinction – men vs human – should provoke some thought among paleontologists and prehistorians, especially in the light of the current tendency to gather all forms of the genus Homo in a single species, H. sapiens.

For those who live at the bottom of the valleys, and who have never seen relic hominids, these creatures are thought to be spirits (genies, ghosts, etc.). They do not have any idea of what they look like, but they nevertheless dismiss witness reports as absurd and offer a more “realistic” interpretation – the presence of spirits.
However, going beyond a mythical approach, we find in analyzing the facts:

1) There is a solid logic in the descriptions of these creatures in the light of zoological and anthropological know-ledge; there is no such logic in legends, myths, folklore and inventions. There is no fantastic description of their stature, their aggressiveness, their dentition, their strength and the contrast in their anatomy with that of the great apes. In short, everything that adds color to a story or a legend.

2) The witnesses were honest in their descriptions. When they had not seen or could not remember some details that we asked about, they answered that they did not know and did not try to invent an answer. This shows that they are not repeating a stock story, part of oral tradition, for they would then have filled their memory gap with some fable, as they normally do in such cases.

3) In contrast to fantastic tales, comparison of the eyewitness reports clearly shows an ensemble of coherent characteristics and features about the biology and the existence of relic hominids.

4) The only variance recorded between testimonies relate to the age of individuals, their stature, their gender and the color of their hair, etc. These individual differences are expected and consistent with the variability of any sexually reproducing species. When dealing with a hoax or legend, such variations are lacking and the information is stereotyped.

5) Certain precise and coherent anatomical descriptions, such as the state of the genitals, the color of a specific part of the body, particular positions logically related to the structure of the body, the shape of the fingernails, details of the face, cannot be invented. Besides, such details only surface after long lasting encounters at a short distance, corres-ponding to real observations and not to a stock description that a witness could repeat no matter what the distance or duration of the encounter.

6) The number of observations show that there exists a population that includes males, females and juveniles.

7) The descriptions correspond in their general anatomical features to other accounts from Palearctic Asia in the past and today and confirm our earlier remarks.

8 ) It is impossible, if it were a hoax, that the descriptions by many witnesses from different countries, languages, religions and ethnicity could be so convergent. A story, especially a fantastic one, circulating from mouth to mouth, is rapidly distorted, even among people with an oral tradition. We have experienced this fact among Chitralis about the comments that circulated among them about our enquiry, or about third-hand reports.

9) The reports are not artifacts of popular imagination, but the result of real observations precisely located within an ecological context. That was one of the aims of our enquiry – to verify that such reports were not fables.

10) Given the number of observations, we can put aside the hypothesis of individuals of our species affected by genetic anomalies with respect to the norm of Homo sapiens sapiens. It would be difficult to find such an individual and even more so a whole population throughout Central Asia, in the past as in the present. Such mutations would produce a heterogeneous population, whereas eyewitness reports describe a population showing homogeneous features typical of a species.

11) The observations recorded eliminate the possibility of relic hominids being an anthropoid ape. Relic hominids are fully bipedal, but what distinguishes them from the apes is their dentition. Each time that witnesses described teeth, they insisted that their teeth were identical to those of humans, without fangs, which all apes have.

12) Stories and legends do not leave tracks in the snow or in mud. Those described in eyewitness reports, as well as those that we have observed are undoubtedly hominid in their characteristics. If the tracks were those of a bear, as it was often suggested, the tracks can only be of the hind feet; they are the only ones that might be mistaken for a human foot. There are a number of features that squelch this hypothesis. All tracks attributed to relic hominids are the tracks of bipeds – each footprint follows the other, one behind each other, in a line. Bears are quadrupeds and their tracks create two lines. One would have to assume that a bear had walked only on its hind legs, which it is capable of doing, but only for short distances, on relatively flat ground, and certainly not on slopes or in deep snow.

13) The tracks of relic hominids spread over long distances, over rough, sloping or flat ground. Further, bear tracks show evidence of claws, which are not seen in relic hominid tracks. Besides being a bipedal bear, it would need to be one that had lost its claws; and such anomalies would have to occur all over the Palearctic zone. One should also recall that there are clearly visible signs of handprints along relic hominid tracks. Clearly, relic hominid tracks cannot be attributed to bears, even bears with anomalous feet.

14) Contrary to what one might believe, we are far from having discovered all animal species living on our planet. Zoological journals regularly document the discovery of new species. Within the terrestrial fauna, it is not only 3 mm long tiny beasts that are discovered, but animals reaching a meter in length or more. New species of amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals continue to be discovered in addition to numerous invertebrates (for example, our expedi-tion brought back from Chitral three species of toads, of which one might be a new species and is under examination). There are even regions of the world that are poorly known from a zoological point of view. To imagine that we know everything is to over-estimate zoology and the rather modest means at its disposal.

15) The areas where relic hominids live are all difficult to access, generally strictly regulated sensitive border areas. Human population density is generally low, 10 inhabitants per km2 and often less. Zoologists are rare and not syste-matically interested in relic hominids.

16) As paradoxical as it may seem, few scientists have addressed this question given the great number of researchers in the world. How could such a mystery concerning a fossil hominid, since that is what it is all about, remain of so little interest? We can imagine a number of explanations, all directly linked on the one hand with the credibility of the witnesses, on the other on the credibility of the subject, and finally on the credibility of the scientists involved in the “adventure.”

So, what about credibility? The first objective of our enquiry was to assess the credibility of the witness reports. At this stage, the eyewitness reports seem to satisfy our criteria. From the descriptions of the creatures seen, evidence for the existence of relic hominids is not impaired. On the contrary, it is reinforced. As to the credibility of the investigation, it appears to us that it follows from the rigor of the scientific approach and methodology used. Finally, in the light of paleontological data, the survival of geographically isolated populations of hominids thought to be extinct is indeed plausible. Homo sapiens sapiens, appearing 120,000 years ago, long cohabited with archaic forms of hominids, such as Neanderthalians from the Near East, 90,000 years ago, and from Western Europe in St. Cézaire, in France, 32,000 years ago. Coexistence over nearly 100,000 years, together with a gradual regression of the old Neanderthalian population in Eurasia, make it quite logical and scientifically plausible that Chitrali shepherds should encounter their relic descendants today.


I wish to thank all those who have helped me or supported this investigation. First of all, my friends and co-workers in Pakistan, Erik and Yannick L’Homme, as well as my brother Andrés Magraner for logistical support in Europe. Without their help, I would not have been able to carry out this work. I also wish to thank: Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan; Prof. Leonard Ginsburg, Associate Director of Paleontology Museum, “Maître de Conférences,” Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle; Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans; Mme Alika Lindbergh, Thomson – T.R.T. Defense; particularly Mr. Jean Moreau; Spanish Embassy – councilor Juan Jose Giner; French Embassy – cultural and scientific attaché Pierre Carpenter;, Mr. Fabrice Ppntello; Mr. J. C. Roche, “La Sitelle” Press; Apilog Society; Mr. Gérard Dupont; Mr. et Mme Gérard Gouet, National Council for Conservation of Wildlife of Pakistan; Mr. Rao, Conservationist; Mr. Kalimullah Shirazi, D.C.; Mr. Mohamad, Mumtaz Malik, Conservationist (N.W.F.P.); Mr. Said Dulzaman D.F.O. Chitral; Mr. Imtiaz Hussain, Range Officer, Chitral; Mr. Hilal Ahmad, Deputy Range Officer, Chitral; The D.F.O of the Forest Department Chitral; Aga Kham Rural Support Programme: Mr. Shoaib Sultan Khan, General Manager, Mr. Feroz Shah, Regional Officer, Prince Masud Mulk, Project Monitor; Dr. Sadar Ul Mulk, Director of the Chitral Hospital; Prince Nissar de Bumbagh; Prince Abdul Rani Khan; District Chairman, Medecins Sans Frontières, Chitral; Mlle Sylvaine Lefebvre; Mr. Philippe Audit; Mlle Monique Lefort, M. Diego Zapata, A.F.P. Islamabad; and finally our families and relatives.



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Testimony number and date of recording:
Kind of observation: individual seen, tracks, signs of presence
Gender: of the observed individual
Age: of the individual observed: adult, sub-adult, young one
Number: of individuals seen or inferred from tracks
Stature: of individual seen or size of tracks
Duration of observation: during which the witness saw an individual or tracks
Distance of observation: between the witness and the individual seen or the tracks observed
Date: of the observation of an individual or tracks
Time of day: of the observation of an individual or tracks
Place of observation: geographical location of observation
Environment: kind of environment where observation took place
Elevation: elevation at which observation was made
Weather: weather conditions at the time of observation of individual or tracks
Informer: name, occupation, age, ethnic group, address
Translator: name, occupation, ethnic group, address
Descriptive features of the questionnaire
Descriptive feature + = feature is present
− = feature is absent
?+ = feature probably there
+/- = sometimes there,
sometimes not
?+/- = present but faint



1. Hairy over whole body
2. Skin visible through hair (as with great apes)
3. Hairless face –neither beard nor mustache
4. Sparse eyebrows
5. Short hair scattered in face
6. Longer hair on top of head
7. Less hairy on the knees
8. Dark skin
9. Massive head with large face
10. Head elongated front to back
11. Strongly sloping forehead
12. Extremely prominent eyebrows
13. Widely separated eyes
14. Eyes dark or brown
15. Prominent cheekbones
16. Pointed ears
17. Long ear lobes a- sitting
18. Extremely wide nose b- at rest, standing
19. Upturned nose c- walking, running on flat ground
20. Large forward pointing nostrils d- walking, running downhill
21. No labio-nasal groove mild slope
22. Wide mouth steep
23. Absence of lips very steep
24. Extremely wide and powerful teeth e- walking, running uphill
25. Prominent jaw, flat looking face mild slope
26. Lower jaw massive, narrow and rounded steep
27. Chin weak or missing very steep
28. Stooped forward posture - (see details)---------------- f- walking, running horizontally
29. Head sunken in shoulders cross-slope
30. Strong powerful neck g- standing in a defensive posture
31. Extremely arched back or watching
32. Very broad shoulders
33. Nearly cylindrical torso, sunken chest
34. Very long torso
35. Long upper limbs
36. Forearm short compared to upper arm
37. Extremely large hand(s)
38. Rather large hand
39. Very long fingers
40. Thin narrow thumb, sticking to the side
41. Weakly opposable thumb
42. Fingernails narrow and domed
43. Lower limbs short
44. Legs crooked or bent knees
45. Lower leg short compared to thigh

46. Short foot
47. Foot extremely broad
48. Spread out toes (foot axis between toes 2 and 3)
49. Crooked toes
50. Big toe to the side
51. All toes about same size.
52. Small toe bent inwards
53. Toenails narrow and domed
54. Feet turned inwards
55. Hairy goiter or some kind of beard
56. Absence of fangs
57. Human-like in appearance
58. Bipedal
59. Long breasts
60. Hair color: black, brown, red, dark, clear, gray, and beige
61. Odor: strong, weak, unpleasant, lacking, nothing special
62. Penis size: long at rest, small at rest, large erection, small erection
63. Eyelashes: long, short.


The aim of this questionnaire is to identify in the eyewitness reports the characteristic features of the Pongoid Man, as described by Heuvelmans, and thus focuses only on those particular features.
The same questions are first asked in order, and then many times, randomly. Only the italicized questions below are asked. The questions, as well as the answers, are always accompanied by gestures, to facilitate communication, as well as to eliminate confusion (between us and the witnesses) about the definition of anatomical terms used, measurements, shapes and postures.

What is the nature of the creature observed? Is it an animal or something else ?
What does the observed creature look like? What is its general appearance? What is the shape of its body? Does it have limbs (describe their general appearance and their extremities), a head, a tail…? (feature #57)
How was the creature moving? On how many limbs? (feature #58)
If an individual, how tall?
If tracks were observed, what dimensions?
Was the body clothed? (feature #1)
Was the body naked, or did it have feathers, hair or scales…? (features 1,3, 6, 60)
If hairy, what parts of the body were covered with hair? What was it like? How long?
What was the face like? Completely hairless? With hair?
If so, what were the hair like? (features 3 and 5)
Did it have eyebrows? If so, what were the hair like ? (feature #4)
Did it have hair on its head? If so, how long ? (feature # 6)
Were its knees hairy? (feature #7)
What was the color of is skin? (features 2 and 8)

What are the attitudes of the body when: (feature # 28)
standing still,
walking on flat ground,

walking or running downhill,
walking or running uphill,
walking or running across a slope,
standing, watching
in a defensive stance,
other circumstances
Was the back arched, straight, curved ? (feature 31)
Were the legs straight, (feature #44)
crooked or with bent knees,
With respect to the front of the body, are the feet (feature # 54)
turned inwards,
turned outwards,

What does the head look like? (feature # 57)
What are the proportions of the head? (feature #9 and 10)
bigger or smaller than a Man’s ?
higher than broad or vice versa
higher than long (front to back) or vice versa
other answer
What is the face like? What is its shape? Is it large or small? (feature #9)
How is the forehead? (feature #11)
present or absent
big or small
strongly or weakly receding
other answer
Did it have eyebrows. If so, what were they like? (feature #12)
How were the eyes ? Their shape? Their pposition in the face? (features # 57 and 13)

What was their color? (feature #14)
Could you see the eyelids? If so were there eyelashes? What were they like?
(feature # 63)
What were the cheekbones like? Were they like a Man’s? More pronounced?
less pronounced? (feature #15)
How are the ears? Are they like those of a human? (features 16 and 17)
Does it have a nose? If so, what is it like? Is it: (features # 18,19)
large or small
broad or narrow
upturned or downturned
stretched upwards, or downwards?
other answer
What are the nostrils like (feature #20)
Are they small? big? what dimensions?
Do they face below, forward or up?
Other answers
Does it have a lip-to-nose groove? (feature # 21)
What is the mouth like? Is it small or broad? (feature # 22)
What are the teeth like? Describe their form, their color. Whose teeth can you
compare them to? (feature #24)
Are those teeth: (feature# 24)
small, big, (answer wth example)
broad, narrow (answer with example)
other answer
Are the canines visible when it opens its mouth? (feature #56)
If so, how big are they and what is their shape?
When it opens its jaws, are they… (feature # 25)
in front of the face?
Behind the face?
On the same plane?
Other answer

Is the lower jaw broad or narrow compared to the face? (feature # 26)
What is he lower edge of the lower jaw like. Is there a chin? (feature #27)
Does it have a neck? What is it like? (feature #29)
What is the nape like? Describe it. (feature # 30)
What is the throat like? Describe it. (feature #55)

How are the shoulders? Narrow or broad? (feature # 32)
What is the chest like? Is it broader than deep or vice versa? (feature #33)
Are the ribs visible? very visible? (feature #33)
Are the breasts visible? If so what are they like in a male…a female?
(feature # 59)
Is the trunk long or short? (feature # 34)

Are the upper limbs long or short? (feature # 35)
Is the forearm short or long compared to the upper arm? (feature # 36)
Is the hand big or small ? (feature # 37)
Is the hand narrow or wide? (feature # 38)
Are the fingers long or short? (feature # 39)
Is the thumb: (feature #40)
long or short
narrow or wide
set apart or close to the other fingers?
other details
Is the thumb opposable or slightly opposable to the other fingers?
(feature # 41)
What are the fingernails like? (feature # 42)
narrow or wide?
flat or curved?
short or long?
straight or curved at the tip?
other detail

Are the lower limbs long or short (feature # 43)
Is the leg short or long compared to the thigh? (feature #45)
Is the foot short or long? (feature # 46)
Is the foot wide or narrow? (feature # 47)
How are the toes disposed? Describe them (feature #48)
Are the toes: (feature #49)
lying flat?
sticking up/
other detail
Is the Inside (big) toe set apart or close to the other toes? (feature # 50)
Are the toes the same size, nearly so, or different? (feature $ 51)
Is the outside toe (the small toe) (feature # 52)
turned in
turned out
Are the toenails (feature # 53)
Narrow or wide?
flat or rounded
long or short
straight or curved at the end

Is the male’s penis long or short at rest (dimensions) (feature # 62)
Is the male’s penis long or short in erection (dimensions)
Other details?
Have you smelled the body odor of the individual. If so, what was it like?
(feature # 61)





The reference imagery presented in this report consists of copies of the originals used. These copies have been reduced in size, numbered and grouped for the purposes of the presentation. These image references are a large sample of the imagery used (90 images for 35 species or forms).

Images showing so-called primitive human groups (Australian aborigenes, pygmies, bushmen, New Guinea Papus) are not shown in this list. These various human models were never selected by the witnesses, mainly because of the absence of hairyness and the rather slim appearance of their bodies.

Presentation protocol of reference imagery.
For each witness, the images were presented randomly, without description or number. Each witness was asked to look at them all before deciding on any one.
All the images are then shown to the witness who, only then, is asked to one or more images.

Description and numbering of images
Pongoid Man 1-12-13-22-23-24
Chimpanzee 2-14-15-16-60-71
Yeti 3-27
Gigantopithecus 4
Brown bear 5-6-28
Ksy-gyik 7-17-25-26
Homo erectus 8-20-34-45-68
Gorilla 9-10-21-31-38-61-62-64-72-73
Neanderthal Man 11-29-41-54-65-69
Modern Man (Homo sapiens sapiens) 30-39-40-70
Dryopithecus 32-51-52
Australopithecenes 18-19-33-46-47-48-55-56-57-58-59-66-67
Orangutan 35-36-63
Macaque (Macaca mulatta) 37
Pre-sapiens (from Time-Life, Howell) 42-43-44
Ramapithecus 49
Oreopithecus 50
Pliopithecus 53























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