Afonya

Giant Hominid of Northern Europe.

Etymology: Six Russian teenagers gave a large, hairy hominid this nickname, which is a diminutive of the Russian name Afanasii; however, the term may be derived from the name of a popular 1975 Russian film about a drunken Soviet plumber.

Physical description: Height, 7—8 feet. Body-hair mostly light gray with lighter and darker patches. Dark skin. Round head. Wide forehead. Face wrinkled. Reddish eyes, set wide apart. Arms hang to the knees. Light-colored buttocks.

Behavior: Primarily nocturnal. Stooped-over stance. Sometimes knuckle-walks. Runs very quickly and smoothly. Climbs trees with some agility. Call is a mooing sound. May live in cabins when they are deserted. May steal dogs for hunting or companionship. Throws rocks and sticks as weapons.

Tracks: Length, 15 inches. Stride measures over 4 feet.

Distribution: Kola Peninsula, European Russia.

Significant sightings: A group of teenagers on a fishing expedition to Lake Lovozero in the Murmansk Region of Russia were pestered in their cabin and chased for several days in August and September 1988 by an aggressive creature they nicknamed "Afonya." It was also seen by a local game warden. Maya Bykova and a team of researchers visited the area shortly afterward and succeeded in catching a glimpse of Afonya. They returned the following summer and uncovered tracks, hair, feces, and additional testimony. Bykova developed a specific call that Afonya responded to and answered, and she was able to entice it to the cabin where the teenagers had stayed. Her assistant, Nikolai Damilin, used a different call equally successfully. The team carried out experiments using tape recordings of animal sounds that included the calls of primates. one of the creatures went to the cabin in response to the sounds and left footprints. Strange whistling was recorded several times and analyzed by Leonid Yershov.

Sources: Dmitri Bayanov, In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman (Moscow: Crypto-Logos, 1996), pp. 190-206; Anatoli Schmidt, Karl C.

Beyer, and Andreas Braun, "The Books by Dmitri Bayanov and Their Secrets," 2000, http://www.stgr-primates.de/site10.html.

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