Wildm an of Central Asia.
Etymology: Tajik (Persian), "wild man." Variant names: Galub-yavan, Ghool-biaban, Gul-biavan, Gul'bi-yavan, Guli-b'yabon, Gulibyavan, Khaivan-akvan, Voita. See also Gul.
Physical description: Height, 5 feet-6 feet 6 inches. Covered in reddish-gray or black hair. Older individuals are grayer. Head-hair is thick and matted. Slanting forehead. Brows and cheekbones are prominent. Face is bare. Glowing eyes. Wide, flat nose. Ears stick out. Lower jaw is massive. Large teeth. Short neck. Thick hair on chest and hips, close-cropped and thick on the belly. Long arms. Buttocks are relatively hairless. Knees are calloused. Feet and palms are hairless. Feet are wider and shorter than a man's.
Behavior: Call is a mewing or whistling sound. Strong odor. Food includes berries. Searches for marmots under rocks, making piles of rocks in the process. Uses caves as shelters. Uses sticks as weapons. Said to attack humans.
Tracks: Humanlike but shorter and broader. The four smaller toes are wider than a human's.
Distribution: Pamir and Tian Shan Mountains, Kyrgyzstan; eastern Tajikistan. Possibly extends into the Kunlun Mountains of western China south of Taxkorgan, the Karakoram Range in northern India, and the Hindu Kush of eastern Afghanistan.
Significant sightings: Maj. Gen. Mikhail Top-ilski, head of a scouting party in the fall of 1925, ran across a group of Golub-yavan during a skirmish with White Russian guerrillas in the Vanch District, Tajikistan; the guerrillas had taken refuge in an ice cave that the creatures apparently used as a shelter. One wildman was shot and inspected by the party's physician. The dead creature was 5 feet 6 inches tall and looked much more human than apelike, though it was covered with dense hair except for its face, palms, soles, knees, and buttocks. It had heavy browridges, a flat nose, and a massive lower jaw. The foot was noticeably wider than a human's. The soldiers could not take the body with them, so they buried it under a heap of stones.
A resident of Imeni Kalinina, Tajikistan, was attacked by a Gul-biavan while hunting in 1939. He wrestled it to the ground but lost consciousness. Villagers found him later, along with evidence of a struggle.
Hunters in the mountains around Vanch, Tajikistan, call the wildman a Voita and say it is taller than a man and covered with short, black hair.
Alexander G. Pronin saw a Golub-yavan on a cliff in the Balyandkiik Valley, Tajikistan, on August 12, 1957. It walked out of a cave and was visible for several minutes before it disappeared from view.
Possible explanation: A surviving early ho-minid. Artifacts and Homo erectus-like remains, dated at 125,000 years ago, have been found at Selungur Cave, Kyrgyzstan. Early Paleolithic stone flakes and cores about 850,000 years old were discovered at Kuldara, Tajikistan. A Neanderthal burial and grave goods have been found in the Teshik-Tash Cave in Uzbekistan.
Sources: Kirill V. Staniukovich, "Golub-Javan: Svendeniia o 'snezhnom cheloveke' na Pamire," Geograficheskoe Obshchestvo SSSR Izvestia, 1957, no. 4, pp. 343-345, and 1957, no. 5, p. 89; "Vstrecha so 'Snezhnom
Chelovekom,'" Komsomol'skaia Pravda, January 15, 1958, p. 4; Boris F. Porshnev, Sovremennoe sostoianie voprosa o reliktovykh hominoidakh (Moscow: Viniti, 1963); Kirill V. Staniukovich, Po sledam udivitel'noi zagadki (Moscow: Molodaia Gvardiia, 1965); Bernard Heuvelmans and Boris F. Porshnev, L'homme de Neanderthal est toujours vivant (Paris: Plon, 1974), pp. 83-88, 98; Myra Shackley, Still Living? Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1983), pp. 117-126; Valentin B. Sapunov, "Results of Chimpanzee Pheromone Use in Snowman (Wildman) Field Investigations," Cryptozoology 8 (1989): 64-66; Dmitri Bayanov, In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman (Moscow: Crypto-Logos, 1996), pp. 71-75, 81-84.
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