Gul

Wildman of Central Asia.

Etymology: Tajik (Persian), from the Arabic ghul.

Variant name: Adzhina. Physical description: Height, 5 feet-6 feet 6 inches. Silvery-gray or black body-hair. Short neck.

Behavior: Feeds on mice and gophers. Uses a forked stick to catch mice. Said to have a hypnotic power.

Tracks: Length, 14 inches. Width, 6 inches at the toes. Big toe considerably larger than the others. Toes are slightly spread. Foot is flat. Prints are 4 feet apart.

Distribution: Pamir Mountains, western Tajikistan.

Significant sightings: Western Tajikistan has been the traditional origin of a curative drug said to be made from the skin of wildmen. Called mu-go or mu-miyo (possibly from the Farsi mum, "wax," though mu also means "hair"), the preparation was carried by pilgrims to Mecca and was at one time said to be one of the sources of wealth for the emir of Bukhara. The village of Khakimi in the Karatag Valley was once a production center.

Igor Tatsl and Igor Bourtsev found Gul tracks near Khakimi, Tajikistan, on August 15 and 21, 1979.

Ukrainian library-school student Nina Grinyova came close to a Gul nicknamed "Gosha" in the Varzob River gorge, Tajikistan, on August 20, 1980, during an expedition to search for the creatures. Grinyova offered to stay alone in the woods one night in order to encourage a close encounter with a Gul that had been leaving tracks in the area. The Gul approached, but Grinyova inadvertently scared it away by offering it a squeaky rubber toy. She experienced a fugue walking back to camp and believes that the creature had a psychic effect on her.

Vadim Makarov discovered a four-toed, 19.25-inch print on the banks of the Varzob River on September 29, 1981.

Sources: Bernard Heuvelmans and Boris F. Porshnev, L'homme de Neanderthal est toujours vivant (Paris: Plon, 1974), pp. 109, 155-161; Myra Shackley, Still Living? Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma (New York: Thames and Hudson, 1983), pp. 117-126; Dmitri Bayanov, "A Field Investigation into the Relict Hominoid Situation in Tajikistan, USSR," Cryptozoology 3 (1984): 74-79; Dmitri Bayanov, In the Footsteps of the Russian Snowman (Moscow: Crypto-Logos, 1996), pp. 85-103, 114-120; Ioann Gornenskii, Legendy Pamira i Gindukusha (Moscow: Aleteia, 2000), pp. 10-11, 29-30, 136, 157, 159, 161-164.

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