1925 – Russia’s Caucasus Pamir Range, the Vanch Mountains
In the surroundings of the little known Caucasus Pamir range during the year of 1925. The Red Army was relentless pursuing the White Russian Army which had been earlier that year ousted from Russia. While they had searched for them in the rugged terrain they heard from the locals about tales of a beast-man who lived high in the upper reaches of the lofty Vanch Mountains. During this search they came upon a cave that looked like it could be the stronghold of the fleeing enemies — the White army.
Not wanting to jeopardize his men the commanding officer ordered his men to open fire into the cave’s opening. To their surprise and shock, a wild hairy creäture appeared from the cave’s mouth running and crying inarticulately into a hail of bullets. From the multiple gun wounds it fell to the ground, the creäture never took another breath. Still in shock from the sight they allowed a few minutes to pass before the officer and his troops approached the now silent beast, laying lifeless in the dirt before them motionless.
Looking over the fallen beast, General Mikhail Stepanovich Topilski thought at first it was an ape. “It was covered with fur,” he said. “But I knew there were no apes in the Pamirs and moreover, the body looked far more human than ape-like, indeed fully human.” The physician attached to the unit would later write: “he didn’t look totally like a man, but it was not an ape either. It was a male, about two meters tall, (6 ft 7 inches) covered with dark brown hair and the face was dark, distinctly ape-like.” What had they found? Could it possibly be that they had shot a Russian Kaptar, of which we hear a lot about today?
The entire troop stated in their briefings, that when the beast ran from the mouth of the cave it did so on two feet, fully upright, dazed, terrified and fatally injured. Others said the creäture appeared to be in an obvious confused state of pain as it fell. Unable to carry the body of the creäture, they decided to bury it under a stone covered cairn close to the mouth of the cave.
A lot of time has passed, tales have been sown with many variations in the recounting. In another example Odette Tchernine wrote a similar description of the creäture in her book The Yeti. She recorded the account this way:
“The corpse that of a male, was about five and a half feet long and covered with dense grayish-brown hair except for the face, ears, palms, knees, feet and buttocks. (There were shaggy hairs on the upper lip). The skin on the hands, knees and feet was thickly callused. The face was dark with dark eyes, a heavy and massive lower jaw. Although the teeth were quite large, they seemed to be those of a human. The creäture had a broad unusually muscular chest, but otherwise its torso was much like that of a man.”
Tchernine went on to write that they buried the creäture under a pile of stones, which again, is somewhat different than the first account . Old stories may vary, but the essential theme handed down through generations remains the same. We may never know the true nature of the hairy man beast met by the Russian soldiers, but similar reports are a matter of record all over the globe, news spreading rapidly with the advent of the new Internet generation. This account is noteworthy if for no other reason than the notation of the “massive jaw” often mentioned in so many of these classic accounts.
Dr. Myra Shackley wrote the same story this way:
The Pamir mountains, lying in a remote region where the borders of Tadzhikistan, China, Kashmir, and Afghanistan meet, have been the scene of many Almas sightings.
In 1925, Mikhail Stephanovitch Topilski, a major general in the Soviet army, led his unit in an assault on an anti-Soviet guerilla force hiding in a cave in the Pamirs. One of the surviving guerillas said that while in the cave he and his comrades were attacked by several apelike creatures. Topilski ordered the rubble of the cave searched, and the body of one such creäture was found. Topilski reported (Shackley 1983, pp. 118-119): “At first glance I thought the body was that of an ape. It was covered with hair all over. But I knew there were no apes in the Pamirs. Also, the body itself looked very much like that of a man. We tried pulling the hair, to see if it was just a hide used for disguise, but found that it was the creature’s own natural hair. We turned the body over several times on its back and its front, and measured it.”
“The body,” continued Topilski, “belonged to a male creäture 165-170 cm [about 5 1/2 feet] tall, elderly or even old, judging by the grayish color of the hair in several places. The chest was covered with brownish hair and the belly with grayish hair. The hair was longer but sparser on the chest and close-cropped and thick on the belly. In general the hair was very thick, without any under fur. There was least hair on the buttocks, from which fact our doctor deduced that the creäture sat like a human being. There was most hair on the hips. The knees were completely bare of hair and had callous growths on them. The whole foot including the sole was quite hairless and was covered by hard brown skin. The hair got thinner near the hand, and the palms had none at all but only callous skin.”
Topilski added: “The color of the face was dark, and the creäture had neither beard nor moustache. The temples were bald and the back of the head was covered by thick, matted hair. The dead creäture lay with its eyes open and its teeth bared. The eyes were dark and the teeth were large and even and shaped like human teeth. The forehead was slanting and the eyebrows were very powerful. The protruding jawbones made the face resemble the Mongol type of face. The nose was flat, with a deeply sunk bridge. The ears were hairless and looked a little more pointed than a human being’s with a longer lobe. The lower jaw was very massive. The creäture had a very powerful chest and well developed muscles … The arms were of normal length, the hands were slightly wider and the feet much wider and shorter than man’s.” (©: Myra Shackley, Still Living.
5 thoughts on “Account of Russian Kaptar in Caucasus Mountains”
I just wanted to say I’m so glad I found your WP blog in 2013! Your photos and words have been such a joy to me…and I’ve learned a lot! 🙂 Thank you! 🙂
Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday week to you and your family!
Thank you, Merry Christmas.
Excellent article! Are you aware of the original Russian language sources that Myra Shackley used?
Actually I don’t remember my source, I’ve learned that I need to attach my sources so others can see the material I used. I will search for you when I have a bit of time.
Thank you. I see that a version of this story was included in Myra Shackley’s ‘Still Living?: Yeti, Sasquatch and the Neanderthal Enigma’ – but I assume for all the versions to be correct there must a a Russian language account lurking in the background! Thanks for your reply!