Was Historical Russian “Apewoman” Really a Sasquatch?

Posted by

Sol Luckman

[SL: This article was updated in July 2015.]

I wish to take this opportunity to share with readers interested in the paranormal and cryptozoology this recent fascinating article from the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES:

Russian “Apewoman” Could Have Been a Yeti, According to DNA Tests

Squatch skeptics love to point out the lack of verifiable evidence of Bigfoot and its arctic cousin, the Yeti. Then again, skeptics love to sweep the existing evidence of hominid cryptids under the carpet, as brilliantly pointed out by the late Lloyd Pye in the following seminal lecture from 1999 …

… and more recently, and even more emphatically, by Dr. Melba Ketchum, who speaks about her DNA analysis of Bigfoot hair samples here …

Even Jane Goodall, one of the famed Trimatas group including Dian Fossey that studied primates in the wild, has come out stating that she accepts the possible (even probable) existence of Bigfoot.

The BUSINESS TIMES article picks up on a subject near and dear to Pye’s heart and one to which he returned again and again: Zana.

In the words of the article’s author,

Professor Bryan Sykes of the University of Oxford believes that a towering woman named Zana … had a strain of West African DNA that belonged to a subspecies of modern humans.

Her resemblance has been described as that of a wild beast … “the most frightening feature of which was her expression which was pure animal,” one Russian zoologist wrote in 1996 according to a report in the TIMES.

The man who organised various eyewitness accounts of Zana wrote: “Her athletic power was enormous … She would outrun a horse and swim across the Moskva river, even when it rose in violent high tide.”

Some have argued that she was a runaway Ottoman slave, but Professor Sykes says her “unparalleled DNA” refutes that theory.

Analysis of her DNA revealed that she was “100% African,” but bore little physical or genetic resemblance to any modern African group, according to Sykes.

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I have more than a passing interest in Zana, having authored an award-winning novel in which she (rather, a fictionalized version of her) plays a major role: SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING.

SNOOZE is a spiritual adventure centered on a psychically gifted boy named Max Diver, who uses his lucid dreaming abilities to travel to a parallel reality to rescue his astronaut father.

Zana’s grand entrance occurs in Part Three of Four. Portrayed sympathetically as an intelligent yet animalistic humanoid displaying wisdom and a sense of humor, she and her fellow Almastyto borrow the Russian term for Sasquatchesplay a decisive role in Max’s navigating the tricky realm known as the Otherworld.

I’ve penned a couple of articles that explore how SNOOZE, while billing itself as a young adult (YA) sci-fi fantasy novel, is for more than just young readers and constitutes far more than merely a sci-fi fantasy.

In the first article, Exploring Human Potential through Lucid Dreams, Paranormal Abilities, Parallel Universes & … Bigfoot, I map out the general supernatural territory covered by SNOOZE, with an emphasis on the book’s central motif of lucid dreaming.

The second article, Initiation, Totem Animals, Sacred Masculinity & Sound Healing, prefaces a lengthy excerpt while touching on the novel’s exploration of such themes as personal initiation; activating the occult powers known as the siddhis; the Sacred Masculine; the evolution of consciousness; totem animals and animal medicine; sensing and working with subtle energy; the role of the heart in healing and transformation; and the oneness of creation.

In this pioneering piece of speculative and visionary fiction which won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction and received an honorable mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival prize competition, I echo Pye’s voluminous research (cited in my Acknowledgments) to the effect that there

was overwhelming evidence for the existence of Bigfoot—from tracks, to hair samples, to the famous Patterson-Gimlin film showing an adult female Sasquatch walking through the woods of Northern California, to the so-called Minnesota Iceman.

The Iceman was a tall, hairy (except for his face, palms, and underarms), ape-like hominoid shot by a hunter and frozen in a block of ice that, before it vanished under suspicious circumstances, had been studied by none other than Ivan Sanderson, a credentialed zoologist, who suggested it might very well be a Neanderthal!

Other Bigfoot researchers claimed that Sasquatch, which went by scores of names in cultures across the globe, was a Miocene-era ape. Still other scientists hypothesized that Neanderthals, rather than being smooth-skinned like contemporary humans, as typically depicted, were actually covered in fur and resembled not so much us as … Sasquatch.

Whether Bigfoot was an upright-walking Miocene ape of huge proportions, or a modern-day caveman, or whether the Neanderthals were, in fact, huge Miocene apes still inhabiting the planet, the question remained: How?

Assuming that they were simply historical anachronisms, creatures that had managed—even on dying—to avoid detection and escape capture, mostly, one had to account for their elusiveness and lack of fossil evidence.

Some explained their elusiveness by pointing out that less than forty percent of the earth’s surface was fit for human habitation. That left fully sixty percent of the planet—much of which was poorly surveyed even if it had managed to be explored—as a potential habitat far from human eyes for any number of cryptids, including Sasquatch.

As for why no fossilized Bigfoot bones supposedly had ever been found, Max’s mother [an anthropologist] pointed out that practically no fossilized monkey bones had ever been discovered either, for the simple reason that fossils didn’t form in the heavily forested areas inhabited by monkeys. If Bigfoots lived in similar places, as often reported, it only made sense that they wouldn’t leave fossils either.

For those who argued that Sasquatches and Neanderthals were one and the same, the problem of fossilized bones was also elegantly solved, since bones had already been found: in caves all over the world since the dawn of anthropology.

Here the narrative continues into territory beyond the scope of Pye’s observations:

While admitting the possibility that dinosaurs and Bigfoots could simply be natural inhabitants of our world, Max’s mother went on to propose an alternative hypothesis for their existence based on Reciprocal Theory [aka Dewey Larson’s Reciprocal System of physical theory].

Reiterating that a highly disproportionate number of cryptid sightings occurred near the Devil’s Graveyards or along the planetary grid, where an energetic exchange seemed to exist between space-time and time- space, could it be possible, she asked, that cryptids weren’t natural inhabitants of our modern world at all?

If contemporary people (to the tune of hundreds per decade) were constantly crossing over into the cosmic sector in such locations, wouldn’t it make sense—from a reciprocal perspective—that prehistoric animals from time-space might be balancing the equation by periodically popping over into the material sector?

Her theory didn’t just explain why cryptid sightings happened in geo-specific locations. If cryptids had a way of returning to the cosmic sector, using the natural planetary interchange between time and space, her theory might also account for their elusiveness.

She pointed out that virtually all the same unexplained phenomena associated with the Devil’s Graveyards—compass malfunctions, electrical breakdowns, time discrepancies—were often reported in conjunction with cryptid sightings.

Indeed, cryptids seemed to make electrical equipment go berserk—which might shed light on why so little convincing photographic evidence of their existence had ever been produced.

Now, I invite readers to chew on this perspective while viewing the recent clip (below) purportedly showing Florida’s Skunk Ape up close and personal.

If this video is of a guy in a gorilla suit, as skeptics claim, he’s at least got the courage of a Sasquatch to wade around in a swamp full of alligators!

Readers might also find these video analyses by ThinkerThunker stimulating.

Last but not least, enjoy this audio clip by journalist Linda Moulton Howe that includes an extraordinary Sasquatch vocalization and a highly informative interview with Bigfoot researcher and author, Jeff Meldrum, PhD.

Happy squatching, be sure to check out SNOOZE, and sweet dreams!

Copyright © Sol Luckman. All Rights Reserved.

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Alter Ego

Sol Luckman is a pioneering ink and acrylic painter whose work has been featured on mainstream book covers, the fast-paced trading game BAZAAR, and at least one tattoo on a female leg last sighted in Australia. Sol is also an acclaimed author of fiction, nonfiction, and humor.

His books include the international bestselling CONSCIOUS HEALING, which you can read free online, and its popular sequel, POTENTIATE YOUR DNA, available in English and Spanish.

Sol’s visionary novel SNOOZE: A STORY OF AWAKENING, the coming-of-age tale of one extraordinary boy’s awakening to the world-changing reality of his dreams, won the 2015 National Indie Excellence Award for New Age Fiction.

Written with young adult and young-at-heart readers in mind, SNOOZE further proved its literary merit by being selected as a 2016 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Finalist in the Young Adult-Coming of Age category and receiving an Honorable Mention in the 2014 Beach Book Festival Prize competition in the General Fiction category.


Building on this deep dive into lucid dreaming, parallel universes and Hindu mysticism, Sol’s new novel, CALI THE DESTROYER, is a page-turner of a sci-fi tale set in an Orwellian future seeded in the dystopian present that radically rewrites Gnosticism as well as the origins of the earth and humanity.

Sol’s popular book of humor and satire, THE ANGEL’S DICTIONARY: A SPIRITED GLOSSARY FOR THE LITTLE DEVIL IN YOU, received the 2017 National Indie Excellence Award for Humor and was selected as a Finalist in the Humor category of both the 2018 International Book Awards and the 2018 Best Book Awards.


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