Altay Leg is from a Bear

Click image above to see 10/09 news clip from the BBC (

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The short answer: It's a bear leg.

The longer answer: See BFRO Commentary below
the BBC article.

From the BBC World News Service 10/09/03

Siberia find revives yeti legends

Siberian scientists say they have a discovery on their hands which raises the possibility that the local legend of the yeti - the abominable snowman - is more than mere fiction. According to Russian TV, the well-preserved furry limb of a mystery creature was found some 3,500 metres up in the permafrost of the Altay mountains, in Russia's remote Siberia region.

"I turned the limb over and examined the sole of the foot, and I thought it looked unsual," Sergey Semenov, the mountain-climber who made the find, said.

"So I decided to bring it back with me."

Scientific tests and X-rays show that the bones are several thousand years old, but attempts to identify the creature they belonged to remain inconclusive.

Local opinion on the find, described as "surprisingly well-preserved", is divided.

There is a long tradition of alleged sightings in the area of what might - or might not - be the abominable snowman.

Local people say the creature must have walked on snow, because the sole of the foot is furry.

X-ray tests remain inconclusive.

They have already labelled the discovery as the foot of the yeti.

But veterinary scientists and academics at the local animal research institute and agragrian university tend towards a more rational explanation.

"It looks very human," Yuriy Malofeyev, vice-president of the Russian association of veterinary anatomists, told the TV after examining the X-rays.

"There are many similarities," he said.

That view appears to be supported by the fact that the length of the foot is about 24 centimetre - normal for a human being.

"A size 36 shoe would fit him just fine," the TV concluded.

BFRO Commentary

A few anatomy experts in the BFRO examined photos and x-ray images. They are all fairly certain that it is a bear leg.

A similar conclusion was reached by our Russian counterparts who provided the images. Russian Hominologist Igor Bourtsev sent the following email to various researchers around the world:


Dear Mr Serret, and all

I suppose you have heard such censational information (attached). Sorry, it is just a bear foot, nothing more. When somebody confers a dubious benefit upon another person we call it in Russian "a bear service". Such hyp is indeed a bear service to hominologists and cryptozoologists in general. (See attached photo and radiograph).

Regards Igor Bourtsev


There are a few important lessons in this story, regarding the process of examination, and the logic of conclusions. Among other things, the articles and video suggested the "yeti" possibility was dismissed early on by some of the Russian examiners because the leg was "too small" and "within human range". Even though the leg likely isn't from a yeti, the logic for dismissing that possibility was flawed. Hypothetical yetis (which are thought to stand 7-9 feet tall when fully grown), would have a leg and foot size "within human range" for a substantial portion of their lifetimes. They are, more than likely, not born nine feet tall.

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