It stands at over two metres tall, is covered in dark grey hair, leaves size 12 footprints and goes by the name of the Wild Men – or the Chinese Yeti. And a group of scientists are setting out on an expedition this weekend to prove he really exists.
The existence of the Chinese incarnation of ‘Bigfoot’ is a tale that has been told for centuries around the Shennongjia forest of China’s central Hubei province, with over 400 reported sightings, reports The Telegraph.
In 2005, shepherd in Muyu, near the forests, told Chinese media he saw two creatures with “hairy faces, eyes like black holes, prominent noses and disheveled hair, with faces that resembled both a man’s and a monkey’s”.
Zhang Jinxing, who spent years living in the Shennongjia forest, and said he had seen footprints on 19 separate occasions.
Chinese scientists claim to have found long thick strands of hair which they claim do not belong to any creature in the region, while villagers have reported seeing massive footprints, although no scientific proof of the ‘Yeren’ has yet been recorded.
This weekend, a group of 38 researchers from several Chinese universities will set out across the Shennongjia Reserve.
They hope to catalogue the ecosystem, collect data on the 1,000-plus animals that live there – including the Golden snub-nosed monkey and white-furred bear – and prove, or disprove, the theory of the Chinese Yeti once and for all.
The last major expedition, in 2010, failed to find any concrete proof and not everybody is convinced this time will be any different.
Zhou Guoxing, a former director of the Beijing Museum of Natural History, said earlier this year: “There is no Wild Man in this world.
“I’ve visited every place where the Wild Man was reported in China.
“I’ve studied everything related to the Wild Man including hair, skulls and specimens. All of them are dyed human hair or come from monkeys and bears.”
( 7 News. 3rd July 2012)