Due East of Sochi, Russia lies the vast Caucasus Mountain range, home to several mysterious cryptozoological creatures. I thought it would be fun to see what kind of cryptids might be living in the area around Sochi and all its Olympic venues. Let’s start with the Svokan.
The Caucasus Mountains of Russia (technically part of Eurasia) lie between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea. Sochi itself isn’t all that far from Europe, sitting on or near the coast of the Black Sea. The Caucasus Mountains lie just beyond there, about 6oo miles as the crow flies to the East. Check out the map.
While Putin and his cohorts are busy building up Sochi hoping to make it a glamorous winter destination for the world’s wealthier residents, the reality for the people living in the Caucasus region is completely the opposite. There are few enough people living there, and they live hard lives trying to survive in the wilderness.
If you’re a reclusive great-ape-type of creature, all that wilderness is a good thing.
What is the Svokan?
According to legend, the Svokan is a huge man-like creature, covered in white hair, very muscular, with a cone-shaped head. Is this sounding familiar to you Bigfoot lovers? Locals claim this animal also has glowing red eyes as well as big fangs. (I couldn’t find any photos labeled Svokan, so I’m using Bigfoot/Yeti photos in this article to fill in.)
Some claim it stands 6 m tall (about 20 feet!) and its favorite meal is … humans.
In an excerpt from his newest book The World’s Weirdest Places on Mania.com, Nick Redfern writes, “For the Svokan, bones, meat, and blood are just not enough. Locals maintain that the beast first snares its prey by hiding out in the woods at night, mimicking the distressed cries of a human baby, and cunningly enticing its victim to follow the sounds. Then, when the unlucky soul is in the dark depths of the forest, utterly disoriented, the Svokan quickly pounces. Not via savage attack with its teeth and claws, however. Rather, the Svokan casts upon the terrified person a terrible spell that turns them into a small ball of stone, and which the unholy monster then carries back to its dark den in the mountains and stacks alongside numerous other such stones, until hunger strikes.”
He goes on to explain that the victim’s soul remains stuck in the stone until the Svokan eats it, thereby releasing the soul to cross over to its final judgment. People can also release the victim’s soul in the unlikely event that they find the stone. The rescuer is instructed to say a prayer then smash the stone to bits, thereby releasing the soul.
It’s interesting that stones are associated with this monster because, according to some Bigfoot experts, Bigfoot has a tendency to create rock piles out in the middle of the woods. I have to wonder, though, could the stones have been collected there by floodwaters? Or maybe seismic activity? Perhaps. The experts claim that Bigfoot searches through the rock piles in search of creatures seeking refuge there. Their equivalent of fast food, I guess. (Photo above shows a purported pile of rocks created by a Bigfoot.)
No one has the definitive answer about the rock piles, but it is interesting that the Svokan is associated with collecting rocks. For the record, let’s not forget, there’s another “ape relative” that seems to like to pile stones …
There are reports from many places in Russia about people seeing Almasty. In my opinion these creatures sound more like a humanoid rather than a cousin of Bigfoot. There are theories and arguments on either side of this coin regarding whether Almastys are human ancestors or great apes. At this point I can only give you my opinion, and I come down on the side of ancient human ancestor, if they exist at all.
CryptoVille covered an article about a purported Almasty held in captivity. If you’d like to see that, here’s the link:
Nick Redfern shared a very interesting account of people seeing and interacting with the Svokan. You can read the details in his book, but in a nutshell, this is what happened:
In October 1944, policeman Erjib Koshokoyev was patrolling the backwoods area on horseback with some of his colleagues. Suddenly one of the horses stopped and reared, refusing to go further. The men looked ahead and were shocked to see a very big, hairy, bi-pedal creature eating hemp in the field in front of them. (Photo of the Caucasus Mountains.)
(OK, I had to stop here – eating hemp? You may already know that hemp is part of the cannabis family, so even though you won’t get a high from eating this variety of hemp, there is a prejudice against it because of its association to the cannabis of ill-repute. In an article by Natalie Rotunda for Examiner.com, she reports that this other hemp is incredibly nutrient-rich! She writes, “It contains 18 amino acids including the 10 essential ones, a healthy 1:3 ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 essential fatty acids, it’s loaded with magnesium, iron, potassium, fiber, phytonutrients, and antioxidants like Vitamin E. Living Harvest’s hemp milk also contains Super Omegas SDA (Stearidonic Acid) and GLA (Gammo Linolenic Acid). Nuts like walnuts and seeds like flaxseeds, praised for their rich content of good omegas, do not contain the Super Omegas.”
That’s very important for a great ape living off the land, I think. Their nutritional requirements are probably very similar to ours.)
Back to the sighting, once it realized it had been seen, the creature jumped up and ran very fast towards a cabin. The officer in charge wanted to capture it alive, so he ordered his men to circle the cabin. The creature suddenly tore out the front door, charging at the officers, moving super fast and screaming like an animal. The policemen were so shocked that the scene became chaotic. The beast charged some officers who let it pass and it ran quickly down a ravine never to be seen again.
Fashion Conscious Beast?
Koshokoyev reported that the creature stood on two legs, was about 2 m (6 feet) tall, very strong and was covered with reddish hair all over. This witness also said the beast was wearing a tattered caftan which I find very strange. Here’s what a caftan looks like in general, left.
Maybe the creature found it in the woods or stole it from someone’s wash line? That aside, I still think this animal, this Svokan, sounds like a Bigfoot. What do you think?
Tomorrow we’ll discuss a very different type of cryptid that lives around Sochi and its Olympic venues!