Russia Staged Fake Yeti Sightings to Attract Tourists to Siberia

One of Putin’s longest-serving regional leaders has admitted to using a fake Yeti to attract tourists.

A giant hoax is on the loose in Russia.

In the past, Siberia’s Shoria Mountains have been home to a number of unexplained sightings of a large, upright, ape-like creature, but now it seems as though at least some of these were fake.

Aman Tuleyev — who was governor of Kemerovo Oblast from 1997 to 2018 — admitted to local news outlets that he ordered a “tall bureaucrat to wear an Abominable Snowman outfit so he could be spotted in the bushes by visitors.”

He also confessed that he employed a man in a Yeti costume to stir up some interest in visiting the chilly region.

“I must admit, I confess, yes, it was I who fueled interest in the Yeti,” he said.

First, Tuleyev had tried to drum up business by arranging an annual “Yeti Day” with the promise of a cash prize being offered to anyone who could produce proof of the creature’s existence.

“People started coming, rushed to scour the forests,” he said. “Of course, no-one found the Yeti, but Shoria attracted increased attention.”

Once interest in the hunt withered away and nobody seemed to care, he told his district chief, Vladimir Makuta, to “find someone tall, throw off his office suit, turn a fur coat inside out and run around… shouting so that tourists notice but they must not catch him.

Despite all of the trickery and hairy ideas to make travelers visit Siberia, Tuleyev remains adamant that the creature does actually exist and roaming around his neck of the woods.

“Many local hunters swear that they saw a 2-meter giant with their own eyes in remote places, covered with hair,” he said. “Scientists have not yet been able to meet with him, but they seem to have found traces.”

Igor Burtsev, a local teacher, has claimed that at least 30 yetis live in the Shoria area, and he even set up a special institute at Kemerovo State University.

Matt Sterner

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