Sunny Siberia is adding a new attraction. A Yeti theme park. Yes, you read that right, a theme park devoted to the legendary Yeti. Hoping to cash in on interest in the search for the beast, officials have dedicated a portion of land and launched plans to construct a park centered on the Yeti. Initial plans for the park include a hotel and a themed children’s playground, all built at the Sheregesh ski resort resting in the Shoria Mountian area. The region claims to have a high number of Yeti sightings and officials hope the park will draw additional tourists to the area.
The Shoria Mountain area is in southern Siberia in the Kemerovo region. The region’s governor is behind the plans for the park and has added to the excitement by offering a one million rouble reward to anyone who can capture a Yeti. The governor stated: “I’ll pay a million to anyone who will find the Yeti and bring it to see me. I’ll sit down with him, chat and have a cup oftea.” One million roubles by the way, works out to about $33,000 in US currency.
Despite lack of a physical specimen, locals have long believed that the Yeti is a real creature though opinions vary as to its origins. The brainchild behind the park, Sheregesh adminstrator Igor Idimeshev has a unique idea to explain the Yeti.
“I’ve seen this creature several times”, he stated. “I think it is most likely of extraterrestrial origin, not from this world. The Yeti might suddenly disappear and re-materialize. Another extraordinary thing is that Yeti’s hair is luminous at night, and also that the Yeti can walk on water.”
In an interview with the Siberian Times, Idimeshev spoke further about the elusive creature. He told the paper:
“I’ve met these creatures several times here in Tashtagol district and also in the area where I was born in the village of Toz close to Zelenaya Mountain. I saw it several times before I moved here to Sheregesh. Each time I was on my own, I was hunting. The only person I ever told everything in detail to was my mother – and she taught me to keep it to myself.”
Idimeshev says that the people of Shoria refer to the creatures as “Big Men” and that everyone in the region is aware of their existence. Believing it unlucky to speak too much about the encounters, the Big Men are only mentioned in conversation briefly.
“Every man around here sees him when he hunts. The feeling is one of fear. It is a fear that you cannot explain rationally. You feel yourself very scared and tense at the same time. One of the closest comparisons is the feeling of looking into a wolf’s eyes. If you’ve ever seen them, I mean a wild wolf, not a caged animal, you remember a feeling of them being something very unusual, alien. Like with a wolf, you can see a Yeti’s eyes from a distance of some 100-150 meters. They are quite hypnotizing. And when I saw the Yeti’s eyes my only thought was that they are not from Earth, they are clearly of an extraterrestrial nature. To me, the Yeti is an extraterrestrial creature. I believe that it is like a controller to look over things here on Earth.”
Pressed about the physical traits of Yeti, Idimeshev offered this:
“I would not be able to give an estimate of the Yeti’s size. It certainly looked big. Bigger than a human. I didn’t go to have a look at his footprints, or check for any other material proof of his existence. Believe me, this is not what you want to do right after seeing it. You feel scared. We are building the Yeti Park now, and of course there will be a chance for people who come here to see the creature. For me having Yetis here means something much more than the simple tourist attraction.”
Idimeshev believes that the Yeti is important to the region. He said that further plans for the theme park include a museum to display Yeti related materials and a conference space for symposiums dedicated to the search for the creature.
There have been numerous expeditions over the years to search for proof of the Yeti. Footprints have been discovered and hair samples collected. So far though, no definitive proof has been offered and results of DNA testing on the hair have not been forthcoming. Sightings of the creature continue, last September, three separate sightings were reported. Perhaps that number will start to rise as the tourists flock to Siberia.