International Scientists on Yeti Hunt in Siberia

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October 5, 2011 8:54 PM EST

Watch out the Abominable Snowman, scientists are out to get you. An international team of scientists including Russian and the U.S. researchers will hunt down the mythical Yeti after a spurt of sightings in Kemerova region of Siberia.

Scientists from the U.S., Russia, Canada, Sweden, Estonia, and Mongolia were invited to discover signs of the Yeti in a region that many experts claim are home to at least 30 of the creatures. The expedition and conference later this week is the largest of its kind since 1958 when scientists from the Soviet Academy of Sciences led an expedition into Siberia to locate the Yeti. And in an astonishing display of international cooperation, U.S. and Russian scientists have even agreed to share secret Cold War evidence on the legendary creatures.

The expedition and conference were prompted by a spike in recent sightings of the Yeti in the Kemerovo region about 3,000 miles east of Moscow and in the neighboring Altai region. Other evidence such as basic twig huts; twisted branches and footprints have also been found in the area. Scientists even estimate that there are several dozen Yeti in the region.

A recent report form a Russian witness who claims to have seen the Yeti and that it walked like a human being.

"It was still a tall creature, but not giant. It was covered with long brown-grey hair, like a bear. It wasn't a bear - I have lived all my life in Siberia and wouldn't make that mistake. This creature walked like a human, or almost like a human," Raisa Sudochakova said.

This week's expedition will begin at the International Centre of Hominology in Tashtagol. The scientists will then head in the region's mountains to scour for signs of the Yeti.

Igor Burtsey, head of the International Centre of Hominology believes the Yeti is surviving Neanderthals who live in the Kuzbass mining areas.

"When Homo sapiens started populating the world, it viciously exterminated its closest relative in the hominid family, Homo neanderthalensis. Some of the Neanderthals, however, may have survived to this day in some mountainous wooded habitats that are more or less off limits to their arch foes," Burtsey said.

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