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Summary and Perspectives

During the six years of field-work of our group in Russia, the experiences with the RSC were only one episode, even if a very instructive one. Apart from in the Caucasus, German researchers in other areas of the old Soviet Union did not come into contact with members of the RSC. The field-work of the SGP brought interesting results and we have made many friends in Russia. Their help is very important to us and makes the field-work possible. It is particularly pleasing that among them are scientists living themselves in the territory of the "snowman". We have succeeded in getting them interested in the subject. Their help and the talks and discussions with them have been very informative for us.

Russia is a dangerous country, particularly for foreigners. Almost every day, the Russian media reports murders that are often committed for small things. Members of the SGP were also attacked and robbed during their work. Once even members of our group were fired at. The traveller can hardly avoid contact with the Russian street-Mafia.

The continually worsening social situation of the people does not just create a rise in crime. It creates a problem for the researcher in another way. Every year the stay of SGP members in Russia is bound together with humanitarian aid, mostly medical help for poor people. We often find ourselves in situations like the following. As guest of a family in the Russian provinces, the neighbours come and ask the foreigner for medicine for their sick children or old people that they cannot afford to pay for. The guest, who carries many times more money with him than the amount the medicine would cost, has to ask himself, which is more important, the health of this child or my research, the results of which will not help to resolve these social problems. But if he helps everyone that asks him for help, he will be unable to continue his research.

Nevertheless, the SGP plans to continue with it's field-work in north and central Russia, in the Caucasus and in middle Asia. Investigations in Siberia are in preparation. Koffmann's activities in the field against the work of the SGP mean additional problems for the Caucasian part of our work. We fear that the RSC will continue their activities against the Germans, particularly after this publication. Their possible avenues, particularly through administrative channels, are difficult for us to evaluate. One can guess that the RSC will try to discredit the German group with cryptozoologists by representing them as dishonest. Perhaps this has already happened.We have decided primarily on the advice of Russian friends to go ahead with this publication. Perhaps this will protect others from having a similar experience.

At the end, it should be noted that every researcher can and must decide for himself what he will publish from his findings, what he opens for discussion and what not. That ethical aspects have a fundamental importance in connection with our nearest relatives need not be enlarged upon here. But the information policy of the RSC and the strange interpretation of the call "Hominologists Of All Lands, Unite (...)" is not to be explained by this. In our opinion, foreigners were invited to participate in co-operative work where the intention was to cheat them out of money and equipment. Afterwards, it was attempted to drive them away, irrespective of the consequences for their personal safety. This practice must be strongly condemned.

We deeply regret that the co-operation between the SGP and the RSC developed in the way it did. We are sure that the RSC has many honest members who are not in agreement with the practices of some of their leaders. Possibly they don't even know about them. Under the difficult conditions in Russia, they have hardly any possibility to do field-work and this was one of the motivations for our planned support.
"Could then anything be more mysterious than the Russian snowman?" wrote Bayanov (1996, p. 6). In our opinion, some members of the Moscow Society of Cryptozoologists themselves do more than a little to ensure that the "snowman" stays mysterious to foreigners. The Russian "snowman" research is, in itself, no less mysterious.

 May 1999

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