BARMANU : (AFGHANISTAN – PAKISTAN) Retracing the footsteps of a Yeti hunter slain in the Hindu Kush

List members , the Barmanu is the Yeti equivalent - a cryptid creature found in the Afghanistan-Pakistan border regions...strangely , this was the same area in which Osama Bin Laden and his cohorts were most active , at one time !

Known for it's plethora of natural caves & tunnels , this area could serve as a perfect hiding place , for any creature that wants to stay hidden from also recalls how the US Special Forces in Afghanistan had once come across a giant creature who emerged from a cave and had attacked them.

**The quest for this mythical creature is about as interesting as any true blue adventure novel can get...a fascinating topic indeed !


This cave man-like creature is said to haunt the wilds of Eastern Afghanistan and Pakistan’s Shishi Kuh Valley.

Thought to be related to early humanoids, such as the Neanderthal, Barmanu are said to dwell in the Hindukush and Karakoram ranges, between the Pamirs and the Himalaya as well as Shishi Kuh valley, which is located in the Chitral region of Northern Pakistan. This region places the Barmanu squarely in between the ranges of two more famous cryptids, the Himalayan YETI and the ALMAS of central Asia, with whom it is said to share Neanderthal-like traits.

In fact, the Neanderthal connection runs so deep that the Barmanu is often described as a cross between a man and an ape, and is allegedly fond of abducting young women with the intention of mating with them. It is also reported to wear animal skins on its back and skull.

Accounts of this creature are often accompanied by tales of its horrific stench. A trait which has led some investigators to surmise that this may be a man-beast may be less like a Neanderthal than other mystery primates, such as the North American BIGFOOT and SKUNK APE.

Although the legends surrounding these creatures have been around in northern Pakistan for centuries, these mystery beasts were first brought to international attention by noted Spanish zoologist, JORDI MAGRANER. A student of the father of cryptozoology himself, BERNARD HEUVELMANS, Magraner sought to expose this enigma and made it his life’s work.

Between 1992 and 1994, Magraner pursued the evidence along with Dr. Anne Mallasseand. During an expedition through the Shishi Kuh valley, the investigators chronicled not only eyewitness accounts, but discovered primate-like footprints. The European team also heard what has been described as guttural sounds which only could have been made by a “primitive primate voice box.”

When members of the expedition asked eyewitnesses to choose among various images of HAIRY HOMINIDS which most resembled the Barmanu, the image most often selected was that of the legendary MINNESOTA ICEMAN. This entity was also said to be much more human-like than the typical mystery ape or relic hominid.

Tragically Magraner was assassinated by one of his Pakistani guides on August 2, 2002, less than a month before his planned return to his home in France. One can only hope that the Barmanu themselves will not suffer the same fate in that war torn region.

***Jordi Magraner spent 15 years in Chitral in search of a Himalayan Yeti, a quest that ended with his murder in 2002. Seven years later, journalist Gabi Martinez followed in his footsteps, and the result is a riveting book

In the Land of Giants: Hunting Monsters in the Hindu Kush
by Gabi Martinez

“Some stories are hard to believe, and this is one of them,” writes lauded Spanish author Gabi Martinez near the start of In the Land of Giants, his 11th book and an inspired telling of an uncommon story.

It’s a story that is fable-like in its outlines, yet unmistakably grounded in some of the harsher realities of our times.

Indeed, from the outset, writes Martinez, there was “something marvel­lous” about this story of renowned Spanish zoologist Jordi Magraner, who, one morning in August 2002, was found with his throat cut in Pakistan’s Chitral region, where he’d lived for 15 years. Magraner had been searching for the mythical barmanu – as locals call the cryptid of the Hindu Kush. The morning after his death, the newspaper headlines all said the same thing: “Yeti hunter found murdered.”

Seven years later, no one had been convicted for his killing – nor has anyone since – and rumours still swirled around the 44-year-old Spaniard’s slaying, with some news­papers hinting at the involvement of secret government agents, others that it was a crime of passion. Even the few reported facts of his life seemed to have mythical dimensions; revered by the Kalash, an ancient pagan people of the Hindu Kush who had buried his body with honour, Magraner had also been involved in humanitarian convoys in Afghanistan as well as with Alliance Française in Peshawar.

There were also suggestions he had had dealings with Ahmad Shah Massoud, the region’s legendary anti-Taliban resistance leader. But for Martinez, unravelling the mystery and, indeed, the marvels of the zoologist’s life and death would prove as dangerous as it was irresistible. It would mean retracing the footsteps of the yeti hunter into Pakistan’s northern valleys – the region that, in 2009, was the operational base of al-Qaeda.

Jordi Magraner
Jordi Magraner

It’s difficult to say which is the more potent in this riveting tale of obsession, adventure and murder, Martinez’s vivid portrayal of the myriad people involved or the age-old allure of the Hindu Kush itself, which is like a living character in the narrative. Its majestic summits, said to include more than 40 higher than 6,000 metres, are mostly anonymous save for the fabled Tirich Mir, the tallest of “the rooftops”, and form a chain enclosing “Edenic lakes, glaciers, gullies and virgin forests where a different kind of life is possible”, writes Martinez.

“Legends about which nothing is known are glimpsed on the other side of this geological palisade that preserves settle­ments which are barely more than medieval – legends that tell of Alexander the Great’s descendants, of animals facing extinction and furtive creatures that hide to escape from man.”

None is more elusive than the hairy bipedal monster known as the barmanu, which lured Magraner to leave his home in the suburbs of the French city of Fontbarlettes, in Valence, for the Chitral in 1987, aged 29. Indeed, the notion of “monster” – be it human, animal or a mixture of both – is a metaphor that haunts In the Land of Giants, with Martinez seaming his narrative with references to relict hominids, from Carl Linnaeus’Homo monstrosus and the legends of “bigfoot” and “the wild man” to the theories of Bernard Heuvelmans, the Belgian-French scientist explorer who founded cryptozoo­logy and co-authored the 1974 book L’homme de Néanderthal est toujours vivant (“Neanderthal man is still alive”) – a book that was to have a profound influence on the young Magraner.

Long before he set out for Pakistan in search of the barmanu, Magraner had established a correspondence with Heuvelmans, who had demonstrated that many animals discovered in the 20th century, such as the coelacanth or the Para­guayan peccary, were located only after conversations with indigenous peoples.

Jordi Magraner's drawing of a hominid, as witnessed in the Hindu Kush, in 1987.

Martinez brings a detective’s zeal to his narrative as he tracks down Magraner’s childhood friends, his family, his teachers, his academic colleagues and almost everyone the zoologist encountered in Pakistan and Afghanistan, in an effort to inhabit the spirit of the man as well as nail down the factual details of a life lived in pursuit of a myth. He spent three months gaining the trust of Magraner’s family, who gave him access to the zoologist’s letters and diaries, and is assiduous in investi­gating rumours surrounding Magraner’s sexuality.

Sex and money, along with notions of monsters and identity, are recurring themes. While empathising with Magraner’s constant struggle for financial and institutional support, Martinez writes: “Most of what excited me was the certainty with which Magraner had surrendered his life to a cause with no apparent meaning, which, contrary to all predictions, would open up unimaginable rifts in the French scientific establishment.”

Be it those rifts or others that the increasingly contradic­tory and volatile Magraner opened up with his friends in France and in the Chitral, or with his beloved young Nuristani Muslim protégé Shamsur, Martinez leaves no stone unturned in his quest to illuminate the fault lines of Magraner’s life, as well as the wellspring of his hunger for a life outside the con­ven­tional.

Born in Morocco to Spanish parents, the fifth of six siblings, Magraner lived in Valence with his family from the age of six. He had demonstrated a preternatur­al affinity with nature from a young age, developing a particu­lar interest in amphibians and reptiles. When he set out for Pakistan’s northern valleys that December of 1987, with photo­grapher and childhood friend Yannick L’Homme, he was in search of a new way of life, a way of living with nature, as much as the new species of birds, reptiles and amphibi­ans he told the Valence news­paper he was plan­ning to study.

He didn’t empha­sise his main objective, to find traces of something humanoid but not human, because he was not yet convinced about the existence of relict hominids.

Jordi Magraner's drawing of a barmanu, in 1990.

Magraner collected 50 accounts of first-hand sightings, personally documented large humanoid footprints and was known for being the first to do so in the Hindu Kush. Yet the magnetic pull of this book lies not in barmanu sightings but in the way the zoologist’s outsized character and mythic obsessions play out against the mounting political and religious tensions of the time – and in the way Martinez clarifies the complexities of the region’s tribal dynamics, the ongoing impact of the war in neighbour­ing Afghanistan on the region and the immense hardship of those condemned to live in it.

As one of Magraner’s Kalash friends, a hotel keeper in the Chitral, tells Martinez late in the narrative: “How do you shake off a feeling of poverty when you know you are poor and you have no possibility, not at all, of changing that situation?”

Pakistan’s religious Kalash minority fear loss of identity as their youth are increasingly converting to Islam

It was ultimately the plight of the Kalash, and his pledge to save them from extremist Islamism, that had kept Magraner in Pakistan, despite death threats. Yet even the shocking revelations about his murder that come toward the end of the book, along with previously undisclosed details of the slaying of his 12-year-old Kalash servant, Wazir, whose body was found the following day, don’t fully lift the veil of mystery surrounding his death. Nor do they diminish the grandeur of Magraner’s dreams, or his bravery in pursuit of them.

Yet in writing of the outsized life of Jordi Magraner, the only person to have his name incised on a head­stone in the Kalash cemetery, Martinez is also writing about the nature of storytelling itself, its potent and enduring pull on our lives. “How far does the imagination reach?” he asks near the end. “How far should we trust it?”


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Folks , here are 2 links to that earlier story of a giant cave-man that had attacked US Special forces in Afghanistan - could it have been the mythical Barmanu itself ??

13-Foot Tall Red Haired Giant of Kandahar Allegedly Killed by US Soldiers in Afghanistan [CLAIM]

The US government allegedly "killed and covered up" a 13-foot giant with red hair and six-finger hands who lived in the Afghanistan highlands.

In a deleted YouTube clip, a witness claimed that he saw the horrifying incident.


(Photo : Amber Clay/Pixabay)
The Giant of Kandahar, a 13-foot-tall monster with red hair and six-fingered hands that lived in the mountains of Afghanistan 'was killed and covered up by the US government.' This is a representational image.

US Military 'Killed' Kandahar Giant

In a chat with YouTuber LA Marzulli (per Daily Star), the military contractor claimed to have been there during the savage killing of a killer he dubbed the Kandahar Giant.

Marzulli discusses the "Giant of Kandahar" with a guy claiming to be a soldier on his YouTube channel, which is dedicated to connecting contemporary events to Biblical prophesies.

Before he and the other "special forces" put it down, Mr. K claimed he observed the monster holding a spear and slaying a US soldier named "Dan."

None of the occurrences have been verified.

Who is the Kandahar Giant?

According to Indie88, the Kandahar Giant is one of the following two possibilities.

  1. A legendary 13-foot-tall enormous creature who dwelt in Afghanistan's highlands and was destroyed by US special troops. The authorities later covered up the death of the red-haired giant with six-fingered hands;
  2. A total myth.

In August 2016, YouTuber Marzulli posted a lengthy interview with Mr. K, a military contractor, on the internet video sharing platform. During the conversation, Mr. K stated that he was a member of the crew who ruthlessly executed the Kandahar giant.

In the early 2000s, when the US military was fighting the Taliban in their de facto capital of Kandahar Province, the incident occurred. On the other hand, this massive creature was not a human combatant in the least.

How This Monster Looked Like

The Kandahar Giant, according to Mr. K, is 13 feet tall and has two sets of fangs. With his spear weapon, the monster murdered one of the Special Forces men.

According to ATI, the remainder of the troops murdered him in less than 30 seconds by firing nonstop at him. The army forces hauled its body away in a Chinook chopper and have kept it concealed since no one had seen him.

Some accounts claim that the giant was as tall as 15 feet with six digits, wore leather moccasins with a horrible odor, and appeared out of nowhere from a cave, killing one soldier with his spear.

"Between them, the squad was armed with full-auto M4 carbines, 'recon carbines' (semi-automatic) and M107 Barrett anti-materiel rifles firing .50 BMG. This much firepower concentrated on one target for one second, let alone thirty, would be extremely destructive," One report claimed.

Non-disclosure agreements (NDA) were required of the soldiers. The troops, on the other hand, broke their silence because they believed that the truth should be revealed and that the public had a right to know.

US Government Denies Claim

When Snopes asked about the "Kandahar Giant incident" in 2016, the Department of Defense said, "We do not have any record or information about a special forces member killed by a giant in Kandahar."

Furthermore, neither the website nor the news release said that a "special forces troop" had gone missing in Afghanistan or that a giant had killed one of their men.



Is tghis Afghanistan/Pakistan border area the same area where Arjuna of Bhagavad Gita fame and his brothers wandered durinng their exile?

I ask because Arjuna's brother Bhima encountered and killed a creature in a town in the area where they wandered, that was demanding a human to eat once a month from the townspeople.

Could it be the same creature?


By the way ...

@deandddd , that creature from the Mahabharat epic was indeed similar , though it is hard to tell whether it was in the same region...names of places have changed such a lot in the last 5000 years , that the real mythological identity of even Mohenjo Daro and Harappa (the 2 most famous sites of the Indus Valley Civilisation) have got obscured .

**Just on that point , the MASSIVE floods in the Indus river this year , are threatening to submerge Mohenjo Daro and other ancient sites . Besides the Kabul river (a tributary of the Indus) that comes from Afghanistan , many of the other major tributaries of the Indus are also in spate this year . A 100 km wide lake has formed in Southern Pakistan as a result of this deluge - the greatest in the recorded history of that region .


100 kilometers wide!!!

Yes @deandddd...looking at these images , I got a strange sense that 5000 years ago , was this how the Indus Valley Civilisation actually came to an end (massive floods in the mighty Indus river ?) history repeating itself ??

***Torrential rains and flash floods have also affected the normally "bone dry" Balochistan Province to the West of Sindh...I have been trying to find out if the highly eroded Balochistan Sphinx is still is very difficult to get news from that remote area !

Pakistan’s deadly floods have created a massive 100km-wide inland lake, satellite images show

Updated 8:10 AM EDT, Wed August 31, 2022

An image of Sindh province, taken on August 28 from NASA's MODIS satellite sensor.

An image of Sindh province, taken on August 28 from NASA's MODIS satellite sensor.

NASA Worldview


Striking new satellite images that reveal the extent of Pakistan’s record flooding show how an overflowing Indus River has turned part of Sindh Province into a 100 kilometer-wide inland lake.

Swaths of the country are now underwater, after what United Nation officials have described as a “monsoon on steroids” brought the heaviest rainfall in living memory and flooding that has killed 1,162 people, injured 3,554 and affected 33 million since mid-June.

The new images, taken on August 28 from NASA’s MODIS satellite sensor, show how a combination of heavy rain and an overflowing Indus River have inundated much of Sindh province in the South.

Move the slider to the left to reveal the flood waters (shown in blue) cover large portions of Pakistan's normally arid, brown landscape in this satellite image captured on Sunday, August 28th. Move the slider back to the right to the same date last year. These images are known as 'false-color,' which combine infrared and visible light to increase the contrast between water and land.

In the center of the picture, a large area of dark blue shows the Indus overflowing and flooding an area around 100 kilometers (62 miles) wide, turning what were once agricultural fields into a giant inland lake.

Flood affected people stand in a long line with utensils to get food distributed by Pakistani Army troops in a flood-hit area in Rajanpur, district of Punjab, Pakistan, Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022. Officials say flash floods triggered by heavy monsoon rains across much of Pakistan have killed nearly 1,000 people and displaced thousands more since mid-June. (AP Photo/Asim Tanveer)
Pakistan causes less than 1% of planet-warming gases. It's now drowning under the climate crisis

It’s a shocking transformation from the photo taken by the same satellite on the same date last year, which shows the river and its tributaries contained in what appear by comparison to be small, narrow bands, highlighting the extent of the damage in one of the country’s hardest-hit areas.

This year’s monsoon is already the country’s wettest since records began in 1961, according to the Pakistan Meteorological Department, and the season still has one month to go.

In both Sindh and Balochistan provinces, rainfall has been 500% above average, engulfing entire villages and farmland, razing buildings and wiping out crops.

Workers load sacks of relief goods for flood victims in Balochistan on August 5.

A boy wades through his flooded house in Karachi on July 26.

Flood-affected people take refuge in a makeshift camp in Pakistan's Jaffarabad district on Wednesday, August 31.

Fida Hussain/AFP/Getty Images

Flood-affected people take refuge in a makeshift camp in Pakistan's Jaffarabad district on Wednesday, August 31.

People wade through floodwaters in Charsadda, Pakistan, on August 31.

Children sit on a charpai in the Jaffarabad district on August 31.

A view from a makeshift camp after people fled from their flood-hit homes in the Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on Tuesday, August 30.

Displaced people take refuge in a school in Jacobabad, Pakistan, on August 30.

People prepare sandbags to build a barrier to stop the floodwaters in Puran Dhoro, Pakistan, on August 30.

Residents of Kyhber Pakhtunkhwa gather beside a road damaged by flooding on Monday, August 29.

A displaced child sleeps under a mosquito net at a makeshift camp in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on August 29.

This satellite image shows the scale of the flooding along the banks of the Indus River in Rajanpur, Pakistan, on Sunday, August 28.

People wade through floodwaters in Pakistan's Mirpur Khas district on August 28.

Pakistani Army soldiers distribute food following a flash flood in Hyderabad, Pakistan, on August 28.

Flooded land is seen in Mingora, a town in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley, on August 28.

Volunteers load relief food bags on a truck in Karachi, Pakistan, on August 28.

Displaced people take refuge along a highway after fleeing from their flood-hit homes in Pakistan's Charsadda district on August 28.

Displaced people wade through a flooded area in Peshawar, Pakistan, on Saturday, August 27.

A man carries his sick daughter along a road damaged by floodwaters in Pakistan's northern Swat Valley on August 27.

A man swims in floodwaters while heading for higher ground in Charsadda on August 27.

Flood-affected people stand in a long line for food distributed by Pakistani Army troops in Rajanpur on August 27.

A flooded area is seen from atop a bridge in the Charsadda district on August 27.

A man helps children navigate floodwaters using a satellite dish in Balochistan, Pakistan, on Friday, August 26.

Volunteers prepare food boxes to distribute to flood victims in Peshawar on August 26.

A family carries their belongings through floodwaters in Jamshoro, Pakistan, on August 26.

People walk through floodwaters in Dagai Mukram Khan, Pakistan, on August 26.

A woman cooks food for her flood-affected family at a makeshift camp in Nawabshah, Pakistan, on Thursday, August 25.

Rescue workers carry out an evacuation operation for stranded people in Rajanpur on August 25.

Villagers take shelter at a makeshift camp in Pakistan's Jaffarabad district on August 24.

Workers load sacks of relief goods for flood victims in Balochistan on August 5.

A boy wades through his flooded house in Karachi on July 26.

Flood-affected people take refuge in a makeshift camp in Pakistan's Jaffarabad district on Wednesday, August 31.

People wade through floodwaters in Charsadda, Pakistan, on August 31.

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While mostly dry weather is expected in the region in coming days, experts say the water will take days to recede.

Pakistan’s climate change minister Sherry Rehman said Sunday that parts of the country “resemble a small ocean,” and that “by the time this is over, we could well have one-quarter or one-third of Pakistan under water.”

‘Flood of apocalyptic proportions’

In a interview with CNN Tuesday, Pakistan’s Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said he had visited Sindh and seen first-hand how the flooding had displaced entire villages and towns.

“There is barely any dry land that we can find. The scale of this tragedy … 33 million people, that’s more than the population of Sri Lanka or Australia,” he said.

“And while we understand that the new reality of climate change means more extreme weather, or monsoons, more extreme heat waves like we saw earlier this year, the scale of the current flood is of apocalyptic proportions. We certainly hope it’s not a new climate reality.”

Satellite images from Maxar Technologies from other areas of the country show how entire villages and hundreds of plots of verdant land have been razed by the rapidly moving floods.

Gudpur, Pakistan


Images from Gudpur, a locality in Punjab, show how the floods have damaged homes, and replaced land with snaking trails of of bare Earth.

Gudpur, Pakistan


Pakistan’s Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif arrived in northern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on Wednesday to inspect its flood damage.

The province has logged most of the latest deaths after water levels rose exponentially, said the country’s National Disaster Management Authority.

Sharif said Tuesday the flooding was the “worst in Pakistan’s history” and international assistance was needed to deal with the scale of the devastation.