A group of international scientists made headlines last month after suggesting they were "95 percent" certain they'd found evidence that the elusive Yeti -- or fabled Siberian Snowman -- really exists.
But one scientist who was part of the big snowman hunt tells The Huffington Post that local Siberian officials staged the entire snowman scenario -- all for publicity.
"It was a very awkward feeling because here I was a guest and this was clearly orchestrated," said Idaho State University anthropologist and anatomist Jeffrey Meldrum.
And now, as researchers claim that twisted tree branches are possible proof of the Yeti's existence, Meldrum is offering a word of caution.
"Since nobody has demonstrated to me any corroborating evidence, like footprints in direct association or hair intertwined in any of these [tree] structures, I'm much more inclined to think the majority of them are just natural occurrences," he said.
Meldrum was among a handful of scientists and investigators invited to Russia's Kemerovo region -- about 2,000 miles east of Moscow -- in October to look at possible evidence of a large, hairy primate, known as the Yeti or Siberian Snowman.
"I was happy when I learned there was interest by Russian government authorities to promote and sponsor the organization of a [Yeti] institute," Meldrum said.
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