Kushtaka, "Alaska´s otter-man" by carlos MatÍas
The media in regions as distant as Latin America and Russia has devoted its attention to the legend of Kushtaka lately, a supposed Alaskan giant primate, familiar to the Asian Yeti and the North American Big Foot, to whom the indigenous Tlingit and Tsimshian call “otter man”. Newspapers like El Universal or Zocalo, in Mexico, or the Russian agency Sputnik, are following this story.
Kushtaka is believed to have arrived in America from Asia, where the Yeti allegedly lives, in Nepal. It crossed the Bering Strait in the last ice age, like the ancestors of Native American peoples and certain animal species. Some of these primates settled in Alaska (Kushtaka); others went down to what is now California and Oregon. They have also been seen in Arkansas and on the East Coast: Florida, Louisiana or North Carolina (Big Foot).
The institutions that have investigated these creatures find no clear evidence of their existence. But there are witnesses. Among them, police officers and sheriffs who claim to have seen them.
In 1967, Roger Patterson and Bob Gimlin recorded a Big Foot in Northern California for a few moments. The film was made in celluloid stock. Sixteen years before the first digital video came out. Therefore, it was impossible to manipulate the images. After fifty-three years of analysis, no one has been able to cast doubt on its authenticity.
Kushtaka has already been featured in articles in the American and international press, from the French newspaper Le Matin to the Hindu The Indian Express, when in 2013 the New York actor Charlie Sheen flew over Alaska hoping to find it.
Other enigmas of America Kushtaka is not the only strange creature in Alaska with analogies elsewhere on the planet. In Lake Iliamna, the largest in the state, supposedly resides a ten-meter white sturgeon that shares its name with the lake, like Nessy, the monster of Loch Ness, in Scotland; Ogopogo on Lake Okanagan, in Canada, or Nahuelito, from Lake Nahuel Huapi, in Argentina.
Each culture has its own legends, some linked to animals, such as the Cadejo, a demonized dog in Central America, and others are associated with supernatural beings. The most international is La Llorona, the ghost of a woman sentenced to mourn her guilt over the loss of her children. From Mexico to Chile, the legend tells different stories: that La Llorona killed them to take revenge for the ill-treatment and infidelities of her husband and now induces other mothers to murder their own, or that she was irresponsible and left her baby next to a river to go out dancing and the river over flowed and carried the boy away. In Venezuela and Colombia is Silbón, a boy condemned to wander with the bones of his father, whom he killed. Silbón emits a whistle that, if heard close, it means that Silbon is far away, and if it is heard far away, Silbon is close and can kill whoever hears him.
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