From Phantoms and Monsters and Lon https://www.phantomsandmonsters.com/
There have been recent rumors that the Government of Iran has launched an investigation of the Runan-shah after several sightings of a ‘merman’ by fisherman in the Caspian Sea.There has been recent interest in mermaids and if there’s a possibility, in some capacity, that these are actual living creatures.
For several years, residents of coastal areas around the southern and southwestern Caspian Sea have been reporting of an amphibious creature resembling a human being. In March 2005 an eyewitness account from the crew of the Baku, an Azeri trawler, was published by Iranian newspaper Zindagi: “That creature was swimming parallel course near the boat for a long time,” said Gafar Gasanof, a captain of the ship.
“At the beginning we thought it was a big fish, but then we spotted hair on the head of the monster and his fins looked pretty strange. The front part of his body was equipped with arms!” said the captain. Back in Azerbaijan, nobody took his story seriously. It sounded ridiculous to those who thought that the guy must have been drinking while on board.
On the contrary, shortly after the publication of his interview, the offices of the Iranian paper got flooded with numerous letters of the readers who claimed that the story was yet another piece of evidence proving the existence of the so-called “man of the sea.” The readers pointed out that many fishermen had repeatedly seen the strange creature at sea and on shore after the seabed volcanoes in the area of Babolsera had come to life in February and offshore oil production operations had intensified in the Caspian.
All the eyewitness accounts provide a similar description of the marine humanoid. His height is 165-168 cm, he has a strong build, a protruding ctenoid stomach, his feet are pinniped and he has four webbed fingers on either of his hands. His skin is of moonlight color. The hair on his head looks black and green. His arms and legs are shorter and heavier than those of a medium-built person. Apart from his fingernails, he has nails growing on the tip of his aquiline nose that look like a dolphin’s beak. No information as to his ears. His eyes are large and orbicular. The mouth of the creature is fairly large, his upper jaw is prognathic and his lower lip flows smoothly into the neck, his chin is missing.
Iranians dubbed the creature Runan-shah or “the master of the sea and rivers.” The name is partly based on stories about large shoals of fish accompanying the creature at sea. Other stories refer to the waters that would turn crystal clear and stay that way for two or three days after the creature was seen swimming in those areas. Fishermen claim that fishes that stay alive for a while in the net can feel the creature coming out of the deep blue sea. Fishes were reported producing barely heard gurgling sounds as the monster came near. He was said to answer the call of the catch by making similar throaty sounds.
Some researchers believe that there is no smoke without fire and the stories circulating in Iran can be true. Besides, Runan-shah was seen by Azeri fishermen living in the villages located between the cities of Astara and Lenkoran. According to a theory, the creature is not alone; there is a family of underwater humans who are on a mission … to tackle environmental problems of the Caspian.
The Caspian Runan-shah is not the only species of underwater humans on record. Both Herodotus and Plato believed that original human beings were amphibious and might have founded an underwater state.
A book of collected scientific articles titled “The Universe and Humankind” that was published in St. Petersburg in 1905 contains a story of “marine female” caught in the Caribbean. It also has stories about dead bodies of the amphibious humans washed ashore in the Azores in 1876. Their descriptions largely correspond with the reported description of Runan-shah.
An amphibious humanlike being was reported in Karelia in 1928. The creature was repeatedly seen in the lake of Vedlozero by local residents. A group of researchers from the Petrozavodsk University arrived to investigate the case on location. Unfortunately, the findings were classified and the members of the research party eventually perished in the Gulag.
According to latest reports in the media, Iranians have already started their research of the Caspian phenomenon. The international scientific community might as well help unravel the mystery if politics do not get in the way of science this time around.
THE “BAKU” TRAWLER REPORTS
NOTE: I found 2 independent sighting reports filed by the Azerbaijani government and BBS News. Not a great difference in the reports which may indicate that the witnesses were consistent. Information is somewhat scarce in reference to other sightings of this creature which is not surprising. The Caspian Sea holds a great number of sturgeon (4 different species) that can become quite large and be mistaken for the creature. Though, you would think a fisherman would know the difference. Lon
Residents of a few towns on the Caspian shores in Iran and Azerbaijan say they have seen an amphibious man, he was reported to be swimming amidst huge shoals of fish. Rumor has it that the waters where he swam were becoming sparkling clear. Recently eyewitnesses onboard the Azeri trawler, “Baku” reported seeing the creature. According to Gafar Gasanof the captain of the trawler, the creature was swimming in a parallel course near the boat for a long time. At first they thought it was a large fish, but then they spotted hair on its head and his fins looked very unusual. And incredibly the front part of his body was equipped with arms. Shortly after this report was published in an Iranian newspaper, numerous readers came forward describing their own sightings. The readers pointed out that numerous fishermen had repeatedly seen the strange creature at sea and on the shore after seabed volcanoes in the area of Babolsera became active in February and offshore oil production operations intensified in the Caspian. All the eyewitness accounts provide a similar description of the marine humanoid. His height is about 165cm to 168cm, it has a protruding stomach, his feet are pinniped and he has four webbed fingers on either of his hands. His skin is pale white in color. The hair on his head looks black and green. His arms and legs are shorter and heavier than those of a medium-build person. Apart from his fingernails, he has nails growing on the tip of his aquiline nose that resembles a dolphin’s beak. There is no information as to his ears. His eyes are large and orbicular. The mouth of the creature is fairly large, his upper jaw is protruding and his lower lip flows smoothly into the neck, his chin is missing. Iranians have dubbed the creature, “Runan-shah” or “Master of the seas and rivers”. Other stories report that the waters remain crystal clear for days in the area where the creature has been spotted. Fishermen report that the fish that are caught in their nets seem to sense the creature when it approaches and produce a barely audible gurgling sound. It is said that the creature answers the call of the catch by making similar throaty sounds. According to a theory the creature is not alone and that there is a family of underwater humans, who are on a mission.to tackle environmental problems in the Caspian. The reproduction of flora and fauna in the Caspian has significantly deteriorated due to a surge in offshore oil production operations and underwater volcanic activity. The Astrakhan fishermen have long complained about the decrease in the stock of sturgeon.
Location/Date: Caspian Sea territorial waters of Azerbaijan – end of March 2005
Azerbaijani fishermen from the trawler “Baky” (Baku) were stunned to see a weird entity in the water. The entity swam for a long period of time near the trawler, parallel to it, reported Gafar Gasanov Captain of the ship to the local newspaper “Zindagi” when he arrived at the Iranian port of Enzeli. At first the crew thought that the entity was some type of unknown large fish, but soon they noticed that the entity’s head had distinct hairs on it and the front fins were not fins at all but webbed hands. They acknowledged that the entity looked more like a humanoid than any kind of known fish. They all concluded that they had never seen something like it in the waters. The amphibian entity then plunged deep into the waters and disappeared from sight. When Captain Gasanov returned to Azerbaijan people there refused to talk to him about the incident alleging that he and his crew had all been drunk. But the Iranians took the report seriously because of numerous rumors about “a man from the sea” were circulating in Iran long before this report. After publication in the local newspaper “Zindagi” local Iranian residents wrote numerous letters to the newspaper reporting their own encounters with a similar entity. The common opinion was that underwater volcanic activity in the area of Babolser and the intensification of oil extraction in the Caspian Sea has somehow caused unknown deep water dwellers to venture up to the surface. The entity is shorter than that of the average height, about 165-168cm, thickset, with a protruding belly, feet with flippers, and 4 fingered webbed hands. The skin is pale yellowish gray in color and it has stiff black-green hair. Arms and legs are slightly shorter and thicker than that of humans. Sharp nails grow on its hands and also at the tip of its hump-shaped nose, forming something like a dolphin’s beak. The ears are not visible. The eyes are big and round and the mouth is quite big with a protruding upper jaw, smoothly connected to the neck, without chin, the smaller lip is similar to that of a shark’s jaw. In Iran this amphibian humanoid is called “Runah-Shah” which means, “Sovereign of waters and rivers”. Interestingly the fishermen have noticed that the fish seemed to react when the entity appears, like if there were some kind of distant, extra sensory communication between the entity and the fish. Other witnesses reported seeing the same or similar entity in May between the small fishing villages of Astara and Lenkoran.—–In ancient mythology, the Caspian Sea also has its own Atlantis that appears to have disappeared in the waters. The fabled city of Ithil might be one of them. This flourishing city built on the 9th century in the coast of Northern Dagestan was the capital of the Khazar Khaganat. But the city simply suddenly vanished.
Ithil echoes the story of Sabayil castle, whose remains lies under the water. Sabayilis mentioned in the Quran, Muslim holy book, as being located in the land of Saba. There were people worshipping the Sun and because of their disobedience to God, their land was submerged by the waters. Sabayil can also be linked to a story involving Alexander the Great. The Macedonian king was willing to conquer a city with a splendid castle by the Caspian Sea. Unable to gain the consent of the inhabitants, Alexander sought the advice of Aristotle who pointed out that the city and castle were built on a large rock over the city. Thus, a special liquid was made in order to dissolve the rock, resulting in the flooding of the city.
Many other local myths have nourished stories about the Caspian Sea. Hidden treasures are said to be hidden all over the coast by the Cossack leader Stenka Razin, after his pillage of the Caspian Coast. These stories find their origin in the nature of the Caspian Sea, which is an unusual object of wonders as well as a natural paradise.
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