Andrey Lyubchenko claims that he met the Abominable Snowman in the Kemerovo region Wanida.w/Wikicommons

A Russian artist and sculptor has claimed that he met the mysterious and elusive Yeti in eastern Russia, and that the mythological creature even posed for a sketch. Andrey Lyubchenko, from Tashtagol, says that he had a close encounter with the Abominable Snowman when he was in the Kemerovo region – an area that has gained a reputation over the years for its Yeti sightings.

The artist says that he and the beast spoke telepathically for more than half an hour. During that time he discovered the Yeti's name was "Ta-Ban" and he drew a sketch of him as "I didn't have my phone with camera on me". Lyubchenko told the Siberian Times: "It happened so unexpectedly and fast that I had no time to get scared. There was a clear feeling that this was a thinking creature, I felt he was trying to 'talk' to me.

"The Yeti was about two-and-a-half metres tall, with thick dark brown hair like a bear's – but a lot softer. He was holding a wooden stick, with bits of hair wrapped around it. But the main thing was his eyes, they were just like light-coloured human eyes.

"It was in the morning of 27 July, I went in into [the forest] to gather materials for wooden sculptures. I usually need a lot of curved and unusually shaped branches. I live right next to the edge of [the forest], so I left early in the morning. It was 5am, I was getting close to Chernukha mountain, which is right next to the Tashtagol TV mast.

"I went out onto a small open patch, and there I felt the Yeti's presence. I turned back and saw him standing up, deeper in the woods, not going away and trying to communicate. It happened so unexpectedly and fast that I had no time to get scared.

"I am saying 'He' because shape of his body, his gestures, his behaviour were clearly male. His body was very toned, with lots of visible muscles. His hands and feet were proportionate to his body, the same way as with humans. His face was expressive, too, just like his eyes. Also I remember that he had huge legs – by human sizes, his feet were size 60.

"I can't describe or understand how we spoke, because – well, because it sounds unbelievable. It felt like we heard each other's thoughts, as if it was telepathy. There was only one word that the Yeti actually said when I asked his name. His voice was low and chesty, and the name sounded as if somebody hit a tambourine twice – 'Ta-ban'.

"I didn't have my phone with camera on me, or a camera – but I always carry a pencil and something I can draw on, this time it was a piece of birch tree bark. I made a drawing of the Yeti and showed him. The Yeti studied it really carefully for a while, and then drew a symbol next to my drawing.

"I still can't find what this symbol means, I've been going through books and internet, but found nothing similar. There is a similar looking symbol of friendship, but I am not sure this is it."