True Friendship - Polar Bears and photographers - 1977

Even in the expedition reached me strange rumors: in a small village on the Cape Schmidt, on the shore of the Chukchi Sea, lives a brave and prickly guy named Nicholas Machulyak. He joined the gang, which is engaged in fishing of sea animals, but its share is often taken not valuable skins, and almost unnecessary nerpa meat, made friends with a white Dipper, goes to visit her, feeding the condensed milk, playing with her cubs, and so tamed the beast that he takes it almost as a ...

In August, our field season came to an end. Terrain threw a party to Cape Schmidt, and yet was still time before the next flight "to the mainland, I decided to check the veracity of these rumors.

Nicholas lived by the sea, in a small house, the hall which had been completely demolished by the ice. They piled up under the roof, threatening to eventually grind nehitroe housing. Boss, in my opinion, it is not very worried. He openly mocking me, bored look and said with an effort, in monosyllables, and our conversation initially flagged. I could understand his thorniness: since the bears by Nikolai became a prominent figure at Cape Schmidt, got into the habit for him to walk all those who more or less owns the pen and tape recorder.

Knowing that I was from geopartii, Machulyak reassured.

- Volodya, - he said warmer voice - see the notebook. What is unclear - ask. And I'll tell ...

- In December 1974 the Chukchi hunter-killed white bear, destroy it yaranga. After she left Pestunov - a young bear, which I fed five months: hunt it has not yet learned. Her name was Masha. In the spring of 1975 it had gone, and almost a year later I again saw her.

- So straight and saw?

- Well, I saw and felt the beginning: someone looks at me. Directly touching eyes. Toros white, white bear, two Uholka eyes. And suddenly the bear catches up to me. Often a person can not discern the intentions of the beast, but here I felt: this is not an attack. All bears are usually on one person ... but then realized - Masha! I stopped her movement sticks. Always wear a stick with him. Lightweight, sixty centimeters.

- Well, Mary?

- Masha was at a loss - it was clear from her face, at will stick around, come closer to me. She obviously recognized me ... And yet it was frightening. After 11 months have passed since our last meeting. I immediately brought the meat out of the trap. She willingly ate. Dates look in, look in my diary ...

«25.II.76. Today went to Masha. 10 cans of condensed milk. Milk eats out of the jar from his hands. Not aggressive. I opened the jar in one motion hunting knife, so there was no burrs.

27.II. He brought 10 kilograms of seals.

28.II. Masha is already waiting. Tried to iron - do not allow it.

29.I. The sea is very poor this year. Pestsov scored only two. Bears probably will still be coming through the Strait of Long. They say at Cape Blossom them by the thousand.

1.III. Today I work, I can not come. Miss.

3.III. He came with his father. Masha shook hands with a paw. Allows you to go next. This is something that means.

5.III. Someone scared Masha dogs. Nowhere is not. Strongly purzhit, it makes no sense to look.

- By the way, and the dogs - a formidable opponent for the polar bear?

- I do not think so. In my opinion, She did not come with them to fight simply because they do not want to break-our relationship. Winterers Kolyuchin Island from the island told that they have eleven dogs attacked the bear, and he dealt with everyone, almost without having any visible damage. The sharp disparity in force. Well, like a motorcycle and a tank. A bear - an experienced fighter. Once, two years ago, I saw him motion pads wasted once two or three attacking dogs. Dogs can only stop the bear, that man took him ... Masha is very strong. A small bear, 150 pounds total, but simply left paw shifted 300-pound ice block, when I purposely poddalblival ice and kept there seal.

- A Masha tebya zhdala ever?

- Probably. But in an open field just once or twice. Usually, she has appeared on the leeward side and always unexpectedly.

"March 8. Women's Day. Gifts for Masha lot. She took sugar, very carefully stretched lips.

9-13.III. Blizzard.

- Kohl, apparently, you're out of all the animals distinguish bears? Is this true?

- Not exactly. But polar bears love ... They have different charges: that something had eaten there destroyed, brutally crushed the dogs, uvoroval supplies. Of course, the polar bear - a dangerous animal, but usually it is not deterred without adequate justification. Or you came close to a den, or violated the rules of hunting. Stories of aggressiveness - largely fabrications "hunters", shooters on the cans.

- Have you met a lot of polar bears?

- At different times - seven. But I had not crossed a threshold security that they themselves like to spend, in addition, comply with the chain of command, or something. After all, they are the princes of the ice. And the whole earth there probably stronger predator polar bears. He is two and a half times heavier than our simple-brown bear ... And if the bear does not want to join with me in any relationship, I retreat immediately, but do not hurry, be sure to face him, and struggled trying to keep calm.

- Are?

- Still alive, however.

- Now explain to me. Why to Masha, which you know two years, approached with caution?

- Beast is a beast. But every time I have been building up before the meeting. I mentally say to Masha, and not only her, but any bear: "Friendship of your request. Here's my pre-writing hand - palm up, no weapon in her tin of condensed milk, which you love. You're beautiful, strong and dear to me a beast. I want to have in you, friend, and in friendship or rather I will not. "

- And the bears feel it?

- Read more.

«14.III. He came to Masha's lair, carrying meat. Instead Masha from its lair came a robust hudyuschaya bear, ragged, yellow, and ran directly at me. Barely drive it away with a stick. Meat took, ate, but all of her shooting up drugs.

- What happened?

- Probably, Maria Mikhailovna, as I mentioned hefty bear, Masha chased from its lair, and she was older and stronger. Also had more rights to "living space", as I suspected that it already has cubs.

- Scared?

- Surprisingly, no. Rather surprised, even offended. I am saying to you with good, with meat, though its Masha his bear, and you ... mad eyes, stood on its hind legs ... I looked at his left leg, is about to crack. Bears because left-hander ... Then he walked backwards, strange eyes, eat, however, and pounding, pounding her. I was walking home like a statue. Houses have already sat down, his legs trembled, zaboyalsya.

- So, bear a very fine shades of feeling for human relationships?

- In my opinion, yes.

«18.III. Wore meat. Closer than eight meters Maria Mikhailovna not let.

19.III. Wore a walrus meat. Eats badly. Wore a seal, eats poorly.

20.III. Comes with a photographer. Drove, barely stopped stick. Dispersed way: I'm going backwards, Maria Mikhailovna doing the same thing.

25.III. The administration was looking at Maria Mikhailovna of the office in a telescope. Scared that digs nearby. Where's Mary?

26.III. Today, though angry, and took the meat out of the hands. I went to look for Masha.

28.III. Apparently, Maria Mikhailovna struggled lair with a brand-new. Around tufts of wool, broken ice. Maria Mikhailovna klochkastaya.

1.IV. Warm day. Maria Mikhailovna was already waiting at the den. Fast, but not aggressively approached by two meters. Again brought again approached.

2.IV. I work, sometimes watching through binoculars. Maria Mikhailovna all aim at the village.

3.IV. Fed, photographed, came with his father.

4.IV. Approaching the lair in a jeep, eight people - with carbines, just in case. Maria Mikhailovna visitors not taken - not left to them.

7.IV. Two days after the arrival vezdehodchikov Maria Mikhailovna left the old lair. All these days searching for her. Found already out to sea, one kilometer from the village. Rather, it found. I went from the side, behind - not noticed how ".

- Kohl, describe Maria Mikhailovna, what is it?

- Well, healthy, at 300 kilograms, can be seen on the trail. Very independent and strong - otelas. Took the food and even eagerly, but as a tribute, as if doing a favor. To my father, a patient treated with disdain. Posture domineering, conscious of its strength, nee Princess. My parishes began to take for granted ...

«8.IV. Discovers Maria Mikhailovna with two cubs. Not let. Meat left for a hundred meters. He said: "Maria Mikhailovna, dine caruncle, nerpa liver, because you love her."

9.IV. Afar deduct Maria Mikhailovna on film.

11.IV. This invasion. Droves to watch "and cubs. However, while from afar.

15.IV. Goes straight to me. Bear kept at a distance.

16.IV. My wife swears. Good, said no end ...

18.IV. Today is the first time Maria Mikhailovna allowed to approach the bear. Greeted him with a "hand". Climbs mischief. The second (probably female) clings to its mother.

19.IV. Maria Mikhailovna eating moss, although the meat was. And generally it does not eat any beef or venison, only marine animals.

21.IV. Someone fired a flare and brought dogs. Cartridge cases, traces. Maria Mikhailovna deigned to be discontented.

22.IV. Den dug further into the sea.

24.IV. Returned to the old place. Requires condensed milk and sugar. He climbed in the den, where a litter of white wool. Bear climbs on his back on his head. Maria Mikhailovna jealous.

29.IV. All these days goes a lot of people, and I go with them, because many belong to Maria Mikhailovna lightly, but because she did not hand protein. It happened accidentally crushed by someone - shoot, you know. Houses almost nonexistent. My wife is jealous. "

Long ago I had to say goodbye, but I did not go nedosprosil, we see something.

- Listen, and what destiny Masha?

Nicholas turned away, paused, and some wooden voice, as if pushing the language of words, said:

- I do not know. Two months after her disappearance someone shot a small bear. Zoom Masha, Masha and could grow during this time, but the skin is yellowish, and Masha was snow white. Though for a moment opened her eyes to ... I'm very sorry that he had not insisted in his time - not tied to her neck, a red belt. Masha was trusting because ...

- But it could turn yellow?

- No! - He turned sharply. - No! No! - With pain and hope almost cried.

In local Aeroflotskiye hotel and "Anushka" during the flight I kept thinking about Nicholas and was trying, perhaps, his behavior toward you.

I remembered the two pilots Spit, where a helicopter saw the bear hunts seals. Golden Sun. From the slowness of the beast is not gone. It was all in plexus fast and furious muscle, all in an unbridled ecstasy attack - three-dimensional power, able to explode a lightning strike.

I remembered the fear of sticking his first hunt Kamchatka bear-korovoubiytsu and carbine, danced in my hands, and imagined a light stick in the hands of Nicholas ..

The Passenger

Six years in the making and completed in 2006, The Passenger was written, designed, modelled, textured, illuminated, animated, composed, recorded, mixed, edited, produced and directed by Chris Jones. More info at This is a low res, monophonic, compression drenched, generally fairly appalling version - for an idea of the DVD quality, download the hi-res trailer at

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