Sunday, 16 January 2011

The abominable snowman

Tales of the abominable snowman, a human-like, long-haired creature that lives around the snowline in the high Himalaya have long fired the public imagination. Apparently named by a 19th century British journalist, but of course also known as the yeti, countless individuals have tried to capture it - at least on film.

The yeti industry includes everything from books by the likes of
Reinhold Messner, serious studies by cryptozoologists (students of unknown or undiscovered animals) to all manner of appearances in popular culture, including Dr Who.

One of the most recent investigations comes from Mike Allsop, a mountaineer who is hoping to locate and return the supposed hand and skull of a yeti that were stolen from a monastery in the village of Pangboche in 1999. Allsop was so taken with the story that he has worked with a film prop firm to produce replicas and in April he will present them to the monastery. However, he is willing to fly anywhere in the world to collect the originals. Much more information can be found on the
returnthehand site.

Perhaps the most famous bit of yeti 'evidence' were the serious of strange footprints photographed by mountaineer Eric Shipton while on the 1951 British Everest reconnaissance expedition. This is how the Manchester Guardian reported on the find on December 5 1951:

Incidentally, the piece appeared in the Miscellany column. Alongside it was the following report about walking backwards...

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