Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Yeti Footprints: Update

As expected, a rejoinder on that story....

KATHMANDU, Dec 3, 2007 (AFP) - Mountaineering and wildlife
officials in Nepal said Monday they doubted whether footprints found
by a United States team from a science fiction programme were those
of a Yeti.

The host and crew from "Destination Truth" spent around a week
in the foothills of Mount Everest and returned to the capital
Kathmandu last week with claims that they had found footprints
belonging to the legendary creature.

"The footprints may be from a Himalayan bear," Ang Tshering
Sherpa, the president of Nepal Mountaineering Association told AFP
after looking at pictures of the prints.

"It is believed that Yetis have only four toes but the
footprints recorded by the US team have five toes," said Sherpa,
whose father went unsuccessfully looking for the legendary beast in
the 1950s.

The Yeti -- described as massive half-human, half-ape-like
creature -- has captured the imagination of explorers and climbers
in the Himalayas for generations.

Dozens of costly expeditions have taken place, none of which
have proved the existence of the beast.

After seeing what he thought was a fleeting glimpse of a Yeti in
1986, climbing legend Reinhold Messner began investigating the myths and stories that surround it.

In his 1998 book "My Quest for the Yeti," Messner concludes that
it only exists in peoples' imaginations and the Himalayan black bear
was probably behind most sightings.

"Destination Truth" -- which investigates the existence of
mythical creatures -- is being made for an American science fiction

Host Joshua Gates told AFP Saturday that the programme would
further investigate the footprints, which were found last week on
the bank of the Manju River, 150 kilometres (94 miles) northeast of

"The footprint is 13 inches (33 centimetres) long and the toes
span nine inches (23 centimetres) across," Gates told AFP at a hotel
in Kathmandu.

"This is really an intriguing piece of evidence and we all feel
a little bit unable to explain what we saw," he said.

But Laxmi Manandhar, a spokesman at the Department of National
Parks and Wildlife Conservation, told AFP: "People living in the
high Himalayas believe in this strange creature called a Yeti but
nobody has actually seen it.

"The footprint castings brought by the US television crew are
strange, but there is no supporting evidence to back up the claim
that these are footprints of the Yeti."

Raj Gyawali

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