Thursday, December 29, 2011

Not a good year for yeti

Yeti evidence? Not yeti.

The yeti, wherever it is, must feel a bit put upon.  First a finger long supposed to be a yeti artifact was finally tested and found to be human. Then officials of a region of Russia called Ingushtetia announced the capture of a female Yeti, providing plenty of details on the capture, what the beast was eating, and so forth. That one seemed too good to be true, and it was. Depending on which subsequent statement one believes, it was either a mistranslation (unlikely, given all the details) or a publicity stunt. 
COMMENT: There may yet be an unknown primate hiding in high forested valleys of the Himalayan region, but it's no closer to being proven than it was 60 years ago when Westerners started taking the subject seriously.  I still think about the late primatologist John Napier's comment that he would dismiss the whole topic except that footprints found by Shipton and Ward in 1951 still bothered him. Those prints are still unexplained, but we have nothing better since than less-distinct prints and some very brief sightings.  I hope the yeti is out there, but it may be no more real than the jackalope... Another possibility, of course, is that it's the preserved memory of a real species that was walways rare and is now extinct. But we have no proof for that either.

No comments: