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Yeti footprints found near Everest
December 3, 2007 12:34 PM   Subscribe

Yeti footprints found near Everest by Joshua Gates (SciFi Channel TV presenter) and his nine-member paranormal investigation team. They discovered three anthropomorphic prints on the bank of Manju near Mt. Everest, after spending one week in the Khumbu region. Stopping short of declaring a belief in the Yeti, Gates doubts the prints were man-made or that they came from a known creature. (See also: AP/Yahoo , IMDB, TV.com, Fortean Times Message Forum, SciFi Channel Destination Truth forum)
posted by christopherious (121 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Oh please oh please oh please oh please...
posted by BobFrapples at 12:36 PM on December 3, 2007


Photos?
posted by Artw at 12:38 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well luckily he is a totally objective scientist, and not some TV show host making shit up for the sake of ratings.
posted by poppo at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2007 [16 favorites]


I won't believe it until I see a photo of its gaping maw.
posted by found missing at 12:40 PM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Isn't it funny how paranormal investigation teams always end up finding something paranormal? It's like Scooby Doo backwards.
posted by nasreddin at 12:41 PM on December 3, 2007 [18 favorites]


Wouldn't it make more sense to look for this elusive creature with night-vision than with flashlights?
posted by Dasein at 12:42 PM on December 3, 2007


What good would a paranormal investigation team be? If an unknown long lost ape like creature was discovered somewhere it wouldn't be any more of a paranormal discovery than that of the coelacanth. And, never mind night-vision or flashlights, a camera would have been a help.
posted by Elmore at 12:47 PM on December 3, 2007


Didn't I ever tell you about Bumbles? Bumbles bounce.
Just ask my nine-member paranormal investigation team.
posted by maryh at 12:47 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, right. Those sort of torches. I was thinking....never mind.
posted by shothotbot at 12:48 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It was then that the Yeti carried you.
posted by jrossi4r at 12:48 PM on December 3, 2007 [114 favorites]


"The footprints were huge," said Gates's assistant, Ood Yboocs.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 12:49 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Josh Gates and his crew work on a series called Destination Truth, which follows reports of fantastic creatures.

I'm sorry, but you must have taken the wrong turn. This is Drivel Drive.
You need to go back on Bullshit Boulevard and turn right on Reality Road.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:51 PM on December 3, 2007 [11 favorites]


Yeah, well, my ten-member paranormal investigation team finds Mr. Gates' nine-member paranormal investigation team's results to be spurious.

Especially without photos.
posted by dead_ at 12:51 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd imagine that the rocky wasteland of the Himalayas would pose a serious challenge to any breeding population of giant ape creatures hoping to consume enough calories to avoid freezing to death.
posted by bunnytricks at 12:54 PM on December 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


This is gonna be crop circles all over again. But I bet Art Bell will get off on it.
posted by pax digita at 12:55 PM on December 3, 2007


Hmm, isn't there some kind of rule of thumb that any organisation with "truth" in it's title is at best self-deluded and at worst trying to sell you a pack of lies?
posted by Artw at 12:55 PM on December 3, 2007


The Abominable Snowjob.
posted by ColdChef at 12:55 PM on December 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


That may be true, bunnytricks, but you forgot one thing. It's PARANORMAL!!
posted by puke & cry at 12:56 PM on December 3, 2007


It must be real. Robert Halmi Sr. doesn't have the kind of budget for this sort of thing.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:57 PM on December 3, 2007


I don't know why they were looking in the himalayas when they could have just gone to their local Big Lots store.
posted by dersins at 12:59 PM on December 3, 2007


I'd imagine that the rocky wasteland of the Himalayas would pose a serious challenge to any breeding population of giant ape creatures hoping to consume enough calories to avoid freezing to death.

Not if we get more nine-member teams assembled!
posted by not_on_display at 12:59 PM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Hmm, isn't there some kind of rule of thumb that any organisation with "truth" in it's title is at best self-deluded and at worst trying to sell you a pack of lies?

That's not bad. I also use the "fi" in "scifi" as a clue, myself.

Wouldn't it make more sense to look for this elusive creature with night-vision than with flashlights?

It's a little know fact that the light from flashlights lures the male yeti because it mimics the courtship behavior of the female, who is cryptic in appearance but emits flashes of bioluminescence to attract mates. They're often mistaken for UFOs or summer campers lost in the woods.

Some experts say there are no female yetis, but that's obviously a misconception. Where else would baby yetis come from?
posted by Tehanu at 1:00 PM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


pax digita: But I bet Art Bell will get off on it.

ew.....
*scrubs brain with rusty SOS pad*

posted by CitizenD at 1:00 PM on December 3, 2007


Photos?

[snarksuitoff]
Photo of foot print cast, complete with The North Face, Inc. ad.
[snarksuiton]
posted by christopherious at 1:01 PM on December 3, 2007


I WANT TO BELIEVE

IN EVERYTHING
posted by shmegegge at 1:01 PM on December 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


Fictionwise the Nigel Kneale The Abominable Snowman is pretty rocking.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on December 3, 2007


Well sir, SciFi Channel is not a reputable scientific outlet, like Discovery Channel, whose 9-member scientistic expedition recently exhumed BatBoy and found out that he was mostly bat, and only a little boy, contrary to popular thinking.
posted by Mister_A at 1:03 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Possibly taking a photo of the actual footprint would have worked better, so it didn't look like a big chunk of fuck all.
posted by Artw at 1:03 PM on December 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Photo of foot print cast, complete with The North Face, Inc. ad.

That's not a footprint. That's swamp gas.
posted by bunnytricks at 1:04 PM on December 3, 2007


But I bet Art Bell will get off on it.

Set your watches, everyone. How long will it take before fulfills Rule 34 with Art Bell getting off on a yeti?
posted by Mikey-San at 1:04 PM on December 3, 2007


Gee, if there was just something in the word SciFi that would clue us to the fact that it is fiction.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 1:06 PM on December 3, 2007


Mom?
posted by yeti at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2007 [16 favorites]


I see the BBC (in the first link) even ran this story without mentioning the TV program in question is on the freaking Sci-Fi channel.
posted by aught at 1:09 PM on December 3, 2007


Somewhere a sherpa and his buddies are sitting around drinking and laughing their asses off.
posted by MasonDixon at 1:10 PM on December 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


What happens between Art and the Yeti in the Airstream stays in The Airstream
posted by bunnytricks at 1:10 PM on December 3, 2007


What do you call more than one yeti? Yeti? Is it like deer and beer?
posted by Mister_A at 1:13 PM on December 3, 2007


I'd be surprised if they didnt find anything. Imagine what it would cost scifi to send 10 people, support staff,camera crew, etc to Everest. 150,000 dollars? More? There's a pretty big incentive to find stuff at that point. This whole lame trip could have paid for 1/2 an episode of Futurama.

If Yetis exist, it'll be some nobody who comes across a carcass not the scifi channel who finds them.

On the plus side this comment made me laugh out loud, which is pretty rare thing to do online. Perhaps they've found the Yeti in each of us.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:13 PM on December 3, 2007


Fictionwise the Nigel Kneale The Abominable Snowman is pretty rocking.

H.P. Lovecraft's The Whisperer in Darkness (WikiPedia, upcoming DVD) and At the Mountains of Madness (WikiPedia, not to be confused with In the Mouth of Madness) aren't too shabby either.
posted by christopherious at 1:18 PM on December 3, 2007


Hey what did the black yeti say to the white yeti?


















NNNNGGGRRRRRAAAAARRRHRRGGHHHH!!!!!!!
posted by Mister_A at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


(Both feature Abominable Snowmen)
posted by christopherious at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2007


It was then that the Yeti carried you.
posted by jrossi4r


Feature request: may I have a "favoritest" button?
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 1:19 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: mostly bat, and only a little boy
posted by CynicalKnight at 1:23 PM on December 3, 2007


To be fair, there are a number of large mammals that live at high altitude on Himalayan slopes, either seasonally or throughout the year. These species (mostly ungulates) support the snow leopard and tibetan wolf. There are also plenty of smaller mammals like marmots that are prey for avians like the golden eagle.

Certainly the available biomass in the region, though under severe stress from human encroachment, is sufficient enough that it doesn't preclude the existence of a remnant, endemic population of another large predator. That's not to say there is one, but the idea that the Himalayas form a massive, lifeless waste is misguided and hurts attempts to protect non-cryptids in the region.
posted by kowalski at 1:25 PM on December 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


christopherious - More abominable snowthings, really.
posted by Artw at 1:25 PM on December 3, 2007


I like the name "destination truth" for the forum. Making clear that nobody involved has arrived.
posted by damehex at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's like Scooby Doo backwards.

Watch: they'll discover that it was really Old Man Hanson, trying to scare you crazy kids away from the Secret Hanson Family Goldmine buried deep below the Haunted Carnival.

Also, yeah, seconding bunnytricks, WTF would a giant ape in the Himalayas actually eat? Mammals burn through calories like a flamethrower through a stick of butter. Giant mammals even moreso. Do "Paranormal Investigation Teams" even think about this before they come up with these theories?
posted by Avenger at 1:26 PM on December 3, 2007


Bravo jrossi4r. Bravo.
posted by Dantien at 1:28 PM on December 3, 2007


It was then that the Yeti carried you.
posted by jrossi4r

Feature request: may I have a "favoritest" button?
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 4:19 PM on December 3 [+] [!]


Feature request: may I have an "I've been living under a rock and have no fucking clue what makes other people think this is such a great comment" button, so I know what to Google/AskMe in my spare time?
posted by notashroom at 1:32 PM on December 3, 2007


I wish they would find this damned thing so a certain loved one would shut up about "they found a footprint!" and all his other "evidence." These guys are worse than Ron Paul supporters.
posted by desjardins at 1:35 PM on December 3, 2007


Do "Paranormal Investigation Teams" even think about this before they come up with these theories?

Fixed that for you, Avenger.

hey, my first "fixed that for you." woo-hoo! Not the best, but still.
posted by mitzyjalapeno at 1:36 PM on December 3, 2007


notashroom: The idea that MetaFilter forms a massive, lifeless waste is misguided and hurts attempts to protect non-cryptids in the region.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:37 PM on December 3, 2007


Laugh all you want, my skeptical friends, but Dr. Jane Goodall isn't so sure it's just a hoax.
posted by Camofrog at 1:39 PM on December 3, 2007


Here's the video evidence!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:40 PM on December 3, 2007


Feature request: may I have an "I've been living under a rock and have no fucking clue what makes other people think this is such a great comment" button, so I know what to Google/AskMe in my spare time?

Maybe this will help you understand the humor in that jrossi4r comment.
posted by ericb at 1:41 PM on December 3, 2007


Notashroom: Footprints
posted by schyler523 at 1:43 PM on December 3, 2007


The SciFI Channel TV movie "Abominable" deserves an honourable mention. It's sort of an update of Rear Window, but with abominable snowmen.

I suspect it's going to remain the best thing reaturing abominable snowmen that SciFi have produced for quite some time.
posted by Artw at 1:44 PM on December 3, 2007


Loren Coleman discussing the photo over at Cryptomundo.
posted by hydatius at 1:44 PM on December 3, 2007


We just vacuumed up a huge house spider. I have no need for make believe monsters to make my life exciting.

I wish Discovery would have spider week so I just keep freaking out non-stop.
posted by srboisvert at 1:45 PM on December 3, 2007


notashroom: Now you know.
posted by Doohickie at 1:46 PM on December 3, 2007


Damn... schyler beat me to it...
posted by Doohickie at 1:47 PM on December 3, 2007


I'd imagine that the rocky wasteland of the Himalayas would pose a serious challenge to any breeding population of giant ape creatures hoping to consume enough calories to avoid freezing to death.

Giant bears can live in the friggin' Arctic. Why couldn't giant apes live in the mountains?

Or what kowalski said: Certainly the available biomass in the region, though under severe stress from human encroachment, is sufficient enough that it doesn't preclude the existence of a remnant, endemic population of another large predator.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 1:49 PM on December 3, 2007


I just watched something about Bigfoot on Sci-Fi a couple of days ago. It was dealing with the Pacific North-West sightings, and it had a couple of teams using unique approaches to finding evidence.

Two things really bothered me; in both cases, the teams were being headed by someone who had had a big-foot 'encounter' earlier in their lives. So naturally, anything they saw that even remotely fit the description was automatically evidence in their favor.

The second thing, in a show that was dominated by discussions of bipedal, giant, hair covered creatures, it took more than 40 minutes of it's run-time before the word 'bear' came up. And then it was only in passing. They discussed elk being misidentified as Bigfoot many more times than the most obvious candidate.

I am ok with this being someones passion, that's cool. It's been demonstrated here just today, that someone with an interest can discover big things.

But understand, I expect if you are going to make large claims, that you have huge proof.
posted by quin at 1:50 PM on December 3, 2007


We just vacuumed up a huge house spider. I have no need for make believe monsters to make my life exciting.

Ah, but to the abominable snowmen (and most likely to the spiders) WE are the real monsters.
posted by Artw at 1:50 PM on December 3, 2007


Though it should be noted that if you believe the teachings of Christopher Moore, the yeti of the Himalayas are the creatures that taught Jesus his patience and mysticism.
posted by quin at 1:52 PM on December 3, 2007


notashroom: "It was then that the Yeti carried you.
posted by jrossi4r

Feature request: may I have a "favoritest" button?
posted by damnthesehumanhands at 4:19 PM on December 3 [+] [!]


Feature request: may I have an "I've been living under a rock and have no fucking clue what makes other people think this is such a great comment" button, so I know what to Google/AskMe in my spare time?
"

Footprints.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:53 PM on December 3, 2007


Paranormal investigators go looking for the yeti and find its footprints? Ho hum. Call me when the eight remaining investigators film how the yeti consumes enough calories to survive at that altitude.
posted by tommasz at 1:59 PM on December 3, 2007


lazaruslong.... scroll up
posted by Doohickie at 2:01 PM on December 3, 2007


Set your watches, everyone. How long will it take before fulfills Rule 34 with Art Bell getting off on a yeti?

Just less than an hour.

Dear Penthouse Forum,

I never thought these things were real, but recently I was in the Himalayas hiking. I had to whizz, so I whipped out my manhood and cut loose. As I was doing so, a yeti came out from behind a boulder and watched me. I've never thought I was big at only 22", but the yeti seemed impressed and couldn't take its eyes off of my throbbing wossname. It walked over, and I got a stiffy, so I totally boned the yeti, thereby getting off. When I was done, the yeti muled thanks and gave me a twenty.

yours, Art Bell
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:02 PM on December 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Massive forehead smack, and my thanks to all you helpful MeFites. I figured this was one of the gamer references I didn't get, but it was thread-bleed I'd have gotten if I didn't automatically skip past everything in life referencing that "Footprints" poem. Mea culpa.
posted by notashroom at 2:04 PM on December 3, 2007


There is a great pun in Spanish with the "Abominable Snowman." In some places throughout Latin America they refer to ice cream as snow (nieve), so they call ice cream vendors Abominable Snowmen. Not without reason.
posted by micayetoca at 2:08 PM on December 3, 2007


Has Joshua Gates positively identified these prints?

Not yeti.
posted by Floydd at 2:09 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


> Giant bears can live in the friggin' Arctic. Why couldn't giant apes live in the mountains?

Lack of crunchy munchy walruses? (Of course if these are banana-eating apes like all the others, the answer is obvious.)
posted by jfuller at 2:11 PM on December 3, 2007


Haha, well at least tourist revenues will skyrocket.. or not ;-) If I'd live close by I know what I would do when there's a team of 'researcher' looking for puddles in the snow.

My respectable theory is that Steve Fosset got some moonboots and is running circles there... which would be good news
posted by Wafel at 2:19 PM on December 3, 2007


Lack of crunchy munchy walruses? (Of course if these are banana-eating apes like all the others, the answer is obvious.)

Apes don't eat walruses, jfuller.

Point is, animals are damn good at finding food in places where you or I would be shit out of luck. And as kowalski pointed out above, there is enough biomass in the Himalayas to support apes.

Although as quin points out, maybe this Yeti really is a bear, not an ape. In which case I'm assuming the Yeti-bears eat honey out of big clay pots labeled "Hunny."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 2:24 PM on December 3, 2007


Fuzzy Monster: Giant bears can live in the friggin' Arctic. Why couldn't giant apes live in the mountains?

Because the Arctic ocean is like a ten thousand tray seal and whale meat buffet while the animals of the Himalayas lack that easy access to biomass? Apes don't have the benefit of hibernation to conserve calories? Kowalski does make a good point in correcting my assumption that the Himalayas were nothing but rocks and the occasional mouse and could support a small population of giant apes but how would they harvest those resources? They'd have to hunt constantly to survive and likely work as a pack to have a chance against the antelope and deer herds that would be their prey. Wouldn't that incessant demand for calories to heat themselves and climb across mountains over five miles tall leave more than an occasional footprint for a TV crew to miraculously stumble across?
posted by bunnytricks at 2:34 PM on December 3, 2007


This is old news anyway. I remember when I was a kid, watching some very similar documentary where a dude named Yukon Cornelius discovered and filmed not just prints, but an actual Abominable Snowman. The footage was all over TV for a month.

So I know it's real. I bet now that this Destination Truth stuff is hitting the news, they'll start playing that documentary on TV again.
posted by JWright at 2:48 PM on December 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


Lack of crunchy munchy walruses?

Hey, looks like you've blown a seal!
posted by Wolof at 2:53 PM on December 3, 2007


“Isn't it funny how paranormal investigation teams always end up finding something paranormal?”

I’d love to see that. In the same way I’d love to see the Amazing Randi go “Holy crap what the F is that thing!?” I’d like to see a paranormal investigation team - in a whole series - keep showing up with their equipment, taking comprehensive readings and saying “Nah, this is all garbage. Nothing supernatural going on here.”
And the guy who brought them “Well, what about these tracks (or this slime, or this ‘cold spot’)?”
And, while packing up, they dismiss it. “Nah dude, could be anything. I’d call an HVAC guy to check it out because it’s not a ghost or yeti or anything. Get AT&T over here because it’s not Mothman on your phone.”
“Bu-but”
“Pack it in, guy. We’re a paranormal investigation team. We’re the experts. Nothing is there, relax.”

Y’know who would do that job excellently? Anyone who’s a dad.
You become absolutely invulnerable to the supernatural once you’re a dad and very good at explaining why there’s no monster in the closet, under the bed, outside, etc. etc.
And if there were Yeti or MiBs or some such, someone’s dad would kill the son of a bitch for making them get up every half hour in the middle of the night to get their kid a drink of water.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:07 PM on December 3, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'd imagine that the rocky wasteland of the Himalayas would pose a serious challenge to any breeding population of giant ape creatures hoping to consume enough calories to avoid freezing to death.

Yetis eat dead climbers.
posted by bwg at 3:25 PM on December 3, 2007


Well, to play to the polar bear-friendly crowd here, polar bears don't hibernate in the true sense of the word. They engage in a walking hibernation that allows them to yes, conserve calories, while remaining active and searching for food.

But there's no reason to think that a large Himalayan ape (or yes, cryptid bear) couldn't pull something similar. We've seen much stranger specialization in other mammalian groups, especially among endemic species. We also know that both pre-historic and modern indigenous humans survived in harsh, glacial conditions, with both biology and social structures that were well-adapted to these environments. This despite the fact that they were neither overly hairy nor wholly abominable (though natives of the northern shield boreal and Norse settlers might have disagreed on this latter count). The pre-contact arctic peoples in North America and Siberia didn't need to hunt constantly to survive, and as I say, polar bears go through an annual "walking hibernation" during the autumn lean period when they don't get to eat a lot. They're equipped to survive, and there's no reason to assume off-hand that any proposed cryptid wouldn't be.

In the summer there are plenty of sheep and other ungulates on the upper slopes foraging and breeding. The Himalayas have been identified as an important biodiversity 'hot spot' and an area where undescribed (cryptid) animals may still be identified. I mentioned in my previous post that the mountain slope ecosystems support two other large predators: snow leopards and Tibetan wolves; there is actually a third, the Asiatic black bear. The bear could account for the Yeti legends/sightings, but it isn't terribly large.

Keep in mind also that there is a fantastic sort of Morrel mushroom that only grows at high altitude in the Himalayas. If I were an abominable hairy primate, I know where I'd be mushroom hunting.

I have no opinion on the existence of the yeti either way (although in this case at least it looks to me like Cryptomundo has made quick work of the cable channel "Truth"), but I do think it's worth keeping an open mind. The number of large birds and mammals documented for the first time in the past decade is sizeable (each typically trumpeted incorrectly by the media as the "first" new species found in decades), and many of these finds have taken place in Asia. The chance of a large primate or other unknown predator lurking in the Himalayas may be slight, but it's definitely non-zero, and despite the highly variable credibility of the cryptid's proponents, it shouldn't be dismissed out of hand.

As a civilization, we pretend to know everything at our peril.
posted by kowalski at 3:38 PM on December 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


I’d like to see a paranormal investigation team - in a whole series - keep showing up with their equipment, taking comprehensive readings and saying “Nah, this is all garbage. Nothing supernatural going on here.”

You're in luck, because this happens all the time. Right alongside the hopeful "investigators" who discover pretty much whatever they set out to discover, and always use words such as "paranormal", there are plenty of sober, even skeptical researchers on the hunt who are almost always left with more questions than answers. Those are the ones who choose their wording more carefully (e.g. "unknown", "anomalous"). Do they make it to SciFi or Discovery? Not usually, but it's not because they're hard to find.

Y’know who would do that job excellently? Anyone who’s a dad.

I'm a father too and, as it happens, my kid and I both relish the uncertainties associated with the strange and incredible, whether we choose to "believe" or not. Do I allow spooky talk after 8pm? Usually not, unless we don't have anywhere special to be the next day.
posted by christopherious at 3:45 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Clearly, you people don't recognize viral marketing when you see it. This is all promotion for Quatchi.
posted by drezdn at 3:47 PM on December 3, 2007


Apes don't eat walruses

What is this, a bar bet?
posted by dhartung at 3:48 PM on December 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


If they do "find" the yeti that the tracks belong to, or a close relative, I hope it resembles the one my friends and I saw on the Clackamas River a few years ago.

I have witnessed the trifecta of what is usually determined as bullshit oddball phenomena. The ghosts were unfriendly. Really unfriendly. The UFOs were creepy, although the one over Tuscon at midday being chased by F16s was awesome. The yeti, though....the most awe-inspiring event I've ever witnessed in my entire life. A truly beautiful creature, and I don't mean that in a rule 34 way. Actually, my friends and I thought it was a creep in camo until it stared running from us.

Golly, now I feel silly. Uh, no derail here. Carry on.

posted by Minus215Cee at 3:58 PM on December 3, 2007


Here's a thought: if we did actually find a capture a Yeti, we would have a roughly humanoid creature in our custody of unknown cognitive faculties -- would it be meat or a man?

That is, what would we do to determine whether or not it was the sort of fellow we felt okay about locking up in a cage and prodding versus teaching it ASL and chatting about its favourite colours?

We don't really have a handy metric for this, since most of the creatures we're acquainted with are old pals. The fact that a clever chimpanzee might rival a human toddler in cognitive kung fu doesn't really impress anyone except memebers of PETA and little girls who love ponies, so we're cool with treating them like meat. But what if somebody NEW came along, demonstrated themselves to be on par with a chimpanzee intellectually and emotionally, and we had to decide how to treat them?

If we treated them as an intelligence, we're in dutch with the other clever animals we exploit. If we didn't treat them as an intelligence, PETA firebombs our pony farms in retaliation.

Of course, the other question is how good do they taste? That could certainly sway the argument. I mean, I like to barbecue as much as the next man. Perhaps even more than I enjoy asking simple humanoids what their favourite colours are.
posted by CheeseburgerBrown at 4:05 PM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Saaaaaaaaaaaaaaasquatch... we know your love is reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaal!
posted by papakwanz at 4:08 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


As a civilization, we pretend to know everything at our peril.

As a civilization, pretending to know yetis exist because its possible and because of folklore seems to be inviting more peril.
posted by damn dirty ape at 4:20 PM on December 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Reinhold Messner solved this years ago. To recap: Yetis exist, they whistle, smell bad, and are Nazis.
posted by william_boot at 4:37 PM on December 3, 2007


We fall for nonsense at our peril too. We believe in actual evidence, and let's see if the experts think it's worth a shit.

i was just in the Arctic and watched a polar bear about 500 yards out on the (very narrow and thin) ice shelf along the Beaufort Sea at Barrow at about 10PM. There was no falling snow, but it was blowing hard, and that kind of cold, combined with the peculiarly bright Arctic darkness (because of all that white picking up even a sliver of moonlight) can distort a non-native's perception something fierce. I knew I was looking at a bear, or I would have sworn I was seeing a new species, a flashing silver serpentine coil hustling across the ice, resembling nothing so much as the Loch Ness Monster movies one sees.

So sure you thought you saw Sasquatch, or UFO, or whatever. Your mind believes that's what it saw. But it wasn't there. Or it was something we know about seen from a strange perspective.

The odds of an undiscovered higher primate living at the top of the food chain in the Himalayas? Slim to none. The odds people would make up evidence for such a creature, especially when personal gain is involved? Very high. Skepticism is the appropriate attitude pending verification.

hey kowalski, nice posts.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:43 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Because not everyone will click william_boot's link to the Reinhold Messner story, I take the liberty of excerpting this truly wondrous excerpt:

Q. You also saw a yeti with long white hair ...

A. One with a white head, yes.

Q. It was big, smelly, with long white hair — like Gregg Allman?

A. A little bit maybe, like on the head. I took one photograph last fall in the western Himalayas of one sleeping on the highlands. When he woke he looked at me like a scientist looking at a foreigner. For a moment his was like the face of a child.

Q. He recognized you as a foreigner?

A. He was thinking ... maybe he's not able to think, we don't know ... but he looks like, "Who is that? What are you doing?"

Q. Sir Edmund Hillary said that yetis don't like the smell of foreigners. Is that true? Or did they just not like the way Sir Edmund smelled?

A. I think that is right. They do not like human meat, in that they do not like our smell like we do not like their smell. And normally, they go away when they smell human beings. They live on the edge of human places. The local people in remote areas call them by other names. "Yeti" is a Sherpa name. It means "man of the rock."

Q. Like Gregg Allman again?

A. Jah, the man who lives in rock.

posted by fourcheesemac at 4:53 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Skepticism is the appropriate attitude pending verification.

Depends on what flavor of skepticism you have in mind. The way most people use that word today (and express their corresponding beliefs), they choose to disbelieve and, usually, ignore/blacklist a given idea until the evidence one way or the other becomes overwhelming. This is far too black-and-white for my tastes. Rather than label myself as skeptical, I prefer to abstain from belief or disbelief until most or all of my specific questions are resolved.
posted by christopherious at 5:16 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


1. These are not anthropomorphic. That would mean they were human-like. These are not.

2. The print shown in the photo is the Johor print cast, or a copy of it (a recast).

3. It's an Orangutan foot print.


I don't doubt that there are unknown large bipedal primates wandering around on the planet somewhere, but this is not good evidence.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:17 PM on December 3, 2007


I saw a show about people trying to find Bigfoot on the History channel the other day. When somebody started throwing rocks at the cabin at night, the "researchers" assumed it was Bigfoot, threw rocks back into the woods, had rocks thrown back out... and they ran into their cabin and hid. They hid! They had night vision cameras, for God's sake, and they thought they were having a rock fight with "Bigfoot", but they couldn't just trot out for a quick picture.
posted by stavrogin at 5:18 PM on December 3, 2007


I don't doubt that there are unknown large bipedal primates wandering around on the planet somewhere

Really? I'm no specialist. I do know my human beings (as primates, among other things). But I have a hard time remembering the last time we discovered a hitherto completely unknown large, terrestrial, mammalian predator species, even granting the remoteness of the region involved here. I'm sure there are many species we've failed to find and catalog, especially of course at the micro-organismic level, and in the oceans.

But a new top-level predator species? I'm ready to be corrected, but when was the most recent previous new discovery of an actual living primate species anywhere? It's hard to hide when you have to hunt large animals, or large numbers of animals, to survive.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:25 PM on December 3, 2007


"I'd imagine that the rocky wasteland of the Himalayas..."

I've been to the Himalayas and climbed there. You have no idea what you're talking about. There is plenty of food source up there and the majority of the country is not a 'rocky wasteland', at least not for an animal. There are huge forests on many slopes. The area supports a large human population who don't even touch on the food sources capable of supporting an animal with an ape-like digestive system.

The Yetis do not hang out in the high snow-covered areas. Occasionally they cross these expanses to move to other locales, but for the most part they stay in the dense forested regions lower down, just like all the other animals. There are *masses* of food sources. They eat tree & shrub tips, roots, tubas, various plants of which there are many, insects, rodents and deer, when they can get them. There's shitloads of food up there.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:27 PM on December 3, 2007


most recent previous new discovery of an actual living primate species anywhere?

Last year, I think.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:28 PM on December 3, 2007


That shut you up!
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:37 PM on December 3, 2007


They eat tree & shrub tips, roots, tubas

This would square with the lack of Himalayan oompah bands. Intense competition for scarce resources.
posted by Wolof at 6:15 PM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


tubers

Ok, curses to firefox spellcheck
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 6:34 PM on December 3, 2007


Actually, there really *are* Himalayan oompah bands. Proof.

When I was last there, there was a festival in Lhasa and the monks came out with this fucking horn that was the size of a family car. Four guys carrying it.

So, this proves that the Yeti is not real, because of the existance of Himalayan Oompah bands.

Tibet Monk Trumpet is a good name for a band.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 7:19 PM on December 3, 2007


when was the most recent previous new discovery of an actual living primate species anywhere?

Would the Bili Ape qualify? From what I've read they were essentially a rumour for the past 100 years and not observed by scientists till 2002. I guess they are not technically a new species but may qualify as a new sub-species.
posted by well_balanced at 8:45 PM on December 3, 2007


Are you kidding me? Tibet Monk Trumpet is a good name for a car!
posted by ZakDaddy at 8:52 PM on December 3, 2007


You damn dirty yeti!
posted by Mister_A at 8:54 PM on December 3, 2007


Black yetis maul climbers like this, white yetis maul climbers like this.
posted by tehloki at 9:03 PM on December 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


The Abominable Snowjob.

All around the world, furries begin masturbating furiously.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:17 PM on December 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Today jrossi4r stepped onto the level playing floor of Metafilter, and from half court made the basket. Swish! Congratulations, you win a new Hummer and a sustained, deafening round of applause from the assembly of agape Mefites.


So, these footprints, do they have magical "dermal ridges"?
posted by Tube at 11:58 PM on December 3, 2007


The casts won't be good enough to reveal that.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 2:08 AM on December 4, 2007



most recent previous new discovery of an actual living primate species anywhere?
Last year, I think.
------
That shut you up!



Sorry, no it didn't. I just logged off for the evening. Details please? I don't mean a subspecies. I mean a new species.

Never mind a bipedal carnivorous huge primate living as only one of several large mammals in a visually barren ecosystem regularly traversed by adventurers and naturalists for a century.

I'm not challenging you -- I just want to hear about it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:01 AM on December 4, 2007


And I looked it up. Two new monkey species have been discovered in the last couple of years (in 2004 and 2002, in India and Central America). Both lived in dense rainforest environments, where I would expect most discoveries of new animal (and plant) species to occur.

So to get more specific, when was the last time we discovered a new top-level predator species, let alone a primate one?
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:03 AM on December 4, 2007


Oh dear, you're both moving the goalposts and redefining what the idea of the 'yeti' is. It's certainly not accurately described as being carnivorous, and it's probably not that huge, its size being mostly exaggerated either for effect or by frightened witnesses. If it exists, it is certainly an omnivore, but mostly sticking to plants. The bulk of its diet would be cellulose, mass quantities of which are easily found in the habitats the yeti is traditionally supposed to inhabit - the dense forested areas which are a biodiversity hotspot on this planet - and of which about 20% is impassable to humans (but not to elk, deer, bear and other largish thingies).

As for an area that is 'regularly traversed by adventurers' - look, sorry, that's bunk. The areas traversed by Westerners amount to a tiny fraction of the entire country. I've been there. The place is huge, and most of it is never visited by Westerners. I don't know what 'visually barren' means. If it means that it 'looks barren' - well, that doesn't mean anything. Even the Sahara supports a complex ecosystem, and it looks as dead as hell.

Asking for an example of a new primate species is a disingenuous question, and doesn't really bare on the possible existence of the yeti, because by definition, a discovery of that nature is rare, and it's a very high mark to reach. The last time we found a new large primate was in 1902 - the mountain gorilla - which, incidentally, experts dismissed as myth right up until it was finally discovered. Now, in human terms, that isn't so very long ago. But, really, you're only making the question so specific so that it can't be answered.

Large subspecies are found all the time, such as the Congo's Bili ape, which is a particularly huge type of hybrid or mutant chimp, which may or may not get its own species classification, depending on studies. This, too, was largely dismissed as local legend, until game camera footage was taken of a specimen, and later carcasses were recovered.

A better question to ask is 'when have we found any *large* mammals previously unknown to science?' It's a better question, because the issue here is not whether another type of primate may exist, but how such a thing could remain undiscovered in the age of modern technological expansion and the growth of human habitation into previously wild areas. By making the question so specific, you're trying to swing the answer in your preconceived direction, which is a bit dishonest.

The answer to that question is, quite often. There are on average 13,000 new animal species discovered every year! Most of them are teeny tiny, true.

But in terms of *large* mammals, well, in North central Vietnam, an entirely new species of large deer was found about 20 miles from dense human habitation in the late '90s. You'd imagine people would notice such a thing, wouldn't you?

The point is, until relatively recently, we haven't been looking for new species.

Do you know how many rigorously controlled scientific studies have been done to determine if there is an unknown primate in the US Pacific North West, or in the Himalayas? Not a single one.

You cannot find new species by sitting at home. Without looking, we're not going to find them. Naturally, the only reports that are left are from Yak herders and 'ignorant natives'. And who believes them? No one. Except that these are the exact kinds of report demographics that turned out to be accurate about the Giant Panda, the Mountain Gorilla, the Bili Ape, and various other critters we now know to be quite real.

Naturally it is better to be skeptical about such things, but it is quite true that the Himalayas & surrounding areas are more than capable of supporting a small relict population of mostly nocturnal apes that have a varied diet and the ability to travel large distances due to bipedalism. Hypothetically, if such a creature had competed with man for the same sorts of food sources, it wouldn't be surprising that they adopted an avoidance of humans & nocturnalism as an evolutionary tactic for survival. Until a truly exhaustive scientific study is undertaken, skeptical argument is just pushing a preconceived belief rather than arguing scientific data.

The example I usually bring up is the Coelacanth. This is a large relict fish that was known only from fossils from the Cretaceous period, until living specimens turned up in 1938. Now, we know that they are far more widespread than we ever thought. This is literally a living fossil. Before the first specimen was recovered, the idea of the Coelacanth existing in modern times would have been regarded as complete nonsense by any expert.

As the father of modern chemistry, Antoine Lavoisier, once declaimed, "Stones cannot fall from the sky, because there are no stones in the sky!" Sadly, the French Revolutionaries cut his head off before he could learn about meteorites, but his attitude probably put back the field of Astronomy by decades.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 4:56 AM on December 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's a very good impression of an irrational, paranoid, gullible paranormal believer. You really nailed the desultory bullshit.
posted by stavrogin at 7:03 AM on December 4, 2007


Man, I’d like to be an ungulate on the upper slopes foraging and breeding. That’d be sweet.

“Those are the ones who choose their wording more carefully...”

What I’m saying is it’d be funny if they didn’t. Just shut the guy down, not in a skeptic sort of way, in a sort of “I’ve seen giant marshmellow men, pal, this isn’t anything” sort of way.
It’d make a good comedy.

Of course, if you really want to stop Sasquatch, you have to send the Six Million Dollar Man after him.

“Rather than label myself as skeptical, I prefer to abstain from belief or disbelief until most or all of my specific questions are resolved.”

I tend to disbelieve the guy trying to get me to believe in something so he can sell me something. This looks more like a titilating t.v. show designed to sell advertising than a methodical scientific documentary.
posted by Smedleyman at 7:56 AM on December 4, 2007


As a further update, Josh Gates emails Cryptomundo with information about the circumstances surrounding the footprints' discovery.
posted by hydatius at 9:54 AM on December 4, 2007


Do you know how many rigorously controlled scientific studies have been done to determine if there is an unknown primate in the US Pacific North West, or in the Himalayas? Not a single one.

Out of curiosity, how many rigorously controlled scientific studies of the biology of the US Pacific North West and the Himalays are you personally familiar with? is the answer "less than 100% of them?" Also, how many rigorously controlled scientific studies have been done to determine if there is an unknown primate in the US Pacific South West? How about the US Atlantic North East? US Midwestern Plains? I ask because you seem to have the info on these things.

You cannot find new species by sitting at home. Without looking, we're not going to find them. Naturally, the only reports that are left are from Yak herders and 'ignorant natives'. And who believes them? No one.

This is nonsense. The idea that no yeti or sasquatch claims have ever been investigated by competent professionals is silly. They have been. They didn't find anything. What other reaction are people supposed to have? After hundreds of years of these stories and numerous unsubstantiated claims that brought no actual evidence to light, what reaction besides "I'll believe it when I see it," are people supposed to have? That's how science works. And new species are absolutely discovered by accident. We've got mefi fpps about them in our archives. you don't just go running out into well traveled and explored area with a $500k research grant every time a grizzly hunter says he saw something tall and fuzzy in the woods after being by himself for six months in the cold.
posted by shmegegge at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2007


Hurrah, Cryptomundo have a peice on the above mentioned Nigel Kneale movie: Yeti Telepathy
posted by Artw at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2007


That;s a great link. I love it when bigfoot/skunkape/yeti believers fabricate their footprints to look exactly how a cartoonist would draw one. Huge foot with huge toes. Compare that to the a footprint of a gorilla or a chimp and you'll see they dont even compare. Ape prints are generally much smaller and look almost like hands or even a human foot. Frauds tend to make their prints look like how a little kid would imagine a giant's foot would look like. Maybe someone can write "This is a yeti foot" with an arrow using a yellow crayon too.
posted by damn dirty ape at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2007


and damn dirty ape ought to know.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:29 AM on December 4, 2007


I've always been confused about why this is such a controversial issue. It just doesn't seem like that big a thing one way or the other... I understand that it would be neat to discover a new species that was as large and presumably clever as some of the great apes or whatever, but really, there have never been any claims that the bigfoot/yeti types are particularly intelligent.

To me this absolutely not in league with a question of whether an alien species capable of interstellar travel has been discovered. That would be enormous. But this just seems like bigger than regular apes... But I guess I would be excited by something like the Loch Ness Monster being true, and in a way that's not really any more objectively fascinating. Maybe I am just not as intrigued by monkeys. (I know apes aren't monkeys. And I don't believe any of this stuff. Just trying to compare the "i wish it were true" feeling for different stuff... )
posted by mdn at 2:45 PM on December 4, 2007


"...irrational, paranoid, gullible paranormal believer..."

Ad hominem. Fail.

This is not 'paranormal'. This is just an undiscovered animal. That people have to react hysterically and jump up and down screaming 'paranormal!!' shows how utterly terrified they are of anything outside their accepted world view. Why is the idea such a threat to you? Either it exists or it doesn't.

"The idea that no yeti or sasquatch claims have ever been investigated by competent professionals is silly. They have been. They didn't find anything."

That's not what I said. I said there have been no rigorous scientific studies by biologists into the possible existance of Sasquatch/Yeti. There have been no surveys of the locales by experts in the field. Not a single one. Debunking missions by Penn & Teller or James Randi do not equal scientific studies. None of the mainstream skeptics have scientific credentials suitable to make such determinations. Those *with* scientific credentials are much more cautious, such as Jane Goodall, who believes the possible existence of a Sasquatch is worth further study.

The trouble with hardcore Skeptics is they have a pre-set belief that cannot be shaken. This is exactly the same mindset as the hardcore religious fundamentalist, from the opposite extreme. No evidence would be satisfactory to such people, because, like Lavoisier, they already have a set belief that cannot be shaken.

"Compare that to the a footprint of a gorilla or a chimp and you'll see they dont even compare. Ape prints are generally much smaller and look almost like hands or even a human foot."

Apes are not bipedal. We're talking about an allegedly new species that has bipedalism. The necessities of supporting weight on a foot make a bipedal creatures' foot shape different to that of a known ape, which gets around on all fours most of the time. This is biology 101.

That said, these latest footprints from the Himalayas are very similar to Orangutan footprints, just like the previous Johor ones, which makes me think they are fake or misidentified.

"how many rigorously controlled scientific studies have been done to determine if there is an unknown primate in the US Pacific South West? How about the US Atlantic North East? US Midwestern Plains? I ask because you seem to have the info on these things."

I am. The answer is none. Not a single one. Because mainstream biologists have already made up their mind that "Bigfoot" cannot exist, so they aren't going looking for them. Like I said, rocks cannot fall from the sky, because there are no rocks in the sky. It is an immensely ignorant attitude.

The reason I specify the Pacific North West is because this is where a considerable amount of internally consistent sightings and evidence emanate from, its also an area that is clearly capable of supporting a relict species.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 1:33 AM on December 5, 2007


Because mainstream biologists have already made up their mind that "Bigfoot" cannot exist, so they aren't going looking for them.

and how does this belief magically make bigfoot corpses disappear? If there's a community of these things not only in the Americas but also in Asia then someone somewhere would find a corpse. Interesting how a bipel ape that is supposedly 6+ feet tall and must weigh at least 200 lbs cannot leave a corpse. Interesting how 200+ of biomass disappears in various continents and the best evidence for this thing is folktales and a man in a suit video.

Im not a hardcore skeptic but you have to be fucking kidding me about bigfoot. Especially when your sources are the scifi channel and a history of fraud.

I keep an eye on the cryptozoology crowd and it seems that any complex animal that hasnt been discovered is either very small and is in a hard to reach place like a rainforest or deep underwater. A top level predator that is larger than a man constantly evading detection is a fun piece of folklore, not a excuse to attack the skeptic community. MInd you, we're not talking about some sub species of some gibbon in the amazon, but a 200+ lbs animal.
posted by damn dirty ape at 7:12 AM on December 5, 2007


Debunking missions by Penn & Teller or James Randi do not equal scientific studies.

I never said they did. Since you neglected to answer my first question, I'm going to assume that you do not possess an encyclopedic knowledge of all the "rigorous scientific" studies done on primate zoology in the US over the past 200 some odd years. It includes rigorous empirically designed and executed studies of north american primate populations. Why would sasquatch merit some elaborate expedition specifically for his species when there is no evidence for its existence outside of scattered vague testimony? if we're going to insist that every unproven creature of folk legend be rigorously investigated to the fullest extent and ability of modern science. this includes the jersey devil, sewer alligators (which do at least have the benefit of having existed once in 1935), el chupacabra, aliens and zombies. What more do you want from the scientific community? Jane Goodall was out there, and she was in those woods. She believes in a sasquatch, but she didn't find anything. She didn't do any rigorous study because she doesn't have a grant for it, but why should anyone give her one? The evidence, after 160+ years, is not there.

The answer is none. Not a single one. Because mainstream biologists have already made up their mind that "Bigfoot" cannot exist,

I didn't ask for studies of bigfoot. I asked for studies about new primate species in the country (and I think you're so into the sasquatch thing that you confuse the term "new primate species" with "bigfoot"), and I gave you no time period limit. I'm very interested in knowing if you intend to defend the position that no one has investigated the entire country looking for new primates in the entire history of our habitation here. What I'm most interested in, however, is if you intend to defend the position that all or even most of the species we've discovered in scientific history have been discovered by people specifically going out and looking for them rather than simply going out to investigate wild areas and cataloging what they find. Your notion of the practice of zoology is really bizarre and your insistence on proving negatives is really antithetical to empirical study in general. Like I said, the only rational reaction to bigfoot tales is "I'll believe it when I see it." To go rushing out there to prove or disprove it as you seem to endorse is wasteful, futile and silly. and as you yourself have said, there are mainstream biologists who haven't made up their mind that bigfoot doesn't exist at all. but none of them have found anything, and none of them have been sufficiently motivated to put a bigfoot-specific study together because that would be silly. that's not how studies are done, and it's not how science works. it's not detective work, you don't fit a suspect to a crime. you gather evidence and let the evidence speak for itself. if it doesn't speak well enough, you've got bupkus. and that's what the sasquatch supporters have right now. bupkus. maybe one day they'll have more than that, but until then I don't see why anyone should take it that seriously.
posted by shmegegge at 10:25 AM on December 5, 2007


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