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Where are Mulder and Scully when you really need them?
May 23, 2008 3:54 PM   Subscribe

Missing: four left feet or some number of bodies. Another severed right foot has been found in British Columbia. Another severed human foot has been discovered washed ashore on Canada's Pacific coast, but police are no closer to solving the gruesome mystery on where they are coming from. The shoe-clad foot was discovered on Thursday on a small uninhabited island south of Vancouver in the Strait of Georgia, and is the fourth discovered in the region in the past 10 months. All four cases involved right feet, and each was found on a different island. The earlier feet were also still in shoes. Previously 1, 2.
posted by jokeefe (69 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Were there smiley faces nearby?
posted by fixedgear at 3:56 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


This has caught me flatfooted.
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:56 PM on May 23, 2008


The Lord replied,
"The times when you have
seen only one set of footprints in the sand,
Well, let's just say it's best not to ask."
posted by lekvar at 3:58 PM on May 23, 2008 [20 favorites]


It makes me wonder how many feet haven't been found yet.
posted by jjwiseman at 4:09 PM on May 23, 2008


You do the hokey pokey and your turn your self about...
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:10 PM on May 23, 2008


None of the severed feet appears to have been forcibly removed

???
posted by owhydididoit at 4:12 PM on May 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


so that explains all those odd socks...

yah, so funny with the haha, I know - but I kid only because this is one of those mysteries that both expands the mind & contracts the soul - the question of why is paramount, but the question of how is terrifying

None of the severed feet appears to have been forcibly removed

as opposed to? removed kindly & gently? you're right, jokeefe, we could use Mulder & Scully right about now

"Scully, I've seen this before. I've read numerous reports in the X-Files of a creature that eats every part of a human being except the right foot. It all makes sense!" says Mulder, excitedly, with a young boy's gleam in his eye.

"What is wrong with you, Mulder? Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you? Do you actually like reading about this kind of weird shit? Who does that???" says Scully, sadly, realizing again that Mulder is, in fact, noodle doodle.

and so on...
posted by jammy at 4:13 PM on May 23, 2008


3 feet was funny. 4 feet is pretty goddamn scary.

I assume that there's some evil economist running this experiment to assess the severed-foot/fright elasticity curve.
posted by GuyZero at 4:15 PM on May 23, 2008


Tragic prediction: Chinese immigrants dumped overboard.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 4:17 PM on May 23, 2008


Tragic prediction: Chinese immigrants dumped overboard.

Alternately: sharks taking revenge for shark fin soup.
posted by GuyZero at 4:19 PM on May 23, 2008


None of the severed feet appears to have been forcibly removed

From here: It appears the first three feet were not severed, Smith said, but separated from the body through decomposition.
posted by rooftop secrets at 4:20 PM on May 23, 2008


The Shoe-pacabra strikes again!
posted by ...possums at 4:20 PM on May 23, 2008 [13 favorites]


This just keeps getting weirder. I think CPB is probably most likely to be correct, which is very sad.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:27 PM on May 23, 2008



posted by ianaces at 4:31 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


lots of sneakers can float, which could explain how the feet decompose off and wash up on shore.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:32 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


How high's the water, mama?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:32 PM on May 23, 2008 [5 favorites]



Tragic prediction: Chinese immigrants dumped overboard.


So why only in British Columbia?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 4:34 PM on May 23, 2008


Mulder has definitely seen this before. There was one episode where Mulder proclaimed no prior experience or knowledge of the current paranormal event. My friends and I were shocked until a couple minutes later when Mulder had ditched some government dude he didn't want to talk in front of and told Scully that in reality he'd totally seen this before and gave her the lowdown.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 4:38 PM on May 23, 2008


So why only in British Columbia?

By looking at a map of Pacific currents you can clearly see that British Columbia is directly in line with the Subtropical Nike Swoosh.
posted by ...possums at 4:40 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


The old expression for not being able to dance, that is "I've got two left feet", will never be the same again.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:46 PM on May 23, 2008


One theory: these could be the four missing victims of a 2005 float plane crash.

Also, elaboration: "Police say the latest foot found washed up in B.C. had not been cut off by human action, meaning natural forces led to the foot being separated from the leg."

AND: a Google map of the foot locations mysteriously forms the outline of a woman's high heel shoes. You know what that means, don't you?
posted by msalt at 4:53 PM on May 23, 2008


One wonders what, exactly, is in that mid-Pacific current collision where all the garbage was recently found, cause it CAN'T be all little plastic bits.
posted by johnj at 4:55 PM on May 23, 2008


the Subtropical Nike Swoosh

Yea, yea. The Nike swoosh, that's the ticket.
posted by johnj at 4:57 PM on May 23, 2008


Guys, you have to remember that when dumping a stoolie in the Strait, you weigh the corpse down is with chainlink fencing around the whole body, not just a length of chain wrapped around the fucking torso, fuck. And take off both their fucking shoes. And lefty, if I find out you're keeping one shoe from each of these douchebags as a souvenir, you're going to join them with the crabs, do I make myself explicitly fucking clear? Good. And finally, I really shouldn't have to say this, but don't just dump the rats in the river, take them a little further out, capiche? It's not like you're paying for the fucking gas. You idiots should be thanking me for letting you use my boat.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 5:19 PM on May 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


My heart goes out to those poor soles.
posted by DU at 5:21 PM on May 23, 2008 [9 favorites]


AND: a Google map of the foot locations mysteriously forms the outline of a woman's high heel shoes. You know what that means, don't you?

No, but it alerted me to the news that Google has obliterated - possibly violently -- both Lasqueti and Jedediah Islands from the Gulf of Georgia. The feet are likely from the late inhabitants of those former landmasses.
posted by Rumple at 5:31 PM on May 23, 2008


How high's the water, mama?
Oh, Slarty. You're going to hell for that one. :-)





four feet high and rising
posted by device55 at 5:40 PM on May 23, 2008


This is what it's come to. Four people have (at the very least) had a very bad day, and my reaction is "what kind of fiendishly clever comment can I make?"
posted by subgear at 5:57 PM on May 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


You know what they say; Righty-tidey, Lefty-losey...
posted by Tube at 6:11 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


...the other was curved inward like a rocking chair, with a vice and razor blades to hold the foot in place.
posted by maxwelton at 6:16 PM on May 23, 2008


Come, Watson! The game is afoot!
posted by SPrintF at 6:23 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


So I guess the left feet circle the drain in the other direction? Probably fewer beachcombers in Siberia...
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:27 PM on May 23, 2008


To know the answer to this mystery, I'd give my left. . . oh never mind.
posted by doift at 6:44 PM on May 23, 2008


Hokey-Pokey....Hardcore version!
posted by Kickstart70 at 6:58 PM on May 23, 2008


subgear writes: This is what it's come to.

Actually, this isn't what it's "come to". Dark humor as a response to horror and tragedy has been around for a loooong time. Tried and tested. Long and venerable history.

There are many psychological reasons for this, obvious among them is that humor deflects some of the pain. But aside from the psychological reasons, there's just, well, what makes for good reading on a thread, or good banter at a social gathering, which, after all, is kind of what a MetaFilter thread is. I mean, who wants to read a page full of comments like "oh, god, this is so horrible", or "what kind of deranged person would chop off somones's foot?". I think it's pretty certain that most folks who make jokes like the ones seen upthread think that body parts washing ashore is a pretty grim and awful thing, but, you don't really need to say it, do you? I mean, it's horrible, and that's so obvious that it really needn't be stated. Unless you can do so in some interesting or entertaining way.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:25 PM on May 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I know, I know, I appreciate dark humor as much as the next guy. Hey, I favorited fixedgear's smiley face comment cause it made me laugh. It's just that I surprised myself by how immediately and automatically my mind went for the humor lever, completely bypassing any reflection on the lives that belonged to those feet and under what circumstances they came to be estranged. More of a reminder to myself to pay attention.
posted by subgear at 7:49 PM on May 23, 2008


AND: a Google map of the foot locations mysteriously forms the outline of a woman's high heel shoes. You know what that means, don't you?

I don't care what anyone else says, this new viral marketing campaign for Sex and the City has gotten way, way out of hand.
posted by Parasite Unseen at 8:24 PM on May 23, 2008 [4 favorites]


We're going to have a third thread that is nothing but foot-related puns?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:53 PM on May 23, 2008


We're all just waiting for the other shoe to drop.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 9:03 PM on May 23, 2008


I do not get the "how high's the water, mama?" comments. Perhaps I am sadly, irretrievably out of touch with American culture?
posted by etaoin at 9:07 PM on May 23, 2008


Here you go, etaoin.
posted by sadiehawkinstein at 9:34 PM on May 23, 2008


I grew up in Victoria, and having spent a significant amount of time in those waters I can honestly say that this doesn't fucking add up. With the exception of Richmond, those places are pretty sparsely populated. Finding that many feet means there are a lot more out there. That, or someone's planting them and wants them to be found. That's what I figure.

Oh, and that's the cheapest pied-a-terre I've ever seen in BC.
posted by jimmythefish at 9:58 PM on May 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Tragic prediction: Chinese immigrants dumped overboard.

Perhaps Koreans. From Seoul.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 10:13 PM on May 23, 2008 [3 favorites]


shakespeherian :We're going to have a third thread that is nothing but foot-related puns?

Yes we are, so you might as well admit defeet right now.
posted by dr_dank at 10:17 PM on May 23, 2008


Well, one guy left his heart in San Francisco, and four guys left their feet in Vancouver...

They washed out the river there at Richmond, and floated on the tide. Maybe they are from the murders on the pig farm, Picton's leftovers.

Maybe desperate junkies just throw their dead party buddies in the river, and slink away, and later what is left washes up somewhere. There is a lot of flotsam and jetsam in those waters, and scavengers, if the bodies aren't torn apart by log jams, and ferries, and whatever else, then what is left, is carried along by the foam sole of a well tied shoe. Vancouver is a big, beautiful, brutal port city, I would be surprised if a couple of dozen street people, especially out-of-towners, couldn't disappear with out a trace, yearly.
posted by Oyéah at 10:18 PM on May 23, 2008


etaoln: the song goes:

How high's the water, mama?

Six feet high and rising.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 10:31 PM on May 23, 2008


jimmythefish: Finding that many feet means there are a lot more out there

My order of magnitude calculation based on the first three feet suggested there were 24 corpses responsible. Revision may be necessary but right now the math defeets me.
posted by Rumple at 11:00 PM on May 23, 2008



I do not get the "how high's the water, mama?" comments.


You see, what makes it such a brilliant comment is that it works on so many levels.

1. It's a pun on the themes of water and feet represented in the story.

2. Johnny Cash was diabetic and diabetics are well known for losing their extremities due to nerve damage and gangrene.

3. The progression of the song is "Two feet high and rising..." "Three feet high and rising..." "Four feet high and rising...", much like the progression of MeFi posts 1, 2, and 3 around this story.

You can read about this and many other witticisms in my book Overthinking Comments by Slarty Bartfast.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:27 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


So that's what Margos Dezerian did with all those feet ...
posted by bwg at 12:50 AM on May 24, 2008


Shoes protect bits of flesh that would otherwise disintegrate and be gobbled up by sea beasts large and small, which is why there are feet and not other body bits. The chances of discovering four right feet in a row (0.5 * 0.5 * 0.5 * 0.5 = 0.0625) are not all that weird. As other feet come in, left feet will start showing up.

The mystery is why clothed people are dying in (or being thrown into) a part of the ocean, where, apparently, the currents eventually carry debris to the B.C. coast. They have four shoes (and socks?) to check for origin and four feet to submit to genetic tests. Where were those shoes and socks more likely to have been purchased? Where were the people likely to have been born? How old were they? What sex?

Executions? People-smuggling fuck-ups or dumping? Cheap but illegal medical dumping? Probably not a med-student joke ("Let's take the boat out and dump another foot.") or a pirate with a peg for his right leg.

I bet the victims are Chinese and the crime behind it is smuggling (drugs or people) between China and Canada.
posted by pracowity at 1:03 AM on May 24, 2008


...this new viral marketing campaign for Sex and the City has gotten way, way out of hand.

You mean out of...nevermind.
posted by davejay at 1:42 AM on May 24, 2008


At least we know that there's more sole-searching going on by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police than any other police force in the world these days.
posted by ericb at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2008


Canada's Ministry of Health finally making good on its promise to eradicate athlete's foot, starting with the 4X100 relay race team, whose chances for gold in Beijing are not so good now.

I feel better now, thanks, flapjax.
posted by subgear at 7:29 AM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This story has legs! (well . . . )
posted by Neiltupper at 9:40 AM on May 24, 2008


We're going to have a third thread that is nothing but foot-related puns?

If the shoe fits...
posted by never used baby shoes at 10:11 AM on May 24, 2008


I would add to the pun-fest but I'm out of my depth.
posted by workerant at 10:17 AM on May 24, 2008


I can't see a reason to put shoes back on medical specimens.

Perhaps there is some industry at sea, that simply disposes of its industrial accidents at sea.

Maybe we will find that these are all female feet.

No telling to what depths humans will go to save money, or terminate lucrative retirement plans. Here is also a thought about identity swapping, by extreme retirement tactics, or lonesome islanders replaced by extreme illegal immigration procedures.
posted by Oyéah at 11:51 AM on May 24, 2008


There is always the crematorium that doesn't really cremate. We had one of those in the United States.
posted by Oyéah at 11:52 AM on May 24, 2008


Clearly the victims were defeated by pirates.
posted by w0mbat at 12:52 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


This time, it's not just the authorities who are stumped.
posted by notashroom at 1:02 PM on May 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was a documentary on TV a while back about how shipping containers full of goods sometimes fall off of cargo ships and shed their loads into the ocean. Scientists can track the flow of these items and deduce things about ocean currents.

In the show, one of the scientists said that one particular beach ended up full of Adidas sneakers from a shipwreck...he said that all of the left-footed shoes had ended up on this particular beach - but none of the right-footed ones. He claimed to have discovered that the shape of the shoe as it floated caused the left-footed shoe to follow one branch of a particular ocean current because it tended to turn one way in the water - where all of the right-footed shoes followed the other branch and ended up elsewhere. He also talked about the famous containerload of spanish bath toys (plastic ducks, crocodiles and turtles) and remarked how the ocean 'sorted' those too - so that some beaches got only ducks while others got only turtles.

posted by jamjam at 1:46 PM on May 24, 2008 [3 favorites]


Thanks to all for the explanation of the "how high" remark. Not a pedantic explanation among them.
posted by etaoin at 2:46 PM on May 24, 2008


3 feet was funny. 4 feet is pretty goddamn scary.

...and that's when you notice that the cable guy has gotten naked.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:23 PM on May 25, 2008


My Left Foot II
posted by dasheekeejones at 3:29 AM on May 27, 2008


Here comes another one:
A fifth human foot in a year has washed ashore off the coast of British Columbia, and this time it's a left one.
posted by pracowity at 4:00 AM on June 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


... and again, 24 more for a first down.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:15 PM on June 18, 2008


RRRRLR!
posted by pracowity at 8:54 PM on June 18, 2008


I am wondering if this is some type of marketing for M. Night Shyamalan's next movie, in which the ocean sucks people in and only returns feet.
posted by never used baby shoes at 11:20 AM on June 19, 2008


That last one was a hoax apparently
posted by zarah at 3:39 PM on June 19, 2008


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