World: South Asia - Himalayan climber's abominable sighting
17 October 1998 Published at 00:51 GMT 01:51 UK
By Alastair Lawson
The yeti of the Himalayas, like the Loch Ness monster of Scotland, is a creature that over the years has had much publicity. Debate rages as to whether the low profile of the two creatures stems from shyness or because they are both products of science fiction. Most sightings of the yeti, also known as the abominable snowman, are roughly the same, an ape-like creature around the same size as a grown man.
Last week an American
climber, Craig Calonica, on Mount Everest became the latest person to
witness this most elusive of creatures. He said that he had seen a pair
of yetis while coming down the mountain on its Chinese side. Both had
thick, shiny black fur, he said, and walked upright.
Yet if Mr Calonica
is to be believed, the truth can sometimes be stranger than fiction. As
he descended Mount Everest, he said that one of the creatures was the
height of a man. "Over to my right I noticed some black arms or wings
... ripping and pulling at something," he said. " I kept watching
it and I got about thirty metres away and up stood this creature that
"And just shortly afterwards - 15, 20 seconds later - the second one jumped up except it wasn't holding anything and it was noticeably smaller. According to the Nepalese conservationist Karna Sackyar, Mr Calonica's sighting is almost impossible to prove, because 90% of the Himalayas above 14,000ft still have not been properly explored. "I have travelled a lot in my country and I have never seen a Yeti myself so I do not know whether his claim is genuine or not," he said. "But I strongly believe that taking into consideration the vastness of the Himalayan region, I just cannot say that there is no Yeti in our country."
Toby Murcott, the BBC's science analyst, said that while it is most unlikely that yetis exist, Mr Calonica's sighting should not be dismissed out of hand. "I don't think the claim is far fetched," he said. "I think that he genuinely believes that he saw two yeti-like creatures in the Himalayas. "There have been many, many claims like this. What you have to be careful about is what people are actually seeing. "Did he really see two yetis or did he see perhaps two bears? Was he for example suffering from altitude sickness and hallucinating? "Its always very difficult in a one-off situation like this to prove anything." The scientific jury may be out, but Mr Calonica does have his own theories on what he saw. "Many people call them different things. I kind of have a feeling they are an ancestor of ours," he said.
London: Alistair Lawson Portions of this website are reprinted under the Fair
Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law as educational material
without benefit of financial gain. This proviso is applicable throughout
the entire website at www.bigfootencounters.com
Portions of this website are reprinted under the Fair Use Doctrine of International Copyright Law as educational material without benefit of financial gain. This proviso is applicable throughout the entire website at www.bigfootencounters.com