Bigfoot Encounters

Climbers to search for Abominable Snowman
(additional news item follows this one)

KATHMANDU, Nepal (Reuters) -- A Japanese expedition equipped with infrared cameras will scour the Nepali Himalayas in search of the legendary Yeti, or Abominable Snowman, the team leader said on Monday.

Yoshiteru Takahashi said he had seen footprints on Mount Dhaulagiri during trips to the world's seventh-highest mountain in the 1970s and 1990s which he believed belonged to the Yeti.

"They [the footprints] were very, very close to human foot-steps," Takahashi, the 60-year-old who works in a housing firm in Tokyo, told Reuters. "I'll take pictures and shake hands if I meet him.

But we will not capture it...The existence of that creature has to be proved." Takahashi said his 14-member team would leave on Saturday and spend six weeks on the slopes of the 8,167-meter (26,795-feet) mountain to track down the mythical hairy, ape-like creature believed to live in the snowy caves.

The team comprises seven Japanese climbers and seven Nepali sherpas and will take cameras that can detect body temperature. The mysterious Yeti seized the world's imagination during a drive by foreign climbers to scale Mount Everest between the 1920s and 1950s, when Sherpa porters recounted local legends about hairy wild men lurking in the mountains.

Many teams have been on Yeti hunts since the 1950s to verify the authenticity of tracks left in the Himalayas. But no conclusive scientific evidence has proved the creature exists.
CNN news
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From Sify News: India's latest news online, August 12, 2003 Tuesday:
Japanese man on mission to find the Yeti

Kathmandu, Nepal --- A 60-year-old Japanese mountaineer has arrived in Nepal on a six-week expedition to prove the existence of the legendary Yeti, which he is sure is living in the foothills of the Himalayas.

"Many people say the Yeti is only a legend while some people believe in its existence but nobody has been able to prove it," Yoshiteru Takahashi told AFP Monday.

He believes the mysterious creature, which some people say is half man, half monkey, lives in the Dhaulagiri mountain range in the Himalayas. "I have been fascinated by this creature and came here in 1994 searching for evidence of its existence in Dhaulagiri but failed to capture it on film as
I had hoped," said Takahashi, who arrived in Kathmandu on Sunday evening from Osaka, Japan.

But he said he had seen footprints in the snow in 1994 which led him to believe in the existence of the Yeti, also known as the abominable snowman. "I am fully convinced of the existence of the Yeti in the foothills of Dhaulagiri massif and this time I am going to catch him with my highly sophisticated six infra-red cameras which will be operational around the clock.

"Last time, I was able to narrow down the creature's territory and found several spots where we could set up cameras to film it," he said.

Takahashi, a house-fitter, will leave Kathmandu at the weekend and spend several weeks in the foothills of the Dhaulagiri range, of which the highest peak is 8,167 metres (26,951 feet), with his six-member team trying to capture the creature on film. He said he thought there were two types of Yeti. "The large type of yeti is a kind of Himalayan brown bear and local people mistook it for the Yeti when they saw it from a distance," he said. "While the small type is locally know as the 'Miti' and this what we are looking for," he said, adding it was about 1.5 metres (4.95 feet) tall and
was a kind of primate.

"When we successfully prove that the Yeti really lives here in the Himalayas, the next step will be to protect it," he said. "We don't want this precious creature to die out from the world."

Since the last century, curious westerners have attempted to find the mysterious creature, among them Edmund Hillary who was the first to conquer Mt. Everest on May 29, 1953. Some years after, in 1960, the New Zealander took part in a 10-month expedition to attempt to prove the existence of the Yeti in the Khumbu Valley, to the south of Everest. But the most convincing evidence was a scalp brought back from a monastery in Khumjung, which scientific analysis later proved was a forgery, made with a piece of a Serow Himalayan goat.

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