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Abominable Snowmen, by Ivan T. Sanderson, [1961], at

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12. Anyone for Everest?

By all accounts one would think there'd hardly be standing room in the Himalayas. As usual, this is quite wrong.

Having now reached the summit, I wish to ask your indulgence. Personally, I am so sick and tired of "Abominable Snowmen" per se, and of foot-tracks in the snows of "Tibet" [sic], and, most of all, of poor, old, long-suffering Mt. Everest, that I simply cannot bring myself to go over the whole dreary business again in detail. Yet, for all that has been published on the subject, which includes really quite a number of books as well as a veritable cascade of news-stories, one thing is most notably lacking to date. This is any real semblance of order upon which the whole picture may be assessed. On this occasion therefore, I ask to be excused for compressing my purely reportorial duties to the limit—in fact, into a chronological list, as you will find a few pages farther on—and thus reserving my energy and what mileage is left for some background information and, I hope, some legitimate comment. Before we tackle the issue, however, a few points should be stressed.

The first is a reiteration, and one that cannot be too often repeated or too strongly stressed. This is that the Himalayas are not a part of Tibet, or even in the same continent. Further, the racial, national, political, cultural, and all other aspects of humanity pertaining in this area are extremely complex, most muddling, and very little understood. For once, national boundaries hereabouts serve some really useful purposes (see Map IX): also, some of them even have some actual physical validity and coincide with natural boundaries. Perhaps the single most interesting fact to emerge from this

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Click to enlarge


Geographically, Tibet is a part of Orientalia but, due to its extreme altitude, it is connected with Eurasia. Orientalia is divided into six parts—India, the Himalayas, Indochina, southern China, Malayo-Indonesia, and the Philippines. (For the last three subdivisions, (see Map IX). In this continent we have three major levels—lowlands, mountains, and super-mountains. Most of the first are clothed in equatorial forests but there is a large desert area in western Pakistan, and most of southern China lies in the temperate forest belt and has a distinctly Mediterranean flavor. The mountains fall into seven major and many minor blocks: there are two complexes in India, the Arakan, the Indochinese Massif, the Annams, the southern Chinese Massif, and the Fukien complex. Lesser blocks are on the peninsulas and islands. The Himalayas constitute a special region. The

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range of that name is immensely long but narrow, and it is erected upon a huge upland. To the north, it is separated from Tibet by the great gutter of the upper Brahmaputra.

is that the block of extreme mountains that is peaked by Mt. Everest really lies in Tibet, and is thus more than half in Eurasia. From all the hoopla as well as the very real and legitimate interest that has been engendered by the "attack" on and "conquest" of Everest, a general impression has been gained that either this mountain is more or less synonymous with the Himalayas, or that it is at least the only important one therein. Apart from not even being in the Himalayas, it is only one of a very great number of monsters on both sides of the Great [Brahmaputra] Gutter, and dominates several others by only a rather modest height. Further, a mountain was seen, and fixed for altitude, by more than one American military plane flying The Hump during the war, that was stated to be very much taller than Everest. So vast is the triangle of uplands between the Pamirs in the west, the Nam-Shans in the northeast, and the mountains of inner Yunnan in the southeast that, despite a healthy expedition led and financed by Mr. Reynolds [of ball-point pen fame] this monstrous thing has never been found again. This mountain has, however, recently been downgraded considerably.

Turning now for a moment to the human element in this chapter of our story, it should be noted that the inhabitants of Tibet are quite distinct from most of the peoples who inhabit the Himalayas, though the famous Sherpas, Ghurkhas, and Lepchas, of Nepal, were originally Tibetans, and are of that group of peoples. However, the true Tibetans inhabit quite a different land, having more intimate connections to the east with the Sikang region [now incorporated into the Chinese Province of Szechwan]. They therefore take quite a different view of things, and this is most noticeable when they come to talk about and describe ABSMs. Another point that is worth bearing in mind is that many of the inhabitants of both areas are most highly educated people,

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especially the monks of the Lamaist Buddhist faith, and the religious mystics and ascetics of the Hindu. An impression has been disseminated that, though the most excellent chaps for mountaineering, fighting, and other forms of endurance, the Nepalese are a poor bunch of uneducated hillsmen, and that all that Tibetans do, apart from spinning prayer wheels, is tend yaks. Some scholars in the monasteries of these countries speak, read, and write a dozen languages, both dead and living ones at that, and they possess vast treasure troves of documents and whole libraries of record. Books published by them five centuries ago on such subjects as history, medicine, and zoology, are as precise and objective as any of our own, as we shall see later when we visit the northern side of their country. Do not, therefore, sell the locals short on either common sense or outright knowledge. They can also be sharper than we are.

Finally, still another note of warning. Sportsmen, in the form of mountaineers, big-game hunters, and so forth, are not the only outsiders who have penetrated and wandered about the Himalayas and the southern rim of the Tibetan Plateau. Sometimes they almost appear to be, because of the Everest business, and the enormous volume of their published works. In these, however, you don't learn much about the country as a whole, whereas you do get a tremendous amount about the mountains (per se; and usually above the snow line) and about mountaineering. As I remarked in the first chapter, if you really want to get at what facts are known about the area, the best place to go is to the reports of the various British Government Surveys—political, topographic, and biological—which continued for years with the utmost precision and most painstaking persistence and care. Since the conclusion of those surveys, it is notable that the only people who seem to speak boldly and rationally on quite a number of matters pertaining to these countries have been anthropologists, ethnologists, and botanists, who have really traveled the country at lower levels, and taken the trouble to talk to the local people, learn their customs, and understand their

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languages and outlook. Of these I shall speak further after my reporting job is accomplished. Some of their expressions have been quite delicious.

Now I shall tackle the facts so that we may try to gain some kind of mutual understanding as to what everybody has been talking about. In my brief introductory history of ABSMery I had of necessity to mention not a few of the items that appear in the following chronology because until now the whole history of this subject has been mostly in and of the "Himalayan" area, and the general popular conception is that it is exclusive to it. By now, however, it should be plain that this is so far from actuality that the Himalayas have really been reduced, if not to a secondary status, at least to only one of three in the major class—the other two being the northwestern North American region, and the central eastern Eurasian. Nonetheless, these facts are important and must be re-emphasized, for I am constantly having to remind myself that hardly anything has been published on all the other areas, while intelligent people still say to me almost daily: "Do you really think there is an abominable snowman?" with the same old implication that there is just one individual hairy giant, who has been pounding about the upper Himalayan snowfields for centuries. This impression has, of course, been deliberately fostered in the mind of the general public by press and science alike, since nothing is better than a good debunking and a great number of people don't want anything of this nature found.

It comes as quite a shock, therefore, when one presents a proper list of those who have said not only that they have found foot-tracks of Himalayan ABSMs, or bits of their fur, or their excrement, but who have stated, and in most categoric and detailed terms, that they have seen them, have hunted or been hunted by them, or who know of people killed by them. Actually, the numbers of persons in all these classes runs into the tens of thousands, and has been going on for millennia. In fact, European and American travelers are the only group who don't seem to see ABSMs regularly

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when going through this area, and even some of them do. Perhaps the following inventory may make this a bit clearer. I take the famous year 1920 as my real starting point.

S = Seen by Foreigners

NS = Seen by Local Native Persons



Major Lawrence A. Waddell, LL.D., C.B., C.I.E., F.L.S., F.A.I., comes across large tracks in Sikkim.



Mr. H. J. Elwes, well-known botanist and explorer, sees an ABSM run over a ridge.



J. R. O. Gent, British Forestry Officer in the Darjeeling Division reports tracks in the Phalut area, India, and ABSMs seen by local inhabitants.



Stanley Snaith states in his book At Grips with Everest that one Hugh Knight, a British explorer, came face to face with an ABSM carrying a crude bow in this year. *



Lt. Col. C. K. Howard-Bury, on approaching Everest, watched a group of ABSMs on a snowfield at 20,000 feet, through binoculars. Later found their tracks on the spot.



Tracks found on the Bireh Ganga Glacier by Englishman who signed his report "Foreign Sportsman."



Members of an Everest Expedition saw "great hairy, naked, man running across a snowfield below," at 17,000 feet.






A. N. Tombazi, Member of the Royal Geographical Society and leader of a photographic expedition to Sikkim, saw an ABSM grubbing for roots with a stick near the Zemu Gap at foot of Mt. Kabu. Later found humanoid footprints at spot.

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Wing-Commander E. Bentley Beauman, RAF, found tracks at headwaters of the Ganges.






(1) Ronald Kaulbach, botanist and geographer, found tracks at 16,000 feet, on pass between the Chu and Salween Rivers near Bumthang Gompa, Nepal.



(2) Eric E. Shipton, famous mountaineer, found tracks on way back to Katmandu from Everest.



(1) A British traveler who signed himself `Bald' found tracks on the Biafua Glacier in the Karakorams.



(2) F. S. Smythe, reported tracks from the Bhyundar Valley, in Garwhal, India. [These were said to have been made by a bear, but there was some reasonable doubt.]



(3) Sir John Hunt found a set of tracks of something apparently wearing boots on the Zemu Gap, also steps cut in the ice, though nobody had passed that gap at that time.



(1) Cairn on top of sacred mountain, taboo to locals, above Rongbuk Monastery, and placed there by climbers, found to have been destroyed and stones moved.



(2) H. W. Tilman, famous mountaineer, finds apparently booted tracks crossing the Zemu Gap, near Menlung, on Darjeeling side.



(3) First American Karakoram, report calls, falling rocks, etc.



[Reported by Prince Peter of Greece.] Locals got ABSM drunk by leaving liquor at wellhead; captured and bound; but creature revived and burst bonds.





One Slavomir Rawicz and four companions on flight from Siberian prison camp to India, reported meeting two ABSMs.




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A Mr. W. W. Wood, in company with a Major Kirkland and Capt. John B. Maggs, at Liddarwat, near Srinagar, Kashmir, saw a creature bounding down a hillside with zigzag motion. (See below for possible explanation.)






A Yak breeder named Dakhu, a resident of Pangboche, saw one at 50 yards distance. It walked away.



A very strange story of an encounter and fight with a pair of ABSMs near the Zemu Gap, by two Norwegian uranium prospectors, named Aage Thorberg and Jan Frostis. [Suspected fabrication.]



(1) A villager of Pangboche named Mingma, heard yells, saw ABSM, took refuge in stone hut and observed.



(2) In November an ABSM came out of the forest and played about near the monastery of Thyangboche until driven away by the monks beating gongs and blowing trumpets.



(1) Sherpa Sen Tensing in company with others saw ABSM at 25 paces near Thyangboche.



(2) One Lakpa Tensing saw a small one sitting on a rock.



(3) Tibetan Lama Tsangi reports having seen one.



Eric Shipton comes across tracks on the Menlung Tsu Glacier, in the Gauri Sanka Range on the way to Everest. Photographs.



(1) Sherpa Pasang Nyima in company with others went to look for an ABSM seen near Namche Bazar, and observed it at 200 yards.



(2) Sir Edmund Hillary with George Lowe find hair on high pass.



(3) Swiss Expedition. Dr. Edouard Wyss-Dunant, with Tensing Norgay, find tracks.



(4) Villager Anseering and wife of Thamnu, see one by forest.

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(1) A Tibetan Lama named Tsultung Zangbu, traveling in Assam, meets one carrying two large rocks. It passed by.



(2) Edmund Hillary finds tracks in Barun Khola range.



(1) The Daily Mail Expedition. Sets of tracks found in four widely separated locations. [See Ralph Izzard's account.]



(2) Two Britishers of Hillary's outfit find tracks in the Choyang Valley.



(3) Swiss Expedition; Dr. Norman G. Dyhrenfurth photographs tracks in company with others.



(1) French Expedition on Makalu, find tracks, photographed by the Abbe Bordet, geologist.



(2) Argentinian Mountaineering Expedition, led by famed climber Huerta, reported that one of their porters was killed by an ABSM. No further details available.



(3) RAF Mountaineering Club Expedition, found tracks.



John Keel, author of "Jadoo" claims to have followed ABSM for 2 days and finally seen it in a swamp.



(1) First Slick Expedition. Three sets of tracks, excrement, and hairs found at three widely separated locations.



(2) Two Sherpas told Tom Slick they had seen ABSM early that year.



(3) Peter and Bryan Byrne, of the Slick Expedition saw ABSM in the Arun Valley.



(1) Second Slick Expedition. Two Sherpas with Gerald Russell at low altitude meet Teh-lma (Pigmy-type ABSM) by river; numerous tracks seen by Russell.

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(2) One Godwin Spani meets an ABSM.



(1) Third Slick Expedition. Numerous tracks found, and ABSMs followed.



(2) Japanese Expedition under Prof. T. Ogawa, finds tracks.



(3) Fukuoka Daigaku Japanese Expedition finds tracks.



Seven separate parties [but not the Hillary expedition, which saw nothing but tried to debunk scalps] of foreigners and numerous locals reported finding tracks, and caves inhabited by ABSMs.

In addition to this somewhat impressive list I have detailed records of many other sightings by both foreigners and natives, but for which no definite date is given or for which I have been unable to obtain a definite date. Then, I have also some delightful expressions by the ethnologists. These scientists seem not to be in the least interested in the grumblings and mutterings of their confreres in other sciences—notably zoology—and seem to have gone merrily on their way and with their work, adopting a slightly amused attitude, at the discomfiture of others. As a fine example of this calm common sense, one cannot do better than quote Prof. C. von Fürer-Haimendorf of the School of Oriental and African Studies, who wrote: `By coining the picturesque name `The Abominable Snowman' Westerners have surrounded the yeti with an air of mystery; but to the Sherpas there is nothing very mysterious about yeti; and they speak of them in much the same way as Indian aboriginals speak of tigers. Most Sherpas have seen yeti at some time or other, and wall-paintings in monasteries and temples depict two types of them—one resembling a bear and one resembling a large monkey. It is generally known that there are two such types, and in hard winters they come into the valleys and prey on the Sherpas' potato stores, or even on cattle. The idea that it is unlucky to see a yeti may be due to an association between the hardships caused by an abnormally heavy snowfall and the appearance

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of yeti near human habitations on such occasions. No particular virtue is ascribed to the headdress of yeti-hide in Pangboche; it is freely handled and treated neither with reverence nor with any superstitious fear." *

This is one of, if not the most, refreshing statements that I have come across in over a quarter of a century of investigation of the matter of ABSMs. It also stands out as a statement by any scientist on any subject, and on its own merits, quite apart from ABSMery. Would that a zoologist might just once have so pronounced; but then, none who have made pronouncements have ever been to the Himalayas or considered the matter from the local point of view. Almost equally pragmatic is a passage written by Prof. René von Nebesky-Wojkowitz, after a 3-year sojourn in Tibet and Sikkim devoted to ethnographic studies. This reads:

It is a remarkable fact that the statements of Tibetans, Sherpas, and Lepchas concerning the Snowman's appearance largely coincide. According to their description a warrant for the arrest of this most "wanted" of all the inhabitants of the Himalayas would read as follows: 7 feet to 7 feet 6 inches tall when erect on his hind legs. Powerful body covered with dark brown hair. Long arms. Oval head running to a point at the top with apelike face. Face and head are only sparsely covered with hair. He fears the light of a fire, and in spite of his great strength is regarded by the less superstitious inhabitants of the Himalayas as a harmless creature that would attack a man only if wounded.

From what native hunters say, the term "snowman" is a misnomer, since firstly it is not human and secondly it does not live in the zone of snow. Its habitat is rather the impenetrable thickets of the highest tracts of Himalayan forests. During the day it sleeps in its lair, which it does not leave until nightfall. Then its approach may be recognized by the cracking of branches and its peculiar whistling call. In the forest the migo moves on all fours or by swinging from tree to tree. But in the open country it generally walks upright with an unsteady, rolling gait. Why does the creature undertake what must certainly be extremely wearisome expeditions

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into the inhospitable regions of snow? The natives have what sounds a very credible explanation: they say the Snowman likes a saline moss which it finds on the rocks of the moraine fields. While searching for this moss it leaves its characteristic tracks on the snowfields. When it has satisfied its hunger for salt it returns to the forest.

This is not only founded on good common sense and some proper investigation, it is also truly scientific in that it is "imaginative" in its mention of the search by the creatures for "a saline moss." Actually, there are certain lichens, not mosses, in this area, not saline, but veritable vitamin factories, notably of Vitamin E. It is strange that this report had to wait for an ethnologist's mention, since a similar matter has been known to botanists and zoologists for almost half a century, having been the key to Professor Collett's famous and definitive work on the causes of lemming swarmings and emigration. This, that researcher had shown, was that the cause of the sudden great increases in virility and resulting swarms of these small rodents is due to the continuous excess of these vitamins in their diet, which consists of these lichens for which they dig under winter snow.

Nor are lemmings alone in making a mad dash to get at this vitamin-rich food—the principal reason why birds take the trouble to fly annually for thousands of miles to the edge of the melting polar snows to breed is that the vegetation coming out from under that snow in the spring, and the insects that feed on it, are so rich in vitamins that young birds can be raised healthily on a very limited area. The ABSMs of this very cloudy area periodically need such vitamin and so go up to grub under the rotting snow for it, led by their age-old knowledge, or what is sometimes called instinct—just as some humans have a mad craving to eat certain earths and know exactly which ones and where to dig for them. *

But what, you may still want to know, exactly did all these people say they found or saw. I could quote you their actual statements but am not going to do so for two reasons. First, they are almost all already in print and most of them in readily

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accessible books as listed in the bibliography. As a guide to them, you should read Bernard Heuvelmans' On the Track of Unknown Animals, which fully covers the issue. Second, I refrain from so doing because, frankly, even I find them somewhat boring, for they are all so absolutely alike. *

The great majority of the reports are of a roughly mansized—though of a very large and sturdy man compared to the wiry little Sherpas—ABSM, with a conical head, bull-neck, prognathous jaw, and very wide mouth but no lips, clothed in reddish-brown, thick, short, hairy fur often grizzled in larger specimens and almost black in the smaller, which goes naked but uses sticks on occasion. Its excrement indicates that it is omnivorous, but feeds mostly on small mammals, insects, young birds that it can catch, snails, and various softer vegetable substances. It lives in the upper montane forests but comes out from time to time to grub under old snow, and in very severe weather it may descend into inhabited valleys and maraud. It has short, very broad feet, with a second toe larger than its big toe while both of these are much wider than the other three and are separated from them. It is shy and retiring unless provoked or imagines itself cornered, when it will put up a terrific display just like a great ape, but seldom carries through its threats.

This is not just the pattern but the identity of the vast body of the reports. However, it is not by any means the only one. There appear to be at least four if not five quite distinct creatures involved in this general area, only two of which are certainly indigenous to the Himalayan ranges themselves and to the "Great Brahmaputra Gutter" north of it. These two are the man-sized ABSM described above which is clearly distinguished by the local inhabitants as the Meh-Teh, and the little, pigmy type, only from 4 to 5 feet tall, that inhabits the lower and warmer valleys, eats frogs and insects and is generally omnivorous, and which the natives call the Teh-lma. This is clothed in very thick red fur with a slight mane, and

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leaves tiny, 5-inch-long footprints. The third ABSM appears only to be spoken of in the area, being an inhabitant of eastern Tibet, Sikang, and the northern Indo-Chinese Massif. This is the Tok, Kung-Lu, Gin-Sung creature called by the Sherpas the Dzu-Teh, or "The Hulking Thing" (see Appendix A). This by all accounts is immensely taller and bulkier than the Meh-Teh, with a black to dark gray, shaggy and long coat, a flat head, beetling brow with a sort of upcurled bang on it, long powerful arms and huge hands, and very human-type feet that leave imprints like those of a giant man but with two subdigital pads under the first toe just like the Sasquatch and Oh-Mah. This is the creature that Bernard Heuvelmans long ago (1951) suggested might be a descendant of, related to, or even actually a Gigantopithecus, which at that time was thought to be a pongid rather than a hominid. [That Gigantopithecus could be a very primitive sub-hominid and still have hominoid feet, will become apparent when we come to discuss fossil Anthropoids as a whole.]

The little Teh—lmas present a fine problem all their own. They are the least known and the most neglected by everybody. In fact, it was not really until 1957 that even the most ardent ABSM hunters acknowledged their existence, and only one man has done anything about them—W. M. Russell, commonly known to his countless friends all over the world as Gerald. Yet, this is probably the commonest of all ABSMs with an enormous distribution and is certainly "the Yeti most likely to succeed," if only somebody would do something about him.

Philologists, such as Sri Swami Pranavananda (see Appendix A) and others, in attempting to debunk the whole of ABSMery through their specialized methodology, have created a positive shambles of the Nepalese languages and dialects thereof, and quite apart from calling them all "Tibetan" [sic]. They have tried to show that teh has two stems and meanings: one being treh, t(r)e or dred which they state means a Brown Bear; the other, te, dey, or da, meaning a ghost. It transpires that they are wrong on both counts and in both cases. The crypto-esoteric details of all this will be

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found in the previously mentioned appendix; suffice it to be said here that teh turns out to mean "manlike creature." The ending lma is actually a Buddhistic inversion of m//la, which might be written for us phonetically as m'ghoola. This, in turn is a southern form of a phrase that sounds something like me-ullēēr, meaning originally an "incarnate vehicle." When used as a qualifying word attached to the name of an animal or other living creature, it implies "a being" or "thing." Thus, the little Teh-lma, is actually called—and rather simply, as it turns out in the end—"The Manlike Being." Nothing could be more pragmatic and appropriate.

There is a wealth of information on the form and behavior of this creature to be gleaned from all the native peoples from the western border of Sikang in the east to the feet of the Pamirs in the west, throughout the Himalayas. Practically nothing of this has been recorded simply because nobody realized that there was more than one "abominable snowman" and, even when they did aspire to this obvious intelligence, they simply could not stomach more than two types. As "the other" place was pre-empted by the mighty Gin-Sung or Dzu-Teh, the poor little lowland Teh-lma, got lost again. It was Gerald Russell who first spotted it as a quite separate species or type and, due to his long experience in collecting animals, prompted him to concentrate all his efforts on it—and down in the forests. I give the results to you in the words of Peter Byrne, Deputy Leader of the 1957 Slick-Johnson Expedition to search for ABSMs in Nepal. [This is herewith reproduced in full by the kind permission of Peter Byrne and the North American Newspaper Alliance]:

The first sighting was made by a Sherpa villager who said he was hunting edible frogs by the river at night with a torch hung on a bamboo pole. Moving upstream about 300 yards from Gerald's blind the man came upon a wet footprint on a rock. As he swung his torch low to examine it he saw a snowman squatting on a boulder across the stream, 20 yards away. The Sherpa was terrified, for tales of the Yeti in these mountain villages are full of accounts of the creature's strength and habit of killing and mutilating men. He shouted in fright. The beast slowly stood on two feet and lumbered unhurriedly upstream into the darkness.

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The following night Gerald's Sherpa guide Da Tempa, a veteran Himalayan tracker from Darjeeling, went out with the villager at midnight, the note relates. While Gerald remarked it was "sporting" of the villager to venture out again, he noticed the fellow was trembling with fear and kept behind Da Tempa as they left the camp. After more than an hour of scouting up and down the Choyang River banks, Da Tempa and his companion were making their way back to Russell's camp when Da Tempa saw movement ahead on the trail. He thought it was probably leaves of a bush rustling, but shone his flashlight at the spot.

There, not more than 10 yards away, stood a small ape-like creature, the Snowman! The Snowman advanced deliberately toward the light, and Da Tempa turned and ran. Next morning Gerald said he found four very clear footprints in the gravel trail, which he has photographed. From questioning Da Tempo and the villager these facts emerged about our elusive quarry:

He is about 4 feet 6 inches high, with hunched shoulders and a very pointed head which slopes back sharply from his forehead. He is covered with thick reddish gray hair. His footprints are about 4 inches long. The villager was shown our pictures of bear, orang utan, chimpanzee, gorilla and prehistoric man. He unhesitatingly pointed to the gorilla picture as being most like the creature he saw, but he emphasized the head was more pointed.

As we trekked up the Choyang Valley to meet Gerald, Bryan and are speculating what this description of the Snowman may mean. Is the beast sighted by Da Tempa the smaller variety of Snowman known as the Meti? Or is it a young of the giant Yeti which has been described as more than 8 feet tall? The footprints are certainly much smaller than the 10-inch tracks left by the animal that twice visited our camp by night in the Barun Valley. The tracks our expedition photographed last year measured 13 inches.

Peter writes again on June 5th (1958) from Gungthang, Nepal:

Frogs are the clue to the Abominable Snowman, and now we are using them as bait for our elusive quarry. Twice our party has seen the Snowman when he came into the dark gorge of the Choyang River at midnight to catch the foot-long yellow frogs for food. Now we have set out live frogs, tied down by fine nylon fishing line, as a lure. We have built a bamboo "machan," or hunter's blind, in a tree commanding a stretch of river baited with frogs and have a second blind of rocks along

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the bank farther down. From these points of vantage my brother Bryan and I are watching nightly.

We decided on this tactic after a reconnaissance showed where the Snowman had overturned huge river boulders in his search for food. Some were so large it took two of us to move the stones. And we found two footprints in river sand leading to a flat rock on which were the remains of a half-eaten frog. Toe prints were clearly visible in the sand, but the 4-inch prints were smaller than the ones we photographed in the Barun Valley snows some weeks ago. We have been dogged by foul weather, moonless skies and relentless rain.

Heavy rain, light rain, torrential rain and dreary drizzle. This has been the "Chinese water torture" endured by our expedition for more than a month now. The rain begins at 9 a.m., continues all day and night until the dawn sun breaks through the forest with golden streams of light at 5 a.m. It has hampered our plans for tracking the creature.

At midnight, with the rain pouring down in pitch blackness and waterfall drowning out even the sounds of breaking twigs and falling stones we hunters learn to follow in the dark, our nightly vigil has been a nightmare.

The Dzu-Teh is not a Himalayan inhabitant. However, there does appear to be still another creature in this province and on the southern rim of Tibet. Now, there seems to be some evidence pointing to this really being a giant monkey. [I am for now ignoring the tailed creatures reported by Drs. Moore and Brooks, which would constitute the fifth local unknown, and which I frankly believe to be some huge species of Coloboid Monkey and thus related to the Mangabeys and Guerezas of Africa, and the Langurs, Leaf-Monkeys, Lutongs, Proboscis and Snub-nosed Monkeys of Orientalia.] The Abbé Pierre Bordet has dredged up a tiny gem that is of great significance to this monkey problem. Namely, that the mountain massif that contains Mt. Everest is called by Indians, Mahalangur Himal, or "The Mountains of the Great Monkeys" —and not of great apes, please note. Then, there is also the fact that the Tibetans, as opposed to the Himalayanese peoples, talk freely of a monstrous monkey in their territory that has nothing to do with either the Dzu-Teh, Meh-Teh, or Teh-lma (which, incidentally, they call in various parts of their

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country by numerous other names). It is, they say, nothing more than a monkey and has all the habits and characteristics of a monkey, even to a sort of totalitarian bravado and insufferable provocativeness combined with blind cowardice that in extreme cases of defeat may lead to its turning into a completely insensate homicidal maniac. There is but one group of monkeys that so very well fits this billing.

To me it is very strange indeed that neither this whole idea nor the possibility of this particular group of monkeys being involved seems ever to have even been so much as mentioned. The group concerned is the Cynocephaloids or Cynocephalidae, the Dog-faced Monkeys, which includes the Gelada and Hamadryad, the Drill and Mandrill, the Baboons, the Black Ape of the Celebes, and the Macaques and Rhesuses. Not only are the largest monkeys members of this group; they are mostly terrestrial; most of them walk on the whole soles of their feet and hands; they have extremely manlike hands; they are certainly of high sagacity and, despite small brains, have a highly developed "social" (or at least communal) system. They are also strongly xenophobic, and, finally, they are in many cases extraordinarily ingenious, facile, and adept at manipulation with their hands. The ancient Egyptians trained some of them (Hamadryads) to weed gardens, stack cordwood, sweep temples, and serve at banquets: a S. African railroader supposedly taught one to throw switches in a signal box and water the engines, and this animal is alleged to have saved a train wreck by pulling the right switches when its master had had a heart attack. That was a baboon. Even more intelligent and amenable to co-ordinated activities, however, are the Giant Rhesus and the strange Stump-tailed Macaques (Lyssodes), to which the Japanese "Ape" belongs. The former are customarily trained to collect coconuts on plantations, and the Malayan Forestry Service trained them to collect botanical specimens from the tops of tall trees. As to the mastery of human affairs on the part of the latter I can personally attest from many years' companionship with several individuals. Some of the things they learned to do altogether surpassed anything I have ever seen an ape do,

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and they work at it with much greater persistence and reliability than do apes. They are, at the same time, incorrigible "slobs," unpredictable to strangers, and terribly dangerous. But, as if this were not enough, there is a positively enormous species that lives in the mountain recesses of that little enclave of Indo-Chinese territory that runs up the eastern face of the Tibet-Sikang Plateau and mountains. This is known as Lyssodes (Macaca) thibetanus.

These huge monkeys inhabit the fastnesses that are also inhabited by the Giant Panda—and which concealed this animal for so long—and these have never been explored. The species of Dawn-Trees (the Metasequoias) discovered not so long ago came from there, as also did the very odd Thorold's Deer (Cervus albirostrus), as well as other rare creatures like the Royal Chinese Sable (Mustela liu, a sort of enormous mink) and a small spotted cat just like an Ocelot. These great monkeys have no visible tail, that object being a tiny, flattened, naked twist concealed in the long, rich reddish-brown to orange overcoat that clothes these animals. Sometimes they descend in hordes upon the cultivated valleys of the hill peasantry and completely devastate everything, even attacking and tearing down houses made of mud and wattle, and not, it appears, being in the least frightened of men, even if they use firearms. And there is another interesting point about their behavior. When there is snow on the ground, they sometimes walk on their hind legs, which are very sturdy, albeit with an arm-swinging and staggering gait but which, I was told by an observer, seems to be due more to the deep snow than to any imbalance. Apparently, like apes, they do not like to get their hands cold by putting them on the snow.

These monkeys have rather short faces that are naked and pink, going bright red in heat and bluish when cold. Their other naked parts are dirty gray. The head is very curiously shaped, having practically no forehead but beetling brows, is flattened from side to side and comes to a point above but then has great domes of long hair running from the corner of the eyes back to the neck to join a profuse mane. Normally, these animals walk on all fours with a kind of strutting

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pace, the four limbs being of about equal length. One I saw in Hong Kong had a head and body [the head is carried straight ahead but the face does not point downward] length of three foot six, measured directly and not along the curvature of the body. My Chinese traveling companion, who had collected in outer Szechwan, told me that this was but a moderately small male and that if a really big leader-male stood up on his feet, as they sometimes do, he would look me eye for eye—I am exactly 6 feet. These monkeys go in snow.

My comment here is that, in view of the existence of these huge, tailless monkeys in the province concerned just east of Tibet, and in view also of certain remarks made by the great 19th-century explorer, General Pereira, who was and is still just about the only Westerner really to have crossed this territory and, again, to passing references made by the Abbé Père David [discoverer of the otherwise extinct primitive deer, named after him, in the Manchu royal parks, and in a way of the Bei-Shung or Giant Panda], there could well be a giant species of mountain Macaque in eastern Tibet that may occasionally enter the Himalayan Oriental Province and then become extremely "difficult" if met by a lone yak-herder. [I have a record of a fairly large party of unarmed Indian peasantry being attacked by the ordinary little Bandas, or Rhesus Monkeys, in the Punjab.] Also, it is just possible that the same or a related type of Cynopithecoid may be found in the Karakoram, and one of them could be the creature that a Mr. W. W. Wood and companions saw in 1944. He specifically states that this jumped "from side to side" or zigzagged. This is a most typical method of progression of many if not all monkeys when in a hurry on the ground, and especially on downgrades, but one which they adopt even on perfectly level, unencumbered areas. Also, please note that the locals with Mr. Wood definitely called the creature banda or "monkeys."

At this point I want to interject a very definite statement to my readers, to persons who may review this book, and to those of the scientific fraternities who might have gotten this far without having used the thing to throw at students or had

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an apoplectic fit. This is that I do not for one moment suggest that ABSMs are Giant Rhesus monkeys.

What I am trying to say is that, in addition to the two very distinct forms of ABSM in this, the Himalayan South Tibet province—the Meh-Teh and the Teh-lma—there could be, first, a very large form of Coloboid Monkey in the coniferous montane forests, related to the Langurs and Rhinopithecus; and, second, a really giant form of Lyssodes or Stump-tailed Macaque, which might be the origin of some of the Tibetan (and notably the Tibetan) reports. The really giant Dzu-Teh, Tok, or Gin-Sung, of the eastern Eurasian Massif and the Indo-Chinese Block, definitely is an ABSM, and more than probably a full Hominid, but is known to the Nepalese only by hearsay from their Tibetan relatives. But there are still more complications in the Himalayan region. These are really of quite a different nature, and extend as far from ABSMery in one way as giant Cynopithecoids do in the other. This is the matter of Men.

This great province is not yet fully explored or known. When some soldiers employed by a person entitled the Rajah of Mustang, a sub-autonomous province of northwestern Nepal, killed an animal a few years ago that they did not know but which had been scaring villagers in their territory, it was declared to be a yeti (i.e. an ABSM). The beast was most adequately photographed (see Fig. 38) while still freshly killed, lying on a pristine white sheet. Later, it was carefully skinned with its extremities complete and was shipped with its boiled skull to Katmandu. It turned out to be a Sloth-Bear (Melursus). However, this is not the point. What is, is the fact that nobody had ever heard of Mustang; thought it was a kind of wild horse in our "West"; and that somebody was kidding. Even the wire-service representatives in Katmandu, capital of Nepal, could not get any clear answer as to whether there really was such a place, or to whom it belonged, even if only nominally. The same goes for most of the inner Himalaya and much more so for the Karakorams. There are some really delightful stories emanating from these parts, not the least extraordinary of which was solemnly put

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out by two Canadian scientists named Jill Crossley-Batt and Dr. Irvine Baird of Montreal.

These two allegedly conducted ethnological studies there in the year 1921, and they stated that "In an isolated spot in the Himalayas, at 17,000 feet" they had discovered a "lost tribe of Chaldeans" who painted on goatskins with vegetable dyes, and who all lived to be 107 years old. Statements such as this just about floor me; more especially when some innocent is clobbered for remarking casually that he saw a funny fish in a net off Florida, or some such mild thing. Even the wildest moron playing hookey from a high school would be hard put to it to crowd more extremities into a single statement. Why Chaldeans; and, on what grounds? And who can tell that anybody lives to over 100, let alone a whole tribe; and why 107 years, precisely? The whole thing is a bit balmy but there it is, and we just have to try and cope with it.

This is, indeed, an exceptional case, but there has always been a great deal of mumbling about "lost races," "mystics," hermits, pilgrims, and outcasts in this area. True, quite a number of Hindu pilgrims do visit the Brahmaputra Gutter from India, and there are ascetics living all over the place high above the tree-line: also, there never was capital punishment in Tibet—that country being profoundly Buddhistic—and really annoying persons were always just thrown out of the community and told to fend for themselves. This, they have done for long periods, living until their clothes rotted away, while the law-abiding citizenry was absolutely forbidden to contact, aid, or have anything to do with these criminal outcasts. However, being Tibetans and Himalayans, and thus predominantly Mongoloid, these persons all started out with particularly hairless skins, so that they simply cannot be put forward as candidates for ABSMs. [Besides, they grow very long head-hair.] When, however, it comes to the Buddhist ascetics—the so-called Lung-Gompa—we meet quite a different condition.

These men deny normal life and take first to monasteries where they really study the supernatural, and in patterned stages, under persons with a tremendous fund of knowledge. What they learn is quite beyond us and, frankly, neither understandable

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nor even believed in by Westerners. However, they do in time seem to acquire some quite remarkable talents that smack of the magical. Dr. Julian Huxley has spoken seriously of their ability to melt a circle of 8 feet in diameter in 2-foot snow, simply by taking thought upon the matter; and others have described them as being able to teleport themselves; that is, to be transported instantaneously from one place to another; and, most certainly, to be able to send news in advance as quickly as by radio, though no radio exists. Of all of this I know nothing factual but of one fact I do have evidence. This is that the initiates to these disciplines do, at one stage of their training, go galloping about the countryside, stark naked, and in the worst of weather, and particularly at sunrise and sundown, for the good of their souls and the exorcism of sundry worldly hang-overs. They may then be a pretty eerie sight, charging through the rhododendron thickets and sometimes even howling a bit. But these chaps are almost as commonplace to the Himalayans as are mailmen to us: and they are not hairy, don't have separated second and first toes, don't eat raw mouse-hares or any other meat, and don't run around gibbering.

There is one rather delightful story about a Hindu pilgrim, however, which just goes to show what human beings can do. A certain Colonel Henniker of the British Army was crossing a 17,000-foot pass in Ladakh in 1930, in a blinding snowstorm, when he perceived a rather skinny fellow, clothed only in a loincloth, and using a staff, tramping stolidly Tibetward. Amazed, he hailed the man in English and received the astonishing and cheery reply "Good morning, Sir: and a Happy Christmas." [It was mid-July!] There may, in fact, be all manner of queer types wandering about in these appalling fastnesses; clothed or unclothed; fed or unfed; and everyone minding his own particular business.

It takes a great deal of patience and some ingenuity—as well as exceedingly good manners and taste—to get in with the local people and to be sufficiently accepted by them to hear what they really have to say. We of the West tend to adopt a lordly attitude to everybody else, and often in our

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own ignorance give away, by gesture alone, if nothing else, that we are mocking anything that we don't understand. The Himalayans are very wise, and perspicacious people.

But for all their wonderful qualities, it is not to the Sherpas and other Nepalese, nor to the people of the Himalaya as a whole that we must turn for some real pragmatic information about ABSMs. Rather, we should go to the Tibetans proper. Their whole attitude is utterly different, for they appear to have the whole thing down "pat," and, they just don't bother to argue the details. To them, there are three kinds of these creatures—called, as I have already said, by many names. They are not much interested in Teh-lmas, in that they dwell in the lower regions, of which there are none in their exalted land. Meh-Teh they know and treat as just another thing indigenous to the land, but of the hulking Dzu-Teh they take a really peeved notion. They say this vast creature is hard to handle and it raids yak herds; that they go in groups; they can get along in appalling climatic conditions; and they have all the ingenuity of humans, plus strength with which one is really almost unable to cope. That is why, they also say, they keep the skins of those which their compatriots slay, or mummify their bodies and put them away, but not so much out of respect but simply as "hereditary awful-warnings" to other men. Real Tibetans have spoken of all this to both Nepalese and to many foreigners in Nepal, and one much respected Lama named Punyabara even offered to bring back one of each of the three kinds, alive, if the Government would put up the money. My permissible comment is herewith terminated but perhaps I can afford to extend myself a little and make a few, more general comments at this point.

With all the above, how is it possible for anyone to state flatly that there is nothing in the Himalayan region to be investigated? This, I personally and simply cannot see. There have been those over the years who have endeavored to prove that nothing exists there; and many have tried by disproving or "showing up" one facet of the matter to show that all the rest is either myth, legend, or folklore. But, when you take each of these individual complaints, you find that none of

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them jibes with all the others, while each of them in turn itself proves not to hold water. The ever-recurrent notion, for instance, that the tracks are made by local people wearing a particular type of loose footgear resembling a mukluk or moccasin—and which was recently again brought forward by one Michel Peissel in Argosy Magazine (December, 1960)is obviously both absurd and impossible if only the advocates would just spend a few moments thinking logically about the matter. If this Mr. Peissel had considered the following facts for a moment, he would not have written as he did.

If these ABSM tracks—which, you will note, have baffled just about every really experienced mountaineer for over a century—were made by a local man wearing footgear such as he suggests, then, first, every one must have worn out the front half of both feet precisely, and in such a manner that neither shoe ever showed a single mark of where it ended or the bare toes protruded. Second, the men wearing these overshoes must all have been of an extremely rare type—if they ever existed—having the second toe larger than the first, and both of them, and on both feet, also widely separated from the rest of the toes. That there could be so many such freaks among the limited population of this one area is much too much to ask. Also, it is manifest that Mr. Peissel has never seen an imprint or a cast of the foot that made the medium-sized [or Meh-Teh] tracks. They are positively shocking when first seen, being absolutely enormous—and the gaps between the separated toes are enormous too, which could not happen physically if the whole was enlarged by melting and regelation. Almost the same goes for those, like Sir Edmund Hillary, who have attempted to debunk the scalps. Maybe these are made from the shoulder skins of a Serow (Capricornis), but were the makers not imitating something else they knew? And these things are, in any case, only playthings, like Christmas hats. Further, even if they are not genuine yeti scalps, what made the fresh foot-tracks? *

Let us not forget that the Kraken, the giant squid, was regarded as a fable for centuries until Prof. A. E. Verrill took a

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small boat and went and got one alive off the coast of Newfoundland. Everybody, except the North Atlantic fishermen had said that they did not, and could not exist, but reports of them persisted in coming in every year. I think people should pause, read the facts, and also consider a while, before making definitive statements about the ABSMs of the Himalayas, or of anywhere else, for that matter.


260:* The search for this Hugh Knight continues. It (or He) is proving every bit as elusive as any ABSMs. The latest comes from Prof. W. C. Osman Hill, since this was written, and states: "I find a book listed in the Royal Geographical Society [of London] library catalogue by a Captain Knight (no initials given) entitled:—Diary of a Pedestrian in Cashmere and Thibet and dated 1863. It may well be the one we are after and if so antedates Waddell."

265:* Tom Slick, seconded by Peter Byrne, now tells me that the inhabitants of Pangboche never claimed that this was the scalp of an ABSM, but that it was made in imitation of one held in a monastery elsewhere, and made from a goat skin. Anent this, see Appendix E.

266:* Geophagy is widespread and cropped up in New York City a few years ago.

267:* The appearance and significance of the foot-tracks and prints is fully discussed in Appendix B; that of the creatures' possible relationships in Chapter 16.

279:* For a full account of this, see Appendix E.

Next: 13. The Western Approaches