Posted by: Craig Woolheater on October 21st, 2013
Dr. Jeff Meldrum posted this on Facebook this morning:
Just to add my nickel’s worth, in light of recent conversations with journalists –
My concern is that the results from examination of a single gene from only two hair samples, of potentially questionable origin, would be taken as the final resolution of the yeti question, which is a complex phenomenon. To the sherpas the yeti is the embodiment of the spirit of the mountains. That spirit can be manifested physically in various forms — a bear, a man-like ape, a pilgrim. My examination of footprints attributed to the yeti clearly shows that many are indeed bear tracks. The famous mountaineer Rheinhold Messner developed the thesis that the yeti was a merely a bear, based largely on this ambiguity.
Dr. Syke’s findings are interesting, and reinforce the role of bears in the phenomenon, but they do not conclusively answer the question of whether there is an unrecognized ape species in the Hamalayas. From my field of expertise — footprints — the best evidence for an unrecognized ape species comes from the McNeeley-Cronin biological survey of the Arun Valley. An exceptionally fresh and clear trackway of a bipedal ape was observed and documented. (see attachment depicting my reconstruction of the foot based on the track photos and plaster cast, which was seized at the border). It suggests an arboreal ape with a divergent big toe that clearly inhabits the high forested valleys and occasionally crosses the intervening passes leaving tracks in the snow.
The “yeti” has only to do with sasquatch in that it may be another relict species of primate, as yet unrecognized by science. Descriptions of sasquatch and their footprints are quite distinct.