Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 9th, 2012
Careless errors seem to be often associated with the enigmatic Eric Shipton Yeti cast of 1951. (For more, please read the in-depth, detailed, referenced discussion, “A Short History of the Shipton Snowman Track Photographs and the Tchernezky Cast.”)
The replica often shown by researchers, which was modeled on the single track photograph, was not first produced in the field, but later.
Unfortunately, one of the biggest televised mistakes with one of these cast copies happened in 1980, when a replica was shown to David Letterman and grossly misidentified.
See the footage of this segment by clicking here. (I’ll place it below again, but it keeps disappearing from my posting, strangely.) Thanks Doug Skinner.
Just after the 5:00 minute mark, David Letterman holds up John Keel’s personal copy of this cast. Keel says it is a “Bigfoot” print “from New Jersey.” Letterman then reads that this cast he is showing is dedicated to Keel from “Uncle Lou and Bob.”
“Bob” was Robert Warth. “Uncle Lou” was Louis Weinstein. Both were friends of Ivan T. Sanderson, and involved in New Jersey investigations of local phenomena in their state, the site of the Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained (SITU) being in Blairstown.
Keel was performing on the Letterman Show in 1980, and got his facts terribly mixed up. But it is good to see this plaque, nevertheless.
The Keelian track reproduction is a replica of the Eric Shipton cast, made from the image of the alleged Abominable Snowman or Yeti footprint taken in 1951 in Nepal (shown in the photo above).
The Shipton imprint, as in a track-like impression at the International Cryptozoology Museum or in a comparable drawing, are often good learning tools.
The single track so often published (above) was found separately from the trackway (below) discovered by Michael Ward and Eric Shipton. Some have claimed debunkingly, that (1) the track is a prank created by Shipton (as famously detailed in Fortean Times #152, November 2001); (2) it is a melted human footprint; (3) it is multiple melted fox (species undetermined) feet imprints merged into a single “track”; (4) it is due to an ibex (Capra ibex); and/or (5) it was from a Himalayan tahr (Hemitragus jemlahicus). Of course, a skeptically open-minded option is that it is from an unknown hominoid referred to as a Yeti.