Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 16th, 2011
UPDATE: See comment from A&E producer/writer, newly added, in the comment section below.
Scratching my head about “Hunt For The Abominable Snowman”: Reconsidering that Yeti attack on a Sherpa woman…
Let us further critique “Hunt for the Abominable Snowman,” being rebroadcast often on National Geographic Channel. Specifically, one interview sticks out.
In National Geographic’s recent documentary, “Hunt for the Abominable Snowman,” (airing again on Sat Apr 9 6PM) there was a segment with a woman who said she had been attacked by a Yeti.
This Sherpa woman stated the Snowman came up from behind her, hit her on the head, and grabbed her neck. She also said the Yeti then killed some “cows” (yaks) and seemingly feeling like she conveyed the notion the Yeti sucked blood from the yaks.
This is the caption with the photograph from the new 2011 NatGeo doc:
“Remote and desolate Machermo Valley, site of Lhakpa Dorma’s ferocious attack in 1974. She was attacked by what she believes was a Yeti. She escaped with her life only by playing dead, the yaks she was herding were not so lucky.” © Atlantic Productions
NatGeo spelled her name “Lhakpa Dorma.” Others have spelled her name as “Lhakpa Doma Sherpa” or more often, as “Lhakpa Domani.”
Of course, I had seen this woman interviewed years ago, in documentaries in which I have also appeared, by History, A&E, and other organizations.
Her story seems to have changed. In the past, she once said the Yeti grabbed her hair. And broke the necks of the yaks. She formerly was rather meek, when she was younger, and her emotions less over the top. She never said anything about the yaks being drained of blood by the Yeti.
Was she performing for the camera? Had she become a crafted, practiced interviewee? Was it her translator? Was this created by this specific program’s spin on the details? Or had the woman elaborated and come up with a new version of her attack by a vampire-like or Chupacabras-like Abominable Snowman?
Let’s look more closely at this encounter, as it is used so often on these reality programs and documentaries.
The following is the result of an Internet search of how this story has been re-told in various ways:
“In 1974 it was reported in the Sunday Times that a 19 year old yak herder was assaulted by a 4 foot tall Yeti, which killed 5 of her yaks by twisting their horns. Nepali police, it is claimed, confirmed the act, and a photographer recorded footprints. The Sherpa lady who was attacked was called Lhakpa Domani. Some sources also claim her brother was knocked out. This was North East of the village of Machermo. This was in the North of Nepal, some miles south west of Everest. It was in the pasture of a mountain.”
“A Yeti was alleged to have attacked Lhakpa Domani in 1974 near Mount Everest. She described it as similar to a large ape, with further detail of high cheek bones. It was said to have picked her up and thrown her some distance, then attacked the yaks that she had been tending.” Source.
“Machermo is well known because in 1974 a Yeti supposedly attacked a Sherpa woman named Lhakpa Domani and killed three yaks.” Source.
“A Yeti was alleged to have attacked Lhakpa Domani in 1974 near Mount Everest. She described it as similar to a large ape-like creature with black and brown hair. It was said to have picked her up and thrown her some distance, then attacked the yaks that she had been tending. Her brother found her soon after, wounded and unconscious, but alive. Several nearby Yaks lay dead, half eaten. The Yeti’s footprints were all around them. No reason whatsoever could be found for the unprovoked attack.” Source.
“On the maps of the Khumbu Valley there is a notation at Machermo, ‘site of Yet attack in 1974, 3 yaks killed and woman thrown in stream.’” Source.
She was touched? Hair pulled? Neck grabbed? Was she thrown down? Thrown in a stream? Played dead? Or not? Her brother was injured? Not injured? Found her? There were three yak killed? Or was it five? Were they half-eaten? Merely killed? Their blood drank?
Most telling of all is that this was a small Yeti, from all indications, only 4 feet tall. Yet that significant detail is avoided in recent melodramatic re-creations and interviews.
The 1974 Yeti attack is re-created on MonsterQuest; it starts at 3:10 on the above video.
It would be good to view the old A&E interview with Lhakpa Domani side by side with the new one from NatGeo. Can anyone find the old interview on tape or YouTube? I could not, easily, before going to British Columbia.