THE FIELD GUIDE TO BIGFOOT, YETI,
AND OTHER MYSTERY PRIMATES WORLDWIDE
by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe
Illustrated by Harry Trumbore
Published by Avon Books, 1999
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From the Introduction...
We are not alone. If there is any truth to the testimony of eyewitnesses worldwide, we appear to live amid a variety of humanlike and apelike creatures whose existence has been largely ignored, forgotten, or denied, at least in recent history. Despite the crowding of the earth's surface with our species and the encroachment of Homo sapiens into the mountains, wildernesses, and wild places around the world, there is apparently ample room left over for our elusive cousins to hide. And they have done just that-for the most part. But as the reports of encounters accumulate, it has become increasingly clear that an understanding of these creatures lies not in myth, folklore, and legend, but, ultimately, in reality...
A sample of one of our 51 fully illustrated cases..
CLASS: Unknown Pongid
TYPE: Yeti, classic Abominable Snowman
DISTINGUISHING CHARACTERISTIC: very broad apelike feet
DATE: Mid-December 1950
LOCATION: Mt. Everest, Nepal
WITNESSES: Sen Tensing and others
After a few days at the Thyangboche monastery, Sherpa Sen Tensing, an internationally recognized Himalayan mountain-climbing guide who has worked with Sir Edmund Hillary among others, was returning home to Phortse, down the difficult trail to the lmja River, when he and his friends saw a Yeti approaching up the path. Sen Tensing quickly jumped into the snow behind a large boulder and lay quivering with fear. The Yeti approached within 25 yards in the bright moonlight, then stopped, before finally moving on back down the trail.
The Yeti was 5.5 feet tall. Half-beast, half-man, it had a tall pointed head and hairless face, but was otherwise mostly covered with reddish brown hair. It stood upright, but dropped to all fours when in a hurry. When Sen Tensing emerged from behind the rock, he saw clearly the well-defined footprints the Yeti had left behind in the snow.
Eleven months later, while exploring the route to Mt. Everest on the southwestern slopes of Menlung with English mountain climbers Eric Shipton and Michael Ward, Sen Tensing spotted a long trail of two sets of strange footprints he identified as those of the Yeti. They followed the tracks for over 2 miles until the prints disappeared into moraine. The well-known photographs of these broad, apelike tracks show the imprint of four toes together and one toe separated out to the side.
The Yeti-from the Sherpa yet-teh, meaning "that there thing"--is the archetypal "Abominable Snowman," known for thousands of years to the inhabitants of Tibet, Sikkim, Bhutan, Mustang, and Nepal. But the creature is really neither "abominable" nor a creature of the snows. As many researchers have pointed out, these beasts probably live in quiet retreat in the warm and steamy mountain valleys of the Himalayas, using the snowy passes as a way to move from one spot to another, leaving behind those huge mysterious footprints.
The Yeti has a conical head, stout neck, and a wide prognathous mouth with no lips. It is covered in thick red-brown fur and eats a wide variety of small animals, birds, and plants. Their feet are short, very broad with a second toe larger than the big toe, although both stick out from the others. Researchers generally agree that the classic Abominable Snowmen, the man-sized Yetis, are some form of rock-climbing ape.
(Pages 134-135)© 1999 by Loren Coleman and Patrick Huyghe
Illustration copyright 1999 by Harry Trumbore
About the Authors
LOREN COLEMAN has conducted fieldwork and bibliographical research on unknown hominids and mystery primates for nearly forty years. Trained in anthropology, zoology, and psychiatric social work, he is a professor at two New England universities and the author of a dozen books, including Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti and Mysterious America. He is also editor of The Cryptozoologist.
PATRICK HUYGHE is a science writer and the author of several books including the first of his Field Guides to the Unknown, The Field Guide to Extraterrestrials. He is also a contributing editor with Omni magazine and the editor of The Anomalist, a twice-yearly journal exploring the mysteries of science, history, and nature.
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