Shreedeep Rayamajhi

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Yeti: Myth or Reality


Myth or reality!!! Yeti is a mystery which lies hidden in the depth of time, amortizing modern technology in its legacy of stories and lore’s. Moreover, with the propagandas surrounding its presence of a furred humanoid image, the yeti still excites people in luring them to the far ends of the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet. The existence of this nature’s illusion has been controversial as well as mysterious where it has established itself as a popular icon. The controversies over existence of Yeti are warming the industry with various vague encounters and evidences brought back from the sites of remote alpine villages.

Recently, on October 20, 2008, a team of seven Japanese adventurers photographed footprints of Yeti. Yoshiteru Takahashi, the team leader of the expedition and the Yeti Project Japan, said, “ The footprints were about 20 centimeters (eight inches) long and looked like human’s foot print. We are convinced; it was real, as we saw it walking on two legs like a human and was about 150 centimeters tall.” Takahashi claims to have observed Yeti on a 2003 expedition and is determined to capture the creature on film.

Following the trend, in early November 2007, Joshua Gates an American television presenter and his team reported finding a series of footprints in the Everest region of Nepal claming it to be of Yeti. The footprints measured 33 cm (13 in) in length with five toes that measured a total of 25 cm (9.8 in) across. Dr. Jeffrey Meldrum, of Idaho State University examined the footprints who asserted it to be morphologically accurate to be fake or man made. Meldrum also stated that they were very similar to a pair of Bigfoot foot prints that were found in another area.

In the year 1986 renowned mountaineer Reinhold Messner claimed to have a face-to-face encounter with a Yeti and in his book “My Quest for the Yeti” have actually claimed to kill one. According to Messner, the Yeti is actually an endangered Himalayan Brown Bear that can walk upright.

Similarly, in 1984, famous mountaineer David P. Sheppard of Hoboken, New Jersey, claimed to have been followed by a large furry man over the course of several days while he was near the southern Col of Everest. His Sherpas, however, say they saw no such thing. Sheppard claims to have taken a photograph of the creature, but a later study of it proved inconclusive.

Don Whillans a British mountaineer also claimed to have witnessed a creature while scaling Annapurna in 1970. He had seen a dark shaped creature moving near his camp and the next day, he observed a few human-like footprints in the snow. On the same evening, he had also viewed a bipedal, ape-like creature from his binoculars at a distance.

In 1953, Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay reported seeing large footprints while scaling Mount Everest where Tenzing has mentioned about the encounter of yeti in his first autobiography.

In 1925, N. A. Tombazi, a photographer and member of the Royal Geographical Society, encountered yeti near Zemu Glacier. Tombazi later wrote that he observed the creature from about 180 to 270 M while descended the mountain and saw the creature’s foot prints. He described it as similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches long by four inches wide.

Analyzing the series, the 1889 foot print discovery is one of the oldest link in the trail of yeti encounter. L. A. Waddell reported his guide's describing a large ape like creature moving in the dark where its existence remains hidden and controversial.

Ang Tshering Sherpa, President of UAAA said, “Yeti is a mysterious creature which has kept its existence hidden for years. To be precise the word Yeti comes from the word meti which means human eating creature. Though, it is believed to be a mystery but in reality for people who live in the region, they have reasons to believe of its existence. When we were young, we use to hear a lot of lore’s and stories of yeti. It’s true that there is an unknown creature hidden in the laps of the Himalayan where it’s completely mysterious and may be that is the reason why its so popular around the world.”

“It can be capitalized in a proper way to benefit the industry and country where it has not been channelized. At first we need to conduct a thorough research about its existence. It’s both cultural as well as scientifically important where it can have a huge financial and scientific benefit for the country,” added he.

He further suggested, “If we could use yeti as the brand for the Nepal Tourism Year 2011 then it would have immense result as yeti is world known and capitalizing its popularity can benefit the country and campaign.”

Contemplating the image, the ethnic Tibetans fear and worship bear as a supernatural being where its lore’s and myth acclimatized the local in developing yeti as a cultural Icon. Whether you call it Bigfoot or yeti or Abominable Snowman, the yeti endures an image of enigma which isolates itself in the hidden valleys with in legacy of its mystery.

Jyoti Adhikari, President of Trekking Agencies Association of Nepal (TAAN) said, “Yeti is a mystery which lies hidden in the depth of remote areas where its existence survives in just lore’s and stories. Every year numerous propagandas are created with yeti but it’s very controversial to predict its existence as still today we lack proper evidence. On contrary, if it’s true then it should be left alone. Furthermore, it should not be bothered as it’s a creature of its kind where leaving it in isolation seems wise. Besides, Nepal is known in the world for Mountain Everest not yeti. There are only handful number of people who come in quest of yeti so intruding such a mythical creature can bring difficult situation which needs to be understood.”

Yeti has evolved itself as a new marketing and promotion tool which has been drawing scientists, researchers, adventure enthusiasts etc to Nepal.

Yadav Khanal, General Secretary of Nepal Association of Tour Operators (NATO) said, “Yeti is a mystery which lies hidden in the laps of Himalaya where its existence is unknown and mysterious. The government certainly needs to put an effort to know more about its existence where a definite research needs to be done at a professional level.
Today’s marketing is about good promotion and if we could use Yeti as an effective means then we can certainly attract more tourists.”

By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

No comments: