September 08, 2011
Federal Documents: Gov Once Hunted for Yeti in Nepal
By Chad Love
The world of cryptozoology has long yearned for mainstream legitimacy. Bigfoot, poltergeists, chupacabras, leprechauns, Nessie and perhaps the most elusive of them all - the centrist politician - all have their legions of true believers quietly keeping the faith out there on the dusty outer rim of the mainstream galaxy, despite all evidence to the contrary. But at least one creature hailing from X-Filesistan was believable enough for the US government to actively look for it...
From this story on usnews.com:
Newly unearthed State Department documents confirm for the first time Uncle Sam's belief that the Abominable Snowman roamed the mountains of Nepal in the 1950s, a finding that has shocked federal officials including the archivist who discovered the papers. Long written off as a myth ˜it was never caught or photographed˜ the documents provided by the National Archives show that officials in the State Department, Foreign Service, and U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, not only believed in "Yeti," but endorsed rules for American expeditions to follow when hunting the toothy monster down.
So what, exactly, were the protocols for American Yeti hunters hoping to collect a specimen?
"There are, at present, three regulations applicable only to expeditions searching for the Yeti in Nepal. These regulations are to be observed," said a memo from the embassy written on State Department letterhead. The first rule required that expeditions buy a permit. The second demanded that the beast be photographed or taken alive. "It must not be killed or shot at except in an emergency arising out of self defense," wrote Embassy Counselor Ernest Fisk on November 30, 1959. And third, any news proving the existence of the Abominable Snowman must be cleared through the Nepalese government which probably wanted to take credit for the discovery.
Fascinating stuff, and although a Yeti was obviously never found, it illustrates how unexplored and unknown some parts of the world still were as late as the 1950s. Today, of course, we'd just either scope out their digs on Google Earth or send an unmanned drone to dart one in the ass. So much for the romance of adventure. But I think the world still needs a little mystery, some unknown, so here's hoping the Yeti stays undiscovered for a little while longer. But since this is F&S, the question must be asked: what would you choose as a Yeti-stopper?