I find myself uniquely placed in relation to this documentary series, as I have actually been on expeditions to search for Yetis and Bigfoots in all three of the countries visited: the US.A. Russia, and Nepal. I have also been featured in a documentary on the Yeti in Nepal — Abominable Snowman for the MonsterQuest series, and another one aired by National Geographic entitled Russian Bigfoot. It was on this show (not MonsterQuest, bloggers on this subject should note) where Zana’s skull was first subjected to forensic testing by Dr. Todd Disotell of New York University.
As there has been so much discussion on the findings of the show, I thought I would produce my own analysis which benefits from a firsthand background in all of the countries visited.
So let’s turn to the episodes:
The first one dealt with the Yeti in Nepal. As to the findings in this episode, then they certainly don’t settle “The mystery of the Yeti once and for all” as the documentary makers claim (not Professor Sykes you will note). Rather, they point to a consistency with local legends, which point to two or three possible Yetis, one of which is a bear. So this exciting discovery seems to vindicate local legends rather then contradict them.
The account Reinhold Messner mentions in the documentary which he uses as validation that the Yeti is a bear, dates to only 300 years ago. There are accounts many centuries older than that. For example, that of the shamanistic B`on religion describes rituals involving sacrifices needing the blood of a horse, dog , black bear, goat, pig, raven, man and WILD MAN (Yeti). Nor do they explain the personal eyewitness testimony I received from people whilst I was in Nepal, who know the difference between a bear and a yeti, whether they are walking on two legs or four!
The analysis of footprint anatomy was poor, with the terrible bear print comparison, which bore no relation at all to the Shipton print featured in the show. There could be a whole article on this alone, but if I focus on one specific point. No explanation of the divergent toe found in Yeti prints was even touched upon!
The discovery of a large previously undetected predator(a bear) by Prof Sykes was a very exciting development. This it seems to me, is in agreement with the ancient accounts rather than a contradiction of them. The second episode was rather dismissive of Bigfooters I felt, and was also inaccurate in some of the portrayals it indulged in.
Let’s deal with Justin Smeja first, who many of you will know has claimed to have shot a Bigfoot. Justin Smeja had worn the boots that were analysed for many months before they were handed in for analysis. He also never claimed that the hair sample he sent for analysis were from the Bigfoot he claimed to have shot, merely that they were found in the vicinity. Most importantly, he passed lie detector tests over his account. So the events really did happen as he says they did, or he is mistaken. He is not a liar though.
I thought Derek Randles came across well, but other than him, all other evidence/and individuals are dismissed. The very cynical and patronising presenter (and crew) actually became excited by the tree knocking I am informed by a friend who was there (Nadia Moore), but in the show they give it a cursory brush off as probably being other people in the forest, despite making no attempt to investigate if that was so for themselves.
The third episode dealt with Russia. As I mentioned earlier, Zana’s skull was first tested several years ago, so the fact that it came back as human should warrant as no surprise. What is very interesting is the African lineage . There are many centuries of stories of an Almasty in that region, so I feel that an explanation that Zana is a feral human is probably incorrect. It will be an enormously profound discovery if she is found to be part of a migration out of Africa which predates our migration, so I hope that this is the eventual conclusion that is drawn, rather than her being an Ottoman slave. As an aside though, I believe this to be a different species to that potentially found in Mongolia, and other parts of Russia.
As for the science…
The science provided by Professor Sykes ,was first rate however. I know Professor Sykes personally, and consider him to be an honourable man. He has not been involved in any government cover up nor is he motivated by money as has also been suggested by some. He simply says it as he sees it and analyses what he finds in an objective manner. He is the most outstanding mind in his field.
His research is not over. There is a possible paper, and a definite book to come.I am not claiming any inside knowledge of his results.
But. Let’s. Wait and see.