Abominable Snowman
A supposed finger from a yeti, smuggled out of Asia in the 1950s, has been found to be human by DNA testing. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Some people will go to extensive lengths to prove the existence of mythical creatures like the yeti. A supposed yeti finger, which was smuggled out of China by actor Jimmy Stewart, has been proven to be a fake.

It’s a wonderful lie

The yeti, or the abominable snowman, is a pseudo-mythical creature or “cryptid” from the Himalayan mountain range and surrounding areas. Just like Bigfoot, it’s a bipedal, ape-like creature that is much larger than a man.

One alleged tissue sample of a yeti is a preserved hand at the Pangboche Monastery in Nepal, according to the Daily Mail, often referred to as the Pangboche Hand. A finger from the hand was smuggled to London in 1957, after explorer Peter Byrne bribed the monks to allow him to swap one finger with a severed human finger, which was disguised to look like the rest of the hand.

Byrne got his friend, Hollywood star Jimmy Stewart, to smuggle the finger out of India, allegedly hidden in his wife Gloria’s lingerie bag. The finger ended up in the possession of Texas oil magnate Tom Slick, who left it to the Royal College of Surgeons in London upon his death.

Pangboche Hand turns out to be human

Recently, a sample from the Pangboche Finger underwent DNA testing, according to MSNBC. The results of the DNA testing on the Pangboche finger have concluded that the hand is human. The genetic material was fragmented but was irrefutably from a human being.
As MCNBC points out, a yeti scalp found by famed explorer Sir Edmund Hillary was discovered to be from a serow, a Himalayan mountain goat.

According to the BBC, the DNA from the Pangboche finger likely was from a person from the Himalayan area of Asia, as it closely resembles the DNA of people from there.

Unfortunately, the Pangboche Hand was stolen from the monastery in the 1990s. The monks reportedly would like the finger returned to its home, though the BBC reports the monastery “does not want trouble.” The Daily Mail reports the Royal College of Surgeons is willing to return it.

Russian expedition gets hairy

A “yeti conference” involving explorers, yeti enthusiasts and scientists embarked on a two-day exploration in Siberia, according to The Guardian, in October of this year. They came back having found what they assert is “irrefutable” evidence of the creature’s existence and habitation of the area they were in.

They found disturbed branches and hairs, claiming the findings were 95 percent proof of the yeti’s existence. The same week the Russian expedition was announced, according to the Telegraph, a Chinese group set out to find the legendary “wildman” of Shennongjia Nature Reserve in the province of Hubei.


Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2078875/The-Yeti-severed-finger-Nepal-movie-star-James-Stewart.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

MSNBC: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/45816366/ns/today-today_tech/t/infamous-yeti-finger-flunks-dna-test/#.Tvy8VGWP-_0

BBC: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-16264752

The Guardian: http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/10/siberia-home-to-yeti-bigfoot

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/8058784/China-to-embark-on-Yeti-expedition.html

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