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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Yeti finger human mystery


Yeti finger human mystery

Yeti finger human mystery, Yeti finger mystery solved, A purported yeti finger taken from a monastery in this Asian country more than 50 years ago is actually human, according to scientists. The finger went through a series of owners, including, reportedly, this famous Hollywood actor, before ending up in a museum.

A finger long claimed to be from a yeti, once revered in a monastery in Nepal and taken in the 1950s by a Bigfoot researcher, has been identified after decades of mystery. Turns out, it's just a regular old human finger — albeit one with a very interesting history.

The yeti is said to be a muscular beast weighing between 200 and 400 pounds and covered with dark grayish or reddish-brown hair. As in the case of its North American counterpart, Bigfoot, most of the evidence of its existence comes from fuzzy sightings, oversize footprints in the snow, or the occasional strand of funny-looking hair.

But there has been one interesting piece of physical evidence of the yeti: a finger that was either bought or stolen from the Pangboche Buddhist monasteryin the 1950s, depending on which disputed story you believe. It has been in London, among the collection of the Royal College of Surgeons, for more than half a century.

The finger was taken from the monastery by Bigfoot researcher Peter Byrne and was smuggled out of the country, so the story goes, by beloved Hollywood actor Jimmy Stewart, who hid it amid his wife's lingerie. The monstrous finger ended up in the possession of Dr. William Osman Hill, who had searched for the yeti in the 1950s on behalf of Texas millionaire Tom Slick; Hill later bequeathed the finger to the Royal College of Surgeons.
The Hunterian Museum of the Royal College of Surgeons in London has a large number of human and animal species, which have been collected from all over the world. Edinburgh Zoo genetic experts have been able to crack the mystery from one of those specimens named Yeti Finger.

It was untouched since the last 50 years. But now, it has got revealed that it is none but a part of oversized human hand. Its DNA size revealed its identity but its parent range is yet to be known.

Senior Scientist at the Zoological Society of Scotland in Edinburgh, Dr. Rob Jones said, “It's very similar to existing human sequences from China and that region of Asia but we don't have enough resolution to be confident of a racial identification”.

This giant black curled up finger was given to the museum by Primatologist Prof. Osman William Hill. But, former explorer and mountaineer Peter Byrne was the first one to find the finger in Nepalese Monastery, and later handed it to Prof. Hill.

Byrne, now 85, shared that in 1958, he went to Himalayas, with his team, where he visited the Pangboche Temple. He found people talking in Nepalese, which he knew. While having a conversation with them, they talked about a hand which they tucked in the temple and called it a lucky mascot for them.

When he looked the hand, he decided that it was something which he has to take back to London. They did not allow him to get it. So he asked for one finger and somehow, they agreed to it. With the help of his old friend, James Stewart, he got the finger which he later gave to Professor Hill.
The long-lost relic from the Pangboche Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas had a dramatic history*. For a full story, check out this narrative at the Daily Mail. The story was always intriguing, but now, it turned out to be another dead end as the finger was not “unknown” but human adding another disappointment for Yeti enthusiasts following the embarrassing spectacle of the Russian Yeti “evidence”.

Sadly, the promise of earthshaking Bigfoot/Sasquatch evidence has also not come to light this year.

What happens now?

The hairy wildman stories are decades old. Yet, over and over again, the photos, footprints, even physical pieces such as the Yeti bone, alleged scalp, hair and alleged Bigfoot traces have not led us to the creature. This is disturbing. We ought to be progressing towards more knowledge of these creatures but that is not happening. Why? Are these creatures made of folklore and hope rather than flesh and blood? So far, that’s the more reasonable conclusion. The “concrete” evidence just crumbles away…



* There are conflicting stories about how Peter Byrne acquired the finger. Did he steal it or negotiate for it? For more on this, see this link. Regardless, the monks knew a good deal when they saw one. They capitalized on the fact that their monastery was famous thanks to their Yeti relics and were able to raise money for it by coming to America to show the samples.

The mystery of a yeti finger taken from Nepal half a century ago has been solved with the help of scientists at Edinburgh Zoo.

The mummified remains have been held in the Royal College of Surgeons museum in London since the 1950s.

A DNA sample analysed by the zoo's genetic expert Dr Rob Ogden has finally revealed the finger's true origins.

Following DNA tests it has found to be human bone.

The yeti, also known as the Abominable Snowman, is a legendary giant ape-like creature said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal and Tibet.

Despite the lack of evidence of its existence, the yeti myth retains a strong appeal in both Nepal and the west, where it became popular in the 19th century.

The finger, which was said to be from a yeti, was taken from a Nepalese monastery by an American explorer in the 1950s.

He replaced it with a human finger he had been given by a British scientist.


The yeti finger was taken from a Nepalese monastery by an American explorer in the 1950s
It was then smuggled out of India with the help of Hollywood actor James Stewart, who hid the artefact in his wife's lingerie case.

The finger is now held in the Royal College of Surgeons museum in London.

Just recently it was rediscovered during cataloguing.

They allowed a BBC documentary team to take a DNA sample.

It has been analysed by genetic experts at Edinburgh Zoo, who concluded it is human.

Dr Rob Ogden, of the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland, said: "We had to stitch it together. We had several fragments that we put into one big sequence and then we matched that against the database and we found human DNA.

"So it wasn't too surprising but it was obviously slightly disappointing that you hadn't discovered something brand new.

"Human was what we were expecting and human is what we got."

Primatologist Ian Redmond said: "From what we know of accounts of Yetis, I would have expected a more robust and longer finger and possibly with some hair on the back.

"If one had just found it without the story attached to it, I think you would think it was a human finger.

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