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 The Indian Yeti

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DJP

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PostSubject: The Indian Yeti   Wed 18 Jun 2008, 1:33 am

This link from the BBC is interesting:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7457894.stm

Any thoughts on the possibility of a yeti type creature - there have been a few recent discoveries of large animals so there is scope for undiscovered species but is this stretching it too far?
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: The Indian Yeti   Wed 18 Jun 2008, 3:06 am

For a minute I thought that you were referring to the Bollywood hit. It's so bad that's jolly funny! Laughing
While Bigfoot-Sasquatch and the Yeti are the best known "cryptid hominids", ever single continent except Antartica has a tradition of "wildmen", be them savage giants, cunning pygmies or shy and peaceful colossi.
Let me tell here that I personal believe the Bigfoot to be non-existant (in the zoological realm at least) and that there's much misconception about the Yeti. Many believe it to be a creature of glaciers but in reality its habitat appear to be the thickly forested valleys of the Himalayas. It may wander far afield on the glaciers in search of salt-rock or while migrating but that's occasional behaviour. In the opinion of my crypto-friends it's probably a large monkey, perhaps related to Macaca. Chinese stories about "apemen" like the Yeren have been often been traced to unusually large and exceptionally aggressive Macaca monkeys.
Central Asia is home to many very interesting traditions like the Bar-Manu. According to descriptions they appear to be either "degenerate" Neanderthal-types or an hominid ancestral to both modern man and Neanderthal.
Catalan zoologist Jordi Magraner went to Pakistan to investigate the Bar-Manu but sadly was killed by robbers. A martyr to science if there ever was one.
These histories about "Asian Bigfoot" have been around for quite a few years. The recent Malay fad was most likely a hoax in which foolish Loren Coleman played an unwilling yet vital part. I have reasons to believe this Indian story also to be a hoax.
Asia is probably home to many interesting primates which would perhaps have us rewrite the evolutionary tree as we know it. Sadly most of the area is now aflame and not the most likely place to start explorations.
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PostSubject: Re: The Indian Yeti   Thu 19 Jun 2008, 2:07 am

I'll have to track down the Bollywood hit.

I am not a believer in Bigfoot/Yeti/etc, but I am still surprised that new species are being discovered even with extensive destruction of habitat (or perhaps because of it). I might be wrong but weren't Mountain Gorillas at one point thought to be a myth as well?

What makes you think this story is a hoax (apart from the picture of the size 50 fossil footprint) and not just misinterpretation, publicity perhaps?
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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: The Indian Yeti   Thu 19 Jun 2008, 4:42 am

If you want to see cryptozoology at its best pay a visit to Marc van Roosmalen's website. The sheer number of new species he discovered in the last ten years by following local traditions and using the help of native hunters is simply staggering.

Why am I suspicious of the Indian case? Cryptozoology has suffered for several decades of what I call the Gigantopithecus syndrome. If you are familiar with Grover Krantz and his work you'll know that pretty much every single "giant hominid" tradition as been explained away by using the Gigantopithecus. Too bad that all of our knowledge of this large primate stems from a few hundreds separate teeth and a handful of incomplete jaws. We have no postcranial bones so we have absolutely no idea of how it looked like. Grover Krantz strongly pushed the bipedal theory, mainly to easily explain Bigfot and friends using a single known species. After Krantz died the Gigantopithecus theory began to lose ground. This primate is now seen as an oversized, terrestrial and quadrupedal orang-utan, most likely covering the same ecological niche as Africa's gorillas. A very poor Bigfoot candidate. Also Krantz's work has been often questioned: there are even some who accused him of having "embellished" truth a little to accomodate his own theories. The Gigantopithecus party is still alive and well though, especially in the United States and Asia and they are not going down without a fight. First we had the Malayan case, now this... right in the middle of what is considered as the Gigantopithecus range.
Also the footprint is quite suspicious: this beast is supposed to be well over 600 pounds and strongly built. I am no heavyweight boxing champion, but I leave much deeper footprints in mud.
May I also remember that even the remotest corners of Asia are not immune to putting up shows for tourists: the celebrated "Lake Van Monster", which even made it to the CNN, has been shown to be an hoax by the local council (or whatever is the equivalent in Turkey), eager to emulate the Loch Ness success (no offense meant). The Chinese went one step further and the Shennonjia (I hope I got it right) Park Authority has offered generous cash rewards for pictures, film footages, hair samples etc proving the existence of the Ye-Ren or Wildman. Wouldn't be too surprised if our Indian friends would try the same.
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PostSubject: Re: The Indian Yeti   Sat 21 Jun 2008, 10:09 am

Gigantopithecus ??? ............we have one of them here...........his name is Ian Laughing
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Ian
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PostSubject: Re: The Indian Yeti   Sat 21 Jun 2008, 2:43 pm

No comment...... Crying or Very sad

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Mauro

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PostSubject: Re: The Indian Yeti   Mon 23 Jun 2008, 1:13 am

Poor Ian... that's what you get for all your hard work!

Seriously speaking yesterday evening I took in hand Ivan Sanderson's masterpiece Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life (the 1961 Chilton edition... told you I love rare and old tomes!), the definitive book on anything hairy, unknown and vaguely human-looking. I did not remember reading anything about giant hominids in the area and I was right. The closest "Neo-Giant" to use Sanderson's own words is the little-known (compared to the much celebrated Bigfoot, for example) Kung-Lu, which is said to inhabit the thickly forested mountain near the Thai-Burmese border.
As usual the Kung-Lu is said to be enormous (20 ft or more), immensely strong, very intelligent, very stealthy in spite of its size and to have a taste for human flesh. And as usual even the eldest wise men in the area could not remember anyone who had been killed and devoured by the Kung-Lu. They just heard it from their granfathers or the village elders and even them had not known of any case but heard it from... you get the idea.
Could be a folk memory of a recent survival of the Gigantopithecus (though its dentition tells us it was anything but a meat-eater but as Heuvelmans showed little known creatures are given all kinds of sinister powers) or a classic case of story getting wilder with each retelling.
It must be said though that the Indo-Chinese Massif is home to some of the most convincing "mystery hominids", like the Nguoi Rung of the Vietnamese mountains or the Briaou of Laos. Problem is these "forest men" are generally reckoned to be smaller than man (5 ft at very best), retiring and anything but ferocious. The celebrated Montagnards of the Annam Highlands considered them a delicacy and hunted them with traps but, alas, their numbers are now much reduced and they have become much more wary of man and his traps (according to these consumate hunters who can be considered some of zoology's best allies in recent years).
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