Monday, December 27, 2010

Yeh-Teh: "That Thing There"

N. A. Tombazi squinted as his porters yelled frantically, pointing downward in a frenzy. The glare of the sun against the ever-present snow blinded him for a second before he finally homed in on the source of the commotion, which was "…about three hundred yards away down the valley to the east of our camp." Tombazi would later recall this encounter in his Account of a Photographic Expedition to the Southern Glaciers of Kangchenjunga in the Sikkim Himalaya. The source of the commotion was a humanoid figure, wandering about in an upright fashion, pausing to tug on dwarf rhododendron bushes as it passed. The creature's dark figure cast it with extreme contrast to the white snow, and it was easily distinguishable. It wore no clothes, and any more observations were cut short as the beast moved into "some thick shrub" and disappeared.

"...a couple of hours later, during the descent, I purposely made a detour so as to pass the place where the 'man' or 'beast' had been seen. I examined the footprints, which were clearly visible on the surface of the snow. They were similar in shape to those of a man, but only six to seven inches (15 to 17 cm) long by four inches (23 cm) wide at the broadest part of the foot. The marks of five distinct toes and the instep were perfectly clear, but the trace of the heel was indistinct, and the little that could be seen of it appeared to narrow down to a point. I counted fifteen such footprints at regular intervals ranging from one-and-a-half to two feet (30 to 45 cm). The prints were undoubtedly of a biped, the order of the spoor having no characteristics whatever of any imaginable quadruped. Dense rhododendron scrub prevented any further investigations as to the direction of the footprints..."
Nonetheless, bad weather also gathered overhead, as shadows faded away, and so Tombazi decided to move on. Is this sighting, among others, an indication of a presence of an unknown bipedal creature living in a withdrawn manner in the Himalayas? This encounter took place in 1925, and not many people were aware of the rumours of the existence of such animals at the time. Since then, sightings, along with physical evidence, have amounted. Tombazi would later deny any belief in this creature, saying that he discounts the "...delicious fairy tales" of the natives, and believes what he saw was either a wandering recluse or a member of an isolated community of pious Buddhist puritans. However, the evidence remains, hinting at something that we have yet to understand.

When back at Yoksun, Tombazi inquired if any man had gone in his direction during that particular period, and could have been mistaken for the mysterious silhouette in the snow. "...I gathered that no man had gone in the direction of Jongri since the beginning of the year."

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