Friday, March 27, 2015

The Pangboche Hand: Mummified Yeti?

The Pangboche Hand was an item from a Buddhist monastery in the Himalayas and said to be the hand from a Yeti.

Photo by Peter Byrne in 1958

In 1957, the expedition run by Tom Slick took the first pictures of this legendary hand supposedly held for ceremonial purses in a Himalayan Buddhist Monastery.

Reportedly, Peter Byrne, a member of the team, had taken some bones from the hand when the monks would not allow them to be examined, and replaced them with some human bones bound in cloth.

He supposedly got the bones from Nepal into India by way of the actor, Jimmy Stewart, who sneaked it out on his plane flight out to England. 

It was said in 1960, Sir Edmond Hilary examined the bones while there and considered them a hoax when he saw the human bones mixed in. 

The origin of the supposed yeti skull and hand that the monks held was supposedly from a monk's find. He had gone to meditate in a cave and found a yeti. Years later, he came back and the yeti had passed, so he took the remnants for their prized rarity.

Are you wondering about the findings of analysis on the bones? Well, a London primatologist, William Charles Osman Hill reported that they were hominid and most closely resembled Neanderthal. 

Source:  In 1991, in conjunction with Loren Coleman's research, it was discovered that the Slick expedition consultant, an American anthropologist by the name of George Agogino, had retained samples of the alleged Yeti hand. The NBC program Unsolved Mysteries obtained samples and determined they were similar to human tissue, but were not human, and could only verify they were "near human." After the broadcast of the program, the entire hand was stolen from the Pangboche monastery, and reportedly disappeared into a private collection via the illegal underground in the sale of antiquities. George Agogino, before his death on September 11, 2000, transferred his important files on the Pangboche Yeti hand to Loren Coleman.

It gets more interesting. In 2011, DNA tests were supposedly made on the remains, reportedly finding human DNA. 

Do we know that they tested the actual fingers? What is the chain of possession along the way to prove it's the same sample? We may never have answers on that, but I am certainly glad that there are scientists willing to testing samples and look for definitive answers.

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