Saturday, January 08, 2011
Oliver, poor boy, has a particularly nasty cold, and is quite unwell. However, three of us - at least - are recovering.
Another piece of good news: Gavin Lloyd Wilson is back! Welcome back my dear, we have missed you.
However, we are still very much on our beam ends, so if any of you feel like writing me some bloggo contributions, please do. Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Meanwhile, wrapped in a blanket by a log fire all day, I feel like my Grandad. He was a venerable old man who was born on August 8th 1888 (all the 8s as he liked to brag) and had been a fighter pilot in WW1. After the war he seduced and ran off with the eldest daughter of a gentleman farmer from an ancient Sussex family and the rest is history. I came back to England a year before he died, by which time he spent all day, every day, sitting by the fire, wrapped in a blanket, and continually smoking a pipe. I have always imagined that this is how Surabuya Johnny spent his dotage.
Thank you for letting me share that, but the old chap has been in my thoughts a lot for the last week....
And my contribution to the debate...
And though pink elephants I'd see,
Though I'd be drunk as I could be,
Still I would sing my song to me,
About the time they called me "Jacky"
[Littlefoot, Mittenfoot and Bigfoot 'Yeti' tracks, after Sanderson but put into a common proper scale]
This Wikipedia article is quoted widely on the internet and it is very misleading:
This includes the information:
The Himalayan Brown Bear (Ursus arctos isabellinus), also known as the Himalayan Red Bear, Isabelline Bear or Dzu-Teh, is a subspecies of the Brown Bear. The bear (as the Dzu-Teh) is thought to be the source of the legend of the Yeti.
The bears are only found in the foothills of the Pakistani Himalaya in northern Pakistan. There are presently 65 brown bears in the Deosai National Park. They are also believed to be found in India, Nepal, China, and Bhutan.
Association with the Yeti
"Dzu-Teh", a Nepalese term, has also been associated with the myth of the Yeti, or 'Abominable Snowman', with which it has been sometimes confused or mistaken. During the Daily Mail Abominable Snowman Expedition of 1954, Tom Stobbart encountered a "Dzu-Teh". This is recounted by Ralf Izzard, the Daily Mail correspondent on the expedition, in his book The Abominable Snowman Adventure. The report was also printed in the Daily Mail expedition dispatches on May 7th 1954 .
To which I have just added:
There is no real reason to associate Stobbart's information with the term "Dzu-Teh", however, and the use of the term by him, a non-native, can only have been presumptive.
--And that much should have been obvious from the onset. How the Hell did Stobbart become a world-renowned expert on something he had never heard of before, to be quoted on countless websites as the ultimate authority on the matter? Actually, the situation is (as Eberhart notes) that the Dre-mo is the 'Abominable Snowman' that is a bear and it is CONFUSED with the Dzu-Teh. Dzu-Teh is the one in Nepal and environs that is named as the cause of the local Sasquatch-type tracks. Actually Dzu-Teh is also synonymous with Chuteh or Chuti (Variant pronunciation), which is a name used for the Snow Lion.
[Chuti 'Snow Lion', Kathmandu]
[Native American Mask Carved to Represent a Sasquatch]
[Biped snow lion: I have a photo of a Chinese bronze 'manbear' that is similar but for longer arms]
There is a lot of confusion going on in here, but another odd thing is that the bear's range is identified as OUTSIDE of the area where the term 'Dzu-Teh' is even USED. Another facet of this is that several sites will say that the story was 'Recounted' by Izzard, but several say 'RECANTED' by him. Recanted means that it was later said to be a mistake, a considerable difference in meaning.
However, I suggest that the best course of action is to understand that 'Dzu-Teh does not name a cryptid on a one name=one species basis, and that makes it the equivalent of 'bigfoot.' Sometimes it is a bear, sometimes something more ape-like. The Big Yeti also has other more appropriate and more specific names such as Ri-Mi and so on.
[Chuti-yeti1: the odd 'far-Eye-Off-head' effect is found in certain late Indian depictions of ordinary people. It is an unfortunate distortion. The important features about this depiction are that it has large and long but completely human-like feet and a high pointed head, as specified in the traditions. The odd banded pattern is a way of showing highlights on a glossy overall furry pelt of even length all over and does not necessarily mean striping like a tiger's fur: the colouration indicated is light brown or blond to bark brown or blackish. The creatire also has prominent buttocks, a human trait shown also on the Patterson film]APPENDIX:
The Kathmandu Temple Chuti face is irresistably reminiscent of the type of creature Sanderson identifies with the Dzu-Teh but further to the East. I shall add Sanderson's information as to the Tok, Kung-Lu and Dzu-Teh here as reference:
Abominable Snowmen: Legend Come to Life
Chapter 11, p. 241, bottom
Of the central area there is not much to be said and actual reports are neither numerous nor extensive. What there are concern a very large form of ABSM called locally the Kung-Lu or "Mouth-Man." This was first, as far as I can discover,
mentioned by Hassoldt Davis, the well-known American traveler and author, in his book entitled Land of the Eye, which is the account of the Denis-Roosevelt Asiatic Expedition to Burma, China, India, and the lost kingdom of Nepal. In this the author says:
Jack (John Kenny) was the only one of us who could be called a hunter. He had shot bear and moose in Maine, and here it was his heart's desire to try his skill with tiger or Binturong or the Bear Cat (Artictis) or the great rhinoceros which is now found only in this wild corner of Burma near the Siamese Border. And more exciting even than these was the report of a creature, the Kung-Lu (or Mouth-Man), which had terrified the people for centuries. The Kung-Lu, according to Thunderface, * was a monster that resembled a gorilla, a miniature King Kong, about 20 feet tall. It lived on the highest mountains, where its trail of broken trees was often seen, and descended into the villages only when it wanted meat, human meat. We were told also that no one in Kensi † had been eaten by the Kung-Lu for more years than the eldest could remember.
It is perhaps permissible to speculate on the fact—could it be coincidence—that Chief Thunderface described a rather typical Sasquatch-Oh-Mah creature? This was my first reaction; and it was a pretty strong one; but, then, the same thing crops up much more extensively but with less exaggeration farther north where there are not, as far as we know, any Amerinds.
There, there is either a similar creature or a closely related one named the Tok, which I am told also means "mouth." My account of this originally came in the form of a personal communication from a gentleman who had heard me discussing ABSMs on the air. He gave me the name and address of a young American, then in the service of his country, who had been born in the Shan States and brought up there, his
parents having been missionaries. In turn, I got in touch with this young man, whose name I was asked not to publish, and he told me of two personal encounters—in fact actual physical contacts—with Toks, while he gave me several other reports, and passed me on to others who also in turn wrote me their stories. All were Americans with much experience of the country. In the end, it seemed to me that this ABSM may be the same as the Kung-Lu reported from so much farther south, about which there is, once again, that most curious detail of all in ABSM reports; namely, that it, also, attacks only thin people and ignores fat ones.
My young American correspondent states that he actually had a Tok in his arms twice and when it broke loose it left handfuls of long, coarse, shiny black hairs in his hands. The occasions were when it broke into his family home which was deep in the hill jungles and some distance from the nearest small, permanent settlement. On both occasions it chose a bright moonlight night and both times it crashed about apparently looking for food. Both times the young man tackled it thinking that it was a native thief or marauder and, being a powerfully built man and an athlete, and since his parents refused to possess any firearms, he did so with his bare hands. On each occasion it did not attempt to attack him in return, but only to flee, and being immensely strong and well over 6 feet tall it easily broke away, once running straight through a screen door. As it crossed to the forest in the moonlight, my informant had a very good look at it. He tells me that it had very wide shoulders, small head, was covered with jet-black hair, but had straight legs like a man and very pale soles to its feet. From this correspondent, and some of those others he put me on to, emerged various local names for this creature all of which must be translated as "mouth man" or "the man with the incredibly big mouth."
Hassoldt Davis' Kung-Lu is from the southern end of the Indo-Chinese mountain area, the Tok from the northern, where it would seem to merge with the Dzu-Teh of Eastern Tibet (the area that was once called Sikang) on the one hand, and the Gin-Sung or Bear-Men of central China on the
other. These areas are all adjacent to the places where the teeth and bones of Gigantopithecus have been unearthed, and if they are all the same creature, it would bear out Bernard Heuvelmans' theory that they are indeed Gigantopithecus. But we will come to the Dzu-Teh and Gin-Sung later....
Chapter 12, p264, bottom
As a fine example of this calm common sense, one cannot do better than quote Prof. C. von Fürer-Haimendorf of the School of Oriental and African Studies, who wrote: `By coining the picturesque name `The Abominable Snowman' Westerners have surrounded the yeti with an air of mystery; but to the Sherpas there is nothing
very mysterious about yeti; and they speak of them in much the same way as Indian aboriginals speak of tigers. Most Sherpas have seen yeti at some time or other, and wall-paintings in monasteries and temples depict two types of them—one resembling a bear and one resembling a large monkey. It is generally known that there are two such types, and in hard winters they come into the valleys and prey on the Sherpas' potato stores, or even on cattle. The idea that it is unlucky to see a yeti may be due to an association between the hardships caused by an abnormally heavy snowfall and the appearance
of yeti near human habitations on such occasions. No particular virtue is ascribed to the headdress of yeti-hide in Pangboche; it is freely handled and treated neither with reverence nor with any superstitious fear." *
This is one of, if not the most, refreshing statements that I have come across in over a quarter of a century of investigation of the matter of ABSMs. It also stands out as a statement by any scientist on any subject, and on its own merits, quite apart from ABSMery. Would that a zoologist might just once have so pronounced; but then, none who have made pronouncements have ever been to the Himalayas or considered the matter from the local point of view. Almost equally pragmatic is a passage written by Prof. René von Nebesky-Wojkowitz, after a
3-year sojourn in Tibet and Sikkim devoted to ethnographic studies. This reads:
It is a remarkable fact that the statements of Tibetans, Sherpas, and Lepchas concerning the Snowman's appearance largely coincide. According to their description a warrant for the arrest of this most "wanted" of all the inhabitants of the Himalayas would read as follows: 7 feet to 7 feet 6 inches tall when erect on his hind legs. Powerful body covered with dark brown hair. Long arms. Oval head running to a point at the top with apelike face. Face and head are only sparsely covered with hair. He fears the light of a fire, and in spite of his great strength is regarded by the less superstitious inhabitants of the Himalayas as a harmless creature that would attack a man only if wounded.
From what native hunters say, the term "snowman" is a misnomer, since firstly it is not human and secondly it does not live in the zone of snow. Its habitat is rather the impenetrable thickets of the highest tracts of Himalayan forests. During the day it sleeps in its lair, which it does not leave until nightfall. Then its approach may be recognized by the cracking of branches and its peculiar whistling call. In the forest the migo moves on all fours or by swinging from tree to tree. But in the open country it generally walks upright with an unsteady, rolling gait. Why does the creature undertake what must certainly be extremely wearisome expeditions
into the inhospitable regions of snow? The natives have what sounds a very credible explanation: they say the Snowman likes a saline moss which it finds on the rocks of the moraine fields. While searching for this moss it leaves its characteristic tracks on the snowfields. When it has satisfied its hunger for salt it returns to the forest.
This is not only founded on good common sense and some proper investigation, it is also truly scientific in that it is "imaginative" in its mention of the search by the creatures for "a saline moss." Actually, there are certain lichens, not mosses, in this area, not saline, but veritable vitamin factories, notably of Vitamin E. It is strange that this report had to wait for an ethnologist's mention, since a similar matter has been known to botanists and
zoologists for almost half a century, having been the key to Professor Collett's famous and definitive work on the causes of lemming swarmings and emigration. This, that researcher had shown, was that the cause of the sudden great increases in virility and resulting swarms of these small rodents is due to the continuous excess of these vitamins in their diet, which consists of these lichens for which they dig under winter snow.
Nor are lemmings alone in making a mad dash to get at this vitamin-rich food—the principal reason why birds take the trouble to fly annually for thousands of miles to the edge of the melting polar snows to breed is that the vegetation coming out from under that snow in the spring, and the insects that feed on it, are so rich in vitamins that young birds can be raised healthily on a very limited area. The ABSMs of this very cloudy area periodically need such vitamin and so go up to grub under the rotting snow for it, led by their age-old knowledge, or what is sometimes called instinct—just as some humans have a mad craving to eat certain earths and know exactly which ones and where to dig for them.
[--Heuvelmans in On the Track of Unknown Animals passes along the division of Yetis into Nyalmo, Rimi and Rakshi Bompo at 13-16 feet high, 7-9 feet tall and 4-5 feet tall respectively.
Now when the description for the Kung-lu is put at 20 feet tall, that is the Nyalmo tadition and when the description for the Yeti is like a large bear or 7 to 7 1/2 feet tall (Prof. René von Nebesky-Wojkowitz), that is the same as the Rimi or as the Tok. The smaller Wildman is the Rakshi-Bompo or just about the same as the Almas: BUT the Yeti that is the "Big Monkey" is the one we are mostly interested in because it is the "Real Yeti." Prof. René von Nebesky-Wojkowitz is assuming that the "Bearlike" and "Monkeylike" animals are the same and runs the descriptions together. While Sanderson makes it clear that he thinks the Tok and Kung-lu are the same he does NOT make any allowance for the differences in heights. Heuvelmans suggests that the idea is that the Yetis get taller in the higher mountains: indeed SIGHTINGS migh seem to make them taller in the higher mountains but that is actually a well-known type of mirage.
So we DO have basically the same "Large and small Wildman" in the region, the large one being a pretty good match for the Sasquatch and the smaller one being a pretty good match for the Almas. Almas is the SMALLER kind of Mongolian Wildman and the standard-human-sized one is Ksy-Giik or Golub-Yavans.
What we still in real need of determining is just how monkeylike or apelike the "Bigmonkey" reports are: I do strongly think we have something like a groundliving orangutan in the area, and that on top of the Snow Monkeys (which are often and fittingly called "Baboons")
The one everyone wants to establish as real is the Sasquatch, Tok or Kung-Lu type and Ivan Sanderson had a letter in his files saying a native hunter had cut one of the teeth out of the mouth of a Kung-lu he had killed: that tooth was supposed to have matched Gigantopithecus.-DD]
A cougar (showing no signs of having been in captivity) was killed in Ray County, Missouri:
Prophetstown State Park office keeps cougar database (Indiana):
Source of map: link to j.imagehost.org
The falling blackbirds and weather balloon stories
Changes in magnetic field could be responsible for massive bird and fish die-offs
Sweden: Mysterious bird deaths hit Sweden
Texas: Hundreds of dead birds discovered in E. Texas
Sweden: Swedish birds 'scared to death': veterinarian
China: BREAKING! Eagle and Birds fall from the sky in CHINA
Kentucky: Women reports dozens of dead birds in her yard
Louisiana: Hundreds of DEAD Black Birds Found In Louisiana
Arkansas: For Arkansas Blackbirds, the New Year Never Came
Germany: Dead birds of prey at the roadside
Japan: Japan on alert after finding dead birds
Caroline: Dead pelican count escalates
Tucson: Nearly 70 dead bats found in Tucson
Somerset UK: Mystery as scores of starlings found dead in village garden
Florida: Thousands Of Fish Dead In Spruce Creek
Arkansas: 100,000 drum fish die in Arkansas River, more than 100 miles from site of bizarre blackbird deaths
Kent Island, MD: MDE: Fish Kill Caused By Cold Stress
Brazil: Mysterious killing of fish in coastal
Wales UK: UK. Dead fish discovered in canal marina near Abergavenny
Haiti: Authorities probe dead fish in Haitian lake
Australia: Dead fish clog lake at airport
Indiana: Dead fish wash up on Washington Park beach
Maryland: Unusual Fish Kill Found in Annapolis
Italy Two miles of beach full of fish, clams and crabs dead in a stretch of coast
Peterborough UK: Concern as fish die in beauty spot brook
New Zealand: Hundreds of snapper dead on beaches
Millions more dead fish: UNBELIEVABLE FISHKILL in Lousiana -- ALL TYPES, EVEN MAMMALS
Sea life dying by the million around the world
Reports recently from around the world of billions of sea creatures being washed ashore
Thousands of dead fish washing up and thousands of dead birds: Arkansas
On this day in 2009 Jon's blog 'Still On The Track' evolved into the blog you see today. We're still going from strength to strength and special thanks are due to all our fantastic blog writers over the years.
Mystery of mass animal death epidemic deepens afte...
Nazi fury at Hitler the paw-raising dog
Tenuous link but in the film Raiders of the Lost Ark there is a scene where a monkey does a similar thing to the dog. Here's what the film might have looked like if made in the 1950s: