First off, did you know that during the Eisenhower administration the United States Federal Government had an official protocol for anyone hiking in the Himalayas that came across Yeti? The protocol had long since been forgotten until a government archivist found it again not that long ago. What was the protocol? To capture but not kill the creature unless it tried to harm them. Right. We all learned long ago from Luke Skywalker that you have to get the drop on Yeti with your light saber, otherwise you'll find yourself hanging upside down in an improvised meat locker. People also had to apply for a Yeti hunting license and they were required to take a picture of the creature alive before shooting it dead (if that was necessary, of course). It was an opportunity a shocking number of people could not resist, including one millionaire who sent three separate hunting parties to the Himalayas specifically to hunt down Yeti. Talk about obsession!
Why are people so obsessed with Yeti? I think many of the reasons are the same as why people are obsessed with Bigfoot. Both creatures, if real, are potentially as intelligent as man. Just look at how easily they have escaped capture for such a long time! In a way Yeti would supply a missing link of a type, helping all of us understand who we are as a species.
As I've written about before, just about every culture has its wild man legends. The interesting thing is there are quite a few parallels between these wild men stories and different accounts of people spotting and interacting with both Yeti and Bigfoot. You can read more about that connection here.
So back to Yeti specifically. The Himalayas are quite remote mountains that are incredibly rugged. Remember that Mount Everest is part of the range. Centuries ago indigenous peoples in the region believed in a "god of the hunt" or a "wild man" that lived in the mountains. This god-like creature was hairy and carried a giant rock as a weapon, as well as made a whooshing sound with its mouth to scare away intruders in its territory. This creature was regarded as so mystical that some religious groups in the region believed that using some of its blood in their ceremonies would make their magic extra potent.
Since then both European and American explorers have spotted a strange, hairy creature in the Himalayas. Some of these explorers wrote the creature off as a misplaced ape of some sort, such as an orangutan while others dismissed it as a bear or as a loping wolf.
The frequency of Yeti sightings increased in the 20th Century as more western explorers and mountain climbers spent time in the high elevations where many locals fear to tread. So the question still remains if the large footprints found in the snow, the grainy pictures and the many eyewitness accounts spread out over the decades are enough evidence to conclude that Yeti really exists. What do you think? Is Yeti a possibility or is it something else?