Photo Truth: Is That A Yeti Cast?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on December 2nd, 2007

Josh Gates Finds Yeti Prints Near Everest

The above photograph was published and broadcast worldwide on December 1, 2007. It allegedly shows “Destination: Truth” TV host Josh Gates displaying a sample cast of what was said to be a footprint found in Nepal’s Khumbu region. Gates talked to Asian reporters in Katmandu on Friday, November 30, 2007, about his find and the above photo was published with the story.

The cast was labeled, therefore, by the media as that of a “probable Yeti.”

I want to go on the record to say this looks like and may be a stock photograph of the alleged footprint cast that the “Destination: Truth” crew and Josh Gates collected in Malaysia in February 2006, which was said to be from a Malaysia “Bigfoot” or Orang Dalam. Needless to say, the cast could have been from an unknown hairy hominoid, or even from a Sumatran rhino that stepped on a stick.

There is no way the track cast being published on December 1st is from any Yeti footprints reportedly recently found in Nepal ~ if compared to what has been taken from Nepal in the past. I’d say it was merely a copy of the Johor footcast, and not even the first-generation alleged Johor Orang Dalam cast.

I post the new image being sent around first (up top), followed (below) by the other images of Josh Gates with the original Malaysia track cast from “Destination: Truth’s” season one Malaysia expedition of February 2006.

Malaysia Bigfoot

Malaysia Bigfoot Cast

Malaysia Bigfoot

Malaysia Bigfoot Cast


Malaysia Bigfoot

Malaysia Bigfoot Footprint DNA

Syed Abdullah (left) and Dr. Kenny Fong with the Singapore-based group, SPI (the Seekers), are shown above with the cast. Their group was with Josh Gates and the film crew when the Johor, Malaysian foot track was found and cast. The Seekers group said the footprint, measuring 45.5cm by 36cm, was among several spotted by the team of investigators on February 21, 2006, in the rainforest.

Also, it is worthy of noting that the Malaysian government refused to allow “Destination: Truth” and Josh Gates permission to take the original Johor cast out of their country. The original was retained by the Seekers (who months later tried to sell it so they could promote a “mummy” instead) and Gates took a copy out of Malaysia. Could the photograph at the top of this blog be of Gates with the copy of the Johor cast?

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

19 Responses to “Photo Truth: Is That A Yeti Cast?”

  1. Holmes responds:

    To me the prints look similar, not exactly the same.

  2. shumway10973 responds:

    may not be exactly the same, but Loren is right–all images I’ve seen from that region have always been the sasquatch, almost human looking (but too big) footprints. These are more like an orangutan. As I have understood it, Almas, Yeti and Sasquatch all have similar footprints.

  3. Cryptid Hunt responds:

    I wouldn’t be surprised if other cryptozoology shows did the same stuff like they’re doing.

  4. Richard888 responds:

    I agree with Holmes. The prints don’t look identical. Also, the Johor cast looks bigger.

  5. Ceroill responds:

    Hmmm. Could be the same, but a second generation casting, or a casting of the casting done in a hurry. Thanks, Loren, I’m sure you’re not the only one who noticed a strong resemblance. I look forward to reading more about this as time goes on.

  6. wbp responds:

    This is all very fascinating and potentially controversial (as squatch toba has suggested). Many thoughts come to mind.

    First off, I remember that there was/is a theory that there are two or even three types of ABSMs reported. There’s a small one, whose name eludes me right now, the medium-sized ‘mih-teh’ (which is the “true” “abominable snowman”), and the enormous, rarely seen ‘dzu-teh,’ which is said to resemble bigfoot/ sasquatch. I don’t know if this theory still holds weight with cryptozoologists, but if it does, it could certainly account for a disparity among different footprints sighted and documented.

    Next, the Shipton prints have surely established the standard for ABSM prints. They are very clear (in the famous photograph with the pick-axe) and show virtually no signs of sun-melt (which was the explanation Marlin Perkins and Edmund Hilary arrived at afdter their expedition sometime in the 1950s or ’60s). But the Shipton photo doesn’t look much like the cast in the top photograph. Perhaps it comes from the larger creature I cited above? Interestingly enough, there is a photograph in Dr. Meldrum’s book of a print in the snow, taken in 1972, that does look somewhat like the Shipton print–it’s on page 40 of the hardcover. Moreover, in Living Mammals of the World (New York: Hanover House, no date given [it’s an older book], Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 55-10505), Ivan Sanderson makes the following very interesting statement: “[The Yeti’s] alleged footprints exactly match those found in a fifty-thousand-year old mud floor of a cave in Italy” (103-4). I’m assuming that Sanderson means the Shipton-type prints, rather than much larger ones of the bigfoot/sasquatch/dzu-teh dimensions.

    I do hope that Mr Gates and his crew have not tried to pass off copies of other prints (which seems to be Dr. Coleman’s suggestion). So much interest in cryptozoology is now afoot, and such an attempt would only further fuel the skepics in their attempt to debunk it all.

  7. Pentastar responds:

    Bigfoot, the Yeti and many more creatures have gained public interest over the years. Today it is so wide spread that media shows a great interest. This is perhaps a resault of cryptozoologists being more professional and showing a more scientific attitude. As public interest grows and media can cash in on TV documentaries the more we will see news like these. It´s like in my profession (vintage guitar dealer). The more expensive the old guitars get the more forged ones I see. Today there are probably a bigger number of “original” Gibson Les Paul guitars from 1960 than the number that were actually produced in 1960 (no wonder when they fetch prices up to 300000US$). I am not surprised that there are people in the field of cryptozoology prepared to do what it takes to cash in.

  8. sausage1 responds:

    The new print looks very similar to the older, only smaller.

    To be honest, I dont find any of them convincing. They look like my kitchen floor after my old lady has been trying to toss pancakes. They are too splayed.

    Can I ask, would bipedal creatures living in snowy mountainsides or montane valleys have feet identical to those of creatures living in humid, muddy rainforests? I would have thought not, and the guy in our local shoe store agrees. (This passes for expert opinion in Bedford!)

    But I’m ready to be put straight, even if he isn’t.

  9. fallofrain responds:

    I have my doubts about the tracks from either place. But just assuming they are real, there’s a good argument to be made for splayed feet. In snow they could act as a sort of snowshoe. They may not keep a creature from sinking into the snow, but they might keep it from sinking deeper than it otherwise would. In a swampy tropical environment there is much the same argument. I’ve seen suppliers who sell attachments for shoes to keep you from sinking too far into the muck. Wish I had those now.

  10. AlbertaSasquatch responds:

    I don’t think Josh Gates or “Destination Truth” are trying to fool us with the casts. What probably happened is that they used a stock photograph with Josh holding his malaysian cast and used it in the story of his nepalese cast. You have to admit its a nice picture of Josh and the cast lol. Just my two cents.

  11. cryptidsrus responds:

    Looks like a copy.

    Still exciting news. I don’t think Josh is “joshing” us either.

  12. Artist responds:

    Three (count ’em: 3!) puns in one post!

    “But I’m ready to be put straight, even if he isn’t. ”

    “I’ve seen suppliers who sell attachments for shoes to keep you from sinking too far into the muck. Wish I had those now. ”

    “I don’t think Josh is “joshing” us either.”

    What a great Blog!

    Thanx, Loren.

  13. bill green responds:

    very interesting new yeti article indeed. good snowy morning bill green

  14. bfhunter69 responds:

    Is it just me, or does the track closely resemble the Honey Island Swamp Monster track? Wasn’t that thought to be a croc?

  15. Elliott responds:

    The prints are great finds if they are real. and how old are the prints if they are real. and can anyone tell us. are there any bones or types of remains. i Smell a Fake. get more proof before you get everyone all worked up. any garage in the world can make a scary foot-print.

  16. Loren Coleman responds:

    Let me be very clear about my motives for my entries here lately.

    I have not been running these series of postings on the Yeti track to claim any sort of fakery or hoaxing, but merely to clarify the situation as much as the data will allow.

    I thought at first that there had been some mix-up in stock photos between the Johor cast and the Yeti cast. I was wrong about that, apparently.

    I also consider that the Johor cast may not be the best evidence around for the Orang Dalam. And that if the new Yeti cast so coincidentially looks like the Johor cast, perhaps a re-examination of that cast needs to be undertaken.

    But I do not think that Josh Gates has been involved in any overt or covert hoaxing, period.

  17. sschaper responds:

    I’d like us to hear from Josh Gates for his side of the story. I think we all know how the media tend to distort things, even when they don’t want to.

  18. wbp responds:

    Dr. Coleman,
    I apologize if in any way I misrepresented or misunderstood your intentions regarding your posts on this subject.

  19. mystery_man responds:

    The two tracks look practically identical. Could there have been a mix up of photos? What I mean is to say that could they have accidentally used a photo of Mr. gates with the Johor track for the Yeti story?

    I don’t know if these tracks can be said to be a “probable” anything. I won’t write them off, but am I the only one who thinks these seem a little odd for a bipedal hominid? It does not seem like a very efficient design for a bipedal creature’s foot, with those wildly splayed toes and relatively tiny heel. There are certain types of foot that are more conducive to different types of locomotion and unless this thing lives outside of our realm of physics, it will most likely abide by some basic biological parameters. Physical anthropology is not my field, but that footprint does not seem like something I would expect to find from the creature described in that area. The shape of the foot on the Malaysian track has never really sat well with me.

    So maybe they are from a hominid. Maybe they are from a rhino. They could just be from a vaguely footprint shaped hole in the ground. I do not think that any of the cast of the show are intentionally being misleading, but I do find the shape of it to be suspect for the type of creature claimed. I certainly would not hang too much on it or make any bold claims as to its origin.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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