Posted by: Karl Shuker on October 22nd, 2013
I’m always pleased to receive an update of an ostensibly long-forgotten cryptozoological story, especially when it’s a personal favourite of mine, like this one.
As reported by Heuvelmans, myself, and others, back in 1953 a Tibetan lama called Chemed Rigdzin Dorje Lopu announced that he had personally examined the mummified bodies of two yetis – one at the monastery at Riwoche in the Tibetan province of Kham, the other in the monastery at Sakya, southern Tibet.
According to Heuvelmans’s account of this lama’s very interesting claim:
They were enormous monkeys about 2.40 m high. They had thick flat skulls and their bodies were covered with dark brown hair about 3 to 5 cm long. Their tails were extremely short.Bernard Heuvelmans
The thought that such extraordinarily significant cryptozoological relics (if genuine) may still survive today has long intrigued me. Consequently, I was delighted when on 13 February 2010 I was contacted by correspondent Peter Pesavento who informed me that he had been actively pursuing this mystery himself, and had emailed both monasteries. Unfortunately, he did not receive a reply from Sakya, but Samten O’Sullivan had very recently replied to him on behalf of Riwoche.
Samten informed Peter that, tragically, the monastery had been razed to the ground following China’s annexing of Tibet and all of its precious contents had been looted or burnt. Consequently, although the monastery was subsequently rebuilt (and as an exact replica of the original), any yeti mummy that may have been in the original building is certainly not present in the new one. Whether it was removed and taken elsewhere or simply destroyed, however, is another matter, which seems unlikely ever to be resolved.
Nevertheless, even knowing where something is not (namely, in the new Riwoche monastery) is still better than knowing nothing about it at all.
And if they have survived and are one day rediscovered, how fascinating it would be (judging at least from his revelation on the Channel 4 television programme ‘Bigfoot Files’ regarding yeti hair DNA) if DNA could be extracted from them and examined by expert geneticist Prof. Bryan Sykes from Oxford University. Then at last we would finally know what these mysterious ‘mega-monkey’ mummies really were.
This ShukerNature blog is excerpted from my book Karl Shuker’s Alien Zoo (2010), soon to be available from CFZ Press as an e-book!
Check out the post on my ShukerNature blog for all of the illustrations and photo!
My name is Dr Karl P.N. Shuker. I am a zoologist (BSc & PhD), media consultant, and the author of 20 books and hundreds of articles, specialising in cryptozoology and animal mythology. I have a BSc (Honours) degree in pure zoology from the University of Leeds (U.K.), and a PhD in zoology and comparative physiology from the University of Birmingham (U.K.). I have acted jointly as consultant and major contributor to three multi-author volumes on cryptozoology and other mysterious phenomena. I am the Life Sciences Consultant to The Guinness Book of Records/Guinness World Records (Guinness: London, 1997-present day), and was consultant to Monsters (Lorenz Books: London, 2001), as well as a contributor to Mysteries of the Deep (Llewellyn: St Paul, 1998), Guinness Amazing Future (Guinness: London, 1999), The Earth (Channel 4 Books: London, 2000), and Chambers Dictionary of the Unexplained (Chambers: London, 2007). I appear regularly on television & radio, was a consultant for the Discovery TV series Into the Unknown, and a question setter for the BBC's quiz show Mastermind. I am a Scientific Fellow of the Zoological Society of London, a Fellow of the Royal Entomological Society, a Member of the Society of Authors, and the Cryptozoology Consultant for the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ). I have written articles for numerous publications, including Fortean Times, The X Factor, Paranormal Magazine, FATE, Strange Magazine, Prediction, Beyond, Uri Geller's Encounters, Phenomena, Alien Encounters, Wild About Animals, All About Cats, All About Dogs, Cat World, etc. In 2005, I was honoured by the naming of a new species of loriciferan invertebrate after me - Pliciloricus shukeri.