1950s’ Feds Believed in Yeti

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 3rd, 2011

Government archives have been discovered showing that the State Department and others had a keen interest in the Tom Slick-F. Kirk Johnson Snowman Expeditions of 1958-1959. The records of such an active pursuit of information was just revealed this week.

Needless to say, while writing my books on Tom Slick, I found hints of this in the FBI FOI files I was sent.

Now, comes more details.

Documents Show Feds Believed in the Yeti

by Paul Bedard and Lauren Fox

Newly unearthed State Department documents confirm for the first time Uncle Sam’s belief that the Abominable Snowman roamed the mountains of Nepal in the 1950s, a finding that has shocked federal officials including the archivist who discovered the papers.

Long written off as a myth, it was never caught or photographed, the documents provided by the National Archives show that officials in the State Department, Foreign Service, and U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, not only believed in “Yeti,” but endorsed rules for American expeditions to follow when hunting the toothy monster down.

“There are, at present, three regulations applicable only to expeditions searching for the Yeti in Nepal. These regulations are to be observed,” said a memo from the embassy written on State Department letterhead.

The first rule required that expeditions buy a permit. The second demanded that the beast be photographed or taken alive. “It must not be killed or shot at
except in an emergency arising out of self defense,” wrote Embassy Counselor Ernest Fisk on November 30, 1959. And third, any news proving the existence of the Abominable Snowman must be cleared through the Nepalese government which probably wanted to take credit for the discovery.

Archivist Mark Murphy said he couldn’t believe his eyes when he discovered the long-ignored papers written at the end of the Eisenhower administration. “I
thought I was seeing things,” he said. “These documents show that finding the Yeti was a big deal in the 1950s. It goes to show the government was taking this seriously.”

How seriously?

One foreign service dispatch from the Embassy of New Delhi dated April 16, 1959 describes the many American expeditions involved in mountaineering and monster hunting in Nepal.

“American resources in the last two years have been concentrated on efforts to capture the abominable snowman,” the record reads.

Tom Slick, a millionaire with a specialized interest in cryptozoology paid for three separate expeditions in Nepal to find the snow beast, immortalized in the 1964 Christmas classic Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

Slick never found it and he went onto pursue Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest.

US News ~ September 2, 2011

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.

5 Responses to “1950s’ Feds Believed in Yeti”

  1. trapper9990 responds:

    I think people are slowly getting what most of us have known all along. The government has known about these animals longer than any of us can conceive. There are far more reasons to hide the existence of such a creature than to reveal it.

  2. springheeledjack responds:

    Well if they sign off of yeti, what about Bigfoot? I guess the Patterson film didn’t rear its head til later, so maybe Bigfoot was still on the outskirts of general knowledge…unless you’re a conspiracy theorist supporter, in which case, maybe not. 🙂

  3. Bob K. responds:

    This is a smoking gun for those of us who believe that the US government has long had not only an interest in Bigfoot, but probably has obtained plenty of solid evidence by now as well.

    If there was this much interest shown for a Bigfoot type creature in a far off land such as Nepal, then how much more for such a creature in our own backyard?

  4. DWA responds:

    I’m not too too surprised at this.

    Read that book up there. Sir Edmund Hillary is fortunate indeed to have been the first up Everest. Otherwise his main claim to fame might eventually be as the man who set yeti research back a half-century.

  5. yetimead responds:


    It was probably because the Feds were interested in the political situation in China & Tibet at the time, a good time to run spying trips if an official Abominable Snowman expedition was under a way in the Himalyas at the time.

    If you look at the make up of the expedition & logistical support there was ex-army intelligence officers from the british side, Ivan Sanderson, Peter Byrne supported by Tom Slick CIA, Jimmy Stewart, US Army intelligence.

    Whose to say that this expedition didn’t in some way contribute by laying the groundwork to the escape of the Dalai Lama from Tibet & searching for the Abominable Snowman at the same time.

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