The awaited paper is available here [PDF].
Dr. Bryan Sykes’ work was covered in a nice documentary that aired on British TV and in a condensed version in the U.S. Dr. Sykes has followed through and reported his findings of suspected Yeti hair in a very reputable journal. A book will follow.
Sykes’ findings, published in this week’s issue of the Proceedings of the Royal Academy B, follow up on a yearlong effort to bring in and analyze samples collected by monster-hunters and fringe-science researchers known as cryptozoologists.
One of his key findings was revealed last year, when Sykes reported that two hair samples attributed to the mysterious Himalayan monster known as the Yeti (or “Abominable Snowman”) were a genetic match for a 40,000-year-old jawbone from a polar bear that lived in the Norwegian Arctic.
Sykes is writing a book about that case, titled “The Yeti Enigma,” and he’s organizing an expedition to the Himalayas next year to look for a live specimen of the anomalous bear. “That’s the next logical step,” he said. “We need a live ‘Yeti.'”
Many Yeti enthusiasts were dismayed at Sykes results, saying just because he’s got a bear does not mean a real ape-like yeti isn’t really out there. True, but it does narrow the scope. A lot. The bear conclusion makes sense. The primate? Not so much.
“I don’t think this finishes the Bigfoot myth at all,” Oxford geneticist Bryan Sykes told NBC News. “What it does do is show that there is a way for Bigfoot enthusiasts to go back out into the forest and get the real thing.”
But Sykes has arguably gotten the highest quality data so far to answer the question, “what is the Yeti?”. It’s not anything suggesting a Bigfoot-type animal. In fact, there is poor evidence to suggest that claim is true. As the decades go by with no better evidence but better and better techniques, the hope dwindles.
Sykes remarks on his work with American Bigfooters:
“It just wasn’t science,” Sykes told NBC News. “A lot of Bigfoot enthusiasts thought that this was how science worked, [but] it was dreadful.”
This is an aspect I have studied extensively. Amateurs mean well but can’t do quality science. They were never trained. They need to cooperate with professionals if they want to know what is out there. And they need to accept that their beloved belief may just be, a bear.
I like the best answer. So I’m not disappointed.
All stories about the Yeti.