When thinking of the Himalayas, Everest and mountain climbing often come to mind for most, and for a few, images of the Yeti or Abominable Snowman are conjured up. While never proven, the legend of the Yeti has its roots in Western popular culture as far back as the eighteenth century. Many indigenous peoples and visiting mountaineers have reported strange footprints and unexplained sightings for decades, even Sir Edmund Hilary reported large footprints and strange sightings on his trek up Everest.
While the United States government does not believe or support the idea of the Yeti, back in 1959 the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu issued a government memo regarding the mythical creature. The U.S. National Archives recently posted a 1959 government issued memo from the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal regarding the Yeti, what to do during an encounter, and the regulations in place to look for it.
Titled “Regulations Governing Mountain Climbing Expeditions In Nepal – Relating to Yeti”, the document lays out the guidelines for attempting to find the Yeti, as well as what to do during a Yeti encounter. The three regulations governing Yeti expeditions are as follows:
1.) Royalty of 5,000 rupees will have to be paid to His Majesty’s Government of Nepal for a permit to carry out an expedition in search of ‘Yeti’.
2.) If the ‘Yeti’ is found it can be photographed or caught alive, but must not be shot or killed unless in self defense. All photographs taken of the ‘Yeti’ if taken, or if the ‘Yeti’ is captured alive or dead, must be surrendered to the Government of Nepal at the earliest time.
3.) News and reports confirming the existence of the ‘Yeti’ must be submitted to the Government of Nepal as soon as possible and in no way should be given to the press or reporters without permission from the Nepalese Government.
The U.S. Embassy in Nepal did not actually come up with the guidelines, they were first drawn up by the Nepalese government and then basically copied and pasted in a U.S. memo. As it stands now the United States Government does not believe or support the idea of the ‘Yeti’.
Pretty cool though finding this old document on how to mount a Yeti expedition in the Himalaya. People have speculated for years that there is a mythical creature roaming amongst the high peaks of the Himalaya, and I guess this is the official government response if there actually is.
Sounds like a good excuse to head to Nepal and mount a Yeti expedition, maybe get a bit of skiing in as well.