Showing posts with label tom slick. Show all posts
Showing posts with label tom slick. Show all posts

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Today in Bigfoot History | Jan 10 | Millionaire and Father of Cryptozoology Take a Break from the Himalayas

Abominable Snowman, Millionaire Tom Slick, and Father of Cryptozoology Ivan T. Sanderson
Today in 1960, The Houston Post Correspondent announced two of the greatest explorers were going to try and look for the Snowman, as in Abominable Snowman, in North America after several prior expeditions in the Himalayas.

These two explorers are familiar to many crypto-enthusiast as Tom Slick, a San Antonio millionaire and Ivan T. Sanderson, known as the Father of Cryptozoology.

Before Bluff Creek and the Patterson/Gimlin film, the Himalayas was where it was at. If you wanted to get your eyes on a bipedal undiscovered primate, you went to a mountain range in Asia.

You can get a quick update about Tom Slick and the Abominable Snowman from the clip below. After the video is the Houston Post Correspondent article. The article below details the expedition to look for a "Snowman" in North America.

HOAX OR HUMANOID? Pacific Expedition Hunts U.S. "Snowman" in California 1960 
By James O. Holley, © The Houston Post Correspondent

Sunday January 10, 1960 -- Willow Creek, California - -This century's most startling scientific discovery or one of its cleverest hoaxes is under intensive study here in a snowy mountain-locked wilderness seldom penetrated by men even today. Some men of science feel the evidence they have found will lead them to a towering, powerful creature that leaves a 16-inch footprint and hurls huge objects with the ease of a child tossing a ball.

They call this mysterious being a humanoid - a creature with the physical characteristics of both man and the anthropoid ape. Scoffers call it a hoax - the work of practical jokers with imagination, patience and money. But all of them - believers and cynics - speak of the creature as if it exists. And all of them call it Bigfoot. At least seven persons have said they have seen the creature, a hair covered thing of enormous size and strength. Its height has been estimated at eight or more, its weight has been estimated from 500 to 800 pounds.

There is evidence to support these estimates. The scientists have been told by down to earth construction crews of heavy 55-gallon oil drums, full of diesel fuel being carried away from campsites and flung into ravines. Nearby, were the awesome tracks of Bigfoot. A 250-pound tire for an earthmover was partly carried and partly rolled for a quarter of a mile and then tossed into a ditch. Again Bigfoot's tracks were there. There was the report of big galvanized steel culverts disappearing from its site and later being found where no machine could possibly have taken it.

At this moment, a well-financed expedition is quietly probing the mountains of the Bigfoot country, the heavily-timbered terrain of northern Humboldt and southern Del Norte Counties near the Oregon-California borders.

Leader of the expedition is Tom Slick, the San Antonio millionaire who has financed four expeditions into the Himalayan Mountains of Tibet in search of the ABSM. The expedition has been here since early last fall. [Dating the Pacific Expedition to September 1959 roughly] 

Slick would have like for it to have remained a secret, without any details of its work leaking out. Slick has written contracts with everyone connected with the expedition, even including a helicopter pilot who flies supplies to the campsites, binding them to secrecy.

Also involved in the expedition is Ivan T. Sanderson of New York. Sanderson received degrees with honors in geology, zoology and botany. He has headed sic expeditions to all parts of the world for such groups as the British museum, Cambridge and London Universities, the Linnaean Societies of London and the Chicago Natural History Museum. He is the author of many books; one, "Animal Treasures" was a Book Of The Month selection in 1937. Others include "Caribbean Treasure," "Animals Nobody Knows," "Living treasure," "Animal Tales," "How to Know American Mammals, " "The Monkey Kingdom," and "Living Mammals of the World." He has four books at press.

There are many people who believe in Bigfoot's existence and the list is growing longer. Some of the most hardened skeptics of Bigfoot have recently reported finding evidence of its existence. They are now convinced, they say, that Bigfoot is no hoax.

The interest of Sanderson and Slick, who has poured millions of dollars into the Southwest Research Foundation at San Antonio, had prompted others to take the California situation seriously. The capture of photographing of Bigfoot is expected to be very valuable commercially as well as scientifically. The analysis of his tracts, the finding of a skeleton, the analysis of droppings, described by Sanderson as being as large as those from a 1,200 pound horse, are all valuable in the expedition's study.

This is not a small expedition. Slick had four camps set up at one time. Snow, Ice and the holidays brought most of the men out of the mountains recently, but there is some exploratory work still going on. Slick said from San Antonio that much of the "heavy work" would probably take place in the summer. There is a good chance other expeditions will be in the area by then.

The Slick venture is known as the Pacific Northwest Expedition and is coordinated by Robert Titmus, a Redding, California Taxidermist. The exploration is being financed by Slick, F. Kirk Johnson, A Fort Worth oilman; C.V. Wood, president of Freedom Land organization in New York and Wally Heins of International Latex Company of New York.

F. Kirk Johnson helped finance a snowman expedition into the Himalayas in 1957, the third in which Slick has participated. He did not participate financially in the latest Tibet-Nepal area exploration, however according to Slick. That expedition heading by two bothers from Ireland ended three weeks ago. [note: weren't those brothers Brian and Peter Byrne?] One of the men may join the California group, Slick said.

Tom Slick frequently flies to California to check on the progress of the expedition operations. Johnson spent several days in one of the four camps. Sanderson reaches this conclusion in a recently published report: "There are many very good reasons for stating that the tracks could not be made by a normal man or by a machine. Therefore, there are only three alternatives. There must have been made either by an abnormal man, an animal or a creature of somewhere between the two."

An engineer who examined the mysterious footprints estimated from the size and the depth of the impressions that whatever left the prints weight at least 750 pounds. Sanderson says the possibility that an animal made the tracks can be dismissed. Animals simply do not have a human foot. That leaves the alternative of what he called a humanoid, a creature in between man and animal. He points to the fact that remains of 8 to 12 feet human-like apes known as Gigantopithecus have been unearthed in Southern China. So have other similar specimens. If there were giants in those days, there could well be giants today, he said.

Slick says since the Eskimos and Indians came to North America across the Bering Straits at some point in history the creature in Northern California could well have done the same thing. It is known that man inhabited the continent before the last glacial advance during the Ice Age. It is know too, that animals such as elk, mammoth, moose, brown bears, beaver, marmot, mink and other animals traversed back and forth between Asia and North America during the last million years. Some of them still survive. If some animals could survive, so possibly could sub men or ape-men says Sanderson. He concludes too, that as the ice advanced, the logical place to retreat was to high places not inhabited by man. One such place is in the Humboldt and Del Norte Counties in California and in Southern Oregon.

Bigfoot's campground during the last twelve years has been in the Six Rivers National Forest. [Bear hunters found tracks in 1948] The topographic maps of U. S. Forest Service show only "approximate" lines to separate Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. Roads in general, do not cross the area. It was along a new road site that Bigfoot and his tracks were seen.

There are cliffs in the area with sheer drops of l00 to 200 feet. Those cliffs are unseen by human eye from any road. Douglas fir trees hide them. Trees, which sit at the bottom of a cliff, climb straight upward, sometimes to more than 200 feet. There are trees at the top of the cliffs. They go up to a similar height. The result to the eye is the image of near vertical timberline. Much of the country looks like forests that do not spread out but instead reach greedily toward the sky.

The reports of Bigfoot are not limited to Northern California. Such reports have come out of Oregon and Washington. A publisher at Agassiz, British Columbia, in Canada has stories and affidavits about the creature, known there as the Sasquatch, which date back to the 1880's. He is John Green, publisher of the Agassiz-Harrison Advance. He had made five trips to California to investigate Bigfoot. He has viewed tracks himself. He is convinced Bigfoot and the Sasquatch are one in the same.

The very nature of the country the creature inhabits, if the creature exists, would dictate great strength since it apparently walks upright. The terrain demands it. Its feet dig 6 inches into steep inclines as it walks up or down by the way the tracks indicate.

This reporter asked many people in the Willow Creek-Hoopa Valley-Weitchpec area [south of Bluff Creek site] about Bigfoot's feats of strength. Almost invariably they said, yes they had heard of them. Someone told them. They did not personally know it to be true. Some had not heard of the tractor wheel. Most had heard of the oil drums being tossed over embankments.
Larry Blasch, a 37 years old Willow Creek Sporting Goods store owner, said two men came into his place about four years ago and told of finding a sections of corrugated pipe used for culverts. "It was a long ways from where the road ended on a ridge." He said the visitors concluded that a man could not have carried it there because of its weight. The pipe normally comes in 20 to 24 foot sections and ranges in diameter from 20 inches up. Machinery is used to move it. And then, there are the persons who say they have seen Bigfoot. It is stories like this that the Slick expedition is checking out. Some of them are ringing disturbingly true.

They have collected plaster casts of Bigfoot's prints and other physical evidence. It seems well nigh incredible that in this decade of the 20th century that man would invade this mountain fastness in serious search of an American snowman. But they are and this time they are matching their dedication with cash.    

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

The Pangboche Five: The Shorter Version of the Yeti Finger History

(left to right: Tom Slick, Peter Byrne, Jimmy Stewart, Gloria Stewart, Dr. Osman Hill)

By now you may know the Pangboche finger has been tested and has been declared human based on DNA evidence. This does not make the story behind the retrieval of the Pangboche Yeti Finger any less intriguing. In a nut shell this is how the PangbocheYeti Finger was found, lost and found again.

Tom Slick Finances (1916 – October 6, 1962) A San Antonio, Texas based inventor, businessman, adventurer, and heir to an oil business. Possibly the the model for the Dos Equis "most interesting man in the world" commercials. In 1957 he finances a 3-year American Yeti Expedition led by Peter Byrne.

Peter Byrne Travels
In his own words: "In 1958, the second year of the three year American Yeti expedition...I and my brother Bryan were camped in a meadow close to the temple of Pangboche." 

Peter ended up talking Yeti stuff with a temple custodian and finds out there is a Yeti hand in the temple and is even invited to see it.

Again, in his own words, Peter describes the hand, "The find-of what looked to me like a partially mummified primate hand, black and glistening from the oily smoke of the temple lamps-was very exciting and I immediately sent a runner off to India with a cable to Tom Slick, telling him  about it."

Tom Slick, "Get That Hand!"
Peter Byrne writes he receives word back, "Slick said that it was imperative that we get  the hand and bring it to England, where it could be scientifically examined under controlled conditions. Failing that we should try and get at least one finger and then get it to London where an associate of his, a Dr. Osman Hill, a renowned British primatologist, would examine it and determine its authenticity."

Peter Byrne asks for a Hand-out
I talked with the Nepalese-speaking lama about borrowing the hand for examination and he consulted with the other custodians. The answer was no. The hand must not leave the temple. Taking it from the temple would disturb the local deities and bring bad luck.”

There are two stories how Byrne was able to overcome this hurdle. According to the first version Byrne told decades ago, he solved the problem by getting the monk on duty that night drunk on rum and, when the monk passed out, switching a human fingerbone for one of the bones in the Pangboche Hand. A later story told to Mike Allsop, an adventurer who was interested in the Pangboche Yeti Hand history.
“So I made a  counter proposition, which was that they give me a just one finger and that this would suffice. They all sat down and pondered on this for a couple of days and then agreed to my request if two things were done. One, I would have to replace the finger with another finger. And, two, I would  have to make a substantial contribution towards the upkeep of the temple."

Tom, Peter and Dr. Osman Shake Hands
Peter Byrne goes to London to meet with Tom Slick and Dr Osman to discus the plans for replacing the hand. Peter decribes the luncheon to Allsop, "we discussed a strategy for getting the finger and replacing it with another one. The problem, of course, was getting a replacement. But this was quickly solved by Osman Hill who had brought a human hand with him…which he produced from a brown paper bag..."  Yes, had probably been carrying a human hand in a brown paper bag and brought it to lunch.

>> Fast forward: Peter returns to the Temple and gets the finger

Tom Slick: Give Jimmy Stewart the Finger
In a letter to Mike Allsop, Byrne recalls instructions from Tom Slick to deliver the finger to Jimmy and Gloria Stewart, "“Another cable arrived from Slick and in it was a further instruction…  go to Calcutta, take the finger with you, get there soon, and plan to meet with a Mr. and Mrs. Stewart at the Grand Hotel, on Chowringhee Road;  they will be expecting you and they will take the finger and get it to Osman Hill in London.

“So I hiked down to the border again, took another train to Calcutta, took a taxi to the Grand and booked in. A few hours later I knocked on the door of an upstairs suite and was warmly greeted by the famous and quite delightful Stewarts, Jimmy and Gloria.

“I handed over the finger, after which we had a most enjoyable evening together and a very good dinner at the Grand’s Casanova restaurant.”

The Stewarts as Stewards
The Toronto Sun recaps the tale. "...Gloria Stewart told the story of how she and Jimmy decided to smuggle the finger out of India in her lingerie case. Yes, as well as smuggling antiquities out of sovereign countries, celebrities and other women of a certain social strata used to travel with special baggage for their undies, etc.

As Gloria later told the story, the lingerie case was missing when the Stewarts finally arrived at the Dorchester Hotel in London. A few days later, Her Majesty’s Customs Service contacted the Stewarts to arrange a meeting.

At the appointed time and place, a young Customs official appeared — with Gloria’s lingerie case in hand. After due courtesies, the awe-struck young movie buff gave Gloria the case, shook the Stewarts’ hands and took his leave from the Hollywood royals."

Dr. Osman Hill Primate Authority
The good doctor was a leading authority on primate anatomy during the 20th century. It says so on his wikipedia page.

"William Charles Osman Hill (13 July 1901 – 25 January 1975) was a British anatomist,primatologist, and a leading authority on primate anatomy during the 20th century. He is best known for his nearly completed eight-volume series, Primates: Comparative Anatomy and Taxonomy, which covered all living and extinct primates known at the time in full detail and contained illustrations created by his wife, Yvonne. Schooled at King Edward VI Camp Hill School for Boys in Birmingham and University of Birmingham, he went on to publish 248 works and accumulated a vast collection of primate specimens that are now stored at the Royal College of Surgeons of England."-- SRC: Wikipedia contributors, "William Charles Osman Hill," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, (accessed December 28, 2011).

His Findings?
According to a Toronto Sun Article earlier this year:
Maybe yes. Maybe no. But not human. And not ape. Something in between. Osmond Smith’s  first finding was that the finger bones were “hominid” — the broad anthropological category of upright walkers that includes modern humans and Neanderthals. He later refined that verdict to say the sample was a closer match to Neanderthal than modern human.
Don’t forget, this is  back in 1959 and 1960, loooong before DNA testing.
However, another member of Tom Slick’s scientific team, American anthropologist George Agogino, also received a portion on the Pangboche finger. And in 1991, Agogino turned it over to an NBC program called Unsolved Mysteries — and they did tests.
I’m sorry to say nothing conclusive came from these studies either — not human, not ape — but if you don’t have a yeti to compare your sample to, how ya gonna know it’s a yeti?
Unsolved Mysteries
Below is the clip from unsolved nysteries:

To read what happened next and the DNA results check out our post

Monday, December 26, 2011

BBC Radio 4: Full Results of Pangboche Yeti Finger Test

The Yeti' finger, pictured that was displayed at London's Royal College of Surgeons
UPDATE: Click to read the results of the Pangboche Yeti Finger

The Pangboche finger, as you can guess, is part of the Pangboche hand. The hand was one of two artifacts, (the other was a scalp) that were stolen from a Buddhist monastery in PangbocheNepal. We have covered multiple stories regarding the Pangboche artifacts in the past.

Loren Coleman, Cryptomundo contributor, is responsible for confirming many of the stories surrounding the Tom Slick expedition that discovered the Pamboche artifacts. 

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman rediscovered this story while writing Tom Slick's biography in the 1980s. Coleman confirmed details of the incidents with written materials in the Slick archives, interviews with Byrne, and correspondence with Stewart. -- Wikipedia contributors, "Pangboche Hand," Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, December 27, 2011).
You can read some recent news regarding BBC 4's announcement of the Finger DNA at Cryptomundo by Loren Coleman and an excerpt from the Daily News Article. Below is a reprint from the BBC 4 radio show titled "Yeti's Finger"

Pangboche Hand and Skull Cap.
High up a remote Himalayan Mountain in Nepal is a Buddhist monastery. The monks say there is no doubt yeti's roam the high forest, they see and hear them and they sometimes even attack people. The tantalising prospect of being the first to prove that this mythical ape like creature actually exists has been the goal many explorers - but the beast has always evaded capture. Then the discovery of a supposed yeti's hand kept in the monastery set off a remarkable chain of events that drew in a mountain explorer, an American oil tycoon, a Hollywood film star and a high tech lab for forensic science in Scotland. But is it a yeti? 
Some people will go to extraordinary lengths to be the first. Tom Slick, an American oil tycoon, had the money and the desire to try to prove that yetis really do exist. He used his vast wealth to mount expeditions, sending off climber and explorer Peter Byrne into the most remote areas of the Himalayas to follow any leads he came across, and one seemed worth investigating further - a hand of a "yeti" in Pangboche monastery in Nepal. Byrne did a deal with the monks and replaced one finger of the hand with a human finger and arranged to have the yeti finger smuggled back to London. 
How the finger actually reached London is a most bizarre tale that involved Hollywood film star James Stewart concealing it in his wife's lingerie case. And then the trail went cold. Slick died, Byrne went onto other things and the finger was lost to the world until it was found by chance in a forgotten collection of curiosities in the Royal College of Surgeons in London. New scientific techniques are now applied to see if the yeti's finger really is what it claims to be - or if not - what on earth has a finger like that? 
Presenter: Matthew Hill
Producer: Mary Colwell
Editor: Julian Hector 
You can catch Loren's Take at Cryptomundo
Read the history of The Pangboche Finger at Daily Mail
Listen to The results at BBC 4
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