Member of The Crypto Crew:

Please Also Visit our Sister Blog, Frontiers of Anthropology:

And the new group for trying out fictional projects (Includes Cryptofiction Projects):

And Kyle Germann's Blog

And Jay's Blog, Bizarre Zoology

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Shipton Track Cast-The Real Deal

A cast of the Shipton Footprint found in the SITU effects after the headquarters closed down: My indications for the differing contours of it (generalized) are shown at the right. It is quite obvious from the drawing that Sanderson made and published in his appendix B (reprinted below) that he is illustrating the contour breaks shown in the cast and not as they are shown in the photo of the contour breaks in the text as longitudinal lines which run up and down the length of the imprint in the middle of the sole.
A version of this photo was posted on the Southeast Sasquatch Association's blog in 2008:

Sanderson plainly speaks of having seen and handled a "Plaster cast" in the text of his book and some quotes are reprinted below. When I was at SITU headquarters in 1977, what I saw in storage in the library was not a plaster cast but a slab of concrete with the print in the center, in a storage box with carrying straps attached, looking for all the world as if it had been pried out of the lot in front of Grauman's Chinese theatre. I imagine it was portland cement: it was definitely more permanent than any ordinary plaster of paris footprint cast.

Sanderson, Abominable Snowmen, p 279
Also, it is manifest that Mr. Peissel has never seen an imprint or a cast of the foot that made the medium-sized [or Meh-Teh] tracks. They are positively shocking when first seen, being absolutely enormous—and the gaps between the separated toes are enormous too, which could not happen physically if the whole was enlarged by melting and regelation

p 348-349
The Meh-Teh or classical "Abominable Snowman" prints of the Himalayas, at first sight look just about man-sized but, when you handle a plaster cast of one, you get a profound shock. The thing is positively enormous and in some respects rivals the Oh-Mah prints which, though longer, look almost delicate and which are certainly in comparison most "refined." These things, as may be seen from the depiction of an impression of one alongside that of an ordinary human footprint
are grotesque, and bestial. They also show features that, though not at all apelike in fact, digress from the human pattern most widely. They have an enormous big toe; but they also have an even more enormous second toe; and both are widely separated from the other three little toes, and they curl curiously inward toward them. This thing is not human at all.


(1) HUMAN Adult (West Caucasoid). Imprint in clay mold. (2) HUMAN Adolescent, 14½ years (West Caucasoid). Wet imprint of left foot on hard surface. (3) HUMAN CHILD, 10½ years (West Caucasoid). Wet imprint of left foot on hard surface. (4) HUMAN Infant, 21/2 years (West Caucasoid). Wet imprint of left foot on hard surface.
(5) HUMAN Adult (Cromagnon Man). From clay floor of cave in France. (6) HUMAN Adult (Southern Amerind). From mud of river bank Chishue, Patagonia.
(7) SUBHUMAN (Neanderthaler). From moist clay floor of cave, Toirano, Italy.
(8) ABSM (Guli-yavan type). From a sketch of track in mud, Kirghiz S.S.R.
(9) ABSM (Meh-Teh). From photo of cast made from print in snow, by Eric Shipton. (10) APE (unknown form). Sketch made by Charles Cordier in the Congo (over-all, 30 centimeters). (11) APE (Lowland Gorilla). From photo of cast of foot. (12) APE (Chimpanzee). Outline of extended foot from plaster cast.

p 474
The Meh-Teh tracks and prints are, in fact, by far the most puzzling of all, and especially since such persons as Shipton, Bordet, and others obtained clear photographs of them taken from directly above. Here is obviously a bipedal creature of considerable size and weight that inhabits the Himalayas and the ranges north of the Tibetan Plateau. It was the original "Abominable Snowman" and it comes out as the last "abominable enigma."

Emphasis in all cases was added by me.
The statement about the tracks reported by Bordet is untrue. As Napier points out, they are hardly like Shipton's tracks at all (Bigfoot p 48), and neither are the ones reported by Tom Slick or anybody else. The tracks are definitely unique and in fact we can go one better and say the TRACK (Singular) is unique because we have no good proof the other tracks in the same trackway were even good matches for it.

Here to which shows the exact same features in the exact same places that the negative boxed cast (mold) owned by Sanderson and each individual positive cast made from it. Both molds and casts are reproductions of the original footprint and what is more, they are very definitely the same footprint because of the very unusual features such as the "Trefoil" if this is indeed an overprinted footprintof a fox, which is what it looks like

The "Shipton Track" produced by Taylor Made Fossils is a sculpted recreation of the Shipton cast, designed to resemble the photograph, but which includes none of the special features which the actual cast of the footprint shows. This is also inthe same orientation as the footprint in the photo: all real casts are oriented in the opposite direction because the positive cast is flipped over from the negative mold
This is a photograph that recently turned up on Richard Grigonis' site and I recognised it immediately,. When I was staying at SITU headquarters in 1977, shortly after Ivan T.  Sanderson's death, Steve Mayne and Marty Wolf were in residence and they were experimenting with making latex casts (positives) of the large footprint casts stored in the boxes, on the theory that the latex copies were much more easily handled and transported.  the time abnd I saw the latex copies being made and handled them when they were fit to do so. Along with this track cast positive done in latex, there were also samples of the Westmoreland County PA "Bigfoot" tracks because that was an investigation that was also going on at the time. Those latex positives were illustrated in PURSUIT and the photo of them from Grigonis' blog were run here on the recent Skunk Apes blog entry.

 And the photograph of the actual Shipton footprint cast in cement in the box was printed in an earlier issue of PURSUIT, in July of 1971 (Vol 4, No3). The photo is on the bottom of page 73 and the caption reads, "Imprint of right foot of the "Yeti" taken from a plaster cast made by Eric Shipton in snow on the Menlung Glacier in 1951, on his Reconnaisasance of the route to conquer Mount Everest" This is a direct statement by Sanderson himself as to the origin of his casts, both the negative in storage and all of the positives which were subsequently made from the negative. And the British Museum (Natural History) is also stated to house a duplicate copy of the footprint cast made by Shipton.
This is a photo of a wall decoration that used to hang in Ivan T. Sanderson's house: it was based on a positive cast from the negative footprint in the box and is identical to the latex version made later as to its contours, but this one was cast in bronze ( the positive cast was used as a template to recast the bronzed copy, I imagine, since it was also an exact duplicate) Ivan Sanderson had several metalized items hung up to decorate this same wall, among them was the shell of a nautilus, I distinctly remember that one. This photo is also from Richard Grigonis

Below are some copies of the original 1951 footprint photos that all of the discussion is based on

See also Bobbi Short's summary of the Shipton Track photos at Bigfoot Encounters:

No comments:

Post a Comment

This blog does NOT allow anonymous comments. All comments are moderated to filter out abusive and vulgar language and any posts indulging in abusive and insulting language shall be deleted without any further discussion.