One of the good things about today's mystery is that it has a supporting cast that you might recognize. Always fun to have some well known names involved, don't you think?
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Pangboche Hand is an artifact from a Buddhist monastery in Pangboche, Nepal. Supporters contend that the hand is from a Yeti, a scientifically unrecognized animal purported to live in the Himalayan mountains. Critics argue the artifact is a fraud.
Oil businessman and adventurer Tom Slick first heard accounts of the possible existence of a "Yeti hand" held as a ritual artifact in the monastery at Pangboche during one of his first "Abominable Snowman" treks in 1957. The Slick expeditions were the first to bring photographs of the hand back to the West.
During later Tom Slick-sponsored expeditions in and around the Himalayas, his associates gathered more information on the "Pangboche hand," and an effort to further examine it was planned. In 1959 Peter Byrne, a member of Slick's expedition that year, reportedly stole pieces of the artifact after the monks who owned it refused to allow its removal for study. Byrne claimed to have replaced the stolen bone fragments with human bones, rewrapping the hand to disguise his theft.
Byrne smuggled the bones from Nepal into India, after which actor James Stewart allegedly smuggled the hand out of the country in his luggage. 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. Byrne later confirmed the Pangboche hand story via a letter from Stewart that Byrne published in a general book on Nepalese wildlife.
During the highly-publicized 1960 World Book expedition, which had many goals including gathering intelligence on Chinese rocket launchings, Sir Edmund Hillary and Marlin Perkins took a sidetrip in Nepal to investigate the hand. Hillary was unaware of the possibility that he was looking at a combination of the original material and the human bones placed there by Byrne. Hillary determined the artifact was a hoax.
Kind of a neat story, isn't it? Imagine how exciting this would be if it became common knowledge as to what it really was! Quite a find!
Coffee inside again. Early rains fooled me yesterday and I don't want a repeat today!