This is another one of those cryptozoology postings that some of you hate. Sorry, I just can’t help myself. Today, I find myself in the odd position of disagreeing with some people in the field that I have grown to respect and admire. I hope they will forgive me for breaking from the pack.
A couple of months ago, I came into contact with a gentleman by the name of Jon Jacobs. We met on a Bigfoot group on Facebook. It turns out he didn’t join because of an interest in Bigfoot. He joined because he was looking for help. He claimed to have a photograph of a Yeti, and he wanted advice on what to do. Now, I have slowly become more and more jaded by such claims. I’ve seen a lot of crap pictures and videos of supposed crypto-apes, and very few of the images merited serious inquiry. I advised him to turn to the scientific community if he really thought he had something worthwhile. I honestly thought that would be the end of my involvement. I was wrong.
Jon contacted me and asked me if I had any contact information for some science-type guys. I did some research and found the names and email addresses for an anthropologist, a primatologist and cryptozoologist. I’ll withhold their names at this point because I don’t have their permission to speak for them. I even went one step further and contacted the cryptozoologist on Jon’s behalf. At this point, I hadn’t seen the image, so I was just doing this because Jon seemed like a nice guy, and he was asking for my help.
In the meantime, Jon got a copyright on the image and had an attorney put together a nondisclosure agreement for him. He wanted to make money off the photo if he could, and frankly, I’ve never had a problem with that angle. I know a lot of people in the cryptozoology world are steadfast against that tactic, but I’m not one of them. As long as the evidence stands up to scrutiny, people should be allowed to make some money for their property. Creating a hoax and trying to profit from it is another thing altogether. I have no reason to believe that’s what Jon is doing here.
Curiosity got the best of me and I signed the agreement. Jon sent me the image, and I was prepared to be disappointed. But a strange thing happened when I opened the file. I saw an ape. I wasn’t expecting that. It’s not crystal clear. You have to zoom in quite a bit in order to see the ape, but still, I saw an ape.
The cryptozoologist eventually saw the photograph and was intrigued enough to have a photographic expert look at the picture. I dropped out of the picture, because I had done what I said I would do, get Jon in contact with an expert.
I received an email from Jon a few weeks later that shocked me. The photographic expert said it was essentially just the result of lights and shadows and pixelation. I was scratching my head. I felt terrible because I know that Jon was crushed by the news. I also felt relatively sure the expert was wrong. Watch this video for my notes on the image.
Here’s an excerpt from one of Jon’s emails about the day he took the photo:
On day four we departed Lhasa and our destination point for that night and following day was Shigatse. (*I have more specific information on the image’s location between these 2 points but perhaps that would be best revealed should there be interest in finding this place, TV documentary/expedition etc*). As had become usual I sat on the left hand side passenger seat and took the occasional photo of the inspiring scenery as we drove. What made me snap it? Was it the sense of something dark in the middle of all that grey, a cave perhaps? Certainly worthy of a few quick seconds of impulse. A zoom to maximum and shoot. I don’t know if it was that night or the following that I flicked through my photos, saw the dark image standing in the alcove and decided to zoom in for a better look. Astounded but mystified to see something that had to be a yeti, I accepted that I would look into it further. I definitely was not looking for a yeti on this tour and other than the photo had experienced nothing else to indicate the presence of a yeti or any crypto zoological specimen for that matter. After this I was quickly thrown back into the whirl of heady medieval Buddhism, high altitude and natural magic. It wasn’t until the night of Day 6 where I found time to show Basang our Tibetan guide and Shudoy our Chinese driver the photo. As I zoomed in Shudoy was shocked, he didn’t speak English but we had never communicated so much as we did in those few seconds. Basang was impressed and surprised but calmly said that it was probably a yeti, a creature before man. He’d never seen one, but it seems Tibetans accept the idea of the yeti quite naturally.
As far as I’m concerned, this is an unidentified ape. I don’t know if it’s a Yeti. I don’t know if it’s a Gigantopithecus. I don’t know if it’s an unknown species of orangutan. But I have a sneaking suspicion that the cave is part of its territory, and we are likely to find evidence that it is not merely shadows and light and pixelation there.
BTW – It won’t do any good to contact me about the details of this image. I’m a lowly author and Photoshop hobbyist that just played around with the photo. Jon Jacobs is the man you want to talk to you if you have further questions. firstname.lastname@example.org