But I appear to have been scooped by my own colleagues.
AFP‘s Moscow bureau ran a story today saying the Kemerovo region in the south of Siberia is claiming to have found ”indisputable proof” of the existence of the Abominable Snowman in its remote mountains.
You can read the full story here but the jist is that the region’s local government has posted a statement on its website saying footprints and possibly even hair samples belonging to the yeti were found on a research trip.
Kemerovo’s governor had invited researchers from the US, Canada, and a few other countries to share stories of encounters with the Yeti at a conference which was to include an expedition to putative yeti territory.
“During the expedition to the Azasskaya cave, conference participants gathered indisputable proof that the Shoria mountains are inhabited by the ‘Snow Man’,” the statement said.
“They found his footprints, his supposed bed, and various markers with which the yeti marks his territory,” the statement said.
I’m not prepared to concede the scoop to my Russian colleagues quite yet, though.
Only three years ago our bureau here reported on a team of Japanese adventurers who said they had discovered eight-inch (20cm) footprints they believed were made by the yeti.
They didn’t get the creature on film, surprise surprise, but the team leader Yoshiteru Takahashi told us: “Myself and other team members have been coming to the Himalayas for years and we can recognise bear, deer, wolf and snow leopard prints and it was none of those.
“We remain convinced it is real. The footprints and the stories the locals tell make us sure that it is not imaginary.”
They took snaps of the footprints which you can see on the Yeti Project Japan website (it’s in Japanese, I’m afraid).
Indeed, most tales of yeti sightings emanate from the Himalayas, not Siberia, and I smell a bit of opportunistic PR in this latest sighting.
I imagine the tourism board of Kemerovo – a barren, coal and metal mining region in the middle of nowhere - were not unhappy with the yeti’s appearance in their hills.
I have my own theory, of course. I don’t think the Abominable Snowman is to be found in Nepal or Russia. I imagine after decades of growling at sherpas but running off at the first sign of a camera he has probably retired with the missus to Scotland.
Where he can be found most afternoons playing golf with the Loch Ness Monster.