1951, May: Richard Steinwinkler's Yeti Evidence

The Legend:

One night in May 1951, mountain climber Richard Steinwinkler reached a remote and high plateau in the Himalayas; he had planned to set up camp and get some sleep once he reached this point -- it was around midnight at the time -- but he forgot about that when he spotted an odd movement in the corner of his eye. He had the impression he had seen a figure disappear behind a nearby overhang, so he went to investigate.

        But there was nothing animate behind the overhang; or any where else to be seen. There was, however, a huge footprint in the clay in front of him. He took a picture of the print, realizing he had just missed possibly seeing one of the legendary wildmen of the Himalayas the creature known as a Yeti. Steinwinkler, his energy restored by the excitement, started to follow the path the prints made to see where they would take him.

        He followed the path for hours when, suddenly, he saw a human-like creature about 50 meters [about 165 feet] ahead of him. The bipedal creature was about four meters tall -- around 12 feet! -- but it was hard to determine any features past that, as the figure was blending into the rock piles that scattered the area.

        Suddenly, the excitement of the situation was gone... what was left was fear. Steinwinkler was very aware of exactly how alone he was at that moment in time, and hoped that the creature wouldn't notice him. Shaking, he took several photos of the figure; then he ever so slowly crept backwards away from the strange being. It was his only encounter with a live Yeti.

        Four years later, on August 8, 1955, Steinwinkler received an odd gift from a Nepalese friend (who's name is not given). The mountaineer was given what his friend claimed was a Yeti scalp, salvaged from an abandoned monastery in Tibet. It is said that in 1999, a DNA test performed on the hair from this scalp showed that it could not be assigned to any known species.

And Now: An Admission of Guilt

        I ran across this account while trying to fill out an article to sell to Listverse on Yeti encounters in May 2019; and, because I was in a hurry, tired, and needed to know that another article was sold, I didn't look as close as I should have. Net result: I included this event in the list, and submitted it.

        It was only the next day, after twelve hours of sleep, that I double-checked the details to find the earliest source... and discovered the account was fake.  And because Listverse is Listverse, this list was soon posted up in multiple languages in dozens of websites. Oy.

        The account above is just one of several fictional stories attributed to the non-existent group called The Adventure Club of Europe. The club, and the stories, were created to be part of an immersive attraction at Europe-Park amusement park in Germany. To expand the experience, the Adventure Club of Europe attraction was given a website that presents all of the fictional adventure tales as if true, coupled with false history for the club itself, in multiple languages. Richard Steinwinkler never existed, nor did any of his claimed evidence.

        Lesson learned: needing money or not, I'll sleep first before I double-check and submit from now on!