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MU History Department Lecture Series- Pangboche Hand

Miskatonic University Department of History Lecture Series:  The Pangboche Hand
Presented by: Dr. Charles Gerard

In 1957, Texas businessman, adventurer and “cryptozoologistTom Slick launched a fact-finding expedition to the mysterious Himalaya Mountains.

He was chasing down reports of the fearsome “abominable snowman”, or Yeti – an ape-like monster also known as the “Mi-Go” in Tibet.

During the expedition, the leader of the mission, Peter Byrne, heard word that a curious artifact was being kept in a monastery in Pangboche, Nepal. The object was said to be the mummified hand of a Yeti.

The monks in Pangboche refused to allow travelers to remove the hand for analysis. Byrne later confessed that he swapped a finger of the hand and replaced it with human remains. The Yeti finger was said to have been smuggled out of the country in a lingerie case owned by the wife of actor Jimmy Stuart. Stuart was a Brigadier General in the US Air Force at the time.

In 1960, a primatologist in London concluded that the finger bone was from something more closely related to Neanderthal than hominid.

The finger disappeared in a museum warehouse for decades, but recently resurfaced in a box of other strange artifacts. DNA tests on that finger indicated it had come from a human.

In the 1990s, the whole remaining hand disappeared from the Pangboche monastery. It was said to have ended up in a private collection somewhere, sold on the antiquities black market.

The monks at the Pangboche monastery believed the hand to possess great power, and that its removal would unleash a curse.

Serious questions linger. What happened to the original hand? Whose bones were used as a decoy in the temple? What was Jimmy Stewart’s role in all of this? Have the monks ever tried to retrieve their artifact? What has been unleashed by the original disturbance and subsequent theft of those sacred remains?

Further investigation is warranted.

For more information on this topic, check in the cyptozoology section of the Orne Library for a biography of Tom Slick by Loren Coleman. Or stop by Mr. Coleman’s International Cryptozoology museum in Portland, Maine.

You can also listen to an excellent BBC report here (or play an adventure by the same name in this out-of-print Pagan Publishing book)(Pagan Publishing link).
–          Dr. Gerard

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