We're trying something a little different for today's cryptid feature: Slate.com's history blog “The Vault” shared this historical curiosity regarding the legendary Yeti, or “Abominable Snowman” – an apelike creature of Nepalese folklore and the subject of many legends and alleged sightings in the Himalayan Mountains.
I'm sure you've heard all the good Yeti stories, but probably not this one: apparently the prospect of Yeti-hunting in Nepal was of some concern to the U.S. Government back in the day, enough to merit this 1959 Foreign Service memo from the newly-established American Embassy in Kathmandu titled “Regulations Governing Mountain Climbing Expeditions in Nepal – Relating to Yeti.” Following sightings of Yeti tracks by legendary explorers Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay in 1953, Yeti hunting became quite a phenomenon, with highlights including a 1954 “Snowman Expedition” to Mount Everest sponsored by the UK Daily Mail and a later mission financed by American oil tycoon and cryptid-hunter Tom Slick.
The memo, shown above, lays out the Embassy's ground rules (first set up in 1957) for would-be Yeti hunters: they must pay the Nepalese government for permits; they may photograph, but not kill, any Yeti they find, and must hand over the photos to Nepalese officials; and any new findings must be filtered through Nepalese channels before going public. It doesn't confirm or deny the U.S. Government's opinion on the creature's actual existence (it was established more out of respect for Nepal's sovereignty), but it's kind of cool that they went into this kind of official detail – something very rare in the world of cryptozoology.
Outside magazine has a cool timeline of Yeti sightings and trivia at this link, so check it out!