Yes, that Jimmy Stewart. And yes, that Yeti.
Okay, so there was this mummified hand in the Pangboche monastery in Tibet. The monks there said that it came from a dead Yeti that had been discovered by one of their order. Tom Slick, an oil tycoon (that’s appropriate) organized an expedition in 1957 to go off in search for the Yeti, aka the Abominable Snowman. Slick instructed Peter Byrne, one of the expedition members, to procure the hand for testing. The monks at the monastery refused to part with it, though, because to do so would bring back luck. Byrne and Slick met back in London with primatologist William Hill, who gave Byrne a human finger and told him to replace one of the fingers of the Yeti hand with it, which he did. He then smuggled the finger out of Nepal into India. Jimmy Stewart, who was a friend of Slick’s, was vacationing in India at the time, and he took the finger, hiding it in his wife’s makeup case. Stewart had no trouble getting the finger out of the country. He brought it back and gave it to Professor Hill. (Why has no one ever made a movie out of this?) Hill ran tests and concluded that the finger did not come from a human being. More recent DNA tests conducted in 2011 confirmed, however, that it was human after all.
Why did the finger sit in a musty drawer in a museum for so many years, after so many people went to so much trouble to obtain it? I suspect it was because, despite Hill’s pronouncement, the people involved suspected all along that the finger had come from a human hand and not from a Yeti.
Unless, of course, the Yeti *is* human…