In uncertain times like these, we are desperate to turn myth into reality.
Sex with Madonna really isn't all it's cracked up to be, according to those gossiping over her divorce. And there really are supranatural creatures out there that have evaded captivity, according to many explorers, scientists, and teenagers.
So if you're not persuaded that a Creepy Gnome really is terrorizing Northern Argentina, or that Bigfoot will ever be found (and certainly not by a couple of mendacious hicks) then perhaps you will believe Yoshiteru Takahashi.
Takahashi has caused a great stir over the last couple of days by displaying photographs of what he claims are Yeti footprints.
Takahashi took a seven-man team far up the Himalayas and, while he didn't manage to snap a picture of the Hairy One, he did take shots of 8-inch footprints, which, he claims, could not possibly be those of deer, wolves, or snow leopards.
Here's my first point of concern. Takahashi is the head of something called Yeti Project Japan. How many times have those who are looking for something otherworldly actually found something otherworldly?
It's the same thing as looking for your missing purple sock. It doesn't matter how hard to try, you will not be the person to find it. It might be your wife, your daughter, your dog, or the man you called in to exterminate your rat population. But it won't be you. So I am already skeptical.
Takahashi claims he first saw a Yeti in 2003. According to Animal Planet he claimed to have first seen Yeti footprints in 1994.
Despite his nine motion-sensitive cameras on the most recent expedition, Takahashi's team failed to get a Yeti onto their Fuji. Still, Takahashi's belief is that the Yeti is around 5 feet tall, in other words not entirely dissimilar in height to Danny DeVito.
One wants to believe that Takahashi is an honorable man. One tries to believe that he has not faked these footprints in an attempt to get sponsorship for another climb. (On this occasion, his team spent 42 days on Dhaulagiri IV, the 25,135-foot peak that he believes is Yeti's patch). And one chooses to believe that he is just another obsessive who wants to be the man who proves the existence of the Yeti.
In various articles I have seen him described as a "scientist," a "mountaineer," and an "adventurer." However, Animal Planet calls him as a "house-fitter." So one has to keep wondering just what Takahashi's credentials are, other than the enthusiasm of a Japanese game show contestant.
"We'll keep coming back until we get the Yeti on film, and then all doubt will vanish," Takahashi is quoted as saying in the Daily Mail.
Will the Indomitable Man finally capture the Abominable Snowman? Well according to that impeccable news source, Pravda, President Theodore Roosevelt once saw a Bigfoot.
We must keep on dreaming, no?