All too often when these claims are investigated, though, they turn up a gorilla costume and a couple of rogues.
However, someone is finally bringing scientific credibility to the search not only for Yetis, but also the Loch Ness Monster and, for all I know, unicorns.
Oxford University's Wolfson College has decided to invite every human being in the world to send in samples of animals that appear to be something of a mystery.
More Technically Incorrect
I am indebted to the Daily Mail for unearthing this massive development in human progress.
The brains at Wolfson College aren't doing this as a little side project. No, they intend the use the very latest in DNA technology to attempt to uncover what they call "cryptids."
You see, the minute you put a fine, ancient-rooted word to Bigfoot, it already sounds more scientific, doesn't it? Cryptids are all those weird, hidden beings whose existence has never been proven and whose legend has grown greater than that of Tom Cruise.
Sykes is particular looking for hair shafts. In announcing the project on the college site, Sykes explains the history of legitimate Yeti-hunting:
Theories as to their species identification vary from surviving collateral hominid species, such as Homo neanderthalensis or Homo floresiensis, to large primates like Gigantopithecus widely thought to be extinct, to as yet unstudied primate species or local subspecies of black and brown bears.
So he seems utterly convinced that some of these legendary beings might actually be real.
Indeed, he added that this project represents humanity's first attempt to be truly rigorous on the subject:
Recent advances in the techniques of genetic analysis of organic remains provide a mechanism for genus and species identification that is unbiased, unambiguous and impervious to falsification.
Many of you are of a rigorous bent and perhaps consider that you've seen something weird in your neighborhood at least once or twice.
So if you'd like to send a specimen to Sykes and his team, here are where the details of the project are to be found.
It has always been my ambition to write the headline: "Yeti found." Even better, though, would be "Yeti found at Oxford University." Or even: "Yeti Found in Congress."