On Tuesday The Indian Army’s public information account tweeted photos of tracks in the snow along with an image of a stoic team of officers. “For the first time, an #IndianArmy Moutaineering Expedition Team has sited [sic] Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast ‘Yeti’ measuring 32x15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019,” the caption read. “This elusive snowman has only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past.”
For the first time, an #IndianArmy Moutaineering Expedition Team has sited Mysterious Footprints of mythical beast 'Yeti' measuring 32x15 inches close to Makalu Base Camp on 09 April 2019. This elusive snowman has only been sighted at Makalu-Barun National Park in the past. pic.twitter.com/AMD4MYIgV7
— ADG PI - INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) April 29, 2019
The images and the earnest message about the “mythical beast,” went viral, with many replies expressing confusion or roasting the army for boosting pseudoscientific theories.
“What the hell is wrong with you guys?” one person replied. “Just look at those pics for heaven’s sake. That’s not a bipedal. Couldn’t you guys call a single animal expert before posting this ? Unless you are claiming your yeti walks on a single foot and travels by jumping.”
“With all due respect, institutions such as yours should be more responsible and careful before going ahead and declaring the sighting of any footprints as ‘Yeti’s’!” someone else tweeted in response. “There’s been lots of research done on Bigfoot/Yeti (including sighting/footprints) with none proving its existence.”
Many responders mocked the one-footed appearance of the “tracks.”
— Dhruva Jaishankar (@d_jaishankar) April 29, 2019
One of the most popular responses joked that the yeti must have lost one of its legs in the Balakot air strike. India claimed it killed many Jaish-e-Mohamed group militants during the attack—despite Pakistan’s insistence that the bombs hit an unoccupied area, killing no one.
Foot-print suggests that this Yeti is one-legged. Looks like he lost his other leg in Balakote air strike!
— Shah Faesal (@shahfaesal) April 30, 2019
Many people seemed confused that the army, which normally posts straightforward tweets, would dabble with cryptozoology.
“Whoever tweeted this is drunk,” someone else suggested.
It seems the tweet was sober and sincere. The Deccan Herald’s report on the “discovery” from April 9 at Makalu Base Camp in Nepal includes a statement from a senior Indian Army official.
“Evidence has been photographed and handed over to subject matter experts. The idea is not to sit on judgement, which should be addressed in a scientific way,” the officer said to the Deccan Herald. “Some of us who reject the story surely shall have a definite answer to the evidence.”
The army held on to the photos for ten days before deciding the images should be shared with the public.
“We tweeted as we thought it would be prudent to excite scientific temper and rekindle the interest,” the officer told the newspaper.