I wholeheartedly endorse the notion that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and so, when definitive evidence in support of my astounding claim is forthcoming, I naturally expect all but the most diehard skeptics to accept what I concede is an incredible fact: There is a Yeti living in Northwest Arkansas. My evidence? I ask readers to study the photograph on the left, which I took with a cell phone camera in my front yard after one of our snowstorms this past winter. It clearly shows a hominid footprint that, when I measured it, proved to be 14 inches in length by 8 inches in width. Since no human being could possibly have left this sort of track in the snow, the only conclusion a reasonable person can reach is that a Yeti wandered into my front yard and mysteriously left just a single print.
I now ask readers to consider the photograph on the right, which was taken by Eric Shipton during the course of a Himalayan expedition in 1951. The footprint it shows has the same size and general character as the one in my yard. I’m certain that most Americans who watch Fox News for their information about the world will agree with the many semi-professional cryptozoologists who, after just a cursory glance at Shipton’s photograph, declared that only a Yeti could have left such a print. I suggest that it matters not a whit that most of these “scientists” majored in English at Liberty University, now work in health food stores, and think that Megan Fox is a talented actress.
To assuage the qualms of even the most entrenched doubters, I offer the photograph on the left, which shows my ice axe placed in exactly the same position as Shipton’s – directly beside the Yeti footprint. Clearly, these abundant similarities are more than coincidental. I mean, what are the odds that Shipton and I would own almost the same ice axe? Or that the name “Shipton” has one letter fewer than “Neralich” – and there was just one (!) footprint in my yard? All rational people must therefore conclude that though my claim is extraordinary, my proof is overwhelmingly convincing: A Yeti is actually wandering the hills of Northwest Arkansas.
I know that some benighted individuals, the ones who took trigonometry and chemistry in high school instead of wood shop and weight training, for instance, are immune to both sense and reason, and so I do not expect everyone to accept my contention. After all, there are many misguided people in this country who, despite a wealth of anecdotal evidence, persist in all sorts of folly, such as refusing to accept the obvious efficacy of homeopathy, despite the fact that its “medicines” come in some very attractive bottles, or denying the existence of the Loch Ness monster, even though we have many photographs of it, several of which were taken by individuals with fairly good cameras, or continuing to doubt that the United States has a coherent policy with regard to the Middle East, even though Sarah Palin can find the place on a map, albeit after six tries. Well, I am going to ignore these incorrigible naysayers and move on, and by “move on” I mean that I intend to mount an expedition to capture a Neti (that’s my name for the Northwest Arkansas Yeti – copyright pending). I will naturally begin my search in places where subhuman creatures would likely congregate, such as garbage dumpsters, martini bars, and Tea Party rallies. Finally, I want to assure everyone that I am seeking neither publicity nor personal gain in this matter, and that my only goal is to advance the cause of science. However, I would certainly be willing to grant interviews to members of the press, provided they work for serious, responsible media venues, such as “Fate Magazine,” “Freedom Magazine,” “American Rifleman,” and “CBN News,” and I would be delighted to entertain overtures from clothing manufacturers, since I have some very marketable ideas about a line of Neti t-shirts and woolen caps.