Yeti History

North American Yeti Society And Yeti Education & Research



Yeti in Northwest Michigan

By Mik Yar Suitnop – Head Researcher

Yeti Research Expedition


The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is said to be an ape-like cryptid taller than an average human, similar to Bigfoot, which reputedly inhabits the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet.

The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology. Stories of the Yeti first emerged as a facet of Western popular culture in the 19th century.

The scientific community generally regards the Yeti as a legend, given the lack of conclusive evidence, but it remains one of the most famous creatures of cryptozoology. The Yeti may be considered a sort of parallel myth to the Bigfoot of North America.

The word Yeti is derived from a compound of Tibetan words that essentially translate as “man-bear” or as “cattle bear”, referring to the Himalayan brown bear.

Bun Manchi is Nepali for “jungle man” that is also used outside Sherpa communities where Yeti is the common name. Mirka is yet another name sometimes used for Yeti and loosely translates to “wild-man” and local legend holds that “anyone who sees one dies or is killed”, according to Himalayan explorer Frank Smythe’s Sherpa’s as he recounted it in a written statement in 1937.

The label “Abominable Snowman” was coined in 1921, the same year Lieutenant-Colonel Charles Howard-Bury led the joint Alpine Club and Royal Geographical Society “Everest Reconnaissance Expedition “which he chronicled in the book Mount Everest: The Reconnaissance, published in 1921.

In the book, Howard-Bury includes an account of crossing the “Lhakpa-la” at 21,000 ft. (6,400 m) where he found footprints that he believed “were probably caused by a large ‘loping’ grey wolf, which in the soft snow formed double tracks rather like a those of a bare-footed man”. He adds that his Sherpa guides “at once volunteered that the tracks must be that of ‘The Wild Man of the Snows’, to which they gave the name “metoh-kangmi“. “Metoh” translates as “man-bear” and “Kang-mi” translates as “snowman”.

The common use of “Abominable Snowman” began when Henry Newman, a longtime contributor to The Statesman in Calcutta (Kolkata), writing under the pen name “Kim”, interviewed the porters of the “Everest Reconnaissance expedition” on their return to Darjeeling in the Province of West Bengal, India.

Newman mistranslated the word “metoh” as “filthy”, substituting the term “abominable”, perhaps out of artistic license. As author Bill Tilman recounts, “[Newman] wrote long after in a letter to The Times: The whole story seemed such a joyous creation I sent it to one or two newspapers’”.

* Information source: Wikipedia

All other citations are contained therein and apologies to all proper researchers and academicians for the grievous abbreviations used by this documents author.


There has been much speculation by members of the Northwestern Michigan Yeti Research Expedition, a subset of the North American Yeti Society And Yeti Education & Research (NAYSAYER) as to how Yeti may have made their way to this part of the globe. One such supposition between the research group has been that Yeti are in fact herbivores as opposed to the commonly held belief that they are carnivorous or moreover omnivores.

This opinion might explain what appears to be the hyper-expanded geographic range of the Yeti when one considers the possibility of Yeti in Northern Michigan.

Another commonly held belief suggests that though Yeti/Abominable Snowmen are often considered to be afraid of human beings. Yeti are in fact thought to be very shy creatures who prefer to shun any interaction with other bipeds, especially human, because their presence seems to instill a high level of fear among humans.

However to NAYSAYER researchers Yeti are considered highly intelligent and stealthy creatures that appear to possess a unique ability to practice the art of camouflage especially when caught out in the open.

Inside their own social structure however it is the premise of some NAYSAYER researchers that Yeti are very tribal in their social structure unlike their North American cousins the Sasquatch or those creatures commonly referred to as “Bigfoot”.

Where the Sasquatch has been determined to be extremely territorial and aloof (Alpha-like) even amongst their own kind, Yeti are theorized to be very familial among their tribal members and while not openly social to outsiders they prove to be more curious and approachable than their North American counterparts.

Furthermore according to research it appears that while the range of the North American Bigfoot species is very limited in its geographic range the Yeti prefer to be more nomadic in nature, and most Yeti are willing to travel great distances to find food, shelter and companionship.

This nomadic nature is what some believe led the Yeti to immensely expand its geographic range in search of a very special part of their diet, the cherry.

Cherry Connection

Some evidence suggests that the Yeti so favored the cherry, or more precisely the Prunus cerasoides commonly known as The Wild Himalayan cherry. This species is a deciduous cherry tree found in East Asia and is a member of the family Rosaceae and the genus Prunus. Its range extends in the Himalayas from Himachal Pradesh in north-central India, to Southwest China and Burma. It grows in the temperate forests from 1,200–2,400 meters (3,900–7,900 ft.) in elevation.

This range interestingly coincides with the 45th parallel in the eastern hemisphere and it here that the hypothesis begins that the Yeti, in search of a vanishing favored food source began increasing their range to find a larger and more sustainable supply.

However, the 45th Parallel or the point halfway between the North Pole and the Equator appears to be the northern limit of this genus of cherry and the southern limit of the Yeti’s range. This represents a very fine interface or overlap of these two species.

While cherries are not the only food source for this species it is suspected that their love of this stone fruit is so great that traveling several thousands of miles to find a supply elsewhere on the globe and as such created a migration of some small tribes of these fabled creatures.

In fact it is speculated that all parts of the tree are used as a food source. The fruit, which is approximately 15mm in diameter, can be eaten raw or cooked. The gum, obtained from the trunk can be chewed and provides some nutritional value and the seed can be eaten raw or cooked. The wood is hard, strong, durable and aromatic, and branches are used often as walking sticks. Evidence of walking sticks sometimes accompanies Yeti track sightings, which leads some think that this is verification of the nomadic theory.

The legendary home of the Yeti, deep within the Himalayan Mountains is a said by some Sherpa, the indigenous ethnicity of eastern Nepal, to be a mountain peak whose English translation phonetically sounds something like Mount Mor-enchi’.

There are some among the Leelanau researchers who find this similarity to the prominent cherry varietal of tart red cherry grown here and commonly known as the Montmorency cherry to be more than a mere coincidence.

In circumstance the coincidence does not stop with this single point. The epicenter of Yeti activity seems to occur in and around the cherry orchards of Leelanau County, and more particularly the Village of Suttons Bay, a small coastal village surrounded by cherry orchards just 17 miles north of Traverse City. This region has a long reputation as “The Cherry Capital of the World” a fact that some believe is an element long known among Yeti.

Yet, an even more interesting fact is that Suttons Bay sits right on the 45th Parallel almost directly on the other side of the Earth from the original territory of the Yeti and the range of the Wild Himalayan cherry.

Migration Principle

Among some local folklore lies a belief that the Yeti, in their quest to find a larger supply of a principal food source, migrated north across the artic region in search of a new supply of food.

Due in part to a heightened sense of smell, intuition, and an almost supernatural ability to navigate incredible distances a small tribal advance team found their way to the Canadian Shield where large deposits of iron ore and the flux of electromagnetic field resonance affected their “internal compass” and disoriented them.

Unable to find their way home they continued on a path that was in part determined by their acute sense of smell, likely detecting the aromatic smells of first the cherry blossoms and then the cherries of the Northern Michigan region.

Current Research

The purpose of the North American Yeti Society And Yeti Education & Research (NAYSAYER) group is to assist with cataloging research and sightings related to Yeti activity centered in the Leelanau Peninsula and located in the northwest Lower Peninsula of the State of Michigan. NAYSAYER is the research and education arm of the YetiFest, a winter festival conceived by the Suttons Bay Chamber of Commerce in 2012 and first celebrated in 2013.

NAYSAYER is responsible, even if it is in an informal and hackneyed way, for building the story of why Yeti might possibly be found in Northern Michigan, and if sighted be able to document, archive and explain how this phenomenon might be plausible if even possible.


There is no concrete proof to date that Yeti exist in Leelanau county yet it is the purpose of the research arm of NAYSAYER to explore the reports of sightings and record the findings of such activity.

This will only be possible if there is a high level of public interest in supporting this research initiative by active public participating in the YetiFest™ each year and providing a forum for those who celebrate the idea of building a social relationship with these mythical beings from Mount Mor-enchi’.