Due to the classified nature of my work, I have been involved in many strange and unique situations but the one that rates as the strangest definitely took place in Nepal a few years ago. The report has now been de-classified so I can release it in its entirety without fear of repercussions. What Follows is the report I filed.
After Action Report: Nepal – Operation Harry.
Mission Objective: To investigate & locate the creature Codenamed Harry – the Yeti. If possible capture alive and return with precious cargo, If not able to capture alive, use of deadly force is approved. Bring back DNA evidence.
I have always dreamed of the day the Yeti will be discovered and the world will finally know he exists. I think my fascination started with the film Harry and the Henderson’s - the story of a loveable bigfoot that gets run over by a family and taken in and cared for. Ever since I saw this as a child I have harbored fantasies of discovering his existence myself, that is why I volunteered for this mission. Sadly I must report I didn’t find him, but I did discover evidence of his existence and an amazing country. Nepal has the friendliest people, stunning scenery, fields of wild marijuana and cheap knives that you can buy off peddler’s on the street. Pretty much everything you want in a holiday.
We flew into Kathmandu from Varanasi and had to queue up to get a visa on arrival then immediately got a taxi to the backpacker part of town - Thamel. We had been briefed that Kathmandu was the perfect place to begin the operation and pick up equipment and locate our contact. We noticed the poverty when driving through the city and considering we had just come from India this says something but as soon as we got to Thamel we realized just how popular Kathmandu is. It was full of bars, restaurants, souvenir shops, travel agents and backpackers cruising the streets. Once we had arranged accommodation in a local, discreet hotel we ventured out to explore and get our bearings. I was accosted pretty much straight away by a man selling khukuri knives (Gurkha knives). He explained he had come down from the mountain to sell knives his father had created. I didn’t believe him for a minute but I still bought one of the largest off him for a few quid.
I knew I would need extra weapons as our latest intel was reporting the Yeti had been attacking more climbers recently so I thought extra protection might come in handy. (Side Note – this knife saved me from possible Kidnap at a later date in Mumbai) After purchasing my deadly weapon we ventured out for food and to explore the area, we used our usual cover as backpackers to check out some of the temples and local food on offer. I wasn’t very impressed with the food but did manage to bump into a couple of agents I knew from London who were on mission so managed to get some valuable intel from them in regards to different areas the yeti has been spotted. We proceeded to plan our mission over beers and curry.
That evening we located our local asset, Kimble. He was working as a trekking guide in the Himalayas and from the intel we had already gathered we decided to do the Annapurna Circuit as this seemed to be where most of Harry’s activity had been reported. It is 14 day trek if you do the whole circuit but we decided we would do the 9 day version by starting in Pokhara and making our way up to the Pass then flying back down from Jomson hopefully with our precious cargo.
The next day we took a local bus to Pokhara to start the trek. The roads were shit, and I saw many truck and car wrecks in the bottom of the ravines we were driving through. I reminded myself we had to travel like locals, or tourists. Once we had arrived some locals tried to sell me Marijuana but I declined as I knew it was a rouse to muddle my senses and I would need all of them to locate Harry. Some intel had reported the locals knew of Harry’s existence and would actively try to conceal evidence of him. (high level intel I managed to source links Harry with Joseph Stalin and to this day some people believe he may be a biological weapon created by the soviets http://jonesy0311.hubpages.com/hub/Stalins-Monkey-Army-and-Dyatlov-Pass).
We started the Trek at dawn the next day. The scenery was spectacular and our local asset was quite knowledgeable in the local flora and fauna.
The scenery would change each day, going from lush forest to barren rocks, dry river beds, natural hot pools, to snowcapped mountains and ancient monasteries. While walking we came across fields of marijuana which I harvested a small amount from. I thought we may be able to create some form of tranquilizer out of it, so I sampled it to ensure it was a viable option and decided it was quite potent.
During the Trek we got to sample local apple brandy in Marpha, which is an awesome small town made out of white washed stone. There are little shops and a really old monastery.
We also got to eat Yak curry, watch the sunrise over the Himalayas,and constantly keep an eye out for Harry.
There had been heavy rain recently and the track had been washed out at one point causing us to lose a day or trekking. We had to take a local bus along one stretch of road. It was full of Buddhist Monks and us, and at one point I actually thought we might die as the bus struggled up the side of the mountain with sheer drops on one side. The Monks started praying and I steeled myself for what was to come next but we managed to survive the most brutal road I have ever been on. At one point the driver decided to drive off the road, cut through a dry river bed and then get back on the road on the over side. I don’t think it was the official route but it saved us a lot of time and I was impressed with the drivers ability at keeping us alive.
During the trek, we heard numerous reports of Harry’s activities in the area, and we constantly tried to locate him but to no avail, every time we had a lead he would just disappear into thin air. My initial thoughts were we were just unlucky, but over the coming weeks I decided Harry was a skilled adversary and knew we were tracking him, so by using his field craft learned from the soviets he was actively and aggressively hindering our progress. The Landslide causing us to lose a day, then having to take the precarious road journey, I feel was Harry’s doing. He wanted us out of action or dead. I believe he is an intelligent and active agent at our enemy’s disposal. I highly advise another mission be pre-approved which I volunteer to lead.
Once we had made it the pass, we knew we would not be able to locate Harry any more as our time was running out. We double timed it back to Jomsom and took the first civilian plan back to Pokhara. The plane had cello-tape holding together cracks in the window, but the scenery through the broken glass was worth the risk, it was spectacular. It somewhat lessened the disappoint of never discovering Harry.
Although we didn’t discover Harry It was one of my more enjoyable missions. There we no casualties and we gathered valuable intel.