Severed Feet – Disembodied Feet National Geographic Explorer
The mystery of the severed feet has spun many theories over the past few years. Some of these are scientifically based, while others speculate tales of a serial killer or a warped undertaker.
National Geographic apparently feels the mystery of the eight disembodied feet is worth exploring as they devote a program to it on National Geographic Explorer: Mystery of the Disembodied Feet which aired Halloween night.
All of the severed feet have washed ashore in the Pacific North West waters. All of the eight feet came to shore in British Columbia, Canada, except for one which washed up in Washington State. The disembodied feet were all in sneakers.
The first foot was found in August of 2007 and the last was found in October of 2009. Eight severed feet washing up on shore is not a coincidence, as some law officials have reported. Although an investigation is still under way to try and solve this mystery, some believe that there is a natural explanation for this.
The sneakers holding the severed feet have been all brand names such as Nike, New Balance, Addias, and Campus. None of the feet have been in just regular shoes. They are all of different sizes and so far two sets have matched, meaning they have found both feet of two different people. The feet have been male and female. This is all the clues that the police have in solving this mystery.
The authorities have reported that none of the feet have shown signs of being severed by cutting; they look as though they have come off of the bodies through natural decomposition while being in the water. A woman who found one of these severed feet on the shore told the newspaper that the bones did indeed look as if they had been cut.
“You could see the foot that’s inside the running shoe,” she said. “The leg bones were coming out of the running shoe about 3 to 4 inches. There were no tissues or anything attached.” She said the foot looked as if it had been deliberately severed saying that the bones “had been cut clean across.” This woman found the sixth severed foot in June of 2008.
Starting with the theories that this has happened naturally, feet clad in sneakers have been known to come ashore even a year after a plane crash. Scientists say that because a foot is put tightly in a sneaker, it is not accessible to the sea scavengers as the rest of a human body would be. Sneakers are buoyant and float, so once the foot naturally detaches from the body due to decomposition, it will float to the top and eventually come to shore.
Scientists also report that due to ocean currents, the severed feet could come from thousand of miles away.
The first five feet were all the right feet of humans and scientists’ explanation for this phenomenon is that most people are right handed and tend to tie their right sneaker tighter than the left. This has the right sneaker on more securely and better surviving the elements in tack. This theory was cut short when left feet started to arrive on shore.
There was a plane crash in the area where the feet started to wash ashore, five men died in that accident and only one body was found. At first authorities thought the feet were those of the missing men in that plane, but DNA tested from family relatives of those men showed no relation.
The Pacific North West coast has had its share of boats sinking and men lost at sea, and this is still a working theory with some of the authorities in Canada. Feet can stay remarkable intake for a few years if they are in the sneakers tightly, one of the researchers explains.
Simon Fraser University forensic scientist Gail Anderson, who performs underwater forensic projects in collaboration with the University of Victoria, has immersed pig carcasses in Saanich Inlet to measure rates of decomposition. Her experiments last year with a pig carcass showed that it takes scavenging crabs, seals, sharks and fish about 28 days to fully devour it. A pig carcass is similar to a human carcass in its bacteria and rates of decomposition. This would suggest that the person would have been dead for at least one month.
The severed feet where theorized by some researchers to be from the victims of the Indonesian tsunami, which would have traveled thousands of miles to get to the Pacific North West. Again, some scientists believe a severed foot could be well preserved inside a sneaker while traveling through the water for years.
One of the severed feet was identified as that of a man that went missing after being very depressed. This started the talk of the severed feet possibly being the work of a serial killer. The police are looking into all the missing person reports in the area hoping to find out more about who the severed feet belong to through DNA matching.
Some believe the severed feet are the work of someone who has access to dead bodies such as an undertaker or mortician. It could possibly be the work of a sick individual that is taking the feet off of the dead bodies before burial when no one would be the wiser. Others say it is medical students playing pranks with the cadavers that have been left for research in science.
When all is said and done, no one knows who these severed feet belong to or where they are coming from. It is for sure that the National Geographic, Severed Feet Special, which aired October 31, 2009 at 7pm on the National Geographic Channel will spike more interest in getting these mysterious phenomenon solved.
References: National Geographic Explorer, Canada.com, CNN.com Crime,