Bizarre Feet Appearing Anomaly
Since August 2007, seven disarticulated (i.e. legless) human feet have been discovered in coastal British Columbia, Canada, and an eighth in nearby Washington, United States. The feet belong to five men and one woman, the two left feet having been matched with two of the six right feet. As of August 2008, only one foot has been identified; it is not known to whom the rest of the feet belong. In addition, a hoax “foot” was planted on Vancouver Island. The first foot was discovered on August 20, 2007, on Jedediah Island, by a girl visiting from Washington. The girl found the foot when she picked up a shoe and opened the sock, finding the foot.
The foot was that of a man, and was found wearing a size 12 Adidas shoe and a sock. It is thought to have become disarticulated due to submerged decay. This kind of shoe was produced in 2003 and distributed mainly in India.
The second foot was discovered by a couple on August 26 on Gabriola Island. It was also that of a man, and also became disarticulated due to decay. It was waterlogged and appeared to have been taken ashore by an animal. It probably floated ashore from the south. This shoe was produced in 2004 and sold worldwide, and the type has since discontinued.
The third foot was discovered on February 8, 2008, on Valdes Island. It was also a man’s right foot and was wearing a sneaker and a sock. This shoe was sold in Canada or the United States between February 1, 2003, and June 30, 2003.
The fourth foot was discovered on May 22 on Kirkland Island, an island in the Fraser Delta between Richmond and Delta, British Columbia. It was also wearing a sock and sneaker. It is thought to have washed down the Fraser River, having nothing to do with the ones found in the Gulf Islands. This right foot was of a woman. The shoe was a New Balance sneaker manufactured in 1999.
The fifth foot was on June 16, floating in water near Westham Island, part of Delta. It was found floating in the water by two hikers. It has been confirmed that the left foot found on June 16 on Westham Island and the right foot found February 8 on Valdes Island belonged to the same man.
Another foot was discovered on August 1, 2008, by a camper on a beach near Pysht, Washington. It was covered in seaweed. The site of the discovery was less than 16 kilometers from the international border in the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Testing confirmed that the right foot was human. Police say the large black-top, size 11 athletic shoe for a right foot contains bones and flesh. This was the first foot of the series to be found outside of British Columbia. The RCMP and Clallam County Sheriff’s Department agreed on August 5 that the foot could have been carried south from Canadian waters.
Another foot was discovered on November 11, 2008, in Richmond. The foot was in a shoe that was found floating in the Fraser River. The shoe was described as a small New Balance running shoe, possibly a woman’s shoe. A forensic DNA profiling analysis indicated that it was a genetic match to the foot discovered on May 22 on Kirkland Island.
In July 2008 it was announced that one foot had been identified by Vancouver police as belonging to a man who was depressed and probably committed suicide. His identity was withheld on request of his family.
On October 28, 2009 another foot had been inside a running shoe found on a beach in Richmond.
Finding human remains on a beach is not uncommon. Storms may erode old burial sites and wash the debris out to sea where it is subsequently found, although this in particular would mainly reveal bones. In addition, missing people are common, and people fall off vessels at sea on occasion. Decomposition may separate the foot from the body because the ankle is relatively weak, and the buoyancy caused by air either inside or trapped within a shoe would allow it to float away. According to SFU entomologist Gail Anderson, extremities such as the hands, feet, and head often detach as a body decomposes in the water, although they rarely float.
However, finding feet and not the rest of the bodies has been deemed unusual. Finding two feet has been given “million to one odds” and “an anomaly”. The finding of the third foot made it the first time three such discoveries had been made so close to each other. The fourth discovery caused speculation about human interference and, statistically, was called “curious”.
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