Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Seventh Foot

Shoes
Vincent Van Gogh
1888

Another severed foot has been found washed ashore in the Lower Mainland. The foot is in a New Balance running shoe, and it matches a woman's foot that washed ashore on May 22nd. The feet started washing ashore in August 2007, and the first foot has been identified, but the man's name is being withheld at the request of his family. A second foot found on Gabriola Island in August 2007 still remains unidentified. Two more feet found on Valdez and Westham Islands in July 2008 belonged to the same man. And two feet found in Richmond in December 2008 belonged to the same woman. The amazing thing is, these feet were identified by searching the DNA database of missing persons.

According to the RCMP, "If you have a foot in a shoe laced up, it protects the integrity of the appendage."

Well, that's good to know...

The other night I watched an amazing program on CBC's "The Passionate Eye" about various theories of the severed feet, narrated by the American actor Peter Coyote. (If you want to watch the whole program, you can click on the link.)

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction, and the story of these feet is more compelling than any CSI (Miami) (New York) TV show. On television, the case is solved before the final credits run, but in the case of these feet, identification is long and painstaking. But it will be solved. Who are these people? What are their severed feet doing washing ashore?

According to Mike foreman, a research scientist with the federal fisheries department, "The feet are the most recent addition to the collection of body parts carried ashore by the capricious currents of the Georgia Strait. It's not an uncommon occurrence for people to be lost at sea. It probably happens more often than we think," he said. "Body parts are often carried far from where they entered the water because the strait's currents vary depending on tides, winds and fresh water coming from the Fraser River, he said."

Ewwww... Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water.

28 comments:

Land of shimp said...

I've always been very disturbed by the feet that have been washing up. There's something very disquieting about even the thought of a dismembered person (jeez, no doubt) but a near parade of feet, sans bodies, in sneakers? It's beyond eerie.

Good choice on the artwork, Jo. Although I recognize the brilliance of Van Gogh's work, and even love several of his series, I can always feel a lack of peace in them. There is so much sorrow in nearly everything he ever did. Although beautiful, they are mournful, to my eye.

Alissa said...

This is the first I have heard the severed feet story, and it is very disturbing. The writer in me can't help but seeing a wonderful premise for a thriller novel here.

Earlier this year a woman not too far from here was out on her deck when a seagull dropped a female human finger on her deck. I believe the theory was that an elderly woman had died or drowned near the ocean and somehow the seagull came to be in the possession of her finger, but I don't know if anyone figured out exactly what happened.

Kitty Moore said...

I hadn't heard about this before - is it for real? Very macarbe.

Kitty

http://www.kittymoore.blogspot.com

leilani said...

I remember a few years back I saw a wetsuit at the bottom of the ocean.. I didnt stick around long enough to see what was in it! If it makes you feel anybetter Jo the salt in the ocean probably makes it a ittle better! LOLOL.. =0P Seriously, This whole foot thing is just awful!

The Bug said...

I know I should be dismayed & grossed out - but I'm just fascinated! I agree with Alissa - this has the makings for a great thriller!

Cedar said...

I hope that people don't give up on this one since it has been happening for so long...you know after awhile people tend to feel... defeated.

I know..I'm leaving.

Owen said...

I hope this doesn't turn out to be another story like the gentleman who had the pig farm not far from Vancouver there a few years back... scary... I prefer my feet attached to my legs...

noteither said...

i live by the sea all my life and this is the first time i've heard such story. this is really creepy...

Kathy's Klothesline said...

Creepy!

Alicia said...

So the whole body gets eaten by fish or sharks or something but the feet end up ashore because they're encased in the shoe? Hmmm, never knew that. Very interesting. I will try to make time this weekend to click on that link and watch. Thanks for enlightening me.

Jo, I don't know if you are an Award Free blog or if you gladly accept Awards, but I've awarded you one on my blog. Please feel free to come by and collect it. I have let my readers know that many blogs don't accept them that the comments their readers leave is award enough, so if that is the case with you then hopefully you will at least get a few more readers and a few more comments. I myself read your blog faithfully!

nomore said...

Very be careful our feet ! Always very carefully keeping your shoes too....What on earth...

Neeraj said...

Hi,

Hope you are doing well! This is Anamika Tiwari from Webneetech.com. At present we are interviewing entrepreneurs and now we are starting another section to feature (interview) bloggers and their blog on webneetech.com

We find your blog bit interesting and would like to feature your interview on our website.

I was not able to find any contact details of yours so using this comment box. Please let me know your email id or else contact us on i.webneetech@gmail.com, so that we can send you the questionnaire and feature you on webneetech.com Please visit www.webneetech.com to know more about us.

Regards,
Anamika
Webneetech.com

Neeraj said...

Hi,

Hope you are doing well! This is Anamika Tiwari from Webneetech.com. At present we are interviewing entrepreneurs and now we are starting another section to feature (interview) bloggers and their blog on webneetech.com

We find your blog bit interesting and would like to feature your interview on our website.

I was not able to find any contact details of yours so using this comment box. Please let me know your email id or else contact us on i.webneetech@gmail.com, so that we can send you the questionnaire and feature you on webneetech.com Please visit www.webneetech.com to know more about us.

Regards,
Anamika
Webneetech.com

the walking man said...

I get the theory of people lost at sea and all, a propeller can do terrible things, but why only the feet, where are the other body parts?

Jennifer D said...

I saw this story on the news... so creepy. I don't find it thrilling at all, guess I am a chicken. It is frightning to me to think of all the people that go missing everyday.

Perfect art choice, so humble.

Katy said...

I have to say, living close to Galvesten Bay I have heard many stories of bodies and body part washing on to shore, but they have ALWAYS been linked to foul play. There is a man on trial right now in Houston who killed his stepdaughter and dumped her body in the ocean, only for it to be reteived by a fisherman 3 months later.

There was also the wacko millianire cut up his neighbor and threw him into the sea. A lot of different parts of his body washed up on shore months after his death.

While I see the theory of feet just being missing sailors, the fact that it has happend as often as it has, and that so often only the feet were found, just seems off to me.

Nancy said...

Wow! I had not heard of this! This is a true mystery. How utterly strange that it is only feet.

Marguerite said...

This is the first time I've heard about the feet washing up on shore. How horrible and perplexing! Defies logic and is as creepy as it gets!

Looks like plenty of people still love to read your blog, Jo Especially me! Never boring!!

Amy said...

Jo, I, too find this very, very creepy. But it's a fascinating post!

Love the banner artwork - is that yours? The flowers have a 'Fallish' feeling. Thanks also for your kind comment on my blog and especially for adding me to your blog list. I feel very honored as you have always been on the top of my "must read" list!

Barry said...

If been following this story for some time, due (I suppose) to its strangeness).

After all this time I had thought the pattern of feet coming ashore was over, but it seems not.

I might well have a look at this show. Thanks for the update.

JoMo said...

Vancouver really has turned into Gotham. Odd how it's become regular coffee conversation to say, "Hey, you hear they found another foot?"

robert said...

Of much interest to read, here in 'old Europe' where gladly I count until two, while looking at my feet.

A wonderful Friday for you.

houndstooth said...

I've never heard of this! I agree, though, what great story fodder! The link won't work for me, though, since I'm not in Canada.

TheChicGeek said...

That's creepy, Jo, but actually very interesting. Can you imagine the horror of swimming in the ocean and coming upon a body part!

I love the picture of the shoes...Van Gogh was such an odd duck sometimes in the things that he painted...LOL

Your blog is always a fabulous treat to visit!
Love to You, Jo....an maybe you better stay out of the water!
Hugs
xxOOOO :)
Kelly

Jo said...

Thank you, everyone, for your thoughtful comments. I have been feeling under the weather, and have not had a chance to respond to each of you individually. I love you all.

Cheers!

Jo

A.M. said...

Too many feet washing up on shore, if you asked me. The feet could land anywhere and magically they're all found along the coast of BC. I think it's time for the government to step in and get they're "CSI" people to investigate. British Columbians want answers!

heartinsanfrancisco said...

The other day they announced on the news that there are, indeed, great white sharks in San Francisco Bay, as suspected, since the Farralon Islands about 25 miles offshore are shark breeding grounds.

I have no desire to be anyone's lunch and besides, I just got some really cute shoes and would hate to waste them.

Paula Slade said...

That is disturbing.