Snowman in Himalayas The Dec. 13, 1956, edition of a Dallas newspaper carried a report from Kathmandu that the government of Nepal had given a Texas oilman permission to hunt the Abominable Snowman in the Himalayas.
The Dec. 13, 1956, edition of a Dallas newspaper carried a report from Kathmandu that the government of Nepal had given a Texas oilman permission to hunt the Abominable Snowman in the Himalayas.
The casual reader may have presumed the expedition was a publicity stunt by a reckless rich guy with more money than good sense. But those familiar with businessman, scientist, philanthropist and explorer Thomas Baker Slick Jr. knew his Himalayan hike was a serious safari.
The fabulous family fortune was made by Tom Sr., who discovered the Cushing, Okla., oilfield in 1912. At his death from a cerebral hemorrhage less than two decades later, the wily wildcatter was a millionaire many times over.
Tom Jr. inherited more than a fat bank account from his rich namesake. "Dad stressed the importance of using our time, energy and money to benefit others. Perhaps he was afraid my brother and I would be playboys. I learned at an early age the responsibilities that go with wealth."
Three years after graduating from Yale with a degree in biology, Tom the younger established the second-largest privately-endowed research facility in the world on 1,500 acres outside San Antonio. For 63 years, the Southwest Research Institute has blazed an impressive trail in a wide range of scientific fields.
Meanwhile, the Abominable Snowman or Yeti was the subject of sensational stories in the Western press. Since the original sighting in the mid-1800s of "a hairy, tailless wildman," tantalizing tales of the elusive creature had regularly filtered out of Nepal and Tibet.
If Tom Slick feared similar public ridicule, he never let it show. He plunged ahead with elaborate preparations for the first-ever scientific effort to determine whether the Abominable Snowman was fact or fantasy.