Canadian floating feet mystery deepens
Police search the Vancouver inlet Tuesday where a severed foot was discovered.
September 1st, 2011
11:38 AM ET

Canadian floating feet mystery deepens

For the 11th time in the past four years, a human foot in a sport shoe was found on a Pacific Northwest shoreline.

Foot No. 11 was found Tuesday near a marina in an inlet called False Creek, police in Vancouver, British Columbia, said. Foul play was not suspected because there was no sign of trauma, coroner Stephen Fonseca said in a report from CNN affiliate CBC.

“These human remains did not show any evidence of trauma whatsoever,” CBC quoted Fonseca as saying.

DNA samples from foot No. 11 will be compared to DNA obtained from family members in missing persons cases to try to establish an identity, he said.

So who do the feet belong to and how did they meet their demise?

One foot, found in August 2007 on Jedediah Island, British Columbia, was identified as coming from a deceased man whose family did not want further details released, according to a report in the Vancouver Sun.

But the rest remain a mystery, according to a list in the Vancouver Sun.

Mark Mendelson, a Toronto forensics consultant and former police detective, said on the TV program "Canada AM" on Thursday that he's not buying that anything nefarious is, well, afoot.

"You have to think dirty," he said.

"I don't know if you can look at this as just a coincidence," he said, pointing out that he thinks there are too many questions that don't have logical answers.

"Why is it only happening on the west coast near Vancouver… why aren’t these feet floating up off Nova Scotia or St. John’s, Newfoundland, or off the coast of New Jersey," Mendelson asked.

And why only feet in running shoes?

Where are the rest of the body parts?

“Body parts do eventually make their way to the surface. So why are we only getting feet? Why are they in running shoes,” he asked.

Simon Fraser University forensics researcher Gail Anderson offers answers in a report on the website vancouver.24hrs.ca.

“We have an awful lot of people missing in our waters, either from accidental cases or people who deliberately entered the water,” the website quotes Anderson as saying. “We’re talking four years and 11 feet. That’s really not that many at all.”

And if the shoe floats?

University of British Columbia materials engineering professor Anoush Poursartip tells vancouver.24hrs he has a theory on that.

“The polymers used in running shoes are chosen partially for their light weight. This means the shoe has significant buoyancy,” he told the website.

So the shoes are dragging the feet to the surface but leaving the rest of the body in the depths?

“I’m not sure I buy the theory it’s because the shoe floats,” Mendelson said in the "Canada AM" interview.

But one thing is certain, Mendelson said.

"Something is very, very strange here.”

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soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. Shoe Fits

    The Vancouver Sun story does NOT list the THREE FEET found in shoes on the Washington coast line.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  2. sonic10158

    someone pi$$ed off King Neptune

    September 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  3. MashaSobaka

    The *feet* show no evidence of trauma, so there's no reason to suspect foul play? Does that sound a little bit ridiculous to anyone else? Or did I just misread the article?

    September 1, 2011 at 5:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nick B

      As in, the feet weren't hacked off by someone.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • slayerwulfe

      I was thinking that very same thing a foot with no body or even it's other foot . I waiting for more 'valuable forensic evidence' like left or right.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flip Flops People!

      Just means they naturally decayed away from the rest of the body – not knife, sawing marks, gun shot wounds etc (trauma)

      September 1, 2011 at 5:37 pm | Report abuse |
  4. rnb

    if it was 4 feet in 11 years – i would say that was not that many...but 11 feet in 4 years sounds like a lot to me, sorry but is DO suspect foul play and trauma...but i am no expert.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:19 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Al

    the only thing i don't understand is why they keep saying "these human feet do not show evidence of trauma whatsoever". I mean, the rest of the body is missing, right? they're just finding the feet. a severed foot sounds like trauma to me.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Flip Flops People!

      Who said the foot was severed? It naturally decayed away from the rest of the body – there was no trauma to the bones

      September 1, 2011 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Shoe Fits

    this is intresting...

    Could they be victims of a major air disaster or sunken freighter? No; sonar and satellite would account for that. Could they be stowaways who didn't survive the voyage, tossed or jumped overboard? Suicides, or victims of foul play, maybe a serial killer? Hapless boaters who hit bad weather, or were possibly booze-cruising and fell overboard?

    "The theories that were related to high-profile crashes or boats or missing kayakers - we quickly ruled those out," said Jeff Dolan, director of provincial operations at the British Columbia Coroner's Office. "We were reasonably confident that, at the outset, at least one foot would be ID'd that way. But they all turned out to be negative."

    September 1, 2011 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      This is a revealing comment by the BC Coroner's office.... the one man who's foot and shoe washed ashore was identified..... and he had been missing for several months... it only takes a few months for the body to decay enough for the foot to seperate from the leg? Possibly.. in salt water? okay.... but if you take what the Coroner said... the one body was not part of a crash or missing kayaker..

      I would say that for some reason no one is "looking" for these dead people whose feet have washed ashore.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Abbyka

    When I was a kid they found feet floating in the canal in my hometown. A group of girl scouts found them. Dunno if they ever solved it.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:24 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Al

    possible serial killer pseudonyms... GO!

    September 1, 2011 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shoe Fits

      the killer will be dubbed the "floating shoe killer"

      September 1, 2011 at 5:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Therese

      The ___ feet below sea level killer

      September 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Franchesca

    Maybe they were disconnected at the ankle bones due to deterioration. How much was left of them?

    September 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Wes

    This is obviously the work of Jigsaw. Anyone missing a soccer team?

    September 1, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Report abuse |
  11. The guy who's surgically removing feet and seeing if they float

    Look guys, there's really nothing to fear here. It's just a small experiment we're conducting. Problem is, everyone's soooooooo fixated on the feet! What about the running shoe? Is it so wrong to kill a drifter after offering him a cheese sandwich, only to use his foot to test the buoyancy of our 2012 line of Air Jordans? I don't think so...but that's just me.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • Al

      you should run tests with the new '94 Bo's. I hear they're the bomb sheezy.

      September 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm | Report abuse |
  12. slayerwulfe

    See: Salish See on Wikipedia.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dipak Raikar

    It certainly has something to do with USO. Unidentified Submersible Objects. There are lot of sightings of flying saucers entering the waters on the Canadian side.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Todd

    Bones would figure this out in 60 minutes.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
  15. ZamBuco

    this is what we call the agony of Da Feet.

    September 1, 2011 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
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