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

“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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Filed under: Canada
soundoff (533 Responses)
  1. CDaeda

    I suspect Bigfoot whom likes sneakers?

    September 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scarf

      I've been to Vancouver a couple of times but won't be returning until feet cease washing ashore and a credible reason is published as to why all previous feet washed up on their coast. Kinda gives Vancouver an Aruba stench.

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


      I hate to say it but you are an idiot. The feet have appeared up to 200 miles from Vancouver with some in Puget Sound near Seattle. To be afraid to go to Vancouver (or any other city) because 11 pairs of feet have washed up in 4 years is just plain dumb.
      You shouldn't go to New York or New Jersey because there have been many bodies left in fields or set in cement and dumped in the waters around those places. Also you better stay away from Vegas where are lots of "holes" in the desert there. Come to think of it please don't go to Vancouver. Idiots like you aren't welcome.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shirlock

      WTH Scarf, please tell me you are kidding? I don't know where you live but if it's near any major metropolitan city (either Canada or the USA) you would probably be safer to just stay indoors for everyones sake

      September 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lianne Drager

      Ok FYI, it is 11 feet not 11 pairs of feet. No signs of trauma means the feet were not 'cut off' or severed but were detached from the body they belong to (i.e. legs eaten by fish, etc). Once the tissues are removed, a leg might come off, then the knee, then the tibia, etc, leaving a foot in a shoe with no signs of trauma. Planes have crashed in the water off the West Coast, boats have sunk, people have drowned and are never found. Currents off Vancouver / Seattle are quite strong.

      September 1, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Canada

      but you have to say that even if the feet have detatched from a plane crash or boat crash from a month to 2 months that the feet or foot would be highly decayed. Then inside the shoe there wouldn't even be a foot, maybe a few bones or a little bit of skin. So it is highly unlikely that this is cause to a plane crash, boat being sunk or marine life off shore

      September 1, 2011 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Rick M.

    I am no detective, but if you ask me... I believe somthing is afoot.
    I have heard thogh that some people are foot loos and fancy free.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • tracie

      Your spelling is atrowshus.

      September 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  3. TOMG



    September 1, 2011 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • C E Winchester


      September 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big Brain

      Amen to that!
      What did I just say Amen to?

      September 1, 2011 at 1:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Must you clear your throat after every sentence?

      September 1, 2011 at 1:43 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Northof39

    They are the remains of people who died in the tsunami & the current has brought what's left of them to the the west coast. Or they are the remains of people who were being brought to the west coast illegally & dumped overboard by snakeheads when the coast guard got too close. Or the remains of people on the west coast who drowned or committed suicide. Take your pick folks as there as as many theories as there are days in a year. But Bimbo's comment seems to fit the most likely theory. Currents are funny things & they carry all manner of stuff to many different places.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Rick M.

    @Tracie I swear I spelled it right. I think this page posts typos.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Larry567

    TOMG could we have that again in english please

    September 1, 2011 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  7. tracie

    "Canadian floating feet mystery deepens"
    Indeed, I thought that the feet would sink? Why are they floating? I hate floating feet, they should just stay on the bottom like they're supposed to. When I go to the water, I expect feet to be firmly planted on the bottom so when I go into the water to do a #2, I don't have to see feet floating near me. The only thing I want to see floating is my poo after a high-fiber meal. Fiber makes it float you know.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • lorne

      Makes you feel good that you can say something so stupid anonymously I guess.

      September 1, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MontyPython

    What else floats? Lead! lead! Wood, Very small rocks?!
    ... A DUCK!!!

    September 1, 2011 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Runninwild

      Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?

      September 1, 2011 at 1:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Throatwobbler Mangrove

      Who are you, so wise in the ways of Science?.....MY LIEGE!!!!

      September 1, 2011 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Throatwobbler Mangrove

      ha ha, beat me to it!!

      September 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Norm

    The water is cold and sneakers float.

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

    "Foul play was not suspected because there was no sign of trauma..." Ummmm the fact that a foot is removed from the rest of the body definitely means trauma. How else can a foot get detached?

    September 1, 2011 at 1:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Larry567

      In water it can rot off, never seen a floater have u...

      September 1, 2011 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      rotting flesh and currents working the ankle–for one!

      September 1, 2011 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
  11. oh please

    are the 11 feet ALL related, left and right same person, or 11 DIFFERENT feet?

    Are they all dead from the same time period or are they years apart in time of death? Are the feet severed or rotten away. There are numerous indicators you can look for to find a pattern completely aside from running shoes, and that they are feet.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • monkey's uncle

      > are the 11 feet ALL related, left and right same person, or 11 DIFFERENT feet?

      DNA tests have shown that all 11 feet are from the same person... 🙂

      September 1, 2011 at 5:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. FrankSD

    Just a question. How can you find a foot that shows no sign of trauma? Isn't the absence of the rest of the body a sign of trauma?

    September 1, 2011 at 1:32 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Jim Niederriter

    So the police aren"t concerned because there are no visible signs of trauma? How many people do they run into that just cut off their own foot, espcially with a show still on it? To me, that would seem like a visible sign of trauma and a reason to conduct an investigation . Maybe they are just a little behind on eating donuts??

    And to reply to an earlier post, I had 5 different mispellings appear in my original typing, even though I was watching each word. And I do know how to type.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      they weren't cut off.

      September 1, 2011 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Diane

    How can there be no signs of trauma. It is a severed foot. Somehow it has become separated from the body. That's traumatic.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • dale

      so i guess rotting in your casket is traumatic?

      September 1, 2011 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Smartypants

      Where did you read that it was severed?

      September 1, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  15. I knew it

    I knew Canadians were just too nice to be real - this is canabalism. Avoid the pea meal bacon.

    September 1, 2011 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
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