B.C. Severed Feet Story Floats to Surface Again

Another severed floating foot has washed ashore in British Columbia, bringing the number of anonymous Adidas surfacing in B.C. and Washington since August, 2007 to eight. This one was inside a Nike running shoe (right), size 8 1/2, found Tuesday along the Fraser River at Richmond.

It's a great ongoing mystery. Then again, it's not.

This is the caveat when it comes to feet, in running shoes, streaming onto the beaches without their runners. Suspicions abound - victims of organized crime? Illegal immigrants murdered by their smugglers? Foot-fetish serial killer on the loose?

Yet, as we were told last December by University of Washington oceanographer Curt Ebbesmeyer, Ph.D., who kept a head and foot count of serial washups (yes, a head, once), "It's not much of a mystery."

Known as Dr. Duck to the schoolkids he lectures on flotsam, jetsam, and buoyant body parts, Ebbesmeyer explained he studied the ebb and flow of B.C. feet and saw a not-so-nefarious pattern.

"It was baffling at the start - four right feet," he said. That seemed to defy the odds, feeding suspicions of a serial killer. "But then we started getting lefts and matches. And it began to look more commonplace."

With the seventh foot last November, he became convinced there was no widespread foul play. Actually, considering that thousands of people have been reported missing in B.C. and Washington, he said, "I'm surprised we haven't found more body parts."

"We're dealing with only a few people here, in an arbitrary period of time," he added, "and it's routine for some to have fallen in the water and been there long enough for the feet to disarticulate and float away." And it looks like someone has fallen in again.

But get ready for the conspiracy theories. A report on the latest find was just posted by the Vancouver Sun. Under "most-read" stories, it is already No. 1

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