When Terry Cullen,
a zoologist at the University of Minnesota visited the environs of Milwaukie
in the fall of 1967, he discovered in a fair an unbelievable exhibit:
the frozen body of a recently killed bigfoot-like animal.
the exhibit through Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, where it was shown
in many malls and fairs. During this time, he exerted himself to alert
local anthropology professors to examine the fascinating specimen, but
the frozen body of a possible missing link could not arouse their interest.
Hence, Cullen notified at the end of 1968 Ivan T. Sanderson, cryptozoologist
and author of the book Abominable Snowmen - Legend comes to Life.
Sanderson belabored his connections, but even then nobody wanted to look
at the relic.By pure chance, the
Belgian cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans was a guest at Sandersons
farm at this time and so the two of them decided to travel to Minnesota
and investigate for themselves what the exhibitor Frank Hansen was showing
around the Midwest.
Hansen, who claimed to have the frozen body of a leftover
human from the Ice Age, charged at that time 25 cents for a look
at the object in its ice coffin.Sanderson and Heuvelmans
drove to Hansens farm in Rollingstone -near Winona, Minnesota -,
where the Iceman was supposed to overwinter in a camper, and
examined the creature.
Both cryptozoologists convinced themselves rapidly
that they had made the discovery of the century and after three days of
examination and detailed photography, they assured themselves that their
discovery was genuine.
They both could smell the faint aroma of decay
at one part of the coffin, where a portion of flesh protruded through
They noticed that the beast had been shot through the eye and
that the eye was now lying on the surface of the face.
The two experienced
researchers could not believe what they were seeing. Heuvelmans described
it in these words:The specimen, at
first glance, looks like a human being, more precisely like a mature male.
It is of normal size (1.80 m), with normal proportions, although it is
excessively hairy. Practically everywhere it is covered with dark brown
hair, between 8 and 10 cm long. Its skin is waxen and reminds one of a
white person whose skin is tanned. (.....) The specimen is lying on its
back. (.....) The left arm is flexed behind its head and the palm is visible.
Consequent to a fracture between the wrist and the elbow, the arm is peculiarly
kinked. The broken ulna and a gaping wound are clearly recognizable. The
right arm is tightly pressed against the body and the right hand is lying
on the abdomen of the creature, revealing the back of the hand. Between
the fifth and the middle finger, the penis is visible, lying at an angle
on the crotch. The scrotum can barely be seen as a function of the position
of the thighs.
to keep the discovery secret could not be accommodated by the two investigators.
Sanderson considered the creature so authentic that he started calling
it "Bozo" in the circle of his friends.
A week before Christmas
1968, Sanderson mentioned the Ice Man on Johnny Carsons Tonight
During the next year,
the two cryptozoologists started writing scientific papers - Heuvelmans
calling the creature from then on Homo pongoides - and Sanderson
published an article about the events of the past year in the mens
Now something unexpected occurred: under circumstances
mysterious to this day, the original corpse disappeared and was substituted
for by a model, probably produced in California. At least, this is what
Sanderson and Heuvelmans claim, who can point to 15 discrepancies that
they can document by photographs.
The corpse was also photographed in
Minnesota by Mark A. Hall and in Illinois by Loren Coleman; both are still
active as cryptozoologists today.
Hall speculates concerning the cover-up
as follows: Most probably the
decaying body was buried by the owner somewhere in a nearby forest in
the beginning of 1969. ... Many people hope to this day that by some stroke
of luck or death of a wildman such a body would become accessible
and that it would prove the existence of such human relatives. The story
of the Iceman only hurts those hopes.
John Napier, the chief
primatologist at the Smithsonian Institution, became aware of the case
through contacts with Sanderson and wanted to examine the creature scientifically.
Hansen, who previously had never claimed or denied that the original creature
had been a model (all he said was that the creature belonged to a rich
Californian), prohibited any examination of the cadaver.
Smithsonian lost interest, since they were going on the assumption that
the Iceman was a fake.
Hansen now withdrew the cadaver from circulation
and even claimed to have destroyed it. Currently, this model or a similar
version still appears at fairs.
The origin and nature
of the creature still constitute a source for debate. Sanderson often
stated that the creature was North American but he wasnt entirely
Heuvelmans later had the theory that it was a Neanderthal man, who
was killed in Vietnam and then smuggled into the United States.
later in his book Lhomme de Néanderthal est toujours
vivant (Neanderthal Man is still alive) that it would have been
entirely possible for Hansen to pass the Iceman in a body bag for a dead
GI and allow it to be flown to the US.
As history shows us today, many
kilos of heroin got smuggled in this fashion into the States.
share Heuvelmans view since there had always been sighting of Wild
Men in Vietnam. Others do not agree with Heuvelmans Neanderthal
Hall considers it questionable and thinks that the Iceman came
from Southeast Asia and is related to Homo erectus.
But the proof of the
pudding is no longer with us. Mark A. Halls last words concerning
the subject are worth quoting:
With the case of
the Minnesota Iceman we have an example of what happens when a discovery
of this nature surfaces.....Only three people recognized the importance
of the cadaver but they were powerless to influence its fate. And thus
it became its fate to disappear without value from our midst. It terminated
its career as public entertainer in an unmarked forest grave.
This translation from German to English © Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach,
Note: (I personally consider another possibility, -that the Iceman may be a relic hairy Ainu man from Hokkaido, Japan... that is, if the rumor is true that he was acquired by way of a Japanese fisherman....Bobbie Short)
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