Bigfoot Encounters

The Minnesota Iceman  
Graciously translated from German to English for your reading pleasure by Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach, Ph.D., Beaverton Oregon - January 2004

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.

Cullen accompanied 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 Sanderson’s 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 Hansen’s 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 the ice.

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.

Hansen’s wish 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 Carson’s Tonight Show.

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 men’s magazine Argosy.

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.

Thereupon, the 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 wasn’t entirely sure.

Heuvelmans later had the theory that it was a Neanderthal man, who was killed in Vietnam and then smuggled into the United States.

He wrote later in his book “L’homme 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.

Many cryptozoologists share Heuvelmans’ view since there had always been sighting of “Wild Men” in Vietnam. Others do not agree with Heuvelmans’ Neanderthal theory.

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. Hall’s 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.
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This translation from German to English © Dr. W. Henner Fahrenbach, Ph.D.

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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