Minnesota Iceman

Wildman exhibited in a U.S. carnival. Said to have come from Southeast Asia but possibly a hoax.

Scientific name: Homo pongoides, given by Bernard Heuvelmans in 1969.

Variant name: Bozo.

Physical description: Adult male hominid. Height, 5 feet 10 inches. Covered in long brown hair (3-4 inches long) except on the face. The longer individual hairs seem to have an agouti pattern of light bands. Pinkish skin. Large eye sockets. Eyeballs are apparently missing. Pugged nose with nostrils pointing upward. Wide mouth with no eversion of the lips. Folds and wrinkle lines around the mouth are apparently humanlike. Short neck. A "cape" of long, black hair flows around the neck. Wide shoulders. Rounded ribcage. Trunk is ovoid in shape rather than hourglass. Relatively long arms. Wide wrist. Prominent pad on the heel of the palm. Hands are spatulate and disproportionately large, 11 inches long and more than 7 inches wide. Knuckles are poorly defined. Slender thumb is fully opposed. Fingernails are square, flat, and yellow but missing on the thumb. Fingers and toes are larger and more robust than a man's. Penis is slender, tapering, and pale yellow. Scrotum is wrinkled and brownish. Knees are only sparsely haired. Feet are 8-10 inches wide, measured across the toes. Profuse hair on the feet. Big toe is apposed, not opposed as in apes. All toes are nearly the same size, with bulbous terminal pads.

Significant sighting: After being alerted by university student Terry Cullen that a carnival was exhibiting a hairy man encased in ice, Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans visited the exhibit from December 16 to 18, 1968, at the home of its owner, Frank Hansen, near Rolling-stone, Minnesota. For three days, they examined the "iceman" and took detailed notes, sketches, and photographs. Most significantly, they noted that the creature had seemingly been shot in its right eye, with the bullet displacing the left eye; a pool of blood apparently surrounded the back of its head. One forearm seemed to have an open fracture caused by a wound. Heuvelmans and Sanderson both detected an unmistakable odor of rotting flesh exuding from one corner of the exhibit. Gaseous exudations apparently formed bursts of semi-opaque, crystalline ice within the transparent block. Sanderson claimed to have tracked down hair samples taken from the iceman when it was

338 mi-ni-wa-tu imported, "which," he wrote, "turned up in a university in the south."

Hansen claimed that the iceman was the property of an anonymous millionaire, who later withdrew the real specimen from public view and substituted a model, made from latex and hair, that went on the carnival route for several years afterward. His account of where the original came from varies: Russian seal hunters (or Japanese whalers) found it floating in Russia's Sea of Okhotsk, already entombed in ice; Hansen shot it himself, near Whiteface in northern Minnesota; or he purchased it from an exporter in Hong Kong. Possible explanations:

(1) A synthetic fake, manufactured by Hansen or a Hollywood special-effects expert he hired. In 1981, it was claimed that the late Howard Ball, who made models for Disneyland, had created the original with his son Kenneth, based on an artist's conception of Cro-Magnon man.

In 1973, I worked for two individuals who were formerly associated with Hansen in the carnival exhibition business; they told me (with a certain amount of calculated reluctance) that Hansen had a model made "on his living-room floor." However, this information is still hearsay evidence, and although I had, at the time, established a limited amount of confidence as a "carney," I probably would not have been told the truth if Hansen had actually imported a Wildman from Southeast Asia. My sources, after all, were in the business of exhibiting a Brown agouti (Dasyprocta variegata) as a "giant rat from the sewers of Paris."

(2) Heuvelmans believed Hansen, who was a captain in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War, had shot or at least acquired a Nguoi Rung in Vietnam in the mid-1960s and smuggled it into the United States in a military body bag. The creature cannot be a normal human of any race or even a composite produced by assembling several species. However, Heuvelmans's identification of the animal as Neanderthallike (Homo neanderthalensis) misses the mark, since there is no characteristic browridge or sloping forehead; the robust arms and legs do match, though. Heuvelmans apparently obtained photographs showing the face before and after it was thawed out for a short time. (3) Mark Hall considers the iceman to be closer in form to Homo erectus, which he thinks is represented by the KsY-GyiK, Aimas, or BarManu of Central Asia. Sources: Bernard Heuvelmans, "Note préliminaire sur un spécimen conservé dans la glace d'une forme encore inconnue d'hominidé vivant: Homo pongoides (sp. seu subsp. nov.)," Bulletin de l'Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique 45 (February 1969): 1-24; Ivan T. Sanderson, "The Missing Link," Argosy, May 1969, pp. 23-31, on line at http://www. n2.net/prey/bigfoot/articles/argosy2.htm; Ivan T. Sanderson, "Preliminary Description of the External Morphology of What Appeared to Be the Fresh Corpse of a Hitherto Unknown Form of Living Hominid," Genus 25 (1969): 249-78 (reprinted in Pursuit, no. 30 [April 1975]: 41-47, and no. 31 [July 1975]: 62-66); "Bozo, the Iceman," Pursuit 3 (April 1970): 45-46, and (October 1970): 89; Frank Hansen, "I Killed the Ape-Man Creature of Whiteface," Saga, July 1970, pp. 8-11, 55-60; John Napier, Bigfoot (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1972), pp. 92-107; Bernard Heuvelmans and Boris F. Porshnev, L'homme de Néanderthal est toujours vivant (Paris: Plon, 1974), pp. 209-467; C. Eugene Emery, "Sasquatch-Sickle: The Monster, the Model, and the Myth," Skeptical Enquirer 6 (Winter 1981-1982): 2-4; Russell Ciochon, John Olsen, and Jamie James, Other Origins: The Search for the Giant Ape in Human Prehistory (New York: Bantam, 1990), pp. 230-233; Dao Van Tien, "Wildman in Vietnam," Tap Chi' Lâm Nghiêp, 1990, no. 6, pp. 39-40, and no. 7, p. 12, at http://coombs.anu.edu.au/~vern/ wildman/tien.txt; Ian Simmons, "The Abominable Showman," Fortean Times, no. 83 (October-November 1995): 34-37; Mark Chorvinsky, "The Burbank Bigfoot," Strange Magazine, no. 17 (Summer 1996): 9; Mike Quast, The Sasquatch in Minnesota, 2d ed. (Moorhead, Minn.: Mike Quast, 1996); Mark minnesota iceman 339

A. Hall, Living Fossils: The Survival of Homo gardarensis, Neandertal Man, and Homo erectus (Minneapolis, Minn.: Mark A. Hall, 1999), pp. 69-86; Burt Gilyard, "The Hairy Truth," Minneapolis City Pages, October 4, 2000, at http://www.citypages.com/databank/ 21/1035/article9026.asp; Loren Coleman, Mysterious America, rev. ed. (New York: Paraview, 2001), pp. 221-230.

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