Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Iceman Cometh Back

No one in cryptozoology really expected to hear of the Minnesota Iceman again, ever.  This carnival exhibit cause a major flap in the 1960s, when cryptozoologists Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans, both trained scientists, thought it was likely to be the real body of an unknown higher primate frozen in ice.  After a few years on the carnival circuit, though, it vanished.  People have been debating whether it was a well-made fake creature (a gaff, in carny talk) or a real body ever since.  Some even think there was a real body that was replaced with a model.  OMNI magazine reported the late Disney model-maker Howard Ball built it, modeling it on a Cro-Magnon concept, although the eyes with their semicircular orbits are distinctively Neanderthal-looking.  Dr. John Napier in 1972 rejected it as having too many improbably-collected features from different primates. 
There are at least five stories of the Iceman's origin, which is a red flag big enough to tent a carnival with, but it was, if nothing else, an impressive piece of work. 
Now it turned up. For sale. And it was bought for a reported $19,000 by a known Bigfoot hoaxer.  Darwin only knows what use he'll make of it.  Loren Coleman is annoyed (rightfully) because it was apparently promised at a lower cost to his International Museum of Cryptozoology, which is where it belongs. 

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