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Rejecting The Minnesota Iceman

Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 10th, 2008

In Eugene O’Neill’s 1939 play, The Iceman Cometh, the title refers to the off-color jokes then in fashion in America about wives who would practice adultery with a mailman, milkman, traveling salesman, or any other man who knocks on their door while the husband is away. In 1912, the year in which O’Neill’s play is set, one of the deliverymen who stopped frequently at homes was the iceman, the guy who delivered blocks of ice used to refrigerate food. Like milkmen and mailmen, icemen were regularly featured in these often insensitive, crude jokes.

The essence of the play is about the unrealized dreams of older men seated around a bar, appropriately run by a character named Harry Hope. There is always hope at the bottom of the bottle in Hope’s saloon.

One of the main characters is a slick guy named Theodore (“Hickey”) Hickman who is known for joking that his wife has cheated on him with the iceman. Hickey is the huckster of the play, the fast-talking hardware salesman, not unlike Tom Biscardi in our recent stories, who is a success because of his back-slapping ego reinforcement of the wishful hopes of his clients. Once a year, he drops by Harry Hope’s tavern to celebrate Harry’s birthday, and usually regales the drunks there with more false hopes.

But for this visit, Hickey has changed; he is no longer drinking, and tells the patrons to stop drinking and to get jobs. But what is revealed by the end of the play is that it has been Hickey, not some mythical iceman, who has been cheating on his wife, for years. His wife’s willingness to forgive all of Hickey’s sins makes him feel so guilty, he says, that he had no choice but to ice (“to kill”) her, shooting her while she sleeps.

In the end, the “iceman” does not exist, really, for the “iceman” is Hickey. But then, of course, we all are the iceman. Biscardi is the iceman. I am the iceman and so are you. We all dwell in Harry Hope’s bar, sometimes.

If you examine most good analyses of The Iceman Cometh, you will find there is agreement that the play finds universality through the theme that all human beings have a tendency to entertain unachieved or foolish hopes – or, as Hickey and others in the play call them, “pipe dreams.”

The characters in the play constantly deceive themselves into thinking they shall return to a world of status, achievement, and respectability. “Day after day, year after year, they delude themselves with a belief that one day they will do what is necessary to rise from their nether world of booze and lice and demons from the past. However, they continually postpone acting on their dreams until tomorrow,” mentions one examination of the play.

In the midst of the Georgia Bigfoot hoax, which held many metaphorical Minnesota Iceman moments for me, with its block of ice, the body in the ice, the huckster, the media, and the learned saying what they said, I had a stark revelation. I could no longer support the promised hopes that had been embodied for me in the Minnesota Iceman.

New insights about the Minnesota Iceman became so clear to me as I experienced Tom Biscardi standing up at the August 15th news conference, making statements about having “touched the body,” even though he had clearly not and had said so before and after the 15th. The Georgia “body in ice” story had eerie parallels that made me very uncomfortable.

During the autumn of 1967, college zoology major Terry Cullen spotted an extraordinary exhibit in Milwaukee—a fresh, apparently authentic corpse of a hairy man-like animal. For twenty-five cents people could see the “man left over from the Ice Age” that exhibitor Frank Hansen kept frozen in a block of ice inside a refrigerated glass coffin.

After Cullen contacted Ivan T. Sanderson (because none of Cullen’s anthropology professors would go look at it), Sanderson got in touch with Hansen. Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans traveled to Minnesota to look at the “body in ice.”

For three days, December 16-18, 1968, Sanderson and Heuvelmans examined the creature in Hansen’s freezing cold cramped trailer. The specimen appeared to be an adult male with large hands and feet. Its skin was covered with very dark brown hair three to four inches long. The creature had apparently been shot through one eye, which dangled on its face, but it also had a gaping wound and open fracture on its left arm. Smelling putrefaction, the two concluded that the creature was authentic. Through the ice, they could hardly believe what they saw. They took photographs, published their findings, and the rest, as they say, is history.

In August 1969, I saw what was said to be the Minnesota Iceman at the Illinois State Fair. (The 1969 event, an 11-day fair, still holds the highest attendance mark for any Illinois State Fair, 1,155,304 people.) I talked to Frank Hansen. I went through the exhibit twice.

Minnesota Iceman

I took photographs and sent them to Ivan T. Sanderson, Bernard Heuvelmans, and Mark A. Hall. The four of us worked closely together to determine the differences between the hominoid-like body that Sanderson and Heuvelmans had seen and photographed in December 1968, and the obvious fake that Hall and I saw a few months later in 1969. The toothy model that is often shown as the “real Iceman” is one of the photos taken of the acknowledged fake being shown in 1969.

Sanderson and Heuvelmans discussed a list of 15 specific differences they noticed in the two “Minnesota Icemen.”

I have been one of the greatest supporters of the Minnesota Iceman for the last 39 years, having written and lectured extensively on the many points I felt called for a steadfast support and consideration of the “body” being that of an unknown bipedal primate.

But I must reject the transitory hope that the Minnesota Iceman has given to the field of hominology for all these years. With regard to the Ray Wallace fake tracks that still exist in some books on Bigfoot, I have been clear that those images should all be thrown out. Cleanse away the imperfect to fashion a better sense of the good data. I now feel the same way about the Minnesota Iceman, an object of false reality in the field of cryptozoology. Clear the distraction of the Minnesota Iceman from the database. Move on to find the first and real actual body, and prove the existence of unknown hominids forever. Or not.

What is my main objection to the Minnesota Iceman, in the wake of the Georgia Bigfoot hoax? Sanderson and Heuvelmans never touched the body, they never took a DNA sample, and they never even realized the physical nature of this object. Mark A. Hall and I were also not allowed to touch whatever it was we were shown, which we have been told for years was “the fake.”

I find that round after round of arguments about the reality or the origin of the Minnesota Iceman is no better than a debate over the remembered details of a sighting. The sides have been fixed for a long time.

There is a supporter who was convinced of the reality of the Iceman because he remembers seeing plant matter in the teeth, shed skin of ekto-parasites (lice) on the skin, and unique dentition showing in the mouth where a lip was curled back. This is versus the detractor who thinks he recalls seeing the hair coming out of the same follicles like in a Barbie doll, although the remembering of which year it was seen is hardly firm.

The endless examinations of Frank Hansen’s yarns to try to figure out if the Minnesota Iceman came via a body bag from Vietnam, from a block of ice found by Russian sealers or Japanese whalers, or because it was killed and they found a month later in an unlikely frozen state in the Wisconsin woods are like trying to find microscopic truths in an ocean of lies.

Those that wish to make points – pro or con – by saying they have viewed the Minnesota Iceman in 1967, 1968, or 1969, remind me of all the people who have said they were at Woodstock in 1969. To what end does this “shared Minnesota Iceman experience” further cryptozoology? (“The widespread joke [is] that millions of people now claim to have attended Woodstock, even though the actual crowd numbered about 400,000,” notes a commentary in Fortune, 1999.)

I am guilty of having hope that the Minnesota Iceman would be a key to understanding unknown hominoids around the world, and I have written about those thoughts. I had hopes, fleeting ones, yes, but hopes, nevertheless, that, against all my instincts regarding the unholy three Biscardi-type personalities, an actual body would be revealed during the summer of 2008, too. But that hope lasted for about ten minutes. As I reach nearly four decades of holding out hopes that the Minnesota Iceman might have been real, I must completely reject it now, as a bringer of false promises to enlightenment.

If an alleged cryptid body is sitting in front of you but has not actually even been touched, it cannot, it should not be held aloof as a form of scientific evidence within cryptozoology. We call for others to be open-minded and set their standards with cryptids to a level of fairness without rejection off-handedly. We must set our standards higher than they have been in the past, and only through such an exercise will something of value come out of the horrible Georgia experience.

John Chambers Bigfoot

For me, it does not matter if the Minnesota Iceman is a carnival gaff, a Hollywood model, or an actual body, at this point, for it never existed in any state of physical reality within hominology. It was as surely an illusion as Frank Hansen wanted us to think it was, as much an illusion as Biscardi’s latest folly.

The Minnesota Iceman leaves us with nothing but false hopes, deceptive leads, and, yes, pipe dreams.

About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013.


33 Responses to “Rejecting The Minnesota Iceman”

  1. Ole Bub responds:

    Good morning Cryptos…

    I saw one of the Iceman exhibits as a youth…circa 1958-59 at the Tulsa State Fair for two bits…as a 12 year old, I was impressed.

    The Iceman looked authentic, and human like…it had a profound influence on my subsequent fifty year interest in the “indigenous North American Aboriginal Peoples”.

    In the South we accept “boogers” and “black painters” for what they are…reality.

    live and let live…

    ole bub and the dawgs

  2. davidk responds:

    I’m inclined to concur with your logic on this, Loren. Though I sincerely hope I’m not detecting a degree of melancholy in your overall tone.

  3. jdoughty responds:

    I think you make sense here, Loren, but what I’m left wondering is: What is new about this perspective?

    IMHO the most important thing you said here was that “[…] arguments about the reality or the origin of the Minnesota Iceman is no better than a debate over the remembered details of a sighting. The sides have been fixed for a long time.”

    I remember feeling the same way when I first encountered the Iceman story in my local library 30 years ago. It either was or wasn’t real… no one had taken the steps necessary to find out for sure, and the opportunity was now lost beyond retrieval… and that was that. I don’t think I consciously compared it to a sighting, the way you do above, but that was essentially the way I felt.

    So: What is it that the now 40-year-old Iceman story could possibly offer us today? What difference does rejecting or embracing it in 2008 ultimately mean? I understand that you’ve come to an emotional crossroads about a story that may, at one time, have meant a lot to you. But I don’t see any functional difference. What is it, exactly, that you’re letting go of?

    What’s left is the same wistful frustration that has always surrounded this story: If only. Or, as Dr. Krantz wrote (I paraphrase), “If only I’d walked a bit further at the Minnesota state fair, I would have been the first scientist to see the damn thing.” What makes the Iceman different from a regular sighting is that a sighting closes its own window of opportunity. It walks into the woods and is gone. In this case, we (collectively, humanity — I wasn’t born) literally had it on ice and failed to follow up. That stings, and lingers.

    Now, if Ole Bub is telling the truth when he says he saw “one of the Iceman exhibits” TEN YEARS before the period we’re talking about… well, then we’ve got something new to chew on.

  4. korollocke responds:

    Lighten up loren, so what a few fakes pop up, theres fake everything at onetime or another.

  5. BunniesLair responds:

    Science has advanced to the point that we can retrieve DNA and tell what species it is from. In 1958, that was science fiction. The Iceman hasn’t made news apart from photographs from 40+ years ago. If it were real, the owner would have nothing to lose from allowing scientific tests. He/she would be the owner of an “authenticated” iceman, thats a much bigger draw than and unsubstanciated iceman.

    One of the reasons, I had hoped so much that the ‘now known’ hoaxed frozen bigfoot was real, was because it was going to be submitted to scientific study. My thoughts were, who in their right mind would call a press conference and get scientists eager for answers for a hoax? There was to be immediate study of the body. That was an important factor for me in thinking it could be real.

    But the Iceman, after 40+ years all we still have are photos? Most likely it was sold off from a Ripley’s Believe it or Not basement sale.

  6. Loren Coleman responds:

    Ole Bub merely reinforces what I said above about people wishing to share their “I saw it” story. It is merely another “sighting” with few details, no photos, and foggy remembrances. There is no evidence that what Bub saw was even Hansen’s sideshow, for even Hansen put his exhibit ten years later.

    Besides, seriously, what does it add to the tale?

  7. DavidFullam responds:

    I don’t know. I’ve flip flopped on the Iceman for a long time. At first I thought the whole thing was a hoax. Then after reading detailed accounts of the Big Two’s findings (which included a distinct smell of decay from the exhibit), I began to believe that we did have something here, only for Hansen to make the switch when the heat was on. Now, I don’t know.

    What’s worse is the fact that in this case, we may never know the whole truth.

  8. Sparky1959 responds:

    My test is to imagine explaining the story to my kids and if they would find the facts laughable or not. When I first read the account of the Minnesota Ice man with claims of switched and lost bodys, just before the authorities could examine the real one and a secret owner and secret locations I decided I would have no credibility repeating that story as if I believed it. Therefore I could not believe it.
    I want to believe. I hope a discovery is made and real proof is found, but I must have high standards. Fishy stories smell fishy for a reason. Trail cams that produce images that look like the lens was smeared with vasoline must be dismissed. The PG film is the base line for acceptable evidence. We need to investigate so we can find what does exisist. We can’t allow our hopes of a find to allow us to accept suspicious evidence. I am a skeptic, but not a debunker unless there is a hoax.

  9. Dib responds:

    I agree 100%. We should be very careful of the evidence we present to the world, while being neither rude nor dismissive to witnesses.

    Ole Bub, in Eastern Kentucky we have bat-yeard (eared) bear-boogers.

  10. MattBille responds:

    I’ve never felt the smell of decay was meaningful. Certainly a canny showman would have thought to plant a piece of rotting meat in there somewhere, or to let something rot in the “coffin” before he used it for the Iceman.

    Don’t forget there was another origin story – the tabloid claim of a woman who said she shot it after it raped her. You can’t get much more sensationalized than that.

    Napier rejected the Iceman as a hodgepodge of human and ape features that didn’t seem logical in one creature. I certainly never understood the attempts to label it a Neanderthal.

    The last time Hansen spoke to a reporter about anything, as far as I know, was for a newspaper item on an antique tractor he had. He refused to talk about the Iceman at all. Given that no one has come up with a logical reason for why Hansen would show this thing at carnivals and then substitute the “model,” it all adds up to “hoax.”

  11. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Well, for me the Iceman story always stood right under the “inconclusive” threshold —slightly above other things, I admit— and it will always remain there until further evidence in favor or against it comes forward.

    Likewise, I think we need to maintain that same attitude with all the Blobsquatches that are lurking in the Youtube forest, and other so-called “evidence” that hasn’t been properly confirmed.

    Funny, it’s almost as if these events keep popping up, and until humanity is ready to make the necessary paradigm shift, they go back to the vacuum like some weird quantum virtual particle. I sometimes believe that until humanity is ready to accept that these fringe phenomena are real, even if a Bigfoot body is thrown to the floor of the Smithsonian, it will STILL be rejected!

    On a final note, that picture Loren linked with Biscardi & the Georgia boys is quite telling in retrospect; Biscardi and Rick appear quite comfortable and at ease while they were spoon-feeding the media with fecal matter, just like two professional con-men.

    But take a look at Matt’s face: there is clearly a sign of double thoughts, and possibly regret; like he knew that at that moment he was giving a crucial step from which there was no return to the life he knew. I almost pity him

    Maybe there’s a psychiatric link between this media circus and the episode in which he was shot in the line of duty—something related to the disruption of normal reality perception brought by a traumatic experience— I think that’s something Loren should study.

  12. Jeremy_Wells responds:

    Excellent article Loren. One of the first thoughts I had during the run-up to the whole Georgia critter press-conference debacle was that it seemed very much a pun on the Minnesota Iceman situation, right down to the “selling the body to an undisclosed millionaire” line.
    I honestly expected the Georgia joke to be stretched out more, and to become a combination of the Iceman and the ridiculous “Alien Autopsy” hoaxes (i.e. they’d sell films of the “bigfoot” necropsy, and then refuse to ever show the real body, claiming it was in the possession of whoever paid for it). I’m relieved it didn’t go that far, even if the situation still gave the field a bit of a black eye. But I’ve still got a bitter taste in my mouth about the way hucksters like TB continually drag down efforts at serious research by their association with the field (no matter how much those involved in serious study try to distance themselves from the known hoaxers and crackpots.)

  13. AlbertaSasquatch responds:

    I would have to totally agree with you Loren. The Iceman should be thrown out and we should all turn our backs on it and get back to researching “real” encounters, evidence, etc. There is also the fact that Verne Langdon pretty much outed Hansen on the BFF not very long ago and told his side of the story, which involved Hansen trying to get many people in Hollywood to make a model for him. The person that eventually made the model was the same man the made the dinosaur, mammoth, etc models at the La Brea Tar Pits in California. Throw it out, it’s just another hoax.

  14. MountDesertIslander responds:

    First hand experience….

    In 1973 I saw the Wildman in Latrobe Pennsylvania at a VFD street fair. (Big thing in western Pa.) The power was disconnected from the trailer by accident during the night and the thing was half thawed out of it’s ice when we saw it in the morning. Moreover it was encased in some kind of clear shell. It was an obvious fraud… Nothing but a prop.

    There were plenty of people who saw this catastrophic slap at the validity of the owners claims of authenticity. Of course I read years later that they acknowledged allowing the fashioning of these imatations in order to protect the real thing from such an occurance. Pfffft of the Iceman.

  15. DWA responds:

    To me the Iceman is P/G, only worse. Actually lots worse. P/G isn’t bad by any means; just cold is all.

    That film is right there, unsolved and yes, probably at this point unsolvable. I’m much less sanguine about a purported actual, concrete, corporeal thing – a piece of physical evidence people could allegedly put their hands on – that behaves like a ghost.

    Or, like a rubber fake.

    Jacko, same thing. Those alleged hominoid body finds in Nepal, Russia, and China, same thing. I just can’t get my teeth into a body (even less, a live animal like Jacko) allegedly being right in people’s hands, and no one ever getting a look who could address what it was. This may be where I start sounding like those how-come-nobody’s-shot-or-hit-or-found-one people. If so, so be it.

    Sightings? I get those. I’ve seen more than enough wild animals to get those. You can come away with nothing in your hands or in your camera at the end of a very compelling encounter, the visual alone proof enough for you.

    But this sort of thing? If the trail goes cold once on one of these, it’s cold forever, far’s I’m concerned.

  16. DWA responds:

    red_pill_junkie:

    “Funny, it’s almost as if these events keep popping up, and until humanity is ready to make the necessary paradigm shift, they go back to the vacuum like some weird quantum virtual particle. I sometimes believe that until humanity is ready to accept that these fringe phenomena are real, even if a Bigfoot body is thrown to the floor of the Smithsonian, it will STILL be rejected!”

    I’d posted before I read this. VERY good point.

    I’ve read it said (wish I could remember by whom) that until hairy hominoids are a community experience, like other things known to science, and not just the experience of the people directly encountering them, they will remain “hallucinatory” – as defined by Western culture (in other words, whether they are real or not).

    I’ve said here that good video will be instantly compelling.

    But you make a case that, well, maybe not, if past is prologue.

  17. bccryptid responds:

    There is no point in offering fresh conjecture on something we cannot examine, nor for that matter, for granting it more weight than it deserves.

    There is no evidence to the contrary that the original ‘carcass’ as inspected by Sanderson and Heuvelmans was fake, nor did they present any strong evidence it was real.

    The discovery of a more recent fake, which imo was done far more poorly than the original Iceman if that was indeed fake, does not provide any additional weight to the argument either. One fake iceman does not condemn the rest to the same verdict.

  18. RandyS responds:

    Loren is absolutely right in calling for a higher standard of evidence. And we should, all of us, make an effort to throw out the obvious and the probable “junk” and reassess what we think we know.

    Please do not construe this comment as me trying to put words into Loren’s mouth (I wouldn’t think of it), but I think the need for better, more concrete evidence (assuming absolute proof is what we all want) should provide motivation for the “kill” camp. I know, it’s an unpopular stance. But the take-photos-and-make-plaster-casts-and-never-shoot plan has not moved the argument ahead in four decades. And, finally, nothing would quash the hoaxers faster than a real body on a slab.

  19. busterggi responds:

    As I said in an earlier post I chose not to see the Iceman and regretted it since. Even if it was a hoax at least could’ve said i saw it. Seeing the outside of the exhibit doesn’t count.

    It seems this latest jolly job by Biscardi and company was a bad tasting parody of the Iceman. It’s hurt our community of cryptid lovers. But i’ll keep hanging in and I hope you will.

  20. proriter responds:

    Loren, my friend! Welcome home!

    I really did see what was presented as “The Minnesota Iceman” at Glenbrook Mall in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, in 1971 or 1972. Admission was $1, and the showing was adertised in the Ft. Wayne Journal-Gazette.

    I was quite disappointed, as the “ice” that the figure was frozen in was quite opaque and was only semi-transparent around the face. If you squinted and held your mouth right, you could see, or imagined you could see, the famous dangling eyeball, a wonderfully grotesque touch. The famous representations of the figure that are floating around are much clearer than what I saw, which in itself raises several red flags for me.

    It was seeing this thing that spurred my interest in BF. I have no idea if what I saw was the fake or the original, but I suspect that there never was a second, fake figure. I suspect that there was one figure and that it was a gaff from the word go.

    The story of the Iceman’s discovery, as related in your books, never quite rang true to me. A genuine relict hominid, possibly killed in Southeast Asia (as some speculated), was smuggled into the country, or otherwise ended up in the hands of a second-rate promoter, and was bought by an “anonymous millionaire” only to be replaced with a fake figure when the FBI started nosing around? Really? And why, pray, would the millionaire keep this thing a secret, forever frozen, rather than thawing it out and publicizing it, thereby making a further fortune? Why would he replace it with a fake? Some writers further speculate that the “real” Iceman was dumped in the woods somewhere when its course was run and replaced with a fake figure, a hypothesis that simply defies logic.

    This overly-involved narrative, absurd on its face, was to me the first real indication that the Minnesota Iceman was a a Feejee Mermaid. True stories are usually much more simple and elegant, like that of the coelacanth: a guy caught one while fishing.

    How then to explain the Iceman story? Simple: It twarn’t no Iceman, and there twarn’t no millionaire.

    Compare all of this to the Georgia BF story and note the similarities: a supposedly hominid figure that was never directly examined by a competent authority; promotion by hucksterish outside-the-mainstream types; a continually-changing narrative, etc. When you throw out all the obvious humbug, all that remains is — more humbug.

    So three cheers to you, Mr. Coleman, for your wonderful exercise in critical thinking! My further contribution to the Museum is forthcoming.

  21. norman-uk responds:

    Personally, I don’t see why we should close the book on the minnesota iceman. Nor should we worry too much over disappointments with the Georgia hoax. It was not unreasonable to think there was probably a real body and I think it is better and more interesting world where we lean toward trust with all its risks. There is no reason for cryptos to feel guilt by default for Biscardi and chums.

    If I remember correctly Heuvelman, based on his observations, thought his iceman was real. I would accept his opinion as a rule of thumb knowing this is not proof ! What I would now like to see (a tall order), is for someone find the remains of the creature before the exhibit was swapped and at least do the DNA. Then have the result interpreted by one of those special people, who has integrity and expertise and is able to make the leap to recognise something special and say it out loud.

    I’m sure there is a book in all this for someone!

  22. Grant responds:

    Whether they’re “crude and insensitive” or not, I’ve always been sentimental about milkman / mailman / iceman jokes. Icemen are worked into the end of a comical Rudy Vallee song from the ‘ 20s :
    Outside, her husband had come back,
    Unexpectedly,
    Outside, the door began to crack –
    He must have lost his key,
    Outside, he shouted “Who are You?”
    “I’m selling ice,” I cried.
    And he yelled “Hey, that ain’t fair,
    ‘Cause we’ve got a Frigidaire,
    Sell your ice, sell your ice, outside!”

  23. jayman responds:

    I agree that the Iceman has gone as far as it can. But it’s hard to make a direct comparison with the Georgia hoax. Heuvelmans and Sanderson were trained observers, while nobody with any relevant training ever vouched for the Georgia “body” – Biscardi doesn’t count. Let’s not throw out any babies with this bath water.

  24. Lyndon responds:

    I never bought into the Minnesota Iceman to begin with. From everything I have read, the whole thing seemed to be a hoax/sham from beginning to end. The stories didn’t add up and Hansen’s evasiveness is completely indicative of a con.

    It’s unfortunate that, shall we say gullible or maybe overly wishful thinking, Sanderson and Heuvelmans continued to believe what they saw was real and continued to advocate it’s authenticity when most probably they were taken in by a conman.

    It’s ironic that Heuvelman’s steadfastness concerning the Iceman is likely unfounded……in contrast to his antipathy towards the P/G footage. But there you go. That’s what happens when you are ‘too close personally’ to a particular subject. It clouds and influences your judgement.

  25. Found_One responds:

    However unfortunate the loss of the “real iceman” may be, we must consider the fact that there seems to be no solid history of the native habitat of him/her anyway. I have read it was found floating in the ocean, frozen in the woods, and shot out of a tree. Fact is, even if it was real, many of the stories have it coming from out of the country. So even if it was a “real animal/humanoid”, it may not have even been a NAPE. In anycase, I don’t really consider it a “pipe dream” to contemplate and even persue the idea of a large or even standard (small monkey-gorilla) size animal unknown to science on the continent of North America. And furthermore, let us keep in mind, almost every major animal “discovery” has been an animal well known by the natives. North American natives, know and knew our “Bigfoot” to exist, as fact.

  26. omne51 responds:

    Like others, I agree with Loren’s logic on this.

    Also, like others, I hope Loren’s shift isn’t simply due to hurt feelings over the Georgia Gorilla debacle.

  27. eyeofnewt responds:

    Loren always makes cogent arguments, but in this case I can’t get past the smell–of the Iceman, that is. Unless we’re willing to believe that both Heuvelmans and Sanderson lied on that point, concerning the specimen they examined (and no other that was substituted later), then we can’t logically reject it out of hand. We’ll never know for sure, but the actions of some Georgia jerks in 2008 have no connection whatsoever to opinions published by two professional zoologists 40 years earlier. The link just isn’t there.

  28. Artist responds:

    Naive or misguided or ill-informed or hoaxing people (Beckjord, Biscardi, Penn & Teller etc come to mind) arguing for the existence of cryptics of all types, will continue to use proven fakes (“Surgeon’s” Nessie photo, Georgia Beast in a box, Adamski’s UFOs etc) to support their stance, whenever and forever, and trying to toss them away, while an admirable gesture, seems to me an exercise in frustration, since we can’t control their antics.

    Let’s just remember that fake and unproven “evidence” is a part of the game we questors are playing, and turn away.

    BunniesLair: “My thoughts were, who in their right mind would call a press conference and get scientists eager for answers for a hoax?”

    Yeah, well, probably nobody “in their right mind”, but now we KNOW who, don’t we?

    No surprises there!

  29. AlbertaSasquatch responds:

    eyeofnewt, as someone else already pointed out, the smell wouldn’t really be that hard to fake. All you need is one piece of rotten meat and voila, there is your smell. Roadkill, steak, chicken, doesn’t matter if left long enough it will smell and it doesn’t even have to be that big of piece of meat for a large area to smell bad.

  30. proriter responds:

    “Fake and unproven evidence” is rather a contradiction, isn’t it?

    Heuvelman & Sanderson may have been competent witnesses in other cases but surely not in this one. No one could be a competent witness with the Iceman insomuch as no one was ever permitted to examine the body directly. Frozen in a block of ice, indeed! It’s always something like that, isn’t it?

    If you went to a dealer to buy a new car, and were shown instead a large block of ice, and the dealer said, “Trust me — there’s a Lexus in there!” — would you buy it? Of course not. Yet some people still buy this Iceman business under the guise of “keeping an open mind.” (Well, maybe some people would buy it, at that. . . .)

    The smell of putrefaction is proof of nothing. Even the Georgia hoaxers apparently used opossum or other animal matter to add credibility. The two hoaxes are amazingly similar. The Georgia boys just forgot the ice, that’s all.

    Take a look at Loren’s other, more recent post that shows some of the newspaper coverage of the exhibit. Take a good look at the photo of the exhibit itself. Doesn’t it just scream “Third-Rate Carny Crap” at you? If it doesn’t, you’ve never been to an old-fashioned circus sideshow.

    Ah, but in our deeply personal desire to cling to any scrap of “proof” of BF, we must remain loyal to the Iceman, musn’t we? After all, we must always keep an open mind.

  31. HOOSIERHUNTER responds:

    I agree with you Loren. After all this time the iceman probably doesn’t even exist anymore. Real or not, the time to examine it has come and gone. Frankly, I think you and the others showed a great deal of restraint. Had it been me and had I believed it was real, I can’t say that I might not have done a little unauthorized investigating with a drill.
    Now, in this time, we must have a high standard that will be repected by scientists and unimpeachable as evidence. Sightings are fine but don’t advance the science. We must have hard evidence or we are simply spinning are wheels.
    I know you must look back at the iceman with a kind of nostalgia. It represented more than just a body to you, it was an ideal and one that helped form your lifelong interest. It’s hard for us to say goodbye to cherished hope that these things represent to us. But when we do so, an important milemarker is crossed in our growth within a specific interest whatever that interest may be. It is also liberating and can give us new eyes with which to examine our interest. For you Loren, I think you can expect some new insights to come to you within the field of cryptozoology as these old chereished ideas are discarded to make way for the new.

  32. Lu Ann Lewellen responds:

    Loren, could you please list the 15 differences? I’ve read there were differences, but not what they were.

  33. Loren Coleman responds:

    The list of 15 differences was formulated by Sanderson and Heuvelmans, and never shared publicly or with Mark Hall and me. This was done so Sanderson and Heuvelmans could privately tell if the “real body” was ever shown again by Hansen, without Hansen or the secret owner knowing what these discovered differences were.

    The list may be hidden in the archives of Heuvelmans’ files held in the zoology museum in Switzerland.



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