A few weeks back I posted about a James Randi newsletter in which he references (in the wake of the Georgia Bigfoot hoax) the controversial Minnesota Iceman case of the late 1960s and the involvement of his ‘former’ friend, famed cryptozoologist Ivan T. Sanderson. In the post (and in a later comment), I pointed out that – although there were certainly many elements of the case suggestive of a hoax – Randi seemed to have skipped some of the more intriguing parts of Sanderson’s investigation, as related by Loren Coleman in his book Mysterious America.
However, in a new post at Cryptomundo.com, Loren has made clear that the Georgia Bigfoot hoax has made him reassess the level of evidence required for him to take cryptozoological investigations seriously, and as such he has decided to reject the Minnesota Iceman case. Loren’s announcement is quite eloquent, using the parable (and of course, the title!) of Eugene O’Neill’s 1939 play The Iceman Cometh to illustrate his point:
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.”
…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 three 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.
…The Minnesota Iceman leaves us with nothing but false hopes, deceptive leads, and, yes, pipe dreams.
Check out the whole post, it’s an excellent article from Loren which examines a lot of issues we wrestle with daily here on TDG.