Every seasoned fan of Cryptozoology has heard or read about the Minnesota Iceman, the legendary carnival state fair attraction*, supposedly rescued from the glacial seas of Siberia, that was taken from town to town in 1968, and managed to capture the attention not only of seasoned researchers Bernard Heuvelmans & Ivan T. Sanderson, but even the Smithsonian institution & the FBI! When the government got involved in the case the fairy popsicle's presenter, Frank Hansen, claimed that 'the original' belonged to an undisclosed private collector, who had reclaimed possession over it, which was why he had commissioned 'a replica' to continue with his show.
The many inconsistencies in his story made the agents suspect it was all a hoax, while Heuvelmans & Sanderson kept insisting they had indeed investigated the corpse of a genuine pre-human, and that they had even smelled the putrefaction caused by the melting of its ice coffin; Hansen –ever the showman– had the gall to add to his show banner the text "investigated by the FBI."
Ever since then, the whereabouts of the infamous attraction (or attractions) were lost. Until early this year, when claims that the Minnesota Iceman was being offered on eBay. After an anonymous buyer won the bid, cryptozoologists feared the Iceman would once again disappear into the obscurity of some private collection.
Fortunately, this is not the case: It is now revealed the 6 foot long hairy rubber doll was acquired by Steve Busti for his Museum of the Weird, located in Austin Texas. Also, our good friend Loren Coleman reports the Iceman will be temporarily exhibited on the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine:
Museum of the Weird owner Steve Busti announces on Wednesday, June 26, 2013, that the Minnesota Iceman is currently in his possession, and will soon be exhibited to the world once again in his Austin, Texas tourist attraction. Busti is aiming to have the Iceman set up in his museum and open to the public within a week, with plans for a special Grand Opening event in July.
In addition to the Minnesota Iceman taking up permanent residence at the Museum of the Weird, Busti also plans to loan the Iceman for display at the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine for a special limited future engagement, during the Summer of 2014.
The Museum of the Weird is an homage to dime museums made popular by the likes of P.T. Barnum, and features everything from real mummies, shrunken heads and oddities, to wax figures of classic movie monsters, to live giant lizards. They even boast a live sideshow on stage every day, where one can see magicians, sword-swallowers, human blockheads, and even an “electricity-proof” man.
The International Cryptozoology Museum is the world’s only cryptozoology, and contains rare one-of-a-kind exhibits of expedition evidence of Yeti, Bigfoot, and Orang Pendek hair samples, footprint casts, a 8 ft tall Bigfoot replica, a full-sized juvenile Sea Serpent carcass, various television/movie props, such as Laura Linney’s police uniform from The Mothman Prophecies, and faux cryptid taxidermy items, including a 4 ft tall FeeJee Mermaid used in the movie P.T. Barnum.
So now we all need a bigger change jar if we're gonna make the trip to visit this unique piece of Fortean history.
If you want to follow up on the news regarding the Iceman & all things Cryptozoological, be sure to visit Loren's blog often.
(*) [UPDATE] After a second post by Loren, some corrections need to be made:
Loren writes that the Iceman "was not shown in “carnivals” but at state fairs and stock shows."
As for the 3rd image shown in this post, Loren adds:
The source of these photographs is via the “the true story behind Frank Hansen’s infamous Minnesota Iceman” in a 2011 book by Rick West, Pickled Punks and Girlie Shows. The book appears available from Rick West’s publisher; please order here. And from online sellers, like Amazon, see here.
So this seems to add more mystery to the newly resurfaced Iceman, especially if you compare the aforementioned pics to actual vintage photographs taken in the late 60's –this one below, taken by Loren himself in 1969, when he visited the attraction as a young man:
(If you got to Loren's website, you'll notice that in the photos kept in Heuvelmans' archives –and in the sketches he & Sanderson drew– the teeth of the creature are not revealed)
Is the 2011 Iceman a 'late fake' and the new 2013 version the 'original fake'? I also recall reading in one of my books, that the 'original' Iceman seemed to show a bullet wound in one of its eyes –something not observed in the 2011 photos.
Loren says new revelations are coming, so we'll keep you posted as they are defrosted.