In 1969, the world turned its attention to an extraordinary claim published in an article by the Argosy magazine: the discovery of a fresh corpse, preserved in ice, that would fill “the gap between ape and man.”
A year earlier, a man named Frank Hansen had shot and killed a bipedal creature in the woods of Minnesota. Whether real or fake, the specimen exhibited a gunshot through the eye and a broken arm; at least that’s what Steve Busti, owner of the Museum of the Weird in Texas, found out this year when he bought the corpse from the family of its owner in Minnesota.
At first, Hansen claimed he’d found the creature in Siberia, while working for a billionaire. Later, he changed his story and admitted to killing the primate in the Minnesota woods. He then froze it and started displaying it at carnivals, charging 25 cents to everyone who wanted to take a look. That was before two cryptozoologists got involved with the Smithsonian to request an official investigation into the possibility of the beast being a man from the Ice Age. So what did Hansen do? He allegedly replaced the body with a fake one before the investigation took place. The FBI was then put on alert by the Smithsonian under the suspicion of a murder coverup.
Hypertrichosis is a disease characterized by the abnormal growth of body hair. Also known as the werewolf syndrome, people suffering this disease were often exposed to public amusement at circuses around the world. There is the possibility that Hansen really found a dead body in Siberia and brought it over with him to North America. Or maybe he shot what he thought to be a Bigfoot, an iceman, a monkey, or some sort of beast. If that’s the case, it is unknown what would cause a well balanced human being to shoot something for its mere appearance, and not for food or self defense. Respect for all sorts of life, including cryptid’s is something most cryptozoologists would agree with; but it is undeniable that fear of the unknown usually incites violence in humans. This curse then accentuates as a person’s brain gathers multiple stereotypes and social orders in an attempt to relieve themselves from their own defects.
It is possible that the hypertrichosis theory was among many factors that brought the FBI’s attention to the case. Luckily -or not- for Hansen, after the body was replaced with a latex figure, the FBI decided not to dive into the case. After all, it is hard to believe that a man that commits a murder could feel the impulse to advertise his crime by exposing the body for everyone to see.
Later, a woman came forward claiming it was her who had shot the creature. Helen Westring said she had been hunting near Bemidji, Minnesota, when she killed the beast by putting a bullet through its right eye. Almost simultaneously, Howard Ball, a man that worked for Disnelyland making rubber figures, said he and his son had created the “Iceman” in an attempt to recreate a Cro-Magnon man.
Another possibility is that the killed animal was a mutant primate similar to Oliver, the chimp with human face. His story proves one more time that what’s not understood by humans is generally first enslaved, then exposed to experimental torture and finally destroyed.
As you can see, the story of the Minnesota Iceman is packed with mystery, skepticism, creepiness and even murder theories.
Starting July 3, the Museum of the Weird will be exhibiting it for everyone to see. Perhaps it is now the time for a thorough examination of the corpse to determine the validity of this case.
Was the alleged replacement of the corpse by a latex model the preemptive attempt to protect a new species? Was it a murder? A hoax?
Or was this the result of a darker conspiracy in order to coverup the discovery of a living human primate that otherwise would have challenged the status quo of mainstream Science, and prompted the inevitable replacement of billions of outdated history textbooks at schools and colleges worldwide? We will never know.
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