The Minnesota Iceman is one of the most facinating pieces of the Bigfoot mystery. It was toured accross the Midwest at carnivals and fairs by Frank Hansen from the late 60's - early 80's. Hansen told spectators that the Iceman was a creature from the Iceage. The display consisted of a large block of ice which entombed and preserved the hairy creature.
Eventually the Iceman caught the attention of cyrptozoologists, scientists, and monster hunters alike. This publicity sparked the confusion and mystery that surrounds the Minnesota Iceman to this day.
Listed below is a Minnesota Iceman timeline (Courtesy of Minnesota sasquatch researcher Mike Quast)
1963-While on leave from Air Force service in Duluth, Frank Hansen has a sighting of something while in the woods hunting around Whiteface Reservoir. He does not describe what it was he saw.
1967-Hansen is now touring at carnivals and state fairs. He is displaying an antique tractor when he is approached by a man from the entertainment industry. The man hires Frank Hansen to display a unique specimen he has acquired, but does not want his name associated with it. This took place at the Arizona State Fair, and to this day the identity of the man who approached Hansen remains a mystery.
Later, in Long Beach California, the man shows Hansen the Iceman. He explains to Hansen that an associate had discovered it in a Hong Kong refrigeration plant and purchased it on his behalf. The story told was that it had been found floating in the sea by Chinese fishermen in a 3-ton block of ice. The ice is temporarily shaved down enough to display to Hansen that the Iceman is real flesh and blood.
1967-68-Hansen begins to display the Iceman at carnivals and fairs across the U.S. He is told to use any kind of story to expalin the Iceman as long as he never reveals the true owners name. At this time Frank Hansen also has a replica constructed in California in case he ever needs to make a switch. Howard Ball is the first hired to create the replica, but Hansen later takes it to several different companies to have it finished. This results in several companies claiming to be the true creators of the Minnesota Iceman.
Dec 1968-At the Chicago International Livestock Exposition, a herpetologist from Milwaukee named Terry Cullen views the Iceman and becomes facinated by it. He attempts to get scientists to view the Iceman and finally contacts Ivan T. Sanderson and cryptozoologist Bernard Heuvelmans (who happens to be visiting Sanderson) to agree to view the Iceman.
Dec 16-18, 1968-Sanderson and Heuvelmans visit Hansen at his farm in Altura, Minnesota. There, they conduct as thorough of a scientific examination as they can without thawing the Iceman out. When their examination is finished, both Sanderson and Heuvelmans are convinced the Minnesota Iceman is genuine. Hansen insists they do not publicize these findings. They do anyway, saying they have established the modern survival of the Neanderthal man. Hansen's Iceman becomes famous. Soon law enforcement agents visit Hansen, wondering about the Iceman's origin, cause of death, authenticity, and if they can conduct their own investigation.
In secret, Hansen "skips" town and takes off with the Iceman in the middle of the night, meets the owner in a secret location, and exchanges the real Iceman for a replica.
April 21, 1969-Back home, Hansen holds a press conference where he reveals the fake Iceman to the public, insinuating that this is the same one he had all along. Most scientists (exept Sanderson & Heuvelmans) abandon all interest in the Iceman, including John Napier of the Smithsonian.
June 30, 1969-The National Bulletin, a tabloid, features an article called "I Was Raped by the Abominable Snowman" about a woman named Helen Westring (who probably never existed) who killed an attacking creature while hunting near Bemidji, Minnesota. Was this the Iceman? The truth remains murky.
THE TRAILOR THAT HAULED THE ICEMAN
READ WHAT EYEWITNESSES HAVE TO SAY ABOUT THE ICEMAN
"In 1967 or 1968 I attended the Minnesota State Fair. There, for 50 cents, you could get a very good close up of the creature in the block. At that time I was so close to it that I could, and I did touch the block of ice. The man there said the body was found up in Northern Minnesota. The creature I saw was very real, you could see the one hand very well, and some of the upper body. The rest of the body was in a fog of ice. But I remeber the hand most of all. This was not a made up thing, no one could make a hand that perfectly. What I saw that day was very real". J.P.
"I saw the Iceman in 1968-69 at the State fair of Texas. My sister and I viewed the exhibit at great length. I remember being greatly intrigued by this "caveman" frozen in a block of ice. The image that sticks out in my mind is the bloody wound where the right eye would have been". Anonymous.
"I'm originally from Waterloo, Iowa and now live in Cumberland, WI. I am 41 years old. I saw your Iceman back in 1973 on display at the National Dairy CattleCongress, fair in that block of ice as a 14 year old boy. It cost me five dollars to look at this bigfoot. The more I looked at this bigfoot in a block of ice, the more I believed it not to be a fake. I went back two more times with my friends to see. They said to me it was real too. I hope this helps you". M.A."The one I saw I'm sure was a fake.
It was about six feet tall and had its arm
bent up with its hand closest to the glass
palm up. But it looked waxy as if the skin
was made of wax, which is what many
claim it was; a wax figure with hairs individually