Funny how you can live most of your life in one place and not know dark secrets about its history, such as, in this case, the "Minnesota Iceman."
Never heard of him? Get in touch with your paranormal self.
Of course he existed, according to legend, and was paraded to fairs and carnivals around the country in the 1960s (and by some accounts, until the 1980s) by a Duluth man named Frank Hansen.
Over the years, the Minnesota Iceman acquired its true believers in a brother of Bigfoot, and still more naysayers who sniffed out nothing but pure monkey business.
Either way, the Huffington Post reports that earlier this year, Steve Busti – owner of the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas – bought the ice man from the family of its original owner in Minnesota. "He's going to once again reveal the ape-like creature to the world," the Post huffs, starting July 3.
Busti apparently supplied HuffPo with "exclusive photos" from 40 some years ago – though they're already all over the Internet – and here's one.
Hansen claimed to have come upon the Iceman through its unknown owner in California, and both claimed the Iceman was killed in Siberia. Over the years, the story changed, of course. Hansen had claimed that it was a "man left over from the Ice Age" and charged 25 cents for a look at the Iceman in its refrigerated, glass coffin.
In 1968, two cryptozoologists, Ivan Sanderson, a science writer, and Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, a Belgian naturalist, thought they'd made the find of the century.
Sanderson and Heuvelmans drove to Hansen's farm where the thing had been stored for the winter. In a cramped trailer they examined the creature and became convinced that they had found a Neanderthal Man, Bigfoot or something similar.
Here's Hansen displaying it around that time:
By 1969, Hansen's – or someone's – story changed, and the frozen beast was thought to have been killed in Wisconsin. All this caught enough traction that the May 1969 issue of Argosy Magazine put the "Living Fossil" on its cover, asking if it was the missing link. Seriously.
But that doesn't mean any of this didn't happen, as this impressive timeline reveals.
The Rochester Post-Bulletin uncovered part of the myth here in 2010.
And the thing sold for $19,000 this year, according to this YouTube clip:
Busti in Austin probably deserves to display it, tracking it down some 10 years after Hansen died.
So, what is it? Well, the Iceman is six feet tall, but he doesn't seem to stand up much. "It's big. Hair covers its entire body. And it doesn't look too happy," says the Hufington Post. "It's easy to see why many continue to think it's proof of Bigfoot, and why others think it's simply a primate. From Wisconsin."
And, hey, the UK's Daily Mail is totally buying into it, so it must be true.
Busti, not surprisingly, claims it's legit.
"[Hansen] shot it in Wisconsin -- its eyeball's blown out and its arm is broken," Busti tells HuffPost Weird News. "I couldn't believe it had been in Minnesota the entire time."