Discussion about the Minnesota Iceman

The strangest part of the Iceman story is the part about the second specimen. After Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson examined it, primatologist John Napier decided to do the same, but Hanson withdrew the Iceman, allegedly on the orders of the "eccentric Canadian" man who he said owned it. He then put another one on display, which was obviously made of latex and was in a different position. Napier, unsurprisingly, determined this one was a fake, and said he believed it was the same specimen, simply re-frozen in another position.

Let's assume he's wrong - they're different. After all, both Heuvelmans and Sanderson, trained zoologists, believed the first one was genuine, so it must have been more convincing.

But why did Hanson, or his boss, have the first one removed, only to replace it with a clearly fake second one? If it was fake, perhaps he was worried a primatologist would recognise that, but Heuvelmans and Sanderson were no fools themselves, and he never did anything to hinder them (it's possible that, as cryptozoologists, he thought they'd by more likely to say it was genuine). Furthermore, suddenly having a backup version of the Iceman probably made him look very suspicious. If he fooled two experts, he could have fooled a third - but instead, he threw an obvious fake on display.

On the subject of the backup specimen, I'll admit that it does seem unlikely that he'd have one. It's much easier to believe that it was the same specimen re-frozen. But if that's right, why were Heuvelmans and Sanderson fooled?

If the two specimens were different, and the first was real, why wouldn't Hanson want it to be verified by a third scientist? Some other specimens, like the Ringdocus, aren't open for testing because the owners fear that it would ruin the mystery. But the Iceman didn't rely on mystery - it was specifically referred to as a "missing link". And, again, Hanson had already let two other scientists "ruin" the Iceman mystery by claiming it to be genuine.

It seems that the Iceman must have been a fake. But if it was, why did Heuvelmans and Sanderson both believe it was genuine? They went as far as to give it a taxonomic name. And what was Hanson hoping to achieve by putting either an obvious fake, or the same thing re-frozen, on display? There's also the "putrefaction where some of the flesh had been exposed from the melted ice" mentioned by Heuvelmans, which Hanson probably wouldn't have known to include.

Also, according to Wikipedia, the Iceman was "supposedly" recently sold on eBay and put on public display in Austin, Texas. Why is that "supposed"? It should be easy to verify. Of course, if there were actually two specimens, it's probably the second, fake one which was sold.

/r/Cryptozoology Thread