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The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman

by Bernard Heuvelmans, Paul LeBlond (Translator), Loren Coleman (Afterword)

Trade Paperback, 284 Pages, 43 Illustrations

$24.95, ISBN: 9781938398612

Genre(s): Cryptozoology



The story begins at the end of 1968 in New Jersey, when zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans and biologist Ivan Sanderson first hear from a correspondent about the frozen corpse of an extremely hairy man-like creature being exhibited in the Midwest. Upon arrival in Minnesota, the two scientists come face to face with a “hominid” not of our species embedded in a block of ice. An inquiry into the origin of the specimen triggers a bizarre adventure involving the FBI, the Smithsonian, the Mafia, the Vietnam War, drug smuggling, Hollywood, and a secretive millionaire, giving much of the account the flavor of a riveting detective story. What happened is told in meticulous detail by Heuvelmans, who draws a startling conclusion as to the Iceman’s nature based on a comparison of its anatomy with that of modern humans and fossil ancestors. But where Heuvelman’s scientific tale ends, cryptozoologist Loren Coleman’s begins, in a lengthy fact-filled afterword that brings this remarkable saga up-to-date.

About the Author:

Bernard Heuvelmans (1916-2001) was a Belgian-French zoologist, explorer, researcher, and a writer probably best known as “the Father of Cryptozoology.” His On the Track of Unknown Animals and In the Wake of Sea Serpents are regarded as two of the most influential works of cryptozoology. In 1975 Heuvelmans established the Center for Cryptozoology in France, and in 1982 he helped to found the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct) and served as its first president. In 1999, he donated his vast holdings and archives in cryptozoology to The Museum of Zoology of Lausanne in Switzerland.

Paul H. LeBlond is an ocean scientist with a long interest in cryptozoology. He was one of the founders of the International Society of Cryptozoology, and a co-founder of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club. LeBlond is an emeritus professor at the University of British Columbia, a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and of the Canadian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society. LeBlond is the author of Discovering Cadborosaurus and the translator from the French of The Asian Wild Man by Jean-Paul Debenat. LeBlond is the first President of the newly formed International Cryptozoology Society.

Loren Coleman has conducted fieldwork and research in cryptozoology since 1960, and is the author or contributor to over 100 popular books on cryptozoology, natural history mysteries, and the media, including Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America, Cryptozoology A to Z, and Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti. For 20 years, he was an adjunct associate professor in documentary film and anthropology at six universities. He is the founder in 2003 and director of the nonprofit International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, and a co-founder of the International Cryptozoology Society in 2016.


Translator’s Introduction by Paul LeBlond

Chapter 1 What I Saw
A creature related to both man and ape

Chapter 2 What It Was Not
Neither a well-preserved fossil, nor a drifting Ainu, nor a hairy monster,
not the hybrid of an ape and a woman, nor a simple fabrication

Chapter 3 What It Must Be
What did prehistoric men look like?

Chapter 4 Why So Many Mysteries?
The eloquent silences of a carny hawker

Chapter 5 More Complications
Lightning interventions by the FBI and the Smithsonian

Chapter 6 Hansen’s Stories
A pseudo-confession of a murder launches a useless expedition

Chapter 7 Corpses Come and Go But Are Never the Same
Behind the scenes and the proof of the specimen’s authenticity

Chapter 8 Cloak and Dagger
Why the deck was loaded to start with

Chapter 9 The Wall of Incredulity
How to bury an embarrassing corpse

Chapter 10 What It Really Was
A meticulous examination of the specimen, and its identification

Chapter 11 A History of Man-Beasts
From pre-Neanderthals to Pongoids

Chapter 12 Cain vs Abel
De-hominization: a new perspective on the origin of man

Afterword After the Thaw, The Post-Heuvelmans Iceman
by Loren Coleman

Appendix A: Original Introduction to Neanderthal Man is Still Alive

Appendix B: Table of Measurements and Table Of Anthropometric Indices of Pongoid Man

Original Bibliography for Heuvelmans’ “The Mystery of the Iceman”

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What they're saying:

“In one way, the Minnesota Iceman episode is the Roswell incident of cryptozoology: a glimpse of what at first seemed proof of an extraordinary anomaly before the evidence was snatched away, to fade into secrecy, confusion, and endless dispute… [But] with the Minnesota Iceman, the ostensible evidence’s existence was known and studied almost immediately by zoologists. They concluded that the body encased in ice was of a recently slain hairy man with pre-modern characteristics.” — Jerome Clark, Fortean Times

 “…this is an excellent study of one of Cryptozoology’s biggest and most enduring enigmas: that of the Minnesota Iceman…as [Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan Sanderson] follow the trail, the pair comes across not unlike monster-hunting equivalents of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson…the story is so entertaining that you don’t actually have to be a fan of Cryptozoology, at all, to read it. Anyone and everyone with an interest in how and why people pursue enigmas will find Neanderthal to be highly engaging reading…A tale of a man-beast, models and mystery, Neanderthal is one of the most entertaining books I have read in a long time – and for many reasons!” — Nick Redfern, Mysterious Universe

"Regardless of whether there ever was a flesh-and-blood corpse encased in a block of ice, Heuvelmans’ Neanderthal is a lesson that all interested in the case for relict hominoids should take note of, and reflect upon in the wake of shifting paradigms in the here and now." — Jeff Meldrum, Journal of Scientific Exploration

"... the book is of great value to those interested in the history of cryptozoological thought and speculation, on arcane evolutionary hypothesising, and also potentially to those researching the history of 20th century thought on hominin evolution." — Darren Naish, Scientific American



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