The Missing Link?
- August 22, 2017
By Ivan T. Sanderson
Is this the creature that bridges the gap between man and ape? If so, he’s the greatest anthropological find in history — and he was alive less than five years ago! I must admit that even I, who have spent most of my life in this search, I am filled with wonder as I report the following:
There is a comparatively fresh corpse, preserved in ice, of a specimen of at least one kind of ultra-primitive, fully-haired man-thing, that displays so many heretofore unexpected and non-human characters as to warrant our dubbing it a “missing link.” Here is the amazing story of this historic find: Early in January of this year, I was sitting at my typewriter just staring at nothing. and the staff and two visiting students from Chicago were busily working away, when the phone rang.
The caller was a Minneapolis man who introduced himself as a zoologist and owner of an animal import-export business specializing in reptiles. He gave as credentials, references to two new species of iguana lizard that he discovered in the Caribbean. This may sound rather peculiar, but in the animal business, it is much better than giving a bank reference. After a general chat, this fellow told me he had just returned from Chicago where he had visited the famous annual Stock Fair. While there, he had inspected a sideshow, which consisted of a single large coffin in a trailer-truck. In this coffin, which was glass-covered and brightly lit with strip lights, there was a huge block of ice, about half of it as clear as the air in the room, the rest frosty or darkly opaque.
In the ice was the corpse of a large, powerfully built man, or “man-thing,” completely clothed in dark, stiff hair about three inches long. My informant urged me to go take a look at it, since he, being a real student of what we call ABSMery (abominable-snowman related information) and having read everything available on the subject, felt that it was the real thing, despite its being billed as a mystery. I receive stories like this almost every day, although they don’t usually come in by phone. We give every one as careful consideration as is possible because we long ago realized that nothing, however peculiar it may sound at first, is impossible. But after more than thirty years of scientific appraising, police intelligence training and professional reporting, we have become rather agile and we don’t go off half-cocked. Moreover, we just can’t afford to go charging off after every “hare” that is put up, even by those who sound eminently sensible and whose stories make basic sense. As a mere item, this call from Minneapolis should have gone into our hopper and been subjected to what one may call “due process,” since giant human bodies and skeletons, and phony corpses of pygmies, and “Cardiff Giants” made of wood or plaster roll in at a steady clip. This is not to say that we do not routinely inspect as many carnival, midway, sports and other exhibits as we can, because there are still some extraordinary specimens languishing in these somewhat neglected backwaters. On this occasion, however, that little bell rang inside me as it used to when I discovered a new animal while collecting professionally for zoos and museums. I started packing one of our station wagons with my traveling office and recording equipment.
It happened that working quietly away in his own room at the other end of the house was just about the only man in the world fully qualified to pronounce upon such an item as this. Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, of the Royal Academy of Sciences of his native Belgium, and author of, among others, a book entitled On the Track of Unknown Animals. In this, he reviewed the whole Asiatic and South American field of so-called Abominable Snowmen and other manlike creatures. He has spent the last twenty years collecting further data on the subject, traveling the world and corresponding with all the great scientists who have taken this matter seriously — such as Professors Porshev and Shmakoff of Russia; Academician Rinchen of Mongolia; Drs. Osman-Hill and John Napier of England; Professors Carleton S. Coon and George Agogino in this country; Dr. Biswas of India; Professor Teizo Ogawa of Japan, and others.
I am not going to pinpoint just where we went at this time, other than to say that it was west of the Mississippi, because I know only too well what publicity can do, so I respect the plea of the gentleman in whose care this exhibit is stored during the winter season — especially because it is on his private property.
Turning into a motel and ensconcing ourselves, I rang the gentleman concerned and he invited us up the next morning. We got there by back-tracking and using a compass, and eventually barreled into a beautiful snow-covered garden surrounded by a grove of planted conifers. And there stood a lovely ranch-type house on the one hand and a large trailer truck on the other. We were most graciously received, and, in fact, invited to stay as house guests. Our host turned out to be in one of my old businesses and so we spoke the same language. Knowing why we had come, he soon got around to donning a parka, and we tottered out to the trailer to look at the “Thing.”
Now, supposing you had spent your entire adult life searching for the sarcophagus of, say, Saint Francis of Assisi, and finally found it. Then you discovered that the body of the Saint himself was preserved therein. How would you feel?
Looking at the body of a descendant of one of my possible ancestors — especially since it looked as I had always expected it would — really shook me up. We spent the afternoon photographing it. I held the lights and things for Bernard while he tried to get shots in under the opaque parts of the ice. We left at sundown.
The next day, we got down to the gritty part. Getting in added equipment, we drove back up the mountain and moved in on our charming host and hostess. It was really freezing cold by that time, but we went to work right away. Armed with rules and such, we carried on all that evening and again the next morning.
On the whole, Bozo, as we nicknamed him, is a sturdy, approximately six-foot-tall “human,” covered with two- to four-inch, stiff, but thickly growing hair, except on the soles of his feet, the palms of his hands, his penis and his face. He has nails, not claws or “overgrown” nails, on both his hands and feet. He has practically no neck, the muscles from the side of his head forming a great triangle that flows into his shoulders, which are very wide and constructed like those of a powerful human wrestler. His torso is what is commonly called barrel-shaped and it tapers down not to a waist, but to rather narrow hips. His legs are actually about the standard length for a six-foot man, but his arms are longer than the average. His most outstanding features, and those which strike one first, are his hands. These are enormous, rather spatulate, but of entirely human proportions — except for one feature. This is the thumb, which is slender and excessively long, reaching, it seems, almost to the last joint of the first or index finger. The feet are more than ten inches wide, measured across the toes. The toes are larger and both stubby and “tubby,” and the little toe is almost as big as the others. The feet and the toes are covered with many long hairs that appear to be very stiff and curve down. Most significant, however, is the fact that the big toe lies alongside the next one, as it does in us (it is what is called apposed, as distinct from the big toe of the apes which is opposed like our thumb.) This is the one and almost only clear distinction between men (Hominids) and apes (Pongids).
Bozo’s face is his most startling feature, both to anthropologists and anyone else — and for several reasons. Unfortunately, both eyeballs have been “blown out” of their sockets. One appears to be missing, but the other seems (to some, at least) to be just visible under the ice. This gives Bozo a gruesome appearance, which is enhanced by a considerable amount of blood diffused from the sockets through the ice. The most arresting feature of the face is the nose. This is large but only fairly wide, and is distinctly “pugged,” rather like that of a Pekinese dog — but not like that of a gorilla, which actually doesn’t have a nose, per se. The nostrils are large, circular and point straightforward, which is very odd. The mouth is only fairly wide and there is no inversion of the lips; in fact, the average person would say he had no lips at all. His “muzzle” is no more bulging, ruminant, or pushed forward than is our own; not at all prognathous like that of a chimp.
One side of the mouth is slightly agape and two small teeth can be seen. These should be the right upper canine and the first premolar. The canine or eyetooth is very small and in no way exaggerated into a tusk, or similar to that of a gorilla or a chimp. But — to me, at least — the most interesting features of all are some folds and wrinkle lines around the mouth just below the cheeks. These are absolutely human, and are like those seen in a heavy-jowled, older white man. Let me say, simply, that one look was actually enough to convince us that this was — from our point of view, at least — “the genuine article.” This was no phony Chinese trick, or “art” work. If nothing else confirmed this, the appalling stench of rotting flesh exuding from a point in the insulation of the coffin would have been enough.
Then again, you may well be able to fool me, I fully admit. But I defy anybody to fool Bernard Heuvelmans in a case like this. You just cannot “make” a corpse like this, either out of bits and pieces of the bodies of other animals, or of wax, with some half a million hairs inserted into it. And you can’t get the kind of hairs that cover this corpse from any other kind of animal that I know of. Also, the proportions of this body, and several of its special features, are just not known at all — or, at least, have never been suggested either by paleontologists who have studied the fossil bones of primitive man-things, or even by the skilled artists who have fleshed out and made constructions of what the former have found. In fact, any “artists” setting out to “make” such a thing would have had to have a model, and none is available. But, apart front that, you can’t completely fool two trained morphologists with zoological, anatomical and anthropological training. No! Bozo is the genuine article.
This body has been on public exhibit for nearly two years in Oklahoma, Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin and other states. Why didn’t anybody spot what he really was until my correspondent saw him in Chicago? Well, just how many people with proper training in any of the biological sciences (including medical practitioners and students) go to such shows? If any do, how many are trained physical anthropologists or primatologists? How many have ever heard of the ABSM search?
The answer is: practically nobody who attended the exhibit. The agent who has handled this exhibit and who acts as caretaker for it during the winter off-season told me that it was first heard of through a group of Americans whose official duties took them back and forth across the Pacific. From these, it was learned that this “curiosity” was lying in a 6,000-pound block of ice, in a sort of super plastic bag, in a large commercial deep freeze unit in Hong Kong. It was offered for sale by an exporter who is in the business of marketing all manner of goods, including curios. An American bought it.
The seller offered various stories as to the origin of the thing. According to one, it was found floating in a block of sea-ice in international waters somewhere in the Bering Sea by a Russian sealing ship, and was hauled aboard and put in the hold. This ship put into a Chinese port and the Chinese authorities seized the specimen and off-loaded it, whereupon it “disappeared” for some months into Red China. By this account, the specimen (still in some 6,000 pounds of ice) finally turned up in Hong Kong.
An alternate story told how it was found by a Japanese whaling outfit somewhere off the coast of Kamchatka, taken to Japan and then sold to the exporter in Hong Kong. There are also other versions, but none can be confirmed; no names of any ships involved have been ascertained, and nothing further is known.
I have been told that “the greatest experts” inspected the specimen when it first arrived in this country and that they took hair and blood samples. From these, “the blood proved to contain both red and white cells.” No samples of either blood or hair are, however, available, though I did track down some of the alleged hairs, which turned up in a university laboratory in the south. Asking for copies of reports on these from “great experts,” I was told that none were available, but that the hair had been pronounced to be more like those of Mongolian humans than any other known man or animal. Bozo is “owned” by someone who wishes to remain anonymous and who proposes to keep him on the carnival circuit for another year, and then donate him to some institution.
There was an initial almost furious resistance to any suggestion of publicizing this thing in any way, though I was shown published write-ups of it in trade magazines. It was explained that the owner “did not want to fool the public” and had therefore billed this exhibit as a mystery, and as most probably being some kind of Oriental fakery. Moreover, he does not want to know what the thing in the ice really is because, if it is a phony, he feels that by advertising it as some sort of “ice-age man,” he would be committing a fraud on the public.
Technical reports on this item already constitute a fair-sized volume, and these will, in due course, be published in technical journals. I will not attempt to weigh you down with all the details, although many of them would make most exciting articles in themselves. I am only hoping that they will do so one day, when Bozo is afforded the homage which he, of all Hominids ever born, manifestly deserves.
The following statements have been made by leading anthropologists and primatologists, but it must be clearly understood that all were accompanied by a general rider to the effect that their comments are based solely on inspections of the photographs, drawings and measurements, and the preliminary reports submitted by Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson, and that until the specimen is x-rayed and properly examined, they cannot, of course, make any more categoric statements at this time.
DR. CARLETON S. COON (Professor of Anthropology, Harvard).
“The pictures and description of this specimen indicate that it is a whole corpse and not some composite or model. Further, it is that not only of a Hominid but of some kind of man, though displaying a number of most unexpected anatomical features, that will be of the utmost interest to physical anthropologists.”
DR. JOHN R. NAPIER (Primate Biology Program, Smithsonian Institution).
“Assuming its validity, it is quite clear (to me) that the specimen belongs to neither family (meaning Pongid or ape, or Hominid or man), and I would prefer to erect a new family rather than try and force it into one of the old ones. Members of such a family might be called “parahumans”; in other words, hominoid types which evolved in parallel to both, and from a common stock.”
PROFESSOR W. C. OSMAN-HILL (Yerkes Regional Primate Center, Emory University, Atlanta).
“I really do not know what to make of this one except that with the limited data available it strikes me as more Pongid than Hominid, but be that as it may no pains should bo spared to obtain this (for proper examination) before it becomes irrecoverable for one reason or another.”
PROFESSOR GEORGE A. AGOGINO (Paleo-Indian Institute, Eastern New Mexico University, Portales. New Mexico).
“The description of what seems to be naturally developed sea ice and the detailed analysis of the visible parts of the enclosed body suggest we are dealing with a Homo male of unknown time period. While it is impossible to rule out fraud, the structure of the ice and the complexity of making a composite animal with scientific continuity make this unlikely. While the enclosed body seems to exhibit both hominid and pongid features, the human factors predominate and the non-human characteristics could be exaggerated through ice magnification, sea bloat, and general body decomposition. It is possible we are dealing with a modern human anomaly, although absolute determination must wait until the body can undergo chemical and physical analysis under laboratory conditions.”
COMMENT BY BERNARD HEUVELMANS (D. Sc., Brussels University; F.Z.S.. London; collaborator Scientifique. Royal Institute of Natural Sciences, Belgium; International Institute of Sociology, Rome; International Union for the Protection of Nature and Natural Resources.)
“FOR the first time in history, a fresh corpse of Neanderthal-like man has been found. It means that this form of Hominid, thought to be extinct since prehistoric times, is still living today.
The long search for rumored live “ape-men” or “missing links” has at last been successful. This was not accomplished by expeditions to far away places and at great expense, but by the accidental discovery, in this country, of a corpse preserved in ice. The specimen is an adult human-like male, six feet tall, differing from all types of modern man by these striking characteristics:
1. Extreme hairiness;
2. An apparent shortness of the neck;>
3. A barrel-shaped torso, more rounded than in modern man;
4. Extremely long arms, which must reach to the knees when hanging;
5. Disproportionate hands and feet. Hands are eleven inches long and more than seven inches wide. Feet are eight inches wide.
6. Peculiar relative proportions of both fingers and toes. The thumb is longer than modern man’s and the toes are all nearly the same size.
Most of these characteristics agree with what is known of the classic Neanderthals. Is has been established that:
1. It cannot be an artificial, entirely manufactured object (it is actually decomposing);
2. It cannot be a composite, produced by assembling anatomical parts taken from living beings of different species (if the face looks merely unusual, both hands and feet are unknown in any zoological form);
3. It cannot be a normal individual belonging to any one of the known races of modern man (even the hairiest of the “hairy Ainus” of Japan are not that hairy);
4. It cannot be an abnormal individual, or freak, belonging to any of the known races of modern man because, in all cases of hypertrichosis, i.e. abnormal development of the hair, the most hairy areas are the outside of the upper head, the chin, cheek, upper lip, axillae, middle of chest and crotch; here, these areas have a less profuse growth of hair. Moreover, the specimen cannot have been preserved in ice for centuries or millennia. This is physically impossible.
The peculiar structure of the ice and the presence of a pool of blood around the head show that, immediately after death, the corpse was placed in a freezer tank filled with water and artificially frozen. A large caliber bullet entering the right eye apparently killed the specimen. The impact blew out the rear of the skull and forced the left eye out of its socket. To sum up, this specimen is a contemporary representative of an unknown form of Hominid, most probably a relic of the Neanderthal type. The belief, based on strong testimonial evidence, that small, scattered populations of Neanderthals survive, has been held for years by some scientists, mostly Russian and Mongolian.
A full scientific report of the present finding, with a description of this new form of living Hominid under the name of Homo pongoides (i.e. “Apelike Man)” has been published in February, in the Bulletin of the Royal Institute of Natural Sciences of Belgium (Vol. 45 No. 4). Sanderson’s Paper on the Minnesota Iceman “Preliminary Description of the External Morphology of What Appeared to be the Fresh Corpse of a Hitherto Unknown Form of Living Hominid” by Ivan T. Sanderson.
The possibility of the continued existence of one or more kinds of ultra-primitive hominids in various parts of Eurasia, Orientalia, Africa, and North and South America, has been mooted for several decades. The suggestion has never, it appears, been questioned in Mongolia, China, Tibet, and surrounding provinces, but it was not until the early years of this century that Professor, now Academician, V. A. Kakhlov introduced the matter to the western scientific world in Russia. Starting in 1920 a complication arose in the misnaming of another reported creature in the eastern Himalayas, called in colloquial Nepali the ‘Meh-Teh’, which appellation has since been converted and contracted to Yeti and become synonymous with the false moniker ‘The Abominable Snowman’. This latter is clearly a tradition of — if not a series of factual records of — some form of highly advanced, mountain-climbing pongid; and it is the consensus of educated opinion that, if such a creature does still exist, it will most probably prove to be a descendant of or related to Gigantopithecus known from fossil remains in adjacent southern China.
Concurrently, several reports of as yet undiscovered pongids emanated also from Africa. However, all reports of bipedal, fully-haired anthropoids from the other four continents named above, without exception concur in describing the creatures as being hominid, and leaving uniquely human-like footprints with an opposed great toe. Apart from this feature, there would appear to be considerable variation both in the size and form, and the behaviour of these hominids. These characters and characteristics spread the possibility of their identification all the way from neanderthaloid types of H. sapiens to the earliest Australopithecines. This paper describes the external morphology of what appeared to us to be a fresh corpse of one type of such large, fully-haired, bipedal primate that was preserved in ice, in a refrigerated coffin, in the United States of America, and which was examined by the writer in collaboration with Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans of Paris.
On the 12th December, 1968, the Society (*) of which the writer is Administrative Director received a telephone call from a Mr. Terry Cullen of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, to inform us that he had inspected a corpse of what appeared to be a fully-haired hominid preserved in partially clear ice in a side-show at the International Livestock Exposition’s annual fair in Chicago during the period 28th November to the 7th of December. Mr. Cullen who was then unknown to us is a zoologist maintaining a commercial enterprise specializing in herpetology, and is the discoverer of several new species of iguanid lizards in the Caribbean area.
Mr. Cullen’s report included some details of this corpse’s appearance that, taken together, prompted us seriously to consider the possibility of its being a real body, and not just a model or composite constructed by oriental artists, long noted for faking ‘mermaids’, as the exhibit was billed. Mr. Cullen further repeated to us a story of the origin of this specimen allegedly related to him by the man in charge of the exhibit, a Mt. Frank D. Hansen.
According to his account at that time, it had been found floating in a six-thousand-pound block of ice in the sea somewhere off the east Siberian coast by a Russian sealing vessel; was then confiscated by the mainland Chinese authorities, but had finally turned up in Hong Kong.
This story was subsequently changed several times, and first to the original discoverers having been a Japanese whaling vessel, but all accounts coincided with Mr. Hansen’s final explanation, given directly to us, that he found it in an enormous plastic bag in a deepfreeze plant owned by a Chinese gentleman of British nationality in Hong Kong. In view of the intelligence received from Mr. Cullen, and after having the existence of the specimen confirmed by two of our Society’s members from Chicago, Messrs. Richard Crowe and Richard Grybos, I traced Mr. Hansen on the phone and decided to drive out to his home which is near Winona, Minnesota, and where he had the specimen stored for the winter. It so happened that one of our members, Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans, Fellow of the Comitato Italiano per lo Studio dei Problemi della Popolazione, and of the Zoological Society of London, and a Collaborateur scientifique a l’Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, was staying at our Society’s headquarters on his first visit to the United States en route to Central and South America to study mammals threatened with extinction. Dr. Heuvelmans, as is known to the Comitato, and as is also universally appreciated, has devoted many years to the investigation of reports of ultra-primitive hominids said still to be living. The writer therefore invited Dr. Heuvelmans to accompany him on this investigative trip.
We left on the 14th of December and examined the specimen on the 16th, 17th, and 18th days of that month. Heuvelmans took a large number of photographs of the specimen in both color and black-and-white.
The writer made detailed technical drawings, employing prescribed methods that are outlined in fig. 2. We first examined the specimen together, and then during the next two days we did so separately.
Our subsequent reports were written without reference to each other until completed, when the results were compared and a list of divergencies in detail — but not in opinions — was composed. These original reports were not altered and are on file.
Subsequently, new and fuller papers were prepared by both of us while resident in different places. These were not compared. Heuvelmans submitted his (in a French version) to the Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, and it has been published in their Bulletin, No. 45, 4, Bruxelle, 10 February, 1969. This paper is the writer’s — Ivan T. Sanderson’s — final summation, brought up to date as of the 18th June, 1969.
This is ‘preserved’, in clear ice, in a rectangular block 6’11” long by 2’8″ wide and (said to be) 3’6″ in depth. This block is said to have been cut from a much larger piece of (allegedly) drift-ice, found floating in the sea. This original block is said to have weighed 6000 American pounds. This was first trimmed around the sides to its present dimensions and then about two feet were taken off the bottom to a point where the under, or back side, of the contained specimen could be seen. Then, the owner states, he had a professional ‘ice-carver’—a technician and artist who creates large decorative pieces for banquets in clear ice by chiseling and ablating—shave down the upper surface as far as possible to the upper contours of the corpse. This resulted in a ‘mountainous’, surface in low relief, the upward bulges doming all protuberances such as the feet, knees, abdomen with a hand on top of the same, the chest, the face, and the left arm that is thrown back over the head. The whole block was then lowered into an insulated coffin, measuring internally exactly 36″ x 7’4″, with two large nylon straps passed under either end of the block about a foot in from the ends. The two-inch space all around it was then filled with tap-water and frozen solid with a refrigeration unit attached to the coffin.
The corpse is only partially visible for two reasons. First, considerable sections of the ice have re-crystallized in tabular plastrons of opaque constitution. Second, there has been considerable exudation of gases from the corpse forced outward from all orifices and from skin pores through the hair-fine tubules that penetrate even clear, amorphous, palaeocrystic, and other forms of ice.
These have created ‘bursts’ of flowerlike, tri-dimensional ‘crops’, of semi-opaque ‘twigs’, of crystalline ice. These two features of the matrix in which the corpse is encased make it exceedingly difficult to inspect its details. However, with strong floodlights directed from the lowest angle possible above the glass top of the coffin, many details are brought out when the surface of the corpse is viewed from directly above. It was by this means that the drawn reconstruction was made. The corpse or whatever it is rotting. This could be detected by a strong stench — typical of rotting mammalian flesh — exuding from one of the corners of the insulation of the coffin. Whatever this corpse may be, it would seem to include flesh of some kind; and such cannot be preserved permanently in mere ice, although the temperature within the coffin is in this case kept at a maximum of 5-degrees F.
Any conclusions that follow amount, frankly, to little more than speculation because the specimen could not be handled and had to be viewed from no closer than a foot at best, through four sheets of plate glass and a varying amount of clear, frosted, or totally opaque ice. This whole exercise is therefore equivalent to describing an unknown form of any animal fixed in a solid block of plastic — such as is used to encase demonstration specimens — but with more than half the exposed surfaces identifiable only as a shadow under opacity.
1. Overall Impression. Our first impression on viewing this specimen was its great bulk, and this grows on continually the longer one inspects it, and especially with the use of side lighting.
Above all, it is the hands that are most startling because of their excessive bulk — not mere dimensions — and which look out of all proportion to the body and even to the immense arms.
The other notable impression was, from the outset, that the thing was some kind of human, hominid, or humanoid — and this, despite several extremely pongid features. This could be what is called a psychological effect, but is probably due most to the length of the legs and the ‘stance’, of the creature on its back in such a typical human position.
2. Bulk and Weight. There is no way of estimating its weight, since only two-dimensional measurements can be taken and one is thus unable to estimate its gross mass. Mammals as a whole average about the density of salt water, but bulk is no real criterion.
The writer, who is exactly six feet tall but weighs only 160 pounds, cannot sink even in fresh water, while he can name two men of the same height but quite fat who, although almost professional swimmers (as far as body actions) sink at really extraordinary speed even in salt water the moment they cease to swim.
Estimates of the weight of animals other than man are more than hazardous, except by such specialized experts as the breeders of domestic animals. Nevertheless, assuming the legs are as bulky as we assume, we would suggest somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 pounds for the weight of this specimen. The author happened to obtain the record Lowland Gorilla — a specimen of Gorilla gorilla matschei — in the Assumbo Mountains of the Cameroon, and this when stretched out, measured just six feet from crown to plantar surface and had a 9’2″ arm-span, but weighed more than 600 pounds.
3. Measurements. All measurements were first taken directly from the corpse using a straight edge rule from the center of the head-end of the coffin to the central point at the foot-end. A large metal set-square was moved along this, first down one side and then down the other of this fixed central rule. The front edge of the set-square was extended by another metal ruler so that it reached the sides of the coffin.
Points of reference were fixed from directly above by lying on top of the glass of the coffin. Drawings were later made from these measurements on the scale of 1/2″ to 3″, and a 1/2″ grid was then ruled on a clear plastic sheet, overlaid on the completed drawings, and the measurements checked thereby.
The reference points had necessarily to be arbitrary in that the ideal points — such as convergence of the legs behind the scrotum in the groin, tip of the elbow, etc. — were not always visible at all, while those points that were clearly visible had to again be judged through the thick hair covering. From these measurements it would at first appear that the arms are excessively long, without taking into account the hands. This, however, is not necessarily so, as will be seen below. Further, a very strong word of caution should be put on record here; namely, that while the right leg (to the left in the drawing, of course) is definitely raised considerably at the knee-joint while the other, (the left) appears to be fully extended with the foot turned downward, there is—in this author’s estimation, at least a very distinct possibility that both legs are elevated from the groin. Thus, their length could be several inches greater in the overall than as shown in the photographs and sketches.
The measurements of the ‘face’, eye-sockets and nares (orifices), the hands, the penis, and the right foot as seen are of considerably greater precision than the other measurements because of the absence of hair. The mouth, however, is indeterminate since two-thirds of it are invisible under opaque ice.
4. Proportions. These we consider to be of much greater significance, especially in regard to identification and classification, but numerous words of caution are here required. On detailed and somewhat prolonged analysis, the proportions — apart from the bulk as opposed to the linear measurements of the hands — are not as outrageous or exceptional, as first impressions would indicate. Further, as the whole corpse cannot be seen from directly above (nor photographed in this way) due to the low truck ceiling, far too great a notion of length of everything is gained. The unaided human eye is very deceptive in judging measurements from an angle of 45 degrees, as was abundantly proved in this case when the scale drawing composed from actual measurements taken from directly above at each point, as described above, was compared with our rough estimates made before these drawings were completed and gridded, and with the final photographs.
The feature that at first throws one off is the excessive size of the torso, and the fact that the chest hows into the abdominal mass and continues — as in apes, incidentally — down to the hips, as opposed to a ‘waist’. (Unfortunately, the navel cannot be seen, so no measurement between it and even the scrotum can be obtained.)
This ultra-massive ‘body’, gives the impression of great length. Further, what would seem to be the clavicles actually arch up under the chin, and this adds to the impression. At the same time, the legs at first appear to be long, if not very long. This is most odd (again probably ‘psychological’) and could be due to preconceived notions — to a zoologist, at least — that pongids have short legs and hominids long ones.
The truth is that, as can now be seen in the appended technical drawings, the legs are short and, judging by the combined lengths of both, just about match the torso from clavicles to scrotum.
The width of the chest is great in proportion to the torso length but again, not excessively so for a hominid. Be it noted that it is enormous compared to that of a chimpanzee or orang, but not compared to that of a male gorilla. Then again, a very high proportion of human beings have just these dimensions and proportions, and these do not have to be hod-carriers or wrestlers.
The shoulders also are (were) unexpectedly wide, though by no means excessively so for either man or gorilla, while there is a type of very large, very hirsute chimpanzee that has even broader shoulders. (This type, of which we have seen only two specimens, one in the Rochester Zoo fifteen years ago, and the other in a primate collection in Florida in 1959, is in our opinion a distinct species and not necessarily even of the genus Pan.)
The proportion of ‘face’, to body generally is not actually excessive for a hominid and is definitely small for a pongid, but as the head is thrown back, nothing above or behind the low forehead — and there is a ‘forehead’ above the very slight brow-ridges with their line of scant eyebrow hairs — can be seen. The face is exceedingly wide, but the eye-sockets and the nares are disproportionately large even for such an (apparently) brachycephalic type of face. It just so happened that while this paper was in preparation a young man, seventeen years of age, and a keen athlete notable for his record in his school basketball team, was introduced to us. A mutual friend arranged the meeting when we were discussing the proportionate length of the arms and hands to the body of this specimen, and as a result of mentioning that the young athlete’s hands reached more than halfway down his thighs. The attached photographs were taken with the author as a check since both are exactly six feet tall and weigh about the same — 160 pounds.
The author has to buy the longest standard arm-length for shirts for his size, yet, as will be noted, his wrists are almost three inches above those of Mr. Richard Lambert (the athlete), as may be calculated from the black lines drawn across both right wrists; while, further, the hands of the latter extend almost six inches lower than those of the author (see photo, Fig. 3).
We were also able to take comparative photographs, to scale, of this young man’s hands and feet compared with those of the author. (These are reproduced as Figs. 4, 5, 6 and 7) From these it will be seen that while Mr. Lambert’s hands are in perfect proportion for the normal white Caucasoid, they have a span and length considerably exceeding those of the author (with ring for identification). This gentleman’s feet lead us into quite another matter due to the extraordinary length of his toes — a matter that is not pertinent to the present discussion.
From these comparisons — with a person, we should stress, picked at random and quite by chance — it is manifest that, disregarding the bulk of the specimen under review, neither its hands nor its arms are excessively long, while their proportions fall well within the range of human beings.
The feet of the specimen, however, do display a remarkable proportion, being (proportionately) more than twice as wide as those of Mr. Lambert, and nearly twice as wide as those of the author. However, it is in the width and overall bulk of the individual fingers and toes that this specimen diverges most strongly from the typical human proportions. This matter is further discussed below.
Finally, the length of the penis in the specimen is not great for a hominid — and it is not known if it is erected or semi-erected — but would be very large for the average pongid, if flaccid. It is not well seen, being in clear ice but under a top film of opaque ice. The scrotum is small and wrinkled and the testicles small, but this detail is even harder to see.
To see and record the details of the specimen’s morphology called for special side lighting and prolonged peering from several angles before the true conformation of the parts could be reconstructed. All the following is thus derived from mere conjectures. There is a great deal else that both of us ‘feel’, or ‘believe’, we saw, but these details are not stated herein. Only those points upon which both of us agreed subsequently — and we made our detailed examinations separately and compared notes only later — are herewith discussed. Further, there is of course no proof, of a proper scientific nature, that this specimen was the corpse of anything recently alive.
1. The Face. This is deliberately not referred to as the head because, as stated above, none of the latter, other than the face, can be seen. This is of a yellowish — i.e. Caucasoid ‘white’ or pinkish — color and naked but for two most remarkable hair tracks. The first runs up the septum between the nares from the top of the upper lip (there is no moustache but some scant, almost feline-like whiskers) to the frontal point of the very ‘pug’, nose. The other is a mere scattering of bristly, short hairs on the brow ridges but not joining across the (non-existent) bridge of the nose. There are virtually no brow ridges, and the forehead slopes only slightly backward, as far as can be seen. The malars are wide and prominent and the chin is wide. But, most notable to this author, were a series of folds and wrinkles around the mouth.
The eye sockets are unexpectedly round and rather large. Both eyeballs are out and, in the opinion of this author, are missing. However, both the caretaker and Heuvelmans assert that they can see one of them on the left cheek. There is considerable outflow of red blood from the left eye socket which streams off into clear ice to the right (i.e. to the right side as seen from above) of the face. The nose is by far the most unusual feature of the face. This is pronouncedly what is called ‘pugged’, being turned upwards just like that of a Pekinese dog, and having the large, exactly round nares pointing straight forward to the general plane of the face. The nostrils are fleshy and rather heavy, but flow into the upper lip without a noticeable crease. To some extent the whole nasal structure may be likened to that of a young gorilla, but there is more actual ‘nose’, and this is turned upwards rather than being flattened, while it is not, as a whole, very wide in comparison, proportionately, to the width of the face, as in many human beings.
2. The Torso. This, as has already been said, is very bulky, with wide shoulders, and it tapers only slightly down to the hips — not to a waist. There are no visible pectoral muscles and the nipples are rather far to the sides. There is virtually no neck in front — only about an inch, which is covered with dense hair — despite the fact that the head is thrown back. It is impossible to see how the head is attached to the shoulders on either side because of opaque ice. The most outstanding feature of the torso is the position, conformation, and alignment of the clavicles. Unlike humans, these bow upwards, meeting high over the neck so that, seen from the feet-end, the upper torso looks just like a plump, plucked and stuffed goose. I have seen such a structure in human dwarfs in whom it is a gross abnormality. The conformation on this specimen, however, looks absolutely natural.
3. The Arms. These, while appearing very massive, are probably rather slender but are clothed in the longest hair on the whole body, or at least those parts of it that can be seen. The upper arm gives rather definite evidence of being much more slender than the forearm which, despite the heavy hair covering, has an extremely wide wrist.
It should be noted that the only arm visible is the left (to the right side of the corpse as now viewed) and that this has a very visible break, from which blood exudes and in which the ends of the radius and ulna may be seen on the distal side. This is what gives the whole arm, as thrown up and back, the first appearance of being a sort of flaccid ‘tentacle’. more like that of an octopus.
4. The Hands. These are, as has been said, by far the most noticeable and outstanding morphological structures visible. They can only be described as enormous but this, as has also already been noted, is due more to their great bulk than to their actual linear measurements. They are slightly more pink than the rest of the skin, and they are not what is commonly called ‘gnarled’. To the contrary, they look more like those of a huge man who has had his hands in very hot dishwashing water for some hours.
That this effect is not due to post mortem bloat would seem to be indicated by the fact that the sub-digital pads are not swollen nor the folds between them obliterated. In fact, the latter are rather prominent. The back of the right hand is very heavily haired, but the individual follicles are far apart and the stiff hairs curve gently over the sides and the tips of the fingers above the nails. The latter are ‘cropped’ just as if they had been neatly manicured; are rather flat and yellow in color; and are almost square. There is no evidence of post mortem growth.
Of the hands, the most remarkable feature is the thumb. This appears to be as fully opposed as is ours, but it is remarkably slender and appears to reach almost to the terminal joint of the first or index finger. It also tapers, rather than expanding like the average man’s. The nail on the thumb is not visible on either hand. The knuckles are neither prominent nor even well-defined.
A most notable feature of the palmar surface of the hands is one that puzzles us. This is that there is an enormous and prominent pad on the ‘heel’, at the outer side, behind or ‘above’, the fifth digit back. This far exceeds the sub-pollex pad in dimensions and protuberance. From this one is forced to speculate whether this creature may indeed spend time on all fours, with the hands applied to the ground in a plantigrade manner as are those of the baboons. The conformation of this pad is brought out in the sketch (Fig. I).
5. The Genitalia. The penis is quite difficult to see even with strong light at various low angles, and it has been somewhat over-emphasized in the drawing compared to the other visible surface. This was done deliberately to record the compendium of observations we made upon it from various angles.
It is slightly curved or bowed to the right (left, as seen from above), is rather slender, and tapers to a point, from which this author felt he saw a small floral-shaped emission of pinker flesh some four millimeters in width. It is pale yellow. The scrotum is very hard to see and this author is somewhat dubious of what is herein stated. It appears to be wrinkled, is brownish, and shaped as if containing two small testicles. There is no hair on the penis but there appears to be on the scrotum.
6. The Legs. Actually, it is impossible to determine the real length or bulk of these, and for several reasons. First, as noted above, both may be elevated at the groin from the supine position of the body as a whole. Second, the right leg is more elevated at the knee than is the left, while both ankles are hidden below opaque ice. Third, the thighs and shanks are deeply buried in the ice, but they are very heavily clothed in long, stiff, straight hairs that mask their outlines. The knees are, however, very prominent and readily seen, bearing only very sparse short hairs. They are pink and the patella is typically human. This we consider to be of the greatest significance as pongids just do not have ‘knees’, constructed like this.
7. The Feet. These are, of course, the key point in this whole case. As we noted in our introductory remarks, the only remaining criterion for separating the hominids from the pongids — on purely morphological grounds, that is — is whether the hallux is apposed or opposed. We would stress the morphological as against the anatomical criteria here. In this case, the feet are definitely hominid. That they are apparently excessively wide and, it would seem by prognosis, rather short, and due to the size and ‘pudginess’, of the toes, would seem to indicate that they have the proportions of whatever left the allegedly ‘neanderthaloid’, tracks & imprints in the cave clay of Toirano in Italy (see bibliography).
The forward projecting foot is pink in colour, has bulbous terminal pads, and horny yellowish nails that are also ‘cropped’, in that they do not curl over the ends of the toes as do ours if left untrimmed and as those of the Gulivavans are said to do—see reference in Russian works to these under the heading of the Jelmoguz-Jez-Tyrmak or ‘Copper Nails’, of the Tien Shan. The hair on the top of this foot is very long and curves over the toes and is very profuse to either side, curving over the main plantar mass. The toes are astonishingly equal in size, the little toe being large and the great-toe rather small in proportion.
All form an almost straight ‘front’, which would seem to be the ideal conformation for steady forward progress in snow or loose soils. (Square-fronted snow-shoes have at last been found to be much more efficient and less tiring to wear than the standard spindle-shaped form).
There is finally one point about the feet that the writer cannot confirm nor absolutely assert. This is that, as reconstructed (through a very long and repeated inspection through the ice) there would seem to be TWO post-hallux plantar pads such as form such a prominent feature of the Sasquatch-Ohmah-Hungerussu-Dzuteh, giant type of primitive hominid.
There is little that can be said about the true dimensions, conformation or even coloring of the hairs at the present stage of investigation, except to note that the body is generally very fully haired. The caretaker told us that when they were shaving down the ice, samples of hair wer taken and sent to “the greatest experts”. When asked who these were, he could not “remember”, but stated that they had gone to “Somebody somewhere in New Jersey”. When asked if there were any reports made on these samples, Mr. Hansen told us that there had been, but that they were “In our California officer”, adding that he would get us copies. These have not eventuated.
No overall description of the pelage of this specimen is possible on two counts. First, only about a third of it can be seen clearly, though fortunately these portions do represent most of the front, or ventral side of the creature. Second, the hair-tracks are very elaborate. The latter problem has, however, been fully overcome by combining the sketches of both authors and rendering the agreed-upon composite on the accompanying drawing.-Fig. I.
A number of points of great interest to mammalogists are herein brought out. Starting at the hands, we find first that their backs are covered with sparse but long, curved hairs that drape over the whole hand. These emerge right down to the top of the ultimate joints of all digits. The hair on the under or inner side of the wrist is visible; but this on the left wrist alone, which is held above the head, palm upwards. This narrow band of hair stands straight up but curves one way towards the hand at one side, and backwards up the inner side of the arm on the other. All the hair visible on the upper arm flows evenly to the elbow, as it does in the chimpanzee particularly.
That on the upper arm, however, flows downwards from the shoulder to that point, so that the two flows form a ‘drip-tip’, on the outside of the elbow. The arrangement of the hair in the armpits must be examined in the accompanying drawing. The amazing thing to us is that the axilla is filled with the same type of hair as the surrounding areas.
There is no sign of true axillary hair such s that of humans. Further, neither of us could find any evidence of pubic hair either, though there is undoubtedly fairly thick, fine hair all over the pubic region. This absence of these types of hair is typically pongid; even simioid. Apart from the sparse bristles on the brow ridges mentioned above and the curious stubbly line up the front of the septum between the nares, the face is naked. However, there appears to be hair above the brow, and flowing backwards on the side of the head. (No ears are visible as the head is thrown back into opaque ice.) Under the chin there is a dense forward-pointing mass of short hairs filling in the inch to two-inch ‘neck’, between the immense arched clavicular torso top and the wide chin.
The most striking features of the trichology of the torso are twofold. First, there is a sort of fringe of what is obviously a long-haired cape covering the dorsum which just emerges around the sides of the torso and forms a sort of continuous in-curved eaves (as on a house). The rest of the chest is almost naked but for widely scattered long, lank, straight hairs. These are concentrated as shown in the drawing down the midline of the sternum, being slightly parted in the median line and then flowing on downwards into the sparse pelage of the belly region.
The contrast between the ‘eaves’ of the back cape and this sparsely-haired chest and front is very striking and is, it should be noted, completely in accord with pongid trichological arrangement rather than with that of hominids.
Human beings with developed hypertrichosis invariably manifest excessive growth first on the chest and front of the belly, and this hair is almost invariably oval in section and thus curly or even kinky.
The pelage in the inguinal region is not visible. The legs from the uppermost point visible on the thighs to the bottom of the shanks, where they disappear below opaque ice, are well-haired. These hairs are perfectly straight, on an average over two inches long, widely separated—their follicles being well over an eighth of an inch apart—and all how straight downward. Finally, the tops of the feet are very heavily haired, and right down to the ends of the terminal joints of the digits. These hairs look wiry, are fairly widely spaced, and curve gently over the feet in all directions. The Hairs. It is, of course, impossible to supply or even suggest any concrete facts about these apart from mere visual observation. From this, nonetheless, and as seen through the clearest ice covering, it would appear that they are extremely coarse or thick, average about two to three inches in length more or less all over the body, and are mostly quite straight. Those that curve have been mentioned above.
An interesting fact is the very wide separation of their follicles. We tried to measure these distances but the distortion caused by the ice made it almost impossible; but we would estimate that it is on an average nearly as much as a quarter of an inch—say three to four millimeters. On the chest and upper belly they are even more widely spaced, and despite the extremely ‘hairy’ appearance of the arm, we have reason to believe that the follicles are no closer together there, the effect being due simply to the much longer length of the individual hairs. The ‘cape’, as far as it can be seen, is definitely darker and denser and appears to be jet black.
The rest of the pelage is dark brown, but one most important point stands out. Would that we could give absolute proof of this observation but, without having examined so much as one hair we cannot; yet, all the long, straight hairs would seem to this observer to be definitely but dully banded in what is known to mammalogists as the typical ‘agouti’ manner. This is to say each hair has lighter bands, starting wide at the base and decreasing in width towards the top. If this be a valid observation, we have here a most unique item in that no hominid or pongid hair is known with this type of coloration. Not until we come to the so-called ‘monkeys’ — Cynopithecoids, Coloboids, Cercopithecoids, etc. — do we encounter this condition.
This paper describes, in somewhat general terms, the results of a preliminary inspection of the corpse of what appeared to be some form of large primate of hominid form. The notion that it is a “composite”, manufactured from parts of human corpses and/or other animals, must, of course, still be considered, since the body has not yet actually been examined; should it be, the artist, who put it together, inserting several million hairs in a skin before it rotted or was preserved, would have to have had some concept to work from, and there is no such extant. This for the following reason.
This body is not that of any known hominid or pongid and, what is much more significant, it does not conform to any reconstruction or artist’s conception of any fossil man or ape or other anthropoid. Its general features and particular characters as detailed above display an extraordinary mixture of what have until now been assigned either to men or apes, but it also shows others that have never been assigned or attributed to any of either.
However, two separate companies specializing in model-making for waxwork museums, exhibits, and film companies in Hollywood California, have been traced, and individual model-makers working for both have stated that they made copies with wax or latex and using hair from bears. Mr. Hansen, the caretaker, informed us in January of this year that such a model had been made in April of 1967 because the owner of the original was worried about its safety. An object such as this could possibly be constructed, starting with the skin of a large male, pale-skinned chimpanzee, using a human skull, glove-makers wood racks for the hands, and so forth. The original could have been of this nature, and then a copy, or copies, made from it.
Just in case this might not be the origin of the specimen, we should consider the alternative; namely, that it is a genuine corpse of a comparatively recently killed specimen—not “fossilized” in any way — of some form of para-hominid.
This is the considered opinion of Heuvelmans and is based on as thorough an examination as he was able to make considering that the specimen is encased in ice that is more than half opaque, and sunk about two feet below the glass cover of its container. And, if this is the correct interpretation, we would opine that it would more probably be on the hominid rather than the pongid stem of anthropoid evolution. Just where it should be placed on that stem can not, of course, be said until it has been properly examined out of its ice envelopment.
Further, and much more important, will be any analysis of its blood, plasma and other body fluids, if they are still sufficiently preserved for typing. Even then, we may well be confounded because these specimen displays such a combination of characters attributed to the two presently thought quite widely separated families of anthropoid primates. And this constrains us to add a note of added caution.
In view of the fact that pongids and hominids have now been shown to fall into several groups, together — vide the Caucasoid and Congoid hominids with the gorillas and chimpanzees on the one hand; and the Mias, Siamangs, and Gibbons among the pongids with the Mongoloid hominids on the other, is it not possible that not only the hominids but the pongids have a grid-like genetic origin? If this be the case, could the concept not be further extended to include all the anthropoids so that there may have been — and, in this case may still be truly “manlike apes” and “apelike men”? This specimen is by several criteria a hominid, noticeably by its feet, but it has many pongid characters. Are the diagnostic features we are currently employing to separate the apes from men valid? If not, are both our families invalid, and could both groups form but one complex? If so, we will have to add the “Hairy Man” to Desmond Morris’ Naked Ape. Anything of this nature will absolutely demand an overall revision of our ideas of both physical and social anthropology, and will present a somewhat alarming problem to scientists and religionists alike.
This author’s personal opinion as to the precise identity of this specimen is at the moment not formulated. As a trained zoologist and one who spent many years collecting mammalian and particularly primate specimens for examination, dissection and preservation in the field and while fresh, we would not presume to make any definite pronouncement upon anything other than a purely generalized, overall description of its external appearance. The corpus must be freed from its ice encasement and properly examined first. However, some speculation as to the taxonomic status of this creature, if it finally proves to be real, is perhaps permissible, since we do have detailed measurements and photographs to back it up.
It is Heuvelmans’ opinion, which he states categorically in his paper (op. cit.), that this body represents the fresh remains of a neanderthaloid human. Such hominids are currently classed as a sub-species of Homo sapiens, yet Heuvelmans has named this item Homo pongoides, and thus of full specific rank. Though we suggested that appellation (pongoides) in the first place, we envisaged it either as a subspecific to H. sapiens — since we have no idea as to the external morphology of the fossil neanderthaloids — or merely as a possible specific for some other genus of anthropoid. However, this suggestion was purely tentative in that, despite the existence of this specimen, we have no more idea of its anatomy, histology, or physiology than we do of the external morphology of the neanderthalers. I am therefore officially disassociating my name from that given in Heuvelmans’ paper.
We are constrained to do this not only because we are personally averse to naming any specimen before it has been physically obtained and properly examined, but also more precisely because we are not convinced that this specimen is neanderthaloid or even a member of the genus Homo as presently constituted.
Further still, it might not even be an Anthropoid, but rather a survivor of a line divergent from, and possibly lying between, the hominid and the pongid branches, but derived from a common ancestor to all three.
In the absence of the corpus itself, as of the time of writing, and in view of our total lack of knowledge of the external morphology of any anthropoids other than the living hominids and pongids, we consider it to be most incautious to attempt to identify this specimen as of now, and more especially to confine it within a sub-specific title. And anent this; one essential feature of this specimen seems to have been overlooked.
What can be seen of the conformation of the face, meaning the front of the head, in no way conforms to any known fossil hominid—apart from the juvenile australopithecoids — and particularly to that of any neanderthaler of comparable size.
There is no prognathicism; virtually no browridges; the forehead does not slope acutely; the two teeth that can be seen are infantile. In fact, from what can be assessed of the anatomical structure of the fore part of the skull, this creature is almost as far removed from the standard neanderthaloid construction as is possible. In these same respects, it shows no more affinity with Homo erectus, H. habilis (what is known of same), or more especially such ‘lower’ types as were once called pithecanthropines, australopithecines, or suchlike. In fact, if it does prove to be a hominid, by whatever criteria may be decided upon to define that family when and if it is examined, it might well be called Homo pongoides; but it most certainly should not be assigned to the neanderthal race or complex.
Our final conclusion, therefore, is that the specimen we inspected was that of a genuine corpse as opposed to a composite or a construction — and that it is some form of primate. We would categorize it, as of now, as an anthropoid, but whether it is a hominid, a pongid, or a representative of some other previously unsuspected branch of that super-family we are not prepared either to say or even to speculate. There are certain firm indications that the specimen examined by Heuvelmans and this writer — though it has been removed from the place where we saw it, and hidden, while a substitute model has been installed — has not been destroyed and may therefore eventually become available for proper scientific examination. Until such time as this is achieved we advise that it serve only as a pointer to the possible continued existence of at least one kind of fully-haired, ultraprimitive, anthropoid-like primate, and be used only as a lever to pry open the hitherto hidebound notion that any such thing is impossible.
On the 8th of May, 1969, the Smithsonian Institution issued the following release regarding the specimen described in this paper. “The Smithsonian Institution has withdrawn its interest in the so called Minnesota Iceman as it is satisfied the creature is simply a carnival exhibit made of latex rubber and hair.
Information has been received from a reliable source, that the Smithsonian is not at liberty to disclose, concerning the ownership of the model as well as the manner, date, and place of its fabrication. This information, combined with some recent suggestions received from Ivan T. Sanderson, the science writer and original ‘discoverer’ of the Iceman, as to the manner in which the creature could have been artificially made, has convinced us beyond reasonable doubt that the ‘original’ model and the present so called ‘substitute’, are one and the same.”
Dr. John Napier, the Director of the Primate Biology Program at the Smithsonian, points out that the Smithsonian’s attitude has been one of skepticism combined with open-mindedness throughout, and that their only interest in the affair has been to discover the truth which they are reasonably certain is as stated above.
This procedure was in part initiated by the author and for three reasons. First, we learned that, just as Mr. Hansen had himself informed the Smithsonian in writing, the specimen that Heuvelmans and the present author had inspected had permanently withdrawn from public display and a fabricated copy made. Second, we traced a professional model-maker, working for a reputable firm in California who stated that he had made just such a copy. Third, this writer was asked whether he — having spent twenty years collecting and preserving mammals for the British Museum of Natural History — could make anything like the original.
Two of my previous assistants in that work happened to be available and, after consultation, we were able to submit a memorandum describing, in outline, how we would proceed. Simultaneously, the Smithsonian traced another man, also in California, who stated that he had made a latex model, using bear hair, in April of 1967. As a result of these facts, it was deemed advisable to defray any further expenditure of time and effort in the hope of obtaining the original specimen for proper examination.
This new model went on public exhibit in May of this year. It was photographed with the permission of the caretaker, and the photographs clearly demonstrate that it is not the original specimen examined by us — and in a number of readily discernible details. It is, in fact, a very fair reproduction of Mr. John Schoenherr’s ‘artist’s conception’, that illustrated a popular article by this author in ARGOSY magazine and which had appeared a month previously. These details were not visible in Heuvelmans’ photographs but they were quite legitimate embellishments by this fine artist for the purposes of a purely popular article.
Mr. Hansen has throughout adhered to his initial explanation of the discovery of the original specimen, as having been found in Hong Kong, and he has always stated that he never did know what it really was, while the owner refused to disclose the results of alleged hair and blood analysis.
Mr. Hansen is a showman, and only employed to exhibit this specimen by its owners. He has told us frankly that what is now on exhibit is a copy and man-made. Comparison of the photographs of what he now has on view with those of the original corpse taken by Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans prove this beyond any doubt.
This paper describes the ‘discovery’ of the corpse of what appears to be a hominoid type of anthropoid, fully clothed in hair, preserved in ice in a glass-covered coffin that is kept at 5-degrees F. This was housed in a special trailer-truck on private property near Winona, Minnesota, U.S.A., by a caretaker who had been responsible for moving it around the United States for two years and exhibiting it at fairs, on midways, and in carnivals.
The specimen is said to be owned by a resident of California who, after publication of a detailed description of the specimen by Dr. Bernard Heuvelmans (op. cit.), allegedly removed and hid it, substituting a model for next year’s exhibit. The specimen is said to have been found in a refrigeration plant in Hong Kong, and to have originated somewhere in northeastern Asia. So far the owner has refused to give any precise details as to its origin or how it was brought to the United States.
The external morphology of this specimen is herein described as far as it could be ascertained visually, and by photography, through four sheets of plate-glass with a layer of ice below that was more than one half opaque. From what could be seen, the specimen is hereby declared to be, in all likelihood, a complete corpus, and not either a composite or a construction. It is judged to be a primate and most probably an anthropoid, but no conclusion or even speculation as to whether it is specifically a hominid, a pongid, or a representative of some other hitherto unknown branch of the anthropoid stock is advanced.
The specimen we inspected, although allegedly removed and hidden, has not—as far as written expressions have so far been made—been destroyed, and the owner refused to make it available for examination by the Smithsonian Institution. Its relative value, as of now is, therefore, pointed out to be essentially and only potential proof of the continued existence of at least one form of human-like anthropoid such as up till now has been flatly denied as being possible by the majority of not only physical and cultural anthropologists but also by primatologists. As such, it is suggested that it might constitute a very valuable contribution to knowledge, and potentially to a better understanding of primate, anthropoid, and possibly hominid ancestry.
Argosy, May 1969, pp. 23-31. © Ivan T. Sanderson