Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman (英語) ペーパーバック – 2016/5/11
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NOW IN ENGLISH FOR THE FIRST TIME...THE TRUE STORY OF THE MINNESOTA ICEMAN!
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.
A large chunk of this book is fairly mundane scientific comparisons of the body in the freezer to fossils and other evidence and makes for some dry reading but it's critical to Heuvelmans' theories and its importance can't be overlooked. Just a heads up to those of you who may not want to wade through what is, for all purposes, a scientific paper.
The afterward by Loren Coleman brings the mystery up to date and is a welcome addition to the original text. The Minnesota Iceman...sideshow hoax or one of the most important discoveries of all-time? It's hard to say with the passage of nearly half a century. One thing is certain; two highly qualified investigators believed it was real and it ruled, for better or worse, the rest of their lives.
What a spellbinding book! It gives so much detail about the "Iceman"; Dr. Heuvelmans was convinced that the specimen was a real body, and his evidence in the book proves his hypothesis. Ivan Sanderson also considered it to be a real corpse of a hominin..
His knowledge of human evolution and fossils is quite outdated as he wrote the book in the 1970's. In the intervening decades, many more and varied hominin fossils have been found in various parts of the world, fossils that are of very different ages, greatly expanding our knowledge about our remote ancestors and cousins.
Science really lost out by not getting the corpse and examining it. What is the status of the "Iceman" now? Does the body or bones still exist? Can someone work to track where the remains are now and in what shape?
Given that the body is that of a unknown hominin, this proves that such creatures exist. There are (and have been for a long time) been reports of hairy hominins from every continent, except Antarctica.
The main part of the book is the first English translation of a book by the pioneering Belgian-French zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans. Heuvelmans did more than anyone to try to solve the mystery and was one of the few people to try to do real scientific research on it. His book is an in-depth account of that research and the strange, conflicting stories told about the Iceman by the odd character who exhibited its body at carnivals and fairs, Frank Hansen. Heuvelmans’ account was originally published in French, under the title THE MYSTERY OF THE ICEMAN.
NEANDERTHAL: THE STRANGE SAGA OF THE MINNESOTA ICEMAN would be significant simply for including the first English translation of Heuvelmans’ book. But it does more than that. It adds new perspective on the whole, bizarre, convoluted story of the Iceman and brings the story up to date by including an Afterword by Loren Coleman.
Coleman is the perfect person to provide perspective on all the pieces of the story. He was a friend of Heuvelmans and of Ivan Sanderson, the writer whose stories about the Iceman in the men’s adventure magazines ARGOSY and SAGA made it famous in the U.S. Coleman even helped Heuvelmans do some of the research on the creature in 1969, at a time when Hansen had replaced the original body with a replica for reasons revealed in the book.
Loren Coleman is now one of the reining grandmasters of cryptozoology lore. He’s the founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum and International Cryptozoology Society, an author of many books on cryptozoology and one of the go-to experts for TV documentaries and reality shows about Bigfoot, Sasquatch and other legendary creatures. If you’ve seen Coleman on any of those shows, or read any of his books (such as the excellent, encyclopedic CRYPTOZOOLOGY A TO Z), you understand why he is so highly respected by both “believers” and skeptics. He is one of the most knowledgeable and clearheaded researchers in a field that is too often either overly sensationalized and plagued with hoaxers or unfairly dismissed as total fantasy.
NEANDERTHAL: THE STRANGE SAGA OF THE MINNESOTA ICEMAN peels back all of the layers of the strange, multilayered tale of the Minnesota Iceman. It recounts and critiques all of the various explanations of what the creature was and where it came from – including, thanks to Coleman’s Afterword, Heuvelmans’ own theory that the Iceman was the body of a Neanderthal. I rank it as a must-have book for anyone interested in cryptozoology in general or the Minnesota Iceman in particular.