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Sunday, June 12, 2016

Book Review: Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman by Bernard Heuvelmans

Yesterday I finished Bernard Heuvelmans' recently translated book Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman. 

This book was originally published in French in 1974. Paul LeBlond recently translated it, and he and Loren Coleman had the English version published by Anomalist Books.

Neanderthal is about Heuvelmans' investigation of the mystery of a strange, human-like, hairy corpse that was being displayed, starting in 1968, by a man named Frank Hansen, who lived in Minnesota. Heuvelmans and Ivan T. Sanderson examined the corpse, which they were both certain was real.

After Heuvelmans published a report on the corpse in a scientific journal, problems arose. First, because he had told Ivan that he could publish something about it first. Ivan, however, decided to write an article about some Bigfoot footprints (that turned out to be fakes) before his article on the Iceman, so Heuvelmans' was published first. After that there was tension between the two.

In 1969, the real Minnesota Iceman was replaced. There were replicas made, but Heuvelmans thought one was still the original (and real) corpse.

Of course, the mystery was never resolved, and remains that - a mystery - to this day.

Through his examinations of specimen, Heuvelmans comes to what many will probably consider a startling conclusion as to what it really was.

The story gets even more mysterious when Hansen changed his story several times. Heuvelmans thought the reason for this was because he had brought the Iceman back from Vietnam when Hansen was in the Air Force. He thought this was also connected to the transportation of illegal drugs.

Then, there's the mysterious "real owner" of the corpse that Hansen mentioned several times. No one knows who that "real owner" is or was, or if there even was someone else involved.

Neanderthal also features and afterword by Loren Coleman, which brings the Minnesota Iceman saga up-to-date.

I've gotten several cryptozoology books that have come out this year, and I have to say this one is definitely the best out of them. If it isn't the best cryptozoology book published this year, its definitely very near the top of the list. As one reviewer said on Amazon, this is "The Cryptozoology book of 2016 you will want to read."

You can (and should) get Neanderthal: The Strange Saga of the Minnesota Iceman here.

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