It’s back! The 1960s sideshow attraction known as the “Minnesota Icemen” has resurfaced and taken up residence at the Museum of the Weird in Austin, Texas. The infamous gaff recently turned up on ebay with an asking price of $20,000. It was promptly sold to an undisclosed buyer, which turned out to be Steve Busti, owner of the Museum of the Weird (see my travelogue write-up in RM #109).
Details of the purchase remained a secret until Tuesday night when the Minnesota Iceman was featured on the A&E network show, Shipping Wars. In order to transport the Iceman from Minnesota to Austin, Steve worked out a deal with the network. As part of the episode, entitled ‘Crypto-Prank-ology‘ (derived from the two different driver’s loads – one a prank, and the other being the cryptozoology-related Iceman), Steve and the driver Jennifer, stopped off in Fouke, Arkansas where they met up with myself and fellow cryptid researchers, Ken Gerhard, Chris Buntenbah, and John Attaway. We then took Steve and Jennifer into the woods near Boggy Creek for an evening of “bigfoot hunting.” The next day they continued the trip until finally reaching Austin.
Preparing for the bigfoot hunt
(L to R: Lyle Blackburn, Chris Buntenbah, Ken Gerhard, John Attaway, Jennifer
This press release issued by Museum of the Weird contains more details about the creature and its upcoming debut to the public:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
The Long Lost “Minnesota Iceman” Resurfaces… in Austin, Texas!
In 1968 a carnival attraction being billed as “The Siberskoye Creature” began showing up at malls and fairgrounds across America. Also known as “The Creature In Ice,” the exhibit appeared to be the body of a hairy Neanderthal or Bigfoot-like monster frozen in a solid block of ice in a refrigerated coffin.
The “Iceman” soon garnered the attention of scientists, the Smithsonian Institution, and even the FBI, who all wanted to get their hands on the creature. Then, as suddenly as it appeared, the Iceman seemed to mysteriously vanish without a trace, and along with it all hopes of ever having the body thoroughly examined.
Over the ensuing decades the enigma of the Minnesota Iceman, as it were later to be called, became the subject of many books, lectures and television shows including Unsolved Mysteries and Animal X. The story grew to near legendary status among the generation that remembered seeing it, and for over three decades the mystery of whatever happened to it became as much an open question as whatever “IT” actually was.
Now, after many years of its whereabouts being unknown, the long enduring mystery of “Where is the Minnesota Iceman?” can finally be answered.
Museum of the Weird owner Steve Busti announced today that the original Minnesota Iceman is currently in his possession, still frozen, and will soon be exhibited to the world once again in his Austin, Texas tourist attraction. Busti is aiming to have the Iceman set up in his museum and open to the public within a week, with plans for a special Grand Opening event on Saturday, July 13th in cooperation with eminent cryptozoology site Cryptomundo.com.
The Museum of the Weird is an homage to dime museums made popular by the likes of P.T. Barnum, and features everything from real mummies, shrunken heads and oddities, to wax figures of classic movie monsters, to live giant lizards. They even boast a live sideshow on stage every day, where one can see magicians, sword-swallowers, human blockheads, and even an “electricity-proof” man.
In addition to the Minnesota Iceman taking up permanent residence at the Museum of the Weird however, Busti also plans to loan the Iceman for display to Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine (cryptozoologymuseum.com) for a special limited future engagement.