For years the
“thing” has been exhibited in carnival sideshows and state
fairs around the U.S. and in Canada.
For years the “monster” has been
the subject of a bitter feud between it, owner and
For years the “specimen” has
fueled a raging battle among scientists — is it an
incredible hoax or a fantastic anthropological find?
Now, for the first time
anywhere, the man responsible for the biggest controversy to
hit the scientific world in the past decade presents his own
story to the public, and leaves it to the reader to decide
if it’s FACT or FICTION…
THE APE-MAN CREATURE OF WHITEFACE
Is the “creature” a fabrication,
a product of a vivid imagination, expert craftsmanship and a
showman’s flair for illusion? Or is it really a
flesh-and-blood clue to the development of the family of
OR ALIVE! The abominable snowman also known as Yeti, Oh-mah,
Almasti, Sasquatch and other aliases. The fugitive is a
two-footed mammal known scientifically as Homo pongoides, or
“ape-like man.” Suspect has been identified as a missing
link between the ape and modern man. Eyewitnesses have
reported that he closely resembles the Neanderthal species
Suspect is described as follows:
Height: six to nine feet. Weight: 250 to 800 pounds.
Complexion: wind-burned and ruddy. Dress: Suspect’s body is
covered with one-inch long reddish-brown hair except for
portions of the face, hands and feet, He has been seen in
the Himalayan Mountains, in Russia, the United States, and
If some persistent hunter should
capture such a creature, we might expect that fame; fortune
and a footnote in scientific history would be his reward.
The enigma of the “missing link” has plagued scientists of
the Darwinian theory for many years. The actual body of an
ape-man specimen would end this controversy and prove the
existence of the abominable snowman. The rewards should be
considerable. Through pure chance and random circumstance, I
obtained the body of such a creature. Two world-renowned
scientists examined the corpse and declared it was a genuine
ape-man creature, scientifically identified as Homo
View of the upper portion of the
Apeman, Author Hansen's creature stunned the scientific
world, after it was discovered on state and county fairs
circuit in 1968. His most difficult job was to keep it
Belgian scientist Bernard Heuvelmans
declared: “For the first time in history, a fresh corpse
of a 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
‘ape-men’ or ‘missing links’ has been successful.”Heuvelmans’
associate, author and scientist Ivan Sanderson, reported in
a national magazine that the creature was “the genuine
article. This was no phony Chinese trick, or ‘art’ work.”
When the newspapers published
articles on my specimen, I was astonished, and then
concerned, to discover the creature was labeled a “hoax”‘ by
the prestigious Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.
To my knowledge no member of the Smithsonian scientific
staff has ever examined the specimen described by Dr.
Heuvelmans and Ivan Sanderson.
I became extremely nervous when the
newspapers in both the U.S. and England pointed out that “…
if this creature is real, then there may be the question of
how and why it was killed.” My fears led me to an attorney
and personal friend who explained the possibility of a
murder charge. The Federal Bureau of Investigation and
hordes of lesser law enforcement officials revealed a
sudden, ominous interest in my specimen, On one occasion I
had to ask my U.S. Senator for his help to get me out of an
untenable situation with the Bureau of Customs and The
Department of Health, Education, and Welfare.
My dreams of recognition from the
scientific community have vanished. My attorney adequately
summed up the situation one morning: “Frank, if you’re not
careful you’ll end up in a prison cell.”
Now, for the first time I want the
full story on this creature to be published. I have not
asked for, and will not receive, a single cent from SAGA
magazine. My main desire is to eliminate much of the
supposition and conjecture about a story that has become the
biggest controversy in the scientific world in the past
Let us start at the beginning. In
1960, I was an Air Force Captain and pilot assigned to the
343rd Fighter Group in Duluth, Minn. I had five years to go
until my retirement as a 20-year Air Force career officer
and was looking forward to a quiet life on a small farm
somewhere in southern Minnesota. I enjoyed being stationed
in Duluth as the hunting and fishing in northern Minnesota
is the best in the world. During the 1960 deer-hunting
season I was staying in a small resort on the shores of the
Whiteface Reservoir, approximately 60 miles north of Duluth.
Lts. Roy Aafedt and Dave Allison, and Maj. Lou Szrot were
the other members of the hunting party.
We left the cabin a few minutes
after six on the second morning and, although I had not
spotted a deer on the opening day, I was confident that a
narrow neck of swamp where I had hunted was one of the best
locations in the area. I sat motionless on a hillside
overlooking this pine-crested thicket for almost two hours.
I was about to leave for another location when a movement at
the edge of the swamp caught my eye. My pulse quickened as I
thumbed for the safety catch on my customized 8mm Mauser. A
large doe, partially obscured by a cedar tree, was staring
directly at me.
Suddenly, a shot echoed from the
other side of the swamp. With one frightened leap, the doe
dashed out of the thicket and headed straight toward me; I
raised my gun into firing position just as she spotted me.
Making three great leaps broadside, she scrambled beck
toward the swamp. I fired just as she reached the edge of
the trees and she fell, headlong, onto the ground. I bolted
my rifle end tried to get off another shot but she was up
and out of sight into the heavy brush before I could take
I walked toward the thicket where I
located large spots of blood on the frozen grass. I also
discovered that the wounded doe had left a clear trail that
led straight into the swamp. There was no snow on the ground
and my borrowed compare proved useless. It was against my
better judgment but I decided to follow the trail for a
short distance into the swamp.
I pushed slowly along following the
doe’s bloody trail, expecting her to be lying just beyond
the next bush. After an hour, however, I realized that it
would be impossible to pack the deer out even if I did find
her. I checked my bearings and decided to take just a few
more steps before retracing my trail out of the swamp.
Stepping over a small cedar log I
heard a strange gurgling sound just ahead. Startled, I
raised my gun and listened to the noise for a moment
concluding that the deer went down and strangled in her own
blood. Cautiously, I eased my way toward the sound.
Suddenly, I froze in horror!
In the middle of a small clearing
were three hairy creatures that at first looked like bears.
Two of these creatures were on their knees, tearing at the
insides of a freshly killed deer. The deer’s innards were
scattered around the clearing and the “things” were scooping
blood from the stomach cavity into the palms of their
human-like hands. Raising their cupped hands of fresh blood
to their mouths, they swallowed the liquid.
The third creature was about 10 feet
away, on the edge of the clearing crouched on his haunches.
It was obvious that he was a male of similar stature as a
man. Absolute horror gripped every muscle of my body as I
stared at this frightening tableau before me. I felt as if
my body had turned to stone.
Without warning the male leaped
straight into the air from its crouched position. His arms
jerked upward, high over his head, and he let out a weird
screeching sound. Screeching and screaming, he charged
toward me. I cannot remember aiming my rifle nor do I recall
pulling the trigger, but a bullet must have slammed into the
As blood spurted from his face the
huge creature staggered, seemingly stunned by this
unexpected happening. I do not recall ejecting my spent
shell nor do I recall firing my rifle again. In many
sweat-drenched nightmares, however, I have vividly
envisioned the blood- covered face lying on the ground
beside the mutilated deer. I have absolutely no recollection
of ever seeing the other two creatures again. They seemed to
have vanished into “thin air.”
Blind with fear, I started to run. I
dashed over the swampy terrain not knowing or caring in
which direction I ran. My only thought was to get away from
those horrible “things.” I stumbled, fell, picked myself up,
and fell again. I thought they were right behind me.
Finally, I fell onto the frozen marshland completely
exhausted, not caring if the creatures caught me. I lay
there waiting for the attack.
I have no recollection of time and
perhaps my mind blanked out, when I regained composure there
was only the natural silence of the swampland. I wondered if
I hadn’t fallen asleep and dreamed the whole thing.
Regardless. I knew I must find my way out of the swamp. My
compass, which I had borrowed from Major Szrot, was next to
worthless. I raised my rifle and fired the three rapid shots
that signal a hunter is in trouble. Nothing happened. I
reloaded my rifle and fired again. This time returning shots
echoed in the distance.
I moved in the direction of the
shots but stopped periodically and listened intently for
some familiar sound. After traveling a considerable
distance. I finally heard someone calling to me. Traveling
in the direction of the voice I finally emerged onto a hilly
clearing and saw a group of hunters standing around their
camp. I approached and, hiding my fright, explained that I
had become lost from my hunting party that morning. Two of
the hunters seemed to know where our green pickup was parked
and volunteered to drive me back in their automobile.
It was past noon when we arrived
back at our parked truck. Lou and the boys were waiting. I
threw the compass at Lou. “That compass isn’t worth a cent.”
I complained. “You’re just the great white hunter who got
lost.” someone chuckled, chiding me for my lack of wood
On several occasions that day, I
started to mention my harrowing experience to my companions.
I wanted to confide in someone, but how could I? Military
retirement was less then five years away. I might lose
everything if the story got out. The night surgeon might
even believe I was mentally unstable and unfit for flying
duty. I could be forced out of the Air Force on a medical
My mind reeled with the
possibilities. If I returned to the swamp what would it
prove? Had I killed the creature? Was it an escaped gorilla?
Or was it a man dressed up for-some deer- hunting prank.
Except for being completely hair-covered, the “thing” seemed
to have every feature of a human being. What about the two
creatures that had disappeared? Or, had the whole thing been
the product of my imagination? Everything was unreal and
Our hunting party returned home and
I spent a month wrestling with my conscience. I had been
troubled with migraine headaches several years previously
and now they returned with a pounding intensity. I swallowed
dozens of pills each day. As both an instructor and
instrument check pilot I always flew as aircraft commander.
I often had a pilot who was neither current, nor checked out
for the particular aircraft we were flying, so I avoided
airtime, except for a single four-hour flight near the end
of the month.
I knew it was impossible to continue
to fly until the mystery of my experience in the swamp had
been resolved. I watched the weather closely, waiting for a
heavy snow, which would provide good tracking conditions. I
would not consider going into that swamp again without being
able to backtrack in my own footsteps. On the 29th of
November it happened. The weather reported five inches of
fresh snow in the Whiteface area.
On Friday, December 2nd. a warm
front moved in and the snow was slowly melting making ideal
tracking conditions. By now I had formed a plan. The
following day I took my automatic shotgun. several rounds of
double-O buckshot, hooked my swamp-buggy to the back of my
pickup and with Mike, my faithful dog, headed north to
Whiteface Reservoir. Passing Ranta’s resort, I proceeded to
the east side of the lake. After the bug was unhooked and
the chains installed on the huge DC-3 aircraft tires. I
headed down the old logging trail looking for the area where
we had parked our truck during the hunting season.
Mike was trembling with anticipation
and I was shaking with fear. Any mishap could be disastrous.
It seemed doubtful that any other human would enter this
portion of the woods for the rest of the winter. I was also
aware of the possibility of encountering one or more of the
“things” and not knowing what to expect created a fear that
almost caused me to turn back.
The bug ran beautifully as I inched
through the soft snow, so I turned my attention to searching
for a familiar landmark. After making several lucky guesses
at “Y’s” in the trail I suddenly recognized the small
clearing where the truck had been parked. Again, almost
uncontrollable fear gripped me as I parked the bug. My heart
raced wildly as I pulled my shotgun from the rack and heeded
for my old stand overlooking the swamp. The old trail that
had been taken by the wounded doe was covered with snow so I
inched in a general direction toward the scene. It was
difficult to walk, as small logs covered with snow acted as
built-in obstacles. I was constantly on the alert for tracks
in the melting snow. Once I fell across a snow-covered log
and remained there to rest for a few minutes. Mike, working
in his usual circle, jumped a browsing deer that came
crashing through the thicket. My heart leaped into my
I called softly to Mike. He returned
trying to lick my face as if he could erase the fear from my
body. “Mike, old friend, we’ll be lucky to get back to the
bug,” I said softly. “Let’s get out of here.” It was almost
two o’clock when I started to retrace my tracks in the snow.
I wanted to get out of this devil swamp and back to
civilization. My legs moved faster and faster as I swore to
never set foot in the swamp again. I tripped over a large
snow-covered log. When I tried to get up, horror flashed
over me. I had fallen directly on top of a frozen,
I was ready to run when Mike started
to dig at the body under the snow. I realized then that the
events of that horrible day a month earlier had been real. I
staggered to my feet, called Mike to my side and spent
several minutes staring at the huge, hairy body. Finally I
brushed the snow away from the head and noticed that one eye
seemed to be completely missing. But there was so much
frozen blood it was impossible to tell for sure.
The face was not covered with hair,
but the neck, shoulders and stomach, were caked with frozen
blood. The creature’s left arm was twisted under the body
but I compared the right hand with my own. This hand
appeared identical to mine, except it was twice as large.
As I was inspecting the creature my
fear suddenly vanished. I was now convinced I had not killed
a true human being, but something similar to man, perhaps
some “freak” of nature. Maybe it war a mutant of some type.
I examined the poor creature and realized it was in a
perfect state of preservation. I also noticed that the dead
deer had been completely devoured by predators. Why hadn’t
these predatory animals eaten the flesh of the “hairy
thing”? There was indeed a mystery surrounding this “freak.”
I decided that the creature should
not be left in the swamp. I was still concerned with the
scandal that could jeopardize my retirement from the Air
Force. It was impossible to dig a grave in the frozen earth.
If the creature was left in the swamp, a wandering hunter
might stumble over the body in the spring. An investigation
by law officers might lead the authorities to me.
There was only one thing to do. I
left the swamp buggy concealed in the woods and went hack to
Duluth with my pickup. I told my wife that the bug had
become stuck, and I had to have a pick, shovel, ax, and
chain saw. I returned to the swamp the following day and
inched the bug back into the brush cutting a trail as I
went. Using an ice chisel from the truck, I chopped the
creature’s body from the frozen earth. Loading that hulk
onto the rear platform of my swamp buggy was one of the most
difficult experiences of my life. The body was rough dead
weight, and was frozen solid. Finally the icy form was laid
out on the platform and I snugged it down with cargo straps
that were standard equipment in the bug. When I reached the
pickup I struggled to transfer the monstrous form to the
truck bed. Again the nylon straps were indispensable.
It was after dark when I pulled up
to my home in the suburban military housing area of Duluth.
My wife, Irene, war almost hysterical when she saw the
gigantic corpse. I was now beginning to accept the creature
and finally, I convinced her of the seriousness of my
“What do you plan to do with the
thing?” she asked, fearfully staring at the ape-like form.
“I can’t dig a grave, the ground is frozen solid,” I
explained “Maybe we can keep it in the freezer until
spring?” We had just purchased a large food freezer two
weeks earlier. “But the freezer is full of meat.” Irene
protested. “Then we’ll have to give the meat away,” I
answered. “My retirement is more important then a few
dollars worth of meat.”
She finally agreed to my plan. Like
many military wives she was accustomed to adjusting to
unforeseen and unpredictable circumstances. We put our three
children to bed, waited until they were asleep, and then
with the use of the straps dragged the carcass of the
creature into the basement.
“We’d better keep the thing
covered.” Irene said, as she went upstairs for an old Army
blanket, “I’ll keep the kids out of basement and clean out
When I returned home after duty on
Monday, I discovered my wife had cleaned out the freezer as
she had promised. However, she was almost hysterical over
the thought of having that horrible “thing” in the basement.
“I don’t know what it is,” she confided, “but it smells
terrible and the odor is all over the house.”
Despite the stench, we entered the
basement and bent the creature’s arms and legs so that it
would fit into the freezer. Either the body was still frozen
or rigor mortis had set in. It was an extremely difficult
task and we both breathed easier when the creature was
completely in and the top securely fastened. We washed our
hands several times and placed our clothes in the washer to
soak. Later that night we opened the basement windows for a
thorough airing. “Let’s not tell a single person about
this,” I cautioned my wife. “We’ll just leave it there until
The creature remained in our food
freezer for almost a month. Then my curiosity drew me into
the basement. Man or animal? A mutant human or a cross
between the ape and man family? There were a hundred
different explanations. I opened the freezer and discovered
the creature’s body was dehydrating. Certain parts of the
body looked likes piece of dried-up meat.
I went bask upstairs and told Irene
of the dilemma. “If we bury it in the spring it won’t make
any difference,” I said. “But if we learn what it is and
decide to keep it then it should be properly preserved. I
don’t know how to keep it from drying out.”
My wife thought a moment. “Remember
those Canadian lake trout that we kept for two years? We
froze them in ice water and they stayed fresh. Perhaps the
thing could be preserved that way. It’s worth a try.” We
started by pouring 20 gallons of ice water into the freezer
The job was completed within a
weekend and our incredible secret was now encased in a solid
block of ice safe from prying eyes and freezer burn. To make
certain that no one could open the freezer; the door war
locked and I kept the only key.
When the spring thaw arrived I was
faced with another dilemma. It would require several days to
melt the ice around the creature’s body, and, in the process
the basement of our home would be filled with an odorous
stench. I was also concerned about the danger of burying the
“thing.” A passerby might see me digging a grave and alert
Transporting the body from my home
to a gravesite was equally dangerous. I envisioned a traffic
accident, with the smelly creature tossed out on the
pavement and a police officer staring at me as I fumbled for
some rational explanation. My wife was now accustomed to
having the creature in the freezer so I decided to leave it
in the basement and not press our luck.
In the summer of 1961, we purchased
a farm near Rollingstone, Minn., in preparation for my
retirement. We agreed that the family would move to the farm
at that time and I would commute on weekends.
I could not risk allowing a moving
company to transfer our freezer so I rented a U-Haul truck
and moved all of our furniture by myself. Friends helped
skid the heavy “meat packed” freezer out of the basement and
into the truck. A couple of fellows asked why I didn’t
remove the meat first but I explained that I wanted to keep
it cold inside for the long trip to the farm. “Besides I
couldn’t seem to locate the key in all the confusion of
moving. The trip from Duluth to Rollingstone took seven
hours and the top layer of ice had started to melt. Friends
and relatives again assisted in unloading the furniture and
skidding the heavy freezer into the basement. I breathed
easier when it was safely situated in the utility room of
our remote farm home. I could not get by until retirement
without fear of exposure. I was concerned that a power
failure might occur so I purchased a standby generator to
cope with such an emergency. It was also gratifying to know
that it could now be buried at any time in our “back forty”
without fear of being seen.
In November 1965, I retired from the
Air Force after completing 20 years of active service. I
joined my family at the farm end quickly became
disillusioned with the inactivity of life. I now had plenty
of opportunity to read and for the first time became
acquainted with the many stories and legends about the
so-called “Abominable Snowman.” The more articles I read the
more certain I became that the “thing” in our freezer was a
type of snowman. I now began to make discrete inquiries
about the statute of limitations on murder and learned that
there was no time limit in the state of Minnesota. Because
of this, the decision was made to just sit tight with our
specimen safely in the freezer for a while longer.
In December 1966, I happened to meet
a veteran showman who quickly recognized my boredom with
civilian life and suggested that I become a full time
showman by exhibiting a rare old John Deere tractor that I
had acquired and loaned to the Smithsonian Institution. It
had been returned to me from Washington and I was showing it
on a highly selective basis. “Take your tractor on a
full-time circuit of major fairs. You won’t get rich but
you’ll have fun and discover a whole new world out there.”
Suddenly a thought dawned on me.
“Would some sort of a frozen hairy creature resembling a
prehistoric man make a good attraction?” The showman almost
choked. “It’s a great idea, but where would you ever get a
specimen like that?” “Perhaps I could get one made,” I said,
not being able to divulge my secret.
I returned home with only one
thought in mind and immediately consulted with my attorney
concerning the legalities of exhibiting the creature. He
listened with amusement until I drove him to my farm and
opened the freezer. He stared down into the cloudy ice with
horrified fascination. Later, we discussed the legal
“There’s always the possibility of a
murder charge if this thing is judged to be human,” he
informed me. “Then are also laws concerning the
transportation of dead bodies. I can see all sorts of legal
“I’m convinced the creature would
make a great exhibit,” I said. “Isn’t there any way to do it
by creating a model?” He lit another cigarette and thought a
moment. “You have the original body. The authorities will be
after it because this thing is the scientific find of the
century; however, it might be possible to create a model as
you suggested. Maintain a record of the model’s construction
but show the real creature instead. If the officials
pressure you, it’s a small matter to produce photos of the
model taken during different phases of fabrication.” “Better
than that.” I replied. “I’ll even exhibit the model for the
first year so that it will be accepted by carnies as a
In January 1967, I made sketches of
the real creature and went to Hollywood to confer with the
men who make models for the motion picture industry. I
talked with Bud Westmore, the director of make-up at
Universal Studios. He informed me that such a model might
cost up to $20.000. Westmore didn’t have the time to make
the creation, but he agreed to offer his technical knowledge
if I needed it. He also agreed that it would be a
“challenging” endeavor. I then consulted with a staff member
of the Los Angeles County Museum. He suggested that I
contact Howard Ball, an independent artist who was creating
life-size fiberglass elephants to be displayed at the La
Brea tar pits. I later engaged Ball to sculpture the carcass
and mold the body.
John Chambers, a make-up artist and
academy award winner from 2Oth-Century Fox suggested that a
small wax studio in Los Angeles could implant the hair
according to my specifications. I approached Pete and Betty
Corral. They agreed to do the work and implanted each hair
individually with an open-end needle. I constantly directed
this portion and their work was magnificent. They were great
artists and a pleasure to deal with.
By the time the model was completed,
I had another worry. There was no guarantee that any exhibit
would make money on the fair circuit, yet I had spent
several thousand dollars, some of it borrowed, to obtain the
model. Despite my misgivings, I enlisted the aid of a friend
in Pasadena and we added the finishing touches to make it
look as close to the specimen in my freezer as possible. The
bloody eyes, broken arm, and the blood-soaked hair was
carefully duplicated to match the original.
It was now time to freeze the ice
around the model and this presented a few humorous moments.
I rented a cold storage room from a large Los Angeles ice
company and at eight a.m. one sunny morning pulled in with
my monstrous creation in the rear of my station wagon. A
stunned executive happened to stroll by and did several
double takes. “W-w-w-w- where are you going with that
thing?” he stammered. “I’ve rented a storage room for a few
days,” I explained.
“In our company?” he stared at the
model and twisted his hands in anguish. “My gosh! Was that a
living ‘thing’? This is a food processing plant. Get that
thing out of here before a government inspector sees it.”
Later, I arranged to “ice down” the
model at a privately owned locker plant that had recently
shutdown. The final phases of my creation were completed
there: I placed the model in a refrigerated “coffin”
designed especially for the exhibit. This was done with
heavy straps and a rented forklift. The coffin was
transported in a special show trailer to Los Banos, Calif.,
arriving just in time for its debut with the West Coast
Shows. On the 3rd of May 1967, the exhibit was opened to the
public for the first time as a “What-is-it” type of show.
“Where did it come from?” curious spectators inquired. “It
is claimed to have been found by some Chinese fisherman in
the Bering Straits,” was my stock reply. My “cover” story
had been created in advance and worked very well, so I stuck
to it for the next two years.
As I continued along the fair
circuit that year. I readily admitted to other showmen that
this was a creation. All agreed it was a compelling
attraction, but the model contained too many imperfections
to fool anyone with an expert knowledge of anatomy.
Our tour continued until November
1967, when we closed at the Louisiana State Fair and
returned to our farm home in Rollingstone for the winter. By
March 1968, I had convinced myself that it was safe to
substitute the real specimen for the coming fair season. I
cut off refrigeration to melt the ice from both specimens
and made the switch using my farm tractor loader and an “I”
beam. I worked the creature into a position closely
resembling the model by cutting the tendons in the arms and
legs. I then started the difficult task of creating ice
around the specimen. “This will be the greatest exhibit to
hit the fair circuit,” I said after the job was completed.
“Even a trained scientist would be shocked to see this.”
The 1968 season was one of the most
remarkable in our history. Physicians, professors and
college students came from everywhere to see the exhibit.
All pondered on the possibilities of a true “missing link.”
At the Oklahoma State Fair one
prominent surgeon visited the exhibit on nine separate
occasions. Each time he brought a different colleague. Even
a high official of the State of Oklahoma tactfully suggested
that we were not promoting our exhibit fully by showing it
on the fair circuit. At the Kansas State Fair the county
pathologist was so intrigued that he sent many of his
associates to see the “creature.”
Apparently the exhibit was brought
to the attention of Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans by
one of their colleagues. They called and asked permission to
examine the creature. This was a grave mistake on my part.
Both men were visibly impressed but made no mention of
releasing a scientific report. However, Dr. Heuvelmans
published an article on the “Homo pongoides,” the “Ape-man”
in a February 1969 bulletin of the Royal Institute of
Natural Sciences of Belgium. “The long search for the
rumored live ‘ape-man’ or ‘missing link’ has at last been
successful.” he reported.
Ivan Sanderson published an article
in the May 1969, issue of Argosy magazine. “… Let me
say, simply.” he wrote, “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 certainly did.”
My problem started again with the
publication of Heuvelmans’ article. It seemed as if every
newspaper, radio station, magazine and television station in
the world wanted to verify the existence of the creature.
Calls poured in each day from London, Tokyo, Berlin, Rome,
and scores of American cities. The Smithsonian Institution
requested permission to inspect the carcass. This request
was promptly refused. Dozens of scientists asked permission
to remove a core sample of the creature. Biologists wanted
hair end blood samples.
Heuvelmans had stated in his article
that it appeared that the creature had been shot. Newspapers
began to speculate on the possibility that law enforcement
authorities should investigate the manner in which I
obtained the creature. “… If the body is that of a human
being, there is the question of who shot him end whether any
crime was committed,” an article in the Detroit News reported.
With these events swarming into my
life, I became a regular visitor to my attorney’s office.
His advice was clear-cut and direct. “Frank, you had better
substitute the model for the real specimen and then take off
for a long vacation.” This sounded like good advice, so I
made arrangements to make the transfer in a cold storage
warehouse. The original specimen was put into a refrigerated
van and sped to a hiding place away from the Midwest.
Refreezing the model took several days and it was during
this period that newspapers carried accounts of both me and
the creature vanishing.
During the past few months I have
been pressed for the conditions or circumstances under which
I would consider giving the specimen up for scientific
evaluation. Two conditions must be met before I would even
consider such an action. One: A statement of complete
amnesty for any possible violation of federal laws. Two: A
statement of complete amnesty for any possible violation of
state and local laws where the specimen was transported or
exhibited during the 1968 fair season.
There will surely be skeptics that
will brand this story a complete fabrication. Possibly it
is, I am not under oath and, should the situation dictate, I
will deny every word of it. But then no one can be
completely certain unless my conditions of amnesty are met.
In the meantime I will continue to exhibit a “hairy
specimen” that I have publicly acknowledged to be a
“fabricated illusion,” and leave the final judgment to the
viewers. If one should detect a rotting odor coming from a
corner of the coffin, it is only your imagination. A new
seal has been placed under the glass and the coffin is
© Saga Magazine, July 1970;
story written by Frank Hansen.