Mummy Dummy 5: Sideshow Operators
Other mummies have been turned into regular sideshow attractions. For example, a carnival operator named Frank Hansen claimed to have the mummy of a Bigfoot-type creature frozen in a block of ice. Hansen had exhibited the creature in sideshows across the country, but in 1968 he seemed to want respect from the scientific community. He invited two zoologists to examine the block of ice at his farm in Minnesota.
Authors Russell Ciochon, John Olsen, and Jamie James describe what the zoologists saw:
Its body was hairy and vaguely human, about six feet in height, with long limbs and very large extremities, and it had a simian face with a sloping forehead.
Were they convinced that this was a mummy hoax? Not at all. In fact, they were so certain the creature had once been alive that they asked a curator at the Smithsonian Institution to examine it, but Hansen would not allow this. He later made a plastic model of the mummy for future exhibitions, and the mummy disappeared.
Many people doubt that it was real, but two respected zoologists have publicly stated that it certainly looked real. Were they mummy dummies, too?
If you are tempted to think that this is an isolated case, consider the following example. An Australian aborigine named Tambo Tambo was brought to America as a circus performer more than one hundred years ago. On February 23, 1884, he died of pneumonia at the age of twenty-one while on tour with the circus. In 1993, 109 years later, his mummified body was discovered in a Cleveland, Ohio, funeral home. Why had his body been mummified? Why had it been secretly kept? And how muchmoney had been made exhibiting him?