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The Yeti de Bourganeuf
by Welcome To My Secret Lair On Skullcrusher Mountain (_omega_man)
at August 20th, 2008 (11:51 am)

current mood: contemplative

Of course the "GA Gorilla" body hoax is not the first. In March 1997, a supposed Yeti corpse went on display for a short time at a fair in the town of Bourganeuf (on le pronounce BORG-AH-NEW-F:) in southwest France. It measured 2.63 meters or approximately 8' 7-1/2". Where it came from and how it got there are unknown.

Investigator Christian Le Noel attempted to find the answers, but instead got stories about Tibetan monks finding it in an avalanche, then trying to hide it in a well from the Chinese army ,who found it anyway and it went on display for a time in Shanghai (Poor Yeti got Shanghaied:). After that it ended up at a state run circus in East Germany, which went bankrupt following the collapse of the communist bloc. None of this rang true to Le Noel. So the hoaxer then claimed that because of the creatures' similarity to humans, anyone who killed one, even by accident or out of fear, would be afraid to come forward and tell the truth. When Le Noel pressed further, both hoaxer and corpse disappeared.

Over a year later, in the July-August edition of the journal Cryptozoologia, the sculptor who created supposed corpse, came forward admitting everything and explaining how he'd done it:


The title translates as The frozen mannequin of Bourganeuf.

The story is also related by Loren Coleman on Cryptomundo:


The “Yeti de Bourganeuf” trickery was admitted by the creators, done to honor Bernard Heuvelmans and his dealing with the Minnesota Iceman. It is a sculpture by artist Emannuel Casteels Janssen, and was manufactured to showcase Janssen’s skill.

My friend and associate from France, Michel Raynal wrote of this:

In 1997, what looked like a new version of the affair of the frozen man (this cadaver of a frozen hairy man shown in the US fairs, which Bernard Heuvelmans was able to study in 1968) occurred… in France ! It was indeed a hoax, and amusingly, our Belgish friends of the ABEPAR (which publishes the journal Cryptozoologia) are (involuntarily) responsible. Emmanuel Janssens Casteels, animal sculptor and a collaborator of the magazine, relates in the June to August 1998 issue of Cryptozoologia that two friends of his have helped people who wanted to make a giant copy of Bernard Heuvelmans’s frozen man: "In fact, it was a sculpture made with sponge rubber on which hairs of horse tail have been pasted. The eyes have been simply bought from a provider specialized in taxidermy."

There you have it friends; sponge rubber, horse hair and glass eyes from a taxidermy shop. Created to show off the artist's skill and as a tribute to the notorious Minnesota Iceman:


Now that took some creativity and imagination! Not simply buying a costume, stuffing it with possum entrails and sticking it in a beer fridge! To this day there are many who still believe that the created creature corpse was real. It certainly looks convincing, as you can see...Ladies and gents I present unto you the Yeti de Bourganeuf!