Long before the Internet or cable television, there were very few champions in the media seeking the truth about the world around us. Magazines like Saga, Argosy, and True were virtually the only sources available for anyone to learn about UFOs, the Bermuda Triangle, or Bigfoot.
I thought a lot of people would find this May 1969 cover of Argosy magazine very interesting. This is the face of the Minnesota Iceman, at least the first one. Normally I don’t delve into past accounts of Bigfoot lore, but the artist’s rendition of the face really popped out at me.
Cryptozoologists Ivan Sanderson and Bernard Heuvelmans viewed the block of ice encasing the creature dubbed, the Minnesota Iceman. They nicknamed him “Bozo.” Sanderson had authored the book,” Abominable Snowman: Legend Comes to Life.”
This is what Sanderson wrote in the issue bearing this cover:
“Bozo’s face is his most startling feature, both to anthropologists and anyone else- and for several reasons. Unfortunately, both eyeballs have been ‘blown out’ of their sockets. One appears to be missing, but the other seems (to some, at least) to be just visible under the ice. This gives Bozo a gruesome appearance, which is enhanced by a considerable amount of blood diffused from the sockets through the ice. The most arresting feature of the face is the nose. This is large but only fairly wide, and is distinctly ‘pugged,’ rather like that of a Pekinese dog- but not like that of a gorilla, which actually doesn’t have a nose, per se. The nostrils are large, circular and point straight forward, which is very odd. The mouth is only fairly wide and there is no eversion of the lips; in fact, the average person would say he had no lips at all. His ‘muzzle’ is no more bulging, prominent, or pushed forward than is our own; not at all prognathous like that of a chimp. One side of the mouth is slightly agape and two small teeth can be seen. These should be the right upper canine and the first premolar. The canine or eye-tooth is very small and in no way exaggerated into a tusk, or similar to that of a gorilla or a chimp. But- to me, at least- the most interesting features of all are some folds and wrinkle lines around the mouth just below the cheeks. These are absolutely human, and are like those seen in a heavy-jowled, older white man.”
In their heyday, Argosy, True, and Saga were not considered fringe magazines. Their circulations together reached well over two million readers each month. Sadly Argosy reached its demise in 1979. The name Argosy came from Greek mythology’s tale of Jason and his search for the Golden Fleece. The vessel he sailed on was called the Argo. His men were called the Argonauts.
In 2002, even though Argosy was a now-defunct magazine, I still remembered it from when I was just a boy growing up in the 1960s. After I got done playing on my baseball team early in the summer, my parents would cart me off to Ohio to stay with my grandmother. She lived out in the country and didn’t like to drive her Buick Electra, so my parents would stock us up on food before they went back home. It was also one of the rare occasions when my parents would give me money so I could buy comic books and magazines. I loved Archie, Jughead, Betty, and Veronica, but I also bought the latest issues of Saga and Argosy. I was a bit more sheepish about buying True, because to me it seemed a little more racier. It always seemed to feature a girl in a swimsuit.
Reading those magazines gave my young mind my first knowledge of a creature called Bigfoot. In high school, I would sometimes listen late at night to Larry the Legend on WIND radio in Chicago. He was sort of the local version of Art Bell, long before there was an Art Bell. By the time I reached college my mind had no room for ETs, UFOs, or Bigfoot anymore. I had slipped into mainstream society.
Then in 2002 I heard that rumor of Bigfoot being out in the woods again. Maybe it was that little boy still inside me that wanted to get back out again? So I followed that rumor into the woods on that Labor Day. When I walked back out of those woods that day I knew Bigfoot was no longer a rumor. A month after my first Bigfoot encounter I found myself scribbling the name Argosy Project on a piece of scrap paper. I had given very little thought as to naming what I was just getting involved in. I don’t know what sparked me in writing the name down, but I liked the way it sounded. It was like: “Okay- I’ve got a name for this thing- but what do I do? And just what is this thing?” I was rudderless.