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The Iceman’s Curse

Last week I reported on the cursed ring of Rudolph Valentino, a curse that is difficult to scoff at given the probability-straining list of tragedies attached to it. This week, as we are settling in nationwide for one of the worst cold spells in recorded history (this sounds all super dramatic, but remember that we’ve only been recording such things for a couple’a centuries), it seemed like the perfect opportunity to talk about the curse of the Iceman. Not the Mafia hitman of the same name; I’m talking about the 5000+ year-old Paleolithic hunter Otzi the Iceman.

Otzi, or Oetzi, was discovered in 1991 in the frigid Italian Alps, near the border with Austria. We now know that Otzi was murdered, killed by an arrow, shot in the back. Does this explain why the spirit of the Iceman might still be angry?

Consider the following: The man who first discovered Otzi, a 67-year-old German man named Helmut Simon died while hiking near the location where Otzi had been found. The head of the rescue team that found Simon’s body, Dieter Warnecke, himself had died of a heart attack, at almost the same time as Simon’s funeral was taking place. A few months later, Konrad Spindler, the first scientist to examine the Iceman’s remains, died from MS. All this could be dismissed as coincidence, but it gets weirder.

Rainer Henn, the head of a forensic team examining the Iceman, was killed in a car crash while on his way to deliver a lecture about the Iceman. The man who served as the team’s guide, Kurt Fritz, died in an avalanche. Even the journalist who filmed the removal of the Iceman’s body from the mountains, Rainer Hoelzl, succumbed to a brain tumor.

Today Otzi rests at the South Tyrol Archaeological Museum in Bolzano, Italy in a special refrigerated chamber as part of a permanent three-floor exhibit. Hopefully he is comfortable with his new surroundings. If he is treated with respect and dignity, will the curse come to an end?

TheCheezman • February 5, 2019

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