There is perhaps no greater friend and supporter of the world of cryptozoology in general and Bigfoot in particular than Loren Coleman – cryptozoologist, sociologist, consummate researcher, media consultant, founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum and host of the International Cryptozoology Conference. While much has been written about the man himself, his legacy is his unique museum and the contents that best tell the story of cryptozoology.
“The International Cryptozoology Museum has as its primary mission to educate, inform, and share cryptozoological evidence, artifacts, replicas, and popular cultural items with the general public, media, students, scholars, and cryptozoologists from around the world.”
That it has done since 2003 when Loren Coleman opened the International Cryptozoology Museum in the first floor of a house in Portland, Maine, as a way to get his hobby and passion out of his own house. While modest at the time by conventional museum standards, it was and still is huge in the world of cryptozoology. Starting with an artifact from the 1960 World Book’s Snowman Expedition to the Himalayas lead by Edmund Hillary and Marlin Perkins, the museum has added a wide variety of artifacts from cryptid research and other cryptid expeditions and discoveries, an 8-foot tall Bigfoot representation, a full-scale model of the coelacanth (one of the oldest living species of fish), alleged foot-casts of Yetis, Yowies and Bigfoot, and famous fakes like jackalopes, furred trout and a model of P.T. Barnum’s Feejee Mermaid.
In 2016, the museum was moved to its present location in Portland to accommodate even more cryptozoological artifacts that have been featured in numerous publications and led it to be recognized in 2014 by Time Magazine as one of the “Ten Weirdest Museums in the World” and in 2018 by in the New York Times as one of the five places to visit in Portland, Maine. It has also taken on the added responsibility of hoisting the annual International Cryptozoology Conference, now in its fourth year. This year’s conference will be featuring talks from leaders in the field, an unveiling of a new exhibit at the ICM, unique items and goods from specialized vendors, and opportunities to meet with other leaders and members of the cryptozoology community.
All of this is not free, of course, and Loren, who readily admits he’s never been in it to become rich, nonetheless needs funding to keep both the museum and the conference running. A Gofundme fundraiser for the conference has been established (you can donate here) and donations to the museum can be made via PayPal to [email protected] Every little bit helps in keeping the International Cryptozoology Museum, the world's center and heart of cryptozoology, alive today and for future generations to enjoy.