It’s not often that I would use this platform to ask for help with something, but this is a cause I believe in and I’m going to do my best to get the word out there.
If you are at all interested in Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, el chupacabra, Mothman, the Jersey Devil, the Dover Demon, or any other weird, unexplained animal or phenomena, then you probably know who Loren Coleman is. He has written many definitive books on the subject of cryptozoology, and has appeared on pretty much every TV show that deals with it, from In Search Of… to MonsterQuest, and has consulted on many more. He is pretty much the go-to guy when it comes to weird creatures. Plus, he granted me an interview a few years back, so he’s good in my book. What you may not know about him, though, is that he also runs a museum that has all sorts of cryptid exhibits. It’s called the International Cryptozoology Museum. From their website:
Cryptozoology is the study of hidden or unknown animals. These are usually larger zoological species that, to date, remain unverified by science, such as Yetis, Bigfoot, Lake Monsters, and Sea Serpents, as well as hundreds of other yet-to-be-found animals (cryptids) worldwide, but which compelling ethnoknown evidence has been collected for their possible existence. It also encompasses the study of animals of recent discovery, such as the coelacanth, okapi, megamouth shark, giant panda, and mountain gorilla.
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.
This museum is the result of more than five decades of field research, travel, and dedication to gathering representative materials, native art, footcasts, hair samples, models, and other cryptozoological samples. Its director, Loren Coleman has moved his cabinet-of-curiosities home museum collection to a more formal foundation establishment in a planned, secure fashion. He and a dedicated battery of volunteers opened the museum, first in 2003, and then moved to the downtown public location on November 1, 2009, as the world’s first cryptozoology museum. On September 15, 2011, the next step was the nonprofit incorporation of the Museum in the State of Maine, and then moving into a larger venue for our broad mission purposes.
Realizing that cryptozoology is a “gateway science” for many young people’s future interest in biology, zoology, wildlife studies, paleoanthropology, paleontology, anthropology, ecology, marine sciences, and conservation, the Museum is filling a needed educational, scientific, and natural history niche in learning.
Now, unfortunately, I have not yet been able to visit the museum, but a fellow writer here from The Occult Section has. Laura Pennace visited the ICM back in 2013, and met with Mr. Coleman at the museum. The only real museum of its kind, this is something that anyone with any interest in cryptozoology, the paranormal or unexplained should be very invested in. The museum is moving, and they are looking for donations to help them not only move to a new location, but also grow and continue educating the public about things that mainstream science usually turns a blind eye to. So I’m asking all readers of this site, please go donate, whatever you can. Every little bit helps!