As a discipline, cryptozoology has its roots in the 1950s, thanks largely to Belgian scientist Bernard Heuvelmans and Scottish biologist and writer Ivan T. Sanderson. Both men had formal scientific degrees but also found themselves fascinated with rare creatures and paranormal subjects. Sanderson even claimed to have been personally attacked by an Olitiau, a legendary giant bat with a 12-foot (3.6-meter) wingspan that supposedly exists somewhere in Central Africa.
Likewise, Heuvelmans was always hot on the trail of mysterious animals. His 1958 book, “On the Track of Unknown Animals,” is often regarded as a watershed moment for the cryptozoology subculture. Surely, Heuvelmans speculated in his tome, there could be pockets of dinosaurs still hidden in remote parts of the world. It was just a matter of finding them.
Both researchers drew minor fame from their various investigations, as well as scorn from mainstream scientists. And although they never officially found any of their fantastical creatures, their pursuits live on in the adventure of many other wannabe cryptozoologists. Looking for Bigfoot? Don’t kid yourself – you’re not the only one.