Loren Coleman first started pursuing unusual, often inexplicable animals in 1960, and has since become one of the world’s foremost experts in the field of cryptozoology. The discipline, as defined by the master himself, “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…” It also encompasses the study of animals of recent discovery, such as the coelacanth, okapi, megamouth shark, giant panda, and mountain gorilla.”
Throughout the years, Coleman has amassed an unrivaled collection of specimens, replicas, and artifacts relating to famous and lesser-known cryptids, including the eight-and-a-half-foot tall, 300-pound “Crookston Bigfoot,” a life-size coelacanth, a replica of P. T. Barnum’s Feejee Mermaid, and much more. The exhibits also include cryptid hair samples, fecal material, photographs, and footprint casts.
Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum preserves and presents the collection to the public in a fun and educational manner while acknowledging that cryptozoology is a “gateway science”. Cryptozoology is capable of sparking the next generation’s interest in more popularly-accepted exploratory and research-oriented disciplines like biology and anthropology.
Besides, as Coleman asserts, it’s not really an issue of whether or not one “believes” in Yetis or the Montauk Monster; for belief “belongs in the providence of religion.” Coleman focuses on exploring the unexplainable with an open mind, gathering evidence before accepting or denying any larger theory.