|Loren Coleman, left, speaks with host Joshua Foer at the Institute Library in New Haven.|
In an article by Randall Beach for the New Haven Register, Loren Coleman is asked about his approach to cryptozoology. You can read below as he describes himself as a skeptic and then brings up Melba Ketchum's Bigfoot DNA study:
Coleman stated at the outset: “I am a skeptic.” He demands to see plenty of hard evidence before believing any of the many claims of creature sighters.The article continues to talk about a few other cryptids but the subject comes back to Bigfoot and Mr. Coleman reveals what started his fascination for Cryptozoology; a Japanese movie about the Yeti.
“I try to interview the witness first,” he told us. “I try to understand the human element. The creature is important to me. But I’m never blown away by a piece of evidence. I always look for the motive.”
For instance, he investigated the claim by a veterinarian in Texas she had discovered a being that was “part human, part primitive.”
“My standard is: no data, no discovery,” Coleman said. “And why is she saying ridiculous things like ‘These are angels from heaven’?”
Coleman said that for every 100 cases of new animal claims, about 80 of them are mistaken identity, one is a hoax and the other 19 are unknown.You can read the full article at the New Haven Register
“But the media goes crazy about the hoaxes,” he noted.
Coleman said Bigfoot hoaxers are “really evil people.”
“Let’s talk about Bigfoot,” Foer said, and Coleman was off and running.
He noted that when he surveys people who come to his International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Me. (the world’s only cryptozoology museum), “nine out of 10 are interested in Bigfoot.”
Coleman thinks he knows the reason: “Of all the cryptids, Bigfoot is the one that looks the most like us.”
Coleman isn’t about to declare Bigfoot is real but he did say, “I think there is something going on out there.”
He said the most “compelling” evidence is the Patterson-Gimlin footage of a hairy figure shot Oct. 20, 1967, in Bluff Creek, Calif. “You can see the mammary glands,” he noted. “And muscle contractions.”
Coleman added: “You see horses reacting to the creature. You have film, you have footprints. We have to be careful about putting all of our eggs in a basket. But if you look at it now, it’s the gold standard of all Bigfoot films.”
Coleman said we needn’t look for Bigfoot in populated regions such as Connecticut. But he noted: “You’ve got the melon heads in Shelton! Groups of unknown creatures in the woods with giant heads. They’re folk art.”
Coleman said, “I’ve been at this 53 years” and yet cryptozoology is still often dismissed as pseudo science. “I’ve long ago given up my defensiveness.”
He got interested in the field when he was a kid. The date was March 20, 1960. He saw a Japanese documentary, “Half Human,” about the Yeti (the Abominable Snowman).