We all stand on the shoulders of giants. For me, those larger than life figures are named Sanderson and Heuvelmans. Patience and passion. I reflect on the fact that I will soon shadow their individual number of years of involvement in cryptozoology, due to the fact that their intellectual work, friendship, and inspiration directly fed my interest in this subject.
Ivan T. Sanderson’s exploration of the world began when he was 17, in 1927, with a tour of the world. His interest in cryptozoology probably began soon thereafter, and stretched from 1932, when he first saw what he reported to be a Kongamato flying over him in the Assumbo Mountains in the Cameroons, through the 1940s, when he conceptualized and coined the word “cryptozoology,” to some time before his death in 1973, at the age of 62. That would be 41 to 46 years of being involved in cryptozoology. Sanderson wrote 25 books, which were published from 1937 through one after his death, in 1974. That is 37 years.
Bernard Heuvelmans’ career in cryptozoology stretched from when he first read Ivan T. Sanderson’s 1948 Saturday Evening Post article (“There Could be Dinosaurs”), until the time his health began rapidly failing in the mid-1990s, ending in 1998, with the donation and shipping of his vast holdings and archives in cryptozoology to The Museum of Zoology of Lausanne, Switzerland, finalized the next year. That is 50 years of thinking and working within cryptozoology. Bedridden at the end, Heuvelmans died in 2001, at the age of 84. His cryptozoological books were published from 1955 through 1980, with a revised edition of his 1955 classic, On the Track of Unknown Animals appearing in 1995, forty years of a dozen books, counting all the editions.
I am passing my 50th year milestone in cryptozoology fieldwork, research, and writing, at what to me feels like a very youthful 62 years of age, having started sharing my books with the world in 1975, all due to these two gentlemen ~ and hundreds of people I’ve interviewed and thousands of you readers. My deep appreciation!
And my longterm distance friends, like Patrick, Mark, and Jerry, to just name three, who have kept the magic happening. There have been faithful women, my past lovers, including Libbet, Toni, and Leslie, too. Then there are my sons, Caleb, Malcolm, and Des, very important, needless to say! As far as Cryptomundo, I want to thank Craig, Eric, and Duncan, for all that it took to get this forum going, giving me a voice, and more. From helping so much to get the museum going, Jeff, Michelle, and you. Internationally, there in total support, I recall Adam, John, and Mr. X. Everything in triples, perhaps?
Today, here, however, my special thanks for the following from a couple friends:
Mike Esordi has written a nice tribute. He ends it, in text, this way: “On behalf of Believe It Tour I would like to congratulate Loren Coleman on his journey of 50 years and wish him only the best of luck with the International Cryptozoology Museum.”
Here is the video version:
Museum docent/volunteer coordinator Jeff Meuse reminds people, “Wish to help celebrate Loren Coleman’s 50th Year!? The museum is in need of your support, and if you can’t attend this weekend’s celebration, send in a wee donation to note Coleman’s 50th year. If everyone could send in either 50 cents, $5, $50, or $500, the worries of the budget of the museum would be solved for a few months. Please note, once again, the donation button below goes directly to the Museum, not the one in the upper right hand corner, which is tied into the ownership of Cryptomundo. Loren Coleman does not own Cryptomundo but blogs here. Thank you.”