The Golden Yetis for 2020 go to…
The Cryptozoologist of the Year 2020: Hominologist Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann
The strong spirited Dr. Koffmann has been a major force in Russian-French Hominology. She is the Cryptozoologist of the Year!
Only infrequently do we know of one of our peers who has achieved so very much in terms of hominological research (in her case, research and fieldwork on the Almasty) and lived so long.
On July 22, 2020, Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, M.D., reached the age of 101. She lives in Paris, in a home, Gautier Wendelen, for the elderly.
Born in France, Koffmann spent most of her life in the Soviet Union, as a surgeon at Moscow hospitals and a mountaineer. She became interested in the “Snowman” mystery in the 1950s, particularly in Kabrarda (Caucasus), where she recorded hundreds of sightings of the almasty, the local variety of the Almas.
From 1948 to 1954, Koffmann was held in a gulag (Soviet labor camp) after being accused of spying for the French. Four years after her release, she was picked to be on the Soviet Union’s first official expedition to the Pamirs. She was the doctor of the Pamirs Academy of Sciences Snowman Expedition, in 1958. She published a synthesis of her fieldwork and research in the journal Archeologia.
L to R: Boris Porshnev, Alexander Mashkovtsev, Pyotr Smolin, Dmitri Bayanov, and Marie-Jeanne Koffmann, shown in 1968.
Greenwell: What first got you interested or involved in this question of unknown hominoids? What motivated you, and when did it happen?
Koffmann: It was in 1957, when I first saw an article in the Soviet press entitled “What Is the Snowman?” It told about some of the first expeditions. The article consisted of comments by eight mountain climbers whom I knew, half of whom thought the whole idea was impossible. The other half thought that there might be something to the reports.
Official logo of the 1992 expedition.
In March 1999, Dmitri Bayanov and Koffmann represented the Russian Society of Cryptozoology at the world cryptozoological conference in Rome and both read papers. Koffmann is a former president of the Russian Society of Cryptozoology.
Dr. Marie-Jeanne Koffmann remained active for the first decade of the 21 Century through the The International Center of Hominology and the affiliated Russian organization, Cryptosphere: Fund for Furthering Scientific Researches and Searches. Here she is, at age 90, in 2009 in a Russian forest before leaving for France. Photo credit by Dmitry Pirkulov.
Igor Burstev wrote of Dr. Koffmann to me on June 10, 2020,
“She lives in a hostel in Paris, France. I visited her last February ; she in a satisfactory state of health, though very weak, half paralyzed, only laying down on her bed. But in a clear mind.”
Lifetime Achievement Award 2020 ~ Christopher L. Murphy
Knowledgeable Canadian Bigfoot authority Christopher L. Murphy has authored or co-authored several must-read books on Sasquatch, the legendary Ohio Grassman, the controversial Patterson-Gimlin Film (PGF), built a scale model of the film’s site, and assembled a renowned educational traveling exhibition. The British Columbia resident has collaborated with leading Sasquatch investigators, including the late René Dahinden and the late John Green.
Murphy met the noted Sasquatch researcher René Dahinden in 1993, and then worked with René in producing posters from the Patterson/Gimlin film and marketing Sasquatch footprint casts. In 1996, Chris republished Roger Patterson’s book, Do Abominable Snowmen of America Really Exist? and Fred Beck’s book, I Fought the Apemen of Mt. St. Helens.
In 1997, Chris published Bigfoot in Ohio: Encounters with the Grassman, a book he authored in association with Joedy Cook and George Clappison of the Ohio Bigfoot Research and Study Group.
Chris subsequently updated the Patterson book and the Ohio book, and Hancock House Publishers published them.
In 2000, Chris embarked on a project to assemble a comprehensive pictorial presentation on the Sasquatch. This initiative led to the 2004 Sasquatch exhibit at the Vancouver Museum, British Columbia, and his book Meet the Sasquatch (Hancock House), written in association with the noted Sasquatch researchers, John Green and Thomas Steenburg. Murphy wrote, Meet the Sasquatch, to supplement his popular Sasquatch exhibit as it traveled across the Pacific Northwest. The book won The Anomalist’s Best Illustrated Book of the Year award.
In May 2006, Chris provided his Sasquatch exhibit to the Museum of Natural History in Pocatello, Idaho, which is part of Idaho State University. From there, it traveled to more than a dozen other museums and professional educational venues.
By 2020, throughout his 27 years in the field of Sasquatch studies, Chris had applied his artistic talents in several ways to provide a better understanding of the creature. He enhanced an image from the famous Patterson/Gimlin film, which might provide some insights into the creature’s actual facial features. He also created a scale model of the site where the creature was filmed, which has provided a much better understanding of the filming circumstances. Chris has made many presentations on the Sasquatch at conferences in both the U.S. and Canada. He works closely with major researchers in the field.
Murphy published an update of the detailed analysis and review of the PGF, which he originally wrote when republishing the late Roger Patterson’s book. Murphy considers the film among the most convincing evidence for Bigfoot.
Sasquatch in British Columbia is Murphy’s detailed account of the 200-year history of BC Sasquatch reporting from the oldest historic accounts to contemporary reports. He includes findings of the leading BC researchers, media renderings, and tributes to the field’s pioneers and their lasting influence. A comprehensive reference of British Columbia Bigfooting and an engrossing read, this book is an important addition to any serious Sasquatch research library.
Passing Along A Legacy
Chris Murphy may be remembered by a few for his organizational work and presentations as a speaker on Masonic history and philately. Before Bigfoot studies caught his attention, he wrote books about stamps.
However, nowadays, the majority of people involved in Hominology and Cryptozoology know of Murphy for his books on Bigfoot. In the last several years, others have become aware of his traveling “Sasquatch Revealed” exhibition, bound to be his lasting legacy.
Christopher Murphy, the “Sasquatch Revealed” exhibit curator, has been sharing his collection of Sasquatch evidence with museums, mostly on the West Coast of Canada and the United States, since 2004. One exhibit was staged in Indianapolis, and in 2020, “Sasquatch Revealed” moved from the Lacey Museum, Lacey, Washington, to the nonprofit International Cryptozoology Museum (ICM) in Portland, Maine. During the Spring of 2021, Murphy’s sterling exhibition, will be re-launched in the newly expanded ICM, under the direction of Loren Coleman.
Murphy’s personally curated exhibition highlights the history of the unknown hairy hominoids and presents some of the strongest pieces of evidence for their existence. Combining the exhibits’ artifacts with those of the ICM, the collection showcases a nine-foot replica human skeleton next to a taxidermically correct 500-pound eight and half foot Sasquatch model. It also highlights First Nations’ Sasquatch cultural items, and scores of famous footprint casts. The displays feature accounts of Sasquatch sightings from across the Pacific Northwest, a photo breakdown of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film, skull clones of candidate species, and varied track casts from Russia, Nepal, and other global locations.
Christopher Murphy’s decades-long Sasquatch work deserves this year’s 2020 Lifetime Achievement Award recognition.
Paul LeBlond, Ph. D., who died February 8, 2020, earlier received the first Cryptozoologist Lifetime Achievement Award for 2020.
Past Cryptozoologists of the Years
Craig Woolheater, Lyle Blackburn, and Ken Gerhard.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2018: Anna Nekaris
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2017: Seth Breedlove
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2016: Karl Shuker
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2015: Jeremy Efroymson
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2014: Bill Munns
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2013: Bryan Sykes
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2012: Cliff Barackman
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2011: Mark Murphy
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2010: Ngwe Lwin
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2009: Gabriele Gentile
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2008: Andrea Marshall
The Southeast Sasquatch Association announced the following 2007 Year-End Award Winners:
Cryptozoologist of the Year – (tie)
Cryptozoology Book of the Year
Mysterious America (2007 revised edition) by Loren Coleman
On November 14, 2015, the Lifetime Achievement in Cryptozoology award was presented to Loren Coleman by the 2015 PA MUFON.
The Cryptozoology Deaths of 2020
The Top 20 Cryptozoology Books of 2020
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