The Top Cryptozoology Obituaries of 2019
by Loren Coleman, Cryptozoology A to Z
It is that time of year when we gather our notes on the recently deceased people whose lives have been touched by cryptozoology and cryptids, by the books we read and Bigfoot, and those who have touched others.
The year of 2019 is one in which cryptozoology and hominology saw some well-known and lesser-known figures die. All deaths are deeply experienced, and we pause to remember those who have passed away, with respect for them, their families, and for all they shared and created. Cryptozoologists and cryptid fieldworkers, eyewitnesses, media folks and popular culturists are recalled here for our annual goodbye and celebration of their lives.
December 16, 2019. John “Trapper” Tice, 72, of Travel Channel’s Mountain Monsters fame and founder of Appalachian Investigators of Mysterious Sightings died on Monday evening, December 16, 2019, from kidney failure. He had been suffering with health issues for about two years. Prior to the recent announcement of Season 6, Tice reported he would not appear due to the development of “a serious blood clot in his leg.” He said: “I’m facing up to dying. I got to. That’s what’s happening to me. I’m dying.” Obit.
November 14, 2019. Tim Fasano, 63, died, reportedly from a heart attack. A controversial figure in the Florida Ape investigation world for ten years, he was a popular figure, nevertheless. “Rumors circulated on the Bigfoot sites that Mr. Fasano died in the woods from a snake bite. His twin brother, Thomas Fasano, said his brother died at home of cardiac arrest and had struggled for years with high blood pressure and his weight,” wrote the Tampa Bay Times. Obit.
October 21, 2019. Albert DeAtley, 85, Roger Patterson’s brother-in-law and a film backer of the Patterson-Gimlin film, died from the complications of a stroke. He said Patterson asked for a loan so the film could be air-lifted for delivery to a film-processing site as soon as possible. Obit.
September 7, 2019. Bill Davis died in British Columbia. He was active in the 1970s’ Bigfooter world. Davis investigated the claim of sightings of a dead Bigfoot near Happy Camp, California, in 1967. Pictured above from Barbara Wasson’s book is Bill Davis (left) & Bob Gimlin (right), 1978. Obit.
September 7, 2019. Michael Mitchell, 53, author of the comic book, Granite State Bigfoot, died unexpectedly. (In photo, on right.) Obit.
July 31, 2019. Tom Shirley, 56, of Richardson, Texas, died after having been in the hospital fighting cancer. Shirley became involved in Bigfoot studies in 2012, teaming up with Lyle Blackburn, and working with Craig Woolheater to investigate Louisiana and Texas reports. Obit.
July 18, 2019. Rosemary Ellen Guiley, 69, who authored and compiled nearly 65 books, including books in the “Fate Presents” series, which included her newest title, Planet Bigfoot (2019), died, after a lengthy battle with cancer. Obit. (Like Guiley, the deaths of Uri Dowbenko, 67, on April 29th, and Stanton T. Friedman, 84, on May 13th, includes the passing of important authors on the unexplained.)
May 26, 2019. Savanna Bright, 15, died after being hit by a Norfolk Southern train on Sunday night, May 26th, on the train tracks near the Pope Lick trestle, while searching for the Pope Lick Goat Man. Obit.
March 1, 2019. Christopher Kenyon Orrick, 69, a well-known collector of cryptid artifacts and ephemera, as well as a frequent online commentator (as “Corrick”) on matters of cryptozoology, died. His collections were thorough and vast. Obit.
April 5, 2019. Mike Wooley, 63, a Louisiana Swamp Ape Monster hunter, died. He appeared in some documentary television programs discussing his quests. Obit.
February 12, 2019. Jay R. Rowland, 86, who worked for the Wallace Construction company, was on Jerry Crew’s crew in 1958 when the Bigfoot incidents occurred, and remained a local resident there, died. Obit.
February 7, 2019. Raymond T. Nelke, 91, died. He was the founder of Collectors of Unusual Data, International” (known widely as “COUD-I”) of St Louis, Missouri. He characterized “his home as a clearing house for all sorts of weird news” and would give out “huge packets on a trade basis only.” Obit.
February 3, 2019. Julie Adams, 92, the actress who is best remembered as the female victim in the 1954 horror classic Creature From the Black Lagoon, died. She had a long-lasting acting career after the Gill-Man movie. But in 2011, the title of Adams’ autobiography told of that film’s impact, The Lucky Southern Star: Reflections From the Black Lagoon. Obit.
January 24, 2019. Frank Cali, 65, a frequent online and Facebook friend to many in the Bigfoot community, died. Obit.
January 18, 2019. Ed Waterman, a dedicated Washington State Bigfooter who felt he saw Bigfoot often, and photographed them regularly, ran an organization he called “BF Deal,” died on his 54th birthday. Having experienced hospitalizations after his father died a year earlier, Waterman was found alone in his truck, where he had been living, deceased, by local law enforcement officers. Obit.
Our thoughts go to out to our colleagues, friends, and family who have lost loved ones in 2019.
This includes our sincere, deep condolences to Jenny White Coleman who lost her father George, a Bigfoot fan and art contributor, on February 4, 2019.
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