Since 2000, I have compiled an annual list of the “Top Cryptozoology Stories of the Year,” as well as an annual list of the top nonfiction books in the field and a list celebrating the top cryptozoologists’ deaths. This became the basis for an expansion of those recognitions after the founding of the International Cryptozoology Museum, with the consultation of my staff and board members.
For a decade, a formal annual announcement of the Cryptozoologist of the Year has occurred. In 2018, that honor will be bestowed on an individual on September 2, 2018, at our annual conference.
Starting with the annual International Cryptozoology Conference in 2016, each Cryptozoologist of the Year has been awarded a “Golden Yeti” by the International Cryptozoology Museum. Beginning in 2017, the Cryptozoologist of the Year has received an honorarium of $1000 US.
Cryptozoologist of the Year for the last decade, include the following individuals:
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2017: Seth Breedlove
Seth Breedlove has dedicated the beginning of his remarkable filmmaking career to documenting the vanishing midcentury’s legacy of cryptid encounters. Based on his impressive body of growing documentary work, exhibited in several high quality films from his Small Town Monsters production company, this award is well-deserved.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2016: Karl Shuker
Karl Shuker has dedicated his life to chronicling the scientific stories of cryptids and new animal discoveries. Karl Shuker is familiar to many readers through the body of his work, which includes writing 25 books as of 2016, as well as via his blog, his published articles, and his television appearances.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2014: Bill Munns
Bill Munns, a Hollywood makeup and special effects artist, gave a 2014 presentation in Yakima, “When Roger Met Patty,” and wrote a 2014 book, When Roger Met Patty, that were the culmination of his seven years of research on the Patterson-Gimlin film.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2013: Bryan Sykes
The Oxford University geneticist is to be congratulated for his project attempting to confirm or deny any DNA basis for new species from Almas, Bigfoot, and Yeti samples.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2012: Cliff Barackman
Barackman’s grounded role model membership of the cast of Finding Bigfoot made him an easy pick for 2012.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2011: Mark Murphy
National Archives researcher Mark Murphy discovered papers detailing for the first time the United States government’s attention to the search for Yetis roaming the mountains of Nepal in the 1950s.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2010: Ngwe Lwin
Ngwe Lwin is shown asking local people for information about a little-known new primate species, the new Mae Hka snub-nosed monkey (Rhinopithecus strykeri), seen below, which he discovered.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2009: Gabriele Gentile
Italian researcher Gabriele Gentile holds a Galápagos iguana, a newly-verified pink and black species he discovered in January 2009.
Cryptozoologist of the Year 2008: Andrea Marshall
In 2008, after over five years of on-site work and confirming lab findings, doctorate candidate Andrea Marshall identified the giant manta ray as a distinctive new species, separate from the reef manta ray. She may have also found evidence of a future new, third species of manta.
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.