(I really don’t take myself too seriously, although I certainly do take this field to heart and seriously. Now and then, I do have to have some fun and so here is a survey I began several years ago, updated.)
People hang on his every word….He can speak zoology,…in cryptozoology….He doesn’t always drink root beer, but when he does, he prefers Capt’n Eli or Sea Dog or whatever might be at hand, actually….He is the most interesting cryptozoologist – - – in the world.
Stay curious, my friends.
Well, you get the idea. Life is a stage and we all are actors, in a way. Some just have different costumes than others.
Are you the most interesting person in your neighborhood? I imagine you are by the mere fact you read the CryptoZooNews!
Ken Gerhard’s hat worn on MonsterQuest back in the day brought up some feelings in some viewers. The world has changed since then. Let’s have a quick survey of cryptozoologists appearing, here and there.
Some folks seemed to grow defensive. One comment maker, Cryptidsrus, several years ago, asked: “I did not know Cryptozoologists had to adhere to a certain ‘dress code.’ Do you, Loren??? ”
Are there some stereotypes out there? Certainly there are, as shown in the above “cryptozoologist” from a television movie from the last decade.
I don’t know, folks, what do you think? Are there reasons for the way the public sees me and others, or wishes to see cryptozoologists?
Let’s take a peek around the field during the last decade, back to the 1930s.
The late Scott Norman.
Roy Mackal (second from left).
Loren Coleman and Scott Norman.
Tim “The Yowie Man” Bull
The late Jack Young, late Adelaide “Su-Lin” Young, and late Quentin Young.
The late Ruth Harkness.
The late Herman Reguster.
Let’s conduct a comparative experiment. Do skeptics/debunkers have a dress code? Here’s a random sampling.
Matt Crowley and Ben Radford.
OMG. Then there’s…
What do you think?
Where do you fall in the ranks? Who do you most look like?
We need to ponder this more deeply.
Here are two images of Matt Bille, a self-described skeptical cryptozoologist and good friend of mine, who has characterized himself as one who does not do fieldwork but engages more in the bibliographical and archival research end of things. These two photos of Matt are found all over the Internet, and perhaps speak to two parts of his personality as projected through these presentations?
Let us look further to seek a few simple truths, as we change points of view to discovery other crowning wonders.
What of someone who appears to live in two worlds? Or so we are to believe?
This is newspaper columnist known as “That Guy” (above) ~ i.e. Leigh Hart, the New Zealand comedian who hoaxed the Ohio Bigfoot conference several years ago by presenting himself as a genuine documentary filmmaker. Instead, he appeared to be trying to be cryptozoology’s Borat or Bruno. Reviews are mixed as to whether he succeed.
Hart decided to dress the part to go undercover (see below), as a Bigfoot hunter/film producer.
Leigh Hart is shown above, in disguise, to the extreme right.
Joe Rogan, another comedian turned TV Bigfoot hunter, appeared on his own show, bare-headed.
Rogan’s associate Duncan Trussell, however, has the hat thing down pat, sort of. Hat tip, ironically, to Matt Staggs.
It is apparent what programs Hart and others had been watching to come up with their undercover outfits. Here Extreme Expeditions’ Adam Davies is shown during his documentary film trip seeking Almas in Mongolia. The right clothing to wear is pretty obvious.
Staying in that half of the world, what can we learn from Australia?
Above is Chris Rehberg who conducted the search for the Thylacine on the “MonsterQuest” episode “Isle of the Lost Tiger.” He’s wearing a hat and a bird.
In recent years, it has been Finding Bigfoot that has been setting the standards.
Of course, James “Bobo” Fay has been known to wear different kinds of hats.
How about Bigfoot coauthors? Have a gander at this archival snapshot of Patrick Huyghe, my writing partner on a couple cryptozoology field guides, and the editor-in-chief of Anomalist Books. This is Patrick in 1976, with a hat and another kind of bird.
There are all kinds of fedoras to wear. As Patrick demonstrates, not all of them are of the Indiana Jones variety.
The classic Brixton Castor fedora.
All kinds of hats are worn by budding cryptozoologists, including among women, as demonstrated by Darkshines who has been seen to wear the above, online. I don’t know her, so maybe people can send in different female cryptozoologist examples.
Sometimes it is about hiding in plain sight. Looking for the forest among the trees is New Hampshire cryptozoologist Craig Heinselman.
The Indiana Jones fedora.
Basically, there is an underlying theme here. Besides the utility of the hat for fieldwork in wild areas, the fedora versus the bare head speaks to an era when this kind of hat projected an investigative “detective” image.
Forget the pith helmet and the cigarette. The fedora is the hat of choice for cryptozoology.
Subtly, what we are talking about is how do cryptozoologists approach their investigations, as symbolically seen in their hats. Some shall know an existence by its frogs; others can best realize the world via its hats, or the lack thereof. Even Darren Naish, unconsciously, was giving visual life to this in 2007, especially as noted here regarding the hatless nature of the skeptic shown to the right, below.
Examine this picture, and view the messages being given:
Here is the text that Darren Naish wrote to go with this image: “I would say that a zoologist can indulge in cryptozoological work, a folklorist can indulge in cryptozoological work, but a dedicated cryptozoologist combines work on both zoology and folklore. The term ‘cryptozoologist’ is actually used, therefore, for three quite distinct types of researchers: this is something that hasn’t really been acknowledged and I feel that it explains why different areas of cryptozoology have different levels of credibility. The zoology-based cryptozoologist looks at the mystery animals being investigated by the folklore-based cryptozoologist, and thinks that they are highly unlikely to exist as real animals. The folklore-based cryptozoologist looks at the often rather mundane animals being investigated by the zoology-based cryptozoologist and thinks that the creatures concerned are so ordinary that they’re probably nothing to do with cryptozoology. A dedicated cryptozoologist – who combines investigation of both of these fields – is interested in both areas, and finds both real animals, and entities that exist only in folklore, of equal research interest.”
Thanks to International Cryptozoology Museum’s Assistant Director Jeff Meuse for the creation of the above imagery, as a humorous tribute.
Interested in helping one permanent effort in cryptozoology. Assist in preserving the history of the field. Donate what you can, no contribution is too small, to the International Cryptozoology Museum: