Anna and Yeti

Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 11th, 2008

I went to Ohio on Wednesday, April 9th, 2008, to give a special talk to a private, thoughtful, intellectual group of 150 people at the research organization called Emerson Climate Technologies. They wanted someone to stimulate their thoughts, to give examples of a different creative process, and, yes, to entertain them, scientifically and humanely. I did that by giving an illustrated lecture, full of humor and humanness, entitled “Cryptozoology: Passion and Patience.”

I covered a lot of ground, from the beginnings of the study of hidden animals, through mentions of Ivan T. Sanderson, Bernard Heuvelmans, Ruth Harkness, Scott Norman, and lots of other people.

I visited with okapis and giant squid, muntjacs and woodland bison, Mothman and Sasquatch, and, of course, Yetis, Half Human and how it started for me.

I, furthermore, enlightened the gathering to the grounded life of a cryptozoologist, one who has as a priority being a good father, with two sons in college, with an interest in baseball, and living in the state of being a son himself.

I deliver extremely good talks, without notes, without a prepared script, stimulated by a wealth of experiences and stories I have from the field, going with the flow of the crowd, the intelligence of my audience, and the thoughts generated by the moment.

For some reason, in the middle of this early evening talk, I told the story I have lightly sketched out at the very opening of my 1989 biography, Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti (but not found in the 2002 edition).


Interestingly, the passage is a reflection I hardly ever share in lectures nowadays. The following is the way I penned it in my Yeti book, just one version of my remembrances that I shared verbally with the folks in Ohio on Wednesday:

This work has been almost thirty years in the making. In 1960, my mother, Anna, was the first individual to help me with my beginning research on Tom Slick and the Yeti. Long before photocopying machines were located at every corner, my mom would, like an ancient Tibetan monk, hand-copy Abominable Snowman articles that I borrowed from the libraries in Decatur, Illinois. I would examine these early handwritten items very carefully and add them to my growing files.

“Anna” is a name that I always liked, perhaps instinctively because it was one that reads the same way, no matter which way you view it, kind of like my mom.

Of course, because it was my mother’s name, it was a moniker that I felt gave me a sense of auburn hair, a notion of a quiet nature, and a desire of being secretly pleased without a lot of flare.

I returned to Maine late on Thursday afternoon, and found that my phone messages were filled with calls from my sister Susan and sister-in-law Kris.

I was shocked when I played back the messages to discover my mother Anna, 80 years of age, had died at 5:30 pm, Wednesday, in Riverside, California. As my sister would tell me later, my mother had caught a cold on Tuesday, and went into respiratory failure on Wednesday. It had happened that suddenly, that very quickly.

It seems unbelievable to lose someone that’s always been there for you. But it happens and it has occurred to me before (my father died in 1985).

My mom was a “housewife,” as she was called back in the 1950s. A homemaker would be the word today. She literally was a stay-at-home mom who raised four kids (Susan, Jerry, Bill & me), the best she could. Sometimes that’s enough. For me, it was plenty.

Also, of course, she will always be to me much more, my American version of a devoted Tibetan monk transcribing Yeti info on a cold spring night, assisting in gathering the initial building blocks I used to become a cryptozoologist.

She loved her kids and grandkids, and her baseball (especially the Angels after her move to California in the 1970s). She was forgiven long ago for becoming an Angels’ fan despite the fact my sons and I are Red Sox diehards. My mom would tell me how much she enjoyed hearing about Malcolm’s shortstop plays and Caleb’s leftie pitching. During her last few years, she enjoyed watching and taping her oldest son in various television documentaries too. It is wonderful when your mother can become your greatest fan, and you can share both cryptozoology and baseball with each other.

I lived a continent away, but felt much closer than that. I miss her deeply.

There will be no funeral (as per her wishes), so I guess I’ll do the 21st century thing: I will say a simple good-bye to her via this blog.

Out of respect for this Anna I briefly knew in this lifetime, and to give myself a few reflective moments, this will be all I write for today and tomorrow (unless something earthshaking happens, like a Yeti is captured).


Anna Lucille Llywellyn (nee McClain, 1946) (- Coleman, 1974) Atkins, born August 10, 1927 (Shelbyville, Illinois), died April 9, 2008 (Riverside, California), daughter of Donald McClain and Nellie Gray, and mother of Susan Hoey (b. 1954, Decatur, Illinois), Jerry Dale Coleman (b. 1951, Decatur, Illinois), William Coleman (b. 1948, Decatur, Illinois), and Loren Coleman (b. 1947, Norfolk, Virginia). Preceded in death by her first husband, Loren, and her second, Ray.


Anna Coleman

Anna McClain Coleman, at 17 years of age, three years before she gave birth to Loren Coleman.

Donations will be greatly appreciated to support the continued work and housing of the cryptozoology exhibitions, and can be sent to

Anna McClain Memorial
c/o Loren Coleman
PO Box 360
Portland, ME 04112

or via PayPal to

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading living cryptozoologist. Certainly, he is acknowledged as the current living American researcher and writer who has most popularized cryptozoology in the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Starting his fieldwork and investigations in 1960, after traveling and trekking extensively in pursuit of cryptozoological mysteries, Coleman began writing to share his experiences in 1969. An honorary member of Ivan T. Sanderson’s Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained in the 1970s, Coleman has been bestowed with similar honorary memberships of the North Idaho College Cryptozoology Club in 1983, and in subsequent years, that of the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club, CryptoSafari International, and other international organizations. He was also a Life Member and Benefactor of the International Society of Cryptozoology (now-defunct). Loren Coleman’s daily blog, as a member of the Cryptomundo Team, served as an ongoing avenue of communication for the ever-growing body of cryptozoo news from 2005 through 2013. He returned as an infrequent contributor beginning Halloween week of 2015. Coleman is the founder in 2003, and current director of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine.

48 Responses to “Anna and Yeti”

  1. mrbf2007 responds:

    So sorry to hear this, Loren. I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, my friend. I might drop you an e-mail soon to see how you are doing. My condolences to you and your family.

  2. nmohlmann responds:

    My condolences, Loren. Michelle and I will keep you in our thoughts. As the semester winds down, we’ll shoot you an e-mail and let you know how the course went.

  3. Atticus responds:

    I’m sorry to hear of your loss, Loren. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. TaishaMcGee responds:

    I would like to express my dear appreciation for the efforts your mother put in to raising you, Loren. This blog and your literature has provided many bright moments in my lifetime, and I suspect that your momma indeed had much to do with that. I hope you take comfort in knowing that it is entirely possible that she now knows all the many secrets of the Universe. Virtual hugs go out from me to you and your family.

  5. Ceroill responds:

    Loren, I would be honored if you would allow me to express my sympathy and best wishes for you and your family in these hard days. Losing someone that is so responsible for the core of who you have become is always wrenching. I’m sure she was quite proud of you, Loren, and from what you wrote it sounds like she had a full and a good life. Be well, and know that the thoughts of all of us here will be with you.

  6. PhilsterUK responds:

    I’m sure your mum was very proud as she saw you work.

    She sounds like she was a gentle caring woman and a great mother. Those are two very fine accomplishments in my eyes. Perhaps above all its your humanness that she gave you that makes you the fine cryptozoologist you are today.

  7. Bast responds:

    You and yours are in my thoughts today.

  8. kithra responds:

    I’m so sorry to read about the news of the death of your mother. She does sound to have been a most wonderful woman. So I’m sending my deepest condolences to you, and keeping you in my prayers. Please take all the time you need to grieve, and I’ll look forward to reading your blogging again when you feel able to return to it.

  9. MattBille responds:

    Like so many others, I was moved and saddened by your news. Your mother sounds like a great lady, one who encouraged the spark of inquisitiveness in you and no doubt cheered you on with every success you had in life. Please accept my sincere condolences. I am praying for you and your family.
    Most respectfully,
    Matt Bille

  10. dabode responds:

    My sincerest condolences Loren, your mother sounds like a beautiful woman and the greatest of mothers.
    You and your family are in my prayers during this very sad time.

  11. greywolf responds:

    Loren: We send our condolences to you and your family. My sister and I lost our Mother a few years back and she is missed.

    Your Mother must have been very proud of you. You are in our prayers. greywolf

  12. shumway10973 responds:

    Prayers and thoughts going out to you and your family, Loren. She sounds like she was quite a lady. I don’t know too many people (let alone moms) back then that would do anything to encourage a boy towards the idea of big foot or yeti being real, and especially towards making a life out of these “fool ideas”.

  13. Labyrinth_13 responds:

    I am very sorry to hear about your loss, Loren. My thoughts are with you and your family.

  14. Ayala responds:


    My heart aches for you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. I lost my mother in ’96 to cancer. It is a devastating loss. Please know in this time of grief that you are so important to us. I am sure your mother was (and is) very proud of you.

    She sounds like she was a wonderful woman who had a great influence on your life’s work. I hope your heart is filled with the good memories of her and they can bring you comfort.

    We will miss you, but please take all the time you need. I hope you can feel all of our virtual arms giving you hugs during this devastating time. Blessings and comfort to you.

  15. Artist responds:

    Sincere condolences, Loren, at your loss.

  16. SOCALcryptid responds:

    Loren, my heart goes out to you on this day. I will keep you and yours in my prayers. Take your time through your grieving process. We will be here for you if you need anything or just want to talk.
    Sincerely, William “Bill” Ballard

  17. planettom responds:

    My condolensces go out to you and your family during this time of remembrance. May her life be celebrated in your thoughts. You are in my prayers. God Bless.
    Tom Burke,
    Houston, TX

  18. Ponderous responds:

    I’ve lurked here for a few years and never posted but I felt I should send you my condolences. Your mom sounds like a wonderful person and if the accomplishments of her son are any indication of the content of her character I’m sure she was quite a lady.

    I hope your good memories of her serve as comfort to you and your family.

  19. Nick Redfern responds:

    Me and Dana send you our deepest condolences at this time, and are thinking of you and your family.

  20. squatch-toba responds:

    Loren, so sorry for your loss. My father passed away a few years back and he too was a big part of helping me get started in this Sasquatch stuff. Every time I think of him I smile… I’m sure that you will do the same. Take care! Bill Mason.

  21. cryptidsrus responds:

    My condolences, kind sir…

    Anna IS a cool name.

    See you soon.

  22. Alton Higgins responds:


    It sounds like you were most fortunate to have such a woman in your life. I pray that your memories will be filled with joyful reminders of a life well spent in this time you’ve set aside in her honor.

    My best,

    Alton Higgins

  23. Munnin responds:

    Mr. Coleman, I send my sincerest condolences to you. It sounds like your mother was a wonderfully thoughtful person, and you have my genuine sympathy. My own mother passed on several years ago, and I miss her very much. As children growing up, she often took my sisters and me to visit museums (always spending most of the time in the Natural History exhibits), zoos, National and State parks, etc. I still have my old copies of Curious Naturalists by Niko Tinbergen, and Exploring Nature With Your Child by Dorothy Edwards Shuttlesworth, which she gave me long ago. My mother lives on in fond and grateful memories and stories of her by many members of my extended family, and I’m sure it will prove to be the same with your mother Anna.

  24. Daryl Colyer responds:


    You and I share some common interests that are passions of ours (bigfoot and baseball), which has always allowed for great conversation when you and I have had the opportunity to visit.

    Anyway, as we share fondness for these things, I am sure that, had I the opportunity to know your mother, I bet that I would have been fond of her as well. She sounds like one awesome woman and mother and I am very saddened by your great loss.

    I pray that your mother’s warm and wonderful memories will assuage the pain in your heart.

    Take care,

    Daryl Colyer

  25. DARHOP responds:

    Sorry for your loss Loren. You and yours are in my thoughts. It takes a good woman to raise good kids. Your mom must of been the best! I share your pain, as I lost my mother not that long ago. Rest peaceful Anna.

  26. NHbigfoot responds:

    My deepest condolences and prayers to both you and your mothers soul, and hopefully one day that hairy biped roaming the forests of north america will be considered a real animal, and all those other cryptids will emerge from the dark into the light of science. -NHbigfoot

  27. bill green responds:

    hey loren interesting article. im very sorry for passing your mom 🙁 . thanks bill

  28. a_mangy_human responds:

    Dear Loren, who would we be without beautiful loving mothers like ours! My mom bought me that cheesy Marx Legend of Bigfoot vhs when I was 8 back in 1985 as she knew how much I was interested in squatch! I was delighted to hear how your mom Anna used to handwrite information for you! Reminded me of my mom and the movie The Crow quote “Mother is the name of God on the lips and hearts of all children.” Cyber hugs and condolences from this teary eyed mangy human to you and yours, Max.

  29. lyndonnobles responds:

    my condolences and prayers, Mr. Coleman.

  30. midwestskeptic2 responds:

    Mr. Coleman

    My 1st post on your site. Although I “drop in” frequently to read your interesting and informative blog..

    Would simply like to add my condolence. Losing a loved one is never easy. Much more difficult when it is a parent. And the loss happens unexpectedly.

    As we travel down this highway of life we will not remember what different roads we were on. All the difficulties we experienced.

    But will not forget those who shared their kindness with us. Expressed their love when we needed it. Gave us hope when things seemed impossible. And never asked for anything in return. They are called parents.

    Your mother seems to have been a very loving-caring person. No doubt she is looking down saying “Loren my work is done-but yours is still not completed-do carry on my son”.

    Again please accept, and add my condolences with the others whom have written.

  31. Coast Wild responds:

    My deepest condolences to you & your family.

  32. Doug responds:

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this time. After the passing of my father, I realized how much of an impact he had on my development, even in my adult years, as your mother was for you.

  33. bozakgrundle responds:

    Deepest sympathies to you and your family on your loss. I lost my dear ol’ dad, quite unexpectedly as well, just last month. It is a measure of sorrow which we all must face in time, but remember that in every important way, she will always be with you, in the memories, in the guidance and in your life. May the comfort of friends and family help to ease this sad passage, if only a little bit.


  34. mfs responds:


    This prayer is said to the memory of your beloved mother. May it it bring some comfort to you and your loved ones at this most difficult of times.

    “Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails.”

    1 Corinthians 13:7-8

  35. Sharmz responds:

    Very sorry to hear this. My condolences goes to you and your family..

  36. Huntress responds:

    My deepest sympathy for your loss.
    It seems Anna was a very special lady. Thank you for sharing some of your memories of her with us.

  37. Ole Bub responds:

    Loren and Jerry,

    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your loved ones, in this most trying of life’s passages.

    live and let live

    Steve Summar

  38. sausage1 responds:

    Many condolences. She sounds like a lovely lady.

  39. red_pill_junkie responds:

    My deepest, deepest condolences, dear Loren.

    My heart is with you and your family 🙁

  40. DWA responds:


    Didn’t know what this post was about. Hadn’t seen much new, so I opened it today.

    I’m so sorry. There isn’t anything to say that hasn’t been. So I won’t.

    Parenting is such a tough job – never mind that it’s the only job that everyone starts with zero qualifications – that the most amazing thing about it, to me, is how many of us feel truly blessed to have the ones we did.

  41. springheeledjack responds:

    Sorry for your loss–though I am glad you had such a supportive person in your life.

  42. Hawkeye responds:

    My condolences and prayers go out to you and your family Loren

  43. Sergio responds:

    I am very sorry to hear about your mother, Loren. My condolences and prayers go out to you and your family.

  44. CryptoHaus_Press responds:

    been awol for awhile and just am catching up to the news, loren.

    how sad. i lost my mother last year about this time and it still hurts. she was my last surviving parent, so it only made it worse.

    anyway, i will hold your well being in my heart, and hope that you realize that the love she shared with and for you does not end with the physical passing of her form; quite to the contrary, as your heartfelt tribute notes, it lives on and will only strengthen as time passes, minus the hurt.

    written by someone who knows time truly does heal, if not all wounds, then at least their depth in our soul.

  45. jerrywayne responds:

    Kind Host,

    You are a fortunate fellow. You had a very encouraging mom. I’m sure she was very proud of you.

  46. Loren Coleman responds:

    Please. Turn your condolences into action. I need your assistance, immediately.

    My mother always helped and encouraged my cryptozoology and now the museum needs your help. Seriously, I am near foreclosure (CitiCorp wants $3849.69 in 10 days or else) and I am several months behind in paying utilities: donations and immediate lecturing jobs are needed.

    In conjunction with the memory and legacy of my mother, Anna, I am establishing the Anna McClain Memorial Museum Fund to try to establish some firm footing to support the International Cryptozoology Museum. My mother died penniless and left no inheritance but only further bills from her hospital emergency at the end.

    Donations will be greatly appreciated to support the continued work and housing of the cryptozoology exhibitions, and can be sent to

    Anna McClain Memorial
    c/o Loren Coleman
    PO Box 360
    Portland, ME 04112

    or via PayPal to

    Thank you.

  47. mccinny responds:

    My sincerest condolences on the death of your mother Loren.

  48. TheBibliophile responds:

    Sympathies and cold, hard cash (well, digital, anyway) sent to PayPal.

    C’mon, all you crypties – how long have you enjoyed this man’s work and website for absolutely no charge?

    Do what’s right and kick down a donation.

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