Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 12th, 2012
A youthful Phyllis Benjamin.
Phyllis Benjamin, pictured at a Fortfest, says goodbye.
Breaking News: Phyllis Benjamin, journalist/artist/producer, President of The International Fortean Organization (INFO), former editor of The INFO Journal, and Chair for 30 years of FortFests, FortNites and FortScapes (with co-chair, her husband Al Rosensmyle, also spelled Allan Rosenzweig), has died, last Friday, March 9, 2012, at about 5:30 am, in Maryland. She had been battling cancer for some time.
Phyllis hosted many notables at the Fortfests down through the years, including several with past colleagues of her, such as the late John A. Keel, the late John Michell, the late Budd Hopkins, and the late Mark Chorvinsky.
As a strong Fortean, Phyllis Benjamin was a lively organizational genius. I first met Phyllis in 1978, at a Fortfest (I think I gave a talk at that one, definitely, at many others), and in the years afterward. She followed in the footsteps of the Willis brothers and Ray Manners in her leadership role at INFO, and under her influence, the group had a close knit core of dedicated followers.
My deepest condolences to her husband, family, and friends.
Benjamin’s funeral was held on Wednesday, March 14, 2012, at 11:00 am, according to Doug Skinner. The brief memorial service is scheduled at the Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery on Belair Road (take the exit for US 1 off I-83, travel eastward (northbound) on US 1, then turn left onto Belair. All who attend the service Wednesday, have been graciously to take a free tour of AmericanVisualArtsMuseum afterwards, as a wonderful way to celebrate Phyllis’ spirit, according to Larry Arnold.
Phyllis Benjamin in 2011.
Originally posted March 12th; Revised March 15, 2012.
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.