Posted by: Loren Coleman on April 22nd, 2011
Today is April 22nd and it is “Smokey” Crabtree’s 84th birthday.
Julius E.”Smokey” Crabtree was raised in Fouke, Arkansas. He grew up quickly and took on responsibilities at an early age. At sixteen he was a welder for the U.S. Navy for three years. During that time he was also a boxer, and fought in the Golden Glove tournament in San Francisco, California in 1944.
At nineteen he volunteered for the Merchant Marines and by the age of twenty-three he was married and the father of three children. The family moved back to Fouke and built a home in the country; he continued to follow pipeline work as a welder.
With his busy life, he still found time to roam the Sulpher River Bottoms to trap, hunt, and fish, the things he enjoyed and loved as a boy. Smokey and members of his family were actors in a movie entitled The Legend of Boggy Creek about the Fouke Monster. Smokey served as a wildlife guide and consultant for the filming, and he is the author/publisher of the book Smokey and the Fouke Monster.
Smokey is a survivor, and today is in good health, having outlived one of his sons, Tommy, who was killed in a welding pipe explosion in 1987, and relative Karen Sue Crabtree, 50, who was killed in a car wreck in 2009.
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.