Two Skeptics, Founders of CSICOP, Die On Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot Film Anniversary

Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 25th, 2012

Illustration by Daniel Loxton and Jim W W Smith, from the Baloney Detection Series. Used by permission from Daniel Loxton.

On the exact 45th anniversary of the Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot film footage being shot, on October 20th, “two towering figures” in the Skeptical community died, according to the skepticblog and other news sources.

Leon Jaroff died at the age of 85 on Saturday October 20th, and Paul Kurtz died at 86, according to the New York Times, passing away the same day on October 20th.

There is a well-known, scientifically documented “anniversary syndrome” or “anniversary effect” (which I have written about recently here).  When I was at Cryptopalooza in Texas last weekend, I had talked to several people that I was expecting someone linked to the “Bigfoot community” might die on October 20th, due to this anniversary phenomena. I would have never thought this kind of “coincidence” would occur with someone in the Skeptical (with a capital “S”) world.

Kurtz was one of the founding members of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal (CSICOP, now CSI – the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry). Jaroff wrote “The Skeptical Eye” column for Time. Indeed, The Herald Tribune calls Jaroff and Kurtz the co-founders of the CSICOP.

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.

7 Responses to “Two Skeptics, Founders of CSICOP, Die On Patterson-Gimlin Bigfoot Film Anniversary”

  1. Ploughboy responds:

    And yet they say that God has no sense of humor.

  2. Goodfoot responds:

    They can still be skeptics after they’re dead, right?

  3. DWA responds:

    They aren’t real. Prove it.

  4. mystery_man responds:

    Come on now. Skeptics or not, these were human beings with friends and families who have died and that is a tragic thing. It is not something to celebrate or poke fun at in my opinion. I’m actually disappointed that people here would do that.

    We can argue and disagree with skeptics all we want, but people died here. At least show some respect.

  5. WinterIsComing responds:

    Agreed :/ but seeing who it was posting the jokes I can’t really say I am surprised.

  6. DWA responds:


    I couldn’t help, when I read this, thinking about how Grover Krantz suffered years of ridicule and never saw the puzzle solved. So did Rene Dahinden; John Green is getting up there, and so are a number of the other brave folks who bucked the scientific mainstream to put cryptids on the scientific table. They may not see it either.

    In exchange for the significant damage institutional ‘skepticism’ has done to people’s careers and lives, I considered a moment’s humor pretty much insignificant.

  7. Goodfoot responds:

    Exactly, DWA. The skeptricks made life miserable for good, honest researchers. They maligned and slandered them. What’s the big deal if we have a momentary joke?

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