Posted by: Loren Coleman on March 1st, 2012
Fifty-two years ago I was inspired to go into cryptozoology after watching the movie Half Human, originally released in Japan as Jūjin Yuki Otoko (獣人雪男?, lit. “Half-Beast-Half-Man Snowman”).
After viewing the 1958 film late in March of 1960, I asked my school teachers about the Yeti, about the Abominable Snowmen. The responses I received were negative, discouraging, and frustrating. So I went to the friendly reference librarians of the Decatur (Illinois) Public Library, and was shown to a small shelf of books that contained the works of Willy Ley, Bernard Heuvelmans, and Ivan T. Sanderson. I read of cryptozoology even before the name was being used in print, and recognized a whole new world in natural history existed beyond what I was being taught about in school.
I had literally “discovered” cryptozoology.
The whole universe of cryptozoology opened up a remarkable new world view for me.
The slick, professionally produced, 88-page, international magazine G-Fan once published an in-depth look at the Ishiro Hondo motion picture, Half Human, in Peter H. Brother’s long article, “Abominable Snowman: Honda’s Hidden Gem,” pages 30-44, in their issue No. 69, Fall 2004.
That article is followed by a contribution by Brett Homenick, “Phenomenal Snowman: A Conversation with Loren Coleman,” on page 45. That piece specifically is an interview about the inspiration and impact of Half Human on my investigative life and writing career. G-Fan is a quarterly magazine of the Godzilla Society of North America, disseminated worldwide, devoted to coverage of Godzilla and other Japanese monsters. (A copy does not electronically exist for me to share, as far as I know, but for those who have old copies of the magazine, I thought you might like to know about it.)
(After seeing this posted overnight, Brett Homenick emailed me and informed me that the Japanese star of the film, Akira Takarada, will be the guest of honor at the annual G-FEST Convention in Chicago, July 13-15, 2012. Takarada was also the star of the original Godzilla and several other popular kaiju movies.)
Thank you, Half Human. It is the source of my inspiration.
Yet another footnote:
I wrote the “Foreword” (mostly about Half Human) in the following massive and comprehensive tome that encompasses all the hairy hominoid films and television movies. For those who wish to pursue more info on Half Human please read my Foreword and the book’s individual entry by David Coleman on Half Human. Dave’s essay covers parts of four pages!
Loren Coleman is one of the world’s leading cryptozoologists, some say “the” leading. 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.