Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 20th, 2007
In 1969, on July 20th, a man walked on the moon. Five days ago, one of the first men to walk with a Triffid died.
Irish actor Kieron Moore, 82, died Sunday, July 15, 2007. He is one of the lead characters, Tom Goodwin in the motion picture, The Day of the Triffids. Playing an alcoholic biologist, Goodwin finds his core and ends up fighting the Triffids with vigor, while his character’s wife (played by Janette Scott) is credited with screaming a lot. The humans are stereotyped; the Triffids are not.
The Day of the Triffids is probably the best science fiction motion picture to capture the notion of the ultimate midway point between plant and animal. The 1962 film is based on the post-apocalyptic novel written in 1951 by the English science fiction author John Wyndham.
Triffids are plants capable of animal-like behaviour: they feed on rotting meat, are able to uproot themselves and move about on their three “legs”, possess a deadly whip-like poisonous sting capable of killing those struck, and appear to communicate with each other. The narrator and protagonist is Bill Masen, who has made his living working with Triffid plants. Being an expert on the subject, he speculates on the plants’ origins, believing that they were deliberately bioengineered in the Soviet Union. Masen further speculates that Triffid seeds were spread world-wide when an attempt was made to smuggle them out of Russia; the escaping plane is presumed to have been shot down, literally scattering the seeds to the winds.“Plot Summary,” Wikipedia, The Day of the Triffids.
What does any of this have to do with cryptozoology? Nothing really, any more than Roy Mackal’s surprising chapter on the “man-eating tree” belongs in his book on cryptozoology, Searching for Hidden Animals (Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1980).
Sometimes humans, even cryptozoologists, have to explore the borderland between animals and plants, it seems.
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.