Posted by: Loren Coleman on May 11th, 2009
The following statement was received from Leigh Hart by Cryptomundo in response to “Kiwi Hoaxes Ohio Bigfoot Conference.” It is being released here, unedited. ~ Loren Coleman
To the Bigfoot community,
Excuse the pun but we seem to have gotten off on the wrong foot.
My intention was never to insult anybody personally while at the Bigfoot conference. I write a weekly column in New Zealand – it is not news or ever meant to be factual, rather humorous.
I accept that many people may have not found this particularly funny but all I was doing was a slice of life piece where those mentioned were a ‘hybrid’, or pastiche of many people I have met over the years and conjured in my mind like the great ‘Dr Gerry Garciamansosin’.
At no time did I have a particular person in mind when writing the column in fact most of them I had made up and written about before in countless other columns about Bigfoot (much to my editor’s dismay).This was an idea that was born from attending a type of event, nothing else, otherwise I would have used photos.
The column was never supposed to be read in the States but granted with the Internet nowadays there is always the chance that it might be. My columns range from writing about Christmas dinners with family, to UFO’s and phone sex, often at the same time. They are never supposed to be particularly credible and the market they are aimed at here in New Zealand is fully aware of that. It was never supposed to undermine the serious research that many researchers are doing. Put it this way: nobody here will be taking it seriously. In fact most of the time the joke is clearly on me, and this is also the case with the TV that I do.
I sincerely apologize if anybody has taken particular offence as that was never the intention and I will endeavor to learn from this experience. For what it is worth we met many fascinating and interesting people at the conference, we very much enjoyed it and thank Don and the team for having us.
2009/05/11 at 12:13 AM
Loren Coleman Editorial Comment:
Please note, Mr. Hart’s original article mentions people by first name, behavior and/or other alleged identifying traits.
According to the published agenda of the meeting in Ohio, three scheduled speakers are listed: Diane Stocking, Doug Hajicek, and Billy Willard. As it turns out, one additional speaker invited on stage was the eyewitness John Cartwright.
As far as Mr. Hart’s claim in his “apology,” above, that “At no time did I have a particular person in mind when writing the column,” here’s what his column says about three seemingly specific individuals:
(1) “Diane, a ‘tell-it-how-it-is’ female Bigfoot researcher, reminded us that not every broken branch in the woods can be attributed to Bigfoot and that other known animals such as bears also make footprints on the odd occasion.
She was remarkably logical and scientific, but blew all credibility when she admitted she still believed in Bigfoot, although she had never actually seen it herself.
Her credibility was further called into question when, in the early hours, rather than being out on one of the scheduled night hunts, she chose to stay in the Wild Things bar and pashed not one, but two different camouflage-wearing Bigfoot enthusiasts.”
(2) “The keynote speaker for the evening was supposed to be the director of the documentary series Monster Quest, so you can imagine the disappointment when he decided not to show up.
I saw an opportunity, and volunteered to speak.”
(3)“Another speaker hadn’t actually been back in the woods since 1981.
He was clearly emotionally scarred by his ‘encounter’ and had trouble talking about the details without crying, getting feedback from the microphone or talking in a voice that suggested his testicles were being given a powerful foot massage.
This guy was so emotional you would think that rather than just seeing a Bigfoot eating berries in the woods, he had been gang raped by five of them. He also blamed Bigfoot for his overweight condition.”
Mr. Hart must be challenged on his claim that he did not write about a “particular person” in his column. Clearly, his representations are extremely transparent, and his continued extension of this matter by not admitting the damaging nature of his characterizations is indefensible.
To state that “The column was never supposed to be read in the States” verges on the near-idiotic. To think that Americans interested in Sasquatch studies, cryptozoology, and more would not read a report on a just-ended Ohio Bigfoot conference published in a New Zealand newspaper is unbelievable. If it’s not seen does that mean it is all okay? Is that some kind of defense of written defamation in Mr. Hart’s cosmos?
I’ll bet, if I was a gambler, and I hasten to mention I am not, in case this comment might be misunderstood in New Zealand, that we haven’t heard the last of this.
Excellent and middle-of-the-road followup commentaries have been written by these folks at the noted sites.
Frank Lewis at Scene and Heard/Cleveland Scene: “Messin’ With Sasquatch Fans,” May 11, 2009.
DB Donlon at The Blogsquatcher: “An International Incident,” May 11, 2009.
Mark Wallbank at BizarreNZ: “Kiwi ‘comedian’ causes international Bigfoot offence,” May 11, 2009.
Rand “About Fellow Kiwi Leigh Hart and That Bigfoot Conference,” May 12, 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.