Posted by: Loren Coleman on September 25th, 2008
I’ll get to the mystery photo in a minute. First a personal note about why today is special to me.
As it turns out, today, September 25, 2008, is the 15th anniversary of my near-death experience, when I fell 40 ft while rockclimbing without ropes, and nearly died. My L1 vertebra was burst and had to be reconstructed with bone grafts from my pelvis. I now have a fused section of vertebrae in my ischis (spinal column) above and below the area of my reconstructed vertebra.
I was in the hospital for two weeks, and it took five months for mobility recovery (vs what the doctors’ predicted, nine months). Although I have permanent pain in my back and cannot exercise the same way I use to, I feel rather flexible. And I’m alive, and I thank every extra day I get to see my sons and get to chase cryptids for that.
Oh, cryptozoologically, the rockclimbing was about exploring and being outdoors. I was wearing a Yeti tee-shirt at the time. I’ve never worn that one again, but you know I saved it, of course, for the Abominable Snowmen collection.
The incident assisted me in reassessing my life, and moving away from academia into pursuing cryptozoology fulltime, and indeed, in setting up the museum too.
So here I am. Still around, after Yetis.
Now that the “MonsterQuest” broadcast of the Mystery Bear episode has come and gone, this seems like a good time to bring up the following photograph. It was posted a few weeks ago on Henry Stokes’s “I Love the Yeti” blog. No info is available about it. It was found on the Internet. That’s it.
The blog rightfully questioned, “Is that [a] Yeti with those Nazis?” But I think the critter (with that nose and ears) looks more like a weird bear. Well, actually, of course, it looks more like some ritualistic Thule (hint, hint, polar bear suit) activity or recent stunt during a movie.
Is this for real, whatever real means? Does anyone know the source of this apparently cryptofictional picture?
It sort of reminds me of a take-off on the Freaky Links’ “Civil War Thunderbird.”
The photograph shown directly above supposedly demonstrates that a cryptid was captured by a group of Civil War soldiers, circa mid-1860s. It has been circulated as the “mystery Thunderbird photo” and/or by others as 1860s soldiers with the remains of a pterodactyl.
As it turns out this photograph was a promotional tool of Orlando, Florida’s Haxan Production (producers of the movie The Blair Witch Project), to develop interest in their forthcoming sci-fi television program, “Freaky Links.” The series, first broadcast on Fox TV in 2000, involved the character “Derek Barnes,” an investigator of the unknown.
The photograph was a hoax, using Civil War reenactors and a “pterodactyl” created as a prop exclusively for two episodes of “Freaky Links.” This “pterodactyl” itself is actually now part of the International Cryptozoology Museum.
Photograph used with permission of Gregg Hale, Executive Director, Haxan Productions. Credit Haxan/Fox TV.
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.