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Bulletin: Scott Norman Has Died

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 29th, 2008

scottnorman2

Scott Norman’s brother just called me and wanted to communicate to the cryptozoological community that his brother has passed away. Scott, 43 (a mere 15 days before his 44th birthday), died suddenly during the early morning hours of February 29, 2008, in Fullerton, California. The family thinks it was a blood clot.

Scott T. Norman had recently journeyed from California to the East Coast of the USA and visited me. He attended the Mass Monster Mash on October 13, 2007, and on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the Patterson-Gimlin Film, October 20th of last year, happened to come to my Portland, Maine, home, along with five members of his family.

Scott was a cryptozoologist who had taken his passion for dinosaurs, Mokele-mbembe, and prehistoric cryptids, all the way to Africa. He definitely will be missed, and I must say, I am in shock.

scottnorman

Scott T. Norman was born March 15, 1964 in Salinas, California, to what he said was a cheerful mother (a school librarian) and a thoughtful father (involved in the agriculture industry). Scott grew up with an interest in dinosaurs, as so many boys often do.

This strong fascination with dinosaurs, supported by his friends, family, and co-workers, translated in the early 1990s into an introduction, through his work, to Herman Regusters.

Regusters had been to the Congo in search of Mokele-mbembe, a possible living dinosaur. Scott talked to Herman and was fascinated by what he had to say. Indeed, Scott was intrigued by the video Regusters had created about his trip and Herman’s hopes for the possibility of another trip in the future.

Reguster

Herman Reguster.

At that time, Scott stored the information about those African dinosaurs in his head. He pondered the possibility of living dinosaurs, but did not pursue the subject yet.

Then, a couple years later, in early 1996, Scott stumbled upon Roy Mackal’s book, A Living Dinosaur? In Search of Mokele-mbembe at the Los Angeles Public Library. After reading the book, Scott started researching more about Mokele-mbembe, and that lead to his strong interest in cryptozoology, in general. (Years later, Scott would have the chance and did interview Mackal.)

Mackal

Roy Mackal, in the Congo, in search of Mokele-mbembe.

In July 1996, Scott learned how to create web pages and decided to create a page on Mokele-mbembe. At the same time, he began searching for general information about cryptozoology on the internet, and discovered online resources were scarce. Scott decided to start his own web site on cryptozoology in general, which he called “Cryptozoological Realms.”

Soon, via the web, Scott Norman met Bill Rebsamen, Karl Shuker, Bill Gibbons, John Kirk, Chad Arment, Matt Bille, Milt Marcy, and me. Scott soon joined Bill Gibbons in working on some future planning for possible cryptozoology expeditions.

Scott Norman, via his work as web developer, was helping many cryptozoologists create their sites. Eventually, he was made President of CryptoSafari: Exploring the World’s Hidden Wonders, a non-profit cryptzoological and scientific research organization.

One of Scott’s long-term projects, during these website constructions, was to put the descriptions of all the cryptids in the world on the internet. It sadly remained one of his unfinished projects.

In February 2001, in a joint venture between CryptoSafari and the British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (BCSCC), Scott Norman became a member of a research team, which traveled to the Republic of Cameroon in central-western Africa to investiage reports of Mokele-mbembe sightings.

The North American expedition team consisted of Scott, Dr. William J. Gibbons, BCSCC president John Kirk and writer Robert A. Mullin. Administrative support in the US was provided by Jackie Raffa.

scottnorman3

In Cameroon, the team was joined by a video crew from the BCC News and by local guide Pierre Sima Noutchegeni. After an initial exhausting trek through the outer fringes of the rainforest, they were further joined by ten Baka pygmy guides and porters, who were themselves privy to sightings and information about the elusive Mokele.

It was during a break in the ongoing trek to search for Mokele-mbembe signs that the pygmies told of the existence of a fierce creature they had tracked through the forest for seven consecutive days during the previous month, in January 2001. Along with Pierre, the pygmies had discovered three-toed humanlike footprints on the forest floor and realized that they were those of an animal known to them as the Dodu.

The Dodu is said to resemble the Kalanoro or Kalenourou, a protopygmy hairy biped that reportedly inhabits Madagascar. (Scott, John Kirk, and their team used my and Patrick Huyghe’s field guide, so I even got to feel part of their effort to identify the Dodu hominoid.)

Next during his trek, Scott Norman and John Kirk were paired off as a subteam to investigate the upper reaches of a river on whose banks the expedition had established its campsite. Along with two Bantu boatmen, Scott and John ran sonar tests in the depths of the river. They found no signs of Mokele-mbembe, however. Nevertheless, strange occurrences would happen with lines and equipment being pulled into the water by animals unseen.

The expedition team’s work gathering interviews continued. Showing natives drawings to identify what cryptids were being seen, the locals would reject the Mackal book’s illustration of a small sauropod dinosaur and point instead to a much larger sauropod—the brachiosaur. Scott reported the village erupted almost as one with the cry: “Mokele-mbembe!!!!!!”.

When Scott visited me in Maine, we talked also of the remarkable reports of a frill on the neck of Mokele-mbembe. Scott related to me Robert Mullin’s theory that the “cock’s comb” commonly described on the Mokele is the developing dorsal frill of an adolescent.

Certainly, for Scott, the 2001 experience was one he always wished to repeat, and he felt there was much more to learn out there in the running waters in the rainforests of central Africa.

Scott Norman

Back from the jungles, Scott decided to give Mokele-mbembe lectures on his adventure. Scott would also talk of the Dodu in his presentations, a couple of which I was happily able to attend. Above is Scott Norman speaking at the Texas Bigfoot Researchers Conference in Jefferson.

Of course, for anyone that goes to darkest Africa, the dangers one faces upon returning may be more scary – from the media. For example, because Scott had been to Africa, often the press wanted to characterize him as some Victorian “Indiana Jones” on a fruitless insane quest for living dinosaurs, and appoint him as the point man for all of cryptozoology.

You may have seen Scott T. Norman on that awful “Penn and Teller” program on cryptozoology. The two comedians ridiculed Scott terribly, making fun of his model dinosaurs and his hat. But Scott survived. Still, it was one of the worst experiences he had to live through. Scott would tell me later that it hurt him deeply.

Nevertheless, indeed, the fedora had become a proud trademark of Scott’s.

Scott Norman

Scott T. Norman was one of the good guys in cryptozoology. When not involved with his cryptozoology, his work, or his church, Scott was also a First Responder, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and, for example, was activated and helped out at the Irvine Wildfire last fall in California.

Scott was a deeply religious man whose faith was with him always, and who was calm and intelligent. He will not be able to return to Africa, but Africa had become part of him. I am glad he was able to live his dreams before he left us.

I am totally in shock and send out my empathy, sympathy, and sorrow to his friendly family.

Scott, keep searching.

******
John Kirk passes along this:

People wishing to send cards or expressions of sympathy may do so by writing to his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Norman at 7519 Langley, Canyon Road, Prunedale, California 93907, USA.

Please respect their privacy during this time of grief, but mailed communications would be appreciated.

Loren Coleman Scott Norman

About Loren Coleman
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.


22 Responses to “Bulletin: Scott Norman Has Died”

  1. MattBille responds:

    I doff my Stetson to the fedora of a better man (Scott and I liked each other’s taste in hats.)

    Scott was the type of person too often overlooked by (or simply missing from) 21st-century science: the dedicated amateur, the man who put his whole life into learning and exploration. The world is much the poorer for this loss, and I don’t mean just the world of cryptozoology.

    Farewell, Scott. I hope you have your answers now. We shall yet have the meeting we talked of but could never arrange.

    God bless Scott and his family.

  2. Ceroill responds:

    Good grief, they’re falling like flies! My best wishes and condolences to his family and friends.

  3. SOCALcryptid responds:

    I am in shock also, So sorry to hear about Scott’s death. My heart goes out to his family and friends. He will surely be missed. Moleke-mbembe is my second favorite cryptid. Thank you Scott for your contribution to this fascinating subject.

  4. mccinny responds:

    I had the privelegde of talking with Scott at length about his first Cameroon expedition and chatted in general at the Texas Bigfoot conference a few years back, as well as corresponding with him via email many times. I am shocked and very upset to hear about this. I’m speechless at what to say other than rest in peace brother. May the love of God shine on you.

  5. cor2879 responds:

    I am sad to hear of Scott’s passing but I know he’s in a better place. Of course I never knew him personally but I’ve read much about him over the past several years. It takes a brave person to leave our shores and spend time in the jungles of Cameroon looking for a creature that may or may not exist (for the record I think it does).

  6. red_pill_junkie responds:

    This is a tragedy. My deepest sympathies to his friends and family.

    Rest in Peace :-(

  7. CryptoHaus_Press responds:

    wow, i know some of the elderly gentlemen listed in here were not unexpected, but this? jeez.

    it makes you realize how fragile we ALL are as humans. why not go further and say as life forms, homo sapien and crypto-sapien alike?

    i don’t know what to say. i do wonder, however: for all their fame and fortunes made at Scott’s expense and personal pain, how many times do you believe Penn and Teller volunteered their services and time to help fellow human beings rather than ridiculing them and their passions for self-profit?

    a sad day; i didn’t know scott, but it’s clear from the comments herein he touched many lives. my sincere, heartfelt empathy for the pain you all are experiencing. all i can say is: the man clearly touched those who shared his love of life and the solving of mysteries, life’s ultimate challenge, i believe.

    better to have lived in this world and loved the unknowable as your guiding spirit and destiny than mock and ridicule those who do so, that much i do know as fact, not crypto-truth. bless you, scott; you were honestly and clearly loved by those who knew you best, and that says a lot about you.

  8. planettom responds:

    I too am schocked, how terribly sad this news is. So unexpected. I also did not know him personally, but he struck me as a passionate, peaceful and kind man. May he rest in peace. Our community will mourn his loss.

    Deepest empathies to his family.

  9. matthewnpng responds:

    I am so sorry to hear about Scott’s death. I only met him last summer, and found his work in Cameroon fascinating. He really accomplished so much for cryptozoology, and his passing is a great loss. He leaves a place that cannot be filled by others. I wish he could have lived on and made the discoveries he always dreamed of. Life is too short, and his was way too short. My sympathies to his family. May God comfort them. Rest in peace, Scott.

  10. bill green responds:

    hey loren im so sorry to see that researcher scott norman passed away. thanks bill green :(

  11. mystery_man responds:

    I did not know Scott personally, but I am shocked by the loss of such a dedicated and devoted individual within this field. This is terrible, terrible news. I admire this man greatly for going out, doing what he loved, and following his dream when so many of us never have the opportunity or the courage to do so. This gentleman lived and breathed the adventure, going to places and seeing things that most can only dream about, and I respect all that he has done. My deepest sympathies to his family. Rest in peace, Mr. Norman. Although I did not have the pleasure to know you personally, I know of your achievements and your deeds, and I don’t think anyone in cryptozoology will ever forget them.

  12. Guerrierinconnu responds:

    My God …
    very sad news……………………..

    rest in peace …

    and perhaps now he knows the truth….

  13. mrbf2007 responds:

    RIP, Scott, and may your family find comfort in this time of tragedy. Very sad week.

  14. bigfootboy_2000 responds:

    Wow!!!! I am in shock. Scott and I made fast friends at the 2005 Texas Bigfoot conference and communicated via email. This is a sad tragic loss to the field and to those who knew him. My condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to Scott’s family, friends and those he worked with. Truely a tragic loss. Rest easy my friend.

  15. Daryl Colyer responds:

    I did not have the pleasure of knowing Scott Norman, but he was the friend of my friends. My deepest condolences to his family and to my friends who are most touched by his loss.

  16. shumway10973 responds:

    So sad…didn’t even get to die while on expedition. Prayers for his family and thoughts to all close friends.

  17. Incorrigible1 responds:

    A poor sinner offers his condolences.

  18. cryptidsrus responds:

    Rest in Peace Mr. Norman.

  19. cryptidsrus responds:

    I agree with CryptoHaus_Press:

    Life is fragile.

    Too bad about What he went through with Penn & Teller.
    Great magicians, lousy “skeptics.” More like highly-paid debunkers.

  20. Javin responds:

    Hello everyone.

    I am Scott’s brother and I would like to convey a thank you for all the prayers and all the thoughts you have given for my family and myself during this tragic time.

    A special thanks goes out to Loren for posting as fast as he could about what had happened and getting the update out with the family address and my email address.

    Also another special thanks goes out to my new found friend John Kirk for the help along with the phone conversations I have had with him the past couple of days. I know Scott’s research will continue on and I know he will be remembered forever and his legacy of what he did will remain as well.
    Again thank you all for the prayers and thoughts and I will be sure to get in touch with Loren as soon as we know the funeral arrangements and the date they will be.

    Javin Norman

  21. Loren Coleman responds:

    The ripples of those in shock from around the world keep finding their way to me. Scott is missed, and it has been comforting to know he had so many friends.

    I appreciate Javin’s post and communications. Thank you.

    Today, I talked to Scott’s Mother, and understand that the funeral will probably take place late the coming week, near their home.

    My continued condolences to the family and to all who were touched by the good spirit of Scott.

  22. Vigus responds:

    This is such a shock. My heart goes out to Scott’s family.



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