New Reviews: 2012’s International Cryptozoology Museum

Posted by: Loren Coleman on February 17th, 2012

Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, January 2012, by Greta Rybus.

The year has opened with several positive critiques of the relocated International Cryptozoology Museum, located now at 11 Avon Street, Portland, Maine. The critics’ praise has been high. These reviews and their revealing accompanying images, which have been sent our way, give those who have been unable to visit a look inside the collection.

In Maine, next week is school vacation week. The museum will be open every day. Yes, that means Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Kids and their parents in Maine see their February vacation, beginning with Presidents Day, as a way to take a well-deserved break. The museum serves as a fun educational change-of-pace during this week. We at the museum look forward to this week, and the other vacation weeks coming in March (for college students) and April/Patriots Day week (for school-aged youth again).

Want a peek into the museum? Take a read of these new reviews.

First up is Ms. Rybus’ “Who I Met Blog.” Accompanied by her outstanding photographs, what this visitor shared even blew us away.

Photojournalist Greta Rybus.

Rybus writes:

Loren Coleman operates one of Portland’s most appreciated oddities: the International Cryptozoology Museum. It’s in a new, larger and more airy location, but it still feels packed with unbelievably odd things: a wall full of paintings of Sasquatch and swamp monsters, enormous stuffed Giant Squid, a suspended and lumpy half-human, half-fish figure, a reclined creature in a glass casket with an eyeball hanging from it’s socket.
Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, and often brings up notions of the Yeti or Loch Ness Monster. But if you consider that not so long ago, animals like the Giant Panda or Komodo Dragon were considered myths, the ideas behind cryptozoology doesn’t seem that far-fetched. Coleman is the largest name in the field. He has written over 35 books, manages several websites and blogs and been a consultant for film productions. If you watch a TV show on cryptozoology, you will most likely see Coleman.
Most of the items in the museum were once in storage, collected from his expeditions and friends in the field. When he greets you at the door, behind him is a display of a study area: a plush leather chair, stacks of artifacts, and a poster from the film that sparked his interest in Cryptozoology. He wrote the books sold in the gift shop. In many ways, the museum is more about Coleman than anything else. It’s about a life devoted to mystery, skepticism and discovery.

Giant panda collection from the “Classic Animals of Discovery” shelves. Photo credit: Greta Rybus.

One view of part of the outer room. Photo credit: Greta Rybus.

Museum founder and director Loren Coleman, a look from the outer room at the Crookston Bigfoot, and a jackalope from the fake taxidermy collection at the International Cryptozoology Museum. Photo credit: Greta Rybus.

Read her full blog posting about the museum and its founder, here.

Some people do come to the museum, almost secretly.  Take, for example, the bloggers at the site Top Secret Writers.

Ryan Dube, Editor of Top Secret Writers.

Dube wrote:

When I first walked into the Cryptozoology Museum of Portland, Maine, there were two things that struck me. The first was how well-organized the place was – with taxidermy animals, anthropological samples and lots of books and documents in display cases throughout the two-room building.

The second thing that struck me was how nice it was to be welcomed to the museum by none other than Loren Coleman himself….Meeting Loren for the first time, I felt that I was meeting someone that knew far more about the subject matter of cryptozoology than he could ever take the time to describe to his visitors.

The rest of Dube’s review, in full, can be found here. The following are his photographs:

A study section on Sasquatch in BC, including Chris Murphy’s book on Jacko, and a plaque made from items collected by Michael Esordi and Loren Coleman at Ruby Creek. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

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The 11 ft long “Civil War Pterodactyl” from the Freaky Links television program. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

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1842 FeeJee Mermaid prop from P. T. Barnum movie. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

Homo erectus newyorkensis. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

A few of the scores of western USA Bigfoot casts. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

Jimmy Stewart’s letter, Slick-Johnson Snowman Expedition fecal, hair, and fur samples from 1959, plus Slick-collected Yeti footcast from mud. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

cryptozoology museum
Part of the view upon entering the museum, in the so-called “evidence room.” Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

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Crookston Bigfoot. Photo credit: Ryan Dube.

Finally, “Weerd Beard” penned a quick review on his blog, Weerd World.  Nicely headlined “A Very Pleasant Su[r]prise.”  The blogger writes:

First up, I’m in Maine right now. Dad’s Birthday is next week and the wife and I came up as a surprise. After lunch I asked Dad what he wanted to do, and he suggested we go to the International Crytozoology Museum in Portland.

Now I generally discuss Cryptozoology in the more schlocky visage as seen in TV specials and supernatural radio shows. Well the mood was set when we were personally greeted by the proprietor, Dr. [I’m not one and don’t play one on television. -LC] Loren Coleman. He started us with an exhibit of things that I wouldn’t consider cryptozoology, like the Giant Squid, or the Giant Panda, The Megamouth Shark, or the Okapi. These things are REAL critters, not lore…but they once were. A good way to get into the mindset. Also the museum openly discusses hoaxes like various Bigfoot tracks, and sideshow oddities like the “FeeJee Mermaid” and the Minnesota Iceman.

For the remainder of this Weerd World selection, see here.

Indeed, a good showing in the review sphere, and the museum staff and board were happy to see such sterling critiques so quickly appearing after we’ve opened into the new space.


We definitely need YOUR support for the nonprofit International Crytozoology Museum to continue. Please consider contributing. Winters are difficult. You, in the Cryptomundo community, are important. Assist us with a donation. Simply click on the following button to give $5, $10, $50, $100, whatever you can afford. Thank you.

Start 2012 on a positive note. Give to a good cryptozoology cause.

Save Your Cryptozoology History!

Members of this YahooGroup are encouraged to consider highlighting your part of the history of cryptozoology by donating one or two expedition artifacts and/or other items to the International Cryptozoology Museum to preserve your legacy. Think about it. Your work is too important to see others merely throw away your research into a trash bin, as we have heard has occurred.

Thank you.

Much appreciation.

Loren Coleman About Loren Coleman
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.

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