Famed Bigfoot Group Shuts Down

Posted by: Loren Coleman on July 29th, 2006

A few choice small regional Sasquatch study groups, during the 1990s, grew into national organizations. Others died off quickly. Now Cryptomundo learns of the closing of a significant and important club that had a far-reaching, friendly impact.

The internet is beginning to change the landscape of how people meet and exchange Bigfoot information. Are we seeing the start of a decline in such groups?

Today, the passing of one of the best grassroots Bigfoot organizations must be mourned.

Ray Crowe

Out in Oregon, Ray Crowe, 69, is closing the doors of his International Bigfoot Society. Ray began the organization, first as the Western Bigfoot Society, back in 1991, in Portland, Oregon.

Ray Crowe

As the years went by, as the group grew, Ray changed its name to the International Bigfoot Society, solidified its nonprofit status, and moved his home and the society headquarters to Hillsboro, Oregon.

Crowe held regular monthly meetings, conducted annual gatherings, appeared in television documentaries, and spoke often to local school groups. He published over a hundred issues of the IBS’s Track Record, 13 special editions, one novellette, and one novel (although the novel was more about early humans in the Pacific Northwest than Bigfoot). Crowe, usually surrounded by admiring friends, became a common sight at Bigfoot conferences out West.

The IBS was an accessible advocate for laypeople attracted to Bigfoot studies. Ray Crowe was a rarity in the field, openly acknowledging the entertainment potential of Bigfoot research.

But the times they are a’changin’.

Ray tells me he is “shutting things down.”

Since the death of his beloved wife Theata (see obit) at the age of 66 on September 21, 2004, these have been difficult months for Ray. Theata was Ray’s closest friend, and he shared a world full of her sense of humor, which he deeply misses. He often repeats stories about her. For example, once she was speaking to a reporter about the lack of monetary incentive in the Bigfoot field. Theata joked that she had made only $7 from her book, How to Cook a Bigfoot.

Ray also notes that he has lost most of the subscribers to his newsletter, a former financial backer is no longer supporting it, and Ray’s health itself has taken a turn for the worse.

As Ray writes me… “have lost my right leg, so can’t get into the field anymore…hard to keep up any interest. Health maintaining itself after open heart surgery…chest still hurts.”

Ray Crowe

The news is sad, but, at least, the world of cryptozoology had the friendly talents, good humor, and gentle smile of Ray Crowe for all of these years, as the face of Bigfoot affairs in the Pacific Northwest. Of course, for the media, as shown in these photographs, he put on a a serious facade, along with keeping on his “skepticals, unfogged as usual.”

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.

12 Responses to “Famed Bigfoot Group Shuts Down”

  1. Dudlow responds:

    Definitely a strong candidate for recognition as one of the original ‘Horsemen’ of BF research, Mr. Crowe’s contributions have been substantial and probably underappreciated. But life goes on and one can only wish him the very best.

  2. Ole Bub responds:

    Thank You Ray….

    For your substantial contributions and efforts to better understand our beloved Squatch…the chest pain will eventually go away…the memories of your loved ones will always stay.

    Get Well and God Bless…

    Steve Summar

  3. One Eyed Cat responds:

    I hope Mr Crowe is feeling better soon.

    And I hope what evidence that group did collect is placed with someone who will preserve and use it wisely.

    Just because the group shuts down does not have to mean the work they did must also.

  4. shumway10973 responds:

    I think I went to his site a few times when I was first getting on the internet, and as I recall it was a great site, very informative and serious about bigfoot research. Good luck, Ray, all the best to you in whatever to decide to do from here.

  5. Dark-Obsessor responds:

    That’s too bad. He was good. I wish him luck.

  6. superd responds:

    As stated by Dudlow, “Definitely a strong candidate for recognition as one of the original ‘Horsemen’ of BF research” I agree . Thanks for everything Ray! Take care.

  7. mcd responds:

    I’m sorry to hear this. Best wishes Mr. Crowe!

  8. Ceroill responds:

    Loren, please pass on my best wishes to Ray. We all appreciate his efforts and the time he put in. Get well, Ray. You deserve a rest.

  9. Micahn responds:

    Well it seems Ray is telling other people that he is not shutting down the IBS but just stopping sending out the Track Record. It seems the Track Record is not paying for itself any more so he is just stopping doing that but keeping the site up and running.

  10. Loren Coleman responds:

    Due to this Cryptomundo story, yes, some people have stepped forward and said they might assist Ray. But the 501(c)3 status expired and his health does not allow him much activity. Those are the realities he shared, despite any *hopes* he had to continue onward.

  11. twblack responds:

    Bravo for people like Ray. I hope the rest of life sees only good things for him.

  12. cfx5000 responds:

    I will miss Ray. I admired him and his efforts. (Still the only researcher to conduct a bone hunt I believe). I hope his health improves and perhaps someday he can continue his work in some capacity.

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