International Cryptozoology Conference 2018

Cryptozoo’s Top Ten Hottest TV Personalities?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 17th, 2011

Does Jael make you want to watch a cryptozoology show? The cable executives think so.

Is Anna Nekaris of Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide the hottest television spokesperson on a cryptozoological program? How about Jeff Meldrum? How do they rank against Destination Truth’s Jael? (Yes, people just use her first name alone, these days.)

Well, to some, does Matt Moneymaker fill the bill? Is Moneymaker some folks’ idea of their new Josh Gates-level stud for television programming?

Those within television have to think about such things to get viewers, right?

We have scientifically partially surveyed this arena before, in the photographic essay, “The Top Ten Sexiest Cryptomundo Images Of The ’00s” (complete with a video produced by Swamp People talent Dana Holyfield).

Dana Holyfield, the granddaughter of Harlan Ford, one of the original Honey Island Swamp Monster eyewitnesses.

So, it’s time to revisit this topic, don’t you think? Enough of Finding Bigfoot debates and face prints speculation for at least one day.

According to a new list compiled online, Jason Martell (associated with Craig Woolheater’s CryptoZocial efforts), Nekaris and Jael are ranked among the “Top 5 Paranormal Hotties.” Jael de Pardo has made these lists before, such as this one in 2009. And this one.

Who would you rank for your “Top Ten Hottest Cryptozoology Program Personalities”?


Jael de Pardo?

DT’s Araceli Haldeman?

Erin Ryder, also of Destination Truth?

Ooops, Finding Bigfoot personalities have to be mentioned, don’t they, as possible candidates?

Matt Moneymaker in 2005?

Matt Moneymaker in 2011?

Jim “Bobo” Fay?

Cliff Barackman

Cliff Barackman?

Young Jeff Meldrum?

Seasoned Jeff Meldrum?

Josh Gates?

Todd Disotell?

Pat Spain

Pat Spain?

Dr Anna Nekaris

Anna Nekaris?

Okay…just to make certain CM is represented too…How about….

Craig Woolheater?

This guy?

Or is there a new person, out there, like Raven Meindel, waiting in the wings?

Who is in your top ten? Who else should be here?

Where is the science in cryptozoology on television, you ask? The sexuality of the television personality is more important to the production companies, for some programs, than what the person brings to the show. For example, Anna Nekaris is one of the most intelligent people in the field, and yet she is showcased like a Hollywood starlet. But then, we have to be realistic, too. We are dealing with ratings, human nature, and attractiveness when cryptozoology is drawn into a relationship with television.

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.

42 Responses to “Cryptozoo’s Top Ten Hottest TV Personalities?”

  1. dharkheart responds:

    Hmmm…well, the content is what makes me watch, the added benefit of Jael, Anna Nekaris, et al, certainly make watching those shows easier on the eyes.

  2. Budman030 responds:

    Jael….hands down!!

  3. Ulysses responds:

    Oh boy, how do you answer these types of questions? You’re just trying to show how sexist we are. As for ratings: Keep the guys and showcase all the lovely ladies headed by the lovely and brilliant Anna Nekaris (I want my daughter to grow up and be like her, a scientist). Yes she is presented with a tight fitting blouse to make her more appealing, but she doesn’t need it. Add the equally captivating (she’ll get the biggest ratings, I don’t know why) Raven Meindel, Erin Ryder, Jael De Pardo, Dana Holyfield and finally, we need a photographer, so Chi Lan gets the call. Add a few others for local scenery, that is, field experts in the area and AWAY WE GO! Isn’t there a show like this in Europe about ghost hunting bikini babes?

  4. bigfoots responds:

    Jael is Hot…

    I’m not gonna rate any of the guys but I think Josh Gates has the best sense of humor and I like how he carries himself..

  5. CryptoRaven responds:

    No worries, Ulysses! I can positively assure you I don’t get the big ratings! lol

    I was absolutely shocked to see myself even associated with a list of “hotties”.

    And I’m still quite new in this field of work, but I’m passionate about it, and LOVE being out in the field doing research. I’m a big nerd!

    Thank you for including me in the article, Loren. Really, I’m floored. And I’m quite humbled to be mentioned amongst such beautiful, knowledgeable, and distinguished company.

    I’m just a pony among a field of champion race horses, but it’s a neat feeling to have even a small view from the back of the track. 😉

    Blessings to you all.

  6. Redrose999 responds:

    Nothing better than watching a Hot-nerd brain action. Though cute nerds help… I love Jeff, eye candy and BRAINS to squee over. Cliff is darling, he knows his stuff, I adore him, he’s got this OMG I want to hug him thing going… But for some reason, I can’t explain I really like Pat Spain. He’s got dorkitude. He’s got brains, and balls, and he’s totally adorkable.

    They all have this need to do exploration which also helps.

    LOL guess my major criteria for Crypto-hotness is the adorkable factor. Pat wins hands down.

    My husband likes Anan Nekaris…. She’s brainy.

    So, now that I’ve proven that I’m completely shallow, I will pop off and take care of the baby who is cleaning my cabinets with a piece of toilet paper.

  7. RWRidley responds:

    It’s a toss up between Craig and Bobo.

  8. Cass_of_MPLS responds:

    You forgot Allison “Scags” Scagliotti of WAREHO– USE 13 who has been doing a lot of DT lately…the live Banshee Hunt and all that. I think the guys enjoy looking at her. Raven, of course, who (on MonsterQuest) was one of those who showed us why you should never drive your SUV into a river (remember, Raven and her gang are professional MonsterQuesters…don’t try that at home—you’ll likely drown). But the guy who does it for me is Josh Gates…his rugged good looks and engaging sense of humor…unbeatable combination. Especially when he’s paired with Erin Ryder…they bring out the best in each other. Ryder, of course, is the one who had “common sense” when she said “I don’t want to be here anymore” she was saying what any SANE person would say. 🙂

  9. ChrisK responds:

    Whoever it is, it’s not Matt Moneymaker. He has a face for radio.

  10. stickyum responds:

    Raven Meindel has my vote & her bodacious YOWIE-Sized “Milk Jugs” – YUM!!!

  11. Crypto_Don responds:

    Raven! What show is this hottie on?

  12. K. Steven Monk responds:

    I find the combination of brains and beauty simply irresistable. Anna Nekaris has my vote hands down!

  13. mijbil9 responds:

    Outrageous No Natalie Schmitt !

  14. FunkyBunky responds:

    Without question, Erin Ryder. Cute, funny as heck. Looks great in a bikini too!

  15. MrInspector responds:

    They are all hotties, there’s no doubt. But Jael, oh I would watch just about anything if she is on it! I really wish they would do more mermaid episodes! 😉 And Raven, my dear, do not sell yourself short. You aren’t anywhere near the back of the pack miss.
    I honestly don’t think that I could be focused on looking for much of anything if I was in the bush with any of these lovely ladies. Be truthful guys, if you were sharing camp with Araceli, Ryder or Jael, would you care if you found Bigfoot or the Death Worm? What was Josh thinking?
    As far as the guys go, I really don’t know what makes a guy hot. Pat’s participation in the Bullet Ant Glove ritual won him my undying respect. Josh just seems to have a personality for TV, and he genuinely seems like a nice guy. Dr. Meldrum, love the guy but he, like most professors, is a bit dry. And Todd!? What’s up with that hair? I hope it’s a native thing. And Loren, last but certainly not least, you know we love ya man.
    As far as my vote for crypto-uber-hottie goes, I have to stick with Jael, that young lady makes my Spidey-senses tingle! Keep up the good works, the lot of you.

  16. Nerull responds:

    My wife thinks Loren is “hot for an older guy” (I don’t see it lol jk). Of course I am 42 & 7 years her senior, so maybe its just her thing for older men. I wouldn’t mind seeing more of Raven Meindel.

  17. viking0047 responds:

    I thought Ali from Destination Truth was pretty hot…too bad she was only on a few episodes

  18. whiteriverfisherman responds:

    I do not think I have ever seen a photo of Miss Meindel before now. I think I need to see another photo of this “new person” before I can cast my vote, perhaps several more. 🙂

  19. mandors responds:

    The two women scientists looking for giant spiders on MonsterQuest. Don’t remember their names or university.

  20. dermal_ridges_are_proof responds:

    Hey! ….Where’s Ranae?

  21. red_pill_junkie responds:

    ‘Twas Beauty that found the beast 😉

    Is it too early to start asking for a 2012 Cryptozoology bikini calendar?

    Of course, that would probably mean Craig and Loren would have to shave their legs… 😛

  22. Adam Davies responds:

    Ha Ha ! The thought of Craig and Loren shaving their legs for a photo shoot !! Good job I have just FINISHED my dinner!!! 🙂

    Guys, I am sure the ladies love you. Me, I need a drink after reading Red Pill Junkie’s post…brilliant!

    But don’t do the bikinis….

  23. gridbug responds:

    The hotness of Jael doesn’t trump the mind-numbing stupidity of Fact or Faked. Anna is the perfect combination of stunning good looks and serious mindpower and comes across as the real deal, a clear win. But where’s the love for Autumn Williams?

  24. CryptoRaven responds:

    Adam, but if Craig and Loren are going to wear the bikinis then we can make them get bikini WAXES too! Fun fun!
    Since you and Red Pill are suggesting they shave their legs, I am assuming you mean to have them go all the way and do it with the old “kill me now and make the pain stop” EPILADY shaver? Remember those things?
    They’re the shaver that literally RIPS the hair right out of the follicle and makes you want to choke any person dumb to be within your reach at the time.

  25. Hapa responds:

    Jael de Pardo, Erin Ryder, Anna Nekaris, Raven Meindel, Ranae from Finding Bigfoot: hard choice. I’m going with Jael, but all of these ladies are exceptional.

  26. Nerull responds:

    Loren shaving would be a multi-day task I bet. He’s so hairy, when he goes out in the woods, Sasquatch takes pictures of him!

  27. CDC responds:

    The front page topics were a bit of a yawn, so I can understand why Mr. Coleman started this thread.

    It’s very easy, as I posted on another thread last week, Jael is a very attractive woman and seems interesting when not in the jungle or underwater.

    To be honest, when you watch all the shows on within the last 3 years, she is the only true “hot” personality, but I wouldn’t take her or any other of the personalities you listed out in the woods to search for unknown animals.

    Watch the shows and see, these women are there for other reasons than hunting cryptids.

    I laugh at the screen when I see these people afraid of everything from spiders to snakes…imagine what would happen if a Bigfoot popped out. They scream and squeal at everything and you can tell they don’t want to be out there.

    You left Jeremy Wade off a list you put Matt Moneymaker on…????

    Yeah, Dr. Meldrum and Jeremy Wade are the only personalities that I would want to take on a cryptid hunt because of their solid science based methods. I would also take Pat Spain cause he appears to be a good kid, and with his luck, more likely to be the one eaten if we are all being chased by Mokele Mbembe.

    Yes I would take Raven to Las Vegas, Araceli to Hawaii, and Jael to the alter…but none into the jungle, they’re just too squeaky.

  28. CDC responds:

    Oh, and I truly hate Todd Disotel.

    He is arrogant, close minded, and just a jerk in general.

    They should put him on an island with Matt Moneymaker so Matt would eat him.

    To put their photos on the same page as Jael is disturbing

  29. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Since you and Red Pill are suggesting they shave their legs, I am assuming you mean to have them go all the way and do it with the old “kill me now and make the pain stop” EPILADY shaver? Remember those things?
    They’re the shaver that literally RIPS the hair right out of the follicle and makes you want to choke any person dumb to be within your reach at the time.

    I’m quite sure the screams produced would challenge even the most vocal of Bigfoots 😛

  30. CryptoRaven responds:

    Responding to CDC:

    First off, there is a HUGE, black, VERY hairy jumping spider right above my head in my room looking down at me at this very moment as I’m typing this sentence.

    I happen to like him, and have even named him ‘Fritz Bonwaller’ after one of my favorite Eddie Izzard sketches. Do I want him in my hair? Not necessarily, but does he make me scream and run from the room? NO.

    And, as Igor Bourtsev, Ken Gerhard, Bob Daigle, Joe Stewart, Joedy Cook, my daughter Jessica, Steve Kulls, John Warren, Mark Peterson, and all the others I’ve done late night creature and anomalous phenomena research with can attest to, I’m NOT “squeaky” or squeamish.

    Do I get unnerved sometimes? Sure I do! Do I have NORMAL human emotions like FEAR when something startles me? You bet! But have I ever gone running off screaming and flailing about like a flounder on fire?

    Well, come to think of it, yes. But that midget in leather was very diabolical, and he had an Epilady in his hand. Anybody in their right mind would’ve run. Don’t let those little legs fool you. He’s fast for his height.

    All joking aside,the point I’m trying to make is that anyone who says they’re NEVER afraid out there at least SOME of the time is a liar.

    Do we have to act like lunatics and get all dramatic, leap onto and cling to the closest person’s face and scream “WE”RE ALL GONNA DIE!!!”?? No.

    But of course we get scared. It’s quite normal for your heart to race a bit if you think something 8 foot tall, 500 pounds and in a bad mood is about to open your tent for a chat. I’m willing to bet he’s not there to discuss the latest Dow points or the Bruins win.

    Whether you like it or not, fear IS a part of this research. It is one of those silly things that lures us like a moth to a flame. Why do you think people like scary movies? There is something seeded deep within us that is repelled by, yet attracted to the things that makes us afraid. It is human nature.

    I love my work, CDC. I am passionate, determined, strong willed, and smart, just as a lot of the ladies of crypto and paranormal research are.

    I am working on a degree in Vertebrate Zoology currently, and I plan to take my education into anthropology and wildlife services as well.

    Just because we have boobs and lack a penis, doesn’t mean we are any less capable or less KNOWLEDGEABLE when it comes to field studies and investigations.

    Am I new? Sure. I haven’t been around as long as seasoned researchers like Loren Coleman and Jeff Meldrum. But these are people I do look up to and hope to learn more from in the future. And if I am blocked from furthering my studies and losing out on opportunities simply because of my bust size, what a horrible reflection that is on our community as a whole, and what a shame it is for the future of this work I so dearly love.

  31. Nny responds:

    Todd Disotell was awesome on MonsterQuest…. if I’m thinking of the same person. A scientist with a mohawk. I thought he was great on that show, arrogant and closed minded or not. He was a great ying to the other scientist who always believed it was cryptid evidence.

    Raven is by far the hottest on this list, jeeez, boobalicious pic. On the chance of her reading this, I’m just going to say you look extremely attractive.

    Always had a soft spot for Ryder for some reason. I guess because I always wondered what she was doing there, but I always liked how she hung in for the crazy stuff.

  32. CDC responds:


    My sincerest apologies, I did not realize that it was your picture on the list above, and I most certainly did not think a woman of your beauty, would ever post on a site for unknown creatures.

    I learned something today, not to judge a book by its cover…even if that cover is striking. Again, my apologies.

    The Destination Truth show was what I was referring to mostly I guess. The show takes their team to buggy and snakey filled jungles, and even Josh Gates has squealed a time or two. It wasn’t meant as a gender issue…more as a quirky team members sort of thing.

    Funny, but I have had scorpions, centipedes, spiders, and snakes, either crawl, nibble, or out right bite me and I never let out a sound…but I cry like a baby when the dentist reaches for that needle.

    So I understand fear is in the eye of the beholder…or the one with the toothache.

    I wish you all the best with your studies. Finding passion about anything in life is a great gift, and now if anyone ever finds Bigfoot, I hope it is you.

    My prior post is a little embarrassing for me now, and I wish to change it…Raven for coffee, Araceli to the library, and Jael to church.

    Again, sorry if I was in anyway out of line, and I would not have posted at all if I had known you were actually here.

    Hmm, I wonder if Jael posts here too?

  33. Kahil Nettleton responds:

    Well… If I was on the other team, I’d pick either Jael or Ryder. Jael’s got that exotic look and first class smarts. Ryder would be fun to hang out with and could prolly drink us all under the table…gotta love a tuff girl with a great sense of humor.

  34. zytebac responds:

    Since when has the science of cryptozoology devolved into big boobs and handsome looks?
    I’m not saying that the featured ‘stars’ of these TV shows are not deserving of their beautiful attributes. And I’m not saying that they do not qualify as being superb experts in thier field.
    But really?
    Myself? If I was to chose a person to hunt cryptids in the field, the last thing in the world I would consider is their looks. To me, it’s a question of experiance, reliability and a healthy sense of humor and skeptisism.
    The mentioned people in this article just happen to fit that catagory, but not because of how pretty they are.

    But hey, if it’s a matter of looks, Bobo gets my vote!

  35. springheeledjack responds:

    Surely I won’t descend into a seond rate, discriministic, demeaning discussion degrading our female cryptozoologists by devaluing them to the level of eye candy…Anna and Raven.

    Nuff said.

  36. CDC responds:


    Todd Disotel is the skeptic with the bad receding hairline.

    His approach is not scientific, as he states from before the tests that he does not believe an animal like Bigfoot “can” exist.

    It was not his job to analize an animals existence, it was his job to extract DNA evidence and he failed.

    After DNA was or was not found, then as a Professor of Anthropology he could state an opinion…NOT BEFORE. To pre-judge anything is not science…it is pseudoskepticism.

    Explaining how Nelson found DNA and Disotel did not would take a page, so trust me, if you did not use Disotel to begin with, the test would not have been done twice.

    Disotel is what is wrong with skeptics…manipulating science to fit a position. He was wrong, and you should not EVER see him used as an unbiased professional again.

    He screwed himself and exposed his true nature. Science has no place for Todd Disotel

  37. SJS responds:

    Honestly, if I were to be asked to put together a “Dream Team” of women to have on a show Raven Meindel would definitely be on that team. Maybe, most likely, she would be the Captain! It’s not just about the beauty though, it’s also about the brains!

  38. CryptoRaven responds:

    Thank you for the kind response to my post.
    It’s a pleasure to meet you.
    I am glad you clarified what you meant, and I apologize to you if I misunderstood anything you stated as well.
    And please understand I am not saying there is anything wrong with appreciating someone’s physical appearance, I just wanted to give a kind reminder that there is a whole person beneath the skin. ; )
    Thank you again for the kind words. It’s very much appreciated.

    And thank you to everyone else who said kind things as well. Hope you all have a wonderful afternoon!

  39. MattBille responds:

    There’s definitely nothing wrong with combining attractiveness with brains and dedication. If a person looking good gets someone to listen to science, then great. Whatever works. It’s just like in the business world – the #1 thing you need to get ahead is brains, but if you have looks as well, use those, too.
    Putting attractive but clueless people on camera just for the sake of attractiveness, though, is as annoying as it’s always been. (We had a weathercaster for a while down here in Colorado Springs named Bonnie Baron who looked like a Playboy bunny but had a only a passing knowledge of English, much less meteorology.) I love women who shatter the old-boy myth that beauty and brains are inversely proportional.
    (BTW, If I were a lady, I think I might shy away from Pat Spain on suspicion of taking dedication to the point of insanity – did you SEE the episode where he put on the bullet ant-filled gloves? )

  40. jkrostavo responds:

    I think you should add Eric Dionne from ICE, believe his picture is at their site. He’s not a bad looking cryptozoologist if you i say so myself..
    Then you of course have Ken Gerhard and Josh Gates…

    Oh also on that same page you have some other hotties as well…

    Jessica Dionne
    Danny Mason
    Sarah Harmon
    Tiffany Renee

    The ICE team (International Cryptozoology Establishment) is looking more like a Team of Fire hotties then ICE lol…

    wooo sweat thinking of it…

  41. gerry bacon responds:

    Well, having the absolute pleasure to have met Raven, I can attest that she looks great, smells sweet and gives an incredible hug. Unfortunately, she is married to this huge martial artist who forces me on my very best behavior. Still, she gets my vote.

    Did I mention that she is also unbelievably nice?

  42. Cryptocabra responds:

    Well even though I am about a year late and a few dollars short, I will add my 1/2 cent. Sorry, recession kicking my butt too.

    I am all about natural beauty with a definite touch of wild side, so Anna Nekaris makes me light headed and my heart skip a beat. Raven too, of course. Both have a natural beauty that throws the gasoline on my fire. All of the women listed are amazingly beautiful, don’t get me wrong, and we are more than lucky to get see them on our screens and in the field. But with Anna Nekaris add to that the scientific intelligence (ok geek, but I am one too) and there is a level of attraction I don’t come into contact with everyday. Raven, with her beauty and all around knowledge of new age ideas, everything paranormal, AND zoology, well what isn’t there to love about all of that. Congrats to you Raven and Anna for floating my boat. 🙂 Sorry Loren, you ain’t bad for one of us older guys, but just not my type.

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