The Cryptozoology Season

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 20th, 2008

Is there a new public attack on the Bigfoot and Sasquatch research work of Grover Krantz to be launched soon in London? Or, actually, less melodramatically, what will be said?

Cryptozoology Season at the Grant Museum: The Grant Museum is located at the University College London – Gower Street – London – WC1E 6BT – United Kingdom +44 (0)20 7679 2000.

The Grant Museum is taking advantage of the popularity of “cryptozoology” by putting on a variety of lectures in what they call “The Cryptozoology Season.” I especially hope some learned cryptozoologists, hominologists, and colleagues get to hear the one entitled “Crackpots and Eggheads: Pseudoscience and the search for the Yeti,” on July 10th! I’d love to fly in for that one.

Here’s the Grant Museum’s overview of their forthcoming related events:

“The Cryptozoology Season explores the world of hidden animals and the people who work with them. From the lives of those who study species unknown to science, like Nessie and Bigfoot, to expeditions in search of
animals presumed extinct, our talks, events and film-night will investigate this marginalised subject in exciting ways. Is it mainstream science or paranormal research? Come and make up your own mind.”

Godzilla on the Big Screen

Date: Wed 25 Jun 2008
Time: 6.30pm

Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Darwin Building, University College London, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT.
Tel: 020 7679 2647

Nearest tube: Euston Sq, Euston, Goodge St, Warren St

Price: Free – no need to book
Age group: Adult

This 1954 Japanese classic, the first Godzilla film, tells the tale of a terrifying prehistoric beast which destroys Tokyo. The dinosaur-like monster was reawakened by American nuclear weapons testing and goes on the rampage, killing thousands. Few films have managed to combine dinosaurs, romance, anti-American politics and heroic scientists so successfully. Interestingly, the anti-nuclear themes of the film are largely removed from the 1956 US reworking of the original. UCL Historian of Science, Dr Joe Cain, will introduce the film, and a free glass of wine will be served in the interval.

Crackpots and Eggheads: Pseudoscience and the search for the Yeti

Date: Thu 10 Jul 2008
Time: 6pm

Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Darwin Building, University College London, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT
Tel: 020 7679 2647

Nearest tube: Euston Sq, Euston, Goodge St, Warren St

Price: Free, there is no need to book
Age group: Adult

What drives the hunt for anomalous primate monsters like Bigfoot? Is it the need to discover the undiscovered…a thirst for knowledge…or a desire for excitement? It’s not so simple. Dr Brian Regal will argue that it’s all about the battle between amateur naturalists and professional scientists – the Crackpots versus the Eggheads. Come to the Grant Museum and hear the hairy reality. Join us for a free glass of wine in a private view of the Museum after the talk.

Brian Regal is Assistant Professor for the History of Science at Kean University, New Jersey, USA. His latest book is the two volume, Icons of Evolution. He is currently working on a history of the search for anomalous primates.


More info from the above-pictured Brian Regal’s official university website:

The broad scope of my research concerns the history of human origins. My focus is less on human evolution itself than on an intellectual historical study of how scientific theories are constructed, and then perceived and used in popular culture, religion, and politics for extra-scientific ends. My first book Henry Fairfield Osborn: Race and the Search for the Origins of Man (2002) is an attempt to unravel the complex and contradictory nature of a theory of human evolution which was simultaneously scientific and religious and which was designed to show more than just where the first humans arose, but how American society should be ordered. Human Evolution: a guide to the debates (2004) takes an interdisciplinary approach by including such topics as popular culture, eugenics and creationism along with traditional aspects of evolution history to show the interconnected aspect of human origin studies and how they go beyond finding fossils, isolating DNA, and dating strata.

As an historian of science I am particularly interested in the relationship between professional scientists and their amateur counterparts. I write about how the fringe and mainstream interact, co-mingle and argue, whether it is over the creation/evolution debate or American national origins theories.

My current writing is an historical analysis of the lives of mainstream scientists–particularly the controversial paleoanthropologist Grover Krantz (1931-2002)–who believed anomalous primates like the Sasquatch and Yeti were real animals, not just relics of folklore or hoaxes. I have been ransacking the archives and libraries of North America and England using long forgotten letters, correspondence, diaries, and notebooks of scientists who researched humanoid monsters.


Family events

Big Beasts Family Activity Day

Date: Sat 5 Jul 2008
Time: 10am – 4pm

Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Darwin Building, University College London, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT.
Tel: 020 7679 2647

Nearest tube: Euston Sq, Euston, Goodge St, Warren St

Price: Drop-in from 10am to 4pm daily
Age group: Family activities, but the Museum is suitable for all ages

From 6 tonne elephants to 6 metre worms, come and investigate the animals at the top end of the scales. Discover the longest, heaviest, strongest and tallest creatures on Earth with the Museum’s fantastic specimens and activities. What would you do if you met an 8m long crocodile or a snake as long as a bus?

Dangerous Beasts

Date: Mon 4 – Fri 15 Aug 2008
Time: Mon-Fri, 1-5pm

Location: Grant Museum of Zoology, Darwin Building, University College London, Malet Place, WC1E 6BT
Tel: 020 7679 2647

Nearest tube: Euston Sq, Euston, Goodge St, Warren St

Price: Free, there is no need to book
Age group: All ages

Take part in our exciting interactive activities with the deadliest animal specimens in the Museum. Do you know a scary scorpion from a terrifying tarantula? Can you tell a snake from a legless lizard? Which animals live in the most dangerous locations, and how do they survive there? Come and see the beasts you wouldn’t want to meet in the wild.

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.

11 Responses to “The Cryptozoology Season”

  1. mystery_man responds:

    Well, it says there’s free wine, so there’s that.

  2. Brian Regal responds:

    Dear Mr. Coleman,

    Thanks so much for helping spread word of my upcoming talk at the Grant Museum’s Darwin Theater in London. (I’ll also be giving a related paper at the BSHS meeting at Oxford the week before, if anyone is in town).

    I was a bit surprised at your description of my work, as an attack on the late Grover Krantz. It is certainly not. (My upcoming book on his life is actually rather sympathetic to his career).

    My work situates Bigfoot studies in the long tradition of sometimes strained relations between amatuer naturalists and professional scientists, hence the title “Crackpots & Eggheads” (also the title of the book). I use these terms in the most endearing of ways. (Both sides have certainly called each other worse names.) Not unlike the folklorist Donna Kossy used the term “Kooks” to describe the subjects of her work.

    I look at the complex interaction of these two intellectual worlds in order to discover insights into how monster hunting fits into the broader context of the history of science in America. I think you would enjoy my talk and not find it insulting at all or any kind of “attack.”

    Oh, I also have a scholarly peer reviewed article coming out on this later this year in the journal Annals of Science.

    Brian Regal, PhD

  3. Strick responds:

    Loren, Thanks for your interest in Cryptozoological events worldwide and not just inside in the continental United States. I find this a refreshing change from most commentators on your side of the pond! I guess you must be well aware of the global reach of this site!

    This event sounds very much like one I will attend and, as the man says, there’s free wine chucked in!

  4. MMGood responds:

    Dr. Regal —

    Thanks for clarifying. Your work sounds interesting. When does the article come out? What about the book?

  5. TaishaMcGee responds:

    Oh, how I long for the days when “paranormal research” will be considered “mainstream science”…

    Thanks for the information, Loren!

  6. red_pill_junkie responds:

    Join us for a free glass of wine in a private view of the Museum after the talk.

    What?? Don’t they know that crackpots get heavily aggresive after imbibing alcohol?! 😉

  7. Brian Regal responds:

    I don’t normally write in to websites, but since I seem to be the topic of discussion today I will give it one more go and answer two questions.

    To MMGood:

    The more popular article will appear in the British history of science magazine Endeavour (unfortunately not widely available here in the states). The info is, “Amateur Versus Professional: the Search for Bigfoot,” Endeavour vol 32 #2 (2008). While the printed version is not available yet, you can go to their webpage (the parent publisher is Elsevier) and download a pdf for a small fee. I have no idea when the Annals of Science will be available, sometime this year I am told. It is still in the page proof stage. Peer-review articles are notoriously difficult to get published because they are held to a much higher standard of intellectual rigor.

    To TaishaMcGee:

    I will tell you the same thing I tell my students when they ask me that question. “Paranormal” research will become “mainstream” when practitioners do a number of things. With all due respect, just carrying a night vision scope into the woods does not make the search for Bigfoot “scientific” (and yes, I know that is a gross oversimplification of what goes on). You are going to have to establish research paradigms, unifying goals and methodologies that are widely accepted within the field, articulate the predictive power of cryptozoology, and most importantly provide undeniable evidence that will stand up to peer-review scrutiny. Now, don’t get mad at me, I’m an historian not a scientist, I don’t make these rules, I just have to live by them. All you really have to do to settle the question is toss a body on a dissecting table at WSU, Berkeley, U. Chicago, etc. and your worries are over. At least those worries. Because you know the day that happens Bigfoot is no longer fringe or paranormal or pseudo-science, its anthropology. That means the eggheads take over and crackpots are out.

    Hope that helps,
    Brian Regal

  8. Loren Coleman responds:

    Brian Regal says: “…you know the day that happens Bigfoot is no longer fringe or paranormal or pseudo-science, its anthropology. That means the eggheads take over and crackpots are out.”

    Of course, Grover Krantz use to say something very similar to this, with different labels, and would make the amateurs at his presentations as angry as they could be. It’s probably in one of his books too.

    Why anyone that studies Bigfoot has to be pegged as being a “crackpot,” however, by academically-based scholars is beyond me.

  9. TaishaMcGee responds:

    Brian Regal:

    Oh how I long for the days when “paranormal research” becomes…alla whatcha just said…

    Why would I be angry with you for saying such things? I’m a believer in science. Charlatans and opportunists do us no good. Data and physical evidence do all the good in the world.

    Thank you for adding to my input…or, at least, my lol-style commentary…

    Also, Loren, thank you for responding to the “crackpot” vernacular used:)

  10. Ranatemporaria responds:

    In defence of Mr. Regal I believe the terms of reference or labels used in his writings above, are more a reflection on how society currently and potentially view those involved in research both within cryptozoology and science in general.

    In the current climate those involved in “pseudoscience” are often discredited as “crackpots.” If or when, well presented significant and scientifically accepted evidence comes to light then the researchers or scientists involved will be the labelled “eggheads” as the subject matter by its nature becomes more “mainstream” as it is generally more social accepted by colleges peers and the public.

    All these labels, the social outlook and the research situation are synonymous, and unfortunately interdependently linked.

    I may well, however, be wrong in my interpretation not knowing a massive amount about his work.

    Apologies if I am and also apologies for the ineloquence of my explanations!

  11. Tamarack responds:

    When did “Crackpot” or “Egghead” become terms of endearment? I must have missed that when ever or where ever it happened.

    I was set back by these terms also. So I wonder which category Mr Regal places Dr. Krantz?

    I would think that a study of Dr. Krantz’s work would have revealed how frustrating it is for those who take their search for Bigfoot seriously to be left on their own by the scientific community at large. Many are doing as much as they can to the best of their ability to properly bring forth evidence in such a way that will be solid enough to get the attention of those scientists who may be in a position to help.

    I also thought of the possibility that it could be a difference in cultures since much of British humor simply doesn’t come across to me as funny. Maybe it is common in the U.K. to call a friend either a “crackpot” or an “egghead” like we might use the term “buddy” or “pal” but this is the first time that I have come across it.

Sorry. Comments have been closed.

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