Remember Letters?

Posted by: Loren Coleman on June 3rd, 2010

I get lots of emails, and I even still get letters. Remember letters?

Sometimes they are letters from kids. Often students write asking me to “please send everything you have on Bigfoot, since I have to give a report next Monday.” I’m afraid, besides my inability to send all my files on Sasquatch in one envelope, I don’t think I would be able to help them in time. Sometimes they want me to journey to their school to talk to their class or appear at their birthday party.

I do a fair amount of replies, nevertheless, and do email interviews for kids, because, after all, Ivan T. Sanderson wrote me when I was in my teens. I want to return the favor. I can’t do everything, of course.

But, gosh, I wish that the old custom of sending self-addressed stamped envelopes would have been passed down to the new generations. It was a common courtesy during the 1950s and 1960s, if you wanted a rapid bit of help from an expert, you’d send along a SASE. Somewhere along the way, children weren’t taught that.

As to the second big batch of letters, it may surprise you to hear from whom I get them. These missives come in from prisoners. Letters upon letters from prisoners. Serial killers, like the Yosemite Killer below, to people on work-release programs.

Now, I understand the prison system is filled with lots of people who are intelligent, and there are some there for low-level criminal activity (like smoking dope). Also, I realize they have lots of time on their hands. A few may even read Cryptomundo.

Here’s a typical letter, just received:

“Mr. Coleman, My name is {expunged} and I am an avid Bigfoot researcher as well as other strange creatures of the woods of North America. I’m sorry to say that I am incarcerated but that doesn’t change the fact of who I am and what I have experienced. I was fortunate enough to just got through reading your book titled Bigfoot: The True Story of Apes in America. I read all 278 pages and yes, I’m about to read it all over again. I came across your book in the library at the prison that I am housed at. I’m am and always have been a big fan of yours.”

The person then goes on to share their hope of seeing a Bigfoot one day, feeling they will get to work with animals again soon, and sharing their special Bigfoot theory with me.

The letters, however, almost always end with a similar request. The person in prison has little or no money, and they would like to read more of my books but can’t purchase any. They ask if I would send them some of my books.

Of course, there are two points about this. First, I don’t have an unlimited supply of books hanging around, and it does cost me to buy my own books, so there are never many available. But the other thing is, when I have tried to send books to prisoners, they are always returned, by the prison system. If I’m lucky. Sometimes I get a note saying that the prisoners can only get books directly from the publishers. I wish the prisons would let the prisoners know this, so for the prisoners asking me for books, they won’t think it was me that didn’t try to send some out. However, after being frustrated about this, I just don’t send them to any prisoners, anywhere, anymore.

There is a third group of letters too. I do send off books to soldiers in the war zones regularly, when they or their families ask me. They seem to receive those fine. Perhaps there’s some kind of karma lesson to be learned in what kind of mail gets through between the two groups, I guess.

If you’d like to donate some funds for me to send some fun (e.g. books) to the troops, kids, and those who can receive them, please click below:

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.

4 Responses to “Remember Letters?”

  1. JMonkey responds:

    Love this story. I know that the children are the future of Cryptozoology much like you obviously do, and I always appreciate anyone who helps soldiers, and supports them in what they do. You can’t imagine how important mail is to a soldier. I used to wait anxiously at mail call when I served in Bosnia for a piece of mail. It was my connection to the world I belonged in, it made me feel loved and important no matter how insignificant it was. I actually had a girl from Arizona write me letters. She was in fifth grade and it made my day to see them, but at some point you welcome bills even. The mail just lets you know that you still exist. Thank you Loren on behalf of soldiers like me who loved their mail.

  2. red_pill_junkie responds:

    This post reminded me of one of my favorite movies, The Shawshank Redemption. I really wish the governments of the planet realized that many of the people they keep incarcerated end up in those circumstances due to a lack of education. I would imagine the country that keeps more prisoners per citizen in the entire world —USA— would have figured *that* out by now…

    I’m also reminded of a little anecdote I found in one of Pedro Ferriz’s books —Ferriz was the father of Mexican Ufology, close friend of Dr. Hynek and helped organize the very first international UFOlogy congress in Acapulco— where he wrote he once received a letter from famous painter David Alfaro Siqueiros, who had just gotten out of jail, and wanted to let him know that during his incarceration he always kept watching Ferriz’s TV show Un Mundo nos Vigila (a world is watching us) because “it helped him dream about the stars, and freedom”.

    It seems that Fortean phenomena will always have that allure, specially if your day-to-day situation is not exactly to your liking.

  3. CoffeeKitsune responds:

    It’s so true that children are important in the future of cryptozoology. I am a PCP in a local school (personal care provider. I work with a boy who has high functioning autism, but is in a regular classroom, not special Ed.) and he is SO into cryptozoology!!! One of the things I do for him is that I bring in my cryptozoology books from home to let him read when he is done with his work. He also likes, when he gets all his answers right, instead of drawing him a smiley face I draw him little Dover Demons. His dream is to someday see a cryptid himself. When he has projects to do in school, when possible he will chose a cryptid as the topic (such as his ‘guess what animal I am’ he chose the Mongolian Death Worm. No one guessed it… Haha. And in art he drew the Dover Demon and a Werewolf instead of humans in his hot air balloon.)
    Hopefully one day I can hear the great news that he was the first person to prove the existence of something. 🙂

  4. nikki123nd responds:

    I feel bad that the prisoners can’t get the books… And it’s great that you can help out the soldiers. I’m 13 and I LOVE Cryptozoology. And I’m not the only kid, I know that for sure. I blog about cryptozoology on the Discovery Networks Community and most of the people who blog are in their teens or younger, some as young as 5th grade! My dream is to grow up to be a Wildlife Biologist/Cryptozoologist.

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