Manbeast’s Nicholas Webster Dies

Posted by: Loren Coleman on August 16th, 2006

Award-winning TV documentary writer-producer-director Nicholas Webster, died August 12, 2006, in Santa Monica after an extended illness. He was 94. His 1961 documentary “Walk in My Shoes” for the ABC Close Up about blacks in America was Emmy-nominated as the Show of the Year. He also directed documentaries for NBC (“David Brinkley’s Journal”) and CBS (“The Twentieth Century,” with Walter Cronkite.)

In terms of cryptozoology, Webster is best remembered for his documentary Manbeast: Myth or Monster. It is a 1978 documentary that explores the existence of Bigfoot, the Yeti and other legendary humanoid-type creatures. Produced by Alan Landsburg, Manbeast filmed in the Himalayas, Oregon, and Louisiana, covered 60,000 miles during their shooting schedule, and dramatized 12 stories, all of which showed different encounters with the unknown hominoids. Portrayals include the tales of two Nepalese tribesmen who were cooped up in a cave with a roaring, huge beast; the mysterious disappearance of a Washington skier, his erratic ski trails followed by large unknown snow prints and the invasion of a campsite in Honey Island, Louisiana. The story line also follows Peter Byrne, who plays himself as a self-styled monster hunter, obsessed with finding Abominable Snowmen and Bigfoot.

Webster furthermore directed, co-produced and wrote many of the original “In Search Of…” programs with host Leonard Nimoy and producer Landsburg, as well as doing the historical recreation segments of “Ripley’s Believe It or Not.”

Webster honors were many and he had been an army cinematographer during World War II, a documentarian for the U.S. Department of Agriculture after the war, and a commercial director in New York before returning to Hollywood in the 1960s. He was a former Board Member of the International Documentary Association.

Webster is survived by his wife Diana, son Lance, an entertainment publicist; and daughters Juliet and Cynthia.

Cryptomundo salutes the great works he completed and sends out sympathy to his family and friends.

For Nicholas Webster’s full non-cz obituary, please see Variety, August 15, 2006.

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.

5 Responses to “Manbeast’s Nicholas Webster Dies”

  1. mrbf2006 responds:

    I happen to own this particular documentary, and it is really great and well-crafted. I was unaware this fellow also produced a good bit of the greatest unusual phenomena series ever, “In Search Of…”, but now that I know this, I will look for his name in the credits of my “ISO” Bigfoot episodes.

  2. Ole Bub responds:

    Thank you for bringing this sad event to our attention…

    My condolences to the Webster family…the world of cryptozoological documentary film’s is diminished by his passing…

    all the best…

    Steve Summar, Sheba and Rocky…

  3. Mike Joiner responds:

    I can still remember Sunday afternoon waiting for “In Search Of…” to come on in the late 70’s. You could say he started many of us on the quest for the truth.

  4. cabochris responds:

    I’m sorry to hear of this. I would love to see his film, “Manbeast: Myth or Monster”. Where might I obtain a copy? So far I’m not having too much luck on the web.

  5. cabochris responds:

    I discovered Phil at He sells many Bigfoot movies, including Manbeast! I purchased a copy from him via Paypal and thought I would pass this on. Ask Phil for his extensive list of titles!

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