the Animal Planet,
Discovery-Science, Discovery, A & E, The Learning Channel, History, Sci-Fi Channel, Travel Channel, Fox News, CBC, CNN, ITN, Sky News, and BBC.
I am an antiwar Vietnam-era C.O. and pacifist, in which I had to fight my draft board,
get letters of support from Bucky Fuller and Ivan Sanderson into my draft file,
was arrested by the FBI for refusing the draft, ended up winning in court,
and volunteered and did two years of alternative work in a juvenile hall
LOREN COLEMAN, who was born in 1947, today lives in Portland, Maine.
He was educated in anthropology and zoology at Southern Illinois University, and psychiatric social work at Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston.
He was admitted to the Ph. D. programs in social anthropology at Brandeis University and family violence-sociology at the University of New Hampshire, but with the birth of two sons soon after joining both programs four years apart, he decided to dedicate himself to parenting and writing, instead.
Coleman worked in human services, in a frontline and supervisory capacity from 1967 until 1983.
He began teaching documentary film, anthropology, social work, research, and sociology courses, part-time and full-time, at universities (Bunker Hill Community College, Boston University, University of Southern Maine, University of New England, St. Joseph's College, and Southern Maine Community College) from 1980 through 2003.
He was a senior researcher at the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Policy from 1983-1996. He retired in 1996, from full-time research to write, lecture, adjunct teach, and consult on his many interests.
He is internationally known for his research and writings on animal mysteries, folklore, and yet-to-be-discovered species, known as the study of cryptozoology.
He furthermore has written extensively on social science subjects including child maltreatment, adoption, suicides, school violence, the media and the copycat effect.
He also has lectured and done research on the mysterious deaths and suicides associated with the political assassinations of the 1960s of JFK, MLK, and RFK.
Loren Coleman appears frequently on television and the radio in interviews about Bigfoot, Yeti, Skunk Apes, Loch Ness Monster, and other cryptids.
Outside the USA, he has done many radio and television news programs about school shootings and the effect of the media on violence.
He has consulted on cultic behavior, as well.
His interviews have appeared on the Animal Planet, Discovery-Science, Discovery, A & E, The Learning Channel, History, Sci-Fi Channel, Travel Channel, Fox News, CBC, CNN, ITN, Sky News, and BBC.
He is the author of over 30 books, 3000 articles, and 6000 blog postings.
The New American Dream Trivia Question:
be the first one to correctly answer the following.
Loren Coleman would rather be ...
a. Fishing for crappies in a rowboat at Loch Ness
b. In search of the great American novel
c. Obama's Secretary of The As Yet Unknown
d. Teaching Theory of Magical Creatures at Hogwarts
e. Sitting in the dark by himself in Oregon wearing the Bionic Ears he got for Christmas
f. Knee-deep in yellow snow in the Himalayas
NAD: Loren, hello, thank you for taking the time for this.
Where did you grow up?
Well, this might be interesting. Let's see where this takes us.
I was born in Norfolk, Virginia (father in the Navy), but my family left there when I was 3 months old, moving back to their home state.
I thus grew up in Decatur, Illinois, and lived there until I first went to college in Carbondale, Illinois. (I never came back home, really, after that, as my father was an abusive man, both physically and emotionally. I eventually got a MSW, I'm sure, as a form of healing, plus lots of therapy.)
NAD: What was the name of your high school?
Douglas MacArthur High School
NAD: What was the school mascot name?
Believe it or not, the Generals.
NAD: What was on the list of activities under your senior picture in the yearbook?
There were no activities listed under my senior picture.
There is no senior picture in my 1965 high school yearbook of me.
My family was allegedly too poor to have senior pictures taken, and I was too shy, intellectually introverted, and socially unconscious to want to be in the yearbook.
In my high school Frosh and Soph years, I had been in the German club, the Science club, and the AVA club. I was a bright nerd even before it was cool, apparently.
I merely disappeared off the radar as a Junior and Senior, as I recall.
NAD: What did you start out wanting to be?
A naturalist, since I was about eight years old.
I remember reading Roy Chapman Andrews and Raymond Ditmars, and realizing I wanted to be something like those guys when I grew up.
Books were a great form of escapism from the situation of my surroundings.
I was the oldest of four, and was expected to take care of my brothers and sister, but sometimes also ended up taking care of fights between my mother and father, or even counseling my mom.
NAD: Is there still time?
I achieved my goal by going one better than naturalist, I figured, by being a cryptozoologist — broad-based, of course.
I am sometimes in deep turmoil because I never went on for a Ph. D., but I am very happy, in my life and mind, that I picked being a good Dad, over that degree.
Thinking back, btw, at Southern Illinois University, home of the Salukis, I began there as a government studies major, for some reason, because I liked "social studies" in high school, perhaps.
I tried out a few other things, but eventually landed upon anthropology, after knowing that the Yeti and apes were the path nearest to what I wanted to study.
I don't remember much about college, but I recall I was a struggling sophomore there in 1967, when the school became the focus of the sports media world due to Walt Frazier's appearance in the NIT basketball tourney. Frazier and SIU won the NIT that year, and Frazier was named MVP.
I was more interested in baseball and anthropology, eventually girls/women.
I remember that the only job I've ever been fired from was at SIU, when I was working in the SIU mailroom. I had gone to a Saluki's baseball game, lost track of the time, and when I came back, my boss was angry with me for my tardiness and fired me.
I never regretted that, however, as I still respect baseball enough to stay to the end of the game.
While at SIU, I pushed my way out of the little world of Decatur. For that, I shall always be thankful.
NAD: Anthropology, zoology, sociology, and now Bigfoot. I guess it follows.
No, actually, it was the other way around.
Yeti was there in 1960. Bigfoot came quickly in 1960-1961.
Then I picked a university in 1965, based upon reports of apelike creatures in southern Illinois.
I picked anthropology in 1966 or so.
I took on a minor in zoology, to add the "physical" part to "physical anthropology," back then.
Today, it is mostly called "biological anthropology."
"What is this about the Abominable Snowman."
They were universal in telling me,
"Don't waste your time.
"They don't exist.
Don't read about them."
NAD: What got you started along the Bigfoot path?
I was a serious genius, having tested highly before getting into junior high, and was deeply interested in social studies, and especially the Civil War, Lincoln's assassination, Charles Fort, and keeping my own backyard zoo, in the late 1950s.
Then in March 1960, on a Friday night, then again on a Saturday morning, I watched a documentary-like science fiction movie, filmed among the Ainu, called Half Human. It was about the Abominable Snowmen. Look it up. It has a compelling plot.
My beginnings is a story I have told often: I was curious. I went to my teachers at school on Monday, and asked them, "What is this about the Abominable Snowman." They were universal in telling me, "Don't waste your time. They don't exist. Don't read about them."
So, questioning authority way back then, I read everything I could get my hands on about the Yeti, then Bigfoot, then the Loch Ness Monster, then Sea Serpents. I opened up the entire world of cryptozoology.
And I truly felt I had found "my home."
NAD: The path not taken. And that has made all the difference?
Well, I think it is the path that was taken that has made the difference.
The sidetreks I have taken away from cryptozoology, most of the time, have felt less clear, in terms of my destiny, if there is such a thing.
Certainly, hard work to achieve has been the driving principal too.
Cryptozoology took me to a career, eventually, that I am extremely happy to have (although I wish it was associated with more financial rewards - still working on that).
NAD: How do you like being an expert on something you don't even know yourself, it it exists or not?
Animals do exist, and I know they do.
New animals are found all the time, and the cryptozoological method involving listening to local people, analyzing traces of the animals, and encountering and proving the species exist is not magical thinking.
I feel very grounded in this field, despite wrong-headed assumptions that lead to questions like the above one.
for even if the discovery of a breeding population of large bipedal
apes does not occur someday,
the reality of the phenomenon
of Bigfoot cannot be denied.
They appear in tales, traditions, folklore, movies, books, and ads.
Bigfoot is undeniably real.
NAD: Would you like to choose one of these to answer, elaborate on?
I don't ask this to make fun. I ask because I really seek the answers.
— Are UFOs real?
— Did we land on the moon in 1968?
— Did Bush knock down the towers?
— Was Paul Wellstone's death an accident?
— The Oklahoma City bombing? Wasn't that just another U.S. government terrorist exercise? Or not.
— Waco. We burned kids, right? You can see flames shooting out of the tanks. Or not.
— Is Bigfoot real?
— Is there a God?
I would not naturally "choose" to answer any of this, as they all might be answered most correctly with a "I don't know."
However, I shall pick this one, because it gives me the opportunity to address it and it is asked of me a great deal.
Yes, of course, Bigfoot is "real," for even if the discovery of a breeding population of large bipedal apes does not occur someday, the reality of the phenomenon of Bigfoot cannot be denied.
They appear in tales, traditions, folklore, movies, books, and ads. Bigfoot is undeniably real.
NAD: Have you seen Bigfoot?
No, not as a known and proven species, but merely as reflected as a cryptid in cryptozoology, hominology, and popular culture.
NAD: Do you go out looking?
I have searched throughout North America with Bigfoot hunters, eyewitnesses, and those who have had chance encounters.
My in-depth fieldwork dates back to 1962, but has slowed down since I broke my back when rockclimbing 15 years ago.
I did years and years of fieldwork before it was fashionable to write up every weekend trip or vacation trek one might take on an Internet blog.
NAD: Do you live near the woods?
I live in a coastal city of 60,000, in the middle of one of the most forested states of the USA. In total, 95 percent of the land surface of Maine is covered in trees, and while I have lived among the soybeans and cornfields of Illinois, in an urban area of northern California, and in the urban setting of Cambridge-Boston, I am quite happy to have lived in Maine for the last twenty-five years.
NAD: Bigfoot & Loch Ness Monster. Tell us, once and for all, are they fantasy or real?
I accept the fact that a continued pursuit of these two cryptids is in the best interest of zoology.
Needless to say, it should be pointed out, there is not just "one" of each, but populations of both, if they exist.
But, once again, I am comfortable with saying, "I don't know."
NAD: UFOs. Tell us, once and for all, are they fantasy or real?
I have no opinion on these, as they are outside my areas of interest.
NAD: Please tell us more about yourself, the things you have done, what you would like to do, what you did today. What do you eat, what do you drive, what do you drink.
I see myself, more than anything else, as a "good Dad," much different than my "father."
My sons, although I guard that part of my private life dearly from the public, are all important to me.
If you saw me out in public, versus on television, in the last two decades, it probably was at one of my sons' baseball games, or soccer tournaments, or school events, or African drum performances.
I am passionate about this part of my life but keep it private.
To understand me, one has to also know my history: I am an antiwar Vietnam-era C.O. and pacifist, in which I had to fight my draft board, get letters of support from Bucky Fuller and Ivan Sanderson into my draft file, was arrested by the FBI for refusing the draft, ended up winning in court, and volunteered and did two years of alternative work in a juvenile hall in Illinois.
I am highly political, in my personal life and lifestyle.
I very much enjoy traveling, in line with my cryptozoological investigations, consulting, appearances, and lectures.
I don't go places without thinking if there is a nature area to view animals near where I am speaking.
For example, when I lectured at the Royal Alberta Museum, I was the guest of the museum director, as we trekked to see wood bison a few miles from the musuem.
When talking recently in Colorado, I just had to go to the Rocky Mountains to see elk, mule deer, and bighorn sheep.
If I go to urban areas, I like baseball, movies, and zoos. (Are you sure this isn't a dating service? By the way, I am straight, a serial monogamist, and after two divorces since 1969, I am in a break mentality. However, unlike the line from Jurassic Park, I am not looking for the next "Mrs. Coleman." The trick truth to that is that I only marry feminists, and neither one of my wives became a "Mrs. Coleman." Right now, yes, I am looking for love, but not with any great urgency. I am not dating anyone, and do not like long walks on the beach.)
Eating: For my entire life, I have steered away from fish, shellfish, and most other meats.
But in 1993, I became a full-time, absolute vegetarian, and soon thereafter, due to the discover of my inability to digest creamy dairy products, I am now as close to a dietary vegan as I can be. I am not a vegan in the sense of not dealing with dead animals around me, as I enjoy taxidermy objects in my museum.
I've never smoked, never really enjoyed drinking, don't do drugs, and have not been interested in alcohol for about 30 plus years now. (However, back to the dating theme, I don't enjoy watching long sunsets, and would rather be out in the woods looking for black panthers, non-political kind, during a full moon.)
I drive a 1996 4W drive station green wagon, which has about 150,000 miles on it and gets me around just fine in the snow up here. I'd like to have a new car (a Jeep or Range Rover would be nice), but I enjoy not having car payments and owning a "new car" does not interest me.
I consider globe warming real, based upon humans and volcanoes, and would enjoy owning a hybrid engine placed in an old Rambler, frankly. I would actually love to get an old automobile that looks like it is out of the 1930s (although I loathe the widespread appearance of the PT Cruiser). Indeed, my museum that is my house is mostly art deco (yes, you don't have to be a gay male to enjoy art deco).
NAD: What color is your toothbrush? [Without going to look.] Automatic or manual?
I only use a manual toothbrush. I have several toothbrushes going at any one time (with a couple in various suitcases, those being solid white because I get them free or in the vending machines at hotels), the ones I have around here are solid colors too (e.g. canary yellow, blue).
NAD: Pajamas or sweatpants?
Neither. I sleep in underwear or nude, depending on the circumstances. TMI?
NAD: Does your favorite coffee cup have words on it? What are they?
I don't drink coffee, only tea. I have one large tea cup that has a Santa Claus on it, which I like, but it has no words on it.
I am a visual person, and enjoy images more than words on things linked to my eating and drinking, I guess. The majority of the time, I use one of my Fiestaware tea cups (usually green, red, navy blue, or bright yellow). I like variety in my tea cups.
NAD: What did you absolutely have to get done by noon today?
Besides finishing this interview?
If I am not away traveling, I have a regular routine of getting up, reading and responding to my emails, doing a little writing (blogs, books, or articles).
If those go smoothly, and I don't have any media interviews or morning radio show appearances (like one coming up tomorrow for a UK station), I usually go out to do errands and check my downtown post office mail daily.
NAD: How about by Christmas 2009?
Go to a Red Sox game with my 19-year-old and 23-year-old sons.
Finish up so many writing projects that are due that I don't want to think about that.
Travel to a warm place and investigate a cryptid there.
but I am glad this cryptozoologist is on TV,
travels the world,
and has so many fine folks as friends today.
NAD: How cool is it to be on TV?
First off, since I have been on television since 1969, it has become sort of routine but still is special. Unfortunately, since there is no direct correlation to being on television (having fame) and rolling in dough (having fortune), that seems to be a disconnect that lots of people don't get.
It is very cool to be on television, and anyone that says otherwise is lying to themselves or the interviewer.
People actually recognize you in the weirdest places, and as to my minor celeb status, I love it.
Perhaps it is a bother for the "big stars," but I'm not in that league.
Personally and psychologically, for a quiet Midwestern working class son of a professional firefighter, my media appearances and speaking engagements have allowed me an avenue to grow and relate to people.
Some of my fans perhaps do not still realize that the shy boy is inside there, but I am glad this cryptozoologist is on TV, travels the world, and has so many fine folks as friends today.
NAD: Did you get a free History Channel coffee mug?
Nope, but I did receive a History Channel baseball cap, however. LOL.
NAD: The Georgia hoax thing. Was that hard on you? On others in the Bigfoot field? Do you think it made people even more skeptical? Do you care?
It was only difficult for me because certain vocal critics didn't understand that my few early open-minded statements about what was being presented was due to my interest in obtaining more data to analyze and expose the hoax.
As it turns out, lots of people were involved in pushing this one to its eventual conclusion, but I will always be proud that Cryptomundo was able to publish the first images that resulted (in ten minutes) with the finding of the costume that matched the "body in the freezer."
I, along with Jeff Meldrum and Matt Moneymaker, were targeted by the unholy three who were involved in the hoaxing.
The Georgia hoaxers burned my Bigfoot! on YouTube, and made gay jokes and burned Moneymaker in effigy later in the same clip.
The California promoter who got involved said Meldrum wasn't an anthropologist at the CNN News conference (even though Meldrum is).
The Georgia incident was a fiasco, but in the end, it was me, Jeff, and Matt that CNN, Fox, and other media outlets quoted as saying this was a hoax very early on (before the fakery was exposed).
We, of course, were right.
People should be even more skeptical. While there is no room for blind debunking anymore than there is for blind true believing, good cryptozoology involves heavy doses of skepticism.
Yes, I care.
NAD: What else would you like to add? What are some of your books? Your blogs?
People are welcome to read my more elaborate discussions on many of these topics in my over 30 books, including:
Mysterious America (NY: Paraview Pocket - Simon and Schuster, 2006)
The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines (NY: Paraview Pocket - Simon and Schuster, 2004)
Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature (NY: Simon and Schuster, 1999)
Bigfoot! The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Paraview Pocket - Simon and Schuster, 2003)
The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents, and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep (NY: Tarcher/Penguin, 2003)
Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno, CA: Craven Street-Linden Press, 2002)
Mothman and Other Curious Encounters (NY: Paraview, 2002)
The Unidentified and Creatures of the Other Edge(NY: Anomalist Books, 2006).
The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006)
They can read my words daily on my two blogs:
The Copycat Effect
Good talking to you.
NAD Trivia Question Answer:
None of the above, because:
a. Loren is a near-vegan, and neither hunts, fishes, or eats any kind of meat. He, however, has spent time in a boat on Loch Ness, so apparently this would be the closest answer to reality.
b. Loren only writes nonfiction.
c. He does not wish to go into politics.
d. The nonfiction answer applies here too.
e. What are Bionic Ears? Why sit in the dark?
f. While Loren would enjoy going to the Himalayas, he would be more interested in taking samples of the "yellow snow" to test the urine for DNA, but then also, Loren understands that the Yeti is not to be found in the snows of the area but the montane valleys, so he would not be "knee-depth" in "it."
If you search the archives below, you will find, in a sort of order [last to first], interviews with:
Monty Borror, Sci-Fi artist from Virginia
David Ray, Great American Poet
Jack Blood, radio show host, in Austin, Texas
Danny Schechter, A Real Reporter
Bob Kincaid, host, Head-On Radio Show
Tony Packes, Animal Farm Radio Host, Keeping An Eye on Big Brother
Richard Flamer, Working With the Poor in Chiapas
David Ray Griffin, 9/11 Truth activist author
Barry Crimmins, U.S. comedian, author, social activist
Bret Hayworth, political reporter for the Sioux City [IA] Journal
Lisa Casey, publisher of website All Hat No Cattle
Joe & Elaine Mayer, activist couple in Rochester, Minnesota
Fr. Darrell Rupiper, U.S. priest revolutionary
Whitney Trettien, MIT student, Green Party activist
Meria Heller, radio show host
Phil Hey, professor, poet
John Crawford, book publisher
Steve Moon, Iowa Bigfoot researcher
Carol Brouillet, California social activist, 9/11 Truth
Russell Brutsche, Santa Cruz artist
Kevin Barrett, professor, radio show host, 9/11 Truth activist
A'Jamal Rashad Byndon, social activist in Omaha
Chris Rooney, Vancouver, Canada Catholic Worker, website publisher
Marc Estrin, political novelist, from the left
Peter Dale Scott, poet, professor, author, activist
Anthony Rayson, anarchist zine publisher, works with prisoners
Alice Cherbonnier, editor of The Baltimore Chronicle, an independent newspaper