(logo courtesy of Loren Coleman, www.cryptomundo.com)
Local cryptozoologist Loren Coleman has an impressive collection that includes life-sized Bigfoot replicas, lake monster models, and a Coelacanth, among many other curiosities. These objects had been crowding his living room (BoingBoing wrote about a visit to his home two years ago), where he'd offered private tours of the collection by appointment. The new museum space on Congress Street, in the middle of the city, will give his exhibits a more prominent, public display.
Coleman, the museum's founder, also blogs about cryptozoology at the website www.cryptomundo.com. A blog post announcing the new museum was published two weeks ago:
The mission of the museum is to share the many items I have collected during the last half a century, with tourists, teachers, researchers, scholars, colleagues, students, documentary filmmakers, news people and the general public...The museum is also looking for donors: "For any patron who wishes to send in a donation of $1000 (one thousand dollars) or more, I shall be sending to you ~ anywhere in the world ~ a first generation copy of an Orang Pendek footcast," writes Coleman. If you're interested, follow this link.
[the collection includes] hundreds of cryptids toys and souvenirs from around the world, one-of-a-kind artifacts, a life-size 8 feet tall Bigfoot representation, a full-scale six-foot-long coelacanth model, over a hundred Bigfoot-Yeti-Yowie footcasts, jackalopes, furred trout, along with such Hollywood cryptid-related props as The Mothman Prophecies’ Point Pleasant “police” outfit, the movie P. T. Barnum’s authentic 3.5 feet tall Feejee Mermaid, the TV series Freakylinks‘ 11 ft long “Mystery Civil War Pterodactyl,” and some of the movie Magnolia’s falling frogs.
Coleman at his home, which he had been sharing with the museum's collections. Photo by Amber Waterman of the Lewiston Sun-Journal.
Coleman seems aware that his field is substantially influenced by pop-culture silliness, and to his credit he seems OK with that.
But cryptozoology is really interested in making new zoological discoveries, and there's still plenty we don't know about the world's biological diversity. A recent post on Coleman's blog heralds the official scientific description of a new deepwater species of ghostshark, and the museum's logo (above) features a Coelacanth, a species known only from prehistoric fossils, and believed to be extinct, until fishermen caught a live specimen off the South African coast.
If modern science can discover a living fossil, who's to say it won't someday discover the real Abominable Snowman?