Monday, April 20, 2009
Profile: Cryptozoologist Loren Coleman
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines "cryptozoology" as "the study of and search for animals and especially legendary animals usually in order to evaluate the possibility of their existence". In average dumb-guy terms: They are scientists who look for Bigfoot and dinosaurs and the like. But Loren Coleman likes to call it something else: Kicking ass and taking names.
Loren Coleman has been described as a lot of things. Hunky. A dreamboat with the piercing glare of Medusa, but instead of stone you turn into butter. The Michael Jordan of cryptozoologists if Michael Jordan were more talented and successful. All of these things are true. But who is the real Loren Coleman? Who is the Harrison Ford to his Indiana Jones?
I set out to crack this prehistoric nut at the Beyond Reality/TAPS Mt. Washington event this weekend. While approaching Loren, I was sidetracked by a flock of young girls in a Beatle-esque mania ambling to get their cryptozoology books signed. Several times I heard "OMG, I can't believe it's him!" and "Who do you think is hotter? Burt Freebish or L.C.?" (The kids call him L.C. And of course it's L.C.!) I finally worked my way to the front of the line and administered my Q&A.
Name: Loren Coleman
Favorite monster: The yeti. Or the Dover Demon. (According to Loren, he was instrumental in bringing the Dover Demon case to light decades ago. I have no reason to doubt this statement, but I am almost 100% certain that he likes the yeti more. There is nary a moment when he can't be found clutching his two-foot Sasquatch statue as if it is filled with leprechaun gold. He says that it's a good ice-breaker for when he's selling books. I think it comes to life and dances with him when nobody is around, a la the movie Manequinn. Or Manequinn Two: On The Move.)
Which monster is the biggest jerk?: The New Jersey Devil. He can be blamed for anything from spoiled milk to a flat tire. (I'm beginning to notice that a good portion of mythological creatures sound like the names of hockey teams. "Hey, did you hear the frickin' Dover Demons beat the New Jersey Devils?" "Yeah, but they ain't gettin' past the Charleston Mothmen!")
Why was Teen Wolf so good at basketball?: He had a spring in his step.
Who would win in a fight: Loren Coleman or The Loch Ness Monster?: (Long pause followed by a cough and an expectant look in the eyes.)
Oh, I'm sorry. Who would win in a fight: L.C. or The Loch Ness Monster?: The Loch Ness Monster is a very powerful animal and isn't as intelligent as me. (Honestly, I've stared at this answer on paper for about 45 minutes and can't figure out what the hell it means. Maybe it means that he would be overpowered by Nessie in a physical battle, but could own him at Scrabble?)
At this point, something completely unexpected happened. The hunter became the hunted. The S.O.B. started asking ME questions!
L.C.: Are you auditioning for the part of Melonhead in the upcoming cryptozoology movie?
ME: What? What's the name of that movie?
ME: You rat bastard!
A small squabble ensued where I tried to run off with L.C.'s two-foot Sasquatch. His eyes turned red like a chupacabra's and he clasped on for dear life with the strength of a Jane Goodall chimp. Years of wrestling Loch Ness Monsters finally paid off, because he bested me. You've won this battle, Loren Coleman. But not the war!
Mike Brody: 0
(Photo by Caleb Cone-Coleman)
Loren Coleman has many books on subjects from Bigfoot to the Mothman to The Copycat Effect and more. For more information go to http://www.lorencoleman.com/