Richard Greenwell

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J. Richard Greenwell (1942 – November 1, 2005) was a renowned cryptozoologist and explorer. During his lifetime he participated in many expeditions to look for mysterious creatures or cryptids. He served as the secretary for the International Society for Cryptozoology from its inception to his death.


Born in Surrey, England, Greenwell travelled to South America and stayed there for six years. He later travelled to Tucson, Arizona, where he was appointed research coordinator for the Office of Arid Land Studies at the University of Arizona. During the 1970s, he was Assistant Director of the Aerial Phenomena Research Organization (APRO) in Tucson.[1]

Cryptozoology and expeditions[edit]

In 1982, Greenwell, after a discussion with Roy Mackal, helped to found the International Society for Cryptozoology. With funding from the society, he was able to travel the planet searching for elusive creatures such as Bigfoot, the Onza, and Mokele-mbembe. He also journeyed to China along with the anthropologist Frank Poirier to try to discover the Yeren, a Chinese version of the Bigfoot. All of the expeditions, while unsuccessful, helped to keep awareness of mysterious creatures alive.

Later life[edit]

Greenwell, until his death, continued in the search for cryptids. He wrote a column for BBC Wildlife Magazine for several years. He also appeared as a paid consultant on various documentaries covering the subject of cryptozoology. He lectured at many universities and museums, discussing his experiences. For the last several years of his life, Greenwell was a research associate at the International Wildlife Museum in Tucson, where he also ran the International Society for Cryptozoology. Greenwell participated on his last expedition in August 2005, searching for scientific proof of Bigfoot in the North Californian wilderness, even though he was in the last stages of cancer. He died on the evening of November 1, 2005, in Tucson, Arizona.


Greenwell is commemorated in the scientific name of a species of Nigerian snake in the family Leptotyphlopidae, Tricheilostoma greenwelli.[2][3]


  1. ^ "The A.P.R.O. Bulletin" (PDF). Aerial Phenomena Research Organization. Retrieved December 30, 2012.
  2. ^ Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2011). The Eponym Dictionary of Reptiles. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press. xiii + 296 pp. ISBN 978-1-4214-0135-5. ("Greenwell", p. 107).
  3. ^ "Tricheilostoma greenwelli ". The Reptile Database.