Loren Coleman

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Loren Coleman
Born (1947-07-12) July 12, 1947 (age 75)
Norfolk, Virginia, United States
SubjectCryptozoology, Forteana, folklore, psychology
Years active1960–present
Notable worksMysterious America
The Copycat Effect

Loren Coleman (born July 12, 1947) is an American cryptozoologist who has written over 40 books on a number of topics, including the pseudoscience and subculture of cryptozoology.[1]

Early life[edit]

Coleman was born in Norfolk, Virginia, and grew up in Decatur, Illinois.[2] He was the oldest of four children.[2] His father was a firefighter and his mother a homemaker.[2] He graduated in 1965 from MacArthur High School.[3] He studied anthropology and zoology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale,[4] and psychiatric social work at the Simmons College School of Social Work in Boston.[citation needed] He did further studies in doctoral-level anthropology at Brandeis University and sociology at the University of New Hampshire.[citation needed] Coleman taught at New England universities[which?] from 1980 to 2004, having also been a senior researcher at the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Policy from 1983 to 1996,[citation needed] before retiring from teaching to write, lecture, and consult.


Coleman writes on popular culture, animal mysteries, folklore, and cryptozoology. An editor of the Skeptical Inquirer said, "among monster hunters, Loren's one of the more reputable, but I'm not convinced that what cryptozoologists seek is actually out there."[2] He has appeared on television and radio interviews about cryptids.[5] He has written articles and books on cryptozoology and other Fortean topics.[4]

Coleman has carried out fieldwork throughout North America regarding sightings, trace evidence, and Native peoples' traditions of Sasquatch and other possible cryptids. He has written on Yeti and Bigfoot expedition sponsor Tom Slick[6] and appeared on NPR discussing the death of Grover Krantz.[7]

Paraview Press introduced a series of books, "Loren Coleman Presents" in 2004.[8] Coleman wrote introductions to volumes in the series.

Coleman contributed to the exhibition "Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale," shown at Bates College Museum of Art (June 24 - October 8, 2006) and at the H & R Block Artspace at the Kansas City Art Institute (October 28 - December 20, 2006).[citation needed] Coleman is also a contributor/coauthor of the 2006 Bates exhibition catalogue and book, Cryptozoology: Out of Time Place Scale.[9] He also wrote the essay "Cryptids" for Alexis Rockman.[citation needed]

International Cryptozoology Museum[edit]

Coleman established a Cryptozoology Museum in 2003 in Portland, Maine.[4][10] The first downtown location for the museum opened in November 2009, occupying the rear of The Green Hand Bookshop, a Portland general used bookshop specializing in science fiction, fantasy, and other forms of Gothic fiction.[11] On October 30, 2011, two years after moving onto Congress Street, it re-opened in a much larger space around the corner at 11 Avon Street, although it was still located in the Trelawny Building.[12] The museum then moved again in the summer of 2016, opening in July on Thompson's Point, where it resides now.[13]

Artwork by University of Southern Maine students - Coleman's former workplace - were installed in 2019.[14]


Justin Mullis criticized Coleman's assumption about a 1955 incident in which an Indiana woman was pulled underwater by something she did not see. Coleman claimed it was caused by a half human, half fish creature called a "merbeing". Mullis pointed to Coleman's reference to The Creature from the Black Lagoon as an example of "how cryptozoologists think about science fiction and its relationship to the natural world".[15]

"Coleman has clearly used a scene from the film to prematurely solve an unexplained event, ignoring more plausible explanations, such as the possibility that Mrs. Johnson was attacked by a large fish or turtle or caught her leg on a submerged log. He also ignores the fact that Johnson’s story appeared at the same time the Black Lagoon trilogy of films was being released in theaters."[15]

Science writer Sharon A. Hill disagrees[16] with Coleman's assertions that cryptozoology is "scientific and skeptically minded".[17] Hill criticized Coleman's Cryptomundo website, saying that members "show blatant disdain for scientists and investigators critical of their claims".[16]

In reviewing a book by Grover Krantz, Skeptical Inquirer editor Robert Boston said of Coleman and Jerome Clark's book Creatures of the Outer Edge, "Clark and Coleman are every bit as gullible as Krantz, but at least they know how to spin a monster yarn so that the reader gets an occasional chill".[18]

The Copycat Effect[edit]

Coleman has a master's degree in psychiatric social work and was a consultant for the Maine Youth Suicide Program[2] for nearly a decade. He authored several manuals and trained over 40,000 professionals and paraprofessionals statewide.[citation needed] A specific concern continues to be cases of murder-suicide among the young as well as the possibility of clusters (e.g., teen suicides, school shootings, workplace violence, and domestic terrorism) and the influence of media coverage,[19] leading to his writing the books Suicide Clusters[20] and The Copycat Effect.[21][22] He has been called on for statements in the aftermath of school shootings and how best to respond to the problem, mostly by the Canadian media.[23][24][25]


  • The Field Guide to Bigfoot and Other Mystery Primates (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006, ISBN 1-933665-12-2)
  • The Unidentified & Creatures of the Outer Edge: The Early Works of Jerome Clark and Loren Coleman (NY: Anomalist Books, 2006, ISBN 1-933665-11-4)
  • Weird Ohio with James Willis and Andrew Henderson (New York: Barnes and Noble, 2005, ISBN 1-4027-3382-8)
  • The Copycat Effect (New York: Paraview Pocket-Simon & Schuster, 2004, ISBN 0-7434-8223-9)
  • The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Other Mystery Denizens of the Deep with Patrick Huyghe (NY: Tarcher-Penguin, 2003, ISBN 1-58542-252-5)
  • BIGFOOT!: The True Story of Apes in America (NY: Paraview Pocket-Simon & Schuster, 2003, ISBN 0-7434-6975-5)
  • Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno: Craven Street/Linden Press, 2002, ISBN 0-941936-74-0)
  • Mothman and Other Curious Encounters (NY: Paraview, 2002, ISBN 1-931044-34-1)
  • Mysterious America: The Revised Edition (NY: Paraview, 2001, ISBN 1-931044-05-8)HB 2004 (ISBN 1-931044-84-8).
  • Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature with Jerome Clark (NY: Simon & Schuster, 1999, ISBN 0-684-85602-6)
  • The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide with Patrick Huyghe (NY: HarperCollins, 1999, ISBN 0-380-80263-5)
  • Suicide Clusters (Faber & Faber, 1987, ISBN 9780571129836)


  1. ^ Brenner, Laurie. (2018). "Cryptozoology: The Pseudo-Science of Mythical Creatures" Archived 2018-09-19 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 13 September 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e "On Bigfoot's Trail". The Boston Globe. 26 February 2006. Archived from the original on 16 June 2009. Retrieved 20 February 2009.
  3. ^ "Tracking what's hidden". Decatur Herald & Review. January 31, 1999. Archived from the original on December 24, 2018. Retrieved August 2, 2014.
  4. ^ a b c Shepherd, Marleen (26 October 2005). "Renowned cryptozoologist got his start at SIUC". The Southern Illinoisan. Archived from the original on 13 June 2018. Retrieved 3 August 2014.
  5. ^ "Loren Coleman". IMDb. Archived from the original on 2021-03-04. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  6. ^ Coleman, Loren (2002). Tom Slick : true life encounters in cryptozoology. Fresno, Calif.: Craven Street Books. ISBN 0-941936-74-0. OCLC 49711914. Archived from the original on 2021-07-05. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  7. ^ "Bigfoot Researcher Obit". npr.org. NPR. 18 February 2002. Archived from the original on 2 September 2017. Retrieved 2 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Loren Coleman Presents Series | Cosimo's Collections & Series". cosimobooks.com. Archived from the original on 2020-07-26. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  9. ^ Cryptozoology : out of time place scale. Mark Bessire, Raechell Smith, Blake Almstead, Lukas Bertus, Michelle Trudo, Bates College. Museum of Art. Lewiston, Me.: Bates College Museum of Art. 2006. ISBN 3-905770-07-5. OCLC 82739367. Archived from the original on 2021-07-05. Retrieved 2021-07-05.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: others (link)
  10. ^ "Hideous Objects Become Museum Art". ABC News. 9 September 2003. Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  11. ^ "The Green Hand reaches toward mystery". Portland Daily Sun. 22 September 2009. Archived from the original on 9 November 2013.
  12. ^ "Crypto museum opens in new location". WLBZ. 30 October 2011. Archived from the original on 6 November 2015.
  13. ^ "Plan Your Visit | International Cryptozoology Museum". International Cryptozoology Museum | Portland, ME. 2020-09-28. Archived from the original on 2020-11-26. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  14. ^ "Artwork by USM students permanently installed at the International Cryptozoology Museum | Office of Public Affairs | University of Southern Maine". usm.maine.edu. Archived from the original on 2019-06-11. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  15. ^ a b Mullis, Justin (18 February 2019). "18 Cryptofiction! Science fiction and the rise of cryptozoology". In Caterine, Darryl; Morehead, John W. (eds.). The Paranormal and Popular Culture: A Postmodern Religious Landscape. Taylor & Francis. p. 248. ISBN 978-1-351-73181-2. Archived from the original on 20 September 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  16. ^ a b Hill, Sharon A. (23 May 2012). "Cryptozoology and Pseudoscience". Skeptical Inquirer. 21 (3). Archived from the original on 27 June 2020. Retrieved 27 June 2020.
  17. ^ Coleman, Loren (21 May 2011). "Boing Boing Drops Pseudoscience Bomb On Cryptozoology". CryptoMundo. Archived from the original on 24 May 2011.
  18. ^ Boston, Robert (Fall 1994). "Is Bigfoot an Endangered Species?" (PDF). Skeptical Inquirer. 18 (5): 531. Archived (PDF) from the original on 30 June 2020. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
  19. ^ "Expert predicted 'cluster' of school shootings". CTV. Archived from the original on 2009-06-17. Retrieved 2009-02-20.
  20. ^ Coleman, Loren (1987). Suicide clusters. Boston: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-12983-8. OCLC 14718186. Archived from the original on 2021-07-05. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  21. ^ Coleman, Loren (2004). The copycat effect : how the media and popular culture trigger the mayhem in tomorrow's headlines (1st ed.). New York: Paraview Pocket Books. ISBN 0-7434-8223-9. OCLC 55146568. Archived from the original on 2021-07-05. Retrieved 2021-07-05.
  22. ^ "Cycles of news and violence", The Boston Globe, 14 November 2004, archived from the original on 16 June 2009, retrieved 20 February 2009
  23. ^ "Empty threats and real killings tend to follow U.S. shooting sprees, experts". International Herald Tribune. 20 April 2007.
  24. ^ "Need-to-know vs. sensationalism". Toronto Star. 20 April 2007. Archived from the original on 18 June 2009. Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  25. ^ "Colleges confront shootings with survival training". The Guardian. 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 5 July 2021. Retrieved 17 December 2016.

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