Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Ay, caramba! Cryptids!

Loren Coleman spoke up alongside some of New England's other premier cryptozoologists in the latest issue of the Portland and Boston Phoenix, part of an in-depth article about cryptids and their popularity in New England. The article includes a link to the "Cryptids in Maine" photo gallery that accompanies the story.
Coleman approaches each supposed sighting with healthy skepticism. Fully cognizant that pop culture influences cryptozoology — and vice versa — he always checks to see what's playing at local movie theaters before attempting to verify each cryptid report.

In fact, he says, "when I go talk to a Bigfoot crowd, the first sentence I say is, 'I do not believe in Bigfoot.' I accept or deny evidence. You true believers over here, you're very interesting, but that's not me. You skeptics and debunkers, that's interesting, too. But I really am the open-minded person in the middle.

"I've done a lot of screening, and excluded 80 percent of [the evidence] as misidentifications, hoaxes, or mundane. But there's still that 20 percent of what I feel is unknown. There's a lot of mysteries out there, and this one may interest you. Here's the data. You decide."

[Source]
The unknown is really the crux of the cryptid world. It is the thought that perhaps there is something that we haven't seen before that keeps us all looking.

Please feel free to check out my own photos from the Cryptozoology exhibit from a few years back, where portions of Coleman's International Museum of Cryptozoology were shown, as well as wonders and marvels from all over the world.

Illustration by Michelle Souliere.

3 comments:

finalrune said...

Thanks for writing about that article, Michelle -- I loved it! I feel that Bigfoot is a little tired out but Coleman went into such depth and really explored other, alternative cryptids for us who prefer to be off the mainstream.

Certainly some great material for radio drama here -- what beast would YOU want to most encounter in a spooky story set in the Maine woods?

Best,
Fred

Radio Drama Revival
FinalRune Productions
@finalrune

Michelle said...

Hey Fred! How's it going? Yes, the crytid world has certainly been flooded with press exposure over the last year or so. Focus tends to linger on Bigfoot and the Mystery Beast, but they're not alone. The shadows of the cryptid world are filled with fantastic beasts! Thank heavens.

I think it would make a great radio drama. Nighttime... the woods... so atmospheric to begin with! I think the Loup-Garou is a great Maine staple that I haven't heard enough about, but there are others more obscure that it would be great to run into in an audio landscape... :)

Anonymous said...

I'd like to relay a story which happened some 38 years ago in Lincolnville, Maine...a memory still vividly (and somewhat hauntingly) etched in my mind. It was about 11:00PM just east of Coleman Pond, and I was spending the month of July at a friends camp along the shores of this small, beautiful lake. We decided to take 2 local sisters out for a moonlight walk through fields abutting farmlands, hoping to impress the local lovlies with our fearlessness in the dark woods.

While walking a treeline, my friend Ronnie picked up some small rocks and tossed them towards the trees, saying he would spook the "timberdoodles" (woodcocks) into scurrying about. We tossed the pebbles for a few minutes, listening to the rustling of the birds, when I decided to pick up and throw a much larger, hand-sized rock, declaring, "this will wake them up!" I heaved the projectile towards the trees and listened for some sound of movement. As the rock impacted, we heard a strange "thud", knowing the rock did not strike wood. Immediately, we heard a blood curdling, ungodly wail, a sound I will never forget! Loud, heavy crashing noises careened through the brush toward our direction, freezing all 4 of us in our tracks with fear, unable to process or comprehend what was unfolding before us.

Loud, angry "huffs", grunts, and guttural noises rang through the darkness as thunderous steps drew closer. Paralyzed with fear, we slowly moved off the animal trail we were following toward the trees, hoping they would offer some sort of protection. As we crouched silently, the crashing footsteps and other-worldly noises stopped what we estimated to be less than 50 feet from where we were, and the only sound to be heard was extremely heavy, angry breathing.

We sat transfixed for a moment, finally hearing lumbering steps slowly retreat into the darkness...it seemed like an eternity before we could muster the courage to compose ourselves and quickly retreat out to the only street light on the road. We walked back to the girls camp in silence, saw them to the door, and then jogged about 3/4 mile back to our camp.

In the morning, we retold our tale at tt the breakfast table, with my friends father stating we had a crazy run-in with a moose, even though it is not common to see moose in the Lincolnville area. A few days later, we retold our tale to a local farmer who told us we had an encounter with "Khatadin"...a beast he described as what my 13 year old mind envisioned as "Sasquatch"

In summation, whether we had a close call with an angry moose, or witnessed something truly unexplained, I am only sure of three things: I have NEVER heard such ungodly wailing before or since in my 53 years (and hope NEVER again to!), This encounter will stay with me for all my day, and finally, We never saw the Englehardt sisters again!