It was another rainy afternoon on Congress Street in Portland. From behind a large first-floor window, an eight foot tall model of Bigfoot watched the traffic roll by from behind a plastic shrub, trying to make sense of his new home – the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland’s Parkside neighborhood.
The museum, which shares space with the Green Hand bookshop, opened with a grand ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Nov. 6. Around 300 people attended the event, which was led by Herb Adams, who represents Portland’s Parkside and Bayside neighborhoods in the Maine House of Representatives. Adams praised both Loren Coleman, the driving force behind the museum, and Michelle Souliere, who runs the book shop, for being part of the revitalization of Parkside. As he handed them official certificates of appreciation from the legislature, he said that entrepreneurs and artists like Coleman and Souliere were playing a vital role in overcoming Parkside’s reputation as a high crime district. He also pointed out that there are few places in the area with such interesting objects. “You have everything you could want here, it’s one stop shopping,” he said with a smile as he gestured toward a tray of what looked like hand crafted paws on key chains that were labeled “Yeti Feet.”
Since the grand opening, there has been a steady flow of people through the museum. Coleman believes this success is indicative of a growing societal acceptance of Cryptozoology, the study and search for “hidden animals” like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster. “In the beginning, interest was small,” he explained, “but then you have things like the ‘X-Files’ using the word Cryptozoology for the first time on TV, and it’s slowly over the years become a subject of interest and a part of our culture.”
Part of that acceptance of Cryptozoology can be attributed to Coleman’s own work. Over the course of his fifty years of research and fieldwork, Coleman has written seventeen books and served as a consultant on television projects for the History Channel and the Travel Channel. He has also worked on a number of movies, including the 2002 Richard Gere film “The Mothman Prophecies,” for which he served as the resident expert on the legends surrounding the real Mothman. …
via Cryptozoology museum opens on Congress Street – Arts and Entertainment.
Congratulations Loren! I hope to visit some day. I’d like to thank you personally for all you’ve done to make life more interesting for us. There is something about searching for hidden truths, dreaming what might be (and finding evidence!) that keeps some of us excited about possibilities.