The Boston Globe toured my friend Loren Coleman's International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine. It's one of my favorite museums in the world which I've never had the opportunity to visit. From the Boston Globe:
Coleman likes to start his tour for crypto-newbies with the display case of “Animals of Discovery.’’ These are the legends that came true, like the giant squid of antiquity confirmed in 1865, according to a newspaper account. Or the mountain gorilla, which was so reclusive that it was not identified by European science until 1902. Coleman is taken with the okapi, a living fossil long reported by Pygmies in the Congo but not confirmed until 1901. Despite its stripes and vague resemblance to a zebra, the okapi is essentially a proto-giraffe. Even the popular giant panda was virtually unknown in the West until socialite Ruth Harkness brought one back from China in 1936..."Putting cryptozoology on display to the world"
(Coleman) readily acknowledges the prevalence of hoaxes in cryptozoology, relating his own part in uncovering fake Bigfoot prints left around Northern California. “See the squared-off toe?’’ he says, showing a cast. “That’s diagnostic of a Ray Wallace hoax. There were hundreds of them.’’
The trick is to tell the serious from the hoax, and Coleman believes his background in social work helps. “I analyze the people involved in sightings,’’ he admits. “It’s all part of the investigation...’’
Coleman honestly doubts that many cryptids will be proven real, though he would love to see better evidence for the Yeti “because that was my initial love.’’