Interview with a career cryptozoologist

Loren Coleman is founder of the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine and an author of dozens of books about Bigfoot and other strange creatures. Along with the Museum, Loren runs a bookstore of high weirdness in nearby Bangor and plans to move his whole operation there over the next couple of years. Loren is warm, kind, witty, and, like our mutual friend and UFOlogist Jacques Vallee, a "heretic among heretics." From the Maine Mag:

Do you believe in Bigfoot?

I believe in nothing, and I'm open-minded to everything. The evidence that I see: the tracks, the hair samples, the animals that are preyed upon—those are all the physical evidence. I don't get into the paranormal, and I'm more into my philosophical, internal clock or network of taking information in. I don't investigate a Bigfoot report and believe that report. Instead, I accept or deny the evidence. I really am very cautious of the two different ends of the continuum; both can be very confusing to the excluded middle that I occupy. There are people who accept everything: they hear a noise in the woods, and they think it's a flying demon or a dragon or a Thunderbird or a Bigfoot. And on the other end, there are the debunkers, the skeptics with a big S. If someone comes along and says, "that's foolishness," or "those replicas that you have at the museum are toys," it doesn't bother me. I know why I have them: it's to represent what they might look like and ask witnesses, "Is that near to what you saw?" I use them as measuring sticks for people to compare their experience with. I really don't put a lot of energy into arguing with people, and I'm absolutely not evangelical about cryptozoology. Rather, my brain needs to be stimulated and filled with passion, with different stories, with different experiences.