(Continued from Sunday 9-21-14) We no sooner entered The International Cryptozoology Museum when David started photographing every inch of it. Thank the Universe for digital cameras because there was so much to see that it soon became obvious this was one attraction warranting multiple visits. What amazed me was how they were able to display so many interesting objects of varying shapes and sizes while still managing to have it all relatively organized. I didn’t see the need for us both taking a million pictures so I decided to leave that endeavor to him while I chatted with Sarah and made my way around the building.
Not surprisingly, Bigfoot and his various incarnations (like his winterized cousin, The Yeti) received lots of space. Sarah mentioned how interesting it is that eyewitness reports are often similar and a sign of the times. For example, the full-size replica David and I posed with (seen at the top of the last entry) was created after the release of Harry and the Hendersons in 1987. As the title monster sported something of a beard (lighter shade of hair than the rest of its body), it started being more common for people to report the same feature in their retellings.
Of the many notable Bigfoot casts and items. the most noteworthy to me was one of the original Patterson documentary prints. For younger folks who may be unfamiliar, here’s a clip of what I’m talking about…
The first time I saw this footage was back in 1977 when I was six years old. Back then there was a weekly TV series called “In Search of…” that was hosted by Leonard Nimoy and dedicated each episode to the unknown. I remember every time it would come on I’d stop whatever I was doing and stare transfixed at the television set. It would often prove masochistic on my part as, nine out of ten times, the subject matter would scare the crap out of me (especially the one on Amityville Horror). The Bigfoot episode would prove no different as I’d already been roped in via a “re-enactment” of campers being “attacked” by rogue sasquatch. Whatever wits I still had about me were soon shattered after they showed this famous film reel along with an “expert” claiming its authenticity.
There I stood in our shag-carpeted living room, my mouth agape, staring at the grainy yet “absolutely real” footage of a monster running through the woods. Later, that same year, my fear of the creature would become more sympathetic via its guest appearance on The Six Million Dollar Man.
Here are some more great Bigfoot items featured at the International Cryptozoology Museum!
The Mothman also had his own section (though we’re not quite sure how Mothra ended up there). This creature has its own museum in West Virginia and our friend, Brian Maze, covered it for this site HERE.
I didn’t notice in Brian’s post if the Mothman Museum paid tribute to its first victim but this one sure did!
One monster I enjoyed watching in a movie but had no idea was based on actual lore was Katahdin. This tale was featured in the film PROPHECY (which I covered HERE) that featured a patchwork monster (created by the pollution of a local lumber factory) which the local Indians believed was a mythical beast trying to protect their forest. Ironically, the night before at the hotel I was fetching some ice for us when I saw a painting on the wall depicting a beautiful mountain landscape titled, “Mount Katahdin.” As soon as I got back to the room I mentioned it to David and then it dawned on us that we were in Maine where the movie had taken place.
Sarah showed us a figure of the beast (we didn’t get a good shot if it) created by one of the museums volunteers that depicted a moose with wings and other animal parts. In the movie, PROPHECY, their Katahdin was also an assemblage of animals but more bear-like. Then again, that Katahdin was less a spiritual being as it was a man-made abomination. Then we checked out some of the items they had for sale.
We both bought T-shirts (mine designed by Sarah herself) and thanked her for her time.
We checked out a nearby comic shop (a really great one, I might add) and later dined on fresh lobster at an amazing boat-restaurant called DiMillo’s. The next day we headed back towards Providence and stared out into the Maine woods one last time before entering New Hampshire. We caught the site of some wild turkeys but still no luck spotting moose or bear. Then again, if I am to be completely honest, I think what we were really hoping to see was something much harrier and walking on two legs instead of four.
Coming up…Even more pictures from The International Cryptozoology Museum!
Photos: David Albaugh and Dave Fuentes