In my previous blog, I wrote about the genesis of the idea of opening the North American Bigfoot Center. The idea’s seed was planted by David Bakara of Expedition Bigfoot, but that seed was germinated in very fertile ground. I had long been admiring the brave souls who turned their passion into their livelihood and presented that love to the world.
Expedition Bigfoot was not the first bigfoot museum I had visited. I had been to others before, and the one that had the greatest impact on me was Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum. I admired Loren for having realized his vision of opening such a facility, but never thought I’d be in the position to pull something like that off. After all, Loren Coleman has been researching bigfoot and other cryptids for longer than I’ve been alive. He is a prolific author and has corresponded with all the greats. In fact, he has personally known almost every bigfooter in the last 70 years that has had an impact on the subject. It makes perfect sense that someone like that would open a museum dedicated to the subject he loves.
Founded in 2003, the International Cryptozoology Museum is the world’s only nonprofit cryptozoology museum and houses a startling number of artifacts spanning decades of crypto-research from Loren’s own collection. Original artifacts, life-sized replicas, and historical evidence adorn every square foot of the facility.
Surely, a museum like the ICM would be out of my reach. I just didn’t have the sheer number of artifacts that someone with Loren’s history in the subject would have.
What I didn’t understand at the time, but do now, is that I may not have the treasure trove of artifacts that someone like Loren has, but I do have the support and friendship of Loren and others in the community. I have found their support and encouragement to be even more useful than having physical artifacts. Loren has encouraged me to use my own voice and experiences to fill the NABC, and this is a humbling thing for me. After all, I’ve admired the work and influence of the previous generation of bigfooters much longer than I have been on anybody’s bigfoot-radar. We all stand on the shoulders of someone, and Loren has every right to say his shoulders are sore under my weight.
The ICM is fantastic, and probably couldn’t be duplicated by anyone else alive today. Expedition Bigfoot has its own take on a similar theme. The Willow Creek Museum has their own voice, just like every other museum has. We at the North American Bigfoot Center believe that, just as every person has its own personality, each museum should have its own voice, role, and feel. With that in mind, the NABC proceeds forward to find our own voice that will augment, but not compete, with our sister-museums around the world. We fully acknowledge that our dream and vision could not be accomplished without standing on the shoulders of those who came before us. We look forward to our opening this spring and taking our place with the other fantastic museums that support our favorite subject, and the community of people that stand alongside it. We owe thanks to the greats upon whose shoulders we stand.