Posted by: Loren Coleman on October 28th, 2010
Strange creatures inspire curiosity at Cryptozoology Museum
Mike Kmack, Producer
PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Curiosity about the strange creatures at the International Cryptozoology Museum always runs high during the Halloween season.
The museum’s founder and director is Loren Coleman. He has spent 50 years investigating Bigfoot and other animals that defy scientific explanation. He calls those animals “cryptids.”
News Center’s Lee Nelson recently got a tour of the museum from Coleman.
The entrance is dominated by a huge Bigfoot replica. It stands 8 feet tall and weighs 400 pounds. It was made by a Wisconsin taxidermist using muskox hides. Coleman said the replica was specially designed from the description of witnesses.
Some of the other Bigfoot paraphernalia on display includes casts of footprints, hair samples and a copy of the famous Patterson-Gimlin film that purports to show a female Bigfoot in the wild.
The museum has a section devoted to black panthers. Although their existence has never been proven in North America, Coleman said people all across the U.S. have reported seeing them, making them the number one most frequently sighted cryptid.
The museum’s logo is a prehistoric fish called the coelacanth. It was thought to be extinct until a colony was discovered in 1938 in the waters around Madagascar. Coleman said the coelacanth is proof that establed scientific concensus can sometimes be wrong.
Coleman is opening the museum free of charge to the public on Halloween from noon to 5 p.m. Visitors who come dressed as Bigfoot or any other cryptid will also get a free book.
Lee Nelson joined NBC’s Channel Six News Center in 1990 as anchor of The Morning Report.
Lee’s first TV job was as a page at NBC in New York. He gave studio tours and helped seat the audience for The Cosby Show, Late Night With David Letterman, Donahue and Saturday Night Live. Lee’s first on-air job was an WDAM-TV in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He says it was the only station in the entire country that dared to hire him.
Lee hosts some of NEWS CENTER’S highest profile public service campaigns… such as “Teens Who Care”, “Coats For Kids”, the “Feed Me Food Drive” and “Alive And Well”. He also hosts the annual Maine Business Hall Of Fame Awards which are put on every year by Junior Achievement, and he appears at countless charity events in the Greater Portland area.
Over the years, Lee has received several broadcasting awards, including a national award from the EPA in 1992 for his environmental reporting. In 2006, Lee starting writing a daily blog.
Lee’s father (also named Lee Nelson) was the first anchorman in Maine ever to do a live TV newscast. He worked for WABI in Bangor in the early 1950s.
Lee lives in Portland with his wife Cindy Williams, the evening anchor here at NEWS CENTER. They have two boys, Xander and Noah. When Lee’s not working, he spends his time working out, playing basketball and football, doing karate, reading, and rooting for the Patriots, Celtics and Sox.