Big Foot Forever (BFF): Return to the International Cryptozoology Museum

June 2, 2013 – I’ve never seen a cryptid. But I’ve seen a cryptid museum twice. The first time I visited Loren Coleman’s International Cryptozoology Museum was to write about it for The New England Grimpendium. The museum had just opened to the public about six months before in a small space behind the Green Hand Bookstore.

It was a good time and gave me the opportunity to say, "I've met that guy!" every time Coleman popped up on one of those cable documentaries about mysterious and unexplained creatures. So I get to say that a lot.

Worth the admission fee just to have this piece of art in your collection.

Then, just about a year or so after the publication of the book, Coleman moved his collection into a bigger space, one that better fits the dimensions of his pet Sasquatches. It’s still technically behind the Green Hand bookstore, and its blue coelacanth sign is still painted in the window there, but now you have to go around the corner of the building to the museum’s entrance.

I’d always been meaning to check the place in its new digs, and a couple of weekends back finally got the chance. The new space is six times as big as the original one and features an open multi-purpose area, but its signature pieces still reign: the massive Crookston Bigfoot, a large pteranodon prop from the show FreakyLinks, a three-foot-tall FeeJee mermaid from the 1999 A&E production on P.T. Barnum. Plus it looks like Coleman’s taking advantage of his ability to stretch out a bit more by adding plenty of new pop culture and art pieces. The phrase I used in the book was “pretty cool stuff.” Still applies. Possibly more so.

This time, Coleman wasn’t around, but a new friend named Dan was manning the monsters. He told me stories of his visits to strange places, pretended to know about OTIS, took a photo of my family with Bigfoot (he’s the one in the back), and showed me an exhibit he was working on about a Maine legend involving a winged moose. The kind of conversation that if they were more frequent would make me more into talking to people.

I’ve already posted a series of photos from the ICM before on the site, but I thought I’d top it off with a few more from the new space.

It’s the kind of place that I’d hang out at all the time if I lived in Portland, treating the small entrance fee as a mere cover charge. And it’ll always be the official fan headquarters of Bigfoot for me.

Spent a good 20 minutes trying to write a joke involving the bigger space, square feet, and Bigfoot prints,
but it never really gelled. 

This is plain awesome.

Going to the ICM is probably the closest I get to chasing monsters in the wild,
but I have been to the spot where the Dover Demon legend started.

Goddamn majestic, the Sasquatch is.

The museum has moved again. These days, you can find it at 4 Thompsons Point #106 in Portland.