Response to Cryptomundo from Ms. Idoubtit

I will attempt to post this response to Cryptomundo later today regarding Loren Coleman’s commentary on my previous blog post. We shall see if it appears uncensored:

Mr. Coleman: I’m disappointed in your response to my post but I thank you for paying it some attention.

I understand that you have taken personally my thoughts about the ICM. It is your collection which is meaningful to you and many others. I don’t doubt that it has value to our culture as do all large collections. I’m a big advocate of museums as a means to show visitors the huge variety of natural and cultural things in the world and to satisfy curiosity. Thus, I put the ICM in the category of “American history” rather than “natural history”. You are correct in that I don’t think there is enough quality evidence to bring this field into the realm of zoological study.

I don’t appreciate the concocted story of my imagined trip to museums just as I don’t appreciate the guessing about an unknown animal’s behavior and physiology based on a questionable footprint or photograph. As cryptozoologists can read too much into the trace evidence of cryptids, you have focused on one bit of my piece and speculated on it. The mention of your museum was one five-sentence paragraph among over a thousand words. In no place did I say it was fake or worthless. It’s a real reach to say that I intended to “collapse the infrastructure of your museum”.

I would definitely visit the museum if I was in the vicinity (I have never been to Maine) because I, too, LOVE representations of cryptids. I have, since I learned how to read, relished the stories and ideas that these creatures are genuine. I’m familiar with the evidence that exists for cryptids, yet I am not impressed. I have concluded for this moment in time that cryptids are not as they are described. I’d delight in evidence to suggest otherwise, but the bar is set very high. The claims become more extraordinary every day that passes and nothing is found. Prints and artifacts won’t make an impact.

My blog piece was my way of looking back at the decade that I thought was fun and interesting. You didn’t talk about any of the rest of the post! Do you disagree with the interpretation of the other events regarding the various crytpids I spoke of? Is there more to these stories that I missed? What about the big picture thoughts about the community? My hope was that readers might contribute follow-ups to the stories that seemed to just fade away or talk about the way investigation groups contributed to the field. You obviously did not like what I said and how I said it. I can not see where I was either unfriendly or unstable as you suggest.

The Doubtful blog has been active since December 2006 during which time I chose not to attach my name directly to it. That’s a really common security practice. However, those who have contacted or connect to me through social sites know my name and much about my personal life. It does not follow that everything that is not obvious is deliberately hidden. I’m not out for money, Mr. Coleman, and I’m not out to heckle, but will call things as I see them with good reasons. I’ve studied both sides (and multiple angles) of the topic and feel qualified enough to speak about it.

Other cryptozoology related posts from this author.

UPDATE: Because this reply is long, I posted it as a link to Cryptomundo. Loren replied: “You have the option, like everyone else, to submit a comment to the specific blog.  However, the exchange for the blog at Cryptomundo will occur at Cryptomundo, not through a link, thank you.” I decided to not to submit it as a comment because I do not trust Cryptomundo to post it uncensored or even to post it all except to continue the traffic. I don’t really want to increase their traffic so I won’t post it. However, based on the response, and from outside sources, I’m inclined to think that their hits have generally decreased by excluding all critical commentators and by posting lots of fluff stories. However, an occasional Boing Boing reference and their dedicated fan base sustains them, I’m sure. It’s really sad that there is no good place to go for open discussion. For news, I enjoy Still on the Track. They are rather pleasant there.

About idoubtit

Fluent in science, animals, paranormal culture. Expert in weird news. Doubtfulnews.com SpookyGeology.com

0 thoughts on “Response to Cryptomundo from Ms. Idoubtit

  1. Please allow me to echo your thoughts regarding Loren Coleman and Cryptomundo. On the web, Coleman has always struck me as being somewhat thin-skinned and prone to censorship. His site – now sold – lost me years back because of this. His ‘my way or the highway’ approach is off-putting. Like you, ‘Still on the Track’ is much better and lacks the self-importance which Coleman apparently requires. Thanks for your interesting blog. It’s bookmarked and I will comment as the mood strikes me.

  2. For what it’s worth, I too quit reading Cryptomundo a long time ago over Coleman’s brittle attitude and thin skin toward any perceived slight, no matter how small. He seems to have taken on a serious martyr complex over the last few years, as if he’s the only true representative of the crypto-community, and it’s really annoying. Your original post was anything but offensive, and frankly all of us armchair crypto-fans ought to be happy that ANY writing on our hobby that isn’t openly contemptuous is still being delivered after the disastrous last few years in the field.

    I donated to his museum quite a while ago when it was first being announced, and am nominally on the side of anything related to spooky or undiscovered critters, but this latest outburst has really lowered my opinion of Loren Coleman quite a lot. Which is a shame, because he’s obviously an intelligent guy who has spent his entire life researching this field and used to have one of the better websites for discussing these matters.

    Thanks for the recommendation of ‘Still on the Track’, I ought to check there more often. Another fine cryptozoology site with enough quirk and wit from the owner to continually entertain and inform is the Centre for Fortean Zoology, a charming lot of eccentric oddballs who never fail to interest me. I’m not connected with their site in any way, I just enjoy reading it: http://www.cfz.org.uk/

    1. Hi Anthrophage, thanks for your support. Jon Downes and crew of CFZ are behind Still on the Track. That’s why it’s so entertaining.

  3. I’ve corresponded with Loren in the past, because I love cryptozoology, even though I realize that something like a Bigfoot or Nessie simply cannot exist. When he hears that you don’t believe in what he does, no matter how nicely you say it, he scoffs and says you are not “open-minded”. I guess he’s not open-minded to the possibility that the moon is made out of cheese, if he wants to go that way.

    Thanks for the link to the other site, I gave up on Loren’s a year ago.

    1. I remember you posting comments on Cryptomundo. There used to be a few reasonable folks there. Now, all but a really staunch few remain with the rest of the paranormalists and fan boys. I got tired of posting stuff that never appeared. When you close your community like that, you veer off in weird directions.

  4. i’ve been surfing around the crypto/para sites for awhile now, and noticed when the anomalist site picked up cryptomundo and began linking to coleman’s blogs. the anomalist invariably calls him the “acclaimed” loren coleman. this kind of flattery fits with coleman’s self aggrandizing attitude. he is terribly thin skinned and takes umbrage at every opportunity. (anyone remember how angry he was when his name was misspelled in a crypto story? )

    of course, his hissyfits are more entertaining than his begging for money. he wrote more than once that he needed money so desperately (the IRS was hounding him) that if he didn’t get donations and fast he was going to stop blogging, people! and i expect have to get a nine to five job. i suspect that was in part why the crypto-museum was created, he needed a cash flow and he also needed to convince the IRS that his work was more than a hobby. you were quite right in observing that the objects in the museum are cultural kitsch rather than evidence… cultural artifacts rather than scientific ones. i believe you said this in the context that no hard evidence has yet been discovered, not that these objects were mot worthy of interest.

    the other thing that i find curious about coleman is his “twilight language blog” in which he makes very tenuous connections between seemingly unrelated word coincidences and draws conclusions about causality. these posts are bizarre. the twilight blog reminds me of the thought processes of the mentally ill and their curious logic.

    more embarrassing than bizarre is his “mothman curse” tally. in which he documents the deaths of those involved (in ANY way) with the mothman sightings or the film. also embarrassing os his tendency to take any story on… the lake monster footage, the maine mystery beast, the montauk monster, etc were all examples of what a daily blogger needs to do to fill the space and attract hits.

    your original post seemed to me a well reasoned review. your observations seemed on the mark, and not designed to insult…. there IS no avenue for thoughtful discussion. there are “personalities” and the need to generate site hits and sell books. anything that is outside the orthodox crypto-world (surely an oxymoron) is quickly shouted down.

    one point…i suggest the search for the reality of the crypto IS in the paranormal, not the scientific. evidence for the existence of these creatures is nonexistent. we need to openly review the experiences of witnesses and study and discuss rather than suppress them.

    1. Thanks for your thoughtful reply. I absolutely agree with the observation about “twilight language” and tenuous connections. It so Fortean. It really ruins the credibility when you habitually suggest a supernatural cause for things. He appears to have endorsed even the same for Bigfoot in the past, now, he’s moved to the zoological reality camp. I have lamented the fact that the crytpo-community does not have a reliable place to go for news and to converse. It’s too bad.

      Re: The Anomalist, ever since Scott Maruna left as news editor, the place has gone downhill. I have even written in The Anomalist #13 before and enjoyed working with Patrick Huyghe. When I mentioned to him that I didn’t appreciate that the site was Loren’s ad space and full of links to amateurish UFO blogs, he pretty much told me I should do the job then. Nothing has changed. And, I go there far less frequently as well. Again, they ruined a good thing for a big part of their audience.

      1. And I see The Anomalist has descended into the depths of just being mean as well. I beleive it’s all the same voice. I have emailed them and said I will not be escalating this discussion by posting on cryptomundo. It’s incredibly silly.

      2. I find the Anomalist site to be an interesting collection of links where the real Fortean sceptics can exercise their minds to be a scourge on the wilful gullibility, bad logic, and feeble and selective evidence that is presented by both fringe and mainstream proponents on the web as proof of their pet theory.

        On a personal note, I enjoyed your article in the Anomalist #13 on the precursors and hoped to see more on the subject from you.

        Since I’ve been using computers to communicate with people remotely since about 1982, you will excuse me if I stay out of the flame war. I’ve found they simply lead to hardened attitudes that never really resolve anything.

        Warm regards

  5. If you want to read good cryptozoological stories that are founded in real zoology, Darren Naish takes on crypto topics sometimes in his Tetrapod Zoology blog. He strikes me as someone who is really fascinating by mysterious animals (British big cats, lake monsters, late survival of extinct species), but as a real zoologist he is going to tell you the truth and if the evidence just isn’t there, he will say so.

    1. Yep. I subscribe to Darren’s TetZoo and his links to the Montauk Monster and the Cerro Azul sloth are in my “Decade” post. I trust him implicitly.

  6. I must echo the comments above – I too quit reading Cryptomundo a couple years ago, when they got sucked in by the Georgia bigfoot hoax until the ill-fated press conference. Then they backtracked and tried to play it that they doubted it all along. Also, yes, a lot of the negativity at that site is due to the bloated ego of the site’s moderator. And the unthought out replys of the 15 regular posters or so are tiresome and predictable.

  7. Mr. Coleman has described himself as “sensitive” in one of his own blog posts, and I will agree with you in that Mr. Coleman seems to have perceived a slight in your post that most non-vested readers would not. However, I have personally corresponded with Mr. Coleman in the past, and I have to take issue (as a person who at this stage in his life doubts the literal existence of every significant cryptid) with your suggestions that Mr. Coleman would censor his blog or unjustly exclude someone from posting. He and I did have some “differences” in a discussion on his blog some time ago, but that did not stop him in the future from turning another comment I submitted into a guest blog with my permission. Granted, he did read some things into your post that weren’t really there, but you’re reading negative personality traits into him that are just as unfounded, if not more so.

    Your initial response to his comments were restrained, judicious, understanding and classy. The remarks in the Update and the comments that have followed, sadly, are not. Mr. Coleman has never done anything to indicate that he is some money-hungry censoring con man the way he is being betrayed. He is a man who ultimately decided to pursue the dream of turning his advocation into his occupation. If he was after money, that was the worst thing he could have done. He’s passed up numerous chances to attach his name to schemes and dubious propositions, unlike many in the crypto/ufological/etc. communities. He truly believes in what he does, and no matter what else people may think of him, his sincerity should be above reproach by virtue of his decades-long unblemished track record in this area.

    I think it disingenuous that you declined from posting your response to Loren’s comment on his blog with the explanation that you do not trust him. He’s done nothing to warrant that and you’re passing up the opportunity for reasoned discussion. Some of those who have commented have stated that they do not feel there was any slight on your part, so there’s obviously no censorship going on. I posted a comment myself under the handle “alcalde” that I have no doubt will appear soon taking issue with a few things Loren wrote, including even the definition of cryptozoology as the hunt for unknown animals. As Mr. Obama says, we can disagree without being disagreeable, and I worded in things in such a way as to try to avoid offense, and I expect a solid discussion will ensue.

    You are probably owed an apology by Mr. Coleman for inferences about your motives and nature in his commentary, but when you draw similar unfounded conclusions about his it becomes harder to occupy the high ground and demand one.

    1. Joseph. Thanks for your comments. I have, however, had several incidences where my comments were deleted or edited on cryptomundo posts. This is a well-established occurrence. In fact, there was even disclosure by the mods that they have every right to do this. In their words, it is their blog and not a forum for everyone’s viewpoints.

      I also chose not to engage on the blog for several other reasons. One, because I don’t see the point at which we are in disagreement. Two, I’m not very argumentative by nature. I prefer discussion over debates. Finally, because the typical exchanges at that blog do not rank high in substance anymore. The people who tried reasoned critique left long ago out of frustration (at being censored and at the responding nonconstructive comments). I’m not out to be some skeptical martyr. With the emphasis there on making revenue, I don’t wish to participate in a controversy just so they get more hits on their ads. Sorry if that comes off as cynical but I am not the only one who finds the emphasis on dollars as off-putting. I prefer to visit sites where I don’t feel pressured, won’t see ads all over and where I am reasonably sure my comments will make it past the admins. I will not put myself in a position where others can control the use of my words.

  8. What a breath of fresh air you are, Mr Idoubtit.
    I stopped reading Cryptomundo when some of my posts were deleted within hours of posting. My crime? Taking issue with Coleman’s frequent panhandling posts asking for money and reminding everyone how we (‘the community’) should support him financially.
    I know many people who indulge in research of their own and never ask for money from fellow researchers and interested persons.
    Once might have been OK, twice acceptable, but asking several times a year takes the cake. Get a job like everyone else Loren!
    I have to say the quality of the posts have also steadily declined, seemingly just to drive traffic for the hell of it.
    Thanks for the links above – I think I’ve found a new favourite website! Bob A.

    1. Thank you Bob A. and J. (I am Ms. Idoubtit, actually). I totally understand your sentiments. I thought the begging and censoring was wholly unprofessional and it just goes to show how treating your visitors in this way results in an exodus. I didn’t scoff on Cryptomundo at all yet any hint of not towing the line (except by a privileged few) was silenced. When you are putting your stuff out there, especially as (sort of) scientific, you MUST deal with critique and own up to your mistakes, not cover them up or blame others. That is one reason why cryptozoology is not scientific as a field of study. I’m still wondering about the journal Loren mentions (J. of Sci Exploration, perhaps?).

  9. I just wanted to commend you on your blog the way you handled your response to Mr. Coleman.

    I, like several above, am another former Cryptomundo reader. I left after the influx of ‘scoftic’ accusations.

    I just wanted to let you know that I’ve enjoyed the brief sampling of your blog and I’m sure that I will return.

  10. I am well aware that this is an old blog, but I couldn’t handle the fact that everyone is kissing the OP’s ass on this topic. Cryptomundo has been one of my top favorite sites for all of my up-to-date cryptid reads. Yes, Mr. Coleman is very high in his ego but it’s not as if all of his articles are about him. And if they are, that is because the readers on the site ARE Loren Coleman fans. I’m not going to criticize a blog just because I don’t like the poster. I enjoy what I’m reading. I am a believer in the things that you may think are pure fairy tales but I have good reason to be. If you believe, why wouldn’t you want to be updated on what’s happening in that field? And yes, it IS a science.

    The museum that was created is not a collection of artifacts. They are the only bits of evidence there is of these creatures and it was made to educate, like museums usually do. Regardless of your opinion, the other posters opinions, or my opinion, the fact of the matter is, people are entitled to their own. Instead of trying to shove yours down someone else’s throat by bashing on another person, maybe you could come up with a different tactic and different approach. Your blog is equal to the ever so fluent dramas of a high schooler.

    1. It is an old post, as Asherz says, but currently at #7 on Google search for “Cryptomundo”. I came across it by accident, but it reaffirms everything I’ve thought about that site. I don’t think their problem comes down to one person’s ego alone, but that person definitely sets the tone. In my reading over the past year or so, its main function seems to be as a bully pulpit for the sensitive egos of aggrieved “investigators.” The true stand-outs are the angry outbursts from self-promoting TV clown Matt Moneymaker in defense of his bizarre behavior on his wretched TV show (which I watch religiously, of course!), but here is a more recent example:

      http://www.cryptomundo.com/cryptotourism/alaskan-caddy-6/

      Note the apologetic responses from those faithful who inadvertently offended!

      In closing, neither a fun blog nor an entertaining museum a science makes. Sorry. The people conducting the work are simply too gullible and too haphazard in their methods to be taken seriously, to the detriment of the subject they so dearly love. And what reputable scientist with tenure on the line would want to be associated with a field dominated by such amateurish antics? None that I know.

  11. PS: For a truly “fun” read, I suggest you check out Richard Lindsay’s blog for his frankly disturbing theories based on race–so disturbing to me, I don’t want to further characterize or summarize them here. It is his prominent profile on Cryptomundo more than anything else that has soured me on it. What they have to do with his interest in Bigfoot, I simply cannot fathom.

  12. Great article on loren(the ego has landed) Coleman and Cryptomundo.!!
    It used to be a great site..then snarky desk jockeys started taking over it..the big hoaxes were pushed by Loren ..for traffic of course..he was happy to let people get attacked(increase the traffic of course) but hated having anyone correct him.
    The snivelling and pathetic emails he used to send out in mass cc begging for money due to ####..reasons,,which kept changing by the way..
    Get a job Coleman..
    He shot himself in the foot several times trying to explain Australian slang..he was corrected ..then he deleted the corrections..the final straw was when he attacked autumn williams..and made some mad suggestions about her mental state,,which she screen captured and threatened legal action over..
    Only 99.99% of the crypto people in Australia loathe him. 🙂

    1. Wow. Those moves don’t sound too smart. Covering up your errors kills your credibility. Not learning from them kills a career.

  13. Hi idoubtit, great thread! I was a regular visitor to Cryptomundo since 2006. The whole appeal of Cryptomundo for me had always been the category of posts where readers were asked to identify blurry visual evidence. I would view such posts as IQ tests and because of them my critical thinking skills have become sharper. I can attest to allusions that Loren Coleman often came across as being thin skinned and that outrageous incidents of censorship sometimes took place. There is another reason why I have stopped visiting. Cryptomundo has “evolved” into one heck of a boring blog and one that can hardly be called cryptozoological any more. Most of the posts are either cultural or cartoonish – the latter, maybe to offset he humorless vibe of the blog. Back in 2008 the blog became dominated by conservative and materialistic commentators who would scoff at any unknowns and often ridicule any open minded but realistic suggestions. Loren Coleman seemed to be caving in to their power so he fashioned Cryptomundo to cater to their world view. I attribute fear of ridicule as being the motive behind Cryptomundo’s transformation into a “cute” blog as opposed to one that is courageous. I now get my news from Facebook Find Bigfoot. Great content, good natural sense of humor.

  14. Great Article. I used to frequent Cryptomundo due to my interest in sea serpents and lake “monsters”, but I come from a more skeptical POV and lean towards the possibilities of large fish/eels/sharks that have made their way into large fresh lakes. Coleman seems more interested in promoting all things Squatch with little or no effort in compiling any credible evidence to support his enthusiasm for it even existing. I stopped posting because I was finding me posts getting deleted by the moderator without notice or reason. It appears only slanted and favorable views that he finds agreeable are allowed to exist on his website.

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