Coleman, Loren 1947–
Coleman, Loren 1947–
(Loren Elwood Coleman, Jr.)
PERSONAL: Born July 12, 1947, in Norfolk, VA; son of Loren Coleman (a firefighter) and Anna Atkins (a homemaker; maiden name, McClain); married Toni-Marie Campbell, September 14, 1968 (divorced, September 16, 1978); married Libbet Cone (a psychotherapist), May 23, 1980; children: (first marriage) Desmond Lee Miller; (second marriage) Malcolm Isaac, Caleb Chaisse. Education: Attended Southern Il-linois University at Carbondale, 1965–69, B.A., 1976; Simmons College, Boston, MA, M.S.W., 1978; doctoral coursework at Brandies University and the University of New Hampshire's Family Research Laboratory. Politics: Independent. Religion: "Foursquare Church until I was twelve years old; respect for the earth and all its inhabitants today."
ADDRESSES: Home—(Winter) Portland, ME; (summer) Rangeley, ME. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Paraview Publishing, 191 7th, Ave., Ste. 2F, New York, NY 10011.
CAREER: Cryptozoologist, writer, and filmmaker. Little Grassy Outdoor Laboratory, Carbondale, IL, counselor and activity therapist, 1967–70; TARGET Program Youth Home, Urbana, IL, supervisor, 1971–74; Behavioral Foundation for Children, San Francisco, CA, treatment team leader and group counselor, 1974–75; Walker School for Children, Needham, MA, weekend program and assistant intake coordinator, 1975–78; Framingham Youth Guidance Clinic, Framingham, MA, group program coordinator and psychiatric social worker, 1978–80; Department of Social Services, Charlestown, MA, supervisor and administrator, 1980–83; University of Southern Maine, Portland, Human Services Development Institute, research associate, 1983–96; Youth Alternatives, Portland, ME, program director, 1996–. Instructor in social work, sociology, and anthropology at Boston University and Bunker Hill Community College, Boston, MA, 1981–83, and in cryptozoology and social science at University of Southern Maine, 1990–96. Member of board of directors of Maine Committee on Youth Suicide, 1985–87, and Adoption Search Consultants of Maine, 1986–91. Speaker on Fortean topics, cryptozoology, and social issues. Consulting editor for International Fortean Organization, 1975–. Military service: Served two years of alternative service as a conscientious objector during the Vietnam War, 1971–73.
MEMBER: International Society of Cryptozoology, World Future Society, American Association of Suicidology, National Association of Social Workers, American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, Society for the Investigation of the Unexplained, Rural Sociology Society, Orphan Train Heritage Society; British Columbia Scientific Cryptozoology Club (honorary member).
AWARDS, HONORS: First place award, Independent Television Producers Association, 1987, for videotape docudrama SOS—Runaways and Teen Suicides: Coded Cries for Help; Bronze Apple-Third Place Award, National Educational Film & Video Festival, 1993, for Mattering: A Journey with Rural Youth; Anomalists Awards for the Best Books of 1999 (two), for Cryptozoology A to Z and The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide.
(With Jerome Clark) The Unidentified: Notes toward Solving the UFO Mystery, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1975.
(With Jerome Clark) Creatures of the Outer Edge, Warner Books (New York, NY), 1978, published as Creatures of the Goblin World, Clark Publishing, 1984.
Mysterious America, Faber & Faber (Boston, MA), 1983, revised as Mysterious America: the Revised Edition, Paraview Press (New York, NY), 2004.
Curious Encounters: Phantom Trains, Spooky Spots and Other Mysterious Wonders, Faber & Faber (Boston, MA), 1985.
Suicide Clusters, Faber & Faber (Boston, MA), 1987.
(With Susan Partridge and Roy Partridge) Unattended Children, University of Southern Maine (Portland, ME), 1987.
(Editor, with Karen Tilbor, Helaine Hornby, and Carol Boggis) Working with Older Adoptees, University of Southern Maine (Portland, ME), 1988.
Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti, Faber & Faber (Boston, MA), 1989.
(With Jerome Clark) Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature, Simon & Schuster (New York, NY), 1999.
(With Patrick Huyghe) The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, HarperPerennial (New York, NY), 1999.
Mothman and Other Curious Encounters, Paraview Press (New York, NY), 2002.
Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptzoology, Craven Street Books (Fresno, CA), 2002.
(With Patrick Huyghe) The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Other Mysterious Denizens of the Deep, Jeremy P. Tarcher/Putnam (New York, NY), 2003.
Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America, Paraview Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2003.
The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines, Paraview Pocket Books (New York, NY), 2004.
Also author of handbooks and director/producer of videotapes, including SOS—Runaways and Teen Suicides: Coded Cries for Help, for University of Southern Maine. Contributor to books, including People's Almanac Presents the Book of Lists Three, by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace, Morrow (New York, NY), 1981; and The World's Strangest Stories, Clark Publishing, 1983. Contributor to periodicals, including Boston Magazine, Super Mystery Magazine MU, Fate, and Strange. Consulting editor of Strange. Special correspondent for Fortean Times.
SIDELIGHTS: Loren Coleman is the author of numerous books that document occurrences of unexplained phenomena. In Mysterious America and Curious Encounters: Phantom Trains, Spooky Spots and Other Mysterious Wonders, Coleman details his field investigations concerning a wide range of encounters with the unknown across the United States. Touching on everything from sightings of UFOs, Bigfoot, and lake monsters to reported appearances of phantom clowns and ghostly samaritans, Mysterious America attempts to establish connections between people and places associated with bizarre events. For example, the author determined that cities with names containing the root word "fayet"—which in old French means fairy, elf, or enchantment—seem to have a greater incidence of strange happenings. Although Daniel Cohen in Fate noted that "the perils of nailing down the facts in these stories are great," the reviewer also said that Coleman "writes clearly and he doesn't try to slip any half-baked theories past you as jokes." Cohen asserted: "I thoroughly enjoyed Mysterious America and recommend it to everyone." As a follow-up to the book, Curious Encounters continues to recount odd occurrences and contains a reference guide citing exact locations of reported peculiarities throughout America. Accounts of phantom trains, "spook" lights, and kangaroo and panther appearances, which have yet to be zoologically confirmed, prompted George W. Earley in Fate to comment: "Unfortunately, for the most part, Coleman's tales are anecdotal." The author, nevertheless, was praised for his ability to capture reader interest. "Because he is developing a good story-telling style, you learn unobtrusively while being entertained," remarked a reviewer in Fortean Times. The critic called Curious Encounters "Loren Coleman's best book yet."
Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti, Coleman's next book exploring unexplained phenomena, is the chronicle of a Texas oil and beef millionaire's search for evidence of the legendary Bigfoots and abominable snowmen, or Yetis. A cryptozoologist (one who studies unknown animals), Tom Slick was fascinated by the many unexplained sightings of the two populations of these creatures, and his quest for proof of their existence took him as far away as the Himalayas. Slick, Coleman revealed, also searched for giant salamanders in California, lake monsters in Alaska, and little hairy bipeds in Sumatra. When Slick was killed in a plane crash in 1962, much of his research was mysteriously misplaced, hidden, and lost; Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti is the first publication recounting Slick's remaining discoveries. "Coleman has done impressive research," declared Ronald Rosenblatt in Strange magazine. "The story will be fascinating to anyone with an interest in cryptozoology." Coleman related to CA: "Since the publication of Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti, I have continued my investigations of Slick's mysterious links to the Central Intelligence Agency, and Omni and Strange magazines have carried installments of my findings."
Coleman has also written, with Jerome Clark, Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature. Writing on the Salon.com Web site, Steve Burgess noted that "the authors mix accepted facts with campfire tales in one indistinguishable gumbo" and went on to write that the authors "show a touchingly supportive nature all too rare in scientific circles."
Cohen teamed up with Patrick Huyghe to write two books: The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide and The Field Guide to Lake Monsters, Sea Serpents and Other Mysterious Denizens of the Deep. A contributor to Whole Earth called The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide "one of the most useful texts" on the topic. A Publishers Weekly contributor called the text "authoritative."
In his book Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America, Coleman recounts the legends and facts concerning Bigfoot in America, relating it to Indian culture and recounting stories such as the Bigfoot carcass that was once exhibited in state fairs but has since disappeared. A Kirkus Reviews contributor noted that the author also "discusses Hollywood's treatment of Bigfoot, notes the animal's sex habits, reviews many classic sightings, and cites many 'experts.'" Benjamin Radford, writing in the Skeptical Inquirer, commented that "this book is an accessible introduction that surveys some interesting, recent, and oft-overlooked Bigfoot topics."
Coleman's next book, The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines, focuses on how the public over-reacts to mass media events and other shows, which often leads to violent behavior with tragic consequences according to Coleman. The author also offers his own solutions to the problem. Audrey Snowden, writing in the Library Journal, noted that "this is really the only survey available on this topic." A Kirkus Reviews contributor wrote: "By carefully cataloguing long strings of traumatic events, the author offers persuasive and sometimes chilling evidence that murders and suicides often inspire imitation." A Publishers Weekly contributor commented that "Coleman presents his advice to with enough punch to intrigue the public."
Coleman told CA: "Because of my interest in writing about things that stimulate me, which I discuss in Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti, I decided to start to write about cryptozoology, go to college, and specialize in anthropology. Later, as I saw people being a key to unlocking the mysteries, I obtained a postgraduate degree in psychiatric social work. I totally enjoy writing about subjects that intrigue and fire my passions—but I could not care less about authoring anything just to be a writer."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Fate, January, 1984, Daniel Cohen, review of Mysterious America, p. 102; February, 1986, George W. Earley, review of Curious Encounters: Phantom Trains, Spooky Spots and Other Mysterious Wonders.
Fortean Times, winter, 1985, review of Curious Encounters.
Futurist, May-June, 2005, review of The Copycat Effect: How the Media and Popular Culture Trigger the Mayhem in Tomorrow's Headlines, p. 51.
Kirkus Reviews, February 15, 2003, review of Bigfoot!: The True Story of Apes in America, p. 282; July 15, 2004, review of The Copycat Effect, p. 669.
Kliatt, September, 2003, Edna M. Boardman, review of Bigfoot!, p. 44.
Library Journal, October 1, 2004, Audrey Snowden, review of The Copycat Effect, p. 91.
Nature, February 1, 1990, Jeffrey A. McNeely, review of Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti, p. 422.
Publishers Weekly, March 22, 1999, review of The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, p. 84; June 21, 2004, review of The Copycat Effect, p. 52.
Skeptical Inquirer, January, 2000, Benjamin Radford, review of The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, p. 55; November-December, 2003, Benjamin Radford, review of Bigfoot!, p. 58.
Strange, October, 1990, Ronald Rosenblatt, review of Tom Slick and the Search for the Yeti.
Whole Earth, winter, 2000, review of The Field Guide to Bigfoot, Yeti, and Other Mystery Primates Worldwide, p. 21.
Loren Coleman Home Page, http://www.lorencoleman.com (January 6, 2005).
"Coleman, Loren 1947–." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Encyclopedia.com. (April 24, 2019). https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/coleman-loren-1947
"Coleman, Loren 1947–." Contemporary Authors, New Revision Series. . Retrieved April 24, 2019 from Encyclopedia.com: https://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/educational-magazines/coleman-loren-1947
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