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Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature Paperback – August 5, 1999

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Cryptozoology A To Z: The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters, Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature + Tales of the Cryptids: Mysterious Creatures That May or May Not Exist (Darby Creek Publishing) + The Weiser Field Guide to Cryptozoology: Werewolves, Dragons, Skyfish, Lizard Men, and Other Fascinating Creatures Real and Mysterious
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (August 5, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684856026
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684856025
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (89 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #61,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Loren Coleman, M.S.W., has researched the Copycat Effect for more than two decades. Coleman has been an adjunct professor at various universities in New England since 1980 and a senior researcher with the Muskie School for Public Policy. He is currently the primary consultant for the State of Maine's Youth Suicide Prevention Initiative. The author, coauthor, or editor of more than twenty books, including the critically acclaimed work Suicide Clusters, lives in Portland, Maine.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Abominable Snowman

When most people ponder on the "big three" of cryptozoology, they are thinking of the Loch Ness Monsters, Bigfoot, and the Abominable Snowman. Though many assume these beasts to be mythical, a body of intriguing evidence exists for each. Of the three, the Abominable Snowman is the cryptozoological animal longest known and discussed in the West.

The more proper name is Yeti, but most Westerners have been more familiar with the moniker "Abominable Snowman." "Abominable Snowman" is a phrase coined, accidentally, by a Calcutta Statesman newspaper columnist, Henry Newman, in 1921.

It happened when Newman wrote about the 1921 sighting by Lieutenant Colonel (later Sir) C.K. Howard-Bury and his party, who saw dark forms moving about on a twenty-thousand-foot-high snowfield above their location, the Lhapka-La pass on the Tibetan side of the Himalayan mountains, and viewed them through binoculars. This is the first credible Western sighting of what until then had been mostly a shadowy tale (at least to Westerners) of strange, hairy upright creatures in Tibet, Bhutan, Sikkim, Mustang, and Nepal. Howard-Bury would later, on September 22, 1921, find footprints "three times those of normal humans" at the site where the dark forms were moving about.

The Sherpas insisted that the prints were those of the metoh-kangmi, as Howard-Bury rendered it. Kang-mi loosely means "snow creature." The metoh part should have been written as met-teh, which translates as "man-sized wild creature."

Newman's mistake was caused in part by Howard-Bury's mistransliteration of the Sherpa word. Howard-Bury did not understand that the Sherpas recognized several types of creatures; on this occasion they had used a generic, not a specific, term. The error was compounded when Newman changed Howard-Bury's metoh-kangmi to metch kangmi, which he explained as a Tibetan word meaning "Abominable Snowman."

In any case, this proved to be a pivotal event in cryptozoological history. As Ivan T. Sanderson wrote, "The result was like the explosion of an atomic bomb." The melodramatic name "Abominable Snowman" spurred gigantic press interest. Newspaper coverage multiplied as more and more expeditions sought to climb Mount Everest.

The true origin of the phrase "Abominable Snowman" has been misrepresented over the years. For example, on a 1992 episode of the television series Unsolved Mysteries, a well-known Irish explorer wrongly claimed that the creature got its name because of its horrible odor.

The real animal behind the name is neither abominable nor a true creature of the snows. These beasts usually appear to live in quiet retreat in the steamy mountain valleys of the Himalayas, using the snowy passes as a way to move from one spot to another, leaving behind huge mysterious footprints. They are not -- contrary to another widespread misunderstanding -- white. And they are not a single creature.

A better generic term for Abominable Snowman is the Sherpa yeti, loosely meaning "that there thing." Yetis are known as huge creatures -- humanoid beasts, covered with thick coats of dark fur with arms, like those of anthropoid apes, which reach down to their knees.

A description of the reportedly three types of Yeti is discussed, in depth, within that entry.

Copyright © 1999 by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

Zuiyo-maru Monster

In April 1977, thirty miles off the coast of Christchurch, New Zealand, the trawler's nets of a Japanese fishing boat, the Zuiyo-maru, snared a huge animal carcass of an unknown origin. The crew hauled the monstrous body out of the ocean onto the deck, and Michihiko Yano, the ship's assistant production manager, measured the creature and took some now-famous photographs. The creature was thirty-three feet long and weighed about four thousand pounds. It had a snakelike head at the end of a long, slender neck, giving it an unwhale-like appearance. Some of the crew thought it was a rotten whale, but others were not so sure. After great difficulty, the stinking Zuiyo-maru Monster was thrown overboard.

Media attention in Japan focused on the plesiosaur-like appearance of the creature. Interest in Sea Serpents rose. Toys were produced of the Zuiyo-maru Monster.

But Yano had taken samples of the "horny fiber" from one of the monster's fins. Tests determined the Zuiyo-maru Monster was a decomposed basking shark, although few today know that part of the story.

Copyright © 1999 by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Very easy to read and understand.
An excellent book on Cryptozoology is Cryptozoology A to Z: The Encyclopedia... by Loren Coleman & Jerome Clark.
Florence Cardinal
The facts are here, their relative importance is something you will have to decide for yourself.
Adam Rourke author of The Goblin Universe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 57 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
While I've been appreciative of Coleman and Clark's older works, I felt this book dwelled too much on the personalities involved in the field of cryptozoology. Seriously how many works in similar fields devote so much space to the people active in their fields? Do you open an encyclopedia of meteorology and read about famous (and non-famous) meteorologists? No.
Too much of the book is devoted to cryptozoologists, both famous and rather obscure. There are pictures of virtual unknowns in the book who have virtually no serious scholarly work on cryptids and whose only virtue is having operated a web site and interviewed a few local yokels. These people compare with individuals such as Sanderson and Heuvelmans? No and they don't deserve to share the space.
It's my feeling that a lot of the name dropping in this book is nothing but that, and while the part of the book actually devoted to cryptozoological mysteries is worthwhile, it's sometimes spoiled by the frequent references to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Nobody.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Tim F. Martin on March 4, 2001
Format: Paperback
Cryptozoology, the search for unknown or "hidden" animals, is a strange field, quite legitimate in some cases as researchers bring to the world of scientific knowledge new creatures such as the woodland bison (rediscovered in 1960 after it was presumed extinct), the saola (a large bovid discovered in 1992 in Vietnam), and the okapi, the giraffe relative of the deep jungles of central Africa, dicovered by western man in 1901 after extensive searching and using clues from the local inhabitants in the region. Other creatures such as the giant squid and the pygmy elephant are poorly known and quite enigmatic, but nonetheless real and seem to fall between the shadowy border of "standard" zoology and cryptozoology.
Cryptzoology also as a field includes a host of other strange creatures, many famous such as the sasquatch (or Bigfoot), yeti (or Abomininable Snowman), and the Loch Ness Monster, others fairly obscure such as the waitoreke (an otter-like mammal that may exist in New Zealand), the marozi (the enigmatic spotted lion of East Africa), and the buru (a large unknown monitor lizard of the remote valleys in the Himalayas). To an educated person who prides himself on having read a great many nature and science books, many "cryptids" (animals of interest to cryptozoologists) seem outlandish and improbable, such as the skunk ape of Florida or even the Loch Ness Monster (as the loch in question has been combed over extensively, and any air-breathing monster would have long been discovered and documented). It is with the creatures that *just may* exist, that don't sound so improbable, that gives to me cryptozoology (and this book) its charm.
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37 of 45 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 5, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The primary hurdle that Cryptozoologists have to face is that of potential ridicule. To suggest that large creatures previously unknown to science exist in this world requires--whether you like it or not--a greater deal of dicipline and scientific fact to back it up.
With that said, one must take an even greater step back to look at the facts. This book does not. Rather, this book argues minute details and tried to propegate, for the most part, the existance of the "legendary" beasts by refuting scientific evidence (not to mention COMMON SENSE).
The Minnesota Iceman is a case in point. Here we have a farmer with a rubber monkey frozen in ice displayed as a real "missing link". Mr. Coleman goes to great--and invalid--lengths to "prove" that this was a real cryptid. Even after the "original" disappeared and was replaced by a "replica", Mr. Coleman argues that the "original" creature was no doubt buried in an unmarked grave--humanity having lost its chance forever to discover a new creature. Bottom line is we had a farmer who wanted to make a couple extra bucks and concocted a sceme to do so. When the pressure got hot, the farmer ditched the frozen ape and made all sorts of excuses as to why the original was not still on display.
Before you rip me a new one for questioning the validity of undiscovered animals, know that I have investigated the subject extensively--and I believe they are out there. My concern is that if books like this continue to be published, the subject will never be taken seriously.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Bradford Fritz on August 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is an incredible read, offering valuable insight on a lesser-known science. Loren Coleman is a fantastic chronicler of "cryptids", the names given to these scarce and unusual beasts. Beasts such as Bigfoot, the Loch Ness Monster, the giant anaconda of the Amazon jungles, the giant octopus, the Kraken, Ogopogo, Champ, the Jersey Devil, the Thunderbird, megamouth shark, the Nandi Bear, the megaladon shark, and el Chupacabra. Cryptozoology is the study of hidden animals, and recently I have taken a big interest in it upon a sighting of Bigfoot in New Mexico's mountains (no joke).
This science should not be considered very low, and stereotyped as studied by clueless men and women, because it is not. It is a very intelligent science, offering one of the most intriguing searches--that being, the search for the unknown. Albert Einstein once said that the biggest adventure lies in finding things unknown. Hominology is also featured in this book, which is the study of humankind's closest relatives (Bigfoot, Yeti, Abdominable Snowman), besides apes. Hominology is the bridge between anthropology and zoology. This book will startle you with true accounts of some encounters, short bios of the people who are cryptozoologists, and cryptozoology organizations such as the International Society of Cryptozoology, and, of course, the cryptids themselves. Dig in.
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