Tuesday, September 29, 2015

After Lengthy Illness, Ray Crowe Passes




A Remembrance by Loren Coleman
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It is with a heavy heart that I share some sad news. Ray Crowe died on Tuesday, September 29, 2015, in his sleep this AM, apparently of a heart attack at the Timberview Care Center, Albany, Oregon.
Charles Raymond “Ray” Crowe was born December 30, 1937 in Portland, Oregon. He was founder of the Western Bigfoot Society, a well-known butterfly collector, and a fan favorite among socializing Bigfooters.
Ray was born and raised in Oregon, serving as a weatherman for the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Weather Bureau, as well as working in a variety of other trades. These included as a dye laboratory assistant and computer gauging technician with radioactive equipment background. He once said he took “pertinent courses at Portland State College, Multnomah College, Western Business College, and Clackamas Community College.” For years, he ran an antique and used bookstore in Portland, Oregon.
Ray was an active amateur scientist. He formerly was the President of the Geological Society of the Oregon, the Chair of the Oregon and Washington Ice Age Floods Committee, and was always active in the Oregon Archeological Society and the Tualatin Valley Gem Club. His butterfly collection was one of the largest in the West, and he contributed his collection to museums late in his life. He wrote several published articles on butterflies.
Recent years had been rough for Ray. On April 22, 2012, Ray suffered a stroke which paralyzed his left side, which also resulted in a collapse artery in his neck. He was moved back to the V.A. Hospital and given blood thinners. On April 25th, the V.A. Hospital determined that they were not going to treat Ray further and they transferred him to a respite/hospice facility to await death. But he cheated death, survived, and lived life as best he could during the years since 2012.
Ray was a Bigfoot researcher/archivist from Hillsboro, Oregon. His initial interest in the Bigfoot mystery occurred after he went with a group of Bigfoot hunters from nearby Vancouver, Washington (a rather militant group, according to Ray), who dropped Ray off on an isolated road near the forest. Ray found a set of tracks he could not explain, and he decided then and there to start a group dedicated to Sasquatch research.
Ray began his organization back in 1991, in Portland, Oregon.
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Loren Coleman visits Ray Crowe’s Western Bigfoot Society, during the early days.
Ray called that group the Western Bigfoot Society and he held monthly meetings in the basement of his bookshop. That basement, which I visited during its heyday, was a museum of sorts of his years of collecting various Sasquatch memorabilia. Ray changed his organization’s name to the International Bigfoot Society, solidified its nonprofit status, and moved his home and the society headquarters to Hillsboro, Oregon.
Beginning in 1992, Crowe organized and held large conferences in Carson, Washington, called “Bigfoot Daze,” that often had established researchers speaking. He also created a folksy newsletter called The Track Record, funded through sponsors who sometimes would retain editorial control. Former sponsors included Peter Byrne and other covert individuals. The Track Record carried the latest happenings in the Bigfoot world, often with a gossipy, controversial or rumor-driven angle. Crowe had a very open-door policy when it came to his meetings and newsletter, but he always warned his readers to “wear your skepticals.”
One of the fun moments among many that Ray had was his interview appearance with a beginning new comedian named Stephen Colbert on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Season 3, Episode 96, on February 17, 1999. He ended up appearing twice on The Daily Show, and twice on Japanese television. Ray was also in the television documentary Sasquatch Odyssey: The Hunt for Bigfoot (1999) and was in an episode of Weird Travels (2003).
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Crowe was about to shut down the newsletter and organization in 2006 (after 13 special editions, one novellette, and one novel), but one rumor had it that controversial researcher Tom Biscardi offered to continue the newsletter and the organization with funding. But what seems to have occurred is that Ray decided on another route. Ray continued to receive reports and media articles from around the world. After closing his bookstore, he continued to hold meetings in various places until he started holding them at Dad’s Restaurant in Portland, Oregon. In 2008, David Paulides and his North America Bigfoot Search bought and saved the Crowe/IBS paper records and Track Records.
In 2011, Ray began holding meetings again, but his health continued to be a concern.
Since the death of his beloved wife Theata (see her obit) at the age of 66 on September 21, 2004, Ray expressed in 2006 that he had suffered some difficult months. Theata was Ray’s closest friend, and he shared a world full of her sense of humor, which he deeply misses. He often repeated stories about her. For example, once she was speaking to a reporter about the lack of monetary incentive in the Bigfoot field. Theata joked that she had made only $7 from her book, How to Cook a Bigfoot.
After Theata passed away, Ray’s health itself took a turn for the worse, as well. After Ray suffered a fatal heart attack , he was revived but had a blood clot in his right leg that caused him to have an amputation on that leg below the knee. Ray wrote me in 2006 that he “lost [his] right leg, so can’t get into the field anymore…hard to keep up any interest. Health maintaining itself after open heart surgery…chest still hurts.”
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In April of 2012, Ray had to have his toes removed from his other foot. In recent years, due to advancing clotting and amputations, Ray’s fieldwork was severely restricted by his use of a wheelchair.
Towards the end, Ray sent messages to me, via Joe Beelart and Larry Lund to ready his obituary. I sadly did that. He handed the following 9/11/2015 written message to me via Larry.
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Ray was a great guy, a great friend, and a great social magnet for the growing movement involving the social part of modern Bigfooting. With Ray Crowe out West beginning in 1991 and Don Keating out East starting in 1987, Bigfoot groups have since developed around the country that have copied those gentlemen’s organizational genius.
Ray’s extremely informal model for making an interest in Bigfoot an accepted focus for routine social activities is one that lives on beyond his life. That will be his legacy, I sense.
Ray Crowe will be deeply missed.

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Monday, September 21, 2015

'Paranormal Pub Night' is Thom Powell's Next Appearance

     Check out this very slick poster, cleverly built around the Edges of Science cover art that was brilliantly conceived by graphic arts genius Guy Edwards. When MUFON/Oregon lined up a speaking gig for me at the Mission Theater in downtown Portland,  I sent the artists at McMenamins a few images that they might use to build a poster. They astutely grabbed  the cover art that Guy created for my latest book, then they added their own type, keeping the design and color scheme that Guy Edwards originally conceived. 
     If imitation is the highest form of flattery, they they just paid Guy the ultimate compliment. Not to sound smarter than any other run-of-the-mill fool, because I, too, I had to be initially 'sold' on Guy's cover idea.  I liked one of the other iterations Guy cranked out.  Fortunately, I have one redeeming quality: I listened when Guy told me I was making a mistake.  I resisted; Guy insisted.  And of course, he was right. I gave in, and I never regretted it for a moment. Everywhere I go, I get raves over the Edges of Science cover art as well as the humorously clever interior art done by another great artist, Alicia Bateman. I am indeed blessed to be surrounded by so many talented people, including a brilliant editor in San Diego named Molly Hart-Lebherz. 
     Check out the poster above prepared by the talented McMenamin's artists who knew a good design to build from when they saw it and the original book cover art by Guy Edwards (below).  If you want to see the details of Thom's appearance time, date and place, visit the MUFON/Oregon website by clicking here.   And remember,  if you ever need a piece of brilliantly conceived graphic art for that important project, who ya gonna call? Guy Edwards!


The Edges cover design by Guy Edwards.

 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Edges of Science  by Thom Powell

      In the two months since it was released, Edges of Science, has been a hot seller.  You can connect to a page where you can buy your own copy, signed by the author, by Clicking here.   Thanks to everyone who has already supported this project!  
     With all the speaking engagements Thom has scheduled for this fall, it seems like a good idea to provide this page with a simple link for anyone who wants to own a copy of a fascinating and well-written anthology of paranormal and scientific mysteries. The book explains the role that Bigfoot plays in a greater Goblin Universe that is populated with entities that are able to come and go from our terrestrial realm. The world is stranger than we can imagine and bigfoot is only the tip of a greater paranormal iceberg.
     The reviews on Amazon have been great.  To see the reviews on Amazon.com or to submit a review of your own, click here.

Here is a list of events where Thom Powell will be speaking and selling books  in coming weeks:

Saturday, Sept. 19, 3:00p.m. at the Bigfoot Bash and Bounty all day festival, Home Valley Park, outside Carson Washington in the scenic Columbia River Gorge

Sunday, Sept. 27, 7:00 p.m. Paranormal Pub Night, McMenamin's Mission Theater NW 17th and Glisan in northwest Portland

Sunday, October 4th Mt. Hood Salmon, Mushroom and Bigfoot Festival 65000 East Hwy. 26, Mt. Hood Village, Oregon (speaking time uncertain)

Sunday, October 18, 12:30 p.m.: Hopsquatch: Guy Edwards' Speaker Series at Lucky Lab Brewpub, 1945 NW Quimby, northwest Portland

Saturday, November 28, Sasquatch Summit Conference Quinault Beach Resort and Casino in Ocean Shores, Washington (speaking time mid-afternoon)

Please introduce yourself and say hello if you attend any of these events. It is always a pleasure to meet and chat with people who read books on paranormal and science topics and who care enough  to show up and discuss their own experiences or interest in  these fascinating subjects. 

 

Tuesday, September 8, 2015


The location of this gala event is Home Valley Park along the mighty Columbia River just outside Carson, Washington.  Please introduce yourself to me.  I'll be in the beer garden at 5p.m. and camping at the nearby park with Bob and Patti Reinhold by the railroad tracks. FYI, Skamania County, Washington is one of the hottest counties in the nation for sightings of 'Mr. Saskey'. 

     That said, if you want to camp in a sqautchy spot near the venue on either Friday or Saturday night, find the USFS Cougar Creek Campground about eight miles up the Wind River.  It is nearby and very squatchy.