New England is home to some of the biggest brains in the businesses of esoterica and mad science.
But you knew that already.
Here then, is my list of the busiest folks we know in the worlds of offbeat science publishing, UFOlogy, cryptozoology and the occult — even comics. Ghost-hunting? That is sooo last decade. But keep these peeps on your radar in 2010. They make for an eclectic mix, alright, but I think the list somehow works:
Marc Abrahams announcing "The Penguin Prize" at the annual Ig Nobel Prizes ceremony, at Harvard U. (Photo: Courtesy of the Ig Nobel Prizes.)
1. Marc Abrahams. Few can match the wit, charm and energy of this singular Cambridge, Mass. personality. Abrahams is the publisher of the uproarious Annals of Improbable Research, and organizer of the annual Ig Nobel Prizes awards ceremony, which honors “research that makes people laugh and then think.” He also writes a weekly column about wacky science (think bras that double as gas masks, and astrology charts for bacteria), for the UK Guardian.
Tim Binnall. (Photo: Courtesy of BoA)
2. Tim Binnall. Did you know that one of the planet’s fastest-growing podcasters to the “Coast-to-Coast AM” crowd is based right here, in the Hub? The young genius behind the whole thing, Tim Binnall, is relaunching his website, Binnall of America, with another season of podcast interviews with big-name UFOlogists and conspiracy researchers, from Texas to Sweden.
Binnall also organizes a successful paranormal confab in the Hub.
3. Loren Coleman. This legend in the world of cryptozoology (2010 marks his 50th year in the business) will be surprising us again with new insights, and new guests and events at his Portland, Maine-based International Museum of Cryptozoology.
A regular contributor to Coast to Coast AM, Boing Boing, and The Anomalist, Coleman is also the keeper of the world’s most popular cryptozoology blog, Cryptomundo.
Loren Coleman and friend. Photo: Loren Coleman (via Thomas Roche/Flickr CC
Coleman this year will be speaking at Bigfoot and “big cats” conferences — both at home and across the pond, in Glasgow, Scotland. This spring, he will also be lending his expertise to the ongoing search for the Loch Ness Monster.
In addition to his ongoing consulting work for History’s “MonsterQuest,” and Animal Planet’s “Lost Tapes,” Coleman will also be working on (we kid you not) five new books.
4. Stanton Friedman. I met Stanton Friedman at a UFO conference in Washington, D.C. a few years ago, and I’ve been trying to keep up his research ever since. But I only learned (after listening to Mr. Binnall’s interviews with this UFO luminary) that Friedman resides in the Northeast. Friedman jokes in his BoA interviews that he is one of the few surviving members of UFOlogy’s “old guard.” But I expect he’ll have a lot more to say at his conferences appearances this year.
5. Greg Kaminsky. If you like your occult podcasts served-up hot, and packaged with vintage Black Sabbath tracks, Beverly, Mass.-based Greg Kaminsky is your guy. Kaminsky is the host of the fantastic website and podcast, “Occult of Personality,” which — like BOA — is poised for big changes (including a subscriber section, with extended interviews) and breakout success in 2010. Kaminsky has landed interviews with leading occult scholars on both sides of the Atlantic since making his quiet start, just a couple of years ago. To taste some of that OoP magic I am talking about, check out this fascinating interview with Penguin’s occult books editor, Mitch Horowitz.
John Rozum and son, at the International Museum of Cryptozoology, in Portland, Maine. (Photo: Loren Coleman)
6. John Rozum. Scooby-Doo. The X-Files comics. The supernaturally-talented writer may be in the business of inventing things that go bump in the night, be he is also said to be living quietly on Cape Cod. One of Rozum’s latest creations, The Hangman, is fighting human trafficking in DC Comics’ just-released The Web #4.
7. Joe Moore. Commended to this list by OoP’s Kaminsky, Moore is a New Hampshire-based podcaster, a breathwork facilitator, and onetime Evolver spore group leader. (Click the links if you are as mystified by these terms as I was.) Not sure if magic is for you? Try the “Mr. Spock” ritual that Moore discusses in his latest podcast with chaos magic expert Andrieh Vitimus. (Skip to the 17-minute mark, if you can’t wait.) Next: Moore and Kaminsky in 2010 are collaborating on a documentary film.
8. Joseph Citro is sick of ghosts. Yeah, that’s right. Ghost-busting, the bane of Binnall and other esotericists — driven half-mad by hacks seeking quick paranormal fame — is tired. Citro made his break from the past last fall, with one of his latest titles, The Vermont Monster Guide, a roundup of the land, air and sea creatures haunting the North.
9. The guys behind NE FOR (the New England UFO Research Organization). When Tim Binnall hints at the political infighting within the New England UFO community, he might be referring in part to the guys who last year formed this New England MUFON splinter group. But more UFO researchers might mean more eyes on the sky, and more thorough documentation of sightings
10. Mr. Crowley. Just be sure you pronounce the first syllable of his name correctly, like the bird, while in Salem, Mass. (Not the way Ozzy Osbourne does in his classic song about the Beast.)
And yeah, I know the guy’s dead. But when the Heretic placed its call for nominees last weekend, a bunch of folks, from Salem and beyond, tapped their peers in magical orders that derive their inspiration from Crowley. Crowley-inspired authors and booksellers, too, all got a good talking-up.
So, stay tuned on this one, because I’m going to need a week-or-two to share with the rest of you, what our magician friends have been sharing with me.