Bigfoot Encounters

Peter Byrne on Loren Coleman

Peter Byrne 2009

2002 - Peter Byrne writes on Loren Coleman's
"...deplorable behavior..."

In recent days and in regard to his rather unpleasant spreading of the rumor that yours truly had gone to the happy hunting grounds, not a few people have emailed me to ask why Mr. Loren Coleman, of Portland, Maine, seems to "have it in for me" and why he would do something as unpleasant as this, and what his problem is. It seems to me that you, and they, should know what is behind his deplorable behavior. As follows... 

Some years ago Coleman called me and said that he was doing a book on Tom Slick, and could he come and visit me in Oregon and look at my records and pictures from my Himalayan Yeti expeditions. I said yes and he duly arrived.

He seemed like a nice sort of chap (although my ex of those days did not like or trust him for some reason) so I let him in and he spent two whole days at my place, as my guest, going through my somewhat voluminous files and albums of slides and B&W pictures from the old Nepal and Sikkim Yeti expeditions. When he was ready to leave I let him have some B&W pictures for his book; he was to copy these for the book, use them in the book with a credit to me and return them; this he did in due course. But when he left my house he pocketed, without my knowledge or consent, about twenty of my slides. I have about 3000 slides, too many to check, too many to count and so did not miss them.

About two years ago I was at Larry Lund's house and he asked me if I had ever seen the Unsolved Mysteries show, The Mystery of the Yeti. I said no and so together we watched a tape of it that Larry had. The show opened with the usual stuff and then brought up a B&W still of mine, from one of my Yeti expeditions. Then another. Then another. To where I suddenly realized that I although I was in the show (which Unsolved Mysteries shot with me at Mammoth Lakes in CA) I had never given the UM people any of these pictures. 

I told Larry to run the tape back and he did and then we counted ... the show contained seventeen pictures of mine altogether. I was very surprised and at the same time almost certain that I had not given them those (particular) pictures.

So... I called Unsolved Mysteries in Los Angeles and asked them where they got the pictures they used in their Yeti show. They said ... talk to Production. I did this. UM Production told me they got them from one Loren Coleman, Portland, Maine.

I called Coleman next day and asked him if he had ever given any of my pictures to Unsolved Mysteries. He said, “no, absolutely not, never.” I asked him if he was sure and said, “yes, very sure.”

The following day he called me back and said, well, maybe, maybe just a couple of the pictures, the ones that I had loaned him for his book. I asked
him, a couple? He said, well, yes, just one or two... I was meaning to tell you about it but forgot. I asked him if he was paid anything by UM for the pictures. He said, "no. Absolutely not. Not a penny."

I called UM and asked them if they had paid Coleman for the use of the
pictures he gave them. They said, talk to Accounts. I talked to UM Accounts and they told me, yes, $1700.00.

I called Coleman again and asked him again if he had been paid anything by UM for the use of the (my) pictures, that he gave them. He said, well, maybe a few dollars. Not much. In fact I've been meaning to split it with you and send it to you.

I said, how about $1700.00? He said no. Never. Not that much. A few dollars, maybe. But not anything like $1700.00. So I called UM again to verify and asked them, pending the possibility of lawsuit by me, to immediately fax me all documentation in the matter of their contract with Coleman, plus records of their payments to him. They did this.

The documentation they sent me (which I have kept on file) verified that he had been paid $1700.00 and included a letter from him containing a statement, signed by him, to the effect that all of the slides and pictures he sold to them were his personal property and as such, his to sell as he wished.

So, another call to Mr. Coleman and this time, as more suited to the occasion, a certain brevity.  A check for $1700.00, plus all of my pictures that he stole and illegally sold, in the mail, Fed X, within twelve hours, or a lawsuit.

Guess what came in the mail next day? Right. With the check (and the pictures) came what fiction writers call a sad and plaintive little letter saying that he was truly sorry about what happened but that, truly, he had been meaning to send the money to me (it is now, note, three years since he pocketed the slides and two since he sold them to Unsolved Mysteries) but that (ready for this?) truly, it had slipped his mind.

Since then Mr. Coleman has told several people that "I treated him very badly" in this matter and that by threatening him with a lawsuit "I was really being quite nasty" because by mentioning me in his book he had given me a lot of publicity and that as far as he was concerned this was ample compensation for, well, er, stealing and, well, er, illegally selling my property for gain! Ain't human psychology wonderful!

I think the moral of this story is, when you have guests in your house that you really don't know very well, just remember to count the silver before they leave. 

Onward onward...Peter Byrne

Posted on the Devil Monkeys List, by Danegeld2 list owner
Thursday, February 14, 2002 12:11 PM

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