Richard Ellis, known to most cryptozoologists through his work on the giant squid and sea monsters, is recognized in the larger world as a much-honored painter of marine natural history subjects. Ellis was born in New York City, and grew up in Belle Harbor, Long Island. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1959. His paintings of whales have appeared in Audubon, National Wildlife, Australian Geographic, the Encyclopaedia Britannica, and numerous other national and international publications. His shark paintings have been featured in Sports Afield, Audubon, Sport Diver, Nautical Quarterly, Reader’s Digest, and of course his own Book of Sharks, now in its sixth printing, and called the most popular book on sharks ever written. He has appeared in numerous television specials and has written screenplays on whales for PBS. His research has taken him all over the world.
Although Ellis has had a long-standing interest in mythological animals (he drew unicorns, griffins, winged horses, and dragons as a child), his interest in cryptozoology really began with the 1976 discovery of the first megamouth. He had just published The Book of Sharks when the new (and totally unexpected) shark was discovered in Hawaiian waters, and eventually he illustrated it for the publication in which it was first described. As soon as he heard about the founding of the International Society of Cryptozoology from the shark researcher and cryptozoologist Eugenie Clark, Ellis joined.
In the years before writing his first cryptozoological book in 1994, Monsters of the Sea, Ellis had devoured the works of Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Bradbury, Herman Melville, Jules Verne, and Victor Hugo. During the writing of that work, Ellis intensively researched mystery whales, sharks (including again the megamouth), Sea Serpents, Merbeings, Giant Octopuses, and finally, giant squids, which so piqued his interest that he devoted two years to research on the legend of the Kraken and its now modern, scientifically recognized entity, Architeuthis.
In 1998, Ellis’s book The Search for the Giant Squid appeared. The book, favourably reviewed in the New York Times and the Washington Post, was selected as one of the best books of 1998 by Publishers Weekly. He is at work on an encyclopedia of the sea.
The Encyclopedia of Loch Monsters,Sasquatch, Chupacabras, and Other Authentic Mysteries of Nature
Written by Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark – Copyright 1999 Loren Coleman and Jerome Clark