Ernst, William “Ted”

ERNST, WILLIAM ” TED” (1945- 1998)

W. Ted Ernst and Robert W. Morgan incorporated the American Anthropological Research Foundation on July 11, 1974. It is a not-for-profit corporation organized under the laws of the state of Florida. Ernst, an attorney, usually stayed in the background, fielding various cryptozoological expedition operations while the colourful Morgan dealt with media and sought funding for their various treks throughout the world.

AARF's 1998 board of directors was comprised of Ernst, Morgan, and Steven Jones.

From 1974 through 1996 Ernst and AARF sponsored four formal expeditions and more than three hundred field studies in North America, Russia, the Crimea, and the Republic of Georgia. All were related to cryptoanthropology. During AARF's heyday in the 19705, Ernst and Morgan sponsored numerous searches after the Skunk Ape of the Florida Everglades. Their efforts in the western United States resulted in a commercially successful documentary film, The Search for Bigfoot.

In the late 19705 and 1980s, Ernst and Morgan vanished from the public eye. Morgan had begun a ” long and arduous apprentice under the auspices of Native American holy men,” according to AARF. Ernst and Morgan resurfaced during the 1990s, after a 1991 trek to the Russian Caucasus Mountains, the Crimea, and Moscow with a refugee Tibetan lama looking for new, metaphysically based answers to the Bigfoot, Almas, and Yeti mysteries.

Ernst, who was living in Key West, died on May 21,1998, in a sudden accident, according to an announcement by Morgan. Ernst had hit his head after diving into a Tampa-area motel swimming pool, then drowned. According to Morgan, the accident was “bizarre” since Ernst was an expert swimmer. Press accounts noted that the Tampa police filed the death as “unexplainable.”

At the time of his death, Ernst was actively planning for the summer 1999 American Yeti Expedition to Mongolia, hoping to find evidence of the Almas said to inhabit the region.



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

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