International Society of Cryptozoology

Founded in January 1982 at a gathering held at the National Museum of Natural History of the Smithsonian Institution and hosted by zoologist George Zug, the International Society of Cryptozoology (ISC) brought scientists, wildlife professionals, and lay investigators together to formalize the study of hidden animals. The moving forces behind the ISC were University of Chicago biologist Roy P. Mackal and University of Arizona ecologist J. Richard Greenwell, who over a year-and-a-half period had contacted scientists who in one way or another had expressed interest in cryptozoological concerns and asked if they would be willing to participate in a professional organization dedicated to the subject. The suggestion for the ISC had come out of a Chicago-based conversation between writer Jerome Clark and Greenwell, when Clark had introduced Greenwell to his friend Mackal.

The new organization drafted a statement defining cryptozoology as the study of “unexpected animals.” It would promote “scientific inquiry, education, and communication among people interested in animals of unexpected form or size, or unexpected occurrence in time and space.” It elected Bernard Heuvelmans its first president. Heuvelmans still serves in that post. Mackal is still vice president and Greenwell secretary and editor. In its early years the ISC published a yearly refereed journal, Cryptozoology, and a quarterly newsletter, though with the passage of time these appeared irregularly. The ISC holds an annual meeting at a chosen university or scientific institute. It has had as many as 850 members.

The address of the ISC is P.O. Box 43070, Tucson, AZ 85733.


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