Thursday, December 26, 2013

RIP Dr. Roy P. Mackal (1925–2013)

According to an article on Loren Coleman's CryptoZooNews Blog, cryptozoologist Roy P. Mackal, who was famous for going on expeditions in search of the Loch Ness Monster of Scotland and the Mokele-Mbembe of Central Africa, died in September 2013, according to an online obituary at a funeral home website. He was born on August 1, 1925, and was 88 years old at the time of his death.

In early 2012, I began to be interested in lake monsters. I purchased Mackal's book, The Monsters of Loch Ness, from a bookstore and began to read it. I was immediately amazed at how scientific and logical Mackal's writing was. He was not some crazy lunatic who believed that every single sighting and photo/video was true - he was a very intelligent and down-to-Earth individual who truly succeeded in bringing cryptozoology out of the domain of the true believers and lunatics and into the domain of science (at least in my opinion).

I also read his book about mokele-mbembe. While the book is outdated now (due to recent discoveries in paleontology that have contradicted many of the theories about dinosaurs that Mackal had back then), I still found it to be a very good book, as well. I was especially impressed by this quote from Mackal:

"I admit that my own views are tinged with some romanticism, but certainly not to the extent that I would endure extreme hardship, even risk my life, to pursue a dream with no basis in reality."

I was very sad to learn that Roy Mackal has passed away. His passing also marks the end of an era, as he was the last surviving founder of the International Society of Cryptozoology. Now there are no longer any founders of the ISC who are still living.

Rest in peace, Roy Mackal. You will always be one of the true legends in the field of cryptozoology.


  1. Very good article. Roy Mackal will certainly be missed. No matter what your views on his hypotheses are, he was undeniably a passionate researcher who put hard work into this field. Hopefully his work can be justified in the near future.

    1. Yes. He contributed greatly to cryptozoology, regardless of whether or not his hypotheses were accurate. Personally, I disagree with him about mokele-mbembes being sauropods, but I still think that he should receive credit for going through so much hardship to search for them. He also succeeded in making cryptozoology slightly more respected within the more "mainstream" scientific community (since he was a professional biologist with credentials).

      He should be remembered for all of these things. And yes, he certainly will be missed by the entire cryptozoological community (and possibly by the entire scientific community in general).

      I agree that his work should (hopefully) be justified sometime.