The word “cryptozoology” was invented by zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans during the 1950s to described the type of research that he has conducted since 1948.

The term was first mentioned in 1958 in the booklet by Lucien Blancou , Geacute;ographie Cyneacute;geacute;tique du Monde (Collection Que-Sais-Je

Bernard Heuvelmans has a doctorate in zoology, was born in 1916, and is considered “the father of cryptozoology.” He has written numerous articles and books on the subject.

Dr. Heuvelmans coined the term from Greek roots:¬†zoon¬†(animal),¬†logos¬†(discourse), and the prefix¬†krytos¬†(hidden); therefore, if zoology is “the science of animals”, cryptozoology is, from the etymological point of view, “the science of hidden animals”.

From his research Dr. Heuvelmans’ chief intention has been to develop a methodology to systematically locate animal species or sub-species still unknown to science. But whose existence can be established on testimonial evidence (sightings), circumstantial evidence (indirect evidence), or even practical evidence (which everybody can see) but considered insufficient by some.

The research for species and sub-species that are now considered extinct by science are not of interest to cryptozoology.

These animals include the late survival of the Steller’s sea-cow (Hydrodamalis gigas, supposed to have become extinct in 1768), of the great auck (Alca impennis¬†supposed to have become extinct in 1844), or even of the thylacine or marsupial wolf of Tasmania (Thylacinus cynocephalus, supposed to have become extinct in 1932), despite their interest for cryptozoology, remain zoological “affairs”, as their recent existence is not questionable. However, the present survival of Neanderthal men in Central Asia is relevant to cryptozoology, as they are believed to have become extinct about 40,000 years ago, and as the status of a sub-species (at the very least) is given to such “living fossils”. Other species being sought are the Abominable Snowman and the Loch Nesse Monster.

The accidental discoveries of new species are no longer relevant to crptozoology, that is, discovering dozens new insects in a tropical forest after spreading an insecticide has nothing to do with cryptozoology.

The main aim of cryptozoology is to anticipate the discoveries to come (instead of hoping a lucky event), by collecting all the available data prior to the discovery, allowing to establish the possible existence of a still indescribable animal form.

The research of cryptozoology occurs at the Virtual Institute of Cryptozoology. The Institute was designed by Michel Raynal for its computerized part, and supported by contributions from the ABEPAR (Brussels) as well as from many French or French-speaking cryptozoologists, often on the Internet.

The very name of¬†Institute, summarizes our aim : to be a reliable and in depth research tool, with accurate and fully referenced on-line information, publishing “cyber-articles” of a good scientific level, allowing data exchange, giving access to bibliographies or documents, organizing debates, etc., these are some of our aims, which the Internet revolution allow us to do for a very low cost.

All those who are interest in cryptozoology are invited to participate to this project… The great days of the cryptozoological adventure are not done !

The story of the Virtual Institute of Cryptozoology: The Internet site was born on April 9, 1997. On April 10, Wanadoo, our Internet access provider, mentioned the site on its own home page, which generated about 1,000 connections on that day alone!

The site can now be found on the most important “research robots”, the key-words “cryptozoologie” and “cryptozoology” allowing to find our site. In May 1997, the site was selected at the first¬†Top 10¬†of¬†Wanadoo.