The 1950s started an era of adventurers. It was the rage and no one personified it more than the heir of a Texas oil dynasty who went by the moniker "Tom Slick."
Tom's idea of adventuring was a big more global and big-game than most. He was out hunting yeti, Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and other reported creatures not proven.
In fact, he jetsetted with the best of them including Jimmy Stewart, who was willing to sneak back a supposed mummified yeti hand to England for him.
Tom wasn't just an adventurer, he also loved collecting art, was an inventor, had a goal of world peace; an all around completely engaged occupant on Planet Earth.
His plane crashed once in British Guyana and he was forced to live with a tribe for two weeks. Yes, the man was one of a line of "man's man" types. You know, the Dos Equis commercials could be about him.
Like a lot of people who live hard, he died young and tragically at the age of 46 in a plane crash in Montana, coming back from a hunting trip in Canada.
I think it's a sad loss because this man was highly energetic and enthusiastic about many humanitarian issues and also sought to poke around the his planet we call home, in search of new knowledge.
There was to be a Monster Hunter movie about Tom with Nicholas Cage in the lead role. Very wicked. It was shelved, but I sure hope someone brings it back. I'd like to see a serious moviemaker do it, like Steven Spielberg. He could take that era and that man and make a really dynamic and riveting film.
How did Tom Slick and Peter Byrne come to meet? Destiny put two very similar adventurers on the same path. Peter learned of Slick's interest in Yeti while he was planning a study in the Himalayas and Slick was quick to fund a study.
Peter Byrne, my biggest crush in Bigfoot research. I am adding Tom Slick to that list. These men were not only ready to use the means possible to find something the old-fashioned way, by actually tracking it, but they weren't rushing around to be popular, get attention or secure a TV show. How refreshing! Admittedly, Byrne did get in trouble with the law for hiding some travel outside the US and some funding. He spent his life being funded to track Yeti and Bigfoot and he managed to have a highly intriguing line of work, but like any researcher knows, there's no money to be made. He is definitely a man from another era.
Peter came by his interest honestly, by having a father tell him stories of the Yeti. He was fully grown when he held some jobs including the British Royal Air Force and including working for a tea company. He learned much more about the cryptid of the Himalayas and decided he must go check it out. Thirty-eight months and five expeditions later, he had spent an enormous amount of time in that region.
Byrne was skeptical about the concept of Bigfoot, but he did fly to Texas and meet with Slick to go over maps of the Northwest and discuss the sightings. Once Byrne gazed at the vastness of the Pacific Northwest, he felt the habitat was desirous for something to remain hidden.
He then flew up to Northern California, not far from the infamous Bluff Creek (location of the filming of Patterson-Gimlin film) and set up a base camp for operations.
In 1962, with Slick's death in the plane crash, Byrne went back to big game hunting and didn't come back to the Northwest to look for Bigfoot until the 1990s.
Even now, in his latter years, Byrne remains in Oregon where he continues this interest, following plenty of findings to make him belief that the Tall Ones walk the lands in America.
Tom Slick in badass hall of fame
Book - Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology by Loren Coleman
*Tomorrow's post is on Hans Holzer, Parapsychologist