Stars from Animal Planet’s “Finding Bigfoot” and Destination America’s “Ghost Stalkers” and a famed French cryptozoologist Skyping in from France to talk tapirs are in the lineup of the International Cryptozoology Conference in Portland this weekend.

The fourth annual event is hosted by the International Cryptozoology Museum at Thompson’s Point.

The three-day event starts with a dinner and keynote speaker Friday night and lasts through noon Sunday at the nearby Clarion Hotel. Admission is $100 for the weekend, but entry to the vendor area, where many of the guests will have tables, is free.

International Cryptozoology Museum Executive Director Jenny Coleman. (Submitted photo)

Jenny Coleman, the museum’s executive director, said early in the week that 150 people, some traveling around the country, had already grabbed tickets.

“I am truly, truly, truly excited about this year, more than any other year thus far, just because it’s so diverse,” Coleman said.

Among the speakers:

  • Cliff Barackman, one of the four stars of “Finding Bigfoot,” talking about recent Bigfoot developments and projects;
  • “Ghost Stalkers”‘ John E. L. Kenney, talking monsters;
  • Michel Raynal, talking about the 1819 discovery of the tapir;
  • Ken Gerhard, from the Travel Channel’s “In Search of Monsters,” talking Thunderbirds;
  • Author June O’Neill talking New England sea serpents;
  • Tim Binnall, news editor for the Coast to Coast AM website, as emcee.

Anna Nekaris, a professor of anthropology and primate conservation at Oxford Brookes University, is flying in from the U.K. to deliver the keynote Friday night.

“She’s done incredible work, including confirming 11 new species of loris,” Coleman said.

Loris are a type of small, nocturnal, large-eyed primate.

Nekaris has appeared on several TV shows including “Bigfoot: The Definitive Guide” with Jeff Meldrum. She considers herself an open-minded skeptic, Coleman said.

“(Nekaris) brings that credibility and that credence to the subject, which is really what we want,” Coleman said. “People come in and you have those that are ardent, ‘I’ve seen Bigfoot.’ And then you have people that come in, let’s be honest, with a smirk on their face, and it’s our job, truly, to say these are things that could possibly be. It’s our job to educate people. This is the data that we have. These are foot paths that we can’t explain away.”

On Saturday night, Director Seth Breedlove will present the world premiere of his new documentary, “Terror in the Skies,” which featuers interviews with Gerhard and cryptozoologist Loren Coleman, who founded the Portland museum.

Director Bill Darmon will offer the Maine premiere of the indie film “The Hill and the Hole” after that.

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