Bernard Heuvelmans
(10 October 1916 - 22 August 2001)

"Our world is saturated with mystery. It would seem that we are surrounded by question marks. Everything about us gives rise to questions, to which we know full well that there are, alas, no answers. At least no precise and definitive answers."

"It is strange how many men of science lack any curiosity."
Bernard Heuvelmans: Sur la piste des Bêtes ignorées

Born on 10 October 1916 in Le Havre, France, Bernard Heuvelmans earned a doctorate in science from the Free University of Brussels at the age of 23. His thesis was a study of the teeth of Orycteropus, an African mammal that is strange if only because it is the sole  member of the order Tubulidentata.
He published many scientific works, including some in the bulletin of the Royal Museum of National History of Belgium. A humanist and zoologist, he published two works at the end of the war: L'Homme au creux de l'Atome (1943) and L'Homme parmi les étoiles (1944).
In 1947, he moved to Paris and took up residence in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés district. There he found work as a jazz musician and actor.
Starting in 1948 he was attracted by the enigmas of animals that were still unknown to science, the existence of which has not yet been proven by irrefutable evidence, but which is based more on clues, traces, legends, bits of remains and even 'dubious' photos.
In 1955 he published Sur la piste des Bêtes ignorées (On the Track of Unknown Animals), a book which has been translated into many languages and sold over a million copies. In it, he laid the foundation for a new scientific discipline: cryptozoology, the science of unknown animals.
This was followed by Dans le sillage des Monstres marins : le Kraken et le Poulpe colossal (1958), Le Grand Serpent-de-Mer : le mystère zoologique et sa solution (1965), L'Homme de Néanderthal est toujours vivant (with Boris F. Porchev, 1974, a work which recounts the discovery of an unknown hominid that he called Homo pongoides), Le Dernier Dragon d'Afrique (1978) and La Bête Humaine d'Afrique (1980).
In 1975 he founded the first world centre for cryptozoological research in the Dordogne region of France, where he had amassed a unique collection of documents.
Bernard Heuvelmans was appointed president of the International Society of Cryptozoology of the Smithsonian Institution. He published many articles in Cryptozoology magazine.
In 1988 the Centre for Cryptozoology moved to Le Vésinet, on the outskirts of Paris, where Bernard Heuvelmans lived.
In 1999, he contributed all of his documents and archives to the Cantonal Museum of Zoology in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Bernard Heuvelmans died on 22 August 2001.
The staff of the Surnateum would like to take this opportunity to pay their respects to Bernard Heuvelmans and to Monique Watteau. His research protocol for cryptozoology has proven to be an extremely useful working method for detecting hauntiques.