Tom Slick
Thomas Baker "Tom" Slick, Jr. (1916 – October 6, 1962) was a San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio, Texas
San Antonio is the seventh-largest city in the United States of America and the second-largest city within the state of Texas, with a population of 1.33 million. Located in the American Southwest and the south–central part of Texas, the city serves as the seat of Bexar County. In 2011,...

 based inventor, businessman, adventurer, and heir to an oil
Petroleum or crude oil is a naturally occurring, flammable liquid consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights and other liquid organic compounds, that are found in geologic formations beneath the Earth's surface. Petroleum is recovered mostly through oil drilling...

 business. Slick's father, Thomas Baker Slick, Sr., a.k.a. "The King of the Wildcatters", had made a fortune during the Texas oil boom of the 1920s.


During the 1950s, Slick was an adventurer. He turned his attention to expeditions to investigate the Loch Ness Monster
Loch Ness Monster
The Loch Ness Monster is a cryptid that is reputed to inhabit Loch Ness in the Scottish Highlands. It is similar to other supposed lake monsters in Scotland and elsewhere, though its description varies from one account to the next....

, the Yeti
The Yeti or Abominable Snowman is an ape-like cryptid said to inhabit the Himalayan region of Nepal, and Tibet. The names Yeti and Meh-Teh are commonly used by the people indigenous to the region, and are part of their history and mythology...

, Bigfoot
Bigfoot, also known as sasquatch, is an ape-like cryptid that purportedly inhabits forests, mainly in the Pacific Northwest region of North America. Bigfoot is usually described as a large, hairy, bipedal humanoid...

 and the Trinity Alps giant salamander
Trinity Alps giant salamander
The Trinity Alps giant salamander is an alleged giant salamander that is reported to live in the Trinity Alps of northern California. It is often considered a cryptid, as no specimen has ever been recovered and it is not a recognized species. Although the salamander is larger than most salamander...

. Slick's interest in cryptozoology
Cryptozoology refers to the search for animals whose existence has not been proven...

 was little known until the 1989 publication of the biography Tom Slick and the Search for Yeti, by Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman
Loren Coleman is an author of books on a number of topics, including cryptozoology, who was born in 1947 in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in Decatur, Illinois.-Education:...

. Coleman continued his study of Tom Slick in 2002 with Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology. That book mentions many of Tom Slick's adventures, in politics
Politics is a process by which groups of people make collective decisions. The term is generally applied to the art or science of running governmental or state affairs, including behavior within civil governments, but also applies to institutions, fields, and special interest groups such as the...

, art
Art is the product or process of deliberately arranging items in a way that influences and affects one or more of the senses, emotions, and intellect....

, science
Science is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe...

, and cryptozoology
Cryptozoology refers to the search for animals whose existence has not been proven...

, including his involvement with the CIA and Howard Hughes
Howard Hughes
Howard Robard Hughes, Jr. was an American business magnate, investor, aviator, engineer, film producer, director, and philanthropist. He was one of the wealthiest people in the world...


Tom Slick was a friend of many celebrities, including Hughes and fellow flier Jimmy Stewart
James Stewart (actor)
James Maitland Stewart was an American film and stage actor, known for his distinctive voice and his everyman persona. Over the course of his career, he starred in many films widely considered classics and was nominated for five Academy Awards, winning one in competition and receiving one Lifetime...

. Stewart, for example, assisted a Slick-backed expedition in smuggling a piece of the Pangboche Yeti hand
Pangboche Hand
The Pangboche Hand is an artifact stolen from a Buddhist monastery in Pangboche, Nepal. Supporters contend that the hand is from a Yeti, a scientifically unrecognized animal purported to live in the Himalayan mountains...

 back to England for scientific analysis, Loren Coleman was to discover from Slick's files and confirmation from Stewart before his death.

Slick founded several research organizations, beginning with the forerunner of the Texas Biomedical Research Institute in 1941. His most well-known legacy is the non-profit Southwest Research Institute
Southwest Research Institute
Southwest Research Institute , headquartered in San Antonio, Texas, is one of the oldest and largest independent, nonprofit, applied research and development organizations in the United States...

 (SwRI), which he founded in 1947 to seek revolutionary advancements in technology. SwRI continues to advance pure and applied science in a variety of fields from lubricant
A lubricant is a substance introduced to reduce friction between moving surfaces. It may also have the function of transporting foreign particles and of distributing heat...

 and motor fuel
Fuel is any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air...

 formulation to solar physics
Solar physics
For the physics journal, see Solar Physics Solar physics is the study of our Sun. It is a branch of astrophysics that specializes in exploiting and explaining the detailed measurements that are possible only for our closest star...

 and planetary science
Planetary science
Planetary science is the scientific study of planets , moons, and planetary systems, in particular those of the Solar System and the processes that form them. It studies objects ranging in size from micrometeoroids to gas giants, aiming to determine their composition, dynamics, formation,...

. He also founded the Mind Science Foundation
Mind Science Foundation
The Mind Science Foundation is a private nonprofit scientific foundation in San Antonio, Texas, established by philanthropist Thomas Baker Slick in 1958....

 in San Antonio in 1958 to do consciousness research.

He was an advocate of world peace
World peace
World Peace is an ideal of freedom, peace, and happiness among and within all nations and/or people. World peace is an idea of planetary non-violence by which nations willingly cooperate, either voluntarily or by virtue of a system of governance that prevents warfare. The term is sometimes used to...

. In 1958 he published the book, Permanent Peace: A Check and Balance Plan. He funded the Tom Slick World Peace lectures at the LBJ Library
Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum
The Lyndon Baines Johnson Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration. The library houses 45 million pages of historical documents, including the papers of Lyndon Baines Johnson and those of his close associates and others...

, and the Tom Slick Professorship of World Peace at the University of Texas.

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage is an American actor, producer and director, having appeared in over 60 films including Raising Arizona , The Rock , Face/Off , Gone in 60 Seconds , Adaptation , National Treasure , Ghost Rider , Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans , and...

 was to have portrayed Slick in a movie, Tom Slick: Monster Hunter, but the project stalled.

Art collection

Tom Slick was an avid collector of modern art. His collection was surveyed by the McNay Art Museum with an exhibition and catalogue titled Tom Slick: International Art Collector.


  • Loren Coleman
    Loren Coleman
    Loren Coleman is an author of books on a number of topics, including cryptozoology, who was born in 1947 in Norfolk, Virginia and grew up in Decatur, Illinois.-Education:...

    , Tom Slick and the Search for Yeti, Faber & Faber, 1989, ISBN 0-571-12900-5
  • Loren Coleman, Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology, Fresno, California: Linden Press, 2002, ISBN 0-941936-74-0
  • Catherine Nixon Cooke, Tom Slick, Mystery Hunter, Paraview, Inc., 2005, ISBN 0-9764986-2-6 (author is Slick's niece and former director of the Mind Science Foundation)

External links


, Mill for Cutting Feathers, filed May 1945, issued May 1949, Brush Puller, filed August 1947, issued December 1950, Apparatus for erecting a building, (lift-slab construction), filed July 1948, issued August, 1955
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