Born in Ireland, Peter Byrne came to work on a tea plantation in Northern India in the late 1940’s following a stint in the Royal Air Force in WWII. He left the tea industry in 1953 to start a safari company, which he ran for eighteen years. He co-founded the International Wildlife Conservation Society, Inc. (IWCS) in 1968 and serves as the Executive Director.
As the operator of Nepal’s first tiger hunting concession, Byrne soon found himself face to face with stories about the "abominable snowman" or yeti. Funded by Texas oilman Tom Slick, he began a three-year mission to hunt and track down the yeti. Expedition members found footprints and examined monastery relics, including a mummified hand, but the creature itself was not seen.
Upon hearing of the discovery of huge footprints in California, Slick asked Byrne to head up the "Pacific Northwest Bigfoot Expedition" in 1960, which included, for a short time, Rene Dahinden, John Green, and Bob Titmus. Renowned for his abilities to raise millions of dollars in the name of bigfoot research, Byrne undertook a full-scale search in the 1990’s under the name "Bigfoot Research Project," complete with helicopters, infra-red sensors and 1-800-BIGFOOT phone number.
Byrne was one of the subjects of the award-winning documentary Sasquatch Odyssey.
Peter Byrne is now retired and resides in Los Angeles, CA, and still devotes time to the IWCS.