Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Thursday, July 06, 2006

Another mystery solved

Over the years I have discovered a fascinating fact about cryptozoology, or rather about cryptozoological researchers (and, I suppose, fortean researchers in general). Newspapers around the world are full of stories about local mysteries. Often this is the first (and the last) that anyone has ever heard of the story.

This week saw a case in point. The Louth Leader in Lincolnshire ran this story yesterday:


A MYSTERIOUS skull has been found in woodland in Little Cawthorpe.

The skull - thought to be from a marine animal - was discovered by
Graham Houlden of Haugham Pastures lying on the ground in an isolated
area on Wednesday. Mr Houlden said he was not nervous when he came across it even though he originally thought it was a human skull.

Mr Houlden, a game keeper, carried it home to his cottage and after
showing it to his wife Nancy, the pair decided it could be from a dolphin. Eager to find out more about their find, Mrs Houlden took the skull along to Louth Museum where the opinion was also that it came from a dolphin.

Local naturalist, Phil Trevethick who viewed the skull said he was
fascinated by the find and said: "I think it belongs to a bottle nose

Mr Trevethick also pondered on how it got to the wood, adding that it didn't swim or fly there".

This story was intriguing, particularly becauseif left unsolved, it is precisely the sort of story that would end up - years down the line - in some book on British mysteries. To make sure that this did not become the genesis of some convoluted Lincolnshire seaserpent story in years to come I contacted the newspaper.

I am used to such email enquiries going unanswered, so I was very pleasntly surprised to receive the following email this morning:

Dear Jon

We have found out that the doplhin skull was found on a beach in Lincolnshire two years ago by a local man. He then buried it in the woodland because it was so smelly and fleshy. Please find attached a photo of the skull. Thanks for your interest.

Kindest regards
Beverley Peck.

So, the mystery has been solved, and more importantly I have managed to banjax the best selling book which would (on an alternate time-stream) have been written several decades since: The Lincolnshire Seaserpent - a nameless horror in blood.


1 comment:

Darren Naish said...

By the way, is the skull really a bottlenose dolphin? It looks from the photo more like a Common (Delphinus delphis.