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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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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Going for Gambo!


L-R Jane (CFZ Member), Lisa, Oll, Chris Moiser,
Richard, David Phillips (CFZ Staff), Suzi


Yes, its that time of the year again! For the fourth year running, Richard Freeman and Chris Clark are off to foreign climes in search of a monster. This year, the destination is Gambia, and the team (which includes GURRRLS for the first time), is going in search of not one, but two monsters!

· 30-foot killer dragons lurking in swamps?
· A sea monster carcass buried on an African beach, with a map marking the spot?

Back in 1983, amateur naturalist Owen Burnham discovered the fresh carcass of a strange beast on a remote beach in the Gambia. It was around 15 feet long and looked like a cross between a crocodile and a dolphin. Realizing that it was something unknown to science, Owen, a missionary’s son, made detailed sketches of the creature. He and his family then buried it in the hot sand above the tide line, hoping that the dry sand would preserve the body. He also made a detailed map.

We have a copy of the map and intend to dig up and examine the monster’s body.


L-R Suzi, Me, Chris Clark, Chris Moiser (back to camera) Oll, Jane (CFZ Member), Richard


More alarmingly, there are stories of a swamp-dwelling dragon known as Ninki-nanka. The 30 foot beast is said to lurk in deep riverbank holes and emerge into the swamps at night. As recently as the early 1990s, it is alleged to have killed people. Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman thinks Ninki-nanka may be a giant, semi-aquatic monitor lizard. Related to the infamous Komodo dragon, the African reptile would be three times as long: as big as a very large crocodile. The team hopes to interview witnesses and venture into the deep mangrove swamps on the trail of the beast.

Previous adventures have seen the CFZ hunt for the Naga, a 60 foot snake in Thailand; the Chupacabra, a blood-sucking beast from Mexico; Orang-pendek, a Sumatran ape man; and the Mongolian deathworm.

Team members are

· Chris Moiser: Biologist and team leader
· Dr Chris Clark: Engineer
· Lisa Dowley: First aid and security expert
· Richard Freeman: cryptozoologist
· Oll Lewis: Ecologist
· Suzi Marsh: computer expert



L-R Jane (CFZ Member), Richard, Chris M, Suzi,

Lisa (back to camera), Chris C, me, David Phillips (CFZ Staff)


On sunday afternoon, the six team members converged on CFZ Mansions, and we had the final planning meeting before the expedition takes place. We shall be giving regular updates as and when we have news, so watch this space! However, dipping our toes into the murky waters of the new technology, we have also opened a My Space page for the expedition, so feel free to come over and check it out!