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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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Saturday, February 07, 2009

FAIRY PHOTOGRAPH: NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF HUMAN STUPIDITY

Last summer someone emailed me a copy of the photograph on the left. I took a cursory look at it. It's a dead cat, I thought. I showed it to Richard Freeman who agreed, and then promptly forgot about it.

Some bright spark in the fortean/crypto community dubbed it `The Montauk Monster` (which is particularly silly because there is nothing the slightest bit monstrous about it) because it had been washed up near Montauk, New York in July.

The only thing that mildly interested me about it was that it was alleged in certain quarters that it had come from Plum Island, home of the U.S.Government animal diseases research facility. This only interested me because at the time I was being mildly obsessive and reading all of Nelson deMille's thrillers in order, and one of them was set on (and named after) Plum Island.

However, we basically ignored it, considering it to be a non-story. The mystery was solved by our old mate Dr Daz at Tetrapod Zoology who had got tired of the media furore surrounding it, and correctly identified it as a dead racoon, bloated by putrefecation. However, as he admits bewildered during the days when he was covering that story his daily hits increased something like tenfold, proving that people can get ridiculously obsessed over nonsense.

Now, this picture hit the headlines a couple of weeks ago, and somehow we overlooked it. However it turned up in our inbox this morning with someone claiming that it is the image of a "fairy". The picture, by the way, was allegedly taken at La Pampa in Argentina in early January.

Hmmmmmmm.

We did a bit of searching, and the Daily Telegraph covered this on January 14th, writing:


"According to the uncorroborated story that accompanies the picture on dozens of cryptozoology websites and blogs, the photographer spotted the fast-moving "being" but was only able to take a single photo before it flew away.


He reportedly sent the photo to local UFO study group which decided it showed a creature of "high strangeness" and forwarded it on to the police.


The blurb with the picture claims that officers used high-tech equipment to enhance the image, revealing that the animal had eye sockets and a beak. The special criminal division estimated that the creature could be up to 2ft 7 in tall, it is claimed. But the story have been met with scepticism among experienced photographers, who point out that it would be impossible to tell the size of the object without knowing how close it was to the camera. More mundane and plausible theories include that the photo is a long exposure shot of a bird, or an insect that flew too close to the camera. "

Well I remember from Peter Pan what happened to Tinkerbell when people say that they don't believe in fairies, but to my eyes this is almost certainly a blurry picture of a bird. It's got a beak for heaven's sake!

Over to you guys...





2 comments:

Kent McManigal said...

It's Donald Duck, and he's streaking.

Don and Margaret said...

Guess I'm humanly stupid, but what beak? It appears to have a wide, blunt snout, rather than a beak. And its legs are very long for any bird other than a stork or heron. The wing doesn't look too birdlike, either. On the other hand, it's a blurry pic, so who knows?

-- Don