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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Monday, March 30, 2009

RICHARD FREEMAN: Thylacine Cave Art and Sightings

The thylacine aka Tasmanian wolf aka Tasmanian tiger was chosen as the CFZ's emblem with good reason. Gerald Durrell chose the dodo as the symbol of the Jersy Wildlife Preservation Trust because it was an emblem of extinction - we chose the thylacine as an emblem of survival.

Officially classed as extinct, there is little doubt that the beast is still around. Film, photos and literally thousands of witnesses make the thylacine the healthest extinct' animal around.

Last September some Aborigional art work depicting this amazing marsupial carnivore was uncovered. Archeologist Ken Mulvaney has found no less than 12 thylacine carvings along a 20km strech of the Pilbara Coast of Western Australia.

The state Government had lodged strong opposition to proposed National Heritage listing to protect the rock art. It had cited “grave consequences” for Australia’s largest resource project, the North West Shelf LNG planton the peninsula.

But Mr Mulvaney, who is also president of the Australian Rock Art Research Association, said the rock art needed urgent legal protection from industrial expansion and acid rain that was eroding rock surfaces.

“You cannot say any of the art is safe, and we don’t know what other carvings are out there because no survey has been done in areas earmarked by the WA Government for industrial estates,” he said..

Mr Mulvaney said it was cultural vandalism to continue promoting industry in an area where the world’s greatest rock art had been created over a 20,000-year period. “The Burrup continues to reveal highly significant petroglyphs, both in a scientific and aesthetic sense,” he said.

There was a spate of sightings on the outskirts of Portland in 2006 /7. One witness, Portland resident, Anthony Ersello, who saidhe saw a strange dog-like animal sitting in the middle of the Princes Highway on the outskirts of town near the Shell service station.

“I’d been walking home from a party, had one beer and was walking home when I saw it on the road sitting in the middle of the intersection. It kept staring into the distance and then looked at me,”.
The animal had a pointed face, chunky shoulders, stripes and its hind was long and lean.“I wanted to take a photo with my phone but it had been raining and the wet road made a reflection. I got to about 15 metres then it ran into the bushes.I didn’t know what it was. It looked like a bit of a dog but it didn’t really look like one.”

Another Portland resident, who did not want to be identified, reported two separate thylacine sightings in the past year and believed the tigers regularly crossed farms and pups had been spotted.

In December 2007, Portland woman, Robyn Nagorcka shot 30 seconds of video footage of a brown, dog like animal with stripes along it's hindquarters.

Some have tried to pass the film off as a fox with mange but a still from the film shown in the Hamilton Spectator shows an animal with a thick, stiff tail and kangaroo like hind legs.I It even appears to have the distinctive muscles on the lower jaw. Ms Ms Nagorcka herself said it was too big to be a fox and was he size of an alsation dog.

If any further analysis on the footage has been done, we have not heard about it.


michael moss said...

I was looking for tasmanian tigers in portland years before the fox videotape was taken.Michael Moss .The blogger needs to get their facts right before making statements.Michael Moss

Jon Downes said...

I have changed the line saying that the this particular videotape had attracted you to the area, but would like to take this opportunity to invite you to contribute something about your research to the bloggo...

michael moss said...

Just downloaded onto youtube a three part portland tasmanian tiger search etc.May be of interest.Cheers mmoss