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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Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Friday, July 31, 2009


...a fascinating new paper on trilobites revealing new facts about the way they lived.



Miami Beach tolerates all kinds of eccentricity, but the south Florida playground of the rich and famous draws the line at a bicycle-riding rooster named Mr. Clucky. The white bird, who perches on his owner's bike, has become a favourite subject of tourist photos. But he's been ordered out of town for his cacophonous crowing every day at 6 a.m.

A code enforcement officer ticketed owner Mark Buckley on May 27 for keeping a farm animal. Buckley faces a $50 fine and an order to get rid of the famous fowl. Never mind that the celebrity bird was grand marshal of last fall's King Mango Strut in nearby Coconut Grove.

Buckley could receive repeated citations and higher fines if he doesn't comply. But city officials say an arrest is not likely.

On the Net:

Mr. Clucky Web site: http://www.mrclucky.com/


He may claim to be helping the CFZ to get specimens of the garden tiger moth (see below) for a breeding project but we know the truth, boys and girls. Agent Matthews is now working to destabilise the Arctiidae
FROM WIKIPEDIA: The garden tiger moth is found throughout Europe as far north as Lapland, in Asia, and in North America. In the mountains this species is found up to an elevation of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). The garden tiger moth loves damp places, which is why it is particularly common in river valleys as well as gardens and parks. The moth is nocturnal and can usually only be seen flying around a source of light. The distinctively coloured, long-haired caterpillar, on the other hand, is seen more frequently. It can grow up to 6 cm (2½ inches) long and plays dead when in danger. These moths are most common in June to August, in gardens, park, meadows, grasslands, and scrubby areas.
On August 28, 2007, the new Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) [launched in 1997] identified 1,149 species and 65 habitats in the UK that need conservation and greater protection. The updated list include hedgehog, house sparrows, grass snake and the garden tiger moth; otters, bottlenose dolphins and red squirrels remained in need of habitat protection.[1]
Its numbers in the UK have declined by 89% over the past 30 years.[2]


I am not sure whether these images of this singular felid have been picked up by the fortean press or not, but I have not seen them before.

I was sent these by accident. I am a member of a newsgroup called `Old Hong Kong,` which occasionally is a good place to get photographs of pre-war Hong Kong for the book that Richard Muirhead and I have been writing in a desultory manner for the past seventeen years.

However, these days the postings are more likely to be soft porn pictures of Asian girls with titles like "Sexy Fidelia displays herself to homeless man in field 18++ Verry god", but occasionally something of interest comes up.

Like this:

This weird cat with wings was spotted in Chonqing, China.

Although you might think the angel-cat of Chonqing is unique, there have been other cats with wings in Russia and the United States.

Her owner says she wasn’t born like this.

Her wings started growing when she was one year old. A worker from the Chonqing Museum of Natural History says this kind of oddities are becoming quite common and are the results of pollution.
This particular angel cat will be adopted by the Chonqing Museum.


I always feel mildly embarrassed that I spend more time being sceptical about supposed evidence for the existence of cryptids than I do being positive. This is basically why, when Lindsay commented on what I thought was a spectacularly dubious photograph purporting to be of bigfoot, I kept schtum.

However, now, no less than the Oregon Bigfoot society have entered the debate. Autumn Williams writes:

Prior to this article being published on the Examiner website, I received a mass email from a mufonjeff (Jeffrey Gonzalez?) regarding this photograph. The subject line was “BIGFOOT CONFIRMED REAL!!!!”

I wasn’t immediately impressed with the photograph, nor with the sensationalism of the subject line. I mean, I can understand being excited about possibly capturing an image of Sasquatch on your game cam, but to publicise it as “confirmed!!!!” before the photograph has been independently analysed by those proficient in photographic analysis (or even your peers, for that matter) is a bit irresponsible and doesn’t do a whole lot for the credibility of our field of research… which many feel has little inherent credibility to begin with. *grin*...

Read On



Creationist exams comparable to international A-levels, says Naric

ICCE teaches that Loch Ness monster disproves evolution and apartheid benefited South Africa
* Jessica Shepherd
* The Guardian, Friday 31 July 2009

Exams for which pupils are expected to believe that the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution have been deemed equivalent to international A-levels by a UK government agency.

The National Recognition Information Centre (Naric) in Cheltenham, which advises universities and employers on the rigour of lesser-known qualifications, has ruled that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is comparable to courses such as international A-levels, the Times Education Supplement has found.

Teenagers studying for the certificate, which is taught in about 50 private Christian schools in the UK, spend half their time learning from evangelical US textbooks. The curriculum is based on the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme, which describes its ideology as "Christian fundamentalist".

Jonny Scaramanga, who was a pupil at a school in Bath that used the textbooks, has complained to Naric that the books tell pupils that the Loch Ness monster "appears to be a plesiosaur" and helps to disprove evolution.

The textbooks also state that apartheid helped South Africa because segregated schools "made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children".

One of the textbooks tells pupils: "Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

"Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize [sic]that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be
discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."

Naric, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has said the ICCE is equivalent to the advanced certificate of Cambridge International exam board's international A-levels.

Tim Buttress, Naric's spokesman, told the TES its remit did not cover the curriculum's content.

Its remit did not cover the curriculum's content? Are you bloody joking? How can NARIC even begin to assess the standard of education presented by a qualification if they don't look at what they have been taught? Leaving aside the moral question of generations of children being taught pernicious, superstitious, nonsense, this is just another doorway by which kids will enter the university system not knowing anything. This country is doomed!


As - amongst other things - this blog is a daily snapshot of life here at the CFZ, we post this email exactly as we received it:

"What you refer to as zooform phenomena are nothing but demons(spirit beings).Demons are shapeshifters and there is no limit to the different things they can manifest themselves as.The Jersey devil,bigfoot,mothman,chupacabra,and phantom kangaroos are all demonic manifestations.What people aren't aware of is that the demons are behind various paranormal phenomena.This includes crop circles,alien/ufos,cattle mutilation,and ghosts.For people that don't believe in the supernatural,these phenomena are proof that demons do exist.Also,this is why these things are sometimes seen together,because the same thing is behind all of them.Too,I wanted to mention that Jonathan Downes said that the chupacabra is the most frightnening cryptid there is.Well,he must have never heard of the pobobawa and the pope lick monster".

Goodness me.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Friday on YNT is Fact Friday where as well as the news I regail you with a fascinating fact that you never knew before; so without further waffle here is this week's fact....

The Cornish town of Lostwithiel was so named due to the fact the town would be moved around the countryside to fool unwelcome travellers. This was achieved using a cunning and intricate system of brass pulleys and valves set up in Victorian times and operated by the mayor of Lostwithiel while sitting in a seat in the towns control room situated in the guildhall that looked similar to the time machine in HG Wells' book of the same name. The practice continued until the 1950s when the town received a visit from a very annoyed official from the Ordnance Survey.

And now the news:

Crustacean Color Control System Decoded
Freshwater crabs 'feel the pinch'
Mapping the crocodile genome
Bird fossils found in Kalaeloa, Hawaii
Commuter cat is star of bus route
X-ray shows dog swallowed nine golf balls
3,000 donkeys drafted in for Afghan polls: UN
Amazing rescue: Drowning diver saved by beluga whale

‘Whale’ I never! What an amazing animal.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Well, I thought it was funny!


Sadly, for family reasons, artist Ant Wallace has had to pull out of this year's event. However, we can now announce that ASSAP will be joining us, and will be carrying out an experiment, which has something to do with the poltergeist in the pub.

More details soon

And by the way, if you still haven't bought your tickets to the Weird Weekend, do it


RICHARD MUIRHEAD: More vintage fortean zoology

Richard Muirhead is an old friend of the CFZ. I have been friends with him for 40 years now, since we were kids together in Hong Kong. He is undoubtedly one of the two best researchers I have ever met; he and Nigel Wright both have what Charlie Fort would have no doubt called a wild talent; a talent for going into a library, unearthing a stack of old newspapers, and coming back with some hitherto overlooked gem of arcane knowledge.
Hello again folks; hope you`re all well!
I am presenting some cryptozoology and Forteana from various British natural magazines from the period 1905-1912, which I gleaned whilst an MA student in Oxford in the mid 1990s. A few of these may have been mentioned elsewhere but they have never been gathered together all in one place. They should provide a safe reference tool for anyone with the time to research and a decent library nearby. Country-side

June 17th 1905 p.89 African Viper, Denmark Hill (London?)

Brusher Mills. (a snake catcher in the New Forest) August 5th 1905. p.199

Odd coloured frog, N.Wales. December 9th 1905 p.55. “The frog described as having a back of a bright red colour, spotted with orange, and a pure white breast seen swimming in a brook in N.Wales, was an interesting colour variation of the common frog". Same page- bright yellow frog Hull.

July 21st 1906 p.160. Acclimatisation of River tortoise in Thames valley and elsewhere in England- carnivorous-dark shell with bright yellow dots.

September 1st 1906 p.230 A 2ft long grass snake killed in Ballymena.

October 13th 1906 p.298 A grey slow loris from China at London Zoo (1)

October 27th 1906 p.324 . “Sea creature off Scotland”

June 15th 1907 p.83 Cat headed sea snake

July 4th 1908 p.79 Another red British frog.

May 15th 1909 p.341 A little red viper

September 4th 1909.p.243 A little red viper in S.Wales

This is my favourite one: October 9th 1909 p.326 A type of African water snake with an “electrical battery” (sic) (2)

Country-side monthly

Exact date unknown. Vol 3 p.136 Magical cure from snake bite

December 18th 1909 p.71 Spanish terrapin (in UK) “uttering faint but distinct “mews” “like a young kitten. I think the sound is produced by the drawing in of the breath….When alarmed he always hisses, but it is only lately he has taken to mewing.”

A similar story appeared in Country-side in 1912 p.410.

Green lizard in Lancaster 1912 p.410

Jumping forward to – (Radio 4) April 28th 1991 “Bees this year are buzzing a semi tone higher than last year.

N.B Country-side and Country-side monthly are different magazines.

(1) It would be interesting to know exactly from what part of China this grey slow loris came from because around this time a slow loris was found tied to a lamp post in Hong Kong.

(2) Has anyone heard anything about this?

That`s all folks….

WEIRD WEEKEND: Children's area saga continues

The saga of the children's area at the Weird Weekend has changed yet again. We received two offers of help yesterday.

One from a dodgy-sounding `alternative-type` woman with a silly name who offered to provide us a two hour craft workshop for £75 (this, apparently being her `charity rate`), and one from a dude called Stuart Garner who is actually coming to the Weird Weekend anyway, and who has offered to lead a craft session making monster masks for kids.

What a smashing bloke. Yes Please, we said.

Although in many ways I am an adherent of the philosophy of the original hippies, the rampant breadheadedness of so many people who claim to live an `alternative lifestyle` disgusts me and it is heartening to know that there are still people around who do things just for the pleasure of doing them, and not for any financial consideration.

Thank you Stuart. You are a star.

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don't make it in ghastly seriousness,
don't do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.

Don't do it because you hate people,
do it just to spit in their eye.

Don't do it for the money,
do it and be damned to the money.

Don't do it for equality,
do it because we've got too much equality
and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart
and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don't do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own
and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don't do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let's abolish labour, let's have done with labouring!
Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it's not labour.
Let's have it so! Let's make a revolution for fun!

A Sane Revolution by D.H.Lawrence


There was I in the full expectation that both my darling stepdaughters would make their old stepdad happy by signing on the dole, and settling down to a life of indolence, sticking it to the man, and they have both let me down. First Olivia got a job in a swanky fashion shop in Exeter, and now this:


Baby, I am so proud! Well done....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Here we go with another round up of cryptozoological news as featured on the CFZ daily cryptozoology news blog:

Human activity is driving Earth's 'sixth great extinction event'
Critically endangered white-shouldered ibis benefits from human intervention
Remains of at least three tigers found in taxi in Vietnam
World’s rarest deer found alive and well on Philippine islands
9-foot Burmese python on first day of Florida extermination program
New wildlife habitat created in the heart of London
First rhino birth in Uganda for 28 years
Extinct rodent species discovered
Critically endangered Chinese alligators breeding in the wild after reintroduction

That reminds me of a story I heard once...
In the 1950s Mao Zedong held a meeting at his home for the Chinese communist party elite. The visitors were shocked to find that in his garden Mao had a 50-metre-long swimming pool seriously overpopulated with very angry Chinese alligators. When the men asked him why he had such unusual occupants in a perfectly nice pool Mao told them that it was a test of courage, intelligence and strength and who ever managed to swim the entire length of the pool unharmed would prove themselves worthy to be his successor as president and he would grant them any request they had as well.
Mao waited a while but none of the men stepped forward to take up the challenge so he turned to go back indoors. He quickly spun back around when he heard a splash and saw his finance minister swimming to the other end of the pool at a breakneck speed. The minister dodged the snapping jaws of hungry alligator after hungry alligator, outsmarted them with feints and even smacked one animal on the nose before he reached the other side of the pool and pulled himself onto dry land before crumpling down in an exhausted heap.
Mao was very impressed; "You have proved yourself worthy to be my deputy and eventual successor.” He said to his finance minister.
“I really don’t want to be president,” the minister said between panting “But, could you grant me the request?”
“Certainly, such courage can’t go without some recognition.” Mao replied.
“My request is this: could you tell me which one of those bastards over there pushed me in.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


OK, this is 18 months old but I am posting it because I haven't seen this clip before. I make no claims for its veracity one way or another.


Jordan Warner has been working hard on the revamped Cryptid Hunt using software donated to him by the CFZ. On his blog he describes a recent trip to one of the leafier corners of New York State in search of bigfoot...


And on YouTube he has posted a new trailer. Remember this boy is still in his teens. I think that he has done a remarkable job...

NEIL ARNOLD: Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?

I have known Neil for fifteen years now, since he was a mod schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippy who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years; we are just both a tad older....

Whilst on my way to conduct a talk recently in Orpington, Kent, I came across an unusual sight, which I hope some readers of this blog can help me with. I’m sure it’s nothing unusual but... I was strolling along a busy road around 7:15 pm; a nice sunny evening, but when I looked to my right up a cul-de-sac, I noticed it was covered with crows. Now, this made for quite a strange sight because the birds were not spilling onto the road I was walking on, or onto fences or up in trees; they simply littered the cul-de-sac. They did not appear to be feeding on anything and there were literally 30-40 of these birds just standing there.

Secondly, on Thursday July 9th 2007 I was awoken around 7:00 am by a squawking noise. I live in an historic apartment, top floor, over-looking a castle. I sat bolt upright and saw on the window ledge a large, black crow. Suddenly, the bird turned to look at me and then tapped four times on the window and then flew off. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing sinister about these two encounters, and I doubt Brandon Lee was about to leap out from behind a bush, but if anyone can shed any light or has had a similar experience I’d like to hear it.

GLEN VAUDREY: Unicorns everywhere

Having read Friswell’s Freaky Features the other week regarding the bull with the single horn I was reminded of a few other single horned faux unicorns.

The one you might have seen before is one of the unicorns produced by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Following on from the work of Dr Franklin Dove in the 1930s he further refined the work and churned out his own version of the unicorn; this time the basis of the conversion was a goat. Like the bull some 50 years previously the animal had a natural advantage in the head-butting contests, after all and its one horn had the benefit of slipping neatly between the opponents two natural horns.

The things you can do when you have time on your hands.


Some weeks ago, when Fleur last visited, we showed her this. It is a softshell turtle carapace, which was donated to us by Lionel Beer from the collection of his late father. It has the word `Soudan` written inside, so presumably is African in origin.

It is interesting because of the unusually large fleshy `skirt` around it, which does seem atypical for normal softshell turtles, and even for the flapshell turtles (Cyclanorbis).

Fleur wrote to us afterwards:

Hello Jon, I found this on a site about ethnography; as you can see it is very similar to the shell you have and yours does have 'soudan' written on it. Obviously this one has been shaped as a shield and yours has not but it does look a lot like it.

The original posting includes this sentence:

"You find this type in the southern Soudan and different nilotic tribes are possible. Attached mine from the Bari. The shell is very hard and in my opinion a very good protection for every stick fighting match."

WEIRD WEEKEND: Children's area disappointment

Apparently, despite what I said yesterday, Celia Braund will not be doing her `junk monsters` workshop at the Weird Weekend. It has been decided that the fee that I offered will not cover her time and expenses.

So, back to the drawing board.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


More news from the world of cryptozoology and related disciplines with thanks to our hardworking news chappie Gavin Ll-W:

David Farrier to embark on hunt for Mongolian death worm
The Truth Behind the Mongolian Death Worm
Conservationists hunt elusive US earthworm
Disease threat may change how frogs mate
Homeowner shoots bear invader with shotgun
Shaunetta the sheep shot dead
Conservationists hunt elusive US earthworm

Lets hope the US government gets a wriggle on and gives the worm protected species status.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


From the latest edition of Herp Digest (http://www.herpdigest.org/):

New Species of Horny Toad Identified in California

(Editor - I posted this story on the HerpDigest Facebook where people wrote in to disagree with the article, saying that they didn't discover a new species, but rediscovered an old species that was delisted. Unfortunately I can't find the article . If you can send me the URL, so the people on Facebook who disagreed can contact the authors and have their questions answered. Thanks)

A meticulous review of genetic, anatomical and ecological information has identified two new species of horned lizards, also known as horny toads, in California.

The findings mean what was thought to be one species is actually three. And that has implications for how the creatures should be viewed in conservation efforts.

In the study, published this week in the early online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers found that when the coast horned lizard (Phrynosoma coronatum) moved north from Baja California and spread throughout the state, it diverged into at least two new species.

"When you stack up all the data sets, they all support three species," said lead author Adam Leache, a recent University of California, Berkeley Ph.D. recipient who is now at UC Davis. "If you were to pick only one data set, you would get a different number of species. One lesson we learned about the speciation process is that you can't rely on one type of data to accurately track a species' history."

Aside from the oldest and original species, P. coronatum, found only in southern Baja California, the researchers identified a new species, P. cerroense, in central Baja and a third, P. blainvillii, whose range extends from northern Baja to Northern California.

Within the third, wide-ranging species, the study's authors found enough genetic and ecological differences to suggest there are at least three distinct populations of P. blainvillii, each requiring separate management and protection.

The findings have implications for conservation efforts, because coast horned lizard populations are in decline from southern Baja California to Northern California due to several factors. Among these are loss of lowland habitat from agriculture and urbanization and the introduction of Argentine ants, which displace the more nutritious harvester ants, the favored diet of the lizards. The lizard is on the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Red List of Threatened Species, as are California's two other horned lizards, the desert and flat-tailed horned lizards.

"For decades, it has not been clear what might be useful conservation units within the declining horned lizards in coastal California. Our study finally gives some clarity and direction for conservation actions to follow," said co-author Robert Fisher, a research biologist at the U.S. Geological Survey in San Diego, Calif.

For more than 100 years, scientists have been trying to distinguish species among coast horned lizards, with the number of recognized species ranging from 1 to 6 depending on the author. These prior studies were reliant almost entirely on morphology. But when it comes to recently diverged species like the coast horned lizard, where morphological differences are subtle, it can be difficult to distinguish species, according to co-author Jimmy McGuire, UC Berkeley associate professor of integrative biology.

"This sort of analysis is going to be necessary in order to tackle questions of recent speciation," McGuire said. "Lineages that have been separated for a long time are not controversial - we have no trouble distinguishing chimps from humans, for example - but it is trickier with species that are younger and thus less morphologically heterogeneous."

"This could have an impact on the number of species that we recognize on the planet, because many species are young like this," he added.

In particular, the number of species in California could be substantially underestimated because even well-studied groups like horned lizards are likely to be comprised of multiple cryptic species, McGuire said. Studies integrating diverse data sets and focusing on the question of gene flow between lineages will almost certainly result in the discovery of many new species, he added.

Over the course of millions of years, populations of horned lizards migrating northward have separated and diverged from one another, producing an array of genetic lineages all along the western coast of North America that are adapted to unique ecological niches, according to the study.

"The genetic differences between the populations of horned lizards in California are striking - nobody could have predicted this high degree of differentiation simply by looking at the physical differences between the lizards," Leache said.

Given enough time and continued environmental protection for the lizards to persist for the long-term, it's likely that the California horned lizards, like those in Baja California, will also evolve more dramatic physical differences through natural selection.

The study was funded by the National Science Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, California Department of Fish and Game, California Department of Parks and Recreation, Metropolitan Water District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and U.S. Department of Defense.


It is very sad that the Crop Circle Connector chose to close their forum recently after it is claimed that a few individuals had been abusing the site and there were not enough moderators to handle the looking after of such a site.

It is with this in mind that I have decided to let everyone know there is a new forum created now where you can chat and leave messages. It also has an unlimited ability to handle uploading of photos of the crop circles.

Hopefully this will create a good new community for people to chat openly about the subject.

Please pass on this to all you know to come and visit the forum.



WEIRD WEEKEND: Children's area updates

Although we are all still jolly disappointed that Davey and Joanne (and Rosie) Curtis are not going to be with us this year, fans of the children's area at the WW need not be disappointed. We have just booked (courtesy of the North Devon Museums) a young lady called Celia who will be doing a workshop of `Junk Monsters` - how to make model monsters out of household junk.

There will also be a hands-on session with Julian Vayne and his `Cabinet of Curiosities`, balloon animals with Oll, and animal handling with Max and Ross, as well as the previously advertised attractions for the younger of us.

A splendid time does appear to be guaranteed for all.


Dale started at IUPUI hoping for a degree in Biology before changing to Anthropology and as a result, has a very diverse background in Geology, Zoology, Paleontology, Anatomy, Archaeology, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, Latin, Popular Culture, Film criticism, Mythology and Folklore, and various individual human cultures especially mentioning those of the Pacific and the Americas. He has a working knowledge of every human fossil find up until his graduation and every important Cryptozoological sighting up to that point. He has been an amateur along on archaeological excavations in Indiana as well as doing some local tracking of Bigfoot there. Now he is on the CFZ bloggo....

First blog item: Excuse me, Water Horses INCLUDING Nessie

The problem is that anything not immediately identified that is sighted on Loch Ness is automatically "Nessie". There are more than one kind of unknowns involved, and another part of the problem is that "Nessie" is somehow permanently attached to that lake and somehow peculiar to it. None of the unknowns that appear there are confined to Loch Ness and exclusive to it.

What BEGAN as "The Loch Ness Monster" was traditionally The Water Horse. THAT was a horse-sized and shaped animal that went into the water. It was recorded as such in reports at least as recently as 1934. However, the more spectacular reports that caught the attention of the press and what the world came to know as "Nessie" was the Long-Necked type of Sea Serpent, and was immediately identified as such by those in the know at the time (eg, R.T. Gould and A.C. Oudemans) THAT is something else again, and something that has a worldwide distribution.

THE characteristic Freshwater "Monster" in what have been called "The Monster Latitudes", Primarily the Taiga zone as identified by Ivan Sanderson (who also used the generic term Northern Lake Monsters but MEANT this same distribution) IS "The Water Horse". That is the distribution for the Elk/Moose. The Long-Necked Sea Serpent type turns out to be mostly riverine and temporary when it is seen inland. This is also true of the Giant Eel types, but the proportions differ to such an extent that the two types are easily separated statistically. Giant Eels are also traditional on Loch Ness, as well as Master-otters, and both of them SPECIFICALLY in Loch Ness from the older records.

Best Wishes, Dale D.


Hi Jon

My father and I want to thank you for your continued support of our project and offer you first realease of our Interim Expedition Report. As you can see it has more detail and supporting evidence on all our theries and conclusion as it is mainly targeted at the scientific community who have treated my father and I with great courtesy and received our data with interest and even "excitement". The process is slow but thorough and we will report back to you on the outcome.

In the meantime our expedition (and the story behind it) is the subject of book & TV documentary discussions, which are ongoing. What we really want is to get back down to the Amazon with more equipment and get closer to the channels (but not too close!) with the aim of getting conclusive photographs.

Our original decision to release the Warner Amazon Expedition data, for the first time, to CFZ was a personal one based on the fact that you were nice guys, and we don't regret that. Although most of the comments you were able to post from your readers were disappointing in their lack of attention to detail (and general lack of good manners), some were helpful with our project.

We made a conscious choice not to respond to every confrontational comment early on and that continues to be our position. However, it has to be said that if all those smart guys in the cryptozoology community could get together and work as a team (instead of the snide and sometimes downright silly comments) then no doubt we could all make great strides forward and substantiate some great discoveries, large & small.

There is so much to discover (as your site is testament to) but most of these must wither on the vine of apathy & discord if our experiences are anything to go by.

My Dad and I want to thank the bloggers for all of their comments and wish you every success for the future of CFZ.

Mike & Greg Warner, 28th July, 2009

Download the report: http://www.cfz.org.uk/Warner%20Expedition%20Report%202.0.pdf


As regular readers will know we are all fans of Forests of Mystery here at the bloggo. Yesterday we received the following email from main protagonist Dewey Lansing:

"Forests of Mystery" series picked up for distribution by KoldCast.TV San Diego, California - July 24, 2009

Forests of Mystery has been picked up for distribution by Web TV Network, KoldCast TV. KoldCast will provide Internet distribution for Forests of Mystery via the KoldCast Television Network, TiVo, iTunes and Zune.

Forests of Mystery is a unique entertainment experience with elements of paranormal, mystery, comedy and suspense genres, told through the eyes of college student and research assistant Dewey Lansing and his friend Jeff Collins. It is billed as "the only video series dedicated to revealing the truth about what's really going on in the deep woods of the Tillamook Forest." The Forests of Mystery website is located at http://www.forestsofmystery.com/

KoldCast CEO David S. Samuels says of the series, "We are absolutely thrilled to introduce the show to our viewers. I have no doubt they will find the series totally engaging and highly entertaining. Go ahead; take a long walk into the Tillamook Forest with the series creators. They have an interesting story for you!"

About KoldCast TV

KoldCast TV, publicly launched in March 2008, delivers on-demand entertainment programming to a global audience in full-screen high-definition beauty via our line of advanced Media Players. Original web series, music, comedy, sports and lifestyles programming create the nucleus of the KoldCast Television Network. In the immediate days ahead, we will be formally announcing our newest line of Media Players, our first line of digital Music Players, and a massive new e-commerce capability called The ShowShopsT at KoldCast TV. The ShowShops provide the ability for viewers to shop for, and purchase, show- and artist-related merchandise, as well as digital deliverables, at the point of viewing. http://www.koldcast.tv/

JAN EDWARDS WRITES: Monsters on the moor?

Is there something lurking on the moors in Weardale? This road sign is a few miles from my home. Just HAD to share....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


The latest cryptozoology related news and a bad pun coming right up:

Playful dolphin strands NZ woman
Fishermen hook caveman's head
New lizard species found in India

Must have been really small to be found ‘India’ (as in ‘in de ear’? oh well never mind; no pleasing some people).

Monday, July 27, 2009


Some months ago, when we published Dale Drinnon's monumental checklist of cryptozoological animals, some debate ensued both on the `Frontiers of Zoology` newsgroup, and the bloggo about the nature of waterhorses. Both Dale, and Glen Vaudrey wrote me pieces on the subject, defending their particular corner, and I sat on both articles for a while, wondering what was the best way to present in.

Now I have stopped wondering, because this is:

Dale's Article

Glen's Article



The Each Uisge (the Highland waterhorse)

Having read Dale Drinnon's rather impressive checklist of cryptozoological creatures I was rather taken by surprise to read that the Scottish water horse has its roots in the elk. Fair play if that is what he thinks but I have a completely different understanding of the creature; to me it’s the Highland bogeyman. Don’t think for one minute that I disagree with Dale on crossing it off the list of animals to look for but my reasons are rather different.

The earlier reports of the each uisge are far from the horse-like animal you would expect a water horse to be, as the following short tales will demonstrate.

On the Isle of Lewis there is the tale from the area of Shawbost concerning the fate of two cousins, Fair Mary and Dark Mary. One evening while they were tending the cattle out on the hill an old woman appeared complaining of her tiredness and asking for shelter. They are kind folk out in the Hebrides so it was hardly a surprise that they invited the old crone into their hut for the night. Of course things didn’t turn out all that well. The little old lady killed and ate Fair Mary during the hours of darkness; the only clue to the real identity of the assailant came when Dark Mary noticed a horse trotting away into the distance. It was this horse that confirmed that Fair Mary had been the victim of the dreaded each uisge

On Speyside there is a white horse inhabiting the River Spey that demands a victim every stormy winter, or at least that is the explanation given to account for the fate of those that drowned in the river each year; no accidental drowning, just the evil machinations of the waterhorse.

While the Strichen Burn in Aberdeenshire played host to a water horse that had the guise of an old man darning his trousers who if struck would dive into the water as a horse.

In the Cairngorms the water horse of Loch Pityoulish appeared, according to tales, as a beautiful steed with a silver saddle, silver bridle and silver reins. A group of local boys couldn’t resist the temptation to ride the beast, only for them to become stuck on the animal as it dived under the waves, dragging all but one to their deaths; the one survivor who managed to escape had to cut his rein-fast fingers off.

There have even been attempts to capture a waterhorse with Loch nan Dubhrachan on the Isle of Skye being dredged in 1870. It ended with no horse in the nets; just a couple of pike. While an attempt on the mainland near Tomintoul resulted in the appearance of a terrifying little man with a flaming red bonnet at the water's edge scaring away the usually brave Scotsmen (sounds a little like Hazel Blears to be honest).

You see the waterhorse/ each uisge is many things: the old woman, the fantasy horse, the river spirit that demands sacrifices or even a little man with a red hat but at no point does it appear as flesh and blood. Maybe the water horse sits in the zooform camp or perhaps it is just the highland bogeyman used to warn children of the dangers of playing in lonely lochs, to teach girls to be wary of strangers, even to soften the news of the drowning of a loved one.

Perhaps it is telling that by the end of the nineteenth century tales of the water horse had started to disappear. Once every region in the Highlands had a tale of one but today the name and the dangers of the water horse are rarely heard for now it seems there are plenty of other modern bogeymen to scare children with.


Cloven hoofprints are sometimes reported in Celtic Water Horse traditions, and Water Cows or Water Bulls are universally said to leave cloven hoof-prints the size and shape of cattle tracks. The Celtic Water horses are sometimes said to have the hooves turned backwards, but a horshoe turned the other way around is still giving the impression of a cloven hoof.

Water Horses reported with cloven hooves are not really rare and are otherwise reported in Lake Monsters from Sweden to Maine--the long way around--and both Loch Ness and Lake Okanagon have a distinct and direct identification of the cloven hooved feet corresponding to the description of a moose.

The 1933 MacLennan sighting at Loch Ness was one of the ones on shore. Mrs. MacLennan described a large animal with cloven hooves like pig's feet but larger. Burton explained this as an otter and Costello as a seal but neither candidate is adequate for that description. Mrs. MacLennan mentioned that it was 25 feet long and that it had a humped back but that it looked longer, with more prominent humps in the water. She was describing the wake of the animal in the water swiming away when she said this. She saw it end-on when it was on shore and did not see the creature on land in a position where she could have made an accurate guess as to its length.

Costello mentions the Ogopogo tracks as being round in shape, but at the exact size of moose tracks. The Ogopogo tracks are mentioned by Costello in In Search of Lake Monsters on page 226 as being found on shore in 1949 and six inches across. Mary Moon also describes similar examples, sometimes found submerged right along the shoreline. The tracks of a moose are typically five to seven inches across and resemble cow tracks.

One of the recent sightings of a 'Water horse' in Maine said that the animal had come ashore and left 'clawmarks' on the shore. 'Clawmarks' can be understood to mean cloven hoof-prints.

Coleman and Huyghe's Field Guide to Lake Monsters... has a 1997 Water horse sighting off Newfoundland on pages 122-123 with the large eyes and ears described (there seems to have been some confusion as to whether it had large ears or horns, and also whether it was hairy or scaly) but it is clearly another rather poorly seen and poorly described swimming moose report.


This timetable is still relatively provisional, and that the CFZ take no responsibility for disappointment caused by the non-appearance of any of the advertised speakers


7.00 p.m Cocktail party at the CFZ
Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR


noon - 5.00 p.m Open Day at the CFZ
Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

Community Centre
Doors open at 6.00
Noon - 5.00 Open Afternoon at the CFZ
Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

Community Centre, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon
Doors open at 6.00

7.00 – 7.15 Introduction ***
7.15 – 7.45 OLL LEWIS: The Kraken and the Colossal Misunderstanding ***
7.45 - 8.15 MAX BLAKE: Unknown animals in Pet Shops ***
8.15 - 8.45 BREAK
8.45 - 9.30 JON McGOWAN: Big Cats in Britain... EXPOSED! ***
9.30 - 10.00 BREAK
10.00 - 11.00 TIM THE YOWIE MAN: Yowies - Australia's Bigfoot


Community Centre
doors open at 10.00

11.30 – 11.45 JON DOWNES + RICHARD FREEMAN: An introduction to cryptozoology ***
11.45 – 12.45 PAUL VELLA:The Minnesota Iceman
12.45 – 1.15 JULIAN VAYNE: A cabinet of curiosities from North Devon Museums
Julian will then take his collection into the exhibition area where he will do a `hands-on` session, for adults and children, with the cabinet of curiosities for until about 2.30
1.15 - 1.45 BREAK
1.45 – 2.45 ALAN MURDIE: Forteana from Colombia
(PAUL VELLA: Bigfoot for kids)
2.45 - 3.15 BREAK (KIDS: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party)
3.15 – 3.30 QUIZ ***
3.30 - 4.30 ANDY ROBERTS: The big grey man of Ben McDhui
4.30 - 5.00 Break
5.00 – 6.00 JAN BONDESON: The basilisk
6.00 - 7.00 TIM MATTHEWS: Crop Circle Confusion
7.00 - 7.30 Break
7.30 – 8.30: DARREN NAISH: British big cats in deep time
8.30 – 8.45 CFZ AWARDS
8.45-9.15 Break
9.15 – 10.15 NEIL ARNOLD: Zooform Phenomena - monsters amongst us
10.15 - 11.00 RAT SCABIES: Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail - the Punk Rock `Da Vinci Code`

doors open 10.30

12.00 – 1.00 MICHAEL WOODLEY: A proposed system of taxonomy for cryptozoology
1.0 – 1.30 GLEN VAUDREY: Mystery Animals of the Western Isles
1.30 - 2.00 LIVE: Sitting Now (Discussion and Panel) Presented by KEN EAKINS
(KIDS: Monsters are real – Jon Downes/Richard Freeman 30 mins)
2.00 – 2.30 BREAK (KIDS: Treasure Hunt)
2.30 – 3.30 NICK REDFERN: Stalin's ape men
(OLL LEWIS: Lake Monsters for kids)
3.30 - 4.00 BREAK
4.00 – 4.45 RONAN COGHLAN:
4.45 – 5.00 JONATHAN DOWNES: Keynote Speech and Closing Remarks.

Events specifically for kids are in red. Whilst all the lectures are suitable for children, some may be of more interest to young minds than others. The talks marked with *** are those that we especially recommend for children under the age of 12, although - of course - they are welcome at any that they care to attend...


Exhibition: Crypto Art by Ant Wallace
Exhibition: Crypto Art by Sam Shearon
Wildlife Photography/Taxidermy by Jon McGowan
Indian artefacts by APRA/Bob Morrell MBE
Unknown insects

EVENING: Dinner at The Farmer's Arms (Please book by Saturday evening)


Gundaroo Historic Village
NSW Southern Tablelands
27 July, 2009

Next weekend, at a remote windswept graveyard and under the cloak of darkness, a leading paranormal author will burn a copy of his new book.

“It’s certainly an unusual way of launching a book,” exclaims Tim the Yowie Man who will voluntarily throw a copy of Haunted and Mysterious Australia into the roaring flames of a bonfire on the outskirts of historic Gundaroo village next Saturday evening, 1st August.

“The book is full of stories of those who have gone to the grave and returned to the Earth in one way or other, so it’s quite symbolic that their stories should also return to the Earth in the form of ashes,” explains a philosophical Yowie Man.

This bizarre book launch will form part of a special ‘Graveyard Tour and Ghost Story’ evening to be held at Old Saint Lukes Studio, near Gundaroo on the Australia’s Southern Tablelands, next Saturday from 5pm. The event is one of the first of the 2009 Canberra District Fireside Festival, which runs during the month of August.

The spooky evening will also feature a tour of the Old Saint Luke’s graveyard by celebrated potter-cum-historian Ian Jones who, twenty years ago, transformed the burned-out remains of the church into his studio, home and gallery.

Tim the Yowie Man will be using the event as a warm-up for his headlining act at Weird Weekend - the world’s biggest gathering of mystery animal investigators - to be held in Devon, England from 14 -16 August 2009.

For editors:

  • For interview or photo opportunities, please contact Tim the Yowie Man on +61 407 769980 or timtheyowieman@bigpond.com
  • For more information on the Fireside Festival go to http://www.firesidefestival.com.au/
  • Haunted and Mysterious Australia (published by New Holland) is available at all good bookstores including ABC Shops. The first edition of Haunted and Mysterious Australia was published in 2007 but has since sold out, prompting the release a new updated edition.


"Yes! Welcome to Friswell's Freaky Features, an ongoing spot on the CFZ blog page where you will encounter the fun, the freaky, the frightening and on occasion, the downright horrifying. Many of these items are from almost forgotten archives and no doubt should, in many cases, have stayed forgotten. But no chance of that on this site!

So be prepared to be amazed by the bizarre manifestations of nature, the aberrations of the natural world and the complete (on occasion) mind-bending insanity of collective humanity. Read on...."

I'm morally sure that any comments that I might make at this point concerning the possible benefits to be derived from the arrival of one or more beavers by parachute may well be misconstrued, or more likely perverted entirely by some of the more prurient minds lurking on this site, so I'll just let you read it for yourselves....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Today is Movie Monday, so what is this weeks movie, you might ask (if you were reading this, rather than just spiking though to the links, I mean). Well, after yesterday’s self-enforced innuendo absence something had to crack and I ended up watching Carry On Constable, featuring world distance pogo record holder Charles Hawtrey. I suggest you watch it too; you’ll be in need of a laugh after you’ve read today’s pun. You’ll find the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPXhZ8t5WWY
And now, the news:

Albino hedgehog spotted in Taunton
Hunt maps out a hedgehog future
Mysterious Beasts Torment Villagers - by Helvy Tueumuna
Attack of the zebra mussels
Was There Ever a Dinosaur Civilization?
Vulture breeding centre at zoo
Bondla zoo gets a pair of tigers
Tense situation in Sri Lanka's only zoo
Detroit Zoological Park opened in 1928
Bald hedgehog gets prickles back

That story makes a very good point.
(Curse you for using my vulture ‘carry on’ joke while I was in Plymouth, Richard, I had to resort to using a hedgehog/point pun, bah)

Sunday, July 26, 2009


CFZ PEOPLE: Hannah Blake

Max's sister Hannah isn't very well at the moment, poor dear. Remember her in your thoughts and prayers...

And whilst on the subject, Jon isn't well again, so if you have written to him in the past 48 hours do not be too surprised if you don't get an answer just yet.


Another strange turtle freak from the peculiar website that Fleur found...

Yes, two heads!

This Yellow Belly was that one in a million born with two heads.

It was born in June, and has been doing very well ever since.

It is well past the early fragile stage. The head on the turtle's left is the dominant one.

Both heads feed and move independently.

Considering it's extreme rarity, special care should be given to be sure the turtle is set up in an easily navigated, turtle-friendly environment.

The keeper who orders this turtle will truly have something very special....

I am in a moral conundrum here. On one side I think that there is something very morally dubious about selling lusus naturae to people as pets. The whole ethos of responsible pet keeping as promoted by our magazine The Amateur Naturalist is that when wild animals are kept in captivity it should be as a celebration of the diversity of wildlife in the world, and in as natural a habitat as possible. This is the most un-natural wild animal that one could possibly hope for.

But golly, I want one.



KATONA ICELANDICUS: a new species?

I was very interested to see Richie West's Blabbermouth snake; certainly not a creature that you would want to meet in a dark alley, or indeed after a few glasses of Old Peculier, but here is an amazing--and totally authentic--picture of a semi-legendary cryptid that until recently was considered to be fabulous, if not the result of the intake of too many samples of the local brew.

First sighted off the end of Southend Pier, shortly after Arthur Mullard played the Cliffs Pavillion in 1990, this animal has reportedly been seen disporting itself up and down the East coast of Britain, coiling itstelf around beachfront properties, pie-and-mash shops and hair-extension consultancies, and inserting it's head into the windows; thus interrupting viewer's enjoyment of such local televisual gems as Eastenders and The Jeremy Kyle Show.

"It made a noise like Chas and Dave! Honest!", reported ex-Pearly King, Herman 'The Toff' Spooner, just recently retired from the cosmpolitan hubbub of Stepney Green. "I'm a good old Cockney boy from the sound of Bow Bells, I didn't come all the fu****g way up to Southend to have to put up with this sh**! It came up out of the water and started singing: 'Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit'; I was so shocked, I dropped my plate of jellied eels! We wouldn't have this sh** if Reggie and Ronnie were still about. The East End was safe when they were around."

Further to this, several other eye-witnesses, while shopping in a sea-front outlet of Iceland, claimed to have seen the creature staring through the window. "I don't care what anyone says," stated local debutante and runner-up in Miss Essex 2008, Channelle-Tiffany Nutsack, "that thing was eyeing-up the cheap cider!" Tottering about precariously on her white stilettos, Ms Nutsack did indeed point out that the local supply of Frosty Jack (alc 7.5% vol) was going like hot cakes for £5.50 for two bottles. "Blimey," she said, "I'm always in here for a couple of bottles as it helps my co-ordination when I'm dancing around my handbag, so you can imagine how I felt when I saw that thing looking through the window! My boob implants tightened up so much, my nipples fell off! I haven't been the same since!" In a later--unsubstantiated--comment, Ms Nutsack was heard to say under her breath: "I swear that thing was a dead-ringer for Kerry Katona!"

While sales of alcohol skyrocketed, Southend locals began to boycott fish-and-chip shops and cockle stalls claiming: "We don't know where it's been!" Viewing figures for Jeremy Kyle and Eastenders fell dramatically as both the interlectually-challenged and the clinically obese set down their Special Brew and chicken nuggets, and set out to the beach, hoping to sight the bizarre creature.

Things came to a head, when the Trisha programme attempted to sue Southend council for stealing their audience, and loss of earnings, and Iceland approached the Natural History Museum to enquire if it would be possible to sign-up an unclassified animal to promote their latest line of alcopops to teenagers, with the advertising line: "If you haven't seen it, you haven't drunk enough!" The last straw came when Dale Winton wanted to star the animal in a new day-time show, to be called 'Super Serpent Sweep.'

Realising that enough was enough, CFZ director Jon Downes rapidly dispatched Fortean stalwart Richard Freeman to the Southern coast to, as Jon said: "Sort this bo*****s out!" Freeman was no mug. He was a man with a predilection for strong drink and stronger women. He knew where the bodies were buried--and he was more than willing to dig them up. He'd soon sort out these Southern nancies.

On his arrival at Southend, Freeman immediately fortified himself with a Cornish pasty and a fruit beer. He wasn't messing around. A newspaper reporter tried to engage him in polite conversation, but Freeman let him have it: "You numb-nuts!", he retorted to the shocked hack, "Don't you realise that this animal is the best thing to ever hit this God-forsaken craphole? Do you really think that anyone with three brain cells would rather watch Jeremy f*****g Kyle with his media assassin's eyes, surveying the scene of his semi-conscious, terminally sub-social-strata 'guests' with the cold fury of an anorexic tryrannosaurus who's just recieved the news that an asteroid is due in somewhere along the Yacutan Penninsula next Tuesday at approx 3:30 Eastern Standard Time? Give me a break! And while we're at it, Eastenders!! Don't get me f*****g started on Eastenders!!! A bunch of walking out-takes from The Day of the Dead, shuffling around an endless, pantomime market-stall like some repetitive time-loop from hell, only to be thrown into a jump-leaded semblance of animation when dodging out of the way of Peggy Mitchell barreling insanely around Albert Square like some crazed, peroxide oompa-loompa! Get thee from me Satan!!!"

Picking himself up off the floor, the reporter said: "Ah yes, but what about the sea-serpent? is it real, or is it merely the subconscious accumluation of a wish-fullfilment delusion, manifest in the greater burden of societies lower order?"

"Are you taking the piss?" asked Freeman.

Before things could turn nasty, there was a shout from the beach. "We've got it, we've got it!"

Freeman and the reporter ran down to the sea front, and there it was. Obviously bloated with hype, overpublicity, and the accusation of resembling Kerry Katona, the serpent had expired in a surfeit of media glare and cheap, liver-corroding alcohol. Freeman instantly dubbed the creature Katonus icelandicus, and of all the thousands of photos that were taken, mysteriously, only this one survives....

EDITOR'S NOTE: You are all mad

CFZ PEOPLE: Kithra is back online

Computer Saga Ends

Fingers crossed, all will be well now, but if anyone sent me anything urgent please re-send it as I've lost all my mail due to having to mess around with my new rig to get it working properly. Thanks.

Liz R


Those of you canny folk who have already purchased advance tickets to this year's Weird Weekend starring:

Tim The Yowie Man: Australia's Yeti
Rat Scabies: The Punk Rock `Da Vinci Code`
Alan Murdie: Colombian Forteana
Tim Matthews: Crop Circle Confusion
Nick Redfern: Stalin's Ape Men
Ronan Coghlan: Atlantis
Max Blake: Unknown animals in pet shops
Julian Vayne: Cabinet of curiosities
Andy Roberts: The big grey man of Ben McDhui
Jan Bondeson: The Basilisk
Darren Naish: British Big Cats in Deep Time
Neil Arnold: Monsters - Zooform Phenomena
Michael Woodley: A new system of classification for cryptozoology
Glen Vaudrey: Mystery animals of the Western Isles

And lots more

will be glad to know that your tickets, plus money off vouchers for meals in the local pub, and 50% off voucher for The Big Sheep an award winning North Devon tourist attraction, are being posted out this week.

Those of you who have not yet spent out £20 on the best fortean weekend of the year bar none, had better get yer skates on. Buy your tickets at this link:


LAZARUS LONG: "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"

On the 15th and 17th of this month we posted the story of a carcass found on a New Zealand beach by our old mucker Tony Lucas.

We stated clearly in the second story that it was an opposum. Furthermore our mate Scottie (Retrieverman) stated clearly that it was an opposum in comments.

So why was this story posted in something called "Phantoms and Monsters" from some bloke called `Lon`?:

I received an email from a reader in New Zealand stating that this carcass was found earlier this week in Gisbourne, North Island, New Zealand. Actually, it looks a bit like the infamous Long Island 'Montauk Monster'...the reader had no idea what this creature was. A few others and myself have been bouncing it around and no Kiwi mammal comes to mind...Lon


Apparently it is also on `The Angels and Ghosts Message Board`


FROM `THE GUARDIAN` - Dragonfly Fact Sheet (Posted without comment)

Dragonflies: fast facts

. The dragonfly family has more species than any other mammal

. The wings of a dragonfly beat at up to 35 times a second

. The insects can fly forwards and backwards at up to 18mph

. The eyes of a dragonfly cover a field of vision close to 360°

. The largest species have been known to fly across the Atlantic Ocean

. Dragonflies don't sting humans

CAMPAIGN: Sea Turtles in the Bahamas


While you might think of the Bahamas as a place of great natural beauty, believe it or not, it is perfectly legal there to kill every species of sea turtle except the hawksbill. Since turtles are highly migratory, what happens in the Bahamas affects turtle populations in the U.S. We need your help today to get the Bahamian government to end the killing of sea turtles.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


What day is it kids? That’s right, it’s Stereoscopic Sunday! Glasses at the ready for today’s 3D photo.

You have no idea how hard it is to resist the temptation to make a load of Carry On movie-style jokes at this point, but I am made of stern stuff and the only pun you shall receive today will be related to one of the cryptozoology related news stories from our news blog. Speaking of which…

Holst's trombone scared sheep into lambing early
Best Pals: The Blind Dog and The Guide Dog
Snake hides from owner in Renault chassis for three months
Meet The Rat Pack - animals who play instruments

I hear they specialise in gangster ‘rat’. I should also use this opportunity to remind you to get Weird Weekend tickets in advance to make sure that you get to see Rat Scabies’ Talk on the Holy Grail.

Saturday, July 25, 2009


The latest revisions to the Weird Weekend schedule have just been announced...

There is still time to buy tickets to the best fortean event of 2009, so c'mon guys. The Weird Weekend can literally be a life-changing experience...



Many thanks to Dr Dan for coming to our (or rather to Nick Redfern's) rescue. Following our appeal on here, he is giving the world's least hirsute UFOlogist a lift to and from his native Walsall. Bostin.

However, we are still looking for someone to give Alan Friswell and a collection of monsters a lift to and from the metropolis. C'mon guys....

FLEUR FULCHER: Latest internship diary

Over, once again to the divine Ms F. She is spending the summer as an intern at the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. This is her story....

Sorry for the large break in diaries, but I've been a busy thing of late. My placement at RAMM continued to be excellent, having worked on a more complicated whale rib. I have now learned how to use a product called microballoons (tiny glass spheres) to mend the bone as well as pigments and paints to colour the infill. My confidence at colour matching has increased dramatically.

A fellow intern and I have been doing a brief survey of some of the Natural History collections, including the fascinating bird's eggs collections, some of which were given by the police after being confiscated from rather naughty oologists of the illegal type.

The Natural History collection at RAMM is large and encompasses many things, from Moa bones to mongooses (mongeese?), from mantises to mosses. All of it is very interesting and a lot is of very good quality. This resource is a treasure for the local community and for scholars of the subject and it is lovely to find a museum that values its Natural History collections. This placement has made me more sure that I wish to specialise in Natural History conservation and I hope to take a course in the next couple of years that will enable me to work with specimens preserved in liquid (how very Hogwarts).

Some of the surveying has led to some marvellous things to look at: a cabinet full of tiny jewel-coloured hummingbirds, a replica elephant-bird egg, a selection of tiger skulls and an Eskimo curlew being amongst them.

Many museums and a minority of the general public feel that Natural History collections are unfashionable, and sometimes politically incorrect (oh how I hate that phrase!) due to the 'colonialness' of things like taxidermied animals and animal heads. This is misleading as these items not only provide scientific information on animals but also a look into the attitudes people in the past had to animals and their habitats.

At RAMM there are bones - and even skins - of many extinct animals. There are a large quantity of Moa bones, a partial moa egg, Diprotodon bones, an Eskimo curlew and several passenger pigeons. No matter how these were collected they are undoubtedly very important and should be (and are being) looked after carefully and well.

I now have a month off from my placement, but I hope to write some other things during that time. I return to RAMM in August and shall resume this diary.

The Stone Curlew pic is, of course, copyright to RAMM and is used with their permission.


The following companies are donating (or have promised) goods or services to the Weird Weekend, mostly as raffle prizes. Everyone has been remarkably generous. Thank you guys...

We have come a long way from when the raffle prizes were half a dozen review books we didn't want and some piece of crap from Richard's bedroom.