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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Sunday, July 26, 2009


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

1 comment:

Jakkar said...


I enjoyed your 'Feejee Mermaid' guide in FT, it led me to google your name and thus discover this blog. I did not realise paper mache was quite so pliable, and may have to experiment soon.

Thus far, clay has just been too damn wet. Nothing works quite like white tac for miniature sculpting at least.

- Jack