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 05, 2009

FRISWELL'S FREAKY FEATURES: It's a shame about Ray

The other day Alan Friswell, the bloke who made the CFZ Feegee Mermaid and also the guy responsible for some of the most elegantly macabre bloggo postings, wrote me an email.

He had an idea for a new series for the bloggo. Quite simply he has an enormous collection of macabre, fortean, odd and disturbing magazine and newspaper articles, and he proposed to post them up on the bloggo.

Alan Writes: "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 abberations of the natural world and the complete (on occasion) mind-bending insanity of collective humanity. Read on...."

What a smashing idea, we thought, and so with a burst of alliteration that will - I hope - make Dr Shuker proud of me, here we go....

I wonder if any of you out there has seen this before, or knows anything about it. We're all familiar with the famous 'lost' pictures of people holding up dead thunderbirds, or other giant species, but has anyone heard of this huge ray, photographed in April 1934? While it undeniably has the look of a classic 'hoax' about it, I think that it's authentic. What do you think...?


shiva said...

This might not be a hoax - the manta looks approximately 20ft wide (being about 3 1/2 times the height of the men), and Wikipedia says that they reach a maximum size of "about 25ft across" and "about 5,000lb".

However, i can't help noticing that the composition of the photo is extremely similar to the "mythical" Thunderbird photo - could this pic be a contributor to that legend?

Markus said...

There's a second picture related to this. Please see for example:

http://blogs.damar.nl/blogs/danielmarianne/WindowsLiveWriter/Swimmingwithdolphins_7724/GiantMantaRayNJ%5B1%5D.jpg>this one

I've searched a little bit and found your pic also on the blog "Modern Mechanix" which publishes old magazine articles. As it seems our picture was published in the magazin "Modern Mechanix and inventions" in issue April 1934. Anyway a fake is still possible but I think then it's an old fake. The Blog-Site:


More Infos about the magazin:


stormwalkernz said...

After a second cup of tea from just waking up, as Ive told Jon im never on the ball until the second cup.
A bit of reseach shows this article to origineate from Modern Mechanix Magazine - April Issue 1934.
I believe it to be authentic as a similar Ray in weight was hooked on a vessels anchor and hauled up some years later.

Bigfoot73 said...

The crucial difference between this pic and the 'lost' thunderbird photo is that this one isn't lost, whereas the t-bird pic probably never existed in the first place.that is probably some sort of collective false memory syndrome.If so many people can recall seeing the thunderbird-nailed-to-barn pic, how come noone remembers where they stashed the old book/mag?