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, August 29, 2009


I was talking to the good Doctor S. yesterday teatime (Shiels not Shuker, though I had an equally enlightening conversation with Karl later on, but that is a story for another day) and we were talking about how weird Woolsery seems to be, and he was good-naturedly ribbing me on the subject. I assured him that although I had, indeed, authored a piece for FT about the pub poltergeist, the more recent article about the village strangeness was nothing to do with me.

There are actually several other weird stories that did not appear in either article, but I shall also leave them for another day.

But as we were talking, I pressed `send and receive` on my email server in a desultory manner, and then burst out laughing. Why? Because the first email that came up had the title 'Piranha in the Torridge':

The 35cm (14in) fish was spotted by Bob Collett, Dave Hoskin and Eddie Stevens during a sampling trip on the river.

Among the species the team would have expected to find in the river were salmon, brown trout, bullheads, stone loach and minnow.

"What we actually discovered was something we would not expect to find in our wildest dreams - we could hardly believe our eyes," Mr Stevens said.

"After completing 20m of the survey, a large tail emerged from the undercut bank on the far side of the river.

"Our first thought was that a sea trout had become lodged in amongst the rocks and debris collected under the bank, but when it was removed from the river we were speechless to find it was a piranha."

Groovy synchronicity strikes again.



Retrieverman said...

It is amazing that such a fish could live at the same water temperature as a brown trout.

In the US, it is not unusual to catch piranhas in the rivers during the summer. We have a lot of young men who lack sense and buy these things because they are "wicked cool." And then they discover they can't care for them properly or it's too expensive to do so. In which case, they are turfed into the river, where they live for a few months in which the water is at the proper temperature. And then they die in the winter.

Bigfoot73 said...

According to Richard Seary in FT253, you have something of a werewolf problem in Woolsery. Now it's piranhas too.
You certainly picked the right spot for CFZ HQ !Cool !