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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Wednesday, September 23, 2009


Some months ago 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.

The Loch Ness Monster has always held a special place in my heart. It was one of the first crypto-creatures that I read about as a child, and was no doubt all the more attractive to me because of its putative Mesozoic origins. I loved the idea that a plesiosaur was navigating the waters between the Caledonian Canal and the River Ness, and Tim Dinsdale’s book The Loch Ness Monster was inspirational to me.

So here are a couple of Ness curiosities: the first, from 1934, supposedly solves the famous ‘Surgeon’s Photo’. And there was me thinking that it was all down to good old Christian Spurling, with a toy submarine, a handful of plastic wood, and too much time on his hands.

The second, is quite a spooky illustration, also from 1934, depicting Arthur Grant’s encounter with a rather weird-looking animal--if that’s what it was--on the shores of the loch. The drawing shows the creature almost jumping in the air like a large dog; could Grant have actually witnessed nothing more zoologically aberrational than a Great Dane, distorted by both the misty gloom, and Grant’s overactive imagination? You decide….

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

The Christian Spurling "Deathbed confession" was simply another hoax, BTW: the "Deathbed Confession" follows a typical folkloric pattern, it was NOT made AS a deathbed confession, and the way he told the story betrays any real knowledge of the photos (there were more than one) or even of Loch Ness at that place.

Which has nothing to do with whether the PHOTO was genuine, only that Christian Spurling had nothing to do with it. It was only one of a LONG series of "Confessions" to faking that particular photo-the others also being spurious because they betrayed a basic misunderstanding of the actual photo (nearly all of them are unaware of the original, uncropped version of the photo)