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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Thursday, September 03, 2009


After two previous expeditions to the Indonesian island of Sumatra on the track of the upright walking ape know as orang-pendek (short man) the CFZ will be returning for a third expedition beginning on September the 13th.

Adam Davies, Dr Chris Clark, Dave Archer and myself will be spending two weeks in the jungle in search of the orang-pendek. Past expeditions have concentrated on Gunung Tuju (the lake of seven peaks) in Kerinchi National Park. This time the better part of the expedition will be spent with the Kubu people in the lowland jungles. Back in 2004 Chris and I spent a day with these people and Nylam their chief.

The Kubu are the original inhabitants of Sumatra. The modern Indonesians arrived relatively recently from Malaya. They are far taller and more slender than the average Sumatran. They have oriental features but the men have curly hair almost like Africans. Until recently the Kubu lived totally wild in the jungle. Now they have houses but still spend months on end in the deep rainforest. Nylam told us of his own encounter with an orang-pendek a few years back. He and his warriors had also seen ten-metre-long serpents that they described as having horns like an ox!

We will be working with the Kubu to search for orang-pendek and the horned serpents (the Kubu call them 'Nagas'). Apparently there have been a number of sightings of the short man in the area recently. We intend to make our HQ in the ‘garden’; a semi cultivated area that abuts the true jungle. We hope to record some of their culture and folklore as next to nothing has been written on Kubu beliefs.

Towards the end of the trip we will return to Gunung Tuju where the creature has also been seen recently.

They say three's the charm and third time lucky so keep your fingers crossed!

1 comment:

Mike said...

Good luck - I'm interested in what evolutionary tactics Pendak may have developed to co-habitate the forrests with Sumatran Tigers