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, December 20, 2009


Hello, cryptopals! How`s it going?

I came across an old-looking print-out of a series of email messages between Ben Roesch and someone who just appears to be called `dwn194`. I have a vague memory that Dr. Darren Naish passed on these details to me but I`m not absolutely sure. So could dwn194 be Darren?Probably!

The first email is dated November 16th 1995:

'This interesting cryptozoological report comes from Touching the Moon, by John Preston, pp. 35. the book is about Preston`s interest in travelling to the Mountains of the Moons in Uganda, Africa, and his fulfilment of his dream. I thought some of you would be interested in hearing this:

'In 1896 one S. Begge climbed up to a height of 9,000 feet. His servant climbed higher and came back with reports of finding a small lake on the shores of which were a number of black birds the size of sheep. When he tried to get close to them, they bellowed at him like bulls and he ran away. Far from thinking his servant was mad, or effected with altitude sickness, Begge was only sad that he had not seen the black birds himself.'

'First, I might remark that the area of the Mountains of the Moons is the home to plant species that have grown to remarkably large hights and size. Groundseld grow to 20 feet in hight and heather “mighty as trees” (in the words of botanist Patrick Millington, who went there in 1934). The area is covered with mists and giant forests of plants that are normally small in the western world. It sounds like a perfect cryptozoologist`s (or zoologist or botanist) playground. Who knows what may lie here?

'I must say that a very thorough search of these mountains were performed in 1906 by an explorer named Duke of Abruzzi. He found no evidence of these “black birds” but I don`t know of his other zoological and botanical discoveries he may of made. (1)

1.E-mail from Ben Roesch to dwn194 November 16th 1995.

Talking Heads Life During Wartime

Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some gravesites,out by the highway
A place where nobody knows

1 comment:

Darren Naish said...

'dwn194' is indeed Darren Naish. The report you cite here was covered by Ben in The Cryptozoology Review. See...

Roesch, B. S. 1997. A compendium of cryptids (a Russian lake monster; rare shark rediscovered in Borneo; the thylacine – everywhere but in Tasmania; the mamlambo – a "man-eating" reptile?; big black birds in the Ruwenzori; east coast Caddy?; notes of various new and rediscovered species; assorted news). The Cryptozoology Review 2 (1), 4-16.