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, December 12, 2009


The other day we posted a strange story from Naomi West regarding a deer hunt with an unexpected difference. Later that day Naomi wrote to us with a jolly good idea:


After speaking to my kid about the deer today (and being impressed that he would choose that topic for his unexplained mystery) I got the idea to create a kids' cryptozoology site. I thought kids could submit their strange animal stories and other kids (and adults) could offer explanations, do research, offer theories, etc. I'll have to work out the details. So Richie and I purchased http://www.kidcrypto.com/ this evening. The first post will be my student's deer story. Even if it turns out to be perfectly explainable, it will be a teachable moment. So while kidcrypto might have some mysteries submitted that have ready answers, there won't be a whole lot of difference between it and a regular crypto site because adults are always learning too, and experts often come along and solve a mystery on regular sites as well.

I realise that there might be the issue of honesty. Kids often make up stories to be sensational or have a claim to fame, but so do adults. I will do my best to filter.

I found that cartoon network already has a crypto site for kids http://www.cartoonnetwork.com/tv_shows/promotion_landing_page/tss/cryptidsarereal/index.html, but what's another, right? Mine will be different, with kids able to personally contribute.

What do you think?


I wrote back being generally enthusiastic about the whole thing. I have always maintained that it is essentiual for us to tell the next generation about what we do and why we do it, otherwise the work will die when we do, and there ultimately will be no point in our having done it.

Meanwhile, over in Canada, Kelly McG had an interesting comment to make on Naomi's original story.

Very odd story, Jon. Do you think if a deer were flash-frozen to extreme temps and then set up as though alive (so hunters could shoot what they thought was a live deer) that might account for the massive hair loss and antlers shattering upon impact? Crazy, I know, but I couldn't think of anything else, or even if that would be the end result of a flash-freeze on a deer.

Truthfully, I haven't a clue, so I am throwing the query open to all of you in bloggoland....

1 comment:

Syd said...

What an excellent idea Naomi. Anything that gets the next generation interested in things of a scientific nature or even just Nature alone, without the science, has got to be a good idea.
I know that over the years, there has been some opposition to Jon's idea of involving youngsters in the Weird Weekend, but personally I will always support him in doing so.
I wish you every success with this venture.