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...

Search This Blog



Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Tuesday, March 31, 2009


This picture has been in the CFZ archives for at least five years, and to my embarrassment I cannot remember where I got it. It is supposedly a siamese pike (Esox lucius) caught by Donald Tayer on the Ottertail River in North Dakota.

However, if you do what I did, and google "Siamese Pike" then a whole can of worms gets opened.

Is it:

a. Real
b. Real but caused by intentional human activity
c. A result of pollution
d. A Phototoshop hoax
e. Two pikes, with the head of one tucked under the gill flap of the second

If it is real, how big is it? Most conjoined creatures never make it to maturity, and this one looks to be pretty large in size.

So, it is over to you. Someone out there must have some more information about it, or at the very least, an opinion as to its veracity or not...



For those of you interested, here are some rare (and very old) Australian press cuttings, courtesy of our good friend Paul Cropper, the eminent Australian Cryptozoologist. Paul was one of the hits of the 2006 Weird Weekend, and we hope to have him along again soon.


The second of the two episodes of On the Track (Of Unknown Animals) which had its audio removed by order of the Warner Music Group because I had pinched one of their tracks (Mr Bad Example by the excellent, if dead, Warren Zevon) has been remastered, the offending bits removed, and replaced by avant garde piano bits from me, and reposted.

I will be certain never to pinch anything from Warners in the future, and I hope that the other record companies from whom I have alco committed artistic larcenty, will be a little more forbearing...


Today, as Kithra (God bless her) pointed out a Theatre Company came forward and claimed responsibility for the plethora of bear reports from Rendlesham Forest in order to publicise their new production of Shakspeare's "A Winter's Tale" cashing in on its most famous stage direction "EXIT pursued by a bear".

Well I have to admit that this is piece of work by the Bard of Avon with which I am totally unfamiliar (except for the line about bears and a rather unfunny quip about dildos) so I had to look it up.

The Wikipedia description of the play
doesn't really explain why the bear, (and the chick who looks like Little Red Riding Hood) feature so prominently on the poster, but hey - who cares? It's all good fun and in the name of art, so it does not really matter.

But it is springtime, and I have spent quite a lot of the last few days talking to the good doctor on the `phone so the idea of stunts versus art versus reality in some sort of surrealchemical mishmash are quite high in my mind. Although the first lot of bear sightings are - I am quite prepared to accept - bosh, albeit arty bosh carried out for the highest possible motives, and in a rather well executed hoax ** I would not be at all surprised to see this kickstarting a series of less easy to explain shug monkey reports in the region.

See what Redders has to say:

** THE DAILY MAIL: "Actor and designer Jimmy Grimes said they had wanted to make one of the Bard's lesser-known plays more appealing to families and children. Mr Grimes created two youtube clips and email accounts from witnesses who claimed to have seen the bear.

He created the fake YouTube video by running through the woods with his mobile phone and added real life footage of a bear taken from the internet and altered with Photoshop."

We are living in a world where crappy cameraphone footage is so ubiquitous that a piece of footage like that constructed by Jimmy Grimes is entirely convincing. Well done mate

MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Suicidal dogs, and toads in an iron foundry..

Richard Muirhead is an old friend of the CFZ. I have been friends with him for 40 years now, since we were kids together in Hong Kong. He is undoubtedly one of the two best researchers I have ever met; he and Nigel Wright both have what Charlie Fort would have no doubt called a wild talent; a talent for going into a library, unearthing a stack of old newspapers, and coming back with some hitherto overlooked gem of arcane knowledge. Twice a week he wanders into the Macclesfield Public Library and comes out with enough material for a blog post..

Dear folks

For today`s instalment of Muirhead`s Mysteries I pass through the autumn of 1813 and encounter a break in the marine related features,only to uncover a case of suicidal dogs on the island of Samson in the Scilly Isles, (a strange coincidence here as the Biblically aware amongst you will remember that Samson did in fact commit suicide in the Philistine temple) and toads acting strangely:

“SINGULAR CIRCUMSTANCE: Last week, all the dogs in the Island of Samson (Scilly) in number about 14, ran simultaeneously into the sea,and were drowned together! No cause whatever can be assigned by the inhabitants for this extraordinary occurrence. The dogs appeared perfectly well a short time before this event took place.” Macclesfield Courier October 2nd 1813. p.2

“Remarkable circumstance- A few days ago,two living toads were found in the centre of the Cupola Furnace,at Mr Barnett`s Iron Foundry in Skipton.” October 16th 1813.p.3

I am familiar with the folklore of salamanders withstanding fire but not toads.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


Here is the latest cryptozoology news from the CFZ daily news blog, if its news and related to cryptozoology it’s in there:

Thirsty camels 'turning the taps on' in central Australia
Frogs 'marry' to bring rain to Bangladesh
Malaysia's Mini-Chickens Big It up After Flu Scare
My Best Teacher - David Bellamy
Marlin Perkins left an enduring legacy as teacher of the animal world
City's animal instincts help raise Rs 10L for AMC
Rescue Pets Make Credit Crunch Lunch
Evolution study focuses on snail
Police catch students stealing triceratops

Bet the student’s heads were ‘saur’ when they woke up after that. They’ll probably behave themselves a bit better next time they go out and get ‘rex’ed.



About twenty years ago, when I was first thinking about starting the CFZ, I was particularly interested in the two concepts of artificial life and chaos mathematics. Admittedly I smoked an awful lot of dope at the time, but I read widely on the subjects, and was convinced that we were standing on a veritable socio-cultural precipice that would see a revolution in the natural sciences akin to the one that had happened in mathematics only a decade or so before.

Like I said, I smoked an awful lot of dope.

However, one of my favourite books in the early 1990s was Artificial Life by Stephen Levy, and it introduced me to the idea of computer programmed evolution simulators. Over the years my life changed (I stopped smoking dope) and my attitudes towards many things underwent a radical paradigm shift.

Then last night, totally by accident (and with a completely clear head) I stumbled upon ventrella.com and http://www.swimbots.com/ which is basically a simple pondlife evolution simulator and I got hooked.

I think that this is one of the most exciting things I have found in years (albeit something I read about nearly two decades ago), but then again I am a tedious old hippy who likes pondlife.

Check it out guys. Have a play with it. And let me know what you think.