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, April 12, 2009


European and Peruvian herpetologists have discovered the smallest frog in the world, in the highlands of Manu National Park near Cusco in south-eastern Peru.

It was found at an altitude 3000 m (9840 feet) and has been named Noblella pygmaea, or Noble's Pygmy Frog. Females measure less than half an inch (12.5 mm) in snout-vent length, whereas males are just a bit longer than 1 cm.

Noble's pygmy frog lay two eggs, which hatch into fully formed tiny frogs, not tadpoles.

The eggs are laid in moist places such as under mosses or the leaf litter. The mother remains near the eggs to protect them from predators and drying out. The eggs, measure 4 mm in diameter, about two-thirds of the size of their mother.

The frogs inhabit the cloud forest, the montane scrub and the high-elevation grasslands of Manu National Park and of the privately-owned Wayqecha Research Station in the upper Kcos├▒ipata valley, named after a river which is a tributary to the Madre de Dios River in the Amazon basin. Their altitude range seems to be restricted between 3000 and 3200 metres (9840-10500 feet).
The Noble's Pygmy Frog is one among over 10 new frog species discovered over the past 2 years in the cloud forests of Cusco.


I was sent these two videos a couple of weeks ago. The involvement of Tom Biscardi does, I am afraid, taint them somehow. Having him endorse a bigfoot related topic is akin to having me endorse Weight Watchers, but I am presenting them so that they can be watched, critiqued, and generally talked about by the good folk of the bloggo readership:


Tony Lucas (Gawd bless 'im) sent this along. It is hardly gonna set the charts alight even in these debased times, but I have to admit that I prefer it to that Gosdawful Loch Ness song that Maxy sent. But this seems to have started something. Send me the youtube links for crypto pop music good or bad, and we will see what we can find...



I am becoming very fond of dear Naomi's writing. On her own blog "All this Pudding" (don't ask - she explained it to me the other night, but I was drunk, although it made perfect sense then) she describes her first ghost hunt:

Richie and I got a group together last night to investigate a famously haunted bridge about 30 miles away. It's called the Maxdale Bridge -- on a small road now closed to traffic -- and just beyond it is an allegedly haunted cemetery.

We took five friends -- Christopher and Carrie, Chris and Jessica, and my cousin Matthew. We also took a thermos of coffee, a video camera, and a voice recorder to pick up any EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomenon -- basically ghost voices below audible hearing). Chris, who is a fire-fighter tried to borrow a thermal imaging camera from the fire dept. but they just laughed at him.

It is the odd mix of fortean and domestic that makes her writing irresistible. You have to read the rest of this. Check out the link at the top of the page...

CFZ PHOTO ARCHIVE: Hong Kong in the early 1960s

The small child in these two pictures is me, and the lady holding my hand is my mother. The time is 1961 or 1962 and the place is two different beaches in Hong Kong. The top beach is Repulse Bay, called - I believe - after HMS Repulse, a Royal Navy battleship which was moored there for a while, However it might (according to Wikipedia) be named after the fact that it was the base from which the Navy "repulsed" attacks from pirates in the mid 19th Century.

The lower picture was taken at about the same time on a small private beach owned by H.M Prison at Stanley on theeastern edge of Tai Tam Bay, also on the south of the island.

The reason that I am posting them today, is not just because I am feeling slightly melancholy and nostalgic, but because these were two of the locations where I started my lifelong interest in natural history. Repulse Bay was where I saw my first seasnake, and the other location was where I first saw a Portuguese Man O'War.

On both occasions I say "first" but apart from museum and zoo specimens I have never seen either species in the wild since. However, the fact that I was confronted with such amazing, and potentially lethal animals at such a young age is, I think, the reason that I became so fascinated with animals at such a young age - a fascination which has continued for the rest of my life.


Next saturday Maxy, Matty, Rossi and moi will be driving up the M5 to the fleshpots of Redditch where we will be attending a catfish and cichlid auction.

I have no idea what, if anything, we shall buy, but I for one am looking forward to it tremendously. The last auction that we went to was a killifish and livebearer one at the same venue last December, and we found all sorts of species for sale that you will never see in a petshop.

So, fingers crossed, but I hope that we shall be coming back with some dazzling new species for the CFZ collection, and for the fishy outreach projects.

THE "WATER BLACKFELLA PICTURE": Controversy continues

The controversy over this blasted picture continues. Dale Drinnon wrote this afternoon: "I am very much surprised to see that the reference article on the "Water Blackfella" (Formerly "Bigfoot") photo still accepts it as genuine, despite the blog posting that says it is a hoax.

It IS a hoax, it is a model and from the apparent scale, it is no more than a few inches tall: a toy. The wonder of it all is that it continues to circulate. "

I agree with Dale totally, of course it's a hoax. And it's not even a particulaarly good one. So I went back to the posting in question and re-read it. Its a matter of semantics, but David Lee seems of the same opinion as us. Yes, its a hoax, and the link was to another story purporting to be the source of it.

Now Neil Arnold has steeped into the fray, and he reckons it was in Strange Magazine years ago, but will be looking for the original source for us.

I am actually finding this fascinating, and can't wait to see what happens next


So you spoilsports have given yesterday's bigfoot footage a resounding green fingered thumbs down. I bet you won't be so churlish about this, much more convincing footage (warning: for those of a nervous disposition, this does contain some swearing)

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Hello there, it’s cryptozoology news update time and time for my weekly attempt to resist recommending “The Big Lebowski” again. My film of the week this week is “In Bruges”, perhaps the only movie ever featuring Belgium, murder and racist dwarf war postulation http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0780536/. And now the news:

Politician fumes over "gay" elephant in zoo
Honda unveils dog-friendly car
100-year-old tortoise gets fitness training in Vienna zoo
Gerald Durrell's Jersey wildlife conservation trust celebrates 50th anniversary
California Condor Lays Egg in Mexico
‘Egg’celent news (oh come on it’s Easter, I’m allowed 2 lazy egg related puns in the same week).