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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Monday, April 13, 2009


Just when you think that things cannot get any worse, they invariably do. Yesterday Shoshannah my eldest stepdaughter had her car stolen along with her veterinary paraphanalia, and all the searches of the surrounding area have been to no avail. Today Olivia, my youngest stepdaughter has had her car vandalised. I have just gone into the Dining Room from which Corinna works on her laptop, to find her in tears.

Why? Its not just because she is feeling her daughters' hurt, but they are tears of frustration. Frustration because we can do nothing to help them financially. We have run out of money and been screwed by people who seem to have no idea how to act honourably. Even putting aside the fifty thousand quid which is languishing impotently in the business of our erstwhile partners, we are owed thousands of pounds by people who just aren't going to pay up, and the £1200 that should have been paid to us on the 28th March still hasn't arrived.

I am writing this to let off steam, not to appeal for money. I have always disliked the sort of blogger who regularly asks for help - nay publically sulks until he or she gets enough money in donations to pay their telephone bill. Two dear friends have offered to lend me money if necessary, but I really don't want to take them up on their offer.

Tony Shiels always tells me that I have a ridiculously romanticised view of England, brought on by the fact that I didn't live here until I was nearly a teenager, and that my formative images of England came from idealised children's books and people like Kipling. He is probably right (the old bugger usually is), but there does seem to have been a definite change for the worse in our Green and Pleasant Land in the past twelve years - ever since New Labour came to power.

Now don't get me wrong, the government that they replaced were a bloody shower as well, but life has become considerably less civilised since 1997, and I think that the refusal of people who in many cases were supposed to be friends, or at least friendly acquaintainces to pay their bills, and the sad treatment of my two step-daughter's cars, are both facets of the same problem. Civilised values are not what they used to be.

Now, again, don't get me wrong. I would hate to sound like the regrettable Baronness Thatcher some twenty five years ago when talking about a "return to Victorian values" (which I always thought included tuberculosis, child prostitution, public executions, and untreated sewage), but what we are doing at the CFZ is in many ways a return to the values of a less unpleasant era.

Natural History was the leading hobby and interest of British people of all echelons of society from about 1950 for about a hundred years, and it has declined amazingly in the past half century. I do not want to sound like something out of Paley's Natural Theology or something of that ilk, but I do like to quote Bill Shakespeare when he wrote:

"Find tongues in trees, books in running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything"

Everything, that is except for the bastards who made my three girls cry.


This arrived in my in-box this morning. I have never met Gary, and he is not a member of the CFZ, but he has always seemed a good bloke, and we always do our best to help good blokes along their crypto pathway:

Hi fellow cryptos,

I have finally finished writing & self published, limited edition, 162 page illustrated book Australian Cryptozoology, with the first ever drawings from life of yowies & field research by Pixie Byrnes, and includes contents as below. Now available for $55 a copy, postage included. Included is a drawing by a Kakadu national park ranger of an ancient Aboriginal cave painting of
the striped marsupial cat & drawings of the animal by various witnesses. If you are interested, please send me a postal note for $55 & post to Gary Opit PO Box 383 Brunswick Heads NSW 2483 with your postal address.

Introduction Cryptozoology 3
Chapter One The Australian Environment 17
Chapter Two The Aboriginal People and the Australian Mind 24
Chapter three The Australian Hairy Man, Australian Gorilla or Yowie 27
Chapter Four Pixie Byrnes' Research on the Yowies 32
Chapter Five The Search for Evidence of the Yowie 47
Chapter Six Yowie Tree Rips and Territorial Marker Sticks 62
Chapter Seven A Short History of Yowie Reports 62
Chapter Eight Njimbin, Junjadee or Little Hairy Man 76
Chapter Nine Homo erectus, Evidence for its Survival 84
Chapter Ten The Striped Marsupial Cat 86
Chapter Eleven Australian Big Cats 113
Chapter Twelve The Bunyip 116
Chapter Thirteen Mainland Thylacine, the Marsupial Wolf 129
Chapter Fourteen The Ri or New Guinea Mermaid and the Evolution of Humanity 143



From Glen Vaudrey:


When I saw the picture a couple of days ago, I remembered straight away where I had seen it before: Fortean Times issue 93 December 1996 pages 36 & 37. Even then I thought it was a model stood in a pond; it's the pond weed and grass that give an indication to the size of the creature - at a guess around 6 inches tall.

Having studied the pictures in a little more detail, I am confident that I could make one and have it photographed for a CFZ exclusive in less than two weeks.....

Take care


I am really enjoying this saga, and have no idea where it will end. I hope that Glen manages to fake-up an approximation of the same picture. I, too, had my suspicions that some of the vegetation in the left hand rear of the picture was lemna sp duckweed. Maybe it is a mini-water-blackfella...

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


It’s news, it’s cryptozoology (or an interesting animal story) it’s the CFZ daily cryptozoology news blog… this is its story:

Butterflies hit by damp summers
Obama family 'picks first puppy'
Chimpanzees exchange meat for sex
Record-breaking 53rd egg for Osprey pair
Mexico: State of Chihuahua Terrorized by "Man-Bat"
Polar bear attacks woman at Berlin Zoo

I heard she ‘bear’ly got out alive.