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, May 02, 2009


Four teenage boys are brutally dragged to their deaths by a reptilian monster that emerges from a dark, fog-bound sea off the coast of Florida.

In the north-east of England, a shadowy cult is rumored to have sacrificed human victims to a dragon-god well into the 20th Century.

In New Guinea, marauding giant lizards with huge teeth and vicious claws mercilessly slaughter dozens of villagers and send the natives into an absolute frenzy.

And in the Gambia, an enraged dragon destroys a bridge, tipping people to their literal doom.

Read on...


RICHARD FREEMAN: It's a hoax folks

There’s a lot of it about, hoaxes that is. In recent weeks we have seen a ridiculous doll touted as being some kind of unknown primate and, hot on the heels of the discovery of Titaniboa a badly photo-shopped picture of a giant snake swimming up a jungle river. Then the ‘water blackfella’ reappeared. I recall seeing this in Fortean Times in the 1990s and thinking it was an obvious fake back then.

As it happens I believe in both unknown primates and giant snakes, but neither of these pictures showed one. I also believe in sea serpents but as it happens there is a new hoax doing the rounds at the moment. Mark North warned me about it. He had an e-mail to his Dark Dorset website hat ran thus…

Hi there,
> Hope you don’t mind me getting in touch. I’m from Unruly Media, a
> viral marketing company in London, and we’re currently running a
> campaign for the Association of Marine Research, a small, non-existent
> organization which is currently conducting research into possible
> sightings of suspicious sea creatures in the English Channel. The AMR
> has asked us to contact bloggers asking for any information that could
> be helpful.
> I thought the story might go down well on your site, and was wondering
> if you’d be interested in writing a sponsored post about it, for which
> we can pay you £75. 30 days after the campaign ends via Paypal.
> If you’re interested, please drop me a line and I’ll send you the
> assets so you can get the blog underway- it will need to be proof-read
> by us before going live, which needs to happen before Friday 1st May.
> The sort of posting we are after:
> http://thedailyblast.blogspot.com/2009/04/have-you-seen-channel-creature.html
> Our videos/images are clearly marked as commercially sponsored and we
> adhere to a strict code of ethics, which you can read here:
> http://www.unrulymedia.com/ethics-code
> We'd love you to be involved,
> Kind Regards,
> Salwa Azar
> --
> Salwa Azar
> Campaign Manager, Unruly Media
> Unruly Media
> www.unrulymedia.com
> 91 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL, UK
> +44 (0)207 247 4176
> +44 (0)7515 543 598

I had never heard of the ‘Association of Marine Research’ and thought the whole thing sounded very suspicious so I visited their website www.thechannelcreature.com

Here was posted an unconvincing photograph and a piece of film purporting to show the monster. It is some of the very worst computer animation I have ever seen. If Frank Searle had been alive today and computer literate this is the sort of crap he would be churning out.

There are two filmed interviews on the sight one with ‘Audrey Du Pre’ a supposed member of the ‘Association of Marine Research’ and obviously someone putting on a bad French accent and an ‘eyewitness’ called Matt Williams (no not our crop circle making, micro-light flying, sunflower shirt wearing Matt Williams!). He claims to have seen a fast moving creature 300 meters or 1000 feet long! The very concept that a Godzilla sized beast is swimming around of the coast of Dover is absurd. What the hell would it ea for a start?

They also have a Facebook page with an even less convincing piece of animation on it.


Stuff like this, and that ridiculous bigfoot costume stuff with animal gut that was been touted as a real sasquatch corpse, do us no favors. They put the idea in the heads of the general public (most of whom have he attention span of an invertebrate) that all cryptid sightings must be hoaxes. They also queer the pitch for real researchers. What kind of a chance of funding or support can we expect with rubbish like this polluting the collective brains of the masses. When, one day, someone does find a genuine cryptid most people will dismiss it at a hoax.

GUEST BLOGGER NEIL ARNOLD: The one that got away

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Neil Arnold to the CFZ bloggo with this first guest blog. I have known Neil for fifteen years now since he was a schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippie who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years. We are just both a tad older...

Whilst researching my new book MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES: KENT, I was amazed to uncover several stories pertaining to a large creature lurking in the River Medway. After the book was published I got in touch with Peter Cook at the Kent Messenger who spoke of a legend from the early 2900s regarding the stretch.

On April 16th 2009 Peter wrote of ‘Jack’s tales of chasing mystery river monster’, in his column, THE WAY WE WERE, stating:

‘Fishermen are well known for tales of “…the one that got away”. But arms cannot be stretched wide enough to describe the monster chased by Tom Pocock and his sons Jack and Thomas junior.

The tale was often told at The Old George in Globe Lane, Chatham which Tom Pocock kept until his death in 1947 at the age of 77. It was also a frequent topic debated in the New Inn, Chatham High Street, kept by Jack, and at the Three Brothers, another Chatham pub, kept by Thomas junior.

Before they became publicans all three were fishermen, having served seven-year apprentices to become Freemen of the River Medway. The story goes that Jack Pocock was aboard his boat near Sun Pier one day, when he looked up to see a creature lying on the surface a few yards away. It was said to be about 40 ft long, and lying motionless like, “…a monstrous eel”. The creature had a hump on its back and a long snout. Its colour was said to be “greyish-white”, the hair along its back resembling that of a hog.

When Thomas Pocock senior arrived on the scene in his bawley boat, Thistle, he had with him a 12-bore shotgun, which he fired at the monster. But according to news reports at the time, “..he might as well have been firing an airgun at a battleship”.

Next day he loaded the gun with ball bearings. A shot from this caused the creature to shudder and leap, but it got away. News of the monster reached the national newspapers. Soon crowds were congregating on the banks of the Medway in the hope of spotting it. A week after it was first spotted, the creature broke the surface in Gillingham Reach, just under the bowsprit of Tom Pocock’s boat. He had a big game gun with six-inch cartridges, and got in a shot at Pinup Reach, but the creature dived and resurfaced out of range.

Speculation was rife about what the creature could be. Some said it was a whale. Feeling unwelcome, no doubt, it left the Medway and has never been seen since.’

Of course, reports more recently suggest there is something incredibly long and elusive in the waters of the River Medway. And it has no intention of leaving.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

As is customary on Saturday’s you get a soundtrack to go with the CFZ daily cryptozoology news digest. This week I’ve picked ‘Carry on Wayward Son’ by Kansas. Here’s the link for you to enjoy it while you read through the news: http://www.last.fm/music/Kansas/_/Carry+on+Wayward+Son. And now, the news:

Large Tortoise Turns Up in the Bronx
UN says Egypt pig cull real mistake
Attack of the Mice
Gardeners issued hedgehogs alert
Compare these meerkats
The Rise of the Little People
Were the Dinosaurs Really Wiped Out by an Asteroid? Possibly Not (Update)

Well, whatever, caused their ultimate demise you can bet they were ‘saur’ after that big asteroid hit.