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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Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Everyone knows that Jon has a fascination with chickens and other fowl. In order to keep the old bugger happy people like Corinna send him YouTube videos, which he invariably posts on the bloggo for no other reason than to be able to shout "Wayhay!!!"

Mad City Chickens is a sometimes serious, sometimes whimsical look at the people who keep urban chickens in their backyards. From experts and authors to a rescued landfill chicken or an inexperienced family that takes the poultry plunge—even a mad scientist and giant hen get into the act—it’s a humorous and heartfelt trip through the world of backyard chickendom.

Here are three particularly entertaining trailers:



This is the original story from a blog at the L.A Times.

"Dog lovers, meet Cute and Bambi, who have been dubbed "dog-kangaroos" by those who have encountered the pair in Quezon City, Philippines.
Cute and Bambi were apparently both born with only their two rear legs and are the pets of Lope Tulipas, a Quezon City street vendor. Many passersby are understandably taken by the pair -- some have even offered to buy them, but Tulipas has turned down all offers."

However, I distrust stories like this. For whilst they can well be seen as a "brave doggies triumph in the face of adversity" type story, it is only a few steps away from a "gosh oh gee, I want one of those" type story. Some months ago we printed a revolting story of how some people will exploit even the cruellest disability for financial gain. And amputations would be an extremely cheap form of body modification!

Forgive me for putting this distasteful thought into the collective conscioussness of the bloggo readership, but I have lived long enough to suspect fellow members of my own species of being capable of the most despicable crimes against nature, and with this cutesy news story I can see such a crime in the offing.

Let's hope I'm wrong!

DEREK GREBNER: Out of place Hognose..

While my father and I were working on a grain bin, we ran the auger that pushes corn out of the bin into the truck. Two snakes were expelled giving us a big shock. I attempted to get a closer look at one and identified it as a hognose snake because of its imitation of the rattlesnake and its upturned snout. I recovered the other snake, but it appeared to be dead, so thinking nothing of it at the time, I tossed the 4 foot, apparently dead, snake into the cornfield.

When I returned home, I checked the Illinois Reptiles and even though the hognose snake is a native, this colour morph was not so. I am 90% sure that this pair of hognose snakes belonged to the western species, which is much lighter in colour than the eastern hognose snake and much larger. The western species has only been reported so far east in Illinois once and is regarded as being exclusive to the western side of the Mississippi River. I returned today to attempt to recover the body for measurements and examination, but the ‘apparently dead’ snake had revived and disappeared. I cannot say 100% that it was a western hognose snake, but I can say that it was a hognose snake by its markings and colouration, but did not look at all like the eastern hognose snake.


Hannah writes: I spotted this beastie this morning in our Garden in Northamptonshire UK. It was approx. 2cm long and I did manage to get a photo.

What is it? I'm pretty sure I know, but do you?

NICK REDFERN: Cannock Chase Creatures

There's nothing anomalous or cryptozoological about this; however, it does directly concern the rich and varied wildlife present within England's Cannock Chase - an area legendary for sightings of big-cats, werewolves, Bigfoot, giant snakes, and much more.With respect to this new story, it's an encouraging tale of the way in which a truly huge diversity of moths and butterflies have made the Chase their home.

LINDSAY SELBY: Texas Lake monster?

Lindsay Selby sent us this by e-mail. As soon as I read it I thought that this is something we can investigate. We do, after all, have our specialist crypto SWAT team in Texas, although they are actually at Loch Ness at the moment; so I have emailed the details on to Naomi, and await developments with interest....

I came across a web page dedicated to a lake serpent in Lake Granbury in Texas.


Lake Granbury was created in 1969 and is only one of three lakes damming the Brazos river. It is a narrow lake, encompassed by 103 miles (221 km) of shore-line. The web page author states : "Sadly there is a strange side to this pleasant community. Slowly more people have come to realize this fact as local newspapers and Japanese television started to feature reports about a prehistoric water serpent living in Lake Granbury." The report continues: "Early Spanish traders use to whisper stories about a giant serpent, which roamed the depths of Lake Granbury." (However, as the lake is only a recent creation because of a dam they perhaps mean the river) and then : "At 180 kilometers in length and with depths of almost 1,200 feet, it is not unreasonable to believe that something large and very unusual may live in these waters."

Well, there are stories of giant fish from other man-made lakes. This creature goes by the name of “Old One Eye”. I have been unable to discover anymore about it but this one site. It is described alternately as a dinosaur or as a huge serpent and supposedly Old One-Eye has terrorised fishermen for decades. Strange, then, that I could find so little about it.

Texas has other sightings and stories of sea and lake monsters. One of the earliest recorded sightings comes from the Caddo Indians of east Texas. According to Caddo mythology, a boy sighted a water monster in the river and ran upriver for two miles before he got to its head. Also from Caddo mythology is the story of a monster in Caddo Lake that would attack anyone making loud noises on the water.

Then in 1872 the captain and crew of the Norwegian ship St. Olaf witnessed something strange off the Galveston coast. Below is the actual sworn statement from the captain:

"Report of Captain A. Hassel, of barque St. Olaf, from Newport to Galveston, Texas. Two days before arrival at Galveston, and about 4:30 P.M. on May 13, weather calm, smooth sea, lat.26 52", long. 91 20", I saw a shoal of sharks passing the ship. Five or six came under the vessel's stern, but before we could get out a line they went off with the rest. About two minutes after, one of the men sang out that he saw something on the weather bow, like a cask on its end. Presently another one called out that he saw something rising out of the water like a tall man. On a nearer approach we saw it was an immense serpent, with its head out of the water, about 200 ft. from the vessel. He lay still on the surface of the water, lifting his head up, and moving the body in a serpentine manner. Could not see all of it; but what we could see, from the after part of the head, was about 70 ft. long and of the same thickness all the way, excepting about the head and neck, which were smaller, and the former flat, like the head of a serpent. It had four fins on its back, and the body of a yellow greenish colour, with brown spots all over the upper part and underneath white. The whole crew were looking at it for fully ten minutes before it moved away. It was about six feet in diameter. One of the mates has drawn a slight sketch of the serpent, which will give some notion of its appearance. -- A. Hassel, master of Norwegian barque St. Olaf. --Witness to signature, J. Fredk. Walthew."

From: The Great Sea Serpent: An Historical and Critical Treatise. A.C. Oudemans 1892. (pages 64-65).

Does anyone out in the CFZ world know anything about this "Old One Eye" or is it just an urban myth? I had to include the sea serpent sighting; I love these historical accounts.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

As I type up this bloglett I’m watching the late 90’s comedy action film True Lies… Arnie has just been fighting some terrorist chap and burst in on a confused and terrified old man trying to use the toilet, and now he’s chasing him on horseback (the terrorist, not the confused and terrified old man). How come they don’t make films like this anymore? Anyway, musing about ever so slightly cheesy films aside, the real reason you’re here is for the latest cryptozoology news and to a lesser extent, a bad pun.

Plants 'talk' to warn each other of threats
Nature Notes: June 22
NFU fights bid to release beavers
Spaniel adopts owl
Looking into wetlands' ancient past
First humpback of the year has a near escape.
All of the world’s threatened species on one list - Nearly
Java leopard released back into the wild after release from snare
New species of phallus-shaped mushroom named after California academy of sciences scientist

It must be great to have a mushroom named after you; wherever you go people will say “Hey, he’s a ‘fungi’”.