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, July 11, 2009

MICHAEL MALONE: The latest on the Alabama Alligator Hunt

Hey from Alabama! I found a 'gator! Kinda. Not really. But thanks to the traffic from your site, a fan found the story you posted at CFZ and contacted me with a photo of a 'gator his wife took in the same area I've been looking! The full story is here!



The previous installments of the Alabama Alligator saga can be found here..



It has been ages since I did any updating of the bloggodex, mainly because I have only a finite amount of time in the day. However, the June updates have now been posted, and I am happy to announce that we have a new Indexing Obergruppenfuhrer....



On several occasions I have used this line in random bloggo postings, and whenever I do, someone wants to know why. Watch the video; all will be revealed.


The other day Alan Friswell, the bloke who made the CFZ Feegee Mermaid and also the guy responsible for some of the most elegantly macabre bloggo postings, wrote me an email.

He had an idea for a new series for the bloggo. Quite simply he has an enormous collection of macabre, fortean, odd and disturbing magazine and newspaper articles, and he proposed to post them up on the bloggo.

Alan Writes: "Yes! Welcome to Friswell's Freaky Features, an ongoing spot on the CFZ blog page where you will encounter the fun, the freaky, the frightening and on occasion, the downright horrifying. Many of these items are from almost forgotten archives and no doubt should, in many cases, have stayed forgotten. But no chance of that on this site! So be prepared to be amazed by the bizarre manifestations of nature, the abberations of the natural world and the complete (on occasion) mind-bending insanity of collective humanity. Read on...."

What a smashing idea, we thought, and so with a burst of alliteration that will - I hope - make Dr Shuker proud of me, here we go....

I'd like, if I may, to congratulate Shosh on her fine achievement, and having a professional vet handy will do the CFZ no harm at all, but I wonder what she'd make of this....


This afternoon we have been without electricity, whilst Ivan and Graham did their own inimitable thing and finally managed to fix the busted ringmain, and restore electric light to the rest of the house.

While the power was off I was sent this picture from `Becca` who wrote:

"Here is bears for the bloggo. Fantastic UR. 82735%67 BeccaX"

I am not sure who `Becca` is, or why she sent me these bears, and so if anyone can shed any light on the matter, please let me know.

RICHARD HOLLAND: Hands over to his junior...

Comments on CFZ.org.uk by Bryn Griffiths, aged 15, currently on work experience at Paranormal magazine:

I’m currently doing work experience with Paranormal magazine at Jazz Publishing, trying to gather insight into the journalism industry. I came across CFZ after the editor had told me about it, just after he’d explained to me what cryptozoology was. I’d always enjoyed the subject, just never known the technical word for it.

I ventured over to this site, and was immediately immersed in hundreds of blogs. Nearly all of those I have read have provided me an interest. With particular reference to all blogs on big cats in Britain and the marine creatures, the blogs are very well written and of excellent standard. Some amusing, others factual; the great range of genres is definitely one of the site’s best qualities.

Only a couple of problems exist within the site, one of these being, graphically it is not too pleasing on the eye, with particular reference to the list of blogs screen. The only other problem I’ve found is it is difficult to navigate through to previous stories I have read, perhaps a search engine or topic/date list may be appropriate.

Other than those two blips, this a cracking site, which I will continue to use even after work experience.


With only six weeks to go, things are hotting up. There has been a minor change to the programme; Tim Matthews is now on Saturday evening, and Tim the Yowie Man is now headlining the friday evening.
Otherwise, things are reasonably as normal.


This Year's Lineup

BOOK REVIEW: Fancy Dress Ponies by Katie Price

CFZ Book reviews: Fancy Dress Ponies by Katie Price

When it comes to birthdays and Christmases at the CFZ there is somewhat of a tradition between Jon and I of getting odd or peculiar presents. My best find for Jon so far has been an Oscar Wilde action figure and last Christmas Jon bought me a padded ‘Lazy Town’ lunch box as a joke. The lunchbox actually came in handy though as it was exactly the right size to fit my Nintendo Wii into for transport back to my mother's house for Christmas, thus cushioning it from any bumps it might get on the train journey.

For my birthday today, however, Jon upped the ante and bought me a book. The book in question was Fancy Dress Ponies By Katie Price. For non-Brits I should probably explain that Katie Price aka Jordan is a pornographic model with overly large fake ‘tatty bojangles’ (as Russell Howard would say). Perhaps not the best role-model for your kids, then. It makes you wonder what sort of parents thinks to themselves “Oh, I know; I’ll get a book for little Guinevere. Let me see what books are here in the shop… JK Rowling - nah. Ooh, how about an Artemis Fowl book; they’re actually better than Harry Potter, I hear… No. What I want to get her is something written by a chav famed for getting her bits out in rightwing newspapers… What’s this? Katie Price’s Perfect Ponies? Bingo!”

Now, I wanted to write a hilarious review for you all about how this book was illiterate drivel and how the illustrations are the best thing about it, but I actually can’t. The reason for this is that, much to my dismay, as books aimed at primary school children go, its actually not that bad. I won’t be going out and buying any more in the series or adding it to my Amazon wish-list (shameless link as it’s my birthday: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/registry/NKVEPLBLP1EL) as it’s not really my sort of thing of course but the book is well written for a children’s book. Enid Blyton would have little to worry about but I can’t really fault the book. However, given the current behaviour of its author (or the one who plotted it, because I’m sure its ghost written) I can’t see even the chaviest parents buying it for their kids, which is a bit of a shame really. Still, because of that it could become a minor collectors item in a few years and worth a few bob. Ta Jon.

CFZ PEOPLE: Happy Birthday Oll

Happy birthday to Oll Lewis, CFZ ecologist, bloggo stalwart, daily author of `Yesterday's News Today`, all round good egg, and the Welsh bloke who has been living in my spare room for three years. He is 29 today, and we would like to wish him many happy returns, and much love.

By the way, this photo was taken at the same time as the one we used for the Caption Competition the other day. The winner of this (in the face of some stiff competition) was Dave McMann with: "The Devon Three strongly deny allegations of jury fixing after their shock release".

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Saturday the 11th of July is not only my 29th birthday but also Saturday Soundtrack day on YNT. So today’s song is a party classic:


I regret to inform you that’ll be going round your head all day now. Sorry about that.

And now the news:

Sri Lanka - The growing whale watching hotspot

Curious creature roams Minneapolis Lake

Speedy cheetahs put through paces

£930,000 help for Welsh fishing

Algal bloom spreads along coast

Bull gores man to death in Spain

Turtle invasion delays flights

Family's urine bid to locate dog

Well ‘wee’ at the CFZ all hope their plan works and they’re not just pissing in the wind.


We have a houseful of people at the moment. Both my darling step-daughters are here with their respective boyfriends, and to cap it all, the lighting ringmain had blown.

Luckily, Ivan (Olivia's significant other) is an electrician, although `Ivan the Electrician` sound weirdly like an amalgam of two songs by the immortal and invisible Scott Walker
(see below), but I digress as I so often do.

Last night, I went to bed, and as there was otherwise no light in our bedroom, as I waited for Corinna to come upstairs, I pottered around on t'internet. And one of the things I found was this interesting article by our old friend Darren Naish, on his increasingly entertaining blog Tetrapod Zoology.