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, July 22, 2009


And I am kicking myself for not having gone to Portsmouth, and used my ligging skills to gatecrash Olivia's graduation last week.

I love both the girls tremendously, and am so proud of them that I could burst, which would probably not be a good idea, because it would make a nasty mess....


Braving violent sandstorms akin to fog with an attitude problem, tent-shredding twisters that blast men off their feet, and an ice river that caves in as their vehicles are crossing, the four men continue on their journey.

Their thoughts are haunted by the creature they are tracking, a legendary beast said to be capable of spitting lethal corrosive venom, or killing from a distance with an electrical discharge. This was the quest to find the truth about the Mongolian Death Worm....

Read On...

CFZ PEOPLE: Shosh Graduates

Yesterday was a magickal experience for me. Graham drove us to London, leaving Woolsery soon after seven. We got to London in good time, and then got horribly lost. But we got to the Guildhall with about fifteen minutes to spare. Now, this is where it gets weird. There were only a limited number of seats allocated per family, and once Corinna, Shosh's father, and her fiance Gavin were catered for, there was no room for me. However, I was confident that I would manage to bluff my way in, and the skills that had made me a ligger with attitude par excellence back in the day meant that I was perfectly able to gatecrash the Guildhall and film the ceremony (despite the "No filming or Cameras" signs).

What I wasn't expecting was to be overcome with emotion and blub like a schoolgirl all the way through the more emotional parts of the ceremony. I was even overcome by emoti0n to a certain extent this morning when I edited it. Goodness, what a sentimental old git I am becoming.

It was, by the way, the first time I had ever met Shosh's father, but what could have been an awkward social situation passed off swimmingly, because we both behaved like gentlemen, and had similar tastes in music and small p politics....

CFZ PEOPLE: Naomi West and Steve Jones

Yesterday, totally out of the blue, we had two significant and very generous donations. I don't know whether it was because it was mine and Corinna's wedding anniversary, or just because they both are really sweet people, but they both donated on the same day, and they both donated a not inconsiderable amount.

Thank you, my dears. It is only with the help of people like you that we manage to continue. The CFZ is always teetering on the edge of financial disaster, and particularly so at the moment, but it is the kindness and generosity of people like you that prevents said disaster.
Thank you my dears from the bottom of my heart.
It almost feels crass to say this, and not in the sense of an Epping anarchopunk band. But if you want to donate, you can do so using the paypal button on the right hand side of this page. Also, whilst I am on the want, I am looking for an old but serviceable computer (preferably P4) for Doc Shiels. If anyone has an old computer they don't want, can they get in touch? Corinna, Max and I will be off to see the wizard in early September, and we would like to take him one then....


Every few years, and sometimes it seems every few months, there is another health scare promulgated by H.M. Government. Often it seems that these scares are politically motivated (like the import ban on birds into the EU as a result of the `Bird Flu` scare, which was truly nothing more than a sop to the more rabid Animal Rights folk), and - to date - I have never actually known anyone with bird flu, salmonella poisoning, listeria poisoning, SARS, or any of the other global pandemics that threaten to wipe out the human race every few months.

However, swine flu is different. At least two friends of the CFZ, Clarissa Lindsay (left) and Dave McMann (not pictured, because he isn't as cute, and we have not actually got a picture of him) have fallen to it, and it sounds bloody dreadful.

Dave writes:

"Don't believe the hype that this flu is mild. It isn't; it's a bastard. The media are reporting it in two ways.
1. Gov' says it's ok.
2. Everyone is going to die.

Well, after three days I have now moments where it seems to be receeding, so I'll live. Comes back in waves, but the time between waves are getting longer. Last night was bad. Had, to put it politely, ejections from both ends. That was OK when there was something to eject, but not too nice when there was nothing. Was about a billion degrees in bed; good thing about that was it lead to very strange dreams. Stayed in bed - not long up now - but going back to bed and the dizziness has gone.

Clarissa has recovered, and we are still waiting for more bulletins from Dave....

CFZ PEOPLE: Davey and Joanne Curtis

Sadly, Dave and Joanne Curtis, who ran the Children's area at the Weird Weekend last year are not going to be at this year's event because of family commitments. They are two of the dearest, sweetest people I know, and I am sad that we won't be seeing them this year, mainly because having them around is one of the most uplifting experiences I know.

Hopefully I will see them again soon, and they will be back for next year....

PS: For those of you worried, there will still be a children's area this year, but it will be slightly different. If there are any people who fancy helping man either the kids' area or the animal handling area, please give me a ring on 01237 431413

JAN EDWARDS: The Money Tree

We have been in contact with Jan for ages, and it is with great pleasure that we welcome her aboard, not only as a guest blogger, but as a Co. Durham representative for the CFZ. With Davy Curtis already at the helm in the country, the two of them will make a dream team par excellence....

I heard about the Money Tree at High Force some time ago, but just the other day I discovered it for myself.

It is an old, fallen dead tree by the waterside about 100 yards downstream from High Force Waterfall on the River Tees, just 10 miles from my home. I had read somewhere that it was said to have grown around a hidden treasure trove, and the coins had magically grown through the tree.

Seeing the tree in the flesh, so to speak, spoilt this rather romantic image, as most of the coins are 2pence pieces.... with the odd penny, 5pence and even a pound coin or two.

So what’s it all about? Is it a good luck thing? Or is it something even stranger?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

OK, by now you all know the drill, here’s the latest cryptozoology news links and a bad pun; enjoy:

New wolf platform opens at Wildwood
Japan Braced For Giant Jellyfish Invasion
Hawks deliver go-away message to Canada Post
Indian farmers fight bad monsoon with frog marriage
Family share breakfast table in Africa with giraffes
World's first cloned sniffer dogs
Baboons steal underwear from rooftop luggage
Researchers discover new monitor species - find reveals the underestimated diversity of top-predators in Indonesia

See, it pays to ‘monitor’ these things closely.