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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Thursday, July 23, 2009


This is rapidly turning out to be the year of the teratological turtles. Yesterday we posted a bizarre halved turtle, and now we have a partial albino softshell:

IT MAY look more like your Christmas turkey just before it goes into the oven, but this milky white creature is actually a rare white turtle.

The creature, whose creamy colour is offset by a few hints of pink, was discovered by the bank of the Yellow River in Henan province, China.

White turtles have a special place in Chinese culture, as the classic novel Journey from the West features an entity from Heaven who is turned into one of the animals after performing ill deeds.

However, unlike the character in the tale, this white turtle won't be ferrying any people across rivers: it is just 40cm long and 6.5kg


I haven't heard hide nor hair of Mike and Greg Warner since we posted their `expedition report` on the 23rd June. I have not seen their video report, or anything else. This morning, however, we received this - it is an interview with them from a Northern Irish radio station...


As you may know, Richard Muirhead and I have been working on a project on the mystery animals of Hong Kong for many years. He recently sent me this posting from the Hong Kong Outdoors forum:

Returned to Sam A. Wan for an overnight this weekend. I wanted more time to explore the coves, snorkel, and dry off. I was also interested in the nightlife, having previously seen a mongoose here, and many guidebooks mentioning this as the best area for mammals. Stayed at the campsite till an approaching (but never arriving) thunderstorm sent me scurrying to the ferry pier pagoda at about 2130hrs. The nightwalk was fun, seeing two snakes but not even hearing anything else.

A small rat-snake slithered across in front, and a 2.5ft bamboo pit viper who loved the concrete at the pagoda. Took a good hour to get him to leave. I wanted him to make his own way off, but really needed to settle down and take my eyes off him. So he was coaxed away. He liked that pagoda and circled around, came back, and bit my walking stick 5 times before he eventually made off permanently through the grass. It broke my heart but I just couldn't have him around when I was going to hammock-up there all night. Now for the strange part... I'll start by saying I have seen, both up close and distant, many wild boar. And it was a full and bright moon, which provided a lovely reflective glass view of the bay and mountains.

Upon arriving at the pier, a pale (in the moonlight) sheep-sized creature ran off the stony mangrove beach whilst grunting, huffing and growling at me. Size- and shape-wise it didn't seem like a wild boar, nor did it sound like one, and too fat for a muntjac. The paleness also confused me. I hoped it would come back, and put it behind me as it was impossible to identify. I set up the hammock (apologies to the villager whose rope I used, I forgot to put it back next morning, but it would have been very easy to find), so as to get a view of the surroundings.

A bull ambled past. Got the binoculars out and settled in. Almost immediately my first scan of the adjacent shoreline revealed a large mammal. First thought was 'dog'. Never thought 'boar' till I had no options left. Now this is going to sound silly, but it was a bear-like creature with thick fur that shone in the moonlight. The legs were thick, unlike a dog or boar, and it perambled along, bear-like. I watched this for about 10mins at a distance of 100m in the moonlight as it snuffed along the beach looking for morsels before entering the scrubline and dissapearing. I am completely unsure of any identification, and will not even attempt it. It has to have been wild boar, but my mind just will not agree. As far as I am concerned, keep it quiet and let it be. But if anyone wishes to investigate they may. The creature was aware of me and though initially startled came back quite soon. Maybe some smuggled pet has either escaped off the smuggling boat or been set free? I must save up and either get night vision or photo-trap. These night walks are frustrating the hell out of me.


We have just heard from Sharon Bennett:

The groups that the kitchen proceeds will be shared between this year and who will be helping out in the kitchen will be Woolsery Tiny Tots, Sunflowers Pre-School, FOWS (friends of Woolsery School), Guiding SUpport and Woolsery Youth Club.

Menu very similar to last year - have noted vegetarian numbers etc from last year and any further requests and will try and cater for all.

Friday: Evening - Chilli Con Carne (veg option avail)
Saturday: Morning - Sausage or Bacon Baps (veg option avail)
Lunch - Homemade soup & roll - Cream Teas
Evening - Cottage Pie with selection of veg (vegetarian dish available)
Sunday: Morning - Full Cooked Breakfast to include black pudding!!!
Lunch - Meat rolls and 'roasties'

Food will be available throughout whole weekend with various snacks either side of lunch/evening servings etc and tea/coffee at all times.


Those of you who are particularly eagle-eyed will notice that in the past few days there have been quite substantial morning posts and little or no posts in the rest of the day. This is the busiest time of the year for us at the CFZ, and we are short handed because Richard F. (through no fault of his own) has had to go away for a week or so.

Therefore, do not be surprised if for the next month or so, this pattern continues. The blog will continue to do what it has been doing all year, but the patterns are likely to change until after the Weird Weekend at least....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Do you want to know the latest cryptozoological news from the CFZ’s daily news blog? Of course you do. Do you want a bad pun too? Well, you’re getting one anyway.

Motorist Has Near Collision With Bigfoot In Pennsylvania
China's "Nessie" sighted
Shark dumped on Overtown street sent to watery grave
Injured horse 'attacked by puma'
Police are warning the public not to approach the animal or try to ‘cat’ch it.


What is it with Fleurie and lusus naturae?

Once again it was Fleur who pointed this one out. She sent me the link at the bottom of this page purely because she knows that I am fond of turtles. However, have a butchers at this one. It is priced at two hundred bucks, which is not particularly steep for a creature like this. The website blurb reads:

This one of a kind turtle hatched with a color anomaly like no other... It's entire right side is very dark with lots of black coloration. The same for its feet and right side of it's head. The left side is light or normally colored.
The left feet, and side of the head are also light, or normally colored.

What triggered this anomaly is possibly a geneticist's dream project... (It calls to mind an episode of the original Star Trek series.) This turtle is 6 weeks old, doing very well and behaves exactly like a normal colored Yellow Bellied Slider.

If it were an insect I would say that it was a halved gynandromorph, but a turtle?