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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Friday, July 24, 2009



A BIZARRE swimming incident on Windermere coincided with the announcement that a team of paranormal investigators will plumb the lake’s depths in search of a giant creature.
Thomas Noblett, 46, was swimming the lake this week when he was suddenly swamped by a three-foot wave of unknown origin.

A spate of eyewitness sightings reported by The Gazette during 2006-2007 described a 50-foot long serpent-like animal surfacing on Windermere.

Psychic Dean ‘Midas’ Maynard, who came to prominence by accurately predicting sports score lines and X factor winners, will join The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), in the hunt for the beast in September....

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I can exclusively announce that...

...I have no idea what these people are talking about.

This September Max, Corinna and I shall be in Ireland, following the yellow brick road and Richard, Chris Clark et al will hopefully be oop t'Jungle (an announcement will be made at the WW). I have not actually heard of Dean "Midas" Maynard, and although it is perfectly valid CFZ policy to go drinking with wizards, it is not CFZ policy to publically ally ourselves with TV psychics. Some bloke telephoned Richard the other week to ask about the results of our 2006/7 Lake District investigations. He asked Richard if he would join in some new investigation, and Richard was non-committal, though he wished him luck. I can only suppose that it is the same person. Richard did not commit because of financial constraints and because (as I hint above) a new expedition is in the offing.

I think Dean should have forseen that.


Both my darling stepdaughters are very dear to me. Olivia, the youngest, now lives in mine and Richard's old home in Exeter, and asked for a pair of small, tropical freshwater shrimp as a graduation present. The `Graduation Shrimp` were promptly purchased, and installed in the aquarium that currently holds our nascent colony of Heterandaria formosa - the seventh smallest fish in the world.

Knowing Olivia's tastes in peculiarly sweet aquatic life, therefore, here is a piglet squid...

"Meet Smiling Mr. Squidlet"

"He could almost be a new Mr Men character with his rotund shape, cute curls and shy smile. But this is really a piglet squid caught in a rare image on camera. His tentacles made what looks like a mop of curly hair over his large eyes while his skin patterns created a grin. The small squid, which is the size of a large orange, is normally found more than 320ft (100m) below the ocean surface, meaning little is known of its behaviour. Measuring just 4in in length the species has unusual pigmentation and acquired its name from its tuft of arms and tentacles, and rotund shape. Because of its deep water habit, little is known of the behaviour of the squid, although not surprisingly, judging by its body shape, it is known to be a sluggish swimmer.
Properly called Helicocranchia pfefferi, the animals are also noted for the light producing organs known as photophores located beneath each of their large eyes. This specimen was collected by the Cabrillo Marine Aquarium in San Pedro, California, where director Mike Schaat managed to capture it on film."


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


It’s Friday so I make it Fact Friday o’clock, so here’s the fact of the week:

Rather than the female sitting on their eggs to keep them warm, as is the case with most poultry, the Puedam hen hands over all egg care to the rooster who keeps the eggs in natural pockets on his oversized comb.

And now the news:

Goat's Crowning As King Of Ireland In Doubt
Girl hit by plummeting tortoise loses memory
Rare tortoise could become father
Zoo breeds 'extinct' fish species
Wild camels 'genetically unique'
Human Stabbed a Neanderthal, Evidence Suggests
New Discovery Suggests Trees Evolved Camouflage Defense Against Long Extinct Predator

‘Tree’mendous fun, eh readers?