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 30, 2009


Well, I thought it was funny!


Sadly, for family reasons, artist Ant Wallace has had to pull out of this year's event. However, we can now announce that ASSAP will be joining us, and will be carrying out an experiment, which has something to do with the poltergeist in the pub.

More details soon

And by the way, if you still haven't bought your tickets to the Weird Weekend, do it


RICHARD MUIRHEAD: More vintage fortean zoology

Richard Muirhead is an old friend of the CFZ. I have been friends with him for 40 years now, since we were kids together in Hong Kong. He is undoubtedly one of the two best researchers I have ever met; he and Nigel Wright both have what Charlie Fort would have no doubt called a wild talent; a talent for going into a library, unearthing a stack of old newspapers, and coming back with some hitherto overlooked gem of arcane knowledge.
Hello again folks; hope you`re all well!
I am presenting some cryptozoology and Forteana from various British natural magazines from the period 1905-1912, which I gleaned whilst an MA student in Oxford in the mid 1990s. A few of these may have been mentioned elsewhere but they have never been gathered together all in one place. They should provide a safe reference tool for anyone with the time to research and a decent library nearby. Country-side

June 17th 1905 p.89 African Viper, Denmark Hill (London?)

Brusher Mills. (a snake catcher in the New Forest) August 5th 1905. p.199

Odd coloured frog, N.Wales. December 9th 1905 p.55. “The frog described as having a back of a bright red colour, spotted with orange, and a pure white breast seen swimming in a brook in N.Wales, was an interesting colour variation of the common frog". Same page- bright yellow frog Hull.

July 21st 1906 p.160. Acclimatisation of River tortoise in Thames valley and elsewhere in England- carnivorous-dark shell with bright yellow dots.

September 1st 1906 p.230 A 2ft long grass snake killed in Ballymena.

October 13th 1906 p.298 A grey slow loris from China at London Zoo (1)

October 27th 1906 p.324 . “Sea creature off Scotland”

June 15th 1907 p.83 Cat headed sea snake

July 4th 1908 p.79 Another red British frog.

May 15th 1909 p.341 A little red viper

September 4th 1909.p.243 A little red viper in S.Wales

This is my favourite one: October 9th 1909 p.326 A type of African water snake with an “electrical battery” (sic) (2)

Country-side monthly

Exact date unknown. Vol 3 p.136 Magical cure from snake bite

December 18th 1909 p.71 Spanish terrapin (in UK) “uttering faint but distinct “mews” “like a young kitten. I think the sound is produced by the drawing in of the breath….When alarmed he always hisses, but it is only lately he has taken to mewing.”

A similar story appeared in Country-side in 1912 p.410.

Green lizard in Lancaster 1912 p.410

Jumping forward to – (Radio 4) April 28th 1991 “Bees this year are buzzing a semi tone higher than last year.

N.B Country-side and Country-side monthly are different magazines.

(1) It would be interesting to know exactly from what part of China this grey slow loris came from because around this time a slow loris was found tied to a lamp post in Hong Kong.

(2) Has anyone heard anything about this?

That`s all folks….

WEIRD WEEKEND: Children's area saga continues

The saga of the children's area at the Weird Weekend has changed yet again. We received two offers of help yesterday.

One from a dodgy-sounding `alternative-type` woman with a silly name who offered to provide us a two hour craft workshop for £75 (this, apparently being her `charity rate`), and one from a dude called Stuart Garner who is actually coming to the Weird Weekend anyway, and who has offered to lead a craft session making monster masks for kids.

What a smashing bloke. Yes Please, we said.

Although in many ways I am an adherent of the philosophy of the original hippies, the rampant breadheadedness of so many people who claim to live an `alternative lifestyle` disgusts me and it is heartening to know that there are still people around who do things just for the pleasure of doing them, and not for any financial consideration.

Thank you Stuart. You are a star.

If you make a revolution, make it for fun,
don't make it in ghastly seriousness,
don't do it in deadly earnest,
do it for fun.

Don't do it because you hate people,
do it just to spit in their eye.

Don't do it for the money,
do it and be damned to the money.

Don't do it for equality,
do it because we've got too much equality
and it would be fun to upset the apple-cart
and see which way the apples would go a-rolling.

Don't do it for the working classes.
Do it so that we can all of us be little aristocracies on our own
and kick our heels like jolly escaped asses.

Don't do it, anyhow, for international Labour.
Labour is the one thing a man has had too much of.
Let's abolish labour, let's have done with labouring!
Work can be fun, and men can enjoy it; then it's not labour.
Let's have it so! Let's make a revolution for fun!

A Sane Revolution by D.H.Lawrence


There was I in the full expectation that both my darling stepdaughters would make their old stepdad happy by signing on the dole, and settling down to a life of indolence, sticking it to the man, and they have both let me down. First Olivia got a job in a swanky fashion shop in Exeter, and now this:


Baby, I am so proud! Well done....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Here we go with another round up of cryptozoological news as featured on the CFZ daily cryptozoology news blog:

Human activity is driving Earth's 'sixth great extinction event'
Critically endangered white-shouldered ibis benefits from human intervention
Remains of at least three tigers found in taxi in Vietnam
World’s rarest deer found alive and well on Philippine islands
9-foot Burmese python on first day of Florida extermination program
New wildlife habitat created in the heart of London
First rhino birth in Uganda for 28 years
Extinct rodent species discovered
Critically endangered Chinese alligators breeding in the wild after reintroduction

That reminds me of a story I heard once...
In the 1950s Mao Zedong held a meeting at his home for the Chinese communist party elite. The visitors were shocked to find that in his garden Mao had a 50-metre-long swimming pool seriously overpopulated with very angry Chinese alligators. When the men asked him why he had such unusual occupants in a perfectly nice pool Mao told them that it was a test of courage, intelligence and strength and who ever managed to swim the entire length of the pool unharmed would prove themselves worthy to be his successor as president and he would grant them any request they had as well.
Mao waited a while but none of the men stepped forward to take up the challenge so he turned to go back indoors. He quickly spun back around when he heard a splash and saw his finance minister swimming to the other end of the pool at a breakneck speed. The minister dodged the snapping jaws of hungry alligator after hungry alligator, outsmarted them with feints and even smacked one animal on the nose before he reached the other side of the pool and pulled himself onto dry land before crumpling down in an exhausted heap.
Mao was very impressed; "You have proved yourself worthy to be my deputy and eventual successor.” He said to his finance minister.
“I really don’t want to be president,” the minister said between panting “But, could you grant me the request?”
“Certainly, such courage can’t go without some recognition.” Mao replied.
“My request is this: could you tell me which one of those bastards over there pushed me in.”