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...

Search This Blog



Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Thursday, August 06, 2009


Time for Richard Freeman again. It almost seems silly introducing Richard to you all once again when he makes an appearance as guest blogger several times a week. However, our viewing audience/ readers (whatever you like to call yourselves) is growing so fast that it is certain that some of you missed the last time I introduced him.

Isn’t it odd how things work out? In a recent post I was bemoaning the fact that I could find hide nor hair of monster-haunted Lake Wembo in Tibet. Then Karl opens up an old atlas and finds it with the ease of locating his local corner shop.

Whilst pottering around on the Internet yesterday I found this site

It lists five Chinese lakes where monsters have been seen and guess what is at number five! Yes: Lake Wembu / Wembo! No mention of the Wembu dragon eating yaks or fishermen is made but there is a nice picture. The article goes on to say…

“Wenbu Lake lying in Kunzha County, China's Tibet Autonomous Region is at 4,535 meters above sea level with an area of 835 square kilometers. [sic] In the 1950s, a lake monster had been seen in Wenbu Lake, which had a small head, big eyes, long neck and grey and black skin. It is said that the body of the monster looks like an ox.”

Interestingly there are another couple of monster-haunted lakes in the article that I had not heard about.

“Shennongjia is situated in western Hubei Province, covering an area of over 3,000 square kilometers. [sic]Known as The Oriental Botanic Garden and the natural gene bank of biological species, it shelters some of the world' rare or endangered plants and animals, such as Chinese dove trees, South China tigers, white bears and white snakes. The lake monsters emerged in Changtan, a lake located in Shennongjia. More than 20 people have seen a giant water animal with similar characteristics: grey skin, oblate head, giant eyes and five toes on the forelimb.”

So as well as the yeren, Shennongjia has a resident dragon!

“Qinghai Lake is located in the north of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China. It is the largest landlocked lake in China. Its area is 4583 square kilometers. [sic] The elevation of Qinghai Lake is 3196 meters; depth is 32.8 meters. [sic] The lake water is azure. Several dozen people have already witnessed the lake monster, but the Qinghai Lake monster is still a mystery. In 1947, a lama saw a monster like a dragon swimming in the Qinghai Lake. In 1949, a peasant saw a monster with snake’s head in Qinghai Lake. The monsters scales glistened under the sunshine.”

That’s a new one on me. It’s always exciting to find new info and add another location to your list of places to visit. A tour of the monster lakes of China would make an amazing TV series!


Hi Jon,

Sorry not been in touch as been quite ill. Nothing new there LOL. Here is a link to some news from 1887 you might find amusing including a sea serpent sighting and a cat that mothered a rabbit!


Hope all is well at CFZ

Take care


BEST BEER COMMERCIAL EVER.. and once again both Richard and Oll had seen it already, and I hadn't. So I share it with you...


We are very pleased to announce that we will be showing what I believe is the UK Premiere of a film called Southern Fried Bigfoot. But who better to tell us about it than the people behind it....

Sean Whitley
The Monkeyhouse

“Southern Fried Bigfoot” on the menu and being served up on The Documentary Channel beginning this April

By The Monkeyhouse
Dated: March 29, 2009

New Documentary Explores The Legends Of The “Boogers, Wild Men, and Skunk Apes” Rumored [sic] To Prowl the Swamps And Bayous Of The Southern U.S.

DALLAS, TEXAS - According to the documentary “Southern Fried Bigfoot,” the legends of strange, hairy creatures lurking on the edge of civilization [sic] aren’t just limited to the mountains of the Pacific Northwest, but also extend to the backwoods and bayous of the American South. Despite the title, “Southern Fried Bigfoot” isn’t a comedy or mockumentary. It’s not even a recipe, for that matter, but a one-hour documentary that chronicles the Bigfoot legends below the Mason-Dixon Line. “Southern Fried Bigfoot” will have its broadcast premiere on Monday, April 13, 2009 at 9 pm Eastern/8pm Central on The Documentary Channel®, carried on DISH Network. An encore airing will follow at 12 am Eastern/11 pm Central. In addition to DISH Network, the documentary will also air at 9 pm Eastern on NYC TV (Channel 25) throughout the greater New York metropolitan area.

"’Southern Fried Bigfoot’ is exactly the type of documentary we like to premiere: independent, driven by a passion, informative and definitely entertaining!" says Tom Neff, The Documentary Channel CEO and founder.

While the tales of Bigfoot in the Pacific Northwest are fairly well-known, the purported stories of hulking, hair-covered creatures haunting the swamps and bottomlands of the South aren’t. “SFB” delves into four of the most famous Southern legends – The Fouke Monster, The Skunk Ape, The Honey Island Swamp Monster, and the Lake Worth Monster – as well as profiles some of the groups and individuals who are trying to prove the existence of Bigfoot in the South. Additionally, “Southern Fried Bigfoot” features commentary from a wide variety of Bigfoot researchers, skeptics [sic], wildlife biologists, authors, zoologists, artists, and musicians on the subject.

According to writer/director Sean Whitley, “The goal of the documentary wasn’t to prove or disprove the existence of Bigfoot, but to entertain viewers, share some southern folklore they may not know about, and hopefully spook a few people watching it on a dark night.”
Narrated by actor Christopher R. Sabat (“Dragonball Z,” “Samurai 7”), “Southern Fried Bigfoot” has recently garnered attention and rave reviews from the entertainment industry. Eduardo Sanchez, the co-writer and co-director of "The Blair Witch Project," calls it "the best Bigfoot doc of this decade," while Alex Grecian, writer and co-creator of the Image Comics series “PROOF” says “The production values and cinematography are terrific, the re-creations are well-done and the entire package is absorbing.”

Additional airings of “Southern Fried Bigfoot” on The Documentary Channel are as follows (all times are EST):
Wed, Apr 29, 2009 8:00 PM ET (encore at 11pm ET)
Wed, May 6, 2009 5:00 PM ET
Fri, May 8, 2009 3:30 AM ET
Sat, May 16, 2009 9:00 PM ET (encore at 12 ET)

DVD copies of “Southern Fried Bigfoot” can be purchased on The Documentary Channel’s online store at http://www.documentarychannel.com/store/product_info.php?products_id=431&osCsid=5475c1ae9986c6b36bb301f832789001.

For interviews with the Director or crew, please contact via the email address listed above/below. For more information on “Southern Fried Bigfoot,” visit the official website at http://www.southernfriedbigfoot.com/ or the official MySpace page at www.myspace.com/southernfriedbigfoot.


About The Monkeyhouse: The Monkeyhouse is a Texas-based production company that specializes in all facets of the film and television industry.


About The Documentary Channel®: The Documentary Channel (DOC) is the USA’s first 24-hour television network exclusively devoted to documentary films and the independent documentary filmmaker, providing viewers with round-the-clock opportunities to see fascinating, eclectic and award-winning documentary films of all lengths and genres. Headquartered in Nashville, Tenn., with offices in New York and Los Angeles, DOC was founded by Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning documentary filmmaker Tom Neff (CEO) in January 2006. DOC now reaches more than 21 million homes nationwide via DISH Network (Channel 197) and several broadcast stations in major television markets, including NYC TV (Channel 25) throughout the greater New York metropolitan area. The network also provides content to online distribution outlets through YouTube (www.youtube.com/documentarychannel).

For more information on DOC, visit www.documentarychannel.com.


John W. Fitzpatrick, Director of the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology at Cornell University discusses the rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker and the various questions that have been raised as to authenticity of the rediscovery. He played video and audio clips dealing with the rediscovery that had never been shown or played publicly. Fitzpatrick also dealt with the broader issues of species protection and conservation and noted the future field research that will be done in order to more fully determine that the Ivory-billed Woodpecker has indeed come back from supposed extinction.


This is the nearest to a definitive running order we have achieved yet, but the CFZ take no responsibility for disappointment caused by the non-appearance of any of the advertised speakers


7.00 p.m Cocktail party at the CFZ

CFZ, Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

CFZ, Myrtle Cottage, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

Noon - 5.00 p.m Open Day at the CFZ.

Community Centre, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

Doors open at 6.00

7.00 – 7.15 Introduction
7.15 – 7.45 OLL LEWIS: The Kraken and the Colossal Misunderstanding
7.45 - 8.15 MAX BLAKE: Unknown animals in Pet Shops

(MAX AND ROSS: Animal handling)
8.15 - 8.45 BREAK
8.45 - 9.30 JON McGOWAN: Big Cats in Britain... EXPOSED!
9.30 - 10.00 BREAK
10.00 - 11.00 TIM THE YOWIE MAN: Yowies - Australia's Bigfoot


Community Centre, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

doors open at 10.00
11.30 – 11.45 JON DOWNES + RICHARD FREEMAN: An introduction to cryptozoology
11.45 – 12.45 PAUL VELLA:The Minnesota Iceman
12.45 – 1.15 JULIAN VAYNE: A cabinet of curiosities from North Devon Museums
Julian will then take his collection into the exhibition area where he will do a `hands-on` session, for adults and children, with the cabinet of curiosities for until about 2.30
1.15 - 1.45 BREAK
1.45 – 2.45 ALAN MURDIE: Forteana from Colombia
(PAUL VELLA: Bigfoot for kids)
2.45 - 3.15 BREAK (KIDS: Mad Hatter’s Tea Party)
3.15 – 3.30 QUIZ
(STUART GARNER: Making monster masks)

3.30 - 4.30 JAN BONDESON: The basilisk
4.30 - 5.00 Break
(MAX AND ROSS: Animal handling)
5.00 - 6.00 ANDY ROBERTS: The big grey man of Ben McDhui
6.00 - 6.30 Break
6.30 – 7.30: DARREN NAISH: British big cats in deep time
7.30 – 8.00 CFZ AWARDS
8.00 - 8.30 Break
8.30 - 9.00 NEIL ARNOLD: Zooform Phenomena - monsters amongst us
9.30 - 10.00 Break
10.00 - 11.00 RAT SCABIES: Rat Scabies and the Holy Grail - the Punk Rock `Da Vinci Code`


Community Centre, Woolsery, Bideford, North Devon EX39 5QR

doors open 10.30
11.00 FILM: Southern Fried Bigfoot presented by Paul Vella
(MAX AND ROSS: Animal handling)
12.00 – 1.00 MICHAEL WOODLEY: A proposed system of taxonomy for cryptozoology
1.0 – 1.30 GLEN VAUDREY: Mystery Animals of the Western Isles
(STUART GARNER: Making monster masks)
1.30 - 2.30 TIM MATTHEWS: Crop Circle Confusion
(KIDS: Monsters are real – Jon Downes/Richard Freeman 30 mins)
2.30 – 3.00 BREAK (KIDS: Treasure Hunt)
3.00 – 4.00 NICK REDFERN: Stalin's ape men
(OLL LEWIS: Lake Monsters for kids)
4.00 - 4.30 BREAK
4.30 – 5.15 RONAN COGHLAN: Atlantis
5.15 – 5.30 JONATHAN DOWNES:
Keynote Speech and Closing Remarks.

Events specifically for kids are in red. Whilst all the lectures are suitable for children, some may be of more interest to young minds than others. The talks marked with are those that we especially recommend for children under the age of 12, although - of course - they are welcome at any that they care to attend....



The Association for Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena will be carrying out a live experiment all weekend


Exhibition: Crypto Art by Sam Shearon
Wildlife Photography/Taxidermy by Jon McGowan
Indian artefacts by APRA/Bob Morrell MBE
Unknown insects

SUNDAY EVENING: Dinner at The Farmer's Arms

11.00 FILM: Occasional Monsters (special edition) presented by Richard Freeman (WARNING: Includes small amounts of bad language)

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


It’s time once more to open up the door to our cryptozoology news room where Gavin Lloyd Wilson (not to be confused with the other Mr Wilson or dentists named Spalding) has been tirelessly combing the interwebs to find the following stories:

The silly season: Benson the carp and other fishy tales
Is catching a fish bad for it?
Indian school for rogue monkeys
Puppy alive after swallowing arrow
Angling world mourns biggest carp
The newspapers are right to be ‘carp’ing on about Benson, he was a most fantastic fish. R.I.P. Benson.