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, August 13, 2009


Hi Jon,

I came across what may be a Dover Demon sighting that may not have been recorded previously. I have always thought this was teenage hysteria but discovered there is some folklore about similar creatures. Anyway; wrote it as a blog-type post if you want to use it. I spend far too much time rummaging in forgotten places on the internet but at the moment can't go very far so it keeps me busy.

I hope things have settled down at CFZ and you have got some of your stuff back. I hate losing stuff on the computer but am not good at backing up files. Big hug and hope everyone is OK

love to all

The so-called Dover Demon encounters began at 10:30 p.m. on April 21, 1977 in Dover, Massachusetts. Three seventeen-years-olds were driving along when one of them, Bill Bartlett, spotted "something" slinking next to a wall of stones on the west side of the street. The thing turned its head and looked directly into the headlights of the car. Bartlett swore he saw two large, shiny eyes glowing brightly "like orange marbles." Its large oval head, which was easily as large as the rest of its body sat atop a spindly neck. The body was lanky and long-limbed and had large hands and feet. The skin was hairless and seemed to have a rough texture, not unlike sandpaper. It was about four feet tall, and seemed surprised by the car's headlights as it made its way next to the wall. None of the others in the car saw the creature, which was only visible for a few seconds. They did testify later that their companion seemed genuinely distraught. When Bartlett arrived home his father noted how distressed he was. Bartlett then drew a sketch of the being.

Then at approximately 12:30 a.m. John Baxter, aged fifteen, was walking home from his girlfriend's house when he noticed a short figure walking toward him. Baxter thought it was a small friend of his, and called out this friends name, but received no answer. As they neared one another the creature stopped, and so did Baxter, who then decided to get a better look and began once again to approach the creature. This sent the being running down a shallow gully and up the opposite bank. At the bottom of the slope he looked more closely at it. It looked unlike anything he had ever seen or heard of before in his young life. It stood in shadows about thirty feet away, its feet "molded" around some rocks upon which it was perched, a few feet from a tree. Both hands were wrapped around the trunk of the tree with very long fingers. He left the scene after that, and his description of the entity was exactly the same as Bartlett's.

The following evening eighteen-year-old Will Taintor was driving fifteen-year-old Abby Brabham home when Brabham said she spotted something in the vehicle's headlights. On the left side of the road was a creature with no hair, down on all fours, facing the vehicle. Its body was thin and monkey-like, with a large, oversized oval head. She did say the eyes glowed green, and stuck to that point even when she was informed that Bartlett had said the eyes were orange. Taintor said he had only got a short glimpse.

Bartlett, Baxter, Brabham, and Traintor all drew sketches of the monstrous sight shortly after their sightings. On the piece of paper that includes Bartlett's sketch, he wrote "I, Bill Bartlett, swear on a stack of Bibles that I saw this creature."

The witnesses have stood by their testimony ever since. "It's a thing that's been following me for years," Bartlett said in a 2006 interview. "Not the creature - the story. I wish it was seen again so everyone would know it was true."

It should be noted that for centuries the Cree tribe of the indigenous people of the area talked about a race of creatures called: 'Mannegishi'. They describe the mannegishi as semi-humanoid, with very thin and lanky arms and legs and big heads minus a nose and mouth, similar to the description of the 'Dover Demon'.

There is an interesting article here about the sightings written long after :


There is a blog here with links to the photos of what is claimed to be a similar creature seen more recently.

http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread121391/pg1 picture of similar creature 2004

And then I came across this posting in a forum:


I grew up in Dover and I have seen the Demon. I can't say what it was but I can only tell you that it was nothing I have ever seen before. I was driving home from a friend's house in Holliston at about 11:00 PM after hanging out, talking about school and the girls we wanted to hook up with. There were no drugs or alcohol in my system. As I turned onto Woodland Rd. off of Rte. 16 I was shocked and startled by 3 black crows that flew right in front of my windshield; pretty odd for 11:00. I composed myself and continued driving. I took back roads to Bridge St. in Sherborn to get to Farm St. in Dover. After I went around the hairpin turn (anyone from the area knows the turn) and began to go over the bridge to cross the Charles River I noticed a dark shadowy object move swiftly from the woods to the centre of the road where it stopped. It turned its large round head towards me slowly and glared at me with giant round eyes about the size of tennis balls. It stood on 4 legs and was completely hairless. It had no tail either and was the size of a huge dog i.e. Great Dane but much stockier. It had triangular ears and a snickered snout that reminded me of some drawings I have seen in history books on the devil. I came to a stop and stared it down for a good 5 seconds before it slowly turned its head and swiftly disappeared into the woods to my right. I have no idea what it was but I do know it was not a dog or coyote or anything I have ever seen before.

Evan Walsh July 30th. Dover, MA

So what did they see? There have been suggestions from a baby moose to a calf , but whatever it was has stayed a part of the area's folklore now for over 30 years.

WOOLSERY GETS INTO `THE GUARDIAN` (Courtesy of Richard Muirhead)


Because of Jon's poultry and fowl obsessions

SNAKEBITE FATALITIES IN EUROPE (That sounds like an album by `The Residents`)

I just received the following e-mail:

Hello to all,

please remember my www subsite on fatal snake bites in Europe


I would like to ask you to check the site and if you have new or missing
data to mail those to me (also links to sites are welcome).

Thanks for your attention!

mit freundlichen Grüßen/with kind regards

Mario Schweiger

So, despite not having heard of the chap, I did just that. Basically, being the first day of the Weird Weekend, I have lots to do, and so I got up at about 6:30 to do the bloggo. I also had indigestion after having necked back too much brandy last night, and so didn't sleep too well. Biggles isnt very well at the moment either, so I came downstairs to check on him. He went out for a pee and then bumbled into the office with me. The two of us sat down and looked at Mario's site.

I had never actually thought aboput snakebite fatalities in Europe, and was surprised to find that there had not been one in the UK since 1975...

Fascinating stuff

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


As this might well be the last YNT for a few days due to Weird Weekend and I once heard the advice that it is always best to leave on a song, here is a nice little ditty for you: http://www.last.fm/music/Al+Stewart/_/Time+Passages?autostart

Of course if there is a YNT tomorrow all that will be negated, but hey, here’s the news:

Giant 'meat-eating' plant found

'Palace Puma' big cat spotted in Crystal Palace
Woman says she was bitten several times by otters
Twiggy the Eagle Owl learns to fly
Killer whales visit 'social clubs'

The younger ones visit after ‘school’ clubs.