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...


Sunday, August 30, 2009


Hi Jon,

I thought you and the CFZ members would be interested in the following.


It appears that the local (Rochdale) council (in their total lunacy) are attempting to now classify this bird welfare sanctuary, which has been around for close on 50 years, as a zoo. If the damn fools on Rochdale council get away with this it could possibly have a knock-on effect on other wildlife sanctuaries and organisations such as Beth's rescue centre and even the CFZ itself.

Syd Henley


Only days after our last coverage of the Beast of Ossett, Steve Jones writes: "Here is a a scan of the latest beast of Ossett sighting from this week's (28th August) edition of The Wakefield Express."

ONCE AGAIN COELACANTH IS RED HERRING (Sorry to steal your headline concept Darren)


What an exciting week it has been! The latest story to shatter cryptozoological headlines is this one: that a coelacanth has been found in the Ganges, of all places. Loren has cast doubt upon the story over on cryptomundo but we decided to pass the story over to Max B, the CFZ king of all things piscatorial and tarkus-related.

Kudos must go to Loren Coleman for his correct diagnosis. The creature in these photographs is NOT a Coelacanth. It is a grouper but of what species, I am uncertain. The dead fish differs from a Coelacanth in the following ways:

1. Coelacanths have very obviously 2 completely separate dorsal fins. The dead fish does not have this feature.

2. Coelacanths have “Bony fins”, such that the true fin appears to come out of a little leggy stump. The dead fish has no suggestion of this at all, and its fins are typical of normal ray finned fish.

3. This fish is a Perciform fish. This large group of ray finned fish has a spiny dorsal fin, which is a very good diagnostic characteristic. The dead fish has this feature, Coelacanths don’t.

4. The caudal (tail) fin is so completely different in both fish that it is not worth much consideration.

5. Coelacanths are typified by having large scales. The dead fish clearly has very fine scales.

I could go on, but I won’t. If I knew much about groupers (I don’t) I would try and identify it to species. However, because of the large size of the fish I would say it has to be from either Mycteroperca or Epinephelus. More than that, I could not say with certainty but I would back Loren’s postulation that it is an orange spot, Epinephelus coioides.

Unfortunately, this intriguing headline is backed up by absolutely nothing; a shame.

CFZ PEOPLE: Steve Jones

Steve Jones is an old friend, and a great supporter of the CFZ. In recent weeks he has also become a significant benefactor. Following on from a generous donation a few weeks ago, he has sent me a "belated birthday present" in the form of a terabyte of hard drive on which my back-ups of our remaining video drives can be put.

Steve, old friend, that is incredibly generous of you; thank you very much.

I am overwhelmed at the generosity of you all this week. In the last seven days alone we have had $150 and £50 as well as Steve's hard drive. Thank you all very much.

However, there is more stuff needed. I am looking for a serviceable computer for Doc Shiels, and more hard drives, as well as fish tank filters and pumps, and lighting units. We also want a pond filter, so if you have stuff kicking around your attic....


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Hello there! It’s Stereoscopic Sunday again! This week’s 3D photo is of a giant ant I found crawling over the fish tanks in the conservatory. Why not pop some red and cyan 3D specs on the nearest random child and use this to scare them half to death and give them nightmares about giant ants for weeks.

Think how useful it’ll be: “Daddy, I don’t want to eat my sprouts; they taste of wee.”

“That’s okay, Tarquin; just remember that giant ants come after little boys that don’t eat all their veg.”

And now, the news:

Tortoise saved by B&Q drill

Deer 'fakes death' to escape cheetah and a hyena: video

Humanists accuse West Country zoo of pushing creationist agenda

Gorilla Pop-Tart break-in

Devon river team's piranha shock

That’s a story with real bite.

(yes, I stooped low enough to use a piranha/bite pun).