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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Wednesday, September 02, 2009


I find it hard to believe that OTT has now been going for two years - but we have. Thank you to everyone who has supported us along the way.

Many apologies to Scottie and the other handful of people who watched the version that I posted late last night. It was horribly wrong, so here is the reposted, and hopefully correct version.


The latest edition of a monthly webTV show from the CFZ and CFZtv, bringing you the latest cryptozoological and monster-hunting news from around the world. This episode brings you:

Jon Downes at 50
CFZ PEOPLE: Matt Osborne gets married
The Weird Weekend
Golden Baboon awards
Rescuing giant water snails
Peculiar water snails from Mynmar
Polish `yeti`
Loch Ness Monster
Alien baby?
New and Rediscovered: Tasman Booby
New and Rediscovered: New crustacean
New and Rediscovered: New marine worm
New and Rediscovered: New marine worm
New and rediscovered: Google eyed cisco
We say farewell to Rufus
Bigfoot for Kids
Launch of Sumatra expedition


For those of you interested in what CFZ Director Jon Downes did before the CFZ became the world's fastest growing and arguably most influential cryptozoological organisation, cop a load of this. Amongst piles of other stuff that was just dumped in the loft of Jon's old house in Exeter following his split from first wife Alison in July 1996, was an entire concert by Jon Downes and the Amphibians from Outer Space filmed at a pub in Seaton in June 1995, just before the end of their summer tour.

As we clean up the sound, we shall be releasing bits and bobs from the show, but first of all, here is a song called Stalin's Babies. Enjoy (we certainly did).


I saw this post on the news blog today: http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/2009/09/are-red-wolves-on-prowl-in-south-walton.html

I watched the video, and then I went to the original column.

I don't think the original columnist got it right.

There are wolves in Apalachicola, Florida. However, they are on an offshore island owned by the Nature Conservancy. I'm sure they would have missed any wolves that left the island for the mainland. This island is used to breed endangered species in their natural environment: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Vincent_Island,_Florida:

About half the animals in the video have white-tipped tails. I saw a coyote bitch with a white-tipped tail, but it was just a tiny flash of white. These animals have lots of white on them.

I think the animals are coydogs -- hybrids of dogs and coyotes.

In the subtropics and the tropics, coydogs are thought to be more likely than they are in temperate and colder climates. The short breeding season of the coyote in the colder regions prevents domestic dogs from breeding with them. They simply don't have a large enough window in which dogs could breed with coyotes. Of course, a male coyote breeding with a dog produces a coydog. The purists would argue that a male dog mating with a coyote bitch produced a dogote. Coydogs are very uncommon in my part of the country, but the coyotes are larger than one might expect.

Hybridisation could explain why these animals are larger than the normal Florida coyote.

But I don't think they are red wolves of any kind. Red wolves are carefully monitored to ensure purity of their bloodlines. That's why they are reintroduced to offshore islands where there are no dogs or coyotes to pollute the gene pool.


It has been several weeks since we last heard from Mike and Greg Warner who, earlier in the year, undertook an expedition to Peru in search of giant snakes. We received an e-mail from them yesterday evening, which we reproduce in its entirety without editing:

Hi John

We are beginning to release the data from site 2 of our expedition which few, if any, people know about at this stage. Again,we are offerring CFZ first option.

In locating and recording site 2 we believe we have discovered the thermal lake that Franz Herman Schmidt & Rudolf Phleng discovered in there encounter with the South American Dragon related to Mokele-mbembe, Quetzalcoatl or the Sirrush which is recorded in Bernard's "On the Track".

Here is the link to the video release at our website http://www.bigsnakes.net/


We have also received the first scientific analysis of our data from a world renowned scientist & cryptozoologist (who was recommened by your own consultant Dr. Karl Shukar) and will be releasing this to you soon which we think you will find surprising & valuable.

We are looking for answers like anyone else; feel free to re-evaluate your comments at any time.

Kind regards

Greg & Mike Warner
1st September 2009

NICK REDFERN: Man Monkey Musings

As some of you probably know, the one so-called 'British Bigfoot' that interests me more than any other is the 'Man-Monkey of Ranton', which haunts Bridge 39 on England's Shropshire Union Canal. A very atmospheric, tree-shrouded locale, Bridge 39 is arguably as weird as the hairy man-beast itself.

Aside from the fact that the original story of the beast's activities (which kicked off in the late 1870s) are both chilling and packed with supernatural overtones, the case is made more significant by the fact that sightings of the beast have continued up until pretty much the present day; and additional data on the affair always seems to be surfacing.

Read On

MAX BLAKE: Rufus’s Requiem.

As you may have noticed on yesterday’s blog, Rufus the Chinese crested mynah became very ill. He wasn’t flying or even moving his wings; he seemed very depressed and fell over quite a lot (even though he had one club foot, this did not usually happen). I picked him up and took him into a small hospital cage with a blanket and some perches whilst Graham made an appointment with the vet. He ate very well, taking mealworms and banana from his hand, but also ate some soft-bill mix from his bowl.

When we got to the vets (after Rufus made friends with a Beagle), he had a quick check over, and it was discovered that he had virtually no muscle on his keel, and thus he could not fly. As his appetite was still strong, this suggested something was seriously wrong with him. We could have pumped him full of antibiotics, but it appeared that he had a serious wasting disease, and was unlikely to recover, so Graham, the vet and I all thought that it was best to put him down.

He has been buried in the garden. Rufus was very popular with visitors to the CFZ; I remember at the Weird Weekend Dr Darren Naish feeding him mealworms just to see him gape to open his fingers (starlings and mynahs both gape to open small cracks to get at food) and getting very exited when Rufus did so!

It’s the tragic loss of a great character, and he will be very much missed by everyone at the CFZ.


THE LEEDS ENTOMOLOGICAL FAIR is happening again this year due to the success of the last one. It will be at Blackburn Hall, Rothwell, Leeds. 11am - 4pm on Sunday 4th
October 2009. Admission £2.50 for adults and £1.50 for children, refreshments available. Tables are 10.00 each for people wanting to exhibit. Please book a.s.a.p. as places are filling up fast. Please contact Sarah Rhodes on 07979 677
551 for more info or to book tables.

ATILLA THE HEN: Yesterday's News Today

Yo peeps! Atilla the Hen, your favourite poultry news fowl, here. For the second day running I am here to strut my funky stuff as Oll does his own inimitable thing in Plymouth. We are all very sad after the death of Rufus yesterday - he was a perky little fellow and kept us all happy with his singing.

Donations support local wildlife refuge
Are red wolves on the prowl in South Walton
New deathworm documentary
Polish yeti story
DNA tests due on supposed yeti hairs

And finally...

Q: Why did the existential chicken cross the road?
A: Why indeed?