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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Monday, September 21, 2009

CORINNA DOWNES: Where do we go from here/is it down to the lake I fear?

Late afternoon, Thursday 17th September 2009. We (Jon Downes, Max Blake, Tony Shiels and I) stopped at the scenic view at Ladies View in Killarney National Park on the Ring of Kerry. It overlooks the three lakes – Lough Leane, Muckross Lake (also known as Middle Lake) and Upper Lake. It was a calm afternoon with not much breeze to speak of, and was slightly cloudy.

Tony Shiels told us that we should watch the Upper Lake. In the southeast corner of the lake there is an island – not too far off the shore – and I saw a trail left by something as it made its way from the island to the shore to the east of it, as can be clearly seen in the photos (Bottom Left). I have no idea whether this was a bird on the surface of the water or whether it was something from underneath.

As can be seen clearly in the photos (above) there is a rock in the lake to the west of this island and we used this as a marker. Suddenly there was movement near the rock and as far as I could tell by looking through my telephoto lens, there was nothing sitting on the rock that could have jumped in. However, there was a great deal of movement as can be seen in the photos.

A long straight movement was followed by circular movements before whatever had made them seemed to dive down again. In one of the photos you can clearly see a kind of torpedo trail as whatever it was submerged and made its way to the right of the original disturbance.

I am not sure what it was but am fairly convinced that it could not have been a bird. The fact that it clearly broke surface and then submerged leaving that torpedo trail – to me – ruled out that it could have been a bird. If it was a fish, it must have been a pretty big one because of the size of the disturbance and the distance involved from where we were standing.

I have no idea what it was that we saw but if I was to be pressed for an answer I would probably suggest a large eel.

We will be releasing the video in the next few days, but want to do a little bit more work first. The video is far more impressive than the photographs.


Yesterday I wrote:

"On Thursday (late afternoon) we were at a place called `Ladies View` looking down onto the three lakes of Killarney. On the upper lake we did see some anomalous objects, which appear to be animate. And furthermore, we did film and photograph them. Before anyone gets excited, we have not got crystal clear footage of humps and a long neck looming out of the water. Why? Because that's not what we saw.

But we do have footage taken from halfway up the mountain of a number of "things", as Ivan T. would doubtlessly have called them, moving through the water, leaving significant wakes."

I spoke to Tony Shiels yesterday, and he told me that "nobody would believe me", but I have gone public anyway. Yesterday Dan Holdsworth, who is a good mate, and someone whom I hold in the highest regard wrote :

"I am reliably informed that at a time when a certain Wizard knew Jon was coming and would be on a certain mountain at a certain time with a camcorder almost as short-sighted as Jon is, a lake monster put in an appearance in the lake below him" and concluded, that I have "had his [my] leg ever so slightly pulled?"

Now, some years ago I gave a lecture to BUFORA in London about my adventures in Puerto Rico, and I mentioned in passing that "something" had crashed into a forested hillside on the island in 1957. I stressed that whatever it was, I was convinced that it was not any sort of alien spacecraft, because - in my opinion - such things were nonsense, and that it was probably a meteorite.

However the audience pricked their ears up at this and insisted on asking me inane questions like "Did the occupants of the craft come in peace?" and "what sort of propulsion systems did it use?" until I gave up and stomped off to the bar in a bad temper.

I am beginning to feel like this now.


Richard Muirhead has done a sterling job hunting out lake monster material from Co. Kerry, some of which features Tony Shiels and other old friends; some of which doesn't:


January 9, 2004

Mucky the Lake Monster in Muckross Lake, Killarney, Co. Kerry

Posted by daev

The Irish Charr Conservation group reckon that they've found a strange creature in a Co. Kerry lake....

MAX BLAKE: Eyewitness account of the events at the Lakes of Killarney, Co Kerry, last thursday

On Thursday the 17th of September, 2009 Tony ‘Doc’ Shiels took Jonathan Downes, Corinna Downes and myself around a peninsula in County Kerry, Ireland. After travelling around the ring we reached a viewpoint called Lady’s View, a raised viewpoint from which you could see the three lakes of Killarney, North Lake, Muckross Lake and Lough Leane. I stood with the JVC Everio video camera, Corinna was using a Canon 350d with a 70-300mm telephoto lens, and Jon had a small point and click 3x zoom Fujifilm Z10. Once we were alone, after we had all talked about sightings of lake monsters on the lakes, particularly Muckross, Tony told us to keep watching the Northen lake. The lake was generally calm and still, there was a very very gentle breeze in the air, and the centre of the lake had a gentle amount of rippling on it, whilst the rest was very still. There was a floating log or rock in the lake about 50yrds out from the edge, near our side. There was also a large island over to the right hand side. This was around 50-60yrds long, and 30yrds wide (please see rough sketch).

After a couple of minutes a couple of large white ripples started to break on the surface. What made these ripples I do not know; I saw nothing break the water. I was already filming, but as the battery was running very low, I expected it to stop filming and die at any minute. A couple more ripples broke, and Jon said that he could see something large and white moving in the north end of the lake. It dived down before I could see it/film it. The rough area that this occurred in has been called 'anomalous 1' in the sketch. A little later there was a large wake forming in front of the log/rock. This moved at a rapid pace toward the shoreline. I zoomed in to about 12x, and the object broke the surface before diving. This created a large ripple, which can be seen on the film. Both the ripple and the wake spread out and took a while to vanish. This has been called 'anomalous 2' on the sketch. After this occurred a bird on the water took off to the right of 'anomalous 2' and flew off in a curve, coming at first straight toward us, then over to the left. It left behind a wake as it peddled along the water to get airbourne, before taking off and being visible to me as a small black bird. It was probably a tufted duck.

A couple more ripples later, and another object was seen moving on the right side of the Island, moving right. It was moving slower than 'anomalous 2 and as such the sighting lasted longer. There seemed to be something pertruding from the water making the wake, but this could have been a trick of the eye. The track of this has been called 'anomalous 3' in the sketch.

What I saw, I do not know. I saw no features of an animal making the wake. All I know is that something large made the marks. A large salmon moving across the top of the water would not have made a mark anywhere near the size of this. If I had to make a guess, I would say that it was most likely to have been a giant eel.


Hi Jon,

After a long dialogue with the scientists analysing our expedition data (Professors Paul LeBlond & Ian Montgomery) we now have received their comments in full and have today published them for the first time.

Here is a link to their comments and scientific analysis, released to CFZ first as I know you and your bloggo community were keen to read them.


Kind regards

Mike & Greg Warner
17th September 2009

RICHARD MUIRHEAD: Snake with leg

Dear Jon,

Did you see this rather horrible thing?


Richard M.

Just because most mutants don't gain special powers doesn't make them any less interesting. Case and point; this snake discovered the other day in southwest China. Looking at the picture, you should be able to figure out what makes this snake different from most; namely, the weird clawed limb sticking out of its side.

Dean Qiongxiu, the woman who found the snake, claims she discovered it stuck to the wall of her bedroom. Shocked and scared, Qiongxiu proceeded to beat the snake to death with her shoe, before preserving the beast in a jar of alcohol.

Obviously, this being a natural oddity from China with no independent verification, there's a good chance it's just a skillfull taxidermy hoax. However, nothing in biology prohibits such a mutation.

JON: Personally I would suggest that this is actually a snake that ate a lizard who did protest too much, and shoved its leg through the stomach wall of the snake and out into the world outside.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Monday means movies and what have I got to recommend today? Well, click the link to find out - it’s a surprise:


And now, the news:

Lobster Bombs

Wheaton cougar 'sighting': Brookfield Zoo official says tracks weren't left by mountain lion

New species of high altitude frogs discovered in Peru – No tadpoles

Lost cat turns up 500 miles away

Q: What is a cat’s favourite T.V. show?

A: The ‘mews’ at 10.