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 23, 2009


The quality of the newscaster on this piece suddenly makes me feel very middle aged....


Various people including Lizwiz (who is quite scary when she gets riled) have been bullying me because I have not got around to putting any more of the videos from this year's Weird Weekend up onto CFZtv. "Its been five weeks now, you lazy so and so," she shouted down the telephone to me, making me quake in me boots.

In my defence, although we got them all up within a week last year, there has been an awful lot of other stuff happening this year, but I cheerfully admit that mea culpa.

So I will be spending today trying to format and embed another few talks and get them up for you.

I wont be sitting around reading The Lost Symbol all day. Honest.


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February, and he is now working on the BHM section. This 5th trenche is mostly concerned with Chinese wildman sightings from 1994, which were - by the way - originally from the collection of Craig from the long defunct Crypto Chronicle



At last we can tell you. Or at least, at last we can tell you some of it.

A couple of weeks ago we signed a contract with the prestigious Minnow Films of London to produce a feature-length observational documentary for the BBC. We haven't been able to give all the details for contractual reasons, and indeed we cannot tell you any more. As soon as a title, length, BBC Channel, broadcast date or anything else is confirmed, we shall - of course - tell you.

The company will be following us around all winter and for the first part of next year (until the beginning of June). They have already filmed the Weird Weekend, and it looks probable that another expedition will be in the offing.

Sadly I can't tell you any more at this point, because I don't really know much more myself. However, it is sufficient to say that this is the biggest break that we have had for years and I have no intention of buggering it up by revealing too much information too early on....


I have been inundated with requests to post the video that we took last Thursday of what appear to be large creatures on the Upper Lake at Killarney.

Of course we will, but you will have to wait a few days for it, for a very good reason. We are - as always - dreadfully skint, and the Irish trip cost over £600 all in all (and that wasn't all on Doc's and my bar bill, you small-minded fellows). For once we have something saleable, and we are doing our best to make a few quid out of it before we go public. The video is with some acquaintances of ours at a news agency, who have asked us not to post it up on CFZ TV until they have had a chance to try and flog it to the gentlemen of Her Majesty's press.

So forgive us for being breadheads for once, but I have a lot that I want to do this winter, and no money with which to do it....

New DEFRA legislation regarding importation of inverts


Property is theft, and I have no problem in pinching stuff from the British Government, especially when it is this *.pdf document. In fact, if I am to be completely honest, I have no idea whether it is legal or not to post UK Government documents to the CFZ website, and I don't really care. However, having received a copy of this document a few days ago from Paul Batty at the Entomological Livestock Group, I thought that I should make it generally available to people on this blog.

These changes to the law mean that I could probably no longer import Puerto Rican cave snails into the country, although I will still have a damn good try. But interestingly it says that the import of moon moths would now be illegal because their larvae could potentially become a pest species in the UK.

What bloody nonsense.


Some months ago Alan Friswell, the bloke who made the CFZ Feegee Mermaid and also the guy responsible for some of the most elegantly macabre bloggo postings, wrote me an email.

He had an idea for a new series for the bloggo. Quite simply he has an enormous collection of macabre, fortean, odd and disturbing magazine and newspaper articles, and he proposed to post them up on the bloggo.

The Loch Ness Monster has always held a special place in my heart. It was one of the first crypto-creatures that I read about as a child, and was no doubt all the more attractive to me because of its putative Mesozoic origins. I loved the idea that a plesiosaur was navigating the waters between the Caledonian Canal and the River Ness, and Tim Dinsdale’s book The Loch Ness Monster was inspirational to me.

So here are a couple of Ness curiosities: the first, from 1934, supposedly solves the famous ‘Surgeon’s Photo’. And there was me thinking that it was all down to good old Christian Spurling, with a toy submarine, a handful of plastic wood, and too much time on his hands.

The second, is quite a spooky illustration, also from 1934, depicting Arthur Grant’s encounter with a rather weird-looking animal--if that’s what it was--on the shores of the loch. The drawing shows the creature almost jumping in the air like a large dog; could Grant have actually witnessed nothing more zoologically aberrational than a Great Dane, distorted by both the misty gloom, and Grant’s overactive imagination? You decide….

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Time for the cryptozoology news round-up and a vaguely related bad pun. Enjoy:

DNR confirms mountain lion killed near Bemidji

Chris Packham: 'Giant pandas should be allowed to die out'

Has Nessie Got Family In The Lakes?

Fossil finds on Weymouth Relief Road

Gilbert the whale has died

Explorers hope Sumatran ape will yield clues on human development

Search is on for serpent-like creature

Monster mystery on Cameron Lake

Secret Lives of Spiders

Big catch, rare find - Scientists net giant squid in Gulf of Mexico

I’ll bet that they’ll get a few s-quid for that.