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, September 24, 2009


One of the things that seriously concerns me about contemporary cryptozoology is the way that certain high profile pundits sensationalise things out of all proportion. The ridiculous bloody Montauk Monster is one example. Anyone could see that it was a small carnivore bloated by decomposition, and whilst I blush to say that I thought it was a skunk when it was obviously a raccoon, it was by no stretch of the imagination a monster.

This latest case involving a dead sloth and an unbelievable story is more of the same.

If cryptozoology is ever to be taken seriously its high profile practitioners must refrain from this third form tabloid sensationalism. I have been accused in the past of bringing the subject into disrepute by behaving stupidly at conventions whilst in my cups, by calling our annual convention `The Weird Weekend` and allowing children to attend rather than just sitting back on our laurels and proclaiming our annual gathering to be "an International Symposium of Cryptozoological Science" or some nonsense like that.

However, to my mind, stooping to the levels of the tabloid press in giving ridiculous appelations to the decomposing corpses of known species does cryptozoology far more harm than me having a few drinks and making tasteless jokes, or a few small children giggling during someone's talk.

TET ZOO ON THE PANAMA CORPSE: "The animal's real identity is bloody obvious!"

I've always been fond of Darren Naish. We go back a long way, and although we have had our ups and downs along the years we have remained friends. Indeed, one of my favourite bits of the last Weird Weekend was sitting at my dining room table with him at about three in the morning drinking whisky and giggling at Max's vain attempts to stop a drunken Lizwiz falling to the floor, whilst Biggles gambolled around us barking joyously.

He too has had a look at the ridiculous story that came out of Panama, and which we sneered at yesterday (and the day before), and I am pleased to say that he agrees with me entirely:

Yet again the world is going nuts over a weird, ugly carcass that is being identified by some as an alien, as a genetic mutation 'of some sort' (duh?), as a deformed dolphin (seriously: what?), or as an unidentified 'monster' that perhaps represents a new species. I've lost track of how many emails I received yesterday about the thing. It's being dubbed the Cerro Azul Monster or Blue Stream Monster or Blue Hill Horror and was discovered at Cerro Azul, Panama. As was the case with the Montauk Monster, the animal's real identity is bloody obvious and this is no mystery.

Read On


We can exclusively announce that due to the remarkable generosity of Richie and Naomi West, Corinna and I will be flying to Texas for a fortnight in mid March to carry on the Texas blue dog investigations at first hand.

The trip is being funded by Richie and Naomi who are being so ridiculously generous that words fail me, and I will never be rude to Richie, or tease Naomi again. No. Sadly, even in the face of such kindness I will not make promises that I cannot possibly keep.

Thank you, my dears, from the bottom of our hearts.


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February, and he is now working on the BHM section. This 6th trenche is a mixed bag containing archive stuff about Piltdown man, together with a number of yeti cuttings, most of them in the wake of Reinhold Messner's 1996 revelations. Good stuff.


WEIRD WEEKEND 2009: Charles Hoy Fort


This story has been around a few days. Chad Arment posted this story from Underwater Times, which read in part:

BAHIA, Brazi -- A large fish without scales that turned up floating off the coast of Brazil baffled scientists and specialists from the region who are studying the rare specimen and ensure that the species is totally unknown.

The fish, which draws attention due to its rarity, was found by a team of marine biologists in that country while doing research on sea turtles.

Chad wrote:

Thanks to Kevin Stewart for passing this along. First, the url to the "scientists are baffled" news account, then the url to NatGeo, which notes the generic identity of the fish, though pointing out that the specific identity is uncertain.

Then - good old YouTube - we found a news story about it.

Now, I would hate people to think that I am just a grumpy old git who takes pleasure in rubbishing the media of the modern world. I'm not. Nor am I someone who thinks that anything that occurred after he reached the age of 30 is necessarily rubbish. Age is not an accomplishment, and youth is not a sin (and I wish it had been me who had said that but it wasn't). But look at this. The descriptions on the youtube page from which we embedded the above video, and worse the meta tags, are just ludicrous. And why is there a picture of some chick covered in blood with a dead fish sticking out of her mouth at the beginning?

Are we raising a generation of idiots, or is this some peculiar post-modern jape that I am too old and hidebound to understand?

"lol, strangers found a strange alien, maybe extraterrestrial, unknow fish species in the ocean. what do you think: what do they eat?

Miley Cirus Beyoncé Pitbull Jay Sean Cascada Jason DeRulo Lady Gaga Taylor Swift Flo Rider Marit Larsen Rihanna David Guetta Drunk Shakira Madonna Sting Micheal Jackson Tom Cruise Rolling Stones Oprah Winfrey U2 Tiger Woods Steven Spielberg Howard Stern 50 Cent Cast of The Sopranos Dan Brown Bruce Springsteen Donald Trump Muhammad Ali Paul McCartney George Lucas Elton John David Letterman Phil Mickelson J.K. Rowling Brad Pitt Peter Jackson Dr. Phil McGraw Jay Leno Celine Dion Kobe Bryant Michael Jordan Johnny Depp Jerry Seinfeld Simon Cowell Michael Schumacher Tom Hanks Rush Limbaugh Denzel Washington Cast of Desperate Housewives Jennifer Aniston Angelina Jolie The Olsen Twins Paris Hilton Nicole Kidman The Eagles Rod Stewart Shaquille O'Neal Jerry Bruckheimer David Beckham Jessica Simpson Andrew Lloyd Webber LeBron James Neil Diamond Alex Rodriguez Will Smith Dick Wolf Dave Matthews Band Tom Brady Ronaldinho Jodie Foster Ray Romano Paris Hilton Adam Sandler Derek Jeter Jennifer Lopez Rick Warren Scarlett Johansson Katie Couric Maria Sharapova Valentino Rossi Halle Berry James Patterson Leonardo DiCaprio Kiefer Sutherland Emma Watson Jim Carrey Cameron Diaz Gisele Bundchen Renee Zellweger Carson Palmer Michelle Wie Reese Witherspoon Bill O'Reilly Kate Moss Diane Sawyer Sean Diddy Combs John Grisham Rachael Ray Dave Chappelle Larry the Cable Guy Tyra Banks George Lopez Regis Philbin Serena Williams Ryan Seacrest Wolfgang Puck Venus Williams Annika Sorenstam Matthew Broderick Nathan Lane Mel Brooks Emeril Lagasse Nicole Richie Heidi Klum Mario Batali Eric Idle Mike Nichols Adriana Lima Ty Pennington."


Flipping Nora, as Lizzie would say..


The CFZ really is like a bizarre family, and every day I feel more and more like Jubal Harshaw. It is surprising how fond one can get of people who one has only met a few times in the flesh, but to whom one talks every day. And like any family we share in our joys and our sadnesses, and I really want to share this sad time with Naomi in Texas who writes:

I am so sad tonight. Probably very few people would understand, but my husband I have grown very attached to a large toad that has hung around our house for a few months now. He has probably lived here longer than that, but in the past few weeks he grew more and more familiar with us and could be found on the back porch every morning and night. Read On

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Cryptozoology news? Check.

Bad pun slash play on words? Check.

YNT is go.

Jolly rogering still way off for Edward

Seismic bangs 'block' whale calls

What’s a whale’s favourite Elton John song?

Daniel (my Blubber)