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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Friday, September 25, 2009


My dear friends,

Thank you for your support over the last weeks and months. The CFZ bloggo has succeeded beyond my wildest dreams. We get about 2,000 hits a day which is nothing compared to some sites, but when you consider we were getting about 30 a day at the beginning of the year, it is pretty damn special. I was in Ireland when we passed the half million point, which was a pity, because I had been looking forward to doing a bit of self-congratulatory crowing, but since then we have had over 21,000 hits, and no doubt by the time today is over many more.

I know that our publication schedule has gone to cock a bit this year. The recession has hit us badly, and we narrowly escaped some serious unpleasantness in february which ended up with our big laser printer being repossessed. I always hated the bloody thing, and am glad it has gone, but it did screw up our production schedule badly.

All three of our periodicals: Animals & Men the journal of the CFZ, The CFZ Yearbook, which since 1996 has been the world's only regular book length fortean zoological publication, and The Amateur Naturalist which does exactly what it says on the tin, and replaced Exotic Pets earlier this year, will continue. However, it may be some time before the publication schedule gets back to normal. The Amateur Naturalist is the worst hit, because it is the most time consuming and least cost effective, but it will be back next year - bigger and better, and hopefully properly on schedule.

Animals & Men should be out again before Christmas, and we hope that next year our quaterly production schedule will be resumed. The 2010 Yearbook will be out at the end of the year, and we are still looking for research papers for it.

However, the biggest obstacle to us doing what we do as well as we would like to do it is - as it always has been - lack of resources. The last month has seen some amazingly generous donations from you guys, and I feel horribly churlish for doing an Oliver Twist and asking for more. But if there is anyone out there who wants to help wioth our ongoing programmes of research, education, animal rescue, and publishing, and has time, money or equipment to spare, please get in touch..

We need ya!


I think that I made my opinions clear on the burgeoning use of online petitions by pressure groups the other day. However, when an online petition that directly mentions an animal of interest to the cryptozoological community comes along, it would be plain wrong of me to ignore it. Especially as some months ago we carried stories on this very issue.

American Jaguars Need Your Help to Survive
Target: U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar
Sponsored by: Center for Biological Diversity

In May, the last known U.S. jaguar -- Macho B -- was unnecessarily, tragically killed by government agencies. This heartbreaking loss to the species, and to us, demands swift action to preserve habitat for the majestic cats.

If jaguars are to rebound, as wolves and grizzlies have, they need a federal recovery plan, reintroduction from Mexico to the United States, and protection of their essential living space.

The Center for Biological Diversity, a nonprofit conservation group, recently won a court case requiring the Fish and Wildlife Service to develop a recovery plan and designate critical habitat for jaguars. But instead of complying with the law, the agency is delaying by appealing the ruling.

Jaguars don’t have time to wait. Sign the petition urging the Service to comply with the Endangered Species Act requirements to save and recover the American jaguar.



Max telephoned me last night as pleased as punch with a new photograph he had taken. He is an increasingly good wildlife photographer, but this one really takes the biscuit. It is truly magnificent.


This is just getting silly. The amount of crypto news that has come through this week is beggaring belief. However, much of it is below par, and I hate to say it without being able to show you the evidence, but the 'wakes' in this video are nowt compared to those on our video from Co. Kerry last week.

I am reasonably sure that there are indeed lake monsters (almost certainly eels) in the Lake District. Indeed, I made a film about them three years ago (see below) but I am cautious as to whether this new sighting adds much to the canon of evidence.

Here is our 2006 movie Eel or No Eel, which features Jon Ronson being a wuss, and a whole slew of eyewitness sightings....


Good old Tex Grebner. Not one, but two updates from the CFZ Illinois blog:

The first in which he muses on race memory in cattle as a result of his ongoing activities on his family farm in Illinois, and the second in which guest blogger Andrew Gable looks at the legends of the piasa and the possible objective reality behind them.

Whilst we look at activity on the other blogs in the bloggo network, there is a tantalising update from the Sumatra team over on the expedition blog, and Nick Redfern gives an overview of recent lake monster reports.

All good stuff!

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


It’s Friday so that mean’s it is time for me to dust off The Bumper Mammoth Book of Fascinating Facts and Necromancy for Boys and Girls, which I found in the restricted section of the CFZ library some months ago. Let's see what we have today....

British prime minister Gordon Brown possesses a number of different glass eyes for different occasions. For example, when promoting Britishness abroad he wears a glass eye with a union jack painted on it that he uses to unnerve foreigners, and one depicting the London Eye with a gigantic Brunel riding it like a penny-farthing to symbolise British innovation and invention. Problems were caused at the recent U.N. conference when he greeted Michelle Obama and Mrs Gadaffi after accidentally forgetting to take out the ‘special’ glass eye he uses only in private with his wife. Michelle Obama was so shocked by this obscenity that she forbade her husband from meeting with him, during the whole conference.

And now, the news:

Thresher shark is found on beach

White buck at home in the Forest

Fish to choose who wins house

Cross-eyed owl finds happiness

Giant snake to be removed from boat club

Frog Deformities: Sign of Parasites on the Rise?

50 cattle become 51 on way to Hawaii

Cat-alytic converter

That was very nearly a ‘cat’astrophy.