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 28, 2009


Tony Shiels is a dear friend of mine, and also one of the wisest men I know. "You know that nobody will believe you" he told me about the Killarney lake video. I was prepared for that, but I wasn't prepared for the level of vitriol that has been pointed in my direction. I have had attacks on me because of my accent. One should never trust a "posh f******" like me, apparently. According to someone on youtube the video is "booring!!! what a load of old tosh!, just some old geezer rambling on and on and on". I suppose that I have now reached `old geezer` status, although I do my best not to be a boor.

Then there was the person who insinuated that I am an elderly pederast and that Max is my catamite, and someone else made a dirty joke that I didn't understand about `trouser trout`. Others have jumped on the fact that Tony Shiels was present and have either claimed that somehow he faked the whole thing, or used it as an excuse to start asking me questions that I cannot possibly answer about the 1977 Loch Ness Monster pics that Tony took. (For the record I know nothing about these pictures and never have done. I was 17 and more interested in The Sex Pistols at the time).

It has been insinuated that I somehow created the video through digital jiggery pokery, and even (by judicious use of the word `allegedly`) that Max was not actually weilding the camera. I cannot remember whether it was Doctor Johnson or Oscar Wilde who described the Americans and British as "two nations divided by a common language" so I shall ignore the description of Corinna, Max, Tony and myself as four people "associated with the CFZ" which makes us sound like a group of slightly dodgy also-rans rather than the Director, his wife (who also happens to be Administrative Director), the Assistant Zoological Director, and the Eire representative. But that, I am sure, is just a matter of international nuance.

And the general outpouring of glee that accompanies the fact that even I now think that the black object at 6:25 is probably a cormorant would seem to indicate that the vast majority of these marching morons believe that I have carried out some massive fraud upon them and deserve to be thrown to the lions for my impudence.

The one thing that all these gobshites in and outside the cryptozoological community seem to miss is that the whole thing is a journey. I posted the video unedited because this is what I saw. I will admit that I was very excited by the black blob. I am equally excited that the mystery - or at least that part of it - seems to have been solved. I am very proud of Glen, Naomi and Richie amongst others for having helped solve that part of the mystery.

There is, however, a hell of a lot more on the video that remains unsolved.

What all my detractors seem to have forgotten, is that I have always tried to use the words 'Lake Monster' in inverted commas, and have always referred to the objects in the video by saying "we filmed and photographed some anomalous objects that appear to be animate...." I make no claims for what they are. By the way, to correct two things in the cryptomundo coverage of the story, Tony Shiels is Irish, not English and the reason that he has been largely absent from the scene in recent years is that he retired some years ago, and no longer wants to do it. Not because he was trounced by some rather dodgy research by the late Mark Chorvinsky.

The journey continues, and I am enjoying most of it immensely. I am working on the definitive account of what happened, which will appear in Fortean Times sooner than you might think. To my friends, loved ones and supporters, thank you for standing by me during this portion of the Great Silliness; and to the idiots who insist on throwing mud either for fun; because they think I and the CFZ should be taken down a peg or two; or because they resent my accent, experience, class, nationality, long hair, reputation, relationship with Doc, drinking habits or anything else...

...Get Stuffed!

WEIRD WEEKEND 2009: Alan Murdie

CFZ PEOPLE: Marjorie Braund

Corinna and I went in to see Mrs Braund yesterday lunchtime. She was more alert than she had been the previous night, but still extremely unwell. We stayed about a quarter of an hour, but in my judgement, any more would be too much for her. Graham is visiting her as we speak.

I will try and visit again this afternoon, and will of course let you know of any developments as soon as possible.

Do not pursue the past.
Do not lose yourself in the future.
The past no longer is.
The future has not yet come.
Looking deeply at life as it is.
In the very here and now, the practitioner dwells in stability and freedom.
We must be diligent today.
To wait until tomorrow is too late.
Death comes unexpectedly.
How can we bargain with it?
The sage calls a person who knows how to dwell in mindfulness night and day,
'one who knows the better way to live alone.'
Bhaddekaratta Sutta

Update 12:55 GMT. Graham went to see her about half an hour ago and reports her as being generally calm, and pain free


Is this a photo of the 'Palace' puma/panther ? (OF COURSE NOT!!)

find out more

"Never underestimate the power of human stupidity"
Lazarus Long

NAOMI WEST: Guess who is back?

Check this out: pic taken originally and pic taken tonight. Big old Barnabas hopped up to our yard tonight. I have NO idea who that other toad was, but I have done a pic comparison and this is truly Barnabas.

I've sent you both pics; I think you'll agree. (But be honest if toads can have identical irregular markings.) We have never seen two toads around here, and we haven't seen any at all since the one I found dead, so it's very strange, but I prayed God would bring him back to me somehow. I'm so excited.

I had a talk with Barnabas about staying out of the driveway. He sat with his head straight ahead for a few seconds, then turned his head toward me, stared a second then took a hop toward me. Then a bug came along and he ate it.

Also, I found this cute video of somebody's wild "pet" toad. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5nncKiyxnw

ps. Animals & Men are sealed and will be mailed tomorrow.

GREG TAYLOR WRITES: Darklore vol 4 is out

I'm very pleased to announce that the latest instalment of our Fortean anthology series, Darklore Volume 4, is now available for sale! Here's the links to purchase from Amazon:

Limited Edition Hardcover (333 copies): Amazon US or Amazon UK

Paperback: Amazon US or Amazon UK

Here's a sampling of the content in the latest release:

  • Greg Taylor looks back on the mythical context of the 'American Stonehenge', the Georgia Guidestones.
  • Robert Bauval surveys the sacred landscape of Ancient Egypt.
  • Blair MacKenzie Blake suggests a shocking new theory on the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau.
  • Richard Freeman goes in search of Japanese monsters.
  • Nick Redfern reveals the government files investigating animal E.S.P.
  • Filip Coppens takes you on a tour of that most ancient of sites, Göbekli Tepe.
  • Neil Arnold traces the Chupacabras bloodline in 'The Goatsucker Family Tree'.
  • The Emperor digs deep into the history of the Flying Saucerers.
  • Robert Schoch wonders whether psi was used to incite a revolution in Romania.
  • Much more besides, with contributions from Mike Tymn, Nigel Watson, Greg Mcqueen, John Higgs, Theo Paijmans and John Reppion.

Sample articles from Volume 4 will be available from the Darklore website later in the week. Enjoy!!

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


It is, to quote the Mamas and the Papas, Monday, Monday. Monday of course means I pop some movie trailer or other of a film I like up here. I could post a link to anything of course as nobody bothers to read this preamble yet alone click the link as the cryprozoology news is always pretty tempting but this week's film is one that every cryptozoologist worth their salt should have watched by now (or should watch in the next week if they want a real treat) Hellboy2: The Golden Army:


And now, the news:

Endangered northern bald ibis shot

Is Bownessie out there?

Mythical beast is ‘spotted’ in Windermere

'Monster of the deep' is filmed

Mysterious shape that looks a loch like Nessie

"Bownessie" - The Search for The Windermere Monste...

Is the picture in the last report really ‘nessie’-sary? As many of you know I rarely venture from sitting on the fence unless I have all the evidence to hand but I think this might have been photoshopped….