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, October 05, 2009


A couple of weeks ago a 12-year-old girl called Jessica Wilkins or Jessica Wilkinson encountered the Owlman of Mawnan.

This is the first sighting I have heard of in several years and only the second this century.

Yes, the news did come from Tony Shiels but I know that he was in Ireland at the time because we were with him. No doubt this revelation will cause further coals of opprobrium to be heaped upon my poor head by those who like to think that they know best.

However, we exist to tell you the news as it is told to us and we will, however, give you more news as and when we get it.



We met a few weeks ago when your grandfather brought us round, when your mother had swine flu. I know that you read the blog. Can you email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk?

I have a document for your grandfather




We have just had a brief telephone call from Adam Davies who is seriously ill in hospital with an unknown condition.

It is suspected that this may be a tropical disease of unknown origin that he picked up whist on the recent trip to Sumatra, so he is in an isolation ward with nothing but his mobile `phone for company.

We will let you know what happens as soon as we know, ourselves.

Remember him in your prayers.

Adam joked to me on the `phone that in the light of recent events, some idiot would say that he really just had a light head-cold, and that we were exaggerating things just in order to make an impressive effect....

LANETTE BAKER: Missouri Mystery

In southeast Missouri we had been told for a while that there were "no big cats." I am friends with a conservation officer who I have had to speak to due to large cat sightings around an animal shelter I used to run. Now this was next to a power plant at the edge of town with fields and rural community neighbourhoods to the west.

Well, I have known there were big cats here, as well as wolf pairs (but have no proof of that yet to show). I finally do have proof of a large cat at my fiance's house; it is actually using his grave drive at a litter box of sorts at times.

This is a rural area where most people leave their large dogs out loose: labs, pits and GSDs.

My fiance called me a few weeks ago and told me he saw a cat that was too large to be a house cat across the street where there used to be plenty of regular-size cats (now we only see 1).

About a week ago I stayed the night at his house. Normally his lab will bark if anything shows up on the property and it immediately wakes Jay up - no barking that night. We figure this cat must have scared Epoch off, which would have been a good-size cat.

These are the pictures I took the next morning after we got home from eating breakfast and noticed what was in the drive and what was in the field next to the drive. As I said, there is a large dog on the property so I made sure to not get pictures of his feet, which are smaller than the cats feet.

While we were taking pictures in the field, Epoch the lab, was taking care of the kitty litter mess.... It was like he felt bad that it happened and he did his best to destroy what was left.

RICHARD FREEMAN: Creepy Comics - the yeti

Mark North sent me this.

These strips were originally published in the 1960s in the American horror comic Creepy, published by Warren Pulishing. The original run was an impressive 145 issues from 1964 to 1983.

Creepy was resurected by Dark Horse Comics in 2008.


I always hate doing this, guys. But once again we have a cashflow problem. Book sales are down 30% on last year and whilst everything will be freed up when we get charity status (I suppose I should really say if we get charity status), and in the short term things will be sorted when the money from The Sun arrives, we are still in dire straights.

I always think that appealing directly for donations is ridiculously vulgar, but it costs a lot of money to actually do stuff. We have a string of little projects that we would like to do over the winter, and things would be much easier if we sold some more memberships and got a few more donations.

However, what we would really like is some sponsors. We are getting something in the region of three quarters of a million hits a year. I hope that we shall be able to attract some on-topic advertising for the bloggo, which will be able to push us up to the next level. Don't worry. It will never get to the stage that we are advertising any old tat like some people we might mention, but some on-topic sponsors would certainly help.

Sorry to be a pain.

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: More speakers

Yesterday we announced the first trenche of speakers for next year's event. Now we are proud to add

GLEN VAUDREY: The waterhorse
SAM SHEARON aka "Mr Sam": Redwoods Bigfoot

and should there be something worth reporting upon, there will of course be a talk on our Texas trip in March in search of blue dogs.

When you add them to the speakers announced yesterday, it looks like this will be another bumper year:

ANDY ROBERTS: The Berwyn Mountain UFO crash
LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Ness adventures
NEIL ARNOLD: The mysteries of Bluebell Hill
RICHARD FREEMAN et al: Sumatra 2009 Expedition Report
JON AND CORINNA DOWNES, AND MAX BLAKE: What happened in Killarney

More stuff will be added as and when....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Film of the week - hmm... let me think…. A few months back I asked a young rapscallion of my aquaintance if he had ever seen Akira, and to my shock and dismay the answer was no. I was shocked and dismayed. Akira was the film that legitimised animation in the West. Before Akira 99.9% of all animated films and TV series available in Britain and North America were aimed solely at children, often with the cynical aim of trying to get them to part with cash for merchandise. Sure, there were family films like Disney, but these were few and far between, and the less said the better about the titles aimed at adults, which tended to be one-trick ponies aimed to shock people with the fact that there were fart jokes, drug-taking and 'cuss' words in a medium usually associated with children. The release of Akira changed all that and opened the public's eyes to the fact that a good quality animated film could show things that, thanks to the restraints of budgets, most Hollywood films couldn’t even dream of, and that there was a market for sensible animated films in the west that weren’t aimed at families or kids. As well as opening up the west to anime it had a huge effect on American animation too; it’s a fact that without Akira showing the market was there, there would have been no Futurama, South Park, Family Guy and countless others. Anyway, essay over; suffice to say if you’ve never seen Akira you’re missing out. Sure, it's not the best anime movie ever made but it’s damn good and as an example of the cyber punk genre (which it really helped define) you can’t get much better.

Here’s the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aqp1BDXpAJU

And here’s a humorous related vid: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jafd97yJFOI&feature=channel_page

And here’s the news:

Lucky to be alive - tokoeka kiwi chick - Button

Exploring Tropical Creatures

Lost cat travels 300 miles on coach

Plan to save Canadian chicken from extinction

Spiders v conkers -- are arachnids really scared of horse chestnuts?

I'm not bonkers about conkers, they DO keep the spiders away

I don’t know; it seems ‘nuts’ to me…