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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Sunday, October 11, 2009


Over on Corinna's blog, my dear wife photographs orang pendek saliva and does a wizard's bidding despite her own misgivings on the subject.

Great Stuff


I have known him for 39 years, but never cease to wonder at the peculiar questions he has asked me with regularity during that time. Here is the latest (and as usual I haven't a clue what the answer is).


Do you know if there are any records of giant tortoises in China during the Ming Dynasty, i.e. from 1368-1644AD?


Best wishes



This is a snake pulling a kangaroo out of the water. Talk about a maneater! This picture is from Western Australia . Take a careful look at this picture; see the size of the snake and the roo being pulled out of the water.


I don't think that we have ever had such a good year at the CFZ as regards breeding successes. As you can see from these pictures we currently have a glut of baby giant African land snails.

Is there anyone out there in bloggoland who fancies a couple?

You can have them for free but a donation to the CFZ fighting fund would be appreciated.


MARK NORTH WRITES: "which I think you both may find of interest as a follow on from your visit to Lewtrenchard in June."

As yesterday was a fine day I went to Dorchester to take some photographs of some sites of historical and folklore importance. Fordington could now be considered a suburb of Dorchester, but is actually a village in it's own right; its High Street runs directly off the lower end of Dorchester's though much quieter in nature, it's green still retaining a village 'feel'. Near the village green, is a large polished limestone block. This has a peice of folklore attached to it, as it said to have had the ability to move. During the construction of the houses in the early nineteenth century, the stone was removed by workmen and dumped near the River Frome. However, it mysteriously returned the following day!

I like visiting old churches as they can often tell you more about the history of an area and the impressive parish church of St George is of no exception, dating from the 15th Century, though there has probably been a sacred place on this site long before the church was erected. Above the entrance of the south porch a Norman tympanum. It is said to be of great antiquity and may have been given to the church by William Belet who was rewarded with the 'Manor of Fordington' by William the Conqueror. It depicts St George's miraclous apperance leading the Crusaders to victory at the battle of Dorylaeum in the year 1098 and is often thought to be one of the earliest images to depict the saint.

Also of interest is a Roman stone, a block of Purbeck marble, engraved and the earliest inscription known in the county. this was discovered when the floor of the porch was lowered on 5th February 1908. The Latin inscription may be translated as “For Carinus Roman Citizen, aged 50 years. Rufus and Carina and Avila his children and Romana his wife had this set up.”. Erected by Romana his wife.' It is for this reason it is also known as the 'Carina Stone'. Dorchester was known to Romans as Durnovaria and carinus was probably a notable citizen.

However another treasure that the church holds and what I found particular of interest was two pieces of old furniture. These striking high backed wooden chairs (possibly oak) have a lot of detailed with fabulous animals carved from Elephants, Goats, Serpents and what may be a kind of Horned Man or perhaps a 'Ooser' on the head rest. A information card on one of the chairs reads 'This Chair was owned by S. Baring-Gould. He wrote the Hymn: 'Onward Christian Soldiers'. Of course this made me more interested in these unusual pieces of furniture, owned by the famous Devon Folklorist, but I cannot find any more information in the church or the internet about them or for certain how old they are? or what the back of the panels depict?

How they came to be here is another question. However this might be explained that the Gould family whom Sabine Baring-Gould is descended from, have lived in this area of Dorset for many generations. It may be that the chairs returned here either by inheritance or as a gift to the church?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Hello and welcome to today’s YNT brought to you by Oll Lewis (as featured in the Amateur Entomologist). Today, being a Sunday, is when I get to show off a 3D picture I’ve photographed this week. This week you are to witness the first ever photographs of a chinchilla taken with stereo-scopic camera. So pop on your red and blue 3d specs and take a look (it actually works if you colour in some acetate with OHP pens and stick the red in front of the left eye and blue on the right if you have trouble getting hold of 3d glasses and sweet wrappers probably work too):

And now the news:

Lobster’s home goes up with bomb explosion

Driver in puma sighting claim

Dolphin's bad vibes lead to death

Strange sighting of Normandy Nessie

A fawn in a septic tank, cows stuck in slurry... all in a day’s work for Dorset firefighters

I’m a bit ‘septical’ as to whether that fawn got into the hole entirely by accident.