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 12, 2009


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February, and he is now working on the BHM section. This 9th trenche is from the early 1990s and is almost entirely North American bigfoot stories. Good stuff.



NEIL ARNOLD: What Happened To Me At The ‘Weird Weekend’!

I have known Neil for fifteen years now since he was a mod schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippie who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years. We are just both a tad older...

Being a full-time monster hunter should be about traipsing through forests in search of strange creatures. Large, exotic cats in local woods. Elusive critters in remote lakes. Peculiar insects. Escaped wallabies. A bit of ‘Nessie’ here, and giant birds there. Yet what happened to me at this years ‘Weird Weekend’, was the most terrifying moment of my life.

Myself and my girlfriend Jemma were put up by Jon and co at the lovely Braund-Phillips household at Bucks Cross. The night I lectured on weird zooform creatures – from the female-molesting ‘green underpants’, to London vampires – we retired to our room and nodded off. At 3:00 am I woke up and was fully aware that an enormous snake was in the bedroom. It was pale in colour with beige blotches over its head. The head of this thing suggested a snake around twenty-five feet in length, as its head was the size of a flattened football. Its beady eyes peered at me in the gloom and then it struck. It was a constricting snake, for when its jaws clamped on my right arm, there was no venom excreted, merely a heavy weight. I leapt up in absolute horror, screaming. I yanked my arm from its vice-like grip but then it proceeded to coil around my right leg. At this point Jemma was yelling my name, unaware of the horror that had coiled around me. I made for the door, but it dragged me back, heavily grazing my knees as they made contact with the carpet. I wrenched my leg from its grasp only to see it coil around Jemma’s legs. I pulled at her, and also attempted to open the door. Suddenly the horror dissipated and it was over. Jemma never saw the spectral snake, but recalled how she’d felt constricted in the night and smothered.

Now, people will tell me it was a dream. However, Richard Freeman and Jon both know that in the past I’ve been attacked in my bed by several vampyric amorphous blobs. On these occasions I was awake. This time I may well have drifted into some astral place, but that thing was huge and next day I showed Richard, his girlfriend Lisa and Nick Redfern the cuts on my knees. Strangely, Richard’s girlfriend Lisa recalled how a couple of years previous whilst staying at the B&B, she’d felt constricted in the night and woke to find bruises down her arms. Now, I know there’s no giant snake on the loose in Bideford, and I believe that what I saw had something to do with my lecture. It’s happened before it will probably happen again. But where these things come from I do not know, but in every case of being attacked I’ve either been drained of energy or blood. True vampires ? Who knows, but if anyone debates as to whether psychic backlash is for real, I had the marks to prove it.


I wrote back to Mark North thanking him for yesterday's blog posting about the peculiar chairs belonging to Sabine Baring-Gould, and he replied:

Thats okay Jon, hope someone may be able to put any light on these chairs. On another note, to tie in with `Doc` Shiels' features I thought you may like a photo of this cafe in Poole. http://www.loplopgallerycafe.co.uk where the sell a selection of Grub and Snacks :)

Back to work

All the best............Mark

LINDSAY SELBY: A sea monster article

Lindsay Selby sent an article which she thought would be of interest to us:

Newfoundland and Labrador sea monsters

Sea monsters of various sizes and forms have inhabited the human imaginary universe and range in meaning from the profound to the curious. According to the Babylonian creation myth Enuma Elish, the god and hero Marduk battled the sea monster Tiamat before creation. From the conquered and torn body of the creature, Marduk then created the universe. Read on

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


We’ve got a bumper news update coming your way today, but before that there’s my movie recommendation. Regular readers, if there are any that don’t just click on the news links right away and bother reading this old toot, will have noticed a pattern to these recommendations, as they usually involve cartoons or detectives (detectives hunting serial killers usually but detectives none the less). So what do you get if you put the two together? Well if you’re really unlucky you get ‘Coolworld’ but if you have been a good boy or girl you get ‘Who Framed Roger Rabbit’:


And now, the news:

Rare tropical fish caught in British waters for first time

Amazing rescue of hedgehog stuck in wall

Paralysed dog walks again

Golfer loses arm to alligator

Bee swarm can't stop Mexico qualifying

Zookeepers paint donkeys like zebras

When bizarre animal stories are a way of life

Primatologist: If Bigfoot exists, it's not an ape

Texas Bigfoot Conference more boring than you would think

Man spots strange creature in White Plains

Woman wins inheritance battle after parents left £2 million farm to RSPCA

Fossilised pig belongs to new species

Its classification as a new species is ‘pig’ news in the palaeontological community.

LIZ CLANCY: Three Owls Report

Three Owls is a hospital and bird sanctuary based in Norden, Rochdale. It opened in 1962 and is staffed by a mixed team of both paid and voluntary staff, and is managed by Nigel Fowler. Last year the hospital treated 2104 birds, 55% of which were released upon recovery; those of the remaining 45% that survived but could not be completely healed, now reside in the sanctuary and will for life.

Three Owls is a remarkable place. Though its main function is as a working hospital and haven for birds, visitors can be admitted and shown around the site (please see http://www.threeowls.co.uk/ for details). However, Three Owls is not a zoo. They do not keep exotic or endangered animals, and the birds in the sanctuary are not kept for display; they are merely too unwell or too domesticated to be safely released. No admission fee is charged, though donations are welcome. Much has been reported recently in local newspapers (and on our own blog a couple of weeks ago) about the accusation that Three Owls are operating as an unlicensed zoo, and may, as a result, be forced to close.

Having visited the sanctuary recently and spoken to Len, a member of staff who kindly showed us round, I can report that the situation is hopefully looking less dire. Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council have been to inspect the site a second time and it appears that they may well accept what the team at Three Owls have been saying all along: they are NOT a zoo! What appears to have happened is that someone with some sort of axe to grind, has complained about the sanctuary, accusing it of being an unlicensed zoo. No one has any idea who this could have been or why on earth anyone could possibly object to the sterling work done at Three Owls, but the people at the council are obliged to act on any complaint. Fingers crossed, nothing will actually come from it.

However, Three Owls still needs your help. In order to continue treating and releasing wild birds into its four-acre woodland reserve, and in order to keep such personalities as Molly the raven in minced meat, the registered charity relies heavily on the kindness of visitors and well-wishers. If you would like to donate, please visit the website for details of how to do this.