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, October 30, 2009


re. Your series on the world's rarest fish.

The rarest fish in the World is thought to be Enobarbichthys maculta. This freshwater loach, known from the Madras area of India, is represented, in preserved collections, by only the species holotype that resides in the British Museum (Natural History).
David Marshall,
Editor, Aquarium Gazette


Life is a little complicated at the moment. Various members of my team are undergoing life crises: two people have been made homeless, and another has taken an overdose. I am also unwell at the moment - a benign cyst that I have had for nearly 20 years has just stopped being benign, and although I am on medication for it, it hurts like billy-oh.

However, life continues. We are working on Nick Molloy's Predator Deathmatch at the moment, with several other titles due out of the starting gate in the next few weeks. These include:

The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia by Richard Freeman
Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal by Andy Roberts
Daintree Diaries by Carl Portman

We are also working on issue 47 of Animals & Men, which will be with you by Christmas, and the 2010 Yearbook, which will be on sale at the end of the year.

So forgive us if we appear tardy. Just remember that there are only a handful of us, and that we do our best.


Hello Mr Downes,

A few months ago I sent you some info of yowies at Kempsey, NSW Australia.

The three attachments are from a very good sighting in the Pilliga scrub, North West NSW.

I hope you find this of interest. This came from our local paper today. Also, a guy I was working with in Kempsey told me that an old aboriginal guy who lives out at Bellbrook, which is about 50kms up river from Kempsey, actually has the remains of a yowie. Apparently he has had the skull & other body parts stored in a shed for years, but because of aboriginal superstitions, he won't allow any white people to see it. He did let his grandchildren go in to see it and they ran out pretty scared.

Apparently it looked like a hairy human. The guy that told me about it was actually told all this by the old aboriginal that supposedly has the remains.

Michael Hardcastle.

LINDSAY SELBY: Lizzie and Nessie , travellers perhaps?

Loch Lochy (Scottish Gaelic: Loch Lochaidh) is a large freshwater lake located southwest of Loch Ness. It is ten miles long and one mile wide and is said to be the home of Lizzie, a creature described as similar to the Loch Ness Monster, Nessie. Loch Lochy is only separated from Loch Ness by Loch Oich. Loch Oich is said to contain several holes reported to go as deep as 2000 feet. This of course has given rise to the possibility that animals from Loch Ness are also being seen in the other two lochs.

Lizzie was first sighted in 1929 by two game wardens near Spean Bridge.

The two game wardens believed at first that they where looking at nothing more than debris from a large fallen tree. When one of the two men took a closer look through his telescope they soon realised that they were looking at much more than a fallen tree but a large unidentified beast. They continued to watch the creature swim for about a mile before it submerged back into the depths of the loch.

1930: A man living on the loch side saw a strange creature in the water one day - he told his wife never to wash her clothes there again! Other reports came and in 1933 the monks of Fort Augustus Abbey began to chronicle known sightings.

In 1960, while staying in a caravan near Glen Fintaig, Eric Robinson, his family, and nine other witnesses spotted what looked to be a standing wave in the centre of the loch. It appeared to be caused by a living creature. Viewing the animal through binoculars he estimated that the animal was between 30 and 40 feet in length, with a dark spine and a paler underbelly. Robinson and the other witnesses claimed the creature began to roll in the water exposing a huge flipper before disappearing into the loch. This sighting was witnessed by nine other people.

1975: Mrs. Margaret Sargent of Fort William was passing the loch with her husband and family near the Corriegour Hotel when they saw an unusual wake on the flat, calm loch. A long black shape could be seen moving through the water. As she took a photo, the object disappeared below the water and the subsequent picture showed only the wake. (see link below to Nik Sargent’s story)

In 1996 while fishing for pike in the loch, angler Alastair Stevenson encountered a creature approximately 18 feet in length and roughly the shape of an overturned rowboat. The creature reportedly took Stevenson’s bait and began to pull the vessel. Stevenson was quoted as saying "I knew immediately it wasn't a pike with that ferocity. I had to stop the line but when I did the power started dragging the boat behind it. All the time I'm thinking it was like a scene from Jaws. Fortunately my line and rod snapped and that was the end of that. I have no idea what it was, but it was a lot bigger than a pike."

An expedition the same year led by cryptozoologist Cameron Turner had contact with a large object near Spean Bridge, where the very first reported sighting took place. The contact was estimated as being between 18 and 20 feet in length, and was moving at a depth of 160 feet below the surface. Approximately two minutes later, after the boat sharply turned starboard in order to pursue the contact, a second contact was made, this time at a depth of 200 feet. As the boat approached the centre of the Loch, above an abysmal trench, which is reportedly over 300 feet deep, the objects disappeared. Cameron returned to the Loch again in September 1997, and hired a boat from the family of Alastair Stevenson, the same man who had the 1996 encounter with the creature. The team had another contact about 270 feet down in the loch. During the 3 minutes the team managed to follow the contact they where able to get clear pictures of the sonar screen. Nothing. They also had readings showing sonar hits of over 2000 feet deep, which appeared to be holes in the bottom of the Loch.

Loch Oich is located between Loch Ness and Loch Lochy in the Great Glen and the three lochs are connected and form part of the Caledonian Canal. A strange beast has also been reported in Loch Oich. Described as a dog-headed serpent with a horse-like mane, two humps, black skin and a snake-like neck, very like the descriptions of the creature reported in Loch Ness.

Sightings of the Loch Oich Monster date back to the 19th century. The Loch Oich Monster is also reported to have caused at least one death. The story goes that some time in the 20th century the Loch Oich Monster reportedly drowned a young boy, who allegedly climbed on the creature's back in hopes of catching a ride, when the beast submerged the boy was dragged below the surface and drowned.

In 1961 hoaxers reportedly planted an artificial monster in the dark waters of Loch Oich in order to take some photographs and cash in on the monster's popularity. This has not helped serious investigation in the area.

Eye witness accounts:

Lizzie, a three humped first cousin of Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster, surfaced again last week on Loch Lochy.And several people, locals and vistors, confirmed on Thursday the sighting of the water beast.Staff and guests at the Corriegour Lodge Hotel watched in amazement as a dark shaped twelve foot long "something" caused a commotion on the loch which is overlooked by the hotel.Guests and waitresses at Corriegour Lodge rushed to the picture window of the dining room to get a better view of the creature which had come to the surface."At first we thought what we were seeing was an upturned boat", said husband and wife Derick and Lindsay Burney, from Hornchurch, who were having dinner at the hotel."Then suddenly it started moving backwards, and then round in circles, and we noted that it had three humps. It was causing quite a stir. It was very large, about twelve feet in length, and it wasn't a seal or any other mammal we've ever seen before. And we've been coming to Loch Lochy on boating holidays for the past seven years" Lorna Bunney, joint proprietor with her husband Rod, of Corriegour Lodge revealed that she had originally seen a marine animal in the loch three weeks previously."I thought at first that it was just the wake from a cabin cruiser but it was too fast, and the ripples too close together for that. I ran to look out of the kitchen door and I realised it was some kind of creature. I've never seen anything like it before." Source:


The Sargent family 1975 sighting told by their son:


And this report from 1996 claims to have found a body:


It is intriguing that the first sighting of Lizzie was before the 1933 media frenzy over Loch Ness. There are reports of a hole in the bottom of Loch Ness (Edward’s Deep). Perhaps there are tunnels between the Lochs, but it seems unlikely that no one has found them before. It still is an interesting idea that the creatures (or fish or eels or whatever they are) could travel between the lochs, and hence their ability to hide from sonar and researchers. A thought to cogitate over.


I have lost the address/telephone number of Gary Cunningham. If he's reading this or anyone is who knows his present location, would he get in touch with me? I can be reached quickly at coghlanronan@gmail.com


Napoleon Bonaparte, a figure well known to historians, was unable to mount his horse at the Battle of Waterloo (1815). The reason: piles.

I understand our gallant leader, Jonathan Downes, is similarly afflicted. One would think with such an ailment he could put his troubles behind him, but this is perhaps an a posteriori idea. However, as he shares a condition with such a notable historical personage, perhaps he should now be entitled to being called the Napoleon of Cryptozoology.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mr Coghlan, you are an evil man. Actually I always thought Richard F. looked a little like Napoleon, but that is another story. In the meantime I recommend this factual book about the historical period in question.

Check it out

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