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.

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Thursday, November 05, 2009


Hello folks,

I was browsing along my bookshelves yesterday looking for something to talk about today when I came across a paperback: The Hell Hound and Other True Mysteries by Peter Haining. In it was a story that caught my eye: 'The Girl Who Fought An Abominable Snowman.' So today I am going to summarise this case. I have not had a thorough look through the rest of my crypto books so my apologies if this is well known. Even if it is there may be some of you out there who are unfamiliar with it. Nor am I aware of any other reports of mystery hominids attacking humans. Richard F – do you know any accounts from amongst the almas and orang pendek?

'This is the story of Lakpa Sherpani, 19. She lived in the Khonar district in Nepal as a yak herder in the shadow of Mount Everest and had done this sort of work since a child. But in 1974 life was for a brief moment to become anything but ordinary for Lakpa. Indeed it was to become so extraordinary that she made headlines around the world and added a new chapter in the story of one of our great mysteries.' (1)

The author (Peter Haining) then goes on to describe her interest in Nepali folklore:

'Indeed it was her knowledge of folklore that was to help her to be so precise about what happened to her on that bright summer morning in 1974. On this particular day, Lakpa was watching over the herd as they rested half a mile or so from one of the dense forests which are found throughout the Himalayan region. These forests are not spots to go for grazing for they are invariably dense with vegetation ,mostly fog-enshrouded and always inhospitable. Many a local legend surrounded them, and only a fooloish or woman would enter one….'(2).

The author then describes, in a possible embellishment of the drama, how the young woman felt movement near her and the presence of a bulky body:

'Next, a hand grabbed at her hair and forced her head back. She felt a body straddle her own, and was suddenly conscious of the most overpowering stench. [ I think I`m right in saying that this is a feature of some mystery hominid reports - R.M.] When she opened her eyes she found herself looking at a face that was hardly human – or animal. Tiny yellow eyes glared at her from a face covered with hair. Prominent teeth protruded from a huge, slack jaw and the whole face was surrounded by long brownish hair. Lakpa screamed. Another hand, which she could also feel was covered with hair, struck her across the face as if in response, and she suddenly tasted her own blood on her lips. …Her senses had already told her this was no human being.It was not much bigger than a child - perhaps four feet tall - but with many times the strength of an infant. Through her agony she also saw that the creature was naked except for a complete covering of hair, brownish in colour to the waist and black and thick on the lower stomach and legs.'(3)

The author then describes how the creature knocked her unconscious with a blow to her head and then an attack on her yaks.

'The young girl licked the blood from her lips and watched what the creature was doing. It was running amongst the yaks, seizing hold of some of them and twisting their horns until they fell to the ground. Already a couple were down and showed no signs of movement, and it was evident the creature had enormous strength.' (4)

The story then goes on to describe how Sherpani has heard about attacks by yetis on yaks. And: 'One of the reasons for such universal interest in Lakpa`s story, was that a group of three British zoologists had just published a report of a study they had made in the Himalayas on the likelihood of there being any such creature as The Abominable Snowman. The men, Mr J. A. McNeely, Mr A.W. Cronin and Mr H. B. Emery, three experienced and highly qualified observers, had not only confirmed the possibility, but stated that during their stay in the area, one of the creatures had actually visited their tents and “left tracks that are not referable to any known animal”'(5)

It would be interesting to track down this study. These zoologists apparently thought that the yeti is gigantopithecus. BBC Online`s website also carried a very brief report about Lakpa`s encounter on its So Weird, Lionel`s Guide The Ape Type site.

Tomorrow – a report on Fawke`s pet winged cat, Fluffy, the real ring leader behind the gunpowder plot. Er, some mistake there! Would have made a great blog if it were true, though!

1. P. Haining The Hell Hound and Other True Mysteries. (1984) p.81
2. P. Haining Ibid p.83
3. P. Haining Ibid pp84-85
4. P. Haining Ibid p.85
5. P. Haining Ibid p.89

When I looked out the window
On the hardship that had struck I saw the seven phials open
The plague claimed man and son

Four men at a grave in silence with hats bowed down in grace
A simple wooden cross,
It had no epitaph engraved..
It had no epitaph engraved

Come on down and meet your Maker
Come on down and make the stand
Come on down,come on down
Come on and make the stand. (The Alarm The Stand)

PAUL HARESNAPE: The Exe Valley Dragon

Hi guys,

Been following your blogs since reading Nick Redfern's Three Men Seeking Monsters and have purchased several of your publications through Amazon.

Having lived in mid-Devon and now residing in Exeter, I took particular note of an article Richard Freeman posted a while back on dragons that made reference to the legend of the Cadbury Castle (Exe valley) Dragon. I have been to Cadbury Castle on many occasions (my first girlfriend lived nearby!) and the views on a clear day are stunning. I thought it a rather charming legend that this creature winged it's way across the Exe valley each night, illuminating the clouds and sky with its fiery breath whilst guarding its treasure.

Having got stuck into Richard Freeman's Dragons - More Than A Myth? I began to idly wonder if there had actually been any recorded sightings of fiery lights in the Exe valley (I'm sure we would all have known about any actual dragon sightings!). It has to be said that I wasn't expecting such a dramatic and recent sighting as I made my Google search:

Western Morning News 24/09/09:

'COULD this image provide evidence of extraterrestrial life?

The strange light was seen hovering for more than an hour over houses in Exeter.

Amateur astronomer Lee Betts, 29, believes it could be visitors from outer space – or that the sighting is at least unexplained.

Mr Betts took the photographs with the help of his telescope in the bedroom of his home in Newton St Cyres.

He saw the red cigar-shaped object hovering around 1,000ft off the ground four miles away, towards Thorverton, late on Monday night.

"I couldn't believe it at first," he said.

"The shape was about 100ft long and there were four lights coming from it initially.

"I saw it at the back of my house, which faces Thorverton, so I got my telescope set up and magnified the image 20 times and then took this picture. All this happened at around 8.45pm and it was still there an hour later.

"I've never seen anything like this before – it's unexplained.

"The shape moved slowly across the skyline and as I looked through my telescope it seemed to pivot on its central axis. It was very strange.

"It then sort of rolled around and a bright light appeared at one end of the shape.

Then, without warning, a sudden flash of light like a shooting star went across the sky."

Mr Batten, who lives with his fiancée, said he was pleased with the outcome of his photographs.

"The shape was about four miles away in the direction of Thorverton Hills," he said.

"I have been an amateur astronomer for the past three years and sightings like this are all new to me.

"Luckily, I could magnify my telescope which enabled me to take this picture with some accuracy."

He said the sky was different to normal on Monday.

"Clouds were illuminated for some reason and when I told my brother what I had seen he said the sky was also strange over Bristol where he lives," he said.

A police spokesman said they had not received any reports of sightings of a UFO in Devon."'

[bold text my addition]

A quick check on an O.S. map puts this sighting pretty much bang where the legendary dragon is said to have flown i.e. 4 miles from Newton St Cyres in the direction of Thorverton. This sighting also appeared in the Express and Echo and The Sun, and was actually described as a 'fiery' light rather than a 'red' light; the image shown on the attached report would appear to support the former. Not surprisingly, the Press have adopted the UFO angle on this and there is no doubt a simple explanation for what he saw that involves neither aliens nor legendary winged creatures.

However, as I sit and type this on a moonlit winter's night, I can't help but wonder if he did indeed observe the Exe valley dragon as it winged its way high above the countryside between Cadbury and Dolbury, lighting up the night sky with its flaming breath....

Keep up the good work, chaps!

Paul Haresnape


This article may be tongue-in-cheek; I don't know . It sounds to me like a 'How not to hunt Cryptids' lesson:


I thought you might find it amusing.

Love to all Lxx



Work on the Indexing Project is continuing slowly but surely. There is progress. Volunteers for this valuable but slightly tedious task are always gratefully appreciated. Karen H, if you read this can you please drop me an email.

CFZ PEOPLE: Happy Birthday Richard

Remember, remember
The fifth of November
With sabre-toothed tigers from Chad
And winged snakes from Namibia
They digest your tibia
All researched by the Muirhead lad.


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Another round of cryptozoology-related news coming up:

Sheep targeted in graffiti attack

Calf walks again on false legs

I saw UFO beam up a buffalo

Australian fiddler crabs take up prostitution

Bear kills two militants in Kashmir

Cat banned from visiting Buddhist inmate

Argentina: Cow Abducted by Flying Saucer?

Hmm, I’ve a feeling some people may think that is ‘bull’….