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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Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Hi folks,

Here is the second and final part of lake monster archives, these items were illustrated in their original publications. Firstly, an item from The Illustrated London News titled `Another Sea Serpent`, which was actually in the form of a letter from several passengers aboard the Imogen, in the [English ?] Channel on April 15th 1856:

'Sir, We beg to hand you the enclosed sketch of a Sea-Serpent we had the good fortune to sight on the 30th March last. Imogen, from Algoa Bay, towards London. Sunday 30th March, 1856. Lat 29 deg. 11 min N. Long 34 deg.26 min. W. bar 30.50 calm and clear. Four vessels visible to southward and westward. About five minutes past eleven, am the helmsman drew our attention to something moving through the water, and causing a strong ripple about 400 yards distant from our starboard quarter. In a few moments it became more distinct…and showing an apparent length of about forty feet (above the surface of the sea), the undulations of the water extending on each side to a considerable distance in its wake. Mr Statham immediately ascended to the maintopsail-yard, Capt. Guy and Mr Harries watching the animal from the deck with the telescope. After passing the ship about half-a-mile, the serpent "rounded to" and raised its head, seemingly to look at us…then steered away to the northward...possibly to the neighbourhood of the Western Islands, frequently lifting its head…We traced its course until nearly on the horizon, from the topsail-yard, and lost sight of it from deck about 11h.45am. No doubt remained on our minds as to its being an immense snake, as the undulations of its body were clearly perceptible, although we were unable to distinguish its eyes. The weather being fine and the glassy surface of the sea only occasionally disturbed by slight flaws (catspaws) of wind we had a perfect opportunity of noticing its movements. In conformity to your regulations we inclose our references, and remain Sir, your obedient servants, James Guy, Commander, J. H. Statham, Julian B. Harries, D. J. Williamson, Passengers. (1)

By December 1933 the 'modern' phase of the Loch Ness Monster scare was well underway. By 'modern' I mean as opposed to famous pre-twentieth century sightings such as by St Columba in 565AD as recorded by his biographer, Adamnan. The Scottish Daily Express reported on June 9th 1933:

'Mystery fish in Scottish Loch - Monster reported at Fort Augustus. A monster fish which for years has been somewhat of a mystery in Loch Ness was reported to have been seen yesterday at Fort Augustus.' (2)

June 28th 1933:

'Two men and a woman who were boating on Loch Ness had an unpleasant and exciting experience today. The `monster` rose out of the water about 50 yards from where the boat was drifting. One of the women fainted.' (3)

August 12th 1933:

'An effort to photograph the Loch Ness Monster is to be made by Captain Ellisford, a well known amateur photographer. He arrived at Inverness today with a large box of modern photographic material. He will use a telephoto lens.' (4)

By December 9th 1933 The Times had the headlines 'The Loch Ness Monster – A Survey of The Evidence – Fifty-One Witnesses. By Lieut-Commander R. T. Gould.' Gould speculates as to what the creature in Loch Ness could be and how it got into the loch. He describes his survey of the loch and his methodology with regards to interviewing eye-witnesses. Gould also speculates on what the Loch Ness Monster could be with headlines in the article such as A “ Prehistoric” Neck and A Huge Marine Newt? (5)

1. J.Guy et al Illustrated London News. May 3rd 1856
2-4. N.Witchell. The Loch Ness Story.(1982) p.40
5. R.T.Gould. The Times December 9th 1933


DALE DRINNON: Two long-necked Sea Creatures

Dale started at IUPUI hoping for a degree in Biology before changing to Anthropology and as a result, has a very diverse background in Geology, Zoology, Paleontology, Anatomy, Archaeology, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, Latin, Popular Culture, Film criticism, Mythology and Folklore, and various individual human cultures especially mentioning those of the Pacific and the Americas.

He has a working knowledge of every human fossil find up until his graduation and every important Cryptozoological sighting up to that point.

He has been an amateur along on archaeological excavations in Indiana as well as doing some local tracking of Bigfoot there.

Now he is on the CFZ bloggo....

This concerns two different long-necked animals reported as Sea-Serpents. The first is the Long-necked sea lion such as reported off the Island of Hoy in 1918 and the other is the larger more Plesiosaurian creature more commonly seen.

These are more samples from the group Frontiers-of-Zoology. The Kivik Stone is in the files and has this description:

'Original for some of Holiday's creature drawings: showing a possible Scandinavian long-necked sea lion of unknown type.'

However, that is not the only or even the more important of the long-necked Sea-Serpents. The illustration from Monster Hunt shows one of the larger, longer-necked, smaller-headed, tailed creatures hunting seals (which it evidently kills but does not eat, and when they are said to kill human beings the same thing is said again).
This is incidentally one of three such plain representations of a Plesiosaurian tailed creature seen from above that Heuvelmans must have known about: two other examples were in Sanderson's archives. A later and better-known example was the Plesiosaurian creature seen by the research submarine Alvin in the tongue-of-the-sea, off Grand Bahama.

The larger collage is also from the files of the group and collects together several pre-contact representations of Plesiosaur-shaped creatures, from prehistoric rock art up until 'Primitive' art in more recent times. This is only a sampler from the groups' photo albums. Specifically Plesiosaurian anatomy shows in several cases: sometimes the specific skeletal structure of the paddles and limb girdles is shown, sometimes even the characteristic Euryapsid openings at the back of the skull are clearly intended (Snakes have nothing like

I presume that both types can wander inland but they do not make a career of it: and the two areas in specific where the long-necked seals wander inland are Ireland (Shannon River system especially) and Australia (where they are sometimes called Bunyips. Not the only things called Bunyips, either).

And personally I prefer maintaining the proposed scientific names of Megalotaria for the sea lion and Megophias for the more typical long-necked (and tailed) sea-serpent. My coll
eague Charles Paxton is, however, strongly opposed to the suggestion.

EVERYBODY'S DOING IT (Recommending blogs that is)

COLIN HIGGINS WRITES: A quick heads up for this marvel, now magick'd into internet slices. Here be dragons:


great blog on trolls (possibly one in the same as almasty).

Another worthy cause

Dear Friend of the Sea Turtles,
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Stop the World Trade Organization from gutting US sea turtle protection laws… and much more. (Read our history here!)
None of this would have been possible without the commitment, support and involvement of thousands of caring people like you. Thank you for all you have done!
Now, we're asking you to commit to help the Sea Turtle Restoration Project achieve another 20 years of victories.
Your support will be used effectively, to target the key threats to sea turtles - and help create a world where sea turtles, whales, dolphins, seals and all the animals that share their swimways and beaches - are safe.
Thank you!
For the Sea Turtles,
Todd Steiner, Founder, Sea Turtle Restoration Project
PS. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, join us at Big Splash tonight at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA. Click here for your tickets or just come to the door and join us!

Sea Turtle Restoration Project Email News and Updates
PO Box 370, Forest Knolls, CA 94933 USA


I was working on the new issue of Animals & Men last night when one of my adopted neices in the CFZ family (I will spare her blushes and not reveal her further) thought the name of our journal sounded dubious. Where had we got it from, she wondered. I hope that this explains everything.


Hi Jon,

My Dad & I wanted to share this report we just received from our contact in the Peruvian Amazon.

This report fits with the burrowing behaviour, 'trenches' and 'channels' we associate with the Black Boa / Minhocao / Yacumama / Sachamama of the Amazon, which we believe are all the same animal: a giant snake.

You can find similar reports of these 'trenches' created by the Minhocao in BH's On the Track of Unknown Animals page 360 (in our edition).

The last report we can find of such an event is in the early 1960s.

Follow the link below for the full story.


Kind regards,

Mike & Greg Warner

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1855 David Livingstone became the first European to see Victoria Falls.

And here’s the latest cryptozoology news:

Lion opens family's car door with his teeth

Tweet Little Mystery - 38 Budgies Drop Dead

INDIA: Six-legged goat to grab eyeballs at goat exhibition

Pygmy hippo shot in NT

Crocodile attacked and killed by angry hippos

Pet albino rat 'delays sentencing'

What is a rodent’s preferred social-messaging website?