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, November 23, 2009


Corinna and I went to see Marjorie again last night. She is comfortable, and pleased to be surrounded by those who love her. We only stay five or ten minutes, because we don't want to tire her out, but I think that she enjoys our company, and I certainly love to see her. She is a wonderful old lady, and I do love her very much.

However, she is not the only old lady in my life. CFZ member Noela Mackenzie (87) is, as far as we are aware, the oldest person in the CFZ. I have known her for fifteen years, and was very touched when she moved up to Bideford to be nearer to us. As I reported on the blog last week, she had a fall and was taken to North Devon District Hospital for an X-Ray.

They found nothing wrong, but she has continued to report pain in her hip. Last night she was admitted to hospital again, and it turns out that she has a hairline crack on one of the nodules on her hip. We shall be visiting later after my Diabetic Nurse appointment....


NURSE: You mustn't drink brandy
ME: Hmmmmm
NURSE: You mustn't eat doughnuts
ME: Hmmmmm
NURSE: Fried breakfasts are out of the question, of course
ME: I've heard that diabetic comas can be quite fun, and I don't actually need my lower limbs in such a uniformly mechanised age)

Then, on the way home, we shall pop in to feed Misty (Noela'a cat) and then go and see Marjorie. It is - methinks - a damn good job that LizzyWizzy is here to look after the bloggo.

Remember both Marjorie and Noela in your prayers to whichever deity you favour.


I am doing a half-hour radio show segment starting about 9:00am this Saturday (21st November) for The Cryptid Factor with comedian/actor Rhys Darby and TV3 news presenter
David Farrier.

It will be a top 10 countdown of New Zealand mystery monsters/animals (yes, we have more than 10 in NZ!). The show is a serious one but has a lot of humour thrown in, too. In real life both Rhys and David are passionate about mystery animals like the Loch Ness monster and Bigfoot.

David actually financed his own expedition to Mongolia earlier this year to do a documentary on the Mongolian Death Worm (I am NOT joking - see http://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=10604790 )

You can listen to the show on:

Auckland 96.8
Wellington 106.7
Christchurch 106.9
Dunedin 107.7

or if you live overseas just click
on the Listen button at


to hear it through their Internet site on your tinny PC speakers (check the http://www.worldtimeserver.com/ first to calculate what local time it will be on for you!).

I regularly do a 10-15 minute section called Tales From The Vault at about 9:15 or 9:30 each
Saturday for the show. I cover old monster reports from around the world (anytime from the
600's up to the 1970's).

Peter Hassall


The only photo I have been able to get of Eustace so far is this one of him peering through the stairs. The kitten is, however, very curious so has no fear of the camera lens. Both cats are doing well. Clarice kitten is just a joy but you find me very tired this morning because I stayed up most of the night with her. She kept crying and I thought she was ill.(I say crying...more like squeaking). However, she seems fine this morning so I suspect she just wanted a cuddle. Eustace enjoyed having an early breakfast as I was downstairs from 4am so fed them at 5.30am.
Eustace is spending more and more time downstairs now and actually got up next to me on the sofa last night for a few minutes and let me stroke him for a few seconds. This is from a cat who just over a week ago wouldn't come out from under the bed. He has been nicknamed 'Mystery cat' by a friend as he looks like he is wearing a superhero mask and cloak when you see him close up. Clarice has been nicknamed 'turbo mog' due to the amazing turn of speed she has when she runs into the kitchen.
I am just so pleased to have them here after three days with no Baggins cat; I felt lost and the house was too quiet and too tidy. What a blessing pets are: they keep you going because you have to care for them and keep you on your toes. Clarice is due her second set of vaccinations in a week so this will be an adventure for her; the trip to the vets. Probably be an adventure for me as well if her current behaviour is anything to go by lol.


I got a very cryptic email this morning. It read:

'The new, second issue of the online journal eggspots is now available at


At present you have to scroll down to find it, but I've suggested to management that the latest issue should appear at top of page to make life easier.


I checked it out, and found a very well produced magazine about cichlids. The opening paragraphs of the editorial read:

'A journal on fishes with eggspots? Isn't that something very specialised? Indeed, it is an online journal that will deal primarily and above all else with fishes that possess eggspots. By this we understand cichlids from Africa and the Near East belonging to the group that includes Haplochromis, Pseudocrenilabrus, Pseudotropheus, Tropheus et al. But aren't there already enough magazines dealing with fishes on the market? Absolutely not! There can never be too many!

Competition not only invigorates business but also spurs authors and editors to greater effort, and each new magazine permits the reporting of a little more information on a fascinating and virtually inexhaustible subject.'

And then the penny dropped. `MB` was Mary Bailey, doyenne of the British Cichlid world, and someone with whom I worked during my ultimately fruitless time with Tropical World magazine between 2004-2007. Also on the masthead is Dr Peter Burgess, someone I also remember from my time as deputy editor to the late semi-lamented Simon Wolstencroft. I don't know the other three main movers and shakers but from the quick look I have had so far this seems to be an absolutely smashing periodical.

Well done, guys.


  • What are eggspots, really?
  • The phylogenetic relationships of the cichlids and the groups that are the focus of this journal
  • All beginnings are difficult - first tropical experiences in Uganda (part 1)
  • New research on the genus Melanochromis
  • Species profile: Haplochromis aeneocolor
  • Eggspots Elsewhere

LIZ CLANCY: Cryptokid strikes again!

Yes folks, he's at his crazy crypto antics again! Not content with subduing the Heywood Blue Dog and redeeming a Heywood Burney Dragon, Master Leo Carney, whose second birthday was last week, can be seen here watching a nice crypto-film about dinosaurs or dragons or something whilst boldly sitting on his newly conquered ferocious fairground-dwelling tiger-patterned tiger shark. Is there no end to this boy's bravery and talent? Tune in next week to see him tell Jon that Sisters of Mercy was a cack band....

EDITOR'S NOTE: I only wanted to play the young lady the music I was listening to when I was her age. I had a trip down Floodlands memory lane, and she was just rude to it.

P.S. I am listening to Warren Zevon now. She treats it with indifference.

SUB-EDITOR's NOTE (I hope I'm allowed to do this...too late): I would treat the editor's 'taste' in music with less disdain if he was not so disparaging about the Pete Waterman era of Kylie Minogue's music...I should be so lucky.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On the day in 1499 Perkin Warbeck, a pretender to the British throne who claimed to be the son of King Edward IV, was executed after several failed attempts to escape from the Tower of London. Warbeck claimed to be Richard of Shrewsbury, the youngest of the princes in the tower who, unbeknownst to Warbeck, had been murdered by King Richard III and his body hidden in an old chest a few yards away from where Warbeck was jailed. Richard of Shrewsbury was played by Brian Blessed in the first series of Blackadder. Also on this day, but in 1963, the first episode of Doctor Who was broadcast on the BBC, which is the show Richard Freeman often cites as the reason he first became interested in cryptozoology as a child (for me it was watching the slightly less remembered, but fantastic cartoon The Family Ness when I was about five. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mkdjqFAXMF0

INTERESTING CFZ-RELATED FACT No. 42: Silas Hawkins, the actor who brought Charles Fort back to life at the last Weird Weekend is the son of Peter Hawkins who voiced many of the characters in The Family Ness.

Anyway, cryptozoology news time:

Stowaway cat Pharaoh survives two-week voyage to Britain from Egypt
Another monkey sighting – this time in northwest Hillsborough
Baboon or monkey? Either way, deputies looking for this simian
Scientists hail Hobbie-J as 'cleverest rat'

Oh, rat’s clever.