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, January 05, 2010

OLL LEWIS: 5 Questions on… Cryptozoology - ANDREAS TROTTMANN

Our guest today is Swiss-based cryptozoologist Andreas Trottmann, an expert on central European lake monsters and also on Loch Ness. After being in touch via e-mail and post for over a decade, we finally met him in 2006 when he came to Woolsery for the Weird Weekend, and jolly good he was.

Andreas Trottmann, here are your 5 questions on… Cryptozoology:

1) How did you first become interested in cryptozoology?

Already as a teenager I had been highly intrigued by the cryptids of Loch Ness and sea-serpent reports. In 1971 - at the age of 13 - I spent my first night on the shores of Loch Ness (equipped with father’s binoculars and a small Instamatic camera). Nevertheless my active involvement in various cryptozoological researches began only around the age of 25.

2) Have you ever personally seen a cryptid or secondary evidence of a cryptid, if so can you please describe your encounter?

On May 11th 1988 at 07.10 am I observed from Strone a dark grey hump with a large white spot at one end, lying motionless in Urquhart bay, Loch Ness. I estimated the size to be between 4 and 5 metres long and 60 to 70 cm high. The sighting lasted only for a few seconds as I was driving a car coming back from an early morning watch at the loch-side. Also at Loch Ness I had some sonar contacts of large animated objects as well as recording a strange noise – rather similar to the 'singing' of whales – taken with my underwater microphone.

In 1991 I had, together with my wife, a possible close encounter with a big cat in the Scottish Highlands. Having been informed by locals of a derelict hut where sometimes big cats seem to rest, I decided to install a voice-activated tape recorder there. Early one morning we both remarked a very strong smell of ammonia (such as by the big cat compound of a zoo) very near the hut. I cautiously approached and being about five metres from the entrance, tape-recorder ready, we were both surprised by two very powerful high-pitched shrieks coming from the hut. All nearby grazing sheep fled in panic and I (deeply regretted nowadays) forgot, due to the surprise effect, to switch on the tape-recorder. Understandably we made a retreat and observed the hut from a safe distance but no further reactions were noticed.

The next day I installed the tape-recorder on the first floor of the cottage and let it run for several days. Unfortunately it didn’t record any sounds specific to a big cat. Presumably due to our previous and also amateurish first visit the big cat had left the area.

3) Which cryptids do you think are the most likely to be scientifically discovered and described some day, and why?

Most likely unidentified big cats in Britain, but they aren’t proper cryptids in my opinion. Scientific interest in deep-sea exploration has recently reignited; therefore a chance discovery of cryptids such as the giant squid could be a possibility.

4) Which cryptids do you think are the least likely to exist?

As my interests are concentrated on only a few cryptids, I’m unable to reply to this question. Nevertheless I like also to pursue the question, if some reported cryptids belong really to our consciousness of time and space.

5) If you had to pick your favourite cryptozoological book (not including books you may have written yourself) what would you choose?

Many, but certainly all works of Bernard Heuvelmans.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

I did not know Andreas before, but I must say that I tend to agree with his statements and he makes a lot of sense to me.