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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Sunday, January 10, 2010


Yesterday I told you about Powler's Piece - the strange and rather creepy forest a couple of miles south of the village in which we live.

Yesterday afternoon, while I was working on the new book by Carl Portman (more of which soon), Corinna, Shosh and Gavin took Biggles for an afternoon stroll.

They were in another part of the woods to that where they found the snow dryad on Friday, and they had been looking for footprints.

Amongst the myriad of deer, dogs and smaller creatures was this.

WTF? (as I am sure my younger stepdaughter, and probably Max would say)

I know that it looks like the single print of a cassowary, or maybe a small dinosaur, but it obviously isn't. But what is it?

It is the fact that it is a single imprint in the snow that intrigues me. It probably isn't even a footprint. My best guess is that it is what happens when a bird of prey momentarily lands to capture some poor hapless rodent, but that is only a guess.

It is over to you guys and I, for one, am hoping that it is a giant, one-legged snow cassowary. If it is, then I propose the name Casuarius corinna-and-bigglesi. C'mon boys and girls, don't let a fat cryptozoologist's dreams fail to come true (again).


Andrew D. Gable said...

In December 2007 a similar set of tracks appeared in British Columbia.


Maybe some sort of waterfowl (assuming of course the woods are anywhere near water)? That's about the only sort of bird I can think of large enough for this track.

Although it is odd that there was only one track. Never even thought of the "mark bird makes taking off" angle before.

Unless, of course, it's the Re-return of the Devil's Footprints.

Geordie-dave said...

Maybe it was a one night stand.

Lanette said...

Jersey Devil in your neck of the woods??? lol

I agree that it does look as if maybe something swooped down and picked up some prey.

shiva said...

I'm fairly sure that's not any sort of waterfowl. I recently photographed some Canada Goose tracks in snow, with my foot for scale: http://pic.atpic.com/1673773/600 - as you can see, they're big, but not *that* big...

Swan i guess would be bigger, perhaps approaching the width of that track, but not the length assuming the proportions are roughly similar to goose feet (which they look from the swans and geese i've seen). Also the outline of the webbing is very clear.

As there's only one track, i suspect it's a coincidence result of several smaller tracks (could be dog or other mammal rather than bird) overlapping each other and then further snow falling to blur out the details and make it look like one big track. It is strikingly like a ratite track though - a good simulacrum...