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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In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CRYPTOZOOLOGY ONLINE: On The Track (Of Unknown Animals) Episode 36

The latest edition of a monthly webTV show from the CFZ and CFZtv, bringing you the latest cryptozoological, and monster hunting news from around the world. This episode brings you:

CFZ in summertime
Introducing Harriet
The Weird Weekend
John Blashford-Snell
Leopards in Huddisford Woods
Big Cats in the UK (We mean it maaaan)
Orang Pendek DNA?
Orang Pendek hair analysis
Livebearer breeding success
Goodbye Jerry
Corinna looks at out of place birds
New and Rediscovered: New fish in Indonesia
New and Rediscovered: New batfish in Gulf of Mexico
New and Rediscovered: New North American Turtle
New and Rediscovered: New South American monkey

CFZ AUSTRALIA: Crypto statue for Canberra!

Down Under in Australia's capital, Canberra, politicians have authorised the creation of a cryptozoological statue! And what creature will they be immortalising in bronze? Why, the bunyip, of course! The bunyip has a special significance for Canberra, as the nation's capital was the setting for Michael Salmon's iconic children's book The Monster That Ate Canberra (pictured above at left).
The book's key character was a disgruntled bunyip forced from his billabong home by man-made pollution. Angry, the bunyip seeks revenge by 'eating' Canberra, taking bites out of monuments. It was probably the first book with a 'crypto' theme that this writer ever picked up to read, and holds a cherished place on library shelves throughout Australia.
The bunyip statue is by no means the first crypto creation of its kind, but it may be the first government-funded one!

There is a yowie statue at Kilcoy, in Queensland, and the giant crocodile at Wyndham, also in Queensland, that we featured on this blog a few weeks back.
There are also a few Thylacine statues in Launcestone, Tasmania and in Nannup, Western Australia.
There are doubtless a couple more we are unaware of - if you know of any in Oz, send them in!

Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 8/30/2010


The whole of the 2010 Weird Weekend is now up, for free, on YouTube. We try to do it every year: we did it in 2008, but sadly there were technical issues that meant that a large amount of the films of 2009 were not really usable. I hope that you enjoy them, and that they whet your appetite for next year's event.


WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Jonathan Downes (Keynote Speech)

WW2010: Silas Hawkins


Hi Jon,

First of all, congratulations on the Weird Weekend; one of these days I'll be attending with maybe a side trip to the screaming skull at Bettiscombe Manor.

If you can get past the emetic, "Little Nummies for little tummies",
this website has a picture of a tarsier muffin and some misinformation about tarsiers. But at least there's the muffin.


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1914 the last known passenger pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) died in Cincinnati zoo. Passenger pigeons went from being among the most numerous birds in the United States of America to extinction in less than a century from over-hunting by men as it provided a cheap source of meat for slaves.
And now, the news:

New dinosaur species found in China
Bird group wants better species protection
A new chameleon species from Madagascar on the bri...
Basking sharks are fascinating beasts who may just...
The Frozen Zoo aiming to bring endangered species ...
Halifax center displays 180 species of waterfowl
Birmingham woman names endangered British species
1 Million Fish Dead in Bolivian Ecological Disaste...
Scientists find new invasive fresh water clam spec...

Do the clam, Elvis commands it! Also, marvel at truly horrific dancing and the fact that Elvis can play his guitar when he is several meters away from it:


Monday, August 30, 2010


MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Pine Martens in Cheshire

Today I present some information on sightings of pine martens in Cheshire between 1992 and 2009 based on spreadsheet data sent to me about 2 weeks ago from Neil Jordan of the Vincent Wildlife Trust. About 1 week ago I went to the Worsley Woods area of Manchester where a pine marten was seen in 1919 to distribute 50 leaflets asking for any records of more recent pine marten sightings but as of today, Monday August 23rd I`ve heard nothing.

As can be seen from the Cheshire data, the zoological orthodoxy that pine martens have not been seen here for about 80-100 years is simply inaccurate.


She was walking all alone
Down the street in the alley
Her name was Sally
She never saw it
When she was hit by space junk
In New York Miami beach
Heavy metal fell in Cuba
Angola Saudi Arabia
On xmas eve said norad
A Soviet sputnik hit Africa



WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Ronan Coghlan

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Marjorie Braund tribute

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1888 Mary Ann Nichols, thought by most Ripperologists to have been the first victim of Jack the Ripper, was found murdered.
And now, the news:

Second sighting for monkey (Via Dave Curtis)
Drunk baboons plague Cape Town's exclusive suburbs...
I caught a piranha ...in the Thames

Piranhas feeding (rivers of gore warning) :

Sunday, August 29, 2010

MARK NORTH: To a new world of gods and monsters

I have attached a text file for your blog, which I mentioned, with regards to my visit to Bournemouth, called ''To a new world of gods and monsters'' (a reference from the Universal Bride of Frankenstein film). I suggest you publish it on the 30th August to tie in with Mary's birthday.On another note you may be interested that our council may be naming a roundabout for our new relief road after Veasta - The Chesil Beach Monster :) http://www.dorsetecho.co.uk/news/8346919.Help_name_Weymouth_Relief_Road_roundabouts/

Few seaside towns can claim so many literary associations as Bournemouth: Oscar Wilde, J.R.R. Tolkien, Thomas Hardy and Robert Louis Stevenson. But perhaps the most famous of all literary shrines I was fortunate enough to visit earlier this year was in the cemetery of St Peters in the centre of Bournemouth, where Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, author of one of the most famous of all Gothic horror novels, Frankenstein, is buried.

Mary Shelley was born on this day in 30th August 1797 in Somers Town, London. She was the second daughter of feminist and writer Mary Wollstonecraft and political journalist William Godwin (who are aso interred in her grave). Her mother died shortly after Mary's birth from a haemorrhage sustained either during delivery or by the actions of the midwife. Unusual for girls at the time, Mary received an excellent education. She published her first poem at the age of ten.

Percy Bysshe Shelley and his first wife Harriet often visited Godwin's home and bookshop in London. At the age of 16 Mary eloped to France and then Switzerland with Shelley. During May of 1816, the couple travelled to Lake Geneva. Apparently inspired by a ghost tale contest among her friends Lord Byron, John William Polidori, and Claire Clairmont, Mary had what she called a waking dream that became the manuscript for her most famous work Frankenstein or The Modern Prometheus.

It tells the story of Victor Frankenstein, a scientist who tries to create a living being for the good of humanity but instead produces a monster. Frankenstein creates his monster by assembling parts of dead bodies and activating the creature with electricity. The monster, which has no name in the book, is actually a gentle, intelligent creature. However, everyone fears and mistreats him because of his hideous appearance. Frankenstein rejects the monster and refuses to create a mate for him. The monster's terrible loneliness drives him to seek revenge by murdering Frankenstein's wife, brother, and best friend. Frankenstein dies while trying to track down and kill the monster, who disappears into the Arctic at the end of the novel.

Many films have been based on the character of Frankenstein's monster. Most are simply tales of horror and have little to do with the serious themes of Shelley's novel. These themes include the possible dangers involved in scientific experimentation with life and the suffering caused by judging people by their appearance.

Mary and Shelley married in 1816 after Shelley's first wife committed suicide by drowning. In 1818 the Shelleys left England for Italy. The Italian adventure was, however, blighted for Mary by the death of both her children - Clara, in Venice and their son Will died from malaria in Rome. Mary suffered a nervous breakdown after the deaths and almost died of a later miscarriage. It was followed by the birth of her only surviving child, Percy Florence Shelley. In July 1822, Percy Bysshe Shelley sailed up the Italian coast and was caught in a storm on his return. He drowned on July 8 along with his friend Edward Williams and a young boat attendant.

To support herself and her child, Mary wrote novels including Valperga (1823), The Last Man (1826), and the autobiographical Lodore (1835). She spent much of her life in promoting her late husband's work, including editing and annotating unpublished material. She returned to England, never to re-marry.

She died on 1st February 1851 in Chester Square, London, of what some suspect to be a brain tumour, before her to move to live with her son Percy Florence Shelley at Boscombe Manor. Her last book, sometimes considered her best work, was Maria, which was published posthumously. Her son brought his mothers remains to be interred in St Peter's churchyard in Bournemouth, along with Percy's heart, which was not originally buried with his body. It was retrieved from his funeral pyre by his friend Trelawny and kept by Shelley's wife Mary, pressed flat, in a copy of the poet's "Adonais" and was interred for the first time in Mary's tomb.

Across the road from St Peter's Church is the pub aptly called 'The Mary Shelley.' Apart the obvious references to Frankenstein and Universal Horror Films such as The Wolfman, Dracula and the Mummy, they also featured literary associations with the town during the late nineteenth century and earlier years of the twentieth century. Robert Louis Stevenson wrote The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and most of his novel Kidnapped from his house "Skerryvore" on the west cliff. Also J.R.R. Tolkien spent thirty years taking holidays in Bournemouth, staying in the same room at the Hotel Miramar, with a second room to write in. He eventually retired to the area in the 1960s with his wife Edith. Tolkien died in September 1973 at his home in Bournemouth and was buried in Oxfordshire.

What particularly caught my eye was a reference to someone I have admired since childhood: British Naturalist, Gerald Durrell, who I expect most readers of this blog will know from his work in wildlife preservation and his books describing his experiences with animals in his light-hearted stories.

After the Second World War Gerald Durrell was keeping his growing collection of animals, acquired during foreign expeditions, in his sister's garden in Bournemouth. He had been here as a young boy with his family in the early 1930s, after leaving India, where he was born in 1925. He spent most of his youth in Corfu where his love of animals became all-consuming. During 1948 he was staying in his sister Margo's boarding house in Bournemouth with his animal collection in the garden, and trying to establish his own zoo. It would be, he argued, an attraction for holiday-makers and residents alike: but the council disagreed, and turned down his application.

An alternative suggestion was to house his animals in one of Bournemouth Stores. Christmas was coming and an in-store zoo would draw shoppers. J. J.Allens, the furnishing showroom, which stood on the site which is now the pub 'Mary Shelley', took up the idea of housing his menagerie. Durrell's animals came in from the cold and spent Christmas in the basement here. Durrell was eventually able to set up his zoo on Jersey by renting and later buying a private estate on the island, where he had no need to obtain permission from bureaucrats.


Here are photos of a black domestic cat that was mistaken for a black panther in New York:

A column on a vaguely described sea serpent from the 1800s:

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Dr Mike Dash

WW2010: Lars Thomas


Dear Mr Downes,

My name is Camden Xiang, and I've followed the work of CFZ from time to time. I thought I'd draw your attention to the appended document, which contains a transcription of posts on the Swedish Internet forum Flashback, concerning sightings of trolls. I've myself translated the posts from the Swedish, trying not to "improve" on the quality. I've added comments where necessary in brackets. Some people's stories are developed in several different posts, so I've pieced them together. I've italicised English phrases occurring in the Swedish original.



Spjuit: [Note: the author lives in Ångermanland, in Northern Sweden]

I’ve said several times that I’ve seen a strange being running around in the woods. The first feeling I get when I see these is fear. You just want to run as fast as you can in the opposite direction. Explaining what they look like is very hard. So I’ve made a Godawful silhouette in Paint instead. I’ve never seen them in broad daylight so therefore the picture is black.

I’ve sketched completely from memory as best I could.


I see them in the winters after sunset. The last time I saw one was in the middle of November. Then the bus driver almost hit it.

The first time I saw one was when I was very small. It was then lurking just by the edge of the forest at our farm one summer watching the pigs we had then. I’d forgotten about it but suddenly remembered it this winter.

They’re most often roughly 150 [cm] tall, but I’ve seen one the same size as a full-grown man. It looks like they haven’t got a neck and are regarded as “knobby” by me. Also they run really fast even though they have legs that are half as long as ours. My best friend who used to be my neighbour saw them “first”. In fact I was the one [who saw them] but I’d forgotten about it, so. I got frightened to say the least and she didn’t dare to go out and bring in the horse on her own. The horse was staring in towards the forest and when she looked that way she saw 2 of these beings running back and forth on an old forest path. It was moonlight so she too also saw just black silhouettes.

Me, I thought she was kidding me. Until she refused to go to the stables alone. You could tell a long way off that she was genuinely frightened. I’ve never seen these together with someone unless you count the bus driver who veered away from one. The bus driver didn’t say anything. And there were only 2 of us on the bus. The other girl didn’t notice anything even though he veered sharply. I asked her later. The bus driver I haven’t even seen since so I’ve not been able to bring it up.

It doesn’t leave any footprints. I’ve written this before but one winter I met a big one on the road when I was going to see a friend. We walked on each side. At first I thought it was an old man but then I started to think and realised that no old person goes out late at night. Then I thought it was an illusion, nope, the snow creaked with each step it took. And then I thought that it had to be my friend who was kidding me and walked funnily to frighten me. So I called her name, then it went down into the ditch [by the side of the road] (and when I saw its profile I understood what it was) and laid down. It never went up again and the snow was like untouched.

I don’t know if it lied down or whether it dug itself under the snow. It probably became afraid when I started to shout and quite simply hid.

Skellefteewa: [Note: The author lives in Skellefteå, in Västerbotten, which is also in northern Sweden]

Kommer ihåg i min barndom då jag besökte en gammal man i ett hus långt inne i skogen. Han påstod att han sett troll på berget i skogen flera gånger. Han berättade att en del var rätt så små, men större än vättar och en del var riktigt stora. De var knotiga för att kunna gömma sig i skogen.

Remember in my childhood when I visited an old man in a house deep into the forest. He claimed that he had seen trolls on the hillside in the forest several times. He told me that some of them were quite small, but larger than goblins [Sw. “vättar”] and some were really big. They were knobby in order to hide in the forest.

Krafse: YES GODDAMMIT!! I’ve seen one! Or at least something similar. “Mine” had considerably longer legs though, I believe the legs were marginally longer than the “body ball” itself which looked very funny. This was a very long time ago, 2003 to 2004 I think, a summer night with a full moon so it was an exceptionally bright night. I remember that it looked like a ball with two legs. I don’t remember if I saw arms, though, don’t think so.

Anyway, I was out driving my moped in the middle of the night. (No, I wasn’t tired, I’d just turned my day around so I was full of energy!) and then it stood by the side of the road. I didn’t understand what it was at first, thought it was an elk’s ass or something, but the legs were too thick. It was really nothing that looked like an elk, but it was the only thing I could relate to that was not too “far fetched” so to say. Anyhow, it just kept standing there and I’d been waiting for maybe 10 sec for it to move, but it didn’t seem to hear me at all, so I turned on the gas a bit and then it reacted. What I then got to see was very strange, it ran on TWO legs roughly like a human, straight into the woods. Imagine that you take an elk (Or some similar animal.) and cut off the entire back section and make it black and add more fluffy, long-haired fur, then you let this back section run around. That’s sort of the way it looked like.

I drove past and tried to see it again but it had either run too far into the woods or else it was hiding. I didn’t have time to look and at the time I was so chocked that I didn’t even understand how wierd it was. Was only a quarter of an hour later that you really started to think about it and realise what the hell you’d looked upon. I’ve never seen it again after that by the way..

Respons: Haha this is a bit fun actually. I just came home from a vacation trip in Västervik [in Småland, southeastern Sweden] and saw this topic. We were staying just next to the woods so me and my boyfriend decided at night to go up onto a hill just next to us and have a beer. After a while I saw something that looked just like what you describe between the trees. “It” seemed to run on two legs at an enormous speed and was grey/brownish. I was also able to distinguish a forward-leaning build possibly like a hump. Was shocked out of my mind, my boyfriend claimed it was a bear which is totally incomprehensible :S

I’m still stunned since I can’t think of any animal looking like this “being”. I’ve never seen or heard about anything similar. I would rather say that it was a fat old man but the being ran much too fast for that.

Eldaron: I’ve seen something similar too! When I was young I walked a lot in the hills in central Hälsingland [northern Sweden] with my grandmother, and when we were heading to a mountain whose name I can’t remember, we went there in the evening to watch the sunset when I looked out into the woods as we were driving along the old gravel road when I saw something that fits your description precisely. perhaps 10 meters into the woods. I related what I saw to my grandmother who looked serious when I told her. Then she turned her car homewards and started to tell, that she lived here when she was a child and then she stopped and pointed into the forest where you could see an old almost collapsed house from the 19th century. There I lived she said and we moved because of the one you saw. And then she said that she had been playing with her sisters when she had seen it running quickly past her and then she started to scream. Then her dad had come and fetched her and he looked frightened. Later at night her grandfather sat down with her and said that she had seen the trolls.

Since then grandmother has never talked about the place or anything, when I’ve asked about it she’s just said ”I don’t dare, they mustn’t come here”. That frighetened you a bit, but now I’m sure I’ll never get any more info about if, grandma died half a year ago and she was the last person alive in that family. Wonder what the heck those “trolls” really did to make them so afraid.

Imbalidn: I’ve seen something similar. it was dark so I can’t say I’m convinced that I saw what I saw. But.. Anyway.

Last summer me and my girlfriend were out in the woods barbecuing some hot dogs and relaxing (Västergötland, btw) [Western Sweden]. I guess it must have been early September, so night fell a bit earlier. Around dusk the fire went out so we were going to leave. My girlfriend pointed towards some trees where she said she heard something. I looked towards it (she didn’t see a lot since she didn’t wear her glasses) and saw something looking like what everyone’s been describing. A silhouette of a fuzzy ball with two legs, looked insanely weird. I kept looking for a few more seconds until the thing took a step forward. I panicked like hell, asked my girlfriend to run and took her by the hand and tried to lead her out. As I said, she didn’t have any glasses so it was a bit of a panic there with the trees and the rocks. All the way out of the forest it sounded like fast, I mean FAST steps which like... Circulated around us. Having come out, it went quiet like hell. We went in and went to bed and didn’t talk more about it.

I don’t really know if this might be it. I hope we were just being paranoid and seeing illusions. I’ve been in the woods a lot as a small child and certainly you’ve fantasised a lot there but large balls with legs (the best description I’ve got) I don’t think I’ve ever seen as a child.

Well well, that’s that.

Plaguetongue: jag har faktiskt sett nåt liknande för ett par år sen, när jag var och jagade. jag bor i norra dalarna det var en september morgon strax innan solen gick upp på morgonen som jag såg en konstig varelse gå över vägen framför bilen. den var inte riktigt lika fet som på din bild, och såg inte ut att ha nån päls alls är inte säker då det fortfarande var mörkt ute, den kan ha varit mörk grön till svart i nyansen. vi var 3 st i bilen jag, farsan och en till i jaktlaget och alla såg den. som jägare kan jag säga direkt att det inte var vildsvin älg eller björn, den hade bred nacke eller ingen nacke alls, som en huvudfoting med ben. gissningsvis 1 meter-1,20 meter hög. ingen kunde förklara vad det var för något. har aldrig förut sett nåt liknande. ser jag en igen ska jag jävlar imej skjuta en fåse vad det är.

jag såg den i ljuset från bilen ca. 30-40 meter framför mej. om du lyckas få en bild på den så skicka bilden får jag se hur den ser ut.

pratade men "lagäldsten" han som är äldst i laget, han berättade om något liknande som han sett för länge sen då han gick som skogvaktare i trakten.

I’ve actually seen something similar a couple of years ago, when I was out hunting. I live in northern Dalarna [west-central Sweden] it was a September morning just before sun rose in the morning when I saw a strange being walking across the road in front of my car. it wasn’t quite as fat as on your picture, and didn’t looke like having any fur at all I’m not sure since it was still dark outside, it might have been dark green to black in its colour. we were 3 of us in the car me, my dad and another one in the hunting party and all of us saw it. as a hunter I can say directly that it was not a wild boar elk or bear, it had a broad neck or no neck at all, like a “head-and-foot creature” with legs. I guess it was 1 meter-1.20 meters tall. no one could explain what it was. I’ve never seen anything like it before. if I see one again I’ll shoot one I’ll be damned let’s see what it is.

I saw it in the light from the car ca. 30-40 meters ahead of me. if you manage to get a picture of it send it and I can see what it looks like.

I talked to the guy who is the “team elder”, the oldest in the team, he told me about something similar he’d seen a long time ago when he walked the woods in the area as a forester.

he told me a story about an experience from some time in the past, when he had been a forester. he had seen something that he didn’t know what it was, was some time in late autumn an early morning as light started to dawn, which looked like a small human without a neck. he came out onto a mire and it stood on the other side looking at him for a few seconds before it disappeared out into the woods. I don’t quite remember what he said then but I think he’d seen it more than once. I’ll have to ask him when I see him the next time, should be at the hunt in September.

Iregom: This is sick. I’ve also seen something like this like twice in my life. It was winter and dark, walking on a road with forest on both sides. See osmething black and around 50 cm tall running straight across the road at a hell of a speed and disappear.

The other time I can’t remember because I thought it was just an illusion but then it happened again so it’s something funny moving out there!

Fattygoblin: I had an acquaintance who saw something incomprehensible a winter night. Him and his friends had been out skiing slalom on a suspended slope [ie. a slope where skiing is not permitted] – in the middle of nowhere. After a run or two, when they were at the bottom of the slope, they glance up towards the top...then they see a colossally huge person walking right across the slope. Not a giant, like twenty meters tall. But according to him the figure was at least four meters. The proportions didn’t quite agree with what looks human. It was a starry night outside, so he saw the silhouette clearly. His friends too. It bears mentioning that people in all times have said that the mountain where the slope was is haunted. And that that giant man has been seen. I think it’s somewhere in Dalarna.

Know that I questioned this a bit, but he was dead serious. And that was a guy who didn’t believe in spirites and ghosts and stuff...

WarPig: My mother recently told me that she’d seen what she thought was a running troll on the forests of Jämtland [northwestern Sweden], late at night outside her campervan window. She brought her camera outside and started to snap blindly in the dark. When she then comes home and puts the images on her computer she sees on one of the images (which was just black on the camera) a what she thinks is troll face of “smoke/mist” big all over the picture.

Rodolfus: ’om jag inte missminner mig (det kan vara något annat landskap i närheten).

I can tell you that I have at least two female relatives, one younger and one older, who’ve told me that they’ve experienced something similar to [Spjuit]’s story. The “thing” is said to have run in front of the car when the younger of them was out driving one night and is also said to have been observed sneaking around the house and the barn on the farm. The older one claims to have seen one of them peeking in through the window and to have seen the “thing” running on a meadow. It/they are said to have been seen both at night and day a number of times at least.

This is said to have taken place at a farm in Dalarna if I’m not mistaken (it might be some other province nearby).


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1797 Mary Shelley, best known as the author of ‘Frankenstein’ and wife and editor of the poet Percy Shelley, was born.
And now, the news:

'Sea serpent' captured, never identified (via Dal...
Coati missing from Belfast Zoo thought still alive...
Tiger cub found in bag at airport

Here’s some great footage of tigers caught by a WWF camera trap in Sumatra:


Saturday, August 28, 2010



Corinna reports how Jon thumped her on the jaw....

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Silas Hawkins 4

WW2010: Oll Lewis


Richard Freeman sent this.


An article on a new frog, possibly the smallest Old World species, here:http://uk.oneworld.net/article/view/165866/1/5795

The abstract for the paper describing it can be viewed (pdf) here:


A rediscovered skink from Andhra Pradesh:


The building that now houses Graham's workshop and the CFZ Museum was built during WW2 as a deep litter shed to mass-farm chickens.

It is therefore nearly 70 years old, and the beams are old and riddled with woodworm. Or at least they were until Graham started to replace them one by one.

Another one went yesterday, and a pit prop has been jury-rigged until the replacement beam arrived. Luckily Graham was on the roof of the shed when it happened, and managed to apply building first-aid within a matter of minutes....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1831 Michael Faraday discovered electromagnetic induction.
And now, the news with a bumper crop of stories from Gavin Ll. Wilson today:

Mountain lion sighted in Red Bluff, California
UN warns alien species are threatening biodiversit...
Researchers blame sea acidity for killing species
Guinea pig saved from escaped snake
Black bear sighted in Edmonton
Report of man with snake slows Boston train line
Shark sighting a practical joke, but Massachusetts...
A novel method for collecting dolphin DNA (via Cha...
Nessie nominated for tourism award (via Lindsay Se...
22 Komodo dragons hatch this month at Los Angeles ...
Scientists Bring New Species of Turtle Out of Its ...
Genomes of Two Separate Ant Species Sequenced
Chinese bear poses for pictures with tourists
Kayaker forced out of race by aerial fish
Mystery boa constrictor left on woman's doorstep
Panda-keeper contest attracts thousands

And because everyone likes cute baby animals, here’s a video of baby pandas generally lolloping about:


Friday, August 27, 2010

LARS THOMAS: On the subject of leopard hairs

A leopard in Huddisford Wood
had dropped some hairs where it stood
they were found on a lane
by a Brit and a Dane
who both exclaimed: This is good!



Before I met Sue, I used to sport a rather marvellous 'lip weasel' but alas, she is not a fan. What terrific news then to find that such creations are attractive to the fairer sex, as demonstrated by this rather marvellous fish.

I consider this important enough to share with the wider CFZ fraternity so that next year everyone - excluding the ladies - can sport something for the Weird Weekend. (Link below) I feel good today - not least because of the support of people like you....




Time is running out for the animal survivors of Pakistan's devastating floods. As I write this, monsoon rains that have caused the worst flooding in Pakistan's history are forecasted to strengthen. And where no rain is falling, temperatures are reaching a scorching 50'C. There is no food for animals, not even grass, due to the floods.

Find out more

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Richard Freeman et al

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Mike Williams/Ruby Lang


Weird Weekend 2010
Part three
Now to pepper the famous explorer Colonel John Blashford Snell, president of the Scientific Exploration Society, with well-aimed questions…

Name: Colonel John Blashford Snell
Most proud of: Helping to protect an unknown species of elephant, theorised to be a surviving woolly mammoth. The elephant’s name was Raja Gaj, meaning King Elephant. It was 11’3” in length at the shoulder.
Has been travelling for: 55 years; 37 spent with the army as a royal engineer.
Nowadays we know that any mammoths still surviving quite possibly wouldn’t have remained undetected for this long, or they may not have coped with the climate.

CORINNA DOWNES: Yesterday's News Today

This is the last offering from me for a while, as Oll will be back tomorrow.

Tiger cub found among stuffed toys in Bangkok luggage
Mystery boa constrictor left on woman's doorstep
Kayaker forced out of race by aerial fish
Panda-keeper contest attracts thousands
Genomes of Two Separate Ant Species Sequenced
Scientists Bring New Species of Turtle Out of Its Shell
22 Komodo dragons hatch this month at Los Angeles Zoo, boost to the endangered species
A novel method for collecting dolphin DNA (via Chad Arment)
Nessie nominated for tourism award (via Lindsay Selby)
Chinese bear poses for pictures with tourists

The person reporting on the last on this list does not appear to know whether the bear is a ‘he’ or a ‘she’, and with something that looks akin to heavy fish wire fastened to its top lip I am not surprised the poor creature does what it is supposed to do. Or am I just finding fault?


Sadly, Jerry the Jackdaw died last night. There was no apparent cause of death; he was as noisy and cheeky as ever yesterday, and was flat on his back when Graham went to see him this morning. We are all sad about losing him but can comfort ourselves in the knowledge that he lived for sixteen months longer than he would have done if we had left him in the rainy gutter outside the fish and chip shop where we found him in May 2009.

Rest in Peace old buddy.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: The Golden Baboon Awards



Ruby Lang sent us this story which, if true, is a remarkable turn of events. Presumed extinct since the 1930s, the Bali tiger was not only the smallest of the tiger subspecies but the one that most observers would have given the best odds on being extinct purely because of the lack of suitable habitat on the island of Bali, which has become a tourist Mecca.

This new report means that all three subspecies of tiger presumed to be extinct now have question marks raised over their status. It has to be said that the chances for any of these subspecies remaining extant are poor, but all three remain a tantalising possibility.

MAX BLAKE: The sweet potato hypothesis.

There is a lot of evidence that supports the existence of a large undiscovered animal currently living in Loch Ness and in other freshwater lakes around the world. Though many sightings have been recorded, plus photographs and video footage, an animal’s existence remains questionable despite the insistence of many witnesses that the object they are seeing is animate. Here I propose that the “animal” people are seeing is actually nothing of the sort, and is in fact a vegetable, using the Ipomoea batatas paratype CFZ076 as evidence.

Ipomoea batatas is a globally important root vegetable well known for its sweet flavour and potato-like texture. It is eaten nearly worldwide with a major production centre in China. Its maximum size has been well documented as being just over 11kg, but never before has a shape for the potato been grown to give a satisfactorily plesiosaur-esque shape.

New evidence now clearly shows that sweet potatoes can both grow large enough to be seen from a distance bobbing in water, but can also grow in a shape sufficient to produce the general shape seen by witnesses. The large floating sweet potato hypothesis to explain sightings of lake monsters should be taken very seriously indeed by all researchers working in this field.


Dear Editor

You have published our expedition data in the past and we would like your support in helping us make this important announcement as we are on the verge of proving two major zoological /crypto zoological discoveries.

The video link below will show Mike Warner announcing our Funding Campaign for our return ground expedition to sites 1 & 2 in the Peruvian Amazon and releases extraordinary information which has never been made public before today.

Mike has also decided to make a series of full disclosure videos to support his claims.

The "Scientists" link below will show new support for our theories as they accelerate their support for our project and offer resources and training for the expedition.


Direct Links to Main Site:


Thank you for your support!

Mike & Greg Warner
Warner Amazon Expedition

25th August 2010

CORINNA DOWNES: Yesterday's News Today

Here are the latest items for the ever-growing Yesterday’s News Today:

New Tool To Monitor Trade In Endangered Species
New turtle species found in U.S. river
Monster Rat Shot Dead On Housing Estate
And the Tigers Come at Night
Robotic sub films new species off Indonesia
Threatened Snake Species Being Bred In Lake County

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

RICHARD MUIRHEAD: A Singapore aquatic monster?


A blue spider? Can such a thing be? You had better ask Dr Shuker

WW2010: More from Mike and Ruby (and I must stop calling her Ruby)


WW2010: Richard Freeman on Yokai

If this video disappears, it can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XCSfmS83fTg

WW2010: Silas Hawkins (2)

If the coding disappears again, this video can be found http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0I08_uo2LI

WW2010: Well it has been edited!

The editing and embedding has all been done, and by the time that you read this everything will have been uploaded. The rest of the postings will appear on the bloggo over the next few days. As I wrote the other day, the only exceptions are mine and Corinna's blue dog talk, which suffered from equipment failure, and the two short films that are not ours to show. Three or four minutes has also been omitted from Ronan's talk for legal reasons but never fear, you still see him ride his trusty steed into the sunset.

I have also not posted things like drawing raffle tickets or the kid's cake-eating contest (which did include the priceless sight of the Colonel joining one of the teams who were behaving like a ravenous plague of locusts) because they are essentially of the 'You had to be there' persuasion; likewise there is no film of the cocktail party.

If you want to know what they are/were like, you had better book early for next year's event.


CORINNA DOWNES: Yesterday's News Today

Here is today’s offering of yesterday’s news:

Warming waters send tropical fish species south
Study shows carnivore species shrank during global warming event
Alligator on loose in NY
Pilots on alert for high-flying vulture
Bat species use remarkable stealth technique to sneak up on their prey
British man claims to have bred indestructible bees
Invasive Species: Asian Carp Get Their Day In Court
Tuatara: one species or two?
GOTCHA! Chicago River alligator in custody
Polar bear threat to Solway geese
Pea sized frog found on Borneo island
Lifedogs trained to rescue swimmers in Italy

Let us hope that the indestructible bees are successful.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Just wrote this...

A megalodon shark called Jack,
said: ”My mind has all gone black.
My memory is feeble,
what do you call six people?
Oh, now I remember: A snack!


WW2010: Ronan Coghlan and Gary Cunningham

If this coding disappears again, the video can be found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LrknCrChAI0


We are firing ahead with the embedding, editing and posting of the videos of this year's event. The whole event will be on CFZtv within the next few days - we are doing Sunday lunchtime already. There are a couple of exceptions to this - My talk on Texas Blue Dogs had a camera failure half way through, and we are not going to broadcast the two short films we showed because they are not our copyright. But apart from that the rest of the weekend is/will be up very soon.

Each year I have someone suggest to me that we release the talks from the WW on a series of DVDs and charge for it. We won't do that. That smacks unpleasantly of exploitation to me. We would rather do it our way.


WW2010: The Quiz

If the coding disappears, this video can be found: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=drHg7gPPExM


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February 2009 and he is now working on a general mish-mash of a section known as `General Forteana`. This 21st collection once again really is a general mishmash of completely uncategoriseable stuff, including pornography for gorillas, fattism, and sightings of the Blessed Virgin Mary. It doesn't get much better than this. Good stuff.



Photos of a strange antelope (some sort of hair mutation?):

Photos of a black lion (that isn't actually black):

A PDF of the published description for a new titi monkey:

CORINNA DOWNES: Yesterday's News Today

Oh well, I forgot to post yesterday’s Yesterday’s News Today – which is a bit of a mouthful but had to be written. The reason? I bought Jon Series 1 and 2 of 30 Rock and was subjected to a viewing of the contents of disc 1 of Series 1 last night so forgot all about YNT. Jon, however, remembered at about 1 am and although I offered to go downstairs to do it, he insisted that he would sort it on his laptop upstairs. It may well have been something to do with the fact that I dropped off to sleep mid-sentence.
But I am rambling – here are this posting’s offerings:

3-foot alligator found crossing Massachusetts street
Dead Minke Whale Found On Welsh Beach
Ostrich's motorway bid for freedom
Rabbit stowed away in car engine for 300-mile journey home... but then met a tragic end
No lions, but maybe a tiger -- oh my! (via Chad Arment)
AN UNUSUAL VISITOR: Manatee spotted near Clinton marina
Fearsome giant turtles found in Pacific cemetery (via Chad Arment)
Ootsa Lake creature sighting
Big snake sightings in Pike Co.
Medical aid for injured elephant
Teashop owner attacks 'spying' dog wardens
Humpback whale gives dazzling show
Mystery of the monster bug in Addiscombe

CFZ PEOPLE: Carl Portman

I have known Carl for a couple of years, but it was his bravura performance at the WW this year that won the hearts of a large chunk of the CFZ family. His new friends will, like I was, be seriously concerned to hear that Carl has been seriously ill and even spent a spell in hospital last week.

Get well soon buddy. You are in our thoughts and our prayers.


Once again our friendly Scottish pussycat gets it completely right. Describing CFZ Press he writes: 'Most of the titles if not all, are written by CFZ members, the only difference is that Jon doesn't take any money up front. The end result though is the same thing. A book that would not be published by any regular publisher, that will sell in the low hundreds at best, and most of the sales would be to other members of the CFZ family.'

Well, apart from the last point (I don't know whether most of the sales are to the CFZ Family or not) he has hit the nail right on the head. We are a non-commercial publishing house, which was never intended to make a profit, and we publish books that we feel should be published whether or not they have any sales potential.

I fail to see anything wrong with that!

Monday, August 23, 2010


Earlier this year I bemoaned the fact that I hadn't seen a peacock butterfly in years. Then this morning as I staggered downstairs demanding lemsip and trying not to let the dog trip me up, I saw something flapping against the window panes of the office. Guess what!

In my cold-befuddled state, I didn't think of taking a photograph as I netted it and released it into the garden, so this one taken by Mark North at the WW will have to do.

WW2010: John Hanson

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: A trip in the CFZ Time Machine


A strange yokai that looks like an animated lump of flesh with a tiny face, hands and legs growing from it. Imagine Humpty-Dumpty if he had been created by Hammer Studios! They were made by monks from rotting human flesh. They protect sacred places by sucking in and absorbing the flesh of evil people. They are harmless to those who have no ill intent towards the sacred area but they stick to high hell!

A priest decided to stay at a ruined temple on the way to his destination as it had become dark. At midnight he was aroused by the sound of a big noise and could smell something terrible - like the smell of a dead body. He opened the sliding paper door of the room, and saw a chunk of dead flesh walking in the corridor.


Oliver is away for a few days with his girlfriend in Plymouth, so for the next few days Corinna and I will take over this part of his duties. We actually forgot all bout it, so I am typing this, sitting up in bed at about half past one in the morning with a defective keyboard that won't type the letter A, which means that each time it occurs in a word it has to be inserted manually. I have done more tedious things in my life but not many....

Baboon on the loose? Girl starts false frenzy
Spain anti-bullfighting groups protest in Bilbao
Pig wrestling canceled after porkers elude capture
Government cuts ‘threaten wildlife’
Couple return from honeymoon to find python in bathroom
Dorset skipper nets a whopper from Mediterranean



I reckon that the Spanish story is all a load of bull....

See: Its' not all that hard!


...to everybody who was so kind, and posted birthday greetings yesterday, either by email, on the blog or on Facebook. I am completely overwhelmed.

Thank you to everyone who telephoned. I feel very bad that I still can't talk properly because of this bloody cold, and I want to apologise particularly to dear Lizzy who was greeted by a barrage of wheezing and spluttering noises.

It makes me feel very loved and very appreciated.

Thank you all of you :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010


Readers of the CFZ Bloggo will all know about my dear nephew David Braund-Phillips. He has been my right-hand man for the last few years and today, at the age of eighteen, he leaves home. He has secured himself a technician's job at Stage Electrics in Bristol, and is presently looking for a flat for him and his lovely girlfriend Jess.
I will miss him tremendously but I am also so proud of the dear boy that I could burst!


Text by David Marshall
Presentation photographs by Richard Hebden
All other photographs by David Marshall

On Sunday 15th August the majestic Whistler Room at Pickering Memorial Hall played host to a special Twinning Day involving the members and friends of the Ryedale Aquarist Society and STAMPS. The day began with a special presentation on the subject of Pencilfish that was given by Miss Amy and Mrs Wendy Charters.

Special guest for the event was Mr Steve Dent of the Yorkshire Cichlid Group who presented two talks based around his favourite cichlids of South and Central America.

Steve Dent

The people present enjoyed taking part in a food and drink quiz that was devised by Miss Sue Marshall.

Y.A.A.S. ‘A’ Class Judge Mr. Trevor Douglas judged the 9-class mini-show in which a total of 44 fish were entered. The quality of fish was excellent and included Corydoras pantanalensis, Chinese Roundtail Guppy, Schubert’s Golden Barb and C6.

Trevor busy judging

A sales table was also held with various cichlids, livebearers and fish foods causing much interest.

Bede Kerrigan looking after the sales table.

The Aquarium Gazette CD magazine was also present with an information stand.

Finally, Twinning Day would not be Twinning Day without our traditional ‘pot luck lunch.’ A big thanks to all who brought along such a wonderful selection of sweet and savoury items!

A big thank you to all the people present for all the work that was done on this very special day and for friendship.

This very special photograph, featuring Bede Kerrigan and Frank Tolomeo, sums up what Twinning Day is all about.

Due to circumstances beyond our control we have had to move our 2011 Open Show back to Sunday 11th September.

Looking forward, the Ryedale A.S. Open Show 2011 will be held on Sunday 24th April at Old Malton Memorial Hall, North Yorkshire.

WW2010: Colonel John Blashford-Snell

NEIL ARNOLD: The Sussex Lion Hoax

Reports of lions and tigers in the English countryside are very often the product of hoax or the occasional zoo escapee, which is easily recaptured or unfortunately shot dead. Lions and tigers would not survive for long in the British Isles, and yet I find it amazing just how many stories pertaining to ‘lion hunts’ and ‘tiger pursuits’ hit the headlines. One such story, from the summer of 1933, concerned four men who claimed that a lion named Rex had escaped from its enclosure at a zoo in Sussex. The story continued through autumn into winter. The coverage as follows:

On October 19th 1933 The Times ran the headline of the ‘Sussex Lion Hunt - Public Mischief Charge’

Evidence For Defence

Justices yesterday resumed their hearing of the case in which four men were summoned as a sequel to a hunt for a lion, named Rex, which was reported to have escaped near Bognor Regis early in July. The defenrdants are: William Edmund Butlin, of The Park, Skegness; Clifford Stanley Joste, of Butlin's Zoo, Bognor Regis; Alan Leslie Proctor, of Glamis Street, Bognor Regis; and John Waller Wensley, of Church Farm, Pagham. The charge as set out in the summons read:- For that You, on or about the fourth day of July, at the parish of Bognor Regis, unlawfully did conspire, combine, confederate, and agree together to commit a certain misdemeanour, namely, to commit a public mischief by your conduct and by means of certain false statements to wit, that a lion, which was being transported in a motor-vehicle at the instance of you, the said William Edmund Butlin, had escaped at or near Clymping . . . and was then at large in the neighbourhood of Bognor Regis, and further that a certain sheep which had been killed and the carcase thereof mutilated by one Charies Bailey, at the instance of and with the connivance of you, the said William Edmund Butlin, Clifford Stanley Joste, Alan Leslie Proctor, and John Waller Wensley, had been killed and mauled by the said lion, thereby causing officers of the West Sussex Constabulary to devote their time and services to the investigation of such false statements, thus temporarily depriving the public of the services of the Public oficers and thereby also Putting the Public in fear against the peace of our Lord the King, his Crown and Dignity.

REPORTED ESCAPE - Yesterday Ernest Newsome, Butlin's secretary at Skegness, said that when Butlin telephoned from Bognor on July 4 he told him all the animals had left Skegness. After reading of the reported escape of the lion he made inquiries, found that the lion had not been sent, and telephoned Butlin's mother.

Mr. Flowers: Could a lion drop off a lorry on the way from - Skegness to Bognor and the lorry-driver not know he had lost it ?

Newsome: I should say it is quite feasible.

Mr. Bray submitted that no prima facie case had been made out against Joste, or,'if there was a case, it was so flimsy that it would be " a public mischief " if the Court did not dispose of it. Mr. Bray said that it was clear there was no Conspiracy and that Joste had no criminal intention.

Proctor, giving evidence, said he was an artist by profession, but by force of circumstances he was also a part-time journalist. He sometimes assisted his father, who was a local accredited agent for a London newspaper. The witness said he had heard about the Craigweil lion, which had been definitely regarded in the neighbourhood as a joke. On Tuesday, July 4, he went to Butlins Fun Fair between 3 and 5 p.m. to see if he could gain any information about the rumour that a lion had recently escaped. He first saw Joste and then immediately afterwards saw Mr. Butlin, but Mr. Butlin would neither confirm nor deny the rumour. The witness said he did not make any inquiries until a second interview with Mr. Butlin, whom he saw at 7 that same evening. Mr. Butlin said he was still uncertain whether it was his lion or not; and Mr. Butlin led him to believe that if there was a lion loose in the district it would in all probability be his. The same evening he heard that a lion had escaped and told his father what he had learned, and a short "story " was written up and telegraphed to London. This brought down reporters of London newspapers the next day. The witness said that he did not himself send any "story” to London. When he left Butlin on the Tuesday he really believed a lion was loose, and he gave his father an accurate account of what he had heard. He certainly never intended to frighten the public or waste the time of the police. Proctor's case was then closed and the hearing adjourned till Monday

October 24th 1933
The Sussex Lion Story
The Chichester Justices yesterday committed for trial the four men accused of conspiracy to commit a public mischief by alleged false statements that a lion had escaped near Clymping and had killed a sheep, thereby temporarily depriving the public of the services of police officers investigating the statements. The defendants are WILLIAM EDMUND BUTLIN of The Park, Skegness. The defendants all denied the allegations. Wensley, giving evidence, described a meeting with Proctor, when he said the latter paid him 30s. for a sheep. Proctor said, "After your man has killed it, will you ask him to maul it about a bit and throw it under a hedge."

Wensley added, " I think he said he wanted the Press to believe that a lion was at large." Later Buthn and others came to look at tbe sheep, and Butlin remarked that “by all appearances it was a lion's work."

Wensley, cross-examined by Mr. Flowers, said, I really thought a lion was at large, because I had heard so many rumours about lions- vegetarian and so on." (Laughter.)

Mr. Flowers.-Your efforts were to convince people that this was not a vegetarian lion, were they not? (Laughter.) The MAGISTRATES held that a prima facie case for investigation by a superior Court had been established and they committed all four defendants for trial at the Assizes. Each man was allowed bail in his own recognizances in thc sum of £100.

December 22nd 1933

Replying to Mr. CASSELS (his counsel), Butlin said that he thought the newspaper report was correct in so far as it referred to a lion being at large. He thought then that the lion, which was supposed to have come from Skegness, had, in fact, escaped. He spent most of that morning dodging newspaper reporters. Referring to the finding of the sheep's carcass, Mr. Butlin said that he had nothing to do with the payment of 5s. to Bailey, the shepherd, by Wensley. He did not know Wensley, and had never heard of him till that day. " When I saw the carcass," he added, "I asked Wensley if he had had any sheep killed by dogs recently, and he said he had not. I thought in my own mind then that my lion had killed the sheep." Butlin described how during that morning and after he went out by car he borrowed somc fish- ing nets with which to recapture the lion. He still believed that Rex was at large. " I did not realize the real position until later that day, when a message was received from Skegness that Rex had not been sent to Bognor." ; He thought then that the best way to end the matter was to say the lion had been recaptured. Had he said that the lion had not escaped he might not have been believed. " Had this been done for publicity," added Mr. Butlin, " I could have given a graphic pic- ture of its recapture. Instead I ' killed ' the story at once."


JUSTICE CHARLES.-Was it not a bad advertisement to you as an experienced show- man that a lion should have escaped from a weak or damaged crate ?-

Yes, it was a poor advertisement and has done more harm to me than people think. Cross-examined by Mr. JOHN FLOWERS, K.C., prosecuting, Mr. Butlin said that the lorry load of animals from Skegness was in charge of the driver, who would not necessarily know what animals he had on board.

Mr. FLOWERS.-Who was responsible for call-ing in a veterinary surgeon after the lion was supposed to have been recaptured ?-

A "vet" is always called in when we get something in the papers about our animals. Cranks start inquiring whether animals have been ill-treated in any way, so we get a veterinary surgeon in to say that they are in good condition.
MR. JUSTICE CHARLES:The lion might have been eating tomatoes and been suffering from an intestinal disorder. (Laughter.) Butlin did not agree that a story of a lions escape and recapture would have drawn a mass of people in Sussex to the show in order to see the animal. “In case people thought it was an attempt at publicity," he said, " I did not have a lion in the menagerie the rest of the summer."

Mr. Flowers.-If you did not want this report to spread you could have denied it from the start ?-
I thought at first it was true.
MIR. JUSTICE CHARLES.-If you thought a lion was at large and had not told the police and someone got hurt you would have been very much blamed ?
Several witncsses were called regarding the demeanour of people in the district after the news that a lion was out. One witness said that they did not appear in any way worried and the state of affairs was different from what he had anticipated. The driver of the lorry which brought the original load of animals from Skegness said that he had on board an empty crate, which he should have left at an address in Tottenham Court Road. He did not do so because the road near was up and he was advised to " move on” in case of obstruction. He took the crate to Bognor. Albert Gray, manager of the zoo at Bognor, said that he received a list of animals expected from Skegness. It included a lion, and when he saw the empty crate he thought a lion had escaped and informed Butlin. He told the witness to keep things as quiet as he could and make inquiries. Joste said that he was the manager of Butlin's Auto-cars, Limited, of which Mr. Butlin was managing director. He denied that he had said that the matter was just " a little harmless publicity."
" At no time have I ever suggested it was a stunt," he said. " I heard rumours about a lion being at large, and when I saw it in a newspaper I thought it was true.

KILLING A SHEEP - Proctor in his evidence, also said that, following the rumours, he believed on July 4 that a lion was at large. He denied that the report which appeared the following day was written by him, but said he supplied some of the material, which he then thought was true. He agreed that he asked Wensley to sell him a sheep, to kill it, and leave the carcass under a hedge. It was meant as a joke.

MR. JUSTIICE CHARLES.-Is that Your idea of a joke ? You paid 35s. and left the carcass under a hedge.
Proctor.-Partly as a joke and partly for gaining copy for news.
MR. JUSTICE CHARLES.- You meant to deccive people ?-
You did your best to make it look as if the scare were a real one ?-
Proctor added that he did not tell Mr. Butlin or Joste what he had done, and he was not aware that a lion had not in fact escaped until he was served with a summons. Wensley, in his evidence, said that he thought that the leaving of the sheep under the hedge was a joke. He had no intention of being a party to a public mischief.
The evidence was concluded and counsel addressed the jury.
MR. JUSTICE CHARLES, in summing up, said that the case was not nearly so important as had been made out. Nothing would probably have been heard of it had it not been for the grossly improper article published by a newspaper. That was the genesis of the trouble. It might have been a showmans stunt or a reporters stunt, but so far as Butlin was concerned it was a little difficult to see what he had to gain by such ridiculous nonsense. What he had to lose was pretty obvious. It was necessary that the public should have been put in fear. Some witnesses had said they were put in fear because of the false report, but the jury would probably have no doubt that that part of the case was exaggerated, for for every one who was put in fear there were 50 or 60 who had no discomfort at all. That affected the seriousness of the case, but not the question of guilt.


MR. JUSTICE CHARLES ruled that there was no direct evidence against Butlin and Joste on the charge of committing a public mischief. He left the question of conspiracy to the jury. The jury found Butlin and Joste Not Guilty on the conspiracy charge and they were discharged. Proctor and Wensley were found Not Guilty of conspiracy but Guilty of committing the mischief.
MR. JUSTICE CHARLES fined Proctor £30 and ordered him to pay a share of the costs of the prosecution. Wensley was fined £10. In imposing the fines the Judge said that he did not want to send them to prison, but he wanted to give an indication of his stern disapproval of their conduct. They had been found guilty of a very mischievous and foolish course of conduct which had caused a great deal of unnecessary trouble. Addressing Proctor he said: " I hope you are heartily ashamed of yourself. You have misled the public and you dragged Wensley into it. I hope your father will deal with you”.

2010 WEIRD WEEKEND: Mike Hallowell on stage

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 79 AD Mount Vesuvius began to stir before it erupted and buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

And now, the news:

'Dodo diary' tells of creature’s life as pet in Ox...
'Terror Birds' attacked prey with axe like beaks
Crocodile sighted in English channel revealed to b...
Massive oil plume discovered in the Gulf (via Her...
Preserving Sperm Vital to Saving 'Snot Otter' Sala...
Frog Population Estimates Are Likely Flawed (Or It...
Shark caught in St. Lawrence (Via Chad Arment)
Cougars Confirmed in WI (Via Chad Arment)
Kihansi spray toads make historic return to Tanzan...
Gorilla saved by French doc's hip op
Angry goat chases builders

The poor goat looks so miffed that he doesn’t get to eat the hat: