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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Friday, December 10, 2010

NEIL ARNOLD: Mystery Animal Photo

Hi Jon,

Find attached an image that was sent to me several months back from a chap named Tim, who lives in Dover. He claimed to have caught a large animal on his security camera, but because the image is so vague and distorts the more I zoom on it, I wondered if anyone else could take a look at it. Basically, the witness said that it could have been a large cat - puma - the 'animal' is in the left-hand corner near the gate and only appears as a sandy-coloured head. I believe it to be a fox and because I believe such a photo to be completely useless as evidence, he wasn't too happy and so went elsewhere - as predicted - with his evidence. The image was taken at night, and to me proves that too much of this kind of evidence is being taken seriously, because even if by remote chance this animal is a puma, who really cares when it is so hazy? I attempted, as did the witness, to open the image up on a Word document for better viewing.

Maybe a CFZ reader has a better programme to analyse the still. Let me know what you think



Chris Clark said...

Word seems a very odd choice to open a picture. There is plenty of software for images: try PictureIt or Paint.NET. On the other hand, don't bother. No image processing software evr written is going to show anything in this, not if it were run by a collaboration of JPL, the FBI and NASA. And why is the image so lo-res? 15KB seems small even for a security camera, unless it was compressed when it was emailed. Don't waste any time on this one.

Syd said...

If that is the best photo Tim can get from his security camera then I would respectfully suggest that he replaces it with a 1950's Kodak 'Brownie'.
With regard to the image. Using "ArcSoft PhotoImpression 4" which is by no means a top end image editing package (it came FREE with my cheap digital still camera), I got the creatures head enlarged to about 20 times the original size and would definitely agree that it is a fox. The snout does seem a little shortened, but put that down to Tim's low grade equipment. Poor quality lenses often distort the image.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Syd; even for webcams, that is a bloody lousy camera. Low resolution, spherical aberration, crap focus; the poxy thing exhibits every fault of low-end cheap garbage.

Go out and buy something like a Samsung Techwin camera from somewhere like http://www.buythis.co.uk/ and you can get an autofocus, day/night camera with double the resolution AND decent night vision capability. Pipe that to a recorder or (if you want to get fancy) a computer, and you'll get miles better pictures.

You still won't see any pumas, mind.

Shara said...

Honestly, I agree with the other comments, the cam is lousy and you really should get a better one.

However, once I saved the picture and blew it up and messed around with the focus and sharpenned it I am pretty sure what's there is nothing more then a common tabby. It was still very grainy and more blob like then I would have wanted but there was enough focus on it along with how short it is compared to the fence that I'm pretty sure it's a cat.