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 12, 2010

RICHARD FREEMAN: Whale war escalates

Whaling vessel sinks sea shepherd anti-whaling ship

Japanese security ship Shonan Maru No. 2 has deliberately rammed the Ady Gil and caused massive damage to the Sea Shepherd catamaran.

Six crewmembers; four from New Zealand, one from Australia, and one from the Netherlands; were rescued by the crew of the Sea Shepherd ship Bob Barker. None of the Ady Gil crew was injured.

Captain Chuck Swift of the Bob Barker said that the attack happened while the vessels were dead in the water. The Shonan Maru No. 2 deliberately rammed the Ady Gil, ripping eight feet of the bow of the vessel completely off.

"The Japanese whalers have now escalated this conflict very violently," said Captain Paul Watson. "If they think that our remaining two ships, The Bob Barker and the Steve Irwin, will retreat from the Southern Ocean Whale Sanctuary in the face of their extremism, they will be mistaken. We now have a real whale war on our hands now and we have no intention of retreating."

Despite round-the-clock efforts to save the Ady Gil the ship finally sunk. Fortunately all fuel and lubricants had been removed before she finally went down.

The CFZ support the brave eco-warriors of Sea Shepherd and take heed of their example in dealing with the enemies of justice.


Doesn't it annoy you when you are doing your best to find a photograph of someone for a blog entry, and the bloody man refuses to be photographed except in a group with other people? Then feel sorry for me, because I have been trying to find a picture of Richie West, solo. And can I find one? Can I b******* (CORINNA: That's enough of that, dear)

That's a pity, because I really wanted to thank Richie for an extremely generous donation that we received from him on Monday; so generous in fact that I had to check with him that it wasn't a mistake.

But I couldn't even find a picture of him solo on his Facebook account that I could steal, and how on earth can an editor of my calibre thank someone for their incredible generosity without a picture? It just cannae be done.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1938 William B. Davis was born. Davis is best known as the Cigarette Smoking Man (aka C.G.B. Spender) in the long-running paranormal drama series The X-Files. Davis is also a champion water-skier.
And now, the news:

Hippo swims away from flooded Montenegrin zoo, shocks villagers by strolling past their homes
NH Artist Protests Halt To Bigfoot Project
New cricket species filmed pollinating orchids
Britain's goat talent
So, how do you make a gorilla stew?
Deadly octopus turns up in girl's bath
Police Investigate Cougar Sighting In Minneapolis

It’s not been ‘lichen’ed to any known species…(note: this pun is hilarious if you pronounce lichen correctly, if you pronounce it ‘lich-en’ like ‘kitchen’ it makes no sense whatsoever).


Dear folks,

Whilst browsing through the chronicling America website again today I quickly came across a possible 'new' cryptid, but bear in mind I have only done a cursory Google search for it. In 1896 a zoologist in an equatorial region of West Africa came across what he described as a bear-ape or Ikanda. The story was published in the Marietta daily leader of August 17th 1896. The zoologist thought it was a new species of potto or ape-like creature. The description of its fur makes it appear to be a Golden Potto (Arctocebus aureus) but I know nothing about these animals so it could be something else altogether. The zoologist R. L. Garner already knew of two pottos or angwantibos, he thought it was neither but similar to them. Fortunately we have illustrations of parts of its body, namely the hands and feet.

I quote:

'THE IKANDA OR BEAR-APE Prof.Garner Tells of the Queer Little Beast Discovered In Africa. It Never “Loses Its Grip – Strange Story Told By The Natives of How It Is Used for Catching Leopards.

In the forests of Central Africa there live many strange creatures, some of them as yet unknown to science. One of the most singular of these belongs to the Simian family, but is very low down in the scale. I have a specimen which I kept in captivity for a number of months, during which time I gave considerable attention to its habits. So far as I am able to learn, it is an entirely new species of a small group known as slow lemurs. Up to this time there have only been two species of this genus known in Africa, but the specimen in my possession is not identical with either. I have never found a specimen of it in any museum, either in this country or abroad, and I have found no zoologist who has ever seen or known one. It is neither a potto nor an awantibo though it doubtless belongs to that group, being included in the genus of lemuroids called “ Arctocebus” ie bear apes.

The native name of this animal is “Ikanda” and it appears to be confined to a small scope of country along the equator in West Central Africa…It is uncertain how far it extends to the interior…In his general appearance the Ikanda is like a miniature bear. It is from this fact that the name “arctocebus” has been conferred upon him. Every movement is exactly like that of a bear, the ears nose and tail are also like those of a bear…The most singular physical features are the hands and feet, which are shown in the drawings. The hand is a perfect human hand in every respect, except the want of an index finger….
[the article then goes into a highly detailed account of the hands and feet, which I do not have time to include here - R]

'The body is covered with a dense growth of soft hair,almost like fur. It is a dark brown in color, but somewhat lighter on the under side of the body. The nose is quit bare and very black.

I have never seen one of these animals in the adult, but apparently they grow to be 14 or 15 inches in length
(1)… The article then goes on to describe the resting and eating habits of the Ikanda. But there is nothing about its ability to catch leopards!

Marietta Daily Leader August 17th 1896.


U2 New Year`s Day

All is quiet on New Year`s Day
A world in white is on its way
And I want to be with you
Be with you night and day
Nothing changes on New Year`s Day

LIZ CLANCY: Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus

It is fortuitous that Nick Molloy was recently the interviewee for Oll's series, Five Questions on Cryptozoology, for I recently borrowed a DVD from Blockbuster simply because its theme mirrored that of Nick's book, Predator Deathmatch (which I urge you all to buy as it's fantastic!).

Just as in his book Nick pits famous carnivores against each other in imaginary but well researched fights to the death, so does the aptly named film Mega Shark vs. Giant Octopus. I don't remember this coming out in the cinema and after watching it, have come to the conclusion that this is because it's trash.

Starring American soap actor Lorenzo Lamas and one of Darren Day's many ex-girlfriends (Deborah Gibson - no, I'd never heard of her, either), this cobblers was penned by Jack Perez (he wrote an episode of Xena: Warrior Princess), who also directed. It tells the story of a group of friends who try to stop a megalodon and a giant octopus from destroying humanity, by getting them to destroy each other. Said beasties were apparently frozen alive mid-battle during the last ice age and due to global warming (Emma suggests their survival is "our comeuppance") have been defrosted to wreak prehistoric havoc on an unsuspecting twenty-first century.

A little far-fetched this plot may be, but stranger things have worked in film; this was an opportunity sorely missed. We were 'treated' to a cast of stereotypes - the sexy academic, the foreign academic, the anti-hero who is racist towards the foreign academic and the token charming Irishman.

The most ridiculous part of the film was when the mega shark leapt from the ocean and bit a jumbo jet in half.

I suppose it did have some redeeming features: the script was so bad I at least got a good laugh. In retaliation to yet another racist jibe from the government bloke in charge of the 'kill the monsters' operation, the Irish man replies "Megalodon don't discriminate," and the Chinese scientist adds, "Yes, he's an equal opportunities eating machine." And then when challenged over the likelihood of success in their plan to lure the creatures to a secure location by faking the scent of potential mates, it is pointed out that "Those guys have been frozen in ice for millions of years; wouldn't you be a little horny?"

Apart from the fact that it has given me the opportunity to plug Nick's book, that film stole two hours (it actually felt more like ten) of my life that I will never get back so if readers see it in their local video shop, they are advised to do a quick about-turn. You have been warned....

Oh dear, I am a silly

I owe some of you an apology. When we put the last website up over Christmas 2008, for a number of reasons (with which I shall not bore you) we beta-tested it for ages and so when I was ready for it to go live I merely put an autodivert up to the index page in the beta file.

It never occurred to me that many of you would have bookmarked this beta page.

So when I rejigged the website this last Christmas just gone and made a new front page, this time there was no need to re-divert to a beta page, and so I conveniently forgot all about it.

Since 28th December we have had significantly fewer hits on the website than I would have expected, and I was at a loss to understand why. Then my dear nephew Dave B-P telephoned me (and I paraphrase):

Oi Uncle. You lazy ****. I know you got a bottle of port for Christmas but you haven't updated the website since 28th December. You ****

Oh **** I thought, and with a start I realised what I had done, and went to adjust the coding of the old `beta` front page, which now reads:
So all trouble is averted and it is all thanks to my favourite nephew swearing at me.
God Bless us Every One

DALE DRINNON: Celebes Macaques in New Guinea?

A photo found on a routine Yahoo (Flicker) photosearch turned up this carved wood face labelled 'Possibly a Primate?' and originating in Papua New Guinea. Dr Karl Shuker's blog recently reported on a 'New Guinea Bigfoot' and he alluded to further reports he had heard of 'Hairy Dwarfs' in the area.

On an earlier blog posting I had made the suggestion that most if not all of these 'Hairy Dwarfs' in Oceana were Celebes apes (which are large tail-less macaque monkeys) that were known to have been artificially moved about in pre-colonial times for cultic purposes (Ivan T. Sanderson, The Monkey Kingdom)

One of the places where they were suspected to have been artificially introduced was Irian Jaya, Western (Indonesian) New Guinea. They are quite large monkeys and they can attain the size and general appearance of small chimpanzees.

BUGFEST 5: Kara Wadham writes..

This is the new Bugfest poster, if any of you want it! We'd really appreciate it appearing in various publications, windows, local papers and shows.

Please ignore this email if you don't care a fig!
take care
Kara Wadham Event Organiser

Adults: £2.00
children over 4: £1 (free in fancy dress)Tickets cheaper online.www.bugfest.co.uk

Of course we give a fig my dear.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 2005 NASA launched the Deep Impact space probe. Deep Impact collided with comet 9P/Tempel on the 4th of July 2005 and was able to provide close up photographs of the comet and details of its composition.

Police Investigate Cougar Sighting In Minneapolis
Cool for cats
Warm and hoppy
Pets also need care in the cold
Deadly Portuguese Man O' War jellyfish 'likely' off NI
Norfolk cat found frozen in snow survives

That’s ‘thaw’-some news!