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, January 15, 2010


Residents of this small Pa. town are concerned about recent sightings and strange noises being heard at night of what appears to be some sort of bigfoot, human-looking type of creature. The creature, though, is white in colour. A homeowner captured this footage after they heard a disturbance in the back yard of their wooded property. This homeowner and others in this town had previously heard strange noises and disturbances for the last two weeks or so prior to this being captured on film.

MAX BLAKE: Taxonomy Fail #2

I don't know where the dear boy gets them but they do amuse me and are apparently genuine photographs taken from various museum gift shops around the world. This pseudo-pachyderm was particularly funny.

KARA WADHAM: Bugfest Compy

To win a pair of free tickets for Bugfest in Yeovil on the 20th February all you have to do is correctly identify the type of spider displayed on the front page of the Bugfest website http://www.bugfest.co.uk/.

Email your answer to kara@bugfest.co.uk by Jan 31st 2010 and 3 winners will be chosen at random to receive pair of tickets each.



The Weird Weekend Website has now been updated for this year's event, and tickets are on sale. I want to stress, however, that there is no programme as yet, and the speakers page only has half the speakers on there...

But it's a start eh?

OLL LEWIS: 5 Questions on… Cryptozoology - RICHARD FREEMAN

Today’s answerer of questions is Richard Freeman. I’m sure you are all aware of who Richard Freeman is. He has been the CFZ zoological director since time immemorial and has participated in and/or led a number of CFZ expeditions to far flung places including Russia, Mongolia, Guyana, Sumatra and the Gambia. His book Dragons More Than A Myth has recently been made available in the United States of America and his new book, an encyclopaedia on the supernatural beings of Japan (known as Yokai) is almost ready to be released by CFZ Press (keep an eye on the blog for more information).

So, Richard Freeman, here are your five questions on… Cryptozoology:

1) How did you first become interested in cryptozoology?

Watching the great Jon Pertwee as Dr Who in the 70s. In his 3rd incarnation, the Doctor was mostly trapped on Earth because the Time Lords had changed the dematerialisation codes on the Tardis in order to trap him. The monsters he fought were on modern day Earth in familiar settings. This made them all the more compelling. Sea Devils, Autons, Silurians, Axons, Daleks.
This sparked my fascination in monsters.

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

I have seen the Monster of Martin Mere, a giant swan-attacking catfish.
I have seen very clear tracks of the Orang-pendek. I used to be a zookeeper and can easily recognise the prints of known apes. The Orang-pendek has a longer heel and a less prehensile big toe than other apes.

In 2008 I think I heard the vocalisation of an almasty and got to within 12 feet of it as it prowled around an abandoned farm at 2.30 in the morning.

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

The thylacine, it’s been seen by a park ranger and zoologists. Professor Henry Nicks's computer programme Bioclim predicted its existence in exactly the place in Tasmania where most of the sightings were coming from.

Orang-pendek, I've seen its tracks and Dave Archer and Sahar have seen the beast. Debbie Martyr and Jeremy Holden have also seen it. It is an upright-walking relative of the orangutan.
Giant anaconda - lots of sightings - it lives in water were it is buoyed up and can reach huge sizes, maybe 50-60 feet in rare cases.

Almasty, I think Adam and I got very close to seeing one. Grigory Panchenko has seen them on several times. It is a descendant of Homo erectus.

Sea serpents (several kinds) marine reptiles, marine mammals and giant elongate fish. These have been consistently reported since the days of ancient Babylon.
Yeti; its remoteness protects it. Probably Gigantopithecus or something closely related.
The Japanese wolf; like the thylacine lots of good witnesses, also a very convincing photo.

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

Non-Avian dinosaurs, mostly mistaken identity by some zoologists. Supposed dinosaurs may actually be giant monitor lizards, unknown rhinos and other animals.

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

Out of the Shadows by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, an amazing book on an amazing continent. The Yowie, Australia's Bigfoot by the same authors, amazing detail and many new cases. Mythical Monsters by Charles Gould, the original cryptozoology book
On the Track of Unknown Animals, Bernard Heuvelmans's cornerstone work, nuff said!
Alien Animals by Janet and Colin Bord, I read this as a kid and it really got me hooked.


Once again she knows what these prints are and surprisingly enough, so do I (and not just because she told me). But do any of you?


Lindsay writes with news of a website that she thinks is fascinating and essential

for anyone interested in bigfoot hoaxes.

Thanks hun..

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 588BC the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II started his siege of Jerusalem. Nebuchadnezzar can perhaps lay claim to being the world leader to witness the most paranormal events in his lifetime. If legends told about him by both his own people and the exiled Jews are true, then his only real competition for that title would be the Welsh man known as King Arthur (if indeed the folklore of his exploits were true, but that’s not a can of worms I want to open at this time). Among the tales told of Nebuchadnezzar are: witnessing 3 Hebrews being saved from being burned alive in his furnace by ‘a son of the gods’, the Jewish prophet Daniel emerging unscathed from a den of hungry lions, a disembodied hand writing on a wall, two prophetic dreams and a seven-year bout of clinical lycanthropy. The lycanthropy legend is backed up by a clay tablet from Babylon in the British Museum (which first opened on this day in 1759, as coincidence would have it), but some modern scholars interpret Nebuchadnezzar’s madness as being related to porphyria or syphilis.

Anyway, enough talk of madness and STDs; here is the news on our nice, newly restored news-blog, brought to us by Gavin Ll. Wilson:

Tourist killed by 'dinosaur-sized' shark off South African beach
West Country pagans tie horses in knots
Shipworm threatens archaeological treasures
Child snake charmer
Rats Face Poison Blitz On Pacific Island
The couple who share their bed with a deer
Horse mane weaving incidents 'caused by Pagans', police believe
Fresh sighting of UFOs and Werewolves on Cannock Chase

If it’s distressing the horses that’s seriously ‘knot’ something any religious person should be doing.