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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Thursday, January 28, 2010


Add ImageSome of you may well have noticed that the CFZ.org.uk, CFZtv.org, Fortean Zoology.com and Weirdweekend.org websites have all been down for protracted periods of time over the past 24 hours.

Despite rumours to the contrary, this is purely because of technical problems with the ISP and is not in any way due to any malicious attack upon us by person or persons unknown. It is just bad luck that it happened on the first day of our sponsorship drive (which is, by the way, largely due to Oll's sterling efforts, doing rather well).


In one of my earliest blogs I wrote about cryptid material turning up in museums and the possibility of unlabelled or ‘lost’ material in collections around the world. In the state of Wisconsin some strange material, possibly related to a lake monster, was uncovered not once but twice.

The Winnebago Indians believed in two distinct types of dragon-like monster inhabiting lakes. The Wak Tcexi was a paranormal entity and was evil. The Winnebozho was flesh and blood, and benign.

There are a number of ‘monster lakes’ in the state but this story is linked to two in particular.

Lake Mendota is close to Wisconsin’s capital, Madison. Sightings of the creatures date back to the 1860s. W.J. Park and his wife were boating on the lake when they came across what looked like a large log. Mr Park poked the ‘log’, which dived, churning up the water.

Lake Mendota is linked to Lake Monona via the Yahara River. Monsters are seen here too. In July 1892 the wonderfully named Darwin Boehmer and a friend were boating on the lake when they saw the monster swimming off towards Ott’s Spring with an undulating motion. It showed 14 feet of its back above the surface.

On October 7th of the same year an anonymous man claimed that a 20-foot monster had tried to tip up a boat he had hired from John Scott’s boat livery. He said he would never venture onto the lake again for all the money in the capital. Nor would he return to Madison without a Winchester rifle and two revolvers.

Mr Scott saw the beast for himself. He and his two sons described a hump twice the length of the boats they hired out, and he refused to row two ladies across the lake having seen the beast. He was convinced it was dangerous.

Ten days later, back at Lake Mendota, twelve men spotted at 35 foot serpent whilst in the connecting river. A man claimed that a creature shaped like a ‘living log’ had attempted to overturn his boat.

The anonymous man may have used his Winchester rifle and two revolvers on the monster with no effect because that is what occurred in Lake Monona on June 11th 1897. Eugene Heath said the beast he saw looked like an upturned boat and his bullets had no affect whatsoever on it. He hastily retreated from the lake as the thing came for him. A few days earlier he claimed to have seen it eating a swimming dog.

Back in Lake Mendota in 1899, a tourist from Illinois was anchored in the lake when he saw the water swell about 100 feet from his boat. A beast 60-70 feet long, with a snake like head rose up. It seemed to be sunning itself.

In the summer of 1917 a monster with blazing eyes and a snake-like head was seen off Picnic Point, Lake Mendota, by a fisherman who ran away leaving his rod and basket behind him.

The same year a young couple were sunning themselves by the pier at Lake Mendota. As they lay on their backs and hung their feet over the edge the girl felt something tickle the sole of her bare foot and thought it was her boyfriend. However, on turning over she saw what she called ‘a huge snake or dragon’ in the water. The couple fled to a nearby fraternity house. That year piers were damaged and boats overturned - the monster was blamed.

Shortly before that wave of sightings a large, thick scale was washed up on the shore near Picnic Point. It was sent to the University of Wisconsin where it baffled experts. The State Historical Society records that one anonymous professor believed it was from a sea serpent.

Part of the lake was dredged back in 1890, near Olbrich Park, and some massive vertebra were uncovered.

The scale might have come from a sturgeon and the bones may well have been fossils but one would have thought that a university professor would have recognised these. It might be interesting to enquire if the scale is still in the possession of the University of Wisconsin, and whether the State Historical Society recorded what became of the bones as well as if they were ever examined properly. If there are any readers in Wisconsin that fancy pursuing this it may be a worthwhile endeavour.


Just to prove that we are still on the case, here is Corinna preparing the mail-outs for the CFZ Yearbook 2010 and the latest edition of Animals & Men. In the left hand picture she looks as mad as a bagful of cheese, and in the right hand one she is smiling the most insincere smile photographed since Margaret Thatcher was booted out of power (Not that I am comparing her with the Queen Bitch you understand), and she must have been mad to marry me in the first place.

However, the first trenche of magazines were mailed out today, and the yearbooks are all done and will go tomorrow. I should warn you that there will be several trenches of magazine mail-outs so don't be offended or worried if your magazine doesn't arrive in the next couple of days. It will get there soon (honest).

LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Ness Creature and UK Parliament questions

Nessie was often in the news but also often came up in parliamentary discussions in the 60s and 70s. See the extract below from Hansard (where parliamentary decisions/ debates are recorded and I believe it is also available online).

HANSARD 1803–2005 → 1960s → 1969 → July 1969 → 16 July 1969 → Lords Sitting


HL Deb 16 July 1969 vol 304 cc262-4 262

§ 2.46 p.m.


My Lords, I beg to ask the Question which stands in my name on the Order Paper.

§ [The Question was as follows:

§ To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they are satisfied, from assurances given by persons operating submarines in Loch Ness, that any monsters that may chance to inhabit that loch will not be subjected to damage or assault.]


My Lords, we proceed from one monster to another. The Answer to the Question is, Yes. The organiser of The Loch Ness Phenomena Investigation Bureau Limited has given assurances to the Chief Constable of the Inverness Constabulary that the submarine operations have no aggressive intent.


My Lords, arising out of that reply, may I ask whether the noble Lord is aware that the Chief 263 Constable has in fact given permission for an attempt to be made to obtain a tissue sample from whatever monsters can be found? Is the noble Lord satisfied that this could be done without danger and disturbance, and does the Secretary of State for Scotland condone this course?


My Lords, the organiser has said that the main objective of the submarine will be to try to get a positive identification of any echo which may be picked up by the Bureau's sonar equipment. For this purpose it will be fitted with are lights and photographic gear. In addition, it will have a small compressed air gun designed to fire a retrievable dart so shaped as to extract a small sample of tissue for subsequent analysis. This technique is widely used for tagging whales. In the particular context of this scientific expetition I hardly think it constitutes damage or assault.

On the other question which the noble Lord has asked, while I have no reason to doubt the assurances that have been given to the Chief Constable, I must point out that my right honourable friend the Secretary of State has no real locus in the matter. Unless and until the monster is found and examined we cannot even say whether the provisions of the Cruelty to Animals Act 1876 would be relevant, since that Act does not apply to invertebrates.


My Lords, may I ask the Minister whether he is aware that news has just come through that an enormous apparently prehistoric, monster has been washed up on the Ross of Mull at a place called Uisken? Everybody is very excited about it up there.


Is it alive or dead?




My Lords, is my noble friend aware that it will be an act of sacrilege to take away from the Scottish Tourist Board the myth of the monster of Loch Ness by which they get many gullible tourists each year?


I do not know on what scientific ground my noble friend says that the monster is a myth.


§ Lord LOVAT

My Lords, is the noble Lord aware that neither the Inverness County Council nor the police, nor the riparian owners on the shore were alerted to the fact that two submarines were coming to operate in the Loch? May I further ask him whether he is aware that, according to reports in the Press, "nature study" goes so far as for the "Phenomena" promoters to say that if they cannot contact the monster with lance or submarine they propose to detonate charges below the surface and blow the animal on to the top of the water—something we very much regret in the county where the monster still remains our greatest invisible asset.


My Lords, there are many rumours about the monster, and I know that there were other suggestions about what might be done. An American group were interested in an alternative way of trying to find it, but when they discovered that it would involve them in expenditure of half-a-million dollars they changed their mind.

Viscount ST. DAVIDS

My Lords, will my noble friend make clear to his right honourable friend the Secretary of State for Scotland that there is legislation under which these creatures could be protected and that the British Waterways Board, as the navigation authority, have the right to remove the licences for these vessels if they start annoying the local livestock?


My Lords, I should be very interested to examine any information my noble friend can give me in that direction.


My Lords, how would the noble Lord like to be "potted" by an airgun to take samples of his tissue?


My Lords, provided that the relevant part of my tissue was no greater than the small amount, in proportion, that was taken from the bulk of the whale, I doubt whether I should notice it.

§ Lord LOVAT

My Lords, the noble Lord's answer is not entirely satisfactory. Is he aware that in America there is considerable embarrassment that these two submarines should have arrived without local authority? They quite rightly take the view that we can hardly launch an expedition on Lake Okeechobee in similar circumstances.

The discussion then changed to whales and fishing, I believe. It shows, though, how the subject of researching Nessie was taken quite seriously at times. Sadly too many hoaxes mean that is no longer so.

OLIVIA McCARTHY: Swept under the carpet

All families have skeletons in their closets (not literally of course, although some of the weirder ones might). Perhaps a distant yet wealthy relative has an unfortunate ‘accident’ resulting in said wealth being conveniently inherited by you? Or maybe a random individual turns up on the doorstep 20 years after you had a one night stand, claiming to be your child…?

If you’re reading this blog, then it’s quite likely that you have heard of/met/are good friends with Jonathan Downes. When my mother met him (and ultimately ended up marrying him), I will admit that it took a little while to get used to his rather bizarre behaviour and general way of life. A man so eccentric, peculiar and beardy must surely have some skeletons in his closet, or shocking secrets swept under the carpet? Should I expect to hear about a recently departed millionaire step-uncle, or to be introduced to a similarly beardy young man, named Jon Junior?

Needless to say, I shouldn’t have worried. Having moved into his previous residence (and the previous CFZ headquarters) around seven months ago, and having just got round to lifting up the old carpet this weekend, I can safely say that all that was swept under Jon’s carpet was some cotton buds, several pieces of assorted cutlery, a crushed food container and plenty of dust.
Note: Jon Downes is the best stepfather in the world!

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1845 The Raven by Edgar Allan Poe was first published.
Today’s news is:

Liger who enjoys tourist attractions right in her own pad
Blobfish has 1,300 fans on Facebook
China to outlaw the eating of cats and dogs?
Dinosaur had ginger feathers
Tiny dinos perished in footprint death pits

Q: What do you call a dinosaur with piles?

A: Megasaurus
(oh, I’m sorry; that was a particularly bad joke today)



The Weird Weekend 2010 behemoth is lumbering into action. Tickets are on sale already, and we hope that at the end of next week we shall be able to announce at least a tentative running order and some more speakers. However, the thorny issue of sponsorship rumbles on, and we are looking for businesses to donate goods or services that we can use as raffle prizes or door prizes.

As well as their ticket for the most Fortean three days one can have in the UK short of taking a bottle of absinthe to Loch Ness (and I am not prepared to answer any questions about that one), ticket-holders for the WW this year will also be given several money-off vouchers to various local must-see places, including the restaurant at the Farmers Arms in the village, where Jenny makes the best onion rings in creation, and two local family tourist attractions, The Milky Way and The Big Sheep, which are both farms who have decided to do the tourist thing instead. We hope that we shall be adding a number of other vouchers and goodies to the free package.

However, as is so often the case, I am on the want. We have something between 1500 and 2500 hits on the blog each day, and I think that it is fair to assume that some of you are in business doing something or other.

Perhaps you can help us.

As I wrote on the sponsorship webpage (that we launched late last night):

"There are several levels of sponsorship including donations of money to help defray the costs of the event, and donations of goods or services as raffle and door prizes. If you care to sponsor us, in cash or in kind, your logo will appear on our website for the rest of the year. You can also advertise on our website or on our monthly webTV shows, and we will host your advert for 12 months with prices starting at £40. It will get your company name out there to a worldwide - and a healthy local - audience, and you will also have the satisfaction of knowing that you are helping us change the world...just a little bit. "

I couldn't have put it better myself.


LINDSAY SELBY: Loch Lomond Crocodile?

Located in both the lowlands and the southern Highlands of Scotland, Loch Lomond is second only to Loch Ness in volume of water. For years there have been reports by residents living near the loch of a strange creature seen in the water. Some eyewitnesses describe the creature as being like the Loch Ness monster, a plesiosaur like creature, others say it looks like a large crocodile.

Then several eyewitnesses in 1997 said they had seen a 12 foot long beast eating the ducks in Loch Lomond. This article appeared in the press:

Croc Lomond Monster ~ Mystery Of 'Beast' Caught On Film.

By Ray Notarangelo.

A mystery monster has been seen gobbling ducks in Loch Lomond. the 12ft long beast, now captured on video, has left scientists baffled.

One even said it looked like a giant crocodile? SSPCA chiefs yesterday confirmed they had received several reports about the new Nessie.

A five-minute film of the beast has been shot by pals making a pop video on the banks of Loch Lomond, near Rowardennan. Edinburgh freelance journalist Nick Taylor, who owns the film, said: "When the group were packing up they discovered this creature swimming in the water. The thing was gliding through the water slowly, but it often picked up speed and swam against the tide. They got quite a shock, especially when it started to swim towards them at one point. They thought it looked like some giant crocodile or alligator. They had never seen anything like it before.

SSPCE spokeswoman Doreen Graham said: "People came on the phone saying to us: 'I hope you don't think I'm mad, but I've seen a strange creature in Loch Lomond.' ~ One man told us they were looking at a flock of ducks on the loch when suddenly one was pulled under the surface. If anyone can solve the mystery we'd love to hear from them."

Source: Daily Record: 10th April 1997.

The film ended up on the desk of Dr. Andrew Kitchener, of the Royal Museum of Scotland. After viewing the tape he admitted that the creature it showed did appear to be a crocodile; however he made it clear that a crocodile would be unable to survive in Loch Lomond. Dr. Kitchener was able to rule out a mink or an otter as the creature in the videos identity.

So what was it? Well our old friend the sturgeon is a contender and does look reptilian , or even huge pike perhaps, they are known to eat ducklings. Could it have been an abandoned pet croc which got too big to look after? It would have survived for a short time but the cold would eventually have killed it. The mystery remains . If anyone knows of any more recent sightings please post a comment.


In our hotseat today is Charles Paxton. Charles is a fisheries ecologist/statistician at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and who also investigates aquatic monsters. Some of the cryptozoology-related subjects he has studied and published papers on include the identity of the seamonk and predicting the existence of large undiscovered aquatic animals using statistical models. A list of Charles’s published works can be found on his webpage (http://freespace.virgin.net/charles.paxton/main.html) along with links to several of his papers online. It’s well worth checking out.

Charles Paxton, here are your 5 questions on… Cryptozoology:

1) How did you first become interested in cryptozoology?

I don't know about cryptozoology but I have been interested in giant squid and sea monsters for as long as I can remember. My grown-up interest in cryptozoology restarted c. 1994 when I was wondering about whether we could predict future discoveries of marine species.

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

I don't think I have ever seen a cryptid but I have seen lots and lots of animals I could not identify to species/genus/family. I don't think they were undescribed species, though.

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

I don't know about cryptids but I know there are some putative new cetacean species being currently debated in marine mammalogical circles.

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

It is difficult to make predictions about events associated with very low probabilities but I am pretty confident mermaids and lizardmen do not exist! But I don't really like the use of particular names for cryptids as it presupposes a single cause/identity of what is being reported, which strikes me, in the absence of absolute knowledge, as a trifle circular. Having said that it is convenient to use such terms as a method of labelling reports from particular localities like the 'Loch Ness Monster.'

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

In the Wake of the Sea Serpents, as a famous cryptozoology book, but Chad Arment's Cryptozoology: Science and Speculation is probably my favourite non-famous cryptozoology book. It is the best book on cryptozoology ever written.

NEIL ARNOLD: The Beast of Bideford!

Quite often local stories containing the word ‘beast’ in the headline are explained by domestic animals or on occasion, the local ‘big cat’. However, a good friend of mine, a Mr Vic Harris, who lives near Bristol, and who I consider to be a very sane person, had a peculiar sighting of a creature I hope the readers of this blog may be able to identify. His report reads as follows:

'Somewhere on the A39 between Bideford and Bucks Cross, 20/08/08 - 5pm
I don't really like driving, so on holiday I let my wife do all the driving and I get to look around and see if I can spot any interesting animals !!!

We were going pretty slow due to traffic, probably only 10 miles an hour , I was scanning the fields to my left , the field we were level with was empty and quite small only a few hundred yards wide. In the middle of the field was what appeared to be a furry red hump, as I drew level with it I got a pretty good look at it. It was definitely unlike anything I had ever seen roaming about our countryside before.

  • Overall length - tip of tail to tip of nose 6 to 7 feet
  • Height - 2 to 3 feet at the top of the hump.
  • Huge bushy tail.
  • Long thin face.
  • Colour was red, but not like a fox more like maroon, like the cushion below, but it also had some rusty brown around the shoulders and head.

  • The fur was short and course.
  • The creature seemed to be digging with really thick front legs.
  • My kids saw it as well and got quite excited as it looked so strange!
I know the above description sounds pretty crazy but as you know I've spent a lot of time in the countryside and spent most of my child hood roaming the wilds around the river Wye, so I know what our wild life looks like and I'm very observant and take in visual details well and retain them easily, I usually know what I'm looking at when I see an animal and this was not a fleeting glimpse, I had a really good look at it, so I had time to dismiss any mistaken identities'.


Today I return to the chronicling America web site with some interesting reports (all aquatic) of sea serpents off Tacoma, Washington State, in 1893 and 1896 - the latter was not only drawn, but photographed no less - a horned sea monster off the Cook Islands in 1899 and a hot-water octopus from Steamboat springs near Reno, Nevada, in 1908. Unfortunately, due either to the inefficency of my printer or my inability to multi-task, the quality of the image of the Cook Islands story means I cannot report on the whole story, but interested cryptozoologists can read it in full at The San Francisco Call on June 18th 1899 http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/

The sea serpent story is as follows (again from the San Francisco Call June 28th 1896. I have scanned Jon an artist`s impression of the creature). THEY CAPTURED A SEA SERPENT. Seventeen Feet Long and Weighs One Hundred and Fifty Four Pounds. Smooth Skin, With Spots Like Those of a Rattlesnake – Ferocious as a Tiger.

The sea serpent has at last been taken alive in his native haunt, if this the placid waters of Puget Sound can be called the haunt of such an animal, where the majestic snow clad Mount Tacoma towering as a sentinel gives a picture nowhere equalled on the North American continent…the sea serpent was never thought of until two Tacoma fishermen, R. E. Mc Clean and W. J. Kennedy, while fishing for black bass about two miles north of the Humi Humi River, which empties into Hoods Canal near this city, made the catch…when their attention was attracted to a commotion in the net, and the water becoming agitated was followed immediately by the head of the monster appearing above the surface…The monster was as ferocious as a tiger, and bit and snapped the gaff stick
(1) in pieces, and when hauled on the beach rushed back over the sands with the 100 feet of line and swam out to sea as far as it could go. The reptile was seventeen feet long and as big around as a man`s body, and has every characteristic of the snake except the head, which is much like that of the pugnacious bulldog. The under jaw is heavy and covered with skin, the eyes are as large as a man`s and as bright, and will follow the movements of a person as closely as the eyes of a cat follow a mouse, and without the animal ever moving its head. The general color of the serpent is darkish blue with spots much like those of a rattlesnake, the spots fading out into lighter blue at the circumference. The skin is smooth like that of the snake. The monster is finned much like the halibut, having a long dorsal, very thin running down the back, while underneath there is a similar fin, but only near the caudal extremity. The animal`s jaws are set with rows of sharp teeth, like those of a cat, and the great strength of the jaw enables it to sink its fangs to the base in a stick of wood.

…The fishermen have been relieved of their burden by Gilbert Girard, the actor,who happened to stop this way on his way East and who intends presenting the monster to the Smithsonian Institution.' (2)

So was this some kind of eel?

Three years earlier, in 1893, another even weirder sea serpent was seen: this fish story allegedly happened on July 2 1893, and was reported in the July 3 issue of the Tacoma Daily Ledger. "We left Tacoma July 1,Saturday,about 4.30pm and as the wind was from the southeast we shaped our course for Point Defiance.” …Sometime after midnight, the sleeping campers were startled by a terrifying noise. A stinging sensation like thousands of electrified needle points suddenly stabbed through their clothing…

I turned my head… and if it is possible for fright to turn one`s hair white, then mine ought to be snow white” (the reporter taking notes indicated the Eastener`s hair was still black) “for right before my eyes was a most horrible looking monster. The monster slowly drew in toward shore and as it approached, its head pored out a stream of water that looked like blue flame.” Hesitantly, the stranger described the creature as 150ft long and thirty feet in circumference. He confided, “ its shape was somewhat out of the ordinary insofar that the body was neitheror flat but oval. It had course hair on the upper part of the body.'

And now, the Cook Islands monster:

Tale of a Big Horned Fish and a Feast of Antipodean Natives. This story is too faint to reproduce accurately but basically what happened in 1899 was that a fish (if that is what it was) thirty feet long with two horns on its head two feet long and scaly skin was washed ashore on the east coast of one of the Cook Islands. One group of islanders nearest the fish thought it best not to eat it because they feared the horned 'fish' was from the Devil but the second group thought hard and had a convention and eventually decided that all food was from God and persuaded the other islanders that it was O.K. to eat the 'fish.' (4)

Finally, a (presumably?) freshwater octopus or 'devil fish' (interesting coincidence, see previous item above) in Nevada. Not only freshwater, but hot water: DYNAMITE IN PIPE KILLS HOT WATER OCTOPUS. Strange Creature Eight Feet Long Is Blown Up In Boiling Spring.

A massive soft shelled devilfish one of the queerest freaks ever seen in Nevada, was killed in a boiling spring at Steamboat springs near this place
[ i.e Reno-R] yesterday afternoon by John Maddison Gray, a well known man in Reno. Gray was examining spouting geysers when the massive octopus spread its tentacles above the opening. Gray attempted to kill the creature with a club, but failing in this, filled a piece of pipe with dynamite to which he attached a fuse through a rubber hose. In this way the charge was exploded and the devil fish went high into the air and killed.

The octopus meausures eight feet from tip to tip of its large tentacles…and is on display in the office of Judge Dewitt C. Turner…an effort will be made to send the curiosity to Washington for classification. The fact that it was able to live in boiling hot water which comes from the spring is what is puzzling local scientists most.'
(5) And us at the CFZ 102 years on!

Arment has reports of freshwater octopi in U.S. from the 20th and 21st centuries but most of the reports can be explained. None were recorded from Nevada. (6)

1 Gaff stick- A stick with a hook or barbed spear, for landing large fish Concise Oxford English Dictionary.(2008) p.581
2 The San Francisco Call. June 28 1896
3 The Shadowlands Sea Serpent page Tacoma Sea Monster 1893 http://theshadowlands.net/serpent2.htm

4 The San Francisco Call June 18 1899
5 The San Francisco Call June 25th 1908
6 Chad Arment Cryptozoology and the Investigation of Lesser Known Mystery Animals (2006 ) pp 71-89

I was going to present lyrics from Marrowbones by Steeleye Span but I`ve run out of time.Sorry!


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1887 Giant ‘snowflakes’ (more likely hailstones) fell near Matt Coleman's ranch, Fort Keogh, Montana. The flakes were described as being 15 inches across by 8 inches wide.
And now, the news:

Blobfish: world's most 'miserable looking' marine animal facing exinction
Is the Hobbit's brain unfeasibly small?
Three Baby Pigs Rests Next To Their Adoptive Mother, Sai Mai, An Eight-Year-Old Tiger, At The Sriracha Tiger Zoo In Thailand's Chonburi Province

Q: How do you get a sick pig to hospital?
A: By ‘Hambulance’.