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...

Search This Blog



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


Monday, February 01, 2010


I really find it hard to believe that we are now on Episode 29 of our monthly webTV show. Well done us I say.


Some weeks ago we posted a piece by Naomi on a giant hog shot in Texas. A
few days later, Nich few days later Nichola Sullings sent us these photographs that have been doing the rounds for some time. I am embarrased to say that I forgot all about them, but it was only a few days before Christmas and other stuff was on my mind. I am tending to think that they have been photoshopped, but would like to hear your opinions on their status.

The blurb which goes with them is not encouraging:

Subject: Cute little Texas pig

Cute little Texas pig ..........That was killed in the town of Cut-N-Shoot TX . We call them Piney Wood Rooter's.
Over 1,800 lb. wild boar shot and killed in Conroe , Texas near the County Airport, East of I-45 and near the community of Cut and Shoot.
What would you do if this beast was coming at you?
Run for dear life? Climb a tree? or simply get run over ?

Yep......only in Texas !We were taught to stand still because their eye sight is poor..By standing still they probably would not see you and walk right on by..And No you can’t out run them!! Look at how tall the grass and weeds are. How fast do you think you would be running thru that?

What do you guys think?


FROM THE YOU TUBE COMMENTARY: What is this animal? It had a sibling that was even whiter. Could it be a new species of deer. It appeared to be a unique wild white/piebald deer with white band and wooly fur

This wild white/piebald deer with a white band and long, shaggy, curly fur is probably the only one in existence. This deer not only had band of white fur around its central area, but its fur was shaggy and wooly. It also appeared to have an unusually long, oddly-shaped tail. First shot is of two normal deer.

It may have had a sibling with even more white, shown running for cover in second part of video. The mother was normal colored and had a normal texture of fur.

A view of a white buck in the same area (possibly its father) can be seen at:

At least 6 white deer were seen at different times in the same area. One was pure white, about a foot taller than the other deer, and had a huge rack. The white deer shown had a large band or belt of white fur around its middle like a Poland China hog and long curly fur. Its twin was chiefly white. A white fawn was seen once. Around 30 years ago, many area people saw a white deer with a black spot. A sixth white deer was seen and photographed along our river valley (Alum Creek, in Ohio).

The piebald deer also had a sort of Roman nose -- one with an enlargement in the front of the face - that some of the deer in the area had. The wooly deer seemed to also have an unusually long tail. I doubt that inbreeding caused this whiteness, because these were wild deer. There were many deer in the area at that time.

LINDSAY SELBY: Seeing Double?

What are the chances of seeing a cryptid twice in a short period of time?

Nessie at the double By Laurence Ford
Published: 26 October, 2006

A YOUNG English couple holidaying in the Highlands encountered Nessie not once, but TWICE, during their stay. But although they feel fortunate to have spotted the legendary Loch Ness Monster, they say lady luck was not smiling on them as they did not manage to capture her on film.Nick Thurston (32), of Frome, Somerset, a former Wiltshire Constabulary employee now working for Vodafone, and his fiancée Emma Louise Jones (22), won a two-day holiday in Inverness and decided to stay for two weeks.

The couple admit to being intrigued by the legendary monster but were sceptical prior to visiting that anything prehistoric could exist in the year 2006. They booked a trip with Jacobite Cruises on the loch and set sail on Friday, October 6, on a trip which would sway the opinion of at least Emma Louise who was the most sceptical out of the two.

She said: ‘As we sailed along I saw a hump, much like that of a bridge, which was dark brown in colour and was relative to Urquhart Castle. ‘I shouted to Nick to get the camera, but he was unfortunately not quick enough to capture what I had seen, and then the drizzle started to come down and the mist closed in.’ Nick was not over enthused at the sighting, but Emma Louise remained convinced she had seen Nessie. The following week, the couple decided to visit Ben Nevis, and as they drove down the loch side road to Fort William, just after Urquhart Castle, the incredible happened. Said Nick: ‘I noticed what looked like a rounded dark tree stump that appeared to be around 1-2 metres protruding out of the water, which was very close to the banks opposite the castle. I only realised this was more sinister when I saw something like Emma had described previously that was also raised and appeared black or extremely dark brown in colour. ‘This rear raised section was around 3-4 metres behind the raised stump, but there were no other sections.

‘I yelled to Emma to quickly grab my camcorder from the rear passenger seats, which resulted in something of a disagreement. Emma thought I had lost my marbles as we were in a very precarious position on the road with a very deep loch just below us. ‘The glimpse that I caught only lasted for around five or six seconds, but it was enough to convince me wholeheartedly that this was no collapsed tree, wave, human, boat, seal, dolphin or catfish. ‘The tree trunk-like stump very slowly and gracefully submerged beneath the water within a matter of seconds at which point I was completely shocked and dumbfounded, as anyone would be!’ He said they were unable to stop as there were no parking places. Nick stressed: ‘I can now firmly say hand on heart that I have witnessed something remarkable that I would argue about until the day I die! ‘I know what I saw and that’s all that matters to me - people can believe me or not as it really does not bother me! ‘I can say to myself that I saw something very, very unusual that was alive and could well have been something that we do not yet know about! If only I could pop into Boots and get my memory processed - that will be the day should it come in my lifetime!’

He said work colleagues and customers remain reserved about his sighting, but a few believe there is something lurking in Loch Ness. ‘I am so convinced that I have seen something that could well be the supposed Loch Ness Monster that I would happily take a lie detector test to prove that I am not fabricating what I saw,’ he says. Nick and Emma Louise plan to return to the Highlands next year, hopefully for another close encounter of the Nessie kind.



As people spend years at the loch and some may never see anything, it just seems odd that this couple should see something twice in a short space of time. Or I am I just being an old cynic? Or maybe I had one too many conversations with Frank Searle in the old days which has made me sceptical of multiple sightings?


Today’s guest is Dave Curtis. Dave is an old stalwart of the CFZ and a great guy, if you came to the 2008 Weird Weekend you’ll remember him from the children’s monster making area, he’ll be back again this year.

Dave Curtis, here are your 5 questions on… Cryptozoology:

1) How did you first become interested in cryptozoology?

I read In Search of Myths and Monsters as a child and that got me hooked on the subject.

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

I have never seen a cryptid but Jon and the team were staying at my house "Up North" in Dawdon Seaham when Jon saw the Beast at Bolam Lake.

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

I think the sea serpent will eventually classified. After the tragic tsunami a few years ago, a whole host of new species was quite literally thrown at us from the deep! It will not be long before one is filmed I am sure.

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

This will put the cat among the pigeons but for me the idea that flesh and blood Big Foot type creatures are roaming about Britain is pushing it a bit far! No `Stig of the Dump` for me I am afraid.

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

Joint first. The Mothman Prophecies by John Keel and The Owlman and Others by Jonathan Downes. Both classics I keep going back to again and again.


Italian mountaineer Reinhold Messner claimed in his 2000 book My Search for The Yeti that the creature was nothing more than a brown bear. This is curious as on previous occasions he had claimed to have seen the yeti and described it as a primate-type animal.

I once interviewed the actor Brian Blessed, a renowned explorer and mountaineer himself, for a long defunct and not very good magazine called Quest. Blessed, who is a friend of Messner, said that he had told him of his encounter with a yeti. Blessed said that Messner had walked around some rocks and come ‘face to face’ with the creature. He said it was not a bear, was 7 feet tall, man-like and stood erect.

There are other occasions when Messner’s descriptions sound precious little like a bear. Julian Champkin of the Daily Mail 16th August 1997 wrote that Messner has… “encountered the yeti; and not once, but four times, once close enough to touch it. More importantly, he claims to have photographs of the creature, including a mother yeti tending her child, and a yeti skeleton”.
Needless to say none of his pictures have been forthcoming. Messner goes on… "I searched for a week, 12 hours a day, in an area with no trees," he says. "I didn't expect to find one so soon. First, we saw a mother with her child. I could only take a photograph from the back. The child had bright red fur, the older animal's fur was black. She was over two metres tall, with dark hair, just like the legend. When they saw us they disappeared."

Two days later, he claimed to have come across and filmed a sleeping yeti. The film is just as noticeable as the photos by its absence.

In an article relating to the BBC’s Natural World documentary on the yeti, Messner describes seeing one from a range of 30 metres in Southern Tibet. The article says Messner is sure it is some kind of primate. He describes it in the article thus… “It was bigger than me, quite hairy and strong, dark brown-black hair falling over his eyes. He stood on two legs and immediately I thought he corresponds to the descriptions I heard from Sherpas and Tibetans.”

So why did Messner write a book trying to explain away the yeti as a bear when this transparently was not the creature he claimed to have seen? Was it because of fear of ridicule? And what became of the photos and film? Was Messner trying to take the focus away from these or make them seem less important by saying the yeti was just a bear? Could this be because the film and photos did not exist?

Sherpas become angry when westerners say that the yeti is just a bear, and quite rightly. The animal they pick repeatedly as looking most like the yeti is the gorilla, but walking on two legs rather than four. The yeti has a flat, ape-like face. The yeti walks almost constantly on two legs. The yeti can manipulate things with its hands and hence must have opposable thumbs. It is said to sometimes hurl large rocks. Bears have none of the above features. The yeti is clearly some kind of primate, most likely a great ape.

Until he delivers the goods, I’m inclined to dismiss Messner’s claims.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


Today is Groundhog Day. Legend has it that if a groundhog comes out of its burrow on this day it means that winter will soon be over, if not winter will last another six weeks at least. The practice is said to come from Continental Europe where a badger or bear’s emergence would be the prophetic event, although I read that as a ‘fact’ on wikipedia so the chances are it was just invented by some guy with a pet groundhog and way to much time on his hands, I’d be interested to know if anyone knows of any evidence of the mustelid met office in Europe published before the first Groundhog Day in the States.
And now the news:

Crocodile man of Witney
Oxfordshire dinosaur tracks to be protected
The incredible journey: How Baltic the mongrel drifted 20 miles out to sea on river ice and survived
Rotting fish yield fossil clues

Q: What is a fish’s favourite Rodgers and Hammerstein song?

A: ‘Salmon’-chanted evening.

RUBY LANG: CFZ Australia on the radio


Questions over Otway Ranges big cat video

Posted 5 hours 12 minutes ago
Updated 4 hours 33 minutes ago

Map: Apollo Bay 3233
Related Link: YouTube: watch the 'big cat' vid and decide for yourself
Video footage taken in the Otway Ranges National Park at the weekend is being examined to determine whether or not it is that of a giant cat.

There have been unconfirmed sightings of a panther-like creature in the forest for many years.

Vision captured yesterday by a resident of the Otway Ranges appears to show a black cat-like animal walking through a paddock.

Mike Williams runs a website dedicated to Australian big cats and says the footage is too shaky to draw any conclusions.

"It could be bigger than a domestic cat," he said.

"It's just really hard to tell. If the witness is quite correct with the observation it could be quite interesting and hopefully more video will come out of the same area."

He says 80 per cent of Australia's big cat sightings are generated by central Victoria residents.

Mr Williams says he thinks there is more than one breed roaming the State's forests.

"If I was trying to give you a hypothesis, the most simple one would be one species of cat," he said.

"But the problem is they're showing several different colour variations of coats. So I have been forced to say there is more than one species of cat, which makes it even harder for me to try and prove."

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1942 Terry Jones was born. Jones is best known for being part of Monty Python and has written several fantasy novels and screenplays including Eric the Viking and co-wrote the screenplay of the Jim Henson film Labyrinth.
And now for something completely different:

Big Foot filmmaker sets sights on Humboldt
New species of Papua New Guinea frog changes colour
Bleak future for randy owl whose midnight hoots are ruffling a few feathers
My encounter with a tokoloshe
How to whip up the perfect frothy frog 'meringue' nest

Those nests are rather impressive and certainly not ‘pavlova’ rated.