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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Monday, February 22, 2010



This story came in via Tony Lucas at CFZ New Zealand. Thanks, matey.

I live in the USA; in South Carolina. My question is `Do all birds have three toes?` I won't tell my full story now, but I will send some of my pictures. I will say that the tracks started (yes, that's right, STARTED)
in my yard, just like something just fell from the sky. The tracks were in clean snow. I made a large hunt for where it could come from. After I followed the track it was gone again.

It ended in clean snow then came back down about 1/8 of a mile away. It walked over to a tree with its feet about three feet apart.

It peed. The pee was like it was sprayed out. It was not a hard stream like a man would do. The thing then walked about four steps (which were about five feet apart) then left the snow into the air. I know this may not be what you deal with, but no-one else can help me find out what this is...

Mr H.

THE AMATEUR NATURALIST IS BACK (or will be very soon)

Issue 8 of The Amateur Naturalist goes into production next week, and we hope that we will be finishing it soon after Corinna and I return from Texas.

So, in the meantime, we are inviting folk from the bloggo community to submit articles on the sort of fringes of natural history that we cover here on the bloggo. Not Fortean, and not crypto - those are strictly for A&M, but the sort of stuff that brightens up the day of folk like us who are desperately still trying to be naturalists despite the fact that the 21st Century gets ever grimmer.

DAVEY CURTIS: Giant Pacific octopus in Tynemouth Aquarium

Dear Jon,

I hope this is of some interest to you.

As it was the last day of Rosie's school holidays we took her to the Tynemouth Aquarium. I don't know if you agree with these type of places or not, but from what I could see their hearts are in the right place and they do seem to have had some fantastic success stories in breeding rare and endangered fish. Anyway, here is some footage of what I thought was their star exhibit, The Giant Pacific Octopus.

As the Octopus is light sensitive I turned the light off on my camera so the footage does not do this magnificent creature justice.

The colours and texure were just out of this world! I could have stood there for hours but I was blocking the kids having a look so I moved on to the sting rays and said a prayer for the Crocodile hunter Steve Irwin instead.


Davey C


I found this article from the Carbon County News of December 17th 1909 on a North American on-line newspaper database. It seems to describe some sort of living dinosaur – or an intricate hoax.

IDAHO MEN FIGHT MONSTER BEAST. Bullet proof animal cause of great terror in quiet country. STILL TALK OF THE GIANT. Great creature crunches trees in its teeth and lifts rocks weighing tons, say two “sober” citizens.

Frozen Dog Idaho – The people of this quiet neighbourhood,as they gather around their fireside still talk of the unclassified monster seen by two men in the hills near Mendota.

It was first seen by Joseph Cliffe and Walt Glifford. They were hunting trip in the North Basin when they came upon the hideous monster. As described by them and others who saw it later,the beast bears no resemblance to any other animal extinct or in existence.

Cliffe and Gifford were following the trail through the dense forest of the Basin last Monday and had reached a point near Grizzly Gulch when a tremendous bellow echoed from the depths of the gulch and caused them to halt tremblingly. As they peered towards the point from whence the noise came an immense pair of horns, crowning a lizard like head of enormous size, appeared above the gully`s edge. Deep set in the creature`s slimy head a pair of round eyes glistened with a terrifying light. The hunters, nearly frightened to death, and not caring to make closer acquaintance with the strange animal,beat a wild retreat to the top of North Mountain.

Arriving there they halted, out of breath,and looked down furtively into the gulch. The creature, with head still darting hither and thither, almost filled the gulch with its colossal bulk. Its body resembling somewhat that of a dinosaurius, was sheathed with slimy scales, and all along the back were ranged a row of bony spikes. The forelegs were shaped like those of a horse, though only half the size. The hind legs, thirty feet in length,and as big around as a good sized pine tree, were like those of an ostrich. A kangaroo-like tail 80 feet long stretched its length down the bed of the gulch. Gaining courage Cliffe raised his 45 90 and aimed at the monster`s head, pulled the trigger. His aim was true enough, but the bullet`s force was half spent before it reached the mark. The bullet`s impact with the animal`s head was forceful enough however to arouse its ire and cause it to thrash about wildly.

Great rocks weighing tons were dislodged by the angry flourishings of the beast. Trees two feet through were gripped in the snapping maw and made into kindling wood by the things sharp teeth. Cliffe was preparing to take another shot when the animal leaped to the top of the gulch as if shot from a catapault, and bounded much after the fashion of a kangaroo up the trail. A wild race followed in which the beast gained with every leap until the terrified hunters the woods bordering Trout Creek. Here the thickness of the timber slackened the pace of the pursuing monster and made possible the escape of Cliffe and Gifford, who reached town in an exhausted condition.

A posse scoured the hill country and once or twice saw the strange beast at a great distance.

This reads like something a bored journalist invented on his/her lunch break - witness the ostrich-like hind feet; how were they supposed to have supported a dinosaur-like animal?

But who knows?

David Bowie Ziggy Stardust

Ziggy played guitar,jammin` good with
Weird and Gilly,
The spiders from Mars,he played it left
But made it too far
Became the special man,then we were
Ziggy`s band

Ziggy really sang,screwed up eyes and
Screwed down hairdo
Like some cat from Japan,he could lick
`em by smiling
He could leave `em to hang
Came on so loaded man,well hung and
Snow white tan…….

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1965 Arthur Stanley Jefferson died. Better known by his stage name Stan Laurel and the main creative force behind Laurel and Hardy, he can lay claim to being one of the greatest comedians to have ever lived. In Buster Keaton’s words at Laurel’s funeral: “Chaplin wasn’t the funniest, I wasn’t the funniest, this man was the funniest.” Laurel and Hardy’s films and shorts certainly stand the test of time better than most comedies of their era. It has been scientifically proven that it is physically impossible not to at least smirk while watching this clip for example:

Stan Laurel also frequently drew on the Fortean and the absurd when writing comedy, notable examples of this include the ‘ghost’ and amnesia scenes from A Chump at Oxford and the running gag in Way Out West of Stan being able to use his thumb as a lighter, much to Ollie’s bemusement.
And now, the news:

Caspar the white lion moves to Isle of Wight
Man bailed as lemurs seized in Banbridge and Ballymena
Dead Fin whale strands on beach in north Cornwall
Feds outline plan to nurse Great Lakes to health
Nepalese man, 22 inches tall, seeks title of the world's shortest man
Anniversary of the cloned sheep

Q: Where can you find aged DNA?

A: In the old folks ‘genome’