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, March 12, 2010

GAVIN LLOYD-WILSON: Llandrindod Wells Lake Monster

Gavin Lloyd-Wilson sent in this fantastic picture he took on Saturday and comments:

"Funny how it's still enough for the seagulls to be perched on it. Probably one to file under 'crypto gardens'."

Three Owls: Liz returns to the zoo / sanctuary legal grey area

This letter also appeared in the Saturday, 6th March 2010 edition of the Rochdale Observer. Again, it is posted here unedited.

When is a sanctuary not a sanctuary? When it's a zoo.

About four months ago I wrote to the Observer about the words Sanctuary and zoo. Now the RMBC [Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council] have found a new word for the meaning of zoo.

A zoo is a place where injured wild birds can be taken, cared for in the hospitals and when recovered released into the wild. Congratulations RMBC but I don't think that meaning will get into the dictionaries do you?

The facts are these.

1. The zoo law was made in 1981: it was made for zoos, not charities, and when the RMBC received it they did not let Three Owls know about it.

Consequently, Three Owls carried on as usual and made it into the marvellous place it was today.

2. The guidelines for it ask councils (who issue the licences) to apply (common sense) as to what is obviously a zoo and what is not.

3. It would appear Rochdale Council has ignored this instruction.

4. An accusation was made about the sanctuary as far back as last June and the organisation Born Free came to check on it. That is their job and they can't be blamed for checking. They deal with licences.

5. RMBC have had all that time to get the Secretary of State to quash the order for Three Owls yet they chose to sit back and continue to give various options to Three Owls which were not viable.

Three Owls would have to demolish all its aviaries and rebuild them with bars round (in zoo law ducks are dangerous, crows are not) where would the 156 bird [sic] go while they did this?

And in the region of £350 000 it was impossible anyway. And in any case why do birds need bars.

6. On February 6th, Mr Nigel Fowler was informed by the council that Three Owls was a zoo not a sanctuary so the members of the trust had no other option but to close. They could not meet the demands of the council.

7. This meant that six people lost their jobs and two lost their homes as well.

Also the work experience for schools/ colleges/ universities and vets have had to be cancelled.
It is not just this. About 2000 birds were brought in each year. What will happen to those now?

Perhaps Mr Andy Glover could tell us?

Our council should be deeply ashamed.
For myself I have lived all my life in Rochdale and have been proud to be a Rochdalian but not any more.


Ash Grove

LINDSAY SELBY: Nordic Sea and Lake Monster sightings

A sea serpent sighting from 2009 has appeared here :


Diana's Midgard serpent sighting took place in Norway on September 15 2009 at Flam Fjord. Flam is situated in a tributary of the Sognefjord which is 204 kilometres long and is reported to be up to 1308 metres ( approx 4000 feet) deep.

There are lots of reports going back hundreds of years of serpent sightings in Norway and Sweden.

There is reputedly a sea serpent in Lake Mjosa, (There have also been reports of mermaids that many fishermen swear they have seen).Lake Mjosa is the largest lake in Norway with a depth of over 467 metres,(1400 feet) . Reports and stories are said to go back 400 years of sightings of a long necked, serpentine like marine animal.

In northern Sweden is Lake Storsjo which is said to be inhabited by Sweden's version of the Loch Ness monster. The creature is documented to have been seen 400 times. An example of the reports: Fisheries Officer Ragnar Bjorks, aged 73, was out on the lake checking fishing permits when a huge tail broke the surface near his 12-foot boat. The creature appeared to be 6 metres( 18 feet ) in length and was grey- brown with a lighter underbelly. Bjorks hit the animal with his oar, and the beast slapped the water with his tail, throwing the rowboat 3-4 metres( 9-12 feet) into the air. The creature is normally described as having a large neck undulating back and forth and between 3 metres( 9 feet) and 14 metres( 42 feet ) long.

For more information see this database of Norwegian sea serpents:


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1994 the Church of England ordained its first female priests. This was a momentous day for the Church but sadly also gave rise to the exceptionally bland sitcom The Vicar of Dibley.

It’s hard to believe that Richard Curtis could write something a brilliant as Blackadder then come out with ‘Dibley’ and his excruciating Hugh-Grant-athon films.

And now, the news:

"Dead" baby elephant calf born alive in Sydney zoo...
Giant beetle was shot down by Victorian insect collector
Mystery of 75 starlings falling from the sky
Danisco turns to snakes, spiders for potent enzyme...
Bank sorry for removing customer's parrot
Mary Rose's dog unveiled for the first time

Yarrrr, now there be a salty sea-dog.