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...


Tuesday, March 23, 2010


I received the following email in my inbox yesterday. It is posted exactly as received....


Nice vid on Anomaly TV -- I'm in Minnesota -- straight north of Texas or nearly. We have thousands of wolves here in northern Minnesota apparently -- as the Latinos migrate north maybe the wolves are migrating south? Not sure but the Paddlefish on the Mississippi and the river sharks -- both using ampullae of Lorenzi -- could have switched places as well.

Maybe there is some strange hybrid -- since the wolf-dog-coyote mix is not out of the question. Isn't there some small wolf in Mexico?

Blue -- why? Serotonin on the spectrograph is blue btw -- which tells you why Krishna is blue. My guess is some sort of freak toxic mutant as Texas is very polluted as per Bush policy.

Chameleons are blue -- and the reptilian humans could have reptilian dogs. All the best,

drew hempel


TONY LUCAS: How do you prove a Negative?

I've got to be honest: how often do you hear witnesses say, when reporting their finds, "it maybe it's the last of its kind"?

Now, in New Zealand this phrase could quite possibly never be truer. Each year reports become fewer and fewer, and a lot of of the older generation clutch these memories with dread and fear as if admitting they had witnessed something that would cast derision on their validity as a man. It's all very well to prove something exists if it is already there: sightings, physical evidence, photos etc.

  • But what if it is not?

  • What if it is already dead and extinct?

  • Is there such a thing as a Paleo-cryptozoologist?

To date there are no photographs of any of New Zealands cryptids unless you count Mr Freaneys moa (?) photo; no plaster casts or other physical evidence. So what do we have? Often third-hand accounts, reluctant witnesses, suspicious indigenous people who know tales but refuse to pass them on. Well, you say, look further afield. Well, my reasons for my research were not for money, personal power or anything like that; it was for national pride - our people need to know this hidden part of their heritage, a part very much extinct I fear and will be lost to the mists of time as just another rumour.



My dear eldest stepdaughter Shoshannah is 25 today. Many happy returns, my dear. I hope you know that I love you and your sister as much as I would if you were my own flesh and blood, and that I am immensely proud of you.

There is only one minor fly in the ointment.

The trouble is that I am too young and boyishly pretty to have a 25-year-old stepdaughter, especially one who is getting married in September....

and from Mama

JAN EDWARDS: Can you guess what this is?

I thought I would share this, received from CJ WildBird Foods Newsletter and used with their permission:

'Every so often we encounter a bird that stands out from the norm. This individual is melanistic, meaning that it has an increased amount of dark pigmentation, in this case primarily on the head. We've only shown you the affected bit in this shot to make it a worthy challenge. The bill shape should tell you that it's a finch and, as it looks quite long and thin for a finch bill, may even narrow things down further. The bird is a common British garden visitor in all but the north of Scotland.'
The photographer was Pete Deans. CJ Wildbird Foods are found at http://www.birdfood.co.uk/. Excellent value for money, and they sell nest boxes, native trees, hedgehog and badger food, and loads more fantastic stuff, as well as first class wild bird food.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1874 Erik Weisz was born. Weisz found fame under the stage name Harry Houdini as the greatest escapologist who ever lived.

And now, the news:

Smiley Riley, the dog with a human grin
Aga meerkats rule the roost
Local couple believe that blue-skinned, dog-like animals seen around the state represent a new species of canine
Protection for 2 shark species fails at UN meeting
'Robo-hawk' takes to the skies
Bee sting therapy causing a buzz

They must ‘bee’ mad…

LINDSAY SELBY: Ropens on a Japanese warship?!

An interesting story has appeared on Jonathan Whitcomb's blog:

Japanese World War II ship shelled pterosaur caves

February 18th, 2010 at 5:29

Three days ago, I received an email from R. K. (anonymous), of the Manus Island area of Papua New Guinea. (We starting communicating earlier this month.) The nocturnal flying creatures that he described to me – I believe they are ropens – were common and were dangerous to local fishermen previous to the early 1940s, when their numbers declined. In these northern islands, the creature is called “kor.” Here is part of R.K.’s account of the Japanese retaliation against the creatures that had attacked them:

” . . . it was the japs [Japanese miliary] on the island who were attacked by the kor. They [Japanese soldiers] apparently shot several wounding them then followed them to cves [caves] and blew [blew up] the entrances. They called ships fire on the hills and pounded them for several hours.”

R.K. asks an interesting question: “I wonder if there is a record of that somewhere?” Perhaps there is an old Japanese veteran who knows about this or has written about the battle with those creatures. If so, perhaps the word used for those creatures would be “dragons.”

Jonathan Whitcomb Says:
February 25th, 2010 at 4:30 am

Since the end of World War II, Japanese veterans (and the population as a whole), in general, have been hesitant to talk about the military experiences. But this encounter with the “kor” of northern New Guinea is more likely to have been passed on from the Japanese soldiers and sailors. I hope that somebody will search out this strange little battle; it may require somebody who knows the Japanese language.

Source: http://www.livepterosaur.com/LP_Blog/archives/267

Does anyone have any information about this to share with CFZ world please ?

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Cheshire Odd Fish reports in the 17th and 18th Centuries

Dear folks,

I have recently come across a defunct journal (it ran from 1878 to 1990 apparently) called The Cheshiire Sheaf, which is available from the County Record Office, Cheshire, England for the price of £35 in the form of 2 cd discs.* Already I have found about half a dozen interesting stories of a cryptozoological or Fortean zoological nature in the first three volumes alone. Today I am concentrating on two weird fish stories from the River Dee. The Dee rises near a place called Chirk near the Welsh-English border and flows into a coastal stretch of Liverpool Bay, or what was called Liverpool Bay in my 1965 atlas.

Here is the story from the Chester Courant of May 14,1782:


On the 8th May, 1782 while some fishermen were casting their nets for salmon,about two miles beyond the Lower Ferry, near to this city, to their unspeakable astonishment they observed a FISH of uncommon size rolling about, a part of its body appearing above the surface. The tide, having then been some time ebbing, had left an insufficiency of water for its enormous bulk. On the approach of the boat it appeared extremely agitated, its strength being nearly exhausted by the want of its natural element, and the length of time it must have been beating about in this situation. One of the fishermen very resolutely jumped on its back, and, cutting a hole in the dorsal fin, fastened a rope through it, by which means they, on the return of the tide, floated it up, with the help of two boats, to the New Crane.

There, with the utmost difficulty, they effected its landing, not less than ten horses being employed for that purpose. When brought to shore, its form and size struck every person with inexpressible amazement; many opinions were given by seafaring men and others respecting its species - several pronouncing it a basking shark, others a spermaceti whale, and others a grampus, to none of which (as described by our modern writers on Icthyology) it bears any certain similitude. The length is 25 feet; the girth proportionably large, though very unequal; it has two dorsal and six pectoral fins – two of the latter of a very singular form, partaking of the nature of feet. The tail is perpendicular, of prodigious size and strength; there are five gills on each side.

The mouth, when open to its extremity, is three feet wide; there are not any teeth, but a vast quantity of small, irregular, sharp prominences, which are evidentaly given it for the purpose of comminuting its food, the orifice of the throat being astonishingly narrow for a creature of such magnitude. The upper and under jaws are each furnished with ten strong protuberant bones, horizontally placed, which meet when the mouth closes, in such a manner as to appear capable of breaking almost any substance.

The eye is situated very near the mouth, and scarcely larger than that of an ox: the nose is hard and prominent; the whole body is covered with a very thin [?thick] skin, and the weight of the Fish is between four and five tons. We have been thus particular, as it is probable that some ingenious Naturalist may favour the public with the certain information of its real species.- Chester Courant, May 14,1782 (1)

Can anyone work out what this creature might have been?

Jumping back about 130 years, we find, again,


In Harleian MSS. No 1929 (one of the Randle Holme collection) is the following entry:- “June 23,1659, a great fish the length of 3 yards was taken upon the Sands in Saltney,** after this forme-The sines on its back, taile, and under it belly of the same substance of the fish, the colour on the back is black and shining like unto iet, and the belly very whit.”

It is difficult to form an opinion from the sketch accompanying the description as to what kind of fish was meant but it is probably intended for one of the Shark tribe.

Again, what might this have been, anyone?

* CDs available from Cheshire Record Office, Duke St, Chester, U.K., CH1 1RL

01244 972574 www.cheshireeast.gov.uk/recordoffice

** Saltney is a town just to the W. S. W. of Chester

CONSERVATION: Richard F and Rhino farms in China

Since 2000 China has reportedly purchased 141 rare white rhinos from South Africa. White rhinos can be bought at auction for between $30 - 75,000 in South Africa. This large number of rhinos has started alarm bells ringing in conservation circles as it is patently more than would be needed for zoos and wildlife parks.

The obvious explanation is that the rhinos are being farmed for their horn, which is much in demand in Asia amongst misguided people who believe it holds medicinal properties.
White rhinos are now the most numerous of all rhino species, numbering around 17,500. Amazingly, they were once thought extinct until a small herd of 50 was found alive in South Africa. White rhino are gregarious, and can easily be kept in herds and in enclosures. They are the most docile of rhino species, and the easiest to breed in captivity.

According to the Times, the unusually high number of rhinos being imported to China is the subject of a report to be presented at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species. There is no evidence that the rhinos are being farmed for their horns, but wildlife-monitoring groups are concerned at the increase in purchases of the animal by China.

CRYPTO CONS: The Great Moon Hoax

By Oll Lewis

The most well known lunar hoax these days is the assertion that the Apollo missions were faked and that man did not land on the moon in 1969. The conspiracy buffs would have it that so great was Americas desire to get to the moon before the Soviets that the moon landings were filmed in a studio. Personally I have seen no convincing evidence of the Moon landings being faked and one presumes that if they were we might have got a fake Mars landing by now too. There is, however, another widely-known moon-related hoax, which was perpetrated over a century earlier.

In August 1835 the New York Sun carried the headline 'Celestial Discoveries' and an article about a new super-powerful telescope set up in South Africa by the British astronomer Sir John Herschel. The story ran that Herschel had pointed his new telescope at the moon and had found life! Not only that but complex and varied life comparable to that of earth.

The newspaper waxed lyrical for four columns about the vast array of plants and animals Herschel had found living on the moon. There were hoofed animals like blue-coloured unicorn goats, ball-like amphibious creatures that rolled up and down beaches, bison with flaps over their eyes to protect them from the light, birds like pelicans and cranes. After four days of rising circulation figures the newspaper printed its most shocking revelation: the moon was home to intelligent life….

This intelligent life took the form of winged, furry ape-men apparently even possessed of their own religion. So powerful was Herschel’s new telescope that the article was able to give a full and accurate description of these creatures as if the observer had been standing only a few metres away:

'We counted three parties of these creatures, of twelve, nine and fifteen in each, walking erect towards a small wood... Certainly they were like human beings, for their wings had now disappeared and their attitude in walking was both erect and dignified... About half of the first party had passed beyond our canvas; but of all the others we had perfectly distinct and deliberate view. They averaged four feet in height, were covered, except on the face, with short and glossy copper-colored hair, and had wings composed of a thin membrane, without hair, lying snugly upon their backs from the top of the shoulders to the calves of their legs.

'The face, which was of a yellowish color, was an improvement upon that of the large orang-utan ... so much so that but for their long wings they would look as well on a parade ground as some of the old cockney militia. The hair of the head was a darker color than that of the body, closely curled but apparently not woolly, and arranged in two circles over the temples of the forehead. Their feet could only be seen as they were alternately lifted in walking; but from what we could see of them in so transient a view they appeared thin and very protuberant at the heel...We could perceive that their wings possessed great expansion and were similar in structure of those of the bat, being a semitransparent membrane expanded in curvilinear divisions by means of straight radii, united at the back by dorsal integuments. But what astonished us most was the circumstance of this membrane being continued from the shoulders to the legs, united all the way down, though gradually decreasing in width. The wings seemed completely under the command of volition, for those of the creatures whom we saw bathing in the water spread them instantly to their full width, waved them as ducks do theirs to shake off the water, and then as instantly closed them again in a compact form.'

Needless to say, this story shocked the world and led to rival newspapers copying it or making their own versions, calls to send missionaries to the moon and the circulation of the New York Sun to sky-rocket, becoming the highest selling newspaper in the world. Not everyone was taken in by the hoax, but any scientists who came to inspect the original messages were sent across New York in a wild goose chase until they eventually gave up and went home. The stories grew increasingly wilder over the coming days in describing the society and the temples of the moon men until eventually the newspaper printed the sad story that the telescope had been left facing East and the rays of the sun had burnt out the reflecting chamber, destroying the telescope.

The stories were collected in pamphlet form by Richard Adams Locke, who had been their author all along, making some $25,000 from them before interest waned. When word of the stories eventually reached Herschel and he immediately saw the funny side before dismissing them outright. Another person who passed comment on the stories at the time was Edgar Allen Poe who said he stopped work on a sequel to ‘The Strange Adventures of Hans Pfaall’ because he had been outdone.

As cons and hoaxes go, the great moon hoax was one of a rare breed of cons, like P. T. Barnum’s ‘The Great Unknown’ and the BBC’s ‘Spaghetti Harvest’ hoax that created amusement on behalf of those that had fallen for the tall stories without any great offence or regrets.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 2001 the Mir space station entered the Earth’s atmosphere before splashing down in the South Pacific Ocean as part of in the conclusion of its decommissioning process.

And now, the news:

Rare Worthen's sparrow nest sites found in Mexico
Velociraptor's cousin discovered
Flat-headed cat of southeast Asia is now endangered

‘Cats’ sad news.