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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Tuesday, April 06, 2010


Yesterday I posted some Youtube film of marine isopods just because they are so unutterably groovy. Today, synchronitically, the following message was sent to various Fortean newsgroups:

This deep sea creepy-crawly gave oil workers a fright, after the unexpected visitor hitched a ride on a submarine sent from a rig in the Gulf of Mexico.The beast normally lives 8,500ft under water and this specimen is thought to be the largest giant isopod ever found at this depth.Questions were raised over its authenticity because of the release date of pictures - April Fool's Day. However experts have been quick to verify the find.


I once happened upon the simulacrum of a hag amongst the tussocks of Hags Glen beneath the summit of Carrauntoohill; principle peak of MacGillycuddys Reeks and the highest mountain in all of Ireland. I once searched long an hard for a wriggly, wiggly serpentine simulacrum on the banks of Loch Ness, wherein whose cold brackish waters supposedly swims a great wriggly, wiggly wyrm, but to no avail. However, I stumbled upon this stone 'bone head' halfway up Bow Fell in the Lake District of northern England.

Charles Fort [Wild Talents Chapter 18] was greatly intrigued by the appearance of forms and images produced by nature, especially so when people attributed them with significance. Fort's world is an organic entity of which we are very much a part, a world shaped by our desires and imagination - reality conditioned by the human will!

I held a notion that this jumble rocks upon Bow Fell formed a resemblance to the skull of the Bowhead Whale, but alas, I can not make comfortable the comparison with this grinning stone saurian! Mountains, including those of the Lake District, are often described as similar to the dark hull of an upturned boat or akin to the back of a whale - 'whaleback.' Deep in the depths of nearby Windemere dwells the whale sized Bownessie, named for the village Bowness-on-Windemere, (note: there is a 'ness' in that name!) This creator of bow waves is said to be eel-like and up to 70ft in length, I think perhaps, a few years ago, I met its skeletal likeness on the slopes of Bow Fell.


I think it is a civet cat with mange but I am not too sure. However, the one thing it certainly isn't is a yeti. Unless of course you are a reporter for Britain's quality press - the Daily Telegraph, no less.

First the term bunyip, then chupacabra, and now yeti being completely misused, by journalists who should know better. We, by the way, were told that the UK dailys wouldn't want the picture of Phyllis Canion's mounted blue dog because it was stuffed. To misquote
Chumbawamba, "Pictures of mangy animals sell newspapers."

Dale Drinnon put it best: 'Oriental Yeti' is preposterous, besides being a redundant name. Yetis are supposed to be ONLY Oriental. The name was chosen for the news buzz value. I don't even know how it could be proper to call a bald animal a 'Yeti' under any circumstances. You could call it a 'Midget Loch Ness Monster' and it would be about as much of a totally clueless misnomer.

For the record, I would like to stress that although some of the Texas blue dogs are undoubtedly mangy mutts, others most definitely are not....

HOW WE SPEND THE MONEY - Renovating the lawn

The CFZ grounds, where my family have lived for the last 40 years and which (unless something goes horribly wrong) will continue to be the HQ for the CFZ long after I have shuffled off this mortal coil, need constant renovation. The last four summers of bad weather have not helped, nor has Biggles, neither has the annual influx of nearly 100 merrymakers for each Weird Weekend, and - sadly - although the top and east lawns are reasonably OK, the south lawn (where the marquee is set, and the afore-mentioned merrymakers tend to dance) is in dire need of re-sowing.

That would be a horrendous job so, thanks to Karen G's kind donation, we are re-turfing the worst bits and hoping that time and mother nature will do the rest....


Taking White Cloud Mountain by Strategy

Our Hong Kong mixed coolwater tank has been a mixed success. Some fish have done well there - indeed thrived - whereas the others (notably the Oriental bitterlings that we set the tank up for in the beginning) have been far less succesful, and the swan mussels have been an unmitigated disaster. However, taking a new tack, we have introduced some more White Cloud Mountain minnows and two pairs of paradise fish to see what happens....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1891 the legend that was P. T. Barnum died. I could sit here and write a huge article about him and his ‘escapades’ but I think it best I save that for future ‘Crypto-Con’ blogs. Indeed, I’ve touched on Barnum a few times already. For now, to read an overview of Barnum’s life, take a visit to Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P._T._Barnum

And now, the news:

Wildwood hosts Countryfile
Killer whale attacks dolphin in front of tourists in New Zealand
When wombats attack
'Oriental yeti' discovered in China
That's quite a pile of fish

Q: Where do very young fish go every morning? A: Plaice school