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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Sunday, April 18, 2010


This segment really has to be seen to be believed, not just because of the exquisite salamander, but because of the inane presenter who - for some reason known only to himself - licks it and nearly throws up...

SCOTTIE WESTFALL: North American Canid stuff

Just thought I'd send this along-- and send a theory along.

I think some of the animals that are being identified as coyotes in Texas are actually a derivative of the same line as the Mexican wolf. The part of Texas where that specimen was collected is not within historical Mexican wolf range.

(C.l. baileyi historically was found to the west of most of Texas.)

However, I think that it might be possible that the Mexican wolf and a coyote-like animal might share the same lineage. One line evolved into the Mexican wolf, and the other evolved into an undocumented coyote-type wolf. This "coyote" regularly interbreeds with C. latrans, but it shares a heritage with the Mexican wolf. I don't know if you've explored this possibility or not.

That may be why this particular specimen looks very coyote-like and not in the least bit wolfish.

Mexican wolves were found to have a unique mtDNA haplotype. It has sometimes been suggested that they are actually a unique species or the oldest form of C. lupus in North America.

Coyotes and wolves have been exchanging genes for a very long time. The coyotes of the Great Lakes. Eastern Canada, and the Northeastern US are heavily interbred with wolves and have evolved into deer predators that hunt in large packs.

We don't have a firm grasp on the wolf subspecies yet, and no one has performed an extensive analysis of coyote molecular evolution. Coyotes range from Alaska to Panama and can interbreed with wolves and dogs.

Determining what is a wolf and what is a coyote can lead to big fights among canid experts. Some experts believe in a single wolf species that has evolved in much the same way as the multiregional theory for human evolution suggests for our species. Of course, the multiregional theory has been discredited in humans. I have yet to see it discredited in wolves.


Email from the Neil Arnold camp: On 17th April Neil appeared on RADIO AMERIKA NOW to discuss monsters, UFOs etc. For access to the lengthy show please visit the archives at: http://radioamerikanow.com/

LINDSAY SELBY: Controversial 1930s films of Nessie

Malcolm Irvine of Scottish Film Productions deployed a small team of cameramen around Loch Ness in 1933 for 2 weeks in December. On Dec 12th 1933 he shot a short film from the hillside opposite Urquhart Castle, of something in the water. Stanley Clinton and Scott Hay were also witnesses. The creature they filmed was estimated to be 16 feet (5 metres) long, moving at about 20 m.p.h. and was grey with a darker tail. The film apparently showed evidence of a tail or fluke movement when examined. Irvine also filmed a log in the water to compare and The Times reported on Jan 4th 1934 that the difference between the inanimate object and the animate one was obvious.

In 1936 on 22nd September he filmed further footage of something in the water opposite Foyers. This second film was suspected by Constance Whyte of being a fake and she said she thought some “mechanical means” had been used to obtain it. She did, however, put stills from the film in her book, as have others since. She got the stills from Fr J. A. Carruth at Fort Augustus, who had a copy of the film in 1955.

There was then some mystery over the second film and Peter Costello (In Search of Lake Monsters 1974) said it had disappeared but it was in the Scottish Film Archive all along. You can view it here:


Details about the film:

Reference number: 0373
Date: 1936

Director: [d. Malcolm M Irvine]

Production company: Scottish Film Productions (1928) Ltd.

Sound: sound
Colour: bw Fiction: Non-Fiction

Running time: 12.02 mins

Genre: cine mag

Description: First in a series of monthly film reviews of Scotland. Film reconstructs a bank robbery, looks at the Borzoi dog, shoe manufacture at Saxone in Kilmarnock, latest hairdressing styles and the "first sighting" of the Loch Ness Monster!

See Add. Info. file 11/1/327 for research notes on Nessie item and photocopy of interview with Malcolm M. Irvine in the Scottish newspaper The Sunday Post, November 1, 1936 entitled First Real Picture of "nessie". This newspaper article dates the first issue of this cine mag as November 1936. The film features Malcolm M. Irvine and his camera assistant Martin Wilson "filming" the Loch Ness Monster. The Loch Ness Monster - proof at last. Map of Loch Ness illustrating the positions of the most frequent "monster" sightings. Shots of models and skeletons of dinosaurs (9.45) Shots of cameramen filming on the shores of Loch Ness [Malcolm Irvine wears the beret, the other is Martin Wilson] (9.57) Film of the "monster" in the loch and shots of cameramen filming it. Duncan McMillan, a local resident, is interviewed by the eminent zoologist Eric Foxon, concerning his sighting of "nessie". Mr Foxon declines to give his opinion on the identity of the monster, declaring that "it must remain a mystery for at least a little longer"

So have a look, see what you think……is it an animate object or something man made? Bear in mind this was 1936 so technology would have been limited compared to today. It is disappointing the Zoologist fails to say what he thinks it is, on the film clip. That would have been interesting.


Sadly Neil Arnold has had to cancel his appearance at
this year's event because of work committments. We'll miss you, dude, but we quite understand.

However, he has been replaced by Ruby and Mike from CFZ Australia, who, as well as running the CFZ down under, are also using the weekend to launch their new book on Australian big cats.

With only four months to go, now might be a good time to buy your tickets to the best crypto-fortean event of the year....

Buy Your Tickets here

CFZ AUSTRALIA: Monster Hammerhead Shark

A gargantuan 17-foot-long, 2.6-ton hammerhead shark caught off the eastern coast of Australia last month has been purchased by a shark aficionado who plans to display it in his Hervey Bay museum.

Read more about the monstrous endangered shark, believed to be about 40 years old, at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=10638826

Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 4/16/2010 04:45:00 PM

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1971 Charles Manson was sentenced to death for the Tate and LaBianca murders. Manson and his cult believed that there were hidden messages in popular music songs, such as The Beatles ‘Helter Skelter’, prophesying a race war in America. How you get that from Ringo commenting that he has blisters on his fingers is anyone’s guess…

And now, the news:

Race to save rare butterfly
First wild born cheetah for 40 years in Arabia
Bill adds pets to restraining orders
Wayward NM cat has free flight home from Chicago
Nearly 400 Dead Animals Found In Marion County
Japanese whale meat 'being sold in US and Korea'

I could for today’s pun lower myself to the level of a tabloid newspaper and make a Vera Lynn reference saying something like “’Whale’ meet again…” but I’m above such cheep forced punifacation… Oh fiddlesticks, I just did, didn’t I? Oh well, not like anybody actually reads this bit, is it?