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 20, 2010

RICHARD FREEMAN: The Monsters of Prague Part 11

The Devil's Child
When a widow named Karafiatova gave birth to a child two years after her husband's death, gossip grew along Nerudova street. Karafiatova had rejected all suitors, so who was the child's father?

As he grew older, the boy took on a strange appearence. He had dark shiny eyes, a long tongue and bristly hair. He would look up nun's habits, shoot stones through windows, shot a neighbour's canary with his catapult and tossed soap into food. He was such a brat that neighbours thought he was the devil's son.

He was killed when a roof tile fell on his head.

His ghost is said to haunt the area even today. It throws itself in front of cars, only to vanish when the motorist stops to investigate.


Max sent this. It isn't quite a taxonomy fail, but it is mighty peculiar....



My boss, Jann Stovall, was in Peru and saw many Peruvian hairless dogs. He took this photograph. Our newspaper article made some impact in that he remembered the Texas Blue Dog and thought this dog breed might have some link.




A few years ago the writer/editors Ann and Jeff VanderMeer were hiking in the woods. It was getting close to Passover and, what with all the Wandering in the Wilderness, the conversation turned to that most Hebraic of topics: "So, what are we going to eat already?" Being the hardened vets of speculative fiction they are, The VanderMeers began wondering about the kashrut, or Kosherness, of various animals from fantasy and legend....

For example:

Grilled Mongolian Death Worm MakiServes 6

4-5 lbs. of Mongolian Death Worm meat

2 cups Sushi Rice

2-3 Nori sheets (seaweed wraps)

I Cucumber, sliced into long thin strips

Fresh Mango, diced

Pickled Daikon


First, you will need to de-electrify the creature. The best way to do this is to zap it with a taser (and ignore it if it says, "Don't tase me, bro." It is NOT your bro). If you don't have a taser (and why don't you? It's a dangerous world out there, bubele), you can use static electricity. Simply put on a pair of pantyhose and walk across a carpet, making sure your legs are as close together as possible. Once you've built up enough, touch the thing and hope fully you will see sparks. (Note: this second method is very dangerous. We recommend instead that you just go out and buy a taser.)

Soak it in salt water overnight (this will kill any of the acid residue, we trust). Grill the Mongolian Death Worm in soy sauce until it is nice and tender – there is no way you want to eat this stuff raw. You will notice that the meat shrinks up, which is why you must start out with a large amount in order to have enough once it is cooked. Then cut into small pieces. Place the nori sheet on the bamboo sushi-mat. Spread the rice on top of the nori, not too thick, leaving about an inch on the top and bottom of the nori without any rice. Place a strip of cucumber across the rice, then place the mango and Mongolian Death Worm meat across as well. Make sure the left and right sides are even, Slowly roll up the nori from the bottom, You will have a nice firm sushi roll. Cut into pieces. Serve with sake (preferably chilled), and the daikon and wasabi on the side.



Take Action today to save Whales

A massive new threat against whales has recently been announced after secret meetings between Japan, Norway, Iceland, Germany, the United States and other governments.

If allowed to go unchallenged, their plan would restart the cruel commercial slaughter of our ocean's great whales - undermining decades of hard-won protections for the whales.

Please tell German Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Madam Minister Ilse Aigner, to stop this sell-out of the whales. We must act quickly!


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 753BC Romulus and Remus were said to have founded Rome. According to Rome’s founding myth the two boys were fathered by Mars (or Hercules in some versions) but cast out of their home by their uncle when still babies. The boys were discovered by a wolf, which raised them along with its own cubs. When it came to founding the city itself both boys had a different idea where it should be built, Romulus preferring the Palatine hill and Remus plumbing for the Aventine hill. In order to sort out this dispute the brothers decided to count vultures (as you do) but this plan ran into trouble when each brother probably just plucked a number out of thin air hoping it would be bigger than the other’s but still believable. Romulus, it would seem, tired of these shenanigans first and started building a ditch and wall around the Palatine hill. Remus, being an annoying sort of chap, started messing about with the wall and finally insulting Romulus by jumping over it to show him how rubbish he thought the wall was. Romulus had had quite enough of this idiot by now and slew him.

There is a moral in that.

And now, the news, brought to us from Gavin Ll. Wilson and the CFZ news blog:

Alcathoe's bat discovered in Yorkshire and Sussex
Trapped foxes freed with washing liquid
Horse adopts family of ducklings
Rowers ask Queen to kill swan
India announces new tracking system to protect tigers
Nepal university students told: Rats ate your exams
Dog denied chance to run for mayor

Well, that’s a bit ‘ruff’ on the poor thing.