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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Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Max sent me a very interesting article last night. He thought that because I am particularly interested in livebearers, and because the CFZ has just got hold of the nucleusd of what we hope will be a nascent colony of Poecelia wingei that I should see it.

It opens up a whole can of very wiggly worms for all of us livebearer enthusiasts, as well as opening up some moral questions which really should be debated.

Find out more

CFZ ARCHIVING PROJECT: General Forteana Part 9

As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February 2009 and he is now working on a general mish-mash of a section known as `General Forteana`. This ninth trenche is a real mixed bag. It is mostly religious phenomena, but with a few items on how the Vikings discovered the New World. Good stuff.


Mystery animal caught on CCTV

It looks like a mustelid of some description, but without knowing any more about where the video was taken it is hard to say.

LINDSAY SELBY: Barmouth sea serpent?

There has been a history of sea monsters in some areas of Wales; in particular the Menai Straits Barmouth area and further up the coast in North Wales.

In 1805 in the Menai Straits, A ship reported it had been attacked by a sea serpent, which wrapped itself around the ships mast until the crew attacked it and it fell into the sea. They claimed it followed the vessel for two more days before giving up.

In 1882 another sighting according to this letter from Nature Magazine:

About three P.M. on Sunday, September 3, 1882, a party of gentlemen and ladies were standing at the northern extremity of Llandudno pier, looking towards the open sea, when an unusual object was observed in the water near to the Little Orme's Head, travelling rapidly westwards towards the Great Orme. It appeared to be just outside the mouth of the bay, and would therefore be about a mile distant from the observers. It was watched for about two minutes, and in that interval it traversed about half the width of the bay, and then suddenly disappeared. The bay is two miles wide, and therefore the object, whatever it was, must have travelled at the rate of thirty miles an hour. It is estimated to have been fully as long as a large steamer, say two hundred feet; the rapidity of its motion was particularly remarked as being greater than that of any ordinary vessel. The colour appeared to be black, and the motion either corkscrew-like or snake-like, with vertical undulations. Three of the observers have since made sketches from memory, quite independently, of the impression left on their minds, and on comparing these sketches, which slightly varied, they have agreed to sanction the accompanying outline as representing as nearly as possible the object which they saw. The party consisted of W. Barfoot, J.P., of Leicester, F. J. Marlow, solicitor, of Manchester, Mrs. Marlow, and several others. They discard the theories of birds or porpoises as not accounting for this particular phenomenon.
Birstall Hill, Leicester, January 16th, 1883.

The Mawddach Estuary at Barmouth has been the place of a few sightings in the last 100 years. In “Mysterious Wales” by Chris Barber (Blorenge Books June 1999) a local woman claimed to have found four large footprints in the sand, described as being ‘as big as an elephant’s’. In 1937 a crocodile like animal was witnessed by a Harlech man as it walked along the river bank

Then in March 1975 six schoolgirls described a creature they encountered on Barmouth beach. ‘It had a long neck and a square face and a long tail with a flipper at the back and its skin was black and patchy’.. `It was like a dinosaur,'' said one of the girls. `The monster was about 10 feet long, with a long tail, long neck and huge green eyes. It walked towards the sea and entered the water.'' Its green eyes peered at them before sinking beneath the waves. The girls fled in terror.

(N.B. Sounds like the classic long necked pinniped description to me, but could just have been an ordinary large member of the seal family. They can appear to have long necks if they stretch it out).
It is not the only strangeness in that area though:

In September 1922 John Morris and William James saw an object fall into the ocean off Barmouth shore , so slowly that it was thought to be a plane. A boat was sent out, but nothing was found. (Magonia #45, Fort 639)

It is odd how places that report one phenomenon, such as sea serpents, also seem to have others occurring. Does the area attract strange things or does it just attract the sort of people who see strange things….one to ponder over.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1953 the first 3D television broadcast took place with a 3D showing of Space Patrol on KECA TV.
And now, the news:

New British moth found in Hembury Woods is world first
Llamas act as bouncers for chicks at Merseyside reserve
Chimps 'feel death like humans'
'Ancestral Eve' crystal could explain origin of left-handed amino acids
Lotus plant grown from 700-year-old seed
How chimpanzees deal with death and dying
Devon Wildlife Trust acquires new culm grassland reserve

“Keep ‘culm’ and carry on”
(As that annoyingly smug poster says)

`NEW HORIZONS` available now

New Horizons, the fourth volume of reprints of Animals & Men, the journal of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, is finally available. Those of you who pre-ordered copies will be receiving them shortly