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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Friday, May 07, 2010

CFZ ARCHIVING PROJECT: General Forteana Part 10

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 tenth trenche is a collection of completely mostly religious phenomena.Good stuff.



It is a hummingbird hawkmoth for goodness sake. We even get them in the CFZ garden.

CFZ AUSTRALIA: Rare Golden Brushtail Possum a mum again

You don't see too many of these in the wild - and there's a reason....

Sydney Wildlife World’s rare Golden Brushtail possum has been rearing its latest joey, Stella. The baby Golden Brushtail Possum has grown in the pouch over the last four months from the size of a jellybean. Mum and Dad Cascade and Boags (yes, after the beers...which must make Stella - Artois!) have already bred successfully once before. Foster, the first joey, left the pouch in November last year.

Found only in Tasmania the golden colour is the result of a genetic mutation. They are hypomelanistic; meaning they have little melanin in their skin; in fact the only place they have it is in their eyes which is why these animals have black eyes as opposed to true albino animals; who have pink eyes.

Did you know?

• The Tasmanian Brushtail has three main colour variations; silver grey, black and gold
• Their natural and preferred habitat is forest, where they nest in tree hollows
• They feed mainly on leaves of trees and shrubs and enjoy succulent herbs, grasses and garden plants; they occasionally scavenge meat
• The brushtail possum communicates by sound and scent; ferocious screeches and guttural growls are often used
• They have a hand-like back foot for grasping and a strong flexible tail for curling around branches
• Like many of our native animals, human and domestic animals threaten this species

Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 5/07/2010 02:10:00 AM

LINDSAY SELBY: Raptors in Chile?

There have been reports of possible raptor creatures coming out of the Arica area of Chile. In 2004, the Abett de la Torre Diaz family described how four “dog faced kangaroo like” creatures surrounded their car as they travelled home. Carmen Diaz described how one of the creatures stared at them while they were seated in their car.

She drew the footprints of the creatures from memory and it showed a three-toed foot with claws on the tips of the toes. Retired officer Hernan Cuevas is adamant that he and his family saw some dinosaur-like creatures approaching their car while driving in the desert. He claims that there are many places in the Atacama where such animals can live hiding away from human eyes. Other people have also reported sightings.

Other motorists have also reported coming into contact with a creature that looks a raptor, with thick leathery skin, three-toed feet, an upright stance and razor-sharp teeth.

Sounds like a creature from Jurassic park but there may be an explanation.

By Mauricio Silva
El Mercurio (Santiago de Chile)
August 5, 2004
Amazement spreads over accounts from drivers claiming to have encountered strange beings like Jurassic Park animals.
ARICA -- The alleged dinosaurs allegedly seen in the desert by some drivers and their passengers, whose stories have caused certain expectation in the city, would have been no more than simple and peaceful ostriches. Claims of strange, enormous creatures galloping across the Pampa come from drivers who were making their way at night on the road linking Arica with Iquique. The local press has broadcast these stories profusely, causing both wonderment and some incredulous smiles. Ricardo Arancibia, a breeder of these African flightless birds, located in the vicinity of the alleged sightings, has 12 specimens on Lot 53 of Acha, very near the road and area where the apparitions occurred. It is believed that some 200 ostriches exist in the Pampa today, distributed in scattered pens in northern communities such as Acha, Chaca and Lluta. Concerned by these accounts, Arancibia contacted the media to offer background information that could bring an end to the mystery and turn what threatened to become a new modern myth, like the so-called Chupacabras or UFOs, into a harmless episode. He acknowledged that the birds can escape from their pens and give the wrong impression, especially if seen at night. A total of 11 people claim having seen alleged dinosaurs in two separate incidents--last Thursday and two weeks ago--both at night. The descriptions agree that the apparitions were dog-headed birds, standing nearly 2 meters tall with long legs, developed thighs and small, inverted upper extremities. It is said that they moved swiftly with wide strides. Municipal Veterinarian Alfrodin Turra ratified that said characteristics coincide with those of ostriches. But Dario Riquelme,44, a fiberglass contractor who has been driving the same road for 10 years and made the first sighting, rejects this explanation. "I know what ostriches look like and there's no deal. [It] crouched in front of my pickup truck, I saw it clearly. They were just like the ones from Jurassic Park."
Translation (c) 2004. Scott Corrales, IHU.
Special thanks to Liliana NÒez.

So people who have seen them reject the big bird explanation. It is, however, easy to be fooled at night in the light of car headlights. Raptors and large birds are very alike in the way they move, so what do you think, escaped ostrich or raptor?

There have also been stories of UFOs in the area: http://ww.ufologie.net/htm/2001apr.htm
As I have mentioned before, when one unknown thing appears, others do too. Strange isn’t it?


I tell you what, I am very pleasantly surprised. I was expecting that my polite little protest about the fate of the early purple orchids at Fairy Cross would be ignored, and I was preparing myself to write a stream of vitriol about it.

However, yesterday I had a telephone call from a very polite Civil Servant (should that be a civil Civil Servant?) and I am meeting him at Fairy Cross on wednesday....

RICHARD FREEMAN: The orang-utans strike back!

Nestle (which in my youth was pronounced ‘nestle’ as in what a bird does, NOT nes-lay as people insist on saying now) are well known for using palm oil from plantations grown on land that used to be rainforest. Greenpeace made an excellent spoof of the kit-kat advert. Nestle made YouTube take it down but now it has become a viral and is available all over the net. This film shows protesters dressed as orang-utans laying siege to the Nestle office. Stroll on!

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1911 the legendary American blues musician Robert Johnson was born. Legend has it that Johnson received his skills with the guitar from the Devil himself in a deal made at a crossroads near the Dockery Plantation in Mississippi, USA.
And now, the news:

In search of the skunk ape
Chimpanzees use sex tools
Neanderthal genes 'survive in us'
Witch bids to show Nessie is a ghost

I certainly hope thistle whistles are involved in the ritual.…