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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Monday, May 10, 2010



Killarney lake

Dear Jon,

I am a student of English and History and am approaching my final year of third level education at the University of Limerick. I am composing this email in accordance to your video which claims to capture an unknown creature in Muckross lake.

I have many relatives in Killarney and the surrounding villages and I have spent many summers by the lakes fishing. The video which you have uploaded, as intriguing and entertaining as it is, I feel does not paint the true picture of the animals that dwell in the lake. I have seen them myself on several occasions in a much more secluded lake. The lake of which I am referring to is Lough Bran.

From what I have seen the animal is much like what you have described, its constitution is very similar to that of a large eel approximately 18 feet long. Its back is a dark muddy colour from its head to its tail and its underbelly is milky white. It has two short stumpy appendages sprouted from the top of its head. I do not believe that the Loch Ness monster still exists nor, if it did, it is a plesiosaur-like animal. I believe this creature is some form of large eel or snail that can travel over land from lake to river to lake as it pleases.

My relatives and I all agree that this animal me be dwindling away for a reason we do not know. I feel that if a major effort is not made to try to document these animals once and for all, then soon our chance will be gone. I hope that this email will be of some use to you. I am not sure if the footage of the Muckross lake shows one of these elusive animals or if is simply birds but I do know that they do live in the lakes and that they are still there, for how long more, I do not know.

Kind regards,


Happy hunting!


NICK REDFERN WRITES: A couple of posts from me on Richard's Japanese book:

Front page of Fate Mag website:

My blog:

NEIL ARNOLD: Beasts From Within: Part Two

Following on from yesterday's article...

The movie The Thing often terrified me as a child, simply due to the thought that some alien species could invade the body and exist within the folds of the flesh. I did of course scoff at such a reality, but you may find the following account rather horrible!

The Harlein Miscellany Volume 10, page 448, by William Oldys: A most certaine and true relation of a strange monster or serpent found in the left ventricle of the heart of John Pennant, gentleman, of the age of 21 years, By Edward May…

‘…The young man died at his lodgings in St Giles parish, on the 6th October 1637, and the next day was dissected at the instance of his aunt, the Lady Elizabeth, wife of Sir Francis Herris, by Mr Jacob Heydon, a surgeon, under the direction of our author, in presence of Mrs Dorothy Pennant, the deceased’s mother and many other person’s…

..his heart, appearing on the left side very hard and tumid, they opened it and took out this monstrous worm, or serpent. The whole, was near thirteen inches long, it had a head like a snake; its body strait, about an inch round, and six inches long, of a white colour and very smooth; then it divided into two branches, of a flesh colour; the one, about two inches and a half long, the other somewhat shorter; which two branches again divided, and terminated in five long, thin fibres a piece. It was thought to have been growing three years, for so long the young man had complained of a pain in his breast, and the author had often noted an extraordinary sharpness in his eye, like the eye of a serpent…’

LINDSAY SELBY: Some good articles on science and cryptozoology

This article tries to predict scientifically how many sea monsters may be around. It's worth a read.

Extract: Speculation as to the nature of large unknown aquatic animals has generally occurred in the absence of quantitative data and relied almost solely on eyewitness testimonial. This need not be the case. I (Paxton 1998, abstract here) estimated the number of unknown large open water marine animals awaiting discovery by science based on an assumption that the scientific description rate for unknown large aquatic animals from 1830 could be extrapolated into the future. If this is true then the cumulative species description rate can be modelled as a rectangular hyperbola (Figure Two) and an estimate of the number of large unknown open water marine animals could be made.

...read the rest here :http://freespace.virgin.net/charles.paxton/Prediction.html

A great article on scientific method and cryptozoology:

Extract: The cryptozoological method

For some of our opponents, cryptozoology, just as astrology, ufology, graphology, parapsychology and tutti quanti; is not a science, but only a kind of wild goose hunt, or to say all in one word, a pseudo-science (Radner and Radner 1982). Curiously enough, there is no satisfying definition of what a science is (Bauer 1987). It is thus more simple to define what a pseudo-science is (and therefore, a contrario, what a true science is not): the "theory" of a pseudo-science is subjective, with concepts only accessible to "initiates"; its formalism is poor, involving few or no mathematics and logical reasoning (deduction, induction, etc.); it claims hypothesis impossible to be checked, or even proved to be wrong; it does not use the data from other disciplines; its doctrine is always the same, sometimes for centuries (whereas science is always changing, enriching itself, and sometimes questioning completely what was hitherto considered as sure); last but not least, its conception of the world is in contradiction with the law generally admitted of physics, if not with common sense (Alcock 1981).What about cryptozoology from this point of view ? It appears that it has nothing in common with pseudo-sciences (Raynal 1989):

Read the rest here: http://pagesperso-orange.fr/cryptozoo/welcome.htm

EDITOR'S NOTE: Both Michel and Charles are CFZ members, and it is a pleasure to spotlighht their work in any way that we can..


On sunday I was pootling about on my emails when in came an email with the title:

"[forteana] The CFZ. Is there something they are not telling us?"

...and my heart sank. I really was not in the mood for another veiled attack on my morals, business practises, methodology, beliefs, or whatever. Then I noticed that it was from our old mate Dave McMann. It read:

'I do enjoy Jon's daily updates about what is happening at the CFZ. For us city dwellers it brings a little part of Devon into our lives as we read about how the garden is coming along in late spring. However, is there something they haven't told us, is it the stuff of nightmares...

Sky.com: It might not be the weather for it in the UK but it is the fifth annual World Naked Gardening Day. The event is held on the first Saturday of May and is seen as a way for green fingered enthusiasts across the globe to care for their flower beds as nature intended.'

Me and Oliver prancing around the petunias au naturel? Per-lease, as my dear youngest stepdaughter would say. I have chills down my spine at the thought of it....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1997 the super computer Deep Blue won its chess match against Garry Kasparov.
And now, the news:

4,000-pound rhinoceros escapes cage at Fla. zoo
Doggy church
A tough nut to crack

That’s nuts