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 14, 2010



For some reason, "embedding has been disabled by request" and so you will have to view the video at the youtube site. Then you can marvel at the fact that an American TV company have decided to make an entire documentary based upon it.

They have three American presenters and a whole bevy of directors, producers and technicians.

And guess who they asked to be special guest? So that is why I (Graham) am doing the blogs today.

Good Lord.



The launch of CFZers Mike Williams and Rebecca Lang's book, Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers, is getting closer.

Read more about the book here - http://www.australianbigcats.com.au/

Stay tuned for the big launch!


The case of the ivorybilled woodpecker is still one of the more contentious ones in modern zoology. Is it extinct? Has it been extinct since the 1950s? Was it rediscovered in Arkansas in 2005? Or was it all a colossal con by environmentalists wanting to find a sure-fire way to protect an area of swamp bottom that was otherwise likely to be raped by logging companies? Don't get us wrong: if it was the latter, more power to their elbow, because in many cases the end certainly does justify the means.

Young Max recently found a blog about the bird and sent it to us with his recommendations.

FROM GARETH LEWIS (Oll's father)

A Polar Bear Attack on a human in Churchill, Manitoba, Canada. These are pictures of an actual polar bear attack in Churchill. These pictures were taken while people watched and could do nothing to stop the attack! Reports from the local newspaper say that the victim will make a full recovery....


Glen Venezio writes:

Okinawa is home to ecologically significant coral reefs that support more than 1,000 species of reef fish, marine mammals and sea turtles. Creatures like the highly imperiled dugong, a critically endangered and culturally treasured animal, rely on these reefs for their survival. But the U.S. government is planning to build a new American military base atop a healthy coral reef that will likely destroy the diverse array of animal life the reef supports, including at least nine species threatened with extinction.

Okinawa's coral reefs are already threatened by global warming and pollution: more than half have disappeared over the past decade. We must protect the reef and its inhabitants. We need your help to speak out. Please take a minute to send a letter in support of the dugong and Okinawa's reefs.


by Jon Downes

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of legendary fantasy artist Frank Frazetta, who died in Florida on Monday from a stroke. He was 82.

Surely no one remotely interested in fantasy, either in comics or any other creative media can fail to have heard of him. In the 1960s he redefined the field of heroic fantasy illustration with the superb covers for the paperback editions of Conan the Barbarian, his magnificent paintings providing the perfect compliment to Robert E. Howard’s epic tales of swords and sorcery.

Frazetta went on to create fantastic covers for the horror comic magazines Creepy, Eerie and Vampirella, and many beautiful comic strips. He was a great inspiration to me as a child; his creatures always reminded me of Ray Harryhausen’s creations, and his anatomical drawings were more like sculptures. I could waffle on endlessly, praising Frazetta’s work, but these images will do the job far better than I ever could.

Now, I’m not the most politically correct person in the world, believe me, but I would certainly hesitate before posting images of naked women on this site. But on this occasion, I’m sure that I can be forgiven.


Well, simply because Frazetta’s women are no more sex objects than his barbarians are bodybuilders. Frazetta’s people are beings in a primeval world, where both sex and death are part of the battle for survival. Frazetta’s men are prehistoric warriors, bound with sinews developed not in a gymnasium, but on the blood-spattered decks of pirate ships, corpse-strewn battlefields, and in deadly confrontations with both flesh-and-blood and supernatural monsters.

Frazetta’s women have a purity to their sexuality. Their frequent nakedness portrays them as beautiful animals, full of primal energy and fire. Yes, they’re sexy but in the context of Frazetta’s interpretation of primitive life force, as seen through the human figure, even the most provocative of Frazetta’s women appear as almost innocent. Well, almost….

So thank you, Frank, for helping my childhood to be full of magic and monsters, wonder and weirdness. You’ll be sadly missed.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1536 Anne Boleyn stood trial for treason, adultery and incest. Despite Anne having genuine alibis for the times and dates that she was meant to have met with alleged lovers, and indeed one of the supposed lovers being homosexual, she was sentenced to execution for the 19th of May. For most people execution would be the end of their story but today Anne is almost as well known as a ghost as she is as Henry VIII’s second queen. Her ghost has been sighted in the grounds of the tower of London walking outside her apartments and near the spot on tower green where she was executed and also at Hever Castle, Blickling Hall, Salle Church, and Marwell Hall.

The story of the Blickling Hall haunting is particularly interesting as it is said to take the form of a coach being pulled by four headless horses, driven by a headless coachman with Anne sitting in the back - also headless - every year on the 19th of May, the anniversary of her death. Now I believe that ghosts exist; I have no idea what they are though - some sort of trick of the mind, recordings, lost souls, who knows - but if the headless coach really does run and is not just a product of folklore I do wonder how they find their way to the hall without being able to see where they’re going….

And now, the news:

Tracing Genetic Lineages of Captive Desert Tortoise
Fatal Fungus In Frogs May Help Save Humans
What's Wrong With More Snakes?
Bullfrogs invade Argentina

Q: What kind of sandals do frogs wear?
A: Open ‘toad’.


Interesting formation to get to as its smack bang on the edge of Salisbury Danger Area and it lies inside a Military Air Traffic Zone for Boscombe Down airfield.

I notice what appears to a basket type lay in the middle of the formation and this is quite a new thing as it is in rapeseed, which has never had basket lay as far as I am aware.