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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Thursday, June 03, 2010



1. The Mystery animals of Britain: Kent by Neil Arnold (7)
2. Monster Hunter by Jonathan Downes (-)
3= The Owlman and Others by Jonathan Downes (5)
3= Man Monkey by Nick Redfern (-)

5= Dragons: More than a Myth? by Richard Freeman (5)
5= In the wake of Bernard Heuvelmans by Michael Woodley (2)
7= Monster - the A-Z of Zooform Phenomena by Neil Arnold (-)
7= Big Cats Loose in Britain by Marcus Matthews (-)
7= The Mystery animals of Britain: Northumberland and Tyneside by Mike Hallowell (-)
7= The CFZ Yearbook 2002 (-)


1 The Owlman and Others by Jonathan Downes (-)
2= The Island of Paradise by Jonathan Downes (-)
2= Extraordinary Animals Revisited by Dr Karl Shuker (3)
2= Giant snakes by Michael Newton (-)
2= The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia by Richard Freeman (-)
2= A Daintree Diary by Carl Portman (1)
7= Strangely Strange but Oddly Normal by Andy Roberts (1)
7= Big Bird by Ken Gerhard (7)
9= Animals & Men Collected Editions Vol 3 (-)
9= Star Steeds and other dreams by Dr Karl Shuker (-)

Last month's positions in this pinky colour, which I think is called cerise.
May's sales have been slower than I would have hoped, but then again the summer months usually are. Roy Harper once sang that "nobody ever has any money in the summer", and with the World Cup looming I predict an almost total slump in sales....


Folks - a collection of oddities today from our friend The Manchester Iris volume 1 and a pre-World War 2 issue of The Palestine Post, of all places, which I found on the Web.

Firstly, we start with The Palestine Post article, this being the earliest item in time:

The Way To Jerusalem Diary of a Jewish Traveller in the 15th Century

“The writer of this letter was Rabbi Obadiah ben Abraham of Bertinoro, famous as the author of the standard commentary on the Mishnah (the first authoritative collection of Jewish traditional religious law, the foundation of “Judaism” in the strict sense). He reached Jerusalem in 1488 after a journey from north Italy which occupied eighteen months.

{Obadiah is here writing about his journey from Alexandria in Egypt to Jerusalem -R } “We remained two days in Fauh, because the wind was not favourable; it is a large and beautiful place, and fish and vegetables can be got for almost nothing. We came next to Bulak which already forms the beginning of Cairo. On the Nile I saw the large species of frog, which the natives call El Timash (Crocodile); it is larger than a bear, and spots are visible on its skin. The ship`s crew say that there are some twice this size - the frogs which have remained from time of Moses, as Maimonides {a 12th century Jewish philosopher} mentions in his commentary…” (1)

Now to odd eggs :`The Manchester Iris` vol 1` “Eggs preserved 300 years. - In the wall of a chapel near the Lago Maggiore, built more than 300 years ago, three eggs, imbedded in the mortar of the wall, were found to be quite fresh. It has long been known that bird`s eggs brought from America or India, covered with a film of wax, have been hatched in Europe after the wax had been dissolved by alchohol.”(2)

And insects: 'On the 14th of May {1822} between six and seven in the evening, during a thunder shower, there fell at Leipzig such prodigious multitudes of insects, that they covered whole streets. The wind was very strong from the East, from which quarter vast swarms of insects were seen to approach, which fell with the rain in countless heaps. They are dragonflies, and it is inexplicable whence they can have come in such swarms, as there are no marshes near Leipzig on the east side. It was reported among the common people that it had rained locusts.' (3)


1 The Palestine Post December 25th 1932 p.8
2 The Manchester Iris vol. 1 June 22nd 1822. p.164
3 Ibid p.164


I am Cowboy Kim
Cowboy Kim I am
I am a lucky cowboy
Let me tell you why

I`m a man with a mission
A boy with a gun
I`ve got a picture in my pocket
Of the lucky one

I`ll announce the winner
On the radio
With my microphone
I do a super show etc,etc,


The Golem
This is undoubtedly Prague’s most famous monster. According to the story it was a giant of clay, created and animated by Rabbi Loew ben Bazalel in the 16th century in order to protect the Jewish ghetto from anti-Semitic attacks. In fact, though the Rabbi was a historically real man, the monster of clay was actually created by German writer Berthold Auerbach for his 1837 novel Spinoza. There earlier references to golems in the Talmund, a record of rabbinic descutions on Jewish laws, history and ethics. Adam was though of as the origional golem as he was created from earth.


When I was at Hartland Quay the other day, I was pootling about with my camera looking for butterflies and seabirds, and I found this.

I don't know what species it is but it is a tiny type of cliff succulent and it got me thinking. I have always rather liked succulents and I was wondering if any readers of this bloggo had any interesting succulents in their gardens that they could spare. I am trying to grow an interesting selection of such things along the stone wall that separates the top lawn from the bottom lawn (where Jerry's aviary is), and it would be nice to have a wide selection.

If you have anything you can spare, please send it to the editorial address.


Page 3 Editorial
Page 5 Who’s who?
Page 7 Contents
Page 9 News - The tragedy of Three Owls
Page 13 News
Page 15 News Feature - tragic tigers
Page 17 News
Page 25 Club news
Page 27 Peculiar Pokies
Rare and interesting spiders
by Lucy Henson
Page 30 Riddle of the sand boas
by Richard Freeman
Page 35 When the whip comes down
Tail-less whip scorpions
by Graham Smith
Page 30 The life and times of a ladybird hunter
Lars Thomas
Page 42 A swimming rope you say?
Ropefish By John Dixon
Page 44 Prehistoric fish in aquaria
Page 45 To Aggtelek, Hungary and back
Butterfly conservation expedition
By Richard Muirhead
Page 53 On the track of unknown cockroaches
Max Blake
Page 59 Exclusive extract from
A Daintree Diary by Carl Portman
Page 69 Small ’n’ spiny
Spiny mice by Oll Lewis
Page 73 Euroscorp cometh
The genus Euscorpius by Graham Smith
Page 77 The forgotten Characins of Africa
By David Marshall
Page 82 Ross and the hedgehogs
Page 85 Newphasma's nice
An exciting new stick insect
by Janice Holt
Page 87 To see the world in a grain of sand
Micro-aquaria By Tony Lucas
Page 91 Anomalous arachnids by Max Blake
Page 97 Column: Lucy’s Life
Page 98 Column: Corinna’s endangered species
Page 99 Column: Trevor’s tails
Page 101 Bookshelf
Page 105 About the CFZ


Jon Downes, Graham Smith, Graham Inglis, Corinna Downes, John Dixon, Tony Lucas,
Richard Muirhead, Lars Thomas, Carl Portman, Janice Holt, Richard Freeman, David Marshall, Oll Lewis, Ross Phillips, Lucy Henson, Trevor Smith, and Max Blake

LIZ CLANCY: The Basezi

Part one of my Ugandan crypto-series concerns the terrifying Basezi, or 'night dancer.' Much like the well known werewolf, by day this monster is nothing more than an ordinary member of society who wouldn't harm a fly, never mind another human being.

However, by night, everyone's best friend turns into a corpse-eating critter that, when not dancing naked in the nearby by fields, floats along the ground, cradling a seething mass of flames between his hands. Ordinary people avoid going out at night to avoid catching sight of the frightening spectacle, which, according to legend, would result in the witness's untimely death.

Sources claim some of the basezi are born that way; others can learn to become one, though why anyone would WANT to dig up a cemetary after dark to munch on a dead body is entirely beyond me.

CORINNA DOWNES: Yesterday's News Today

Deep sea fish 'mystery migration' across Pacific Ocean (via Lindsay Selby)
Less attractive fish have 'better sperm'
Tourists get physical kissing grey whale calves off Baja Peninsula
Obese kookaburra sent to fat camp after eating too many sausages
New gecko species identified in West African rain forests
Ugly Bertie is the cat that got the cream and a home
Woodpecker 'plays dead' to escape bird of prey

Well it has to be:

Think I better knock, knock, knock on wood
Think I better knock, knock, knock on wood
Think I better knock, knock, knock on wood
Think I better knock, knock, knock on wood
Think I better knock

(Knock on Wood – Eddie Floyd and Steve Cropper 1966)


Yesterday Graham and I skived off for an hour or so and went to Hartland Quay, where we had a brief walk (or in my case a brief hobble) and photographed the sea. Why, I wonder, was it so foamy (I believe that the correct term is `spume`)? There is always some there but I don't think that I have ever seen it quite that pronounced.
There was a sea-serpent sighting off Hartland Point sometime in the late 19th Century. When I was a young teenager in the early 1970s my family used to go to Clovelly church each Sunday. There was a very old man in the congregation most weeks and knowing of my interest in such things, he once told me that his father had been a fisherman out of Clovelly, and that he had seen a strange creature with a long neck off Hartland Point.
The trouble is that I cannot remember any more details of the story, and I can't even remember the old chap's name, so I cannot chase up his family. Both my parents are dead, as is the vicar of the time, and everyone we used to go to church with. Has anyone else any records from this part of the Bristol Channel?
And while you are at it, why so much spume? The winds were not particularly high or anything....