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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Tuesday, June 15, 2010



Those of you who have been watching BBC Springwatch will be aware that black foxes in Britain have been featured recently and that there is a video and long list of well over 100 hundred black fox sightings on their web site. Today I mention 8 of the more interesting (to me) of the black fox reports. It can be seen that black foxes are now being reported from all over the country. As of about 3pm on Monday June 14th there were 164 separate sightings of black foxes and other black animals reported, though the list only goes up to 8.15pm on June 10th.

The list below is in numerical order of my selection, not the actual report number on the web site.The web site report number is in square brackets.

1 [8].At 9.48pm on 31 May 2010, Jack wrote:

Last year I saw two black foxes down a country lane very close to my house in Rye East Sussex- not seen them this year but have been walking there less. Ok to contact me for further info.

2. [ 13] At 10.01pm on 31 May 2010, Graham Edwards wrote:

Hi, I have just been able to contact your website. About 15mins before the end of your show tonight I had just returned from dropping my parents home who had been spending the afternoon with us,when on my way back a black fox ran in front of me on the Knowsbury road from Clee Hill in Shropshire. I was telling my wife about what I had seen and 5 mins later you were asking if anyone had seen a sighting of a black fox.Very spooky.I haven`t got any photo proof as I was driving at the time, and it was very quick into the hedgerow at the side of the road within seconds. Hope this of interest to you.

3.[16] At 10.03pm on 31 May 2010 Steve wrote

We`ve, on occasion, had black fox cubs born to a red fox in our garden in Surrey. (I`ve uploaded video footage from three years ago of one of the black cubs to the Springwatch video section)

This year she has had two red cubs, but there has been a sighting by a couple of our neighbours of an adult black fox this year. Don`t know if this is true, but I think they are called Silver Foxes, as their coats turn silvery-grey with age. They were bred many years ago for their fur.

4 [76] [ I call this one `Friend of Blue Dog`, for reasons you will see-R]

At 10.46pm on 01 Jun 2010 RangerDave wrote:

Hi Simon, Sorry, no Black Fox sighting for you, but I thought you might be interested to know about a few sightings that I have had over the years!( out of hundreds)
One was the largest Fox I`ve seen by far, and was almost completely silver!
The other one I first thought was a dog, as it had no fur at all apart from on the tips of its ears,no scabs from Mange which was strange,just plain,smooth,dark grey skin!
Very bisar!(sic)

I have seen a few very dark Foxes, but not recently or completely black. Good luck with your research though!

5. [80] At 11.34am on 02 Jun 2010 sandra52 wrote:

Thanx Springwatch! About 30 years ago I saw what I took to be a very large, wild black cat carrying a rabbit on a footpath in Corfe Mullen, Dorset. Now I know what it was. At about the same time on s different path I saw an adderlike snake, but it was thicker than my arm and approx 2 metres long. Please tell me what it was?

6. [95] At 9/08pm on 02 Jun 2010 ,Eagleeyeaimee wrote:

I saw a Black/Dark Grey mottled looking red fox running across the road in a rural area in Oxfordshire on Thursday last week, about 9.15pm having never seen anything like it before I came home puzzled
And told my partner I`d seen something strange that was the size of a fox, but black! Reassuring to know I`m not completely mad and interesting to see this feature on Springwatch.

Just to show that black foxes are not a purely British phenomenon:

7.[99] At 9.19pm on 02 Jun 2010 Owen Traynor wrote:

I saw a black fox on Wednesday 26th may 2010 in Jenkinstown Dundalk Co Louth, Republic of Ireland. It was a very clear sighting and I am looking every day for a repeat performance.

8. [100]

At 9.21pm on 02 Jun 2010 The Newberrys wrote:

My dad and I have both seen black foxes in the past 4 months on 2 separate occasions, at locations 6 miles apart, just outside of a major town in Devon.My dad saw his on Feb 12th, it was extremely black and most certainly a dog fox and he managed to call it within 2 yards of him. I saw mine 2 weeks ago stood on the other side of the hedge which surrounds our chicken run!! It was not as black as the one my dad saw but it was very big.

RICHARD`S RIDDLES- What is the connection between Siouxsie and the Banshees and the U.F.O. crash at Roswell?

ANSWER:”A race of bodies small in size:” (Hong Kong Garden lyrics )


Hey come back Jonee
You gotta come back now Jonee
Well come back Jonee
Jonee be good
Treat her like you should
You made her cry

Jonee your bad
You`re gonna make her sad

Jonee went to the pawn shop
Bought himself a guitar
Now he`s gonna go far
You gotta love `em and leave `em
Sometimes you deceive `em
You made her cry etc, etc


I bet that you have never seen a photograph of someone refurbishing a wabe before. A wabe (according to Lewis Carroll is the bit of ground around the base of a sundial), and ours was badly in need of refurbishing. But why has it been done now?

The weekend of the 26/27th June is a momentous one in Woolsery, because it is the weekend that we throw our gates open to all and sundry, as part of a fundraising drive for local charities. I am the third generation of my family to be living in Myrtle Cottage, and my father and grandmother would be turning in their respective graves at the thought of visitors to what is now the CFZ garden being confronted with a shoddy wabe.

So there!


I suppose Graham is somewhat constrained in what he's allowed to do, with regards the world cup. Think yourself lucky; I seem to besurrounded by World Cup obsessives, and motorway travel (of which I doentirely too much; on the order of 500 miles per week) is now fraughtwith the danger of flags detaching themselves from cars.

See you at the Weird Weekend, anyway.

GERALD SMITH: Garden Goldfinches

Regular readers will have read about Gerald before. He was a very close friend of my late father, and as the one-time Chaplain for the Falkland Islands, his flock also included the British Antarctic Territory, so Oll, once introduced him to someone as the ex-Vicar of the South Pole. What you may not know is that he is an accomplished nature photographer, and as such he is going to start contributing images to the bloggo.

Gerald writes: "Having got Goldfinches this year for the first time - thanks to Nyger seed - we've never seen a fledgeling before. Here's today's we presume. The back wing feathers seem quite extraordinary. We've also got Siskins and Greenfinches going for the seed - Siskins for the first time".

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1960 the Alfred Hitchcock film ‘Psycho’ was released.
And now, the news:

Pet dog can climb trees
Snowdonia mountain rescue crew save tired dog
Swarm Of Toxic Jellyfish Found Off UK Coast
Ugly hairless cats are a £3,000 must-have pet
Pigeon-feeder gets bird Asbo
German student attacks Hell's Angels with puppy
Endangered Tiger Found In Man's Freezer
Lucky pig made honorary citizen

He’s a ‘pig’ star now…