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 22, 2010


From YouTube: These birds have been living in a blue spruce outside of my house in Cambridge, Mass. They always make a nest in early June, and this is the third year we have had babies cheeping in the tree. This video is of the mother bird on the roof. I would love to know what type of bird they are!


Hi Jon,

Thought you'd like a copy of our invite to our Australian book launch - I know you can't be there, but it's a pretty cool invite (if I do say so myself).


RICHARD FREEMAN: The legends of Lincolnshire #3

The Fiery Page boy.

202 years ago there was a page boy at Girsby Hall, captured by robbers. They made him swear to let them rob the Hall, and told him that if he spoke to anyone about it they would skin him alive. So having sworn to let them in, and after being threatened again, they let him go, and he kept his promise to let the men into the Hall. But then called for help. The men were all secured after they had entered the Hall, tried and punished, and it was supposed that nothing more would happen, though for a time the page boy was guarded, (or at least he was not allowed to go anywhere, lest the men should get hold of him). But at last they did, and they carried out their promise and skinned him alive. For many years after a big ball of fire rushed screaming across the road where his body was found completely skinned.

GLEN VAUDREY: black pumas

There is one statement that I always find myself at odds with when it comes to cryptozoology and that is the insistence that there are no such things as black pumas, more often than not you find this stated in regard to big cat sightings in the UK.

Now I really have trouble with the fact that this is quoted like gospel.

From this point of view any report of a sighting of an animal described as a black puma can be nothing more than the viewer being mistaken in his or her sighting. The animal being some other type of big black cat, may be a melanistic leopard or just a domestic cat that has been eating lots of healthy food and putting hours in at the gym until it appears as a fearsome looking beast to the untrained observer, but certainly it can’t possibly be a black puma because there is no such thing.

Now I did read a while back that there has been one confirmed black puma and that unfortunate animal was shot in Brazil in 1843, but in good cryptozoological tradition no proof other than the written word exists to back up this supposed example. Unfortunately, and all too believably, the skin of this unlucky black cat was not preserved and unlike today nobody had a phone to take a picture of the dead cat ready to post on YouTube the next day.

Of course even the picture would be unlikely to have been taken as sufficient proof of the animal’s existence. I should say however that on the whole the theory of ‘no black pumas being possible’ does sound a good argument with quite a few scientific reasons to back it up. It is not because I am ideologically opposed to it that I find myself at odds with it, rather it is because of the following - if you can loudly state that there is no such thing as a black puma do you not then run the risk of someone else using the same argument to state that there can be no possibility of any big cats being found in the wild in Britain, after all many would agree they too cannot possibly exist.

CFZ AUSTRALIA: A Naturalist's dream


This is one auction that will have something for everyone, but the articles that have caught our eye include a large range of taxidermied animals and Gould bird prints. There is also a set of cabinets made especially for Sir Joseph Banks' Australian specimens, which are tipped to bring in a pretty penny.

The earliest item is a semi-fossilised Pleistocene Irish Elk skull dated at around 5000 years old. There are also several stuffed rare and extinct Australian specimens.


Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 6/21/2010 05:49:00 PM


Friends, here is a selection of cryptids from English language Hong Kong newspapers, which I found whilst looking for mysteries in Hong Kong.Well, I found one Hong Kong item out of three! When I say these are cryptids, that is not strictly true. I don`t know whether or not the fish and the bear are new to science,but on the off chance they were or are I include them anyway. Wolves were reported from Hong Kong during the construction of the Kowloon-Canton Railway (1905-1910) but Jon believes these were dholes. I have e-mailed a University in Hawaii and the Bishop Museum about the fish.


This from The Hong Kong Telegraph July 1902.

The Kulu [now in N. India-R] correspondent of the Lahore paper writes thus of a mysterious wild beast that is haunting the neighbourhood:- “The, as yet unidentified animal in the south-west part of the valley, keeps on breaking open cowsheds and killing cattle, and a party of Rohilla sepoys have been sent from Mundi with orders to shoot it. Its latest iniquity was to drag the carcass of a bullock all around the precincts of temple, and eat it on the very temple steps. The natives declare that when attacked by dogs, it gets rid of its assailants in a very ingenious manner by pelting them with pieces of beef and while the dogs,which are generally half starved, are enjoying this most unexpected and extremely welcome supper, it makes good its escape. Wood cutters state that, on more than one occasion, they have come across an entirely new kind of beast in the jungles- a very large bear,head, body and hindquarters black, chest,forelegs and belly brown, like a red bear. If this is true, it looks like a cross between the black and brown bears, a hybrid I have never heard of before. Another woodman`s story that he saw this half caste attacked simultaeneously by two black bear`s, both of which it killed by knocking them over the “khud”! (1)

A QUEER FISH Circular Silver Body and Red Snout.

From The China Mail May 1922

A fish of a species hitherto unknown to science, caught by a Japanese fisherman 13 miles off shore at a depth of 1,200 ft is on exhibition at Honolulu and is exciting great interest.

The specimen weighs 150lb and is flat and almost circular. Silver predominates in the colouring of its body, with its fins and snout of scarlet, and the dorsal,about 18 inches long, spotted with white. The head is mottled with dark grey and black, and the eyes are round and about 4 inches in diameter.

DR C.H. Edmondson, ichthyologist at the University of Hawaii says that the specimen is not classified in any available scientific work. The fish will be presented to the Bishop Museum in Honolulu (2)


The Hong Kong Telegraph February 1938

An alarming experience is reported by a resident of the Colony who went for a walk in the Tytam Valley yesterday evening, which suggested that an Alsatian dog has run wild on the island and is by way of becoming what is known as a “killer”. In fact, it is possible that there are two of these animals, perhaps male and female, and if this is so, and they breed, the prospects are disturbing……” I had a very clear view of the animal: it appeared to be a wolf in every respect, but as I know there are not supposed to be wolves on the island I decided it was an Alsatian. Its slinking manner, unkempt coat and the fact that it had not even a collarshowed that it was a stray, probably run wild. This wild trait was almost immediately afterwards proved in an alarming manner.”Hardly had the brute vanished from sight than I heard a rustling coming from among the thick undergrowth on the bank on my left hand side…….Recently villagers in Aberdeen and Little Hong Kong [ in the `30s these were small fishing communities on the south side of Hong Kong island not far from Tytam-R] complained that pigs had been killed by some large animal there.

“Is a pair, and potential pack, of wild Alsatians, in every way as dangerous as wolves, hunting the Tytam-Deep Water Bay-Little Hong Kong area? If so, the animals should be destroyed as soon as possible. Incidentally, there has been a noticeable dearth of wild barking-deer in that vicinity these past few months, compared with previously, and the explanation seems obvious!” (3)

1 The Hong Kong Telegraph July 30th 1902.
2 The China Mail May 24th 1922
3 The Hong Kong Telegraph February 3rd 1938.



( I am not a racist, I`m fond of the Japanese, after all they found the above mentioned fish in 1922 and a plesiosaurus, oops, sorry chums, a basking shark in 1977…!)

I`ve got your picture of me and you
You wrote “ I love you” I wrote “me too”
I sit there staring and there`s nothing else to do
Oh it`s in the color
Your hair is brown
Your eyes are hazel
And soft as clouds
I often kiss you when there`s no one else around

I`ve got your picture, I`ve got your picture,
I`d like a million of you all `round myself
I want a doctor, to take a picture,
So I can look at you from inside as well,
You`ve got me turning up and turning down
I`m turning in I`m turning round

I`m turning Japanese
I think I`m turning Japanese
I really think so…etc,

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1912 Alan Turing, the inventor of the computer was born.
And now, the news:

Basking sharks off Falmouth
Hellhound stalking Cannock Chase?
Pictured: shy badgers eat cornflakes at a hotel

It’s as old as the internet but there can only be one response to a story involving badgers:



Those shameless publicity seekers Rebecca Lang and Mike Williams have just launched their book, Australian Big Cats: An Unnatural History of Panthers.
Mike wore his CFZ colours on the day!

Here they are pictured with witness and ace photographer Shane Foreman (left) at the launch, which was held at the Hawkesbury Regional Museum.

Incidentally, the Museum is presently host to an excellent exhibition, Hawkesbury Myth and Legend, featuring some of the duo's contributions.

You can buy the book at www.australianbigcats.com.au
Mike and Rebecca will also be speaking at this year's UK Weird Weekend 2010!
Read more about the line-up here: www.weirdweekend.org

Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 6/21/2010 04:09:00 AM