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...

Search This Blog



In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

LIZ CLANCY: Crypto-booze

Well, I'm still not walking but my pal and fellow CFZer Richard Muirhead pushed me in a wheelchair to the pub recently (hooray!). The pub in question was the Edwin Waugh in Heywood and the crypto-booze of the blog title was Double Gold. Not a very cryptozoological-sounding title for a ale, I grant you, but the brewery in question happens to be Heywood's very own Phoenix Brewery.

I am ashamed to say that after almost four years in Heywood this particular swig was my first taste of Phoenix's nectar but Double Gold was absolutely adorable and I will certainly be catching up for lost time in the near future!


The brave Pete Bethune has been given a two-year suspended for five years by a Japanese court. Pete was found guilty of assault - by throwing stink bombs made of rancid butter at the whalers – while outside the court there were protestors waving banners demanding that he should receive a tougher sentence. However, compared to the destruction of the vessel Andy Gil by whalers, his stink bombs are positively benign.

Sea Shepherd spent more than $500,000 defending Captain Bethune in an attempt to mitigate his sentence. He had been facing up to 15 years in prison, and after his suspended two-year sentence, he has now been deported back to New Zealand.

Pete has saved the lives of 528 whales and exposed the cowardice and brutality of Japanese whalers.
Recently, at the International Whaling Commission in Morocco, Japan tried to bribe members from small, poor countries in completely underhand and abhorrent ways - with call girls and money - a shocking example of how low the whalers will sink in their backward and revolting attempts to preserve this despicable practice. Surprisingly, even Barrack Obama was going to support the return of commercial whaling.

However, now that the world has spoken and rejected this, we need to close the loop holes that allow 'scientific whaling' to continue, and whale meat to find its way into Japanese shops.


Book on big cat research released

REGION - Eight years of research has gone into the production of the newly released book Australian Big Cats - An Unnatural History of Panthers, by Michael Williams and Rebecca Lang.

Writer/photographer Michael Williams and journalist Rebecca Lang have travelled all over Australia interviewing farmers, hunters, hikers and ordinary Australians investigating sightings, unexplained stock deaths and looking into the history books to gather information for the book.

Their travels have also brought them to the Ararat and Grampians region in their quest for evidence.

The presence of big cats in the Australian bush is one of the country's biggest mysteries and for many years there has been talk of sightings.

''There has been evidence of big cats in Victoria since the 1870s,'' Mr Williams said.

This evidence is a mixture of rich folklore, sightings and video evidence.

''In putting the book together, we have spent eight years researching and travelling around Victoria, New South Wales, South Australia and Queensland collecting reports, photos, video, scat and hair samples,'' he said.

''We want to prove the case that it's not just folklore, that these are valid reports.

''We want to prove the that evidence is overwhelming, that there is some mystery animal in Australia.''

The book is available online australianbigcats.com.au or through PO Box 5 Hazelbrooke 2779 NSW. The cost is $35 plus $15 postage.



Hello Jon,

I thought I would take the time to show you my latest painting I just completed tonight, that of a Leopard. It took me a few months to complete as I have so many things on the go that I never seem to have time. I get up every morning at 4.30 am and drive 50 km one way to work, and the same back. I tend to stay up till midnight working on my art when I'm not tired.

Also as a collector of bird eggs I have some of the most wanted eggs in my collection. These are eggs of some of the rarest birds and indeed birds that are now extinct. But let me say most of my eggs were carved by myself using Basswood. The same wood I used to carve the Tasmanian Wolf. I just hate to see wood go to waste.

I had a piece of wood left over from the Tasi carving and have now started carving the egg of the Great Auk. I have a great reference book that gives me all the details, I will show you the egg when completed as well as a few other gems......


Hello again – Muirhead`s Mysteries is out of the deep freeze, if only briefly, for a look at sightings of the mammoth in central Russia in the mid eighteenth century. I found the following report in the Annual Register for December 1767.:

“ Some accounts of the horns, called mammon`s * horns; and the strange opinions the Tartars hold of the kind of animal to which they imagine they belonged.

In the banks of the Oby, about this place,are found great quantities of that kind of ivory called, in this country, mammon`s horn. Some of it also is found on the banks of the Volga.Mammon`s horn, resembles in shape and size, the teeth of a large elephant. The vulgar really imagine mammon to be a creature living in marshes and underground; [as did the Chinese-R] and entertain many strange notions concerning it. The Tartars tell many fables of its having been seen alive.But to me it appears that this horn is the tooth of a large elephant. When, indeed,or how, these teeth came so far to the northward, where no elephants can,at present, subsist during the winter-season, is what I am unable to determine. They are commonly found in the banks of rivers which have been washed by floods. The commandant of this place had his entry ornamented with several very large ones, and made me a present of one of them.

I have been told by Tartars in the Baraba, that they have seen this creature, called mammon,at the dawn of day,near lakes and rivers;but, that on discovering them, the mammon immediately tumbles into the water, and never appears in day-time; they say it is about the size of a large elephant, with a monstrous large head and horns, with which he makes his way in marshy places, and under ground, where he conceals himself at night. I only mention these things as the reports of superstitious and ignorant people.

I have observed, in most of the towns we passed, between Tobolsky and Yenesiesky, many of these mammons horns, so called by the natives; some of them very entire and fresh, like the best ivory, in every circumstance, excepting only the colour, which was of a yellowish hue; others of them mouldered away at the ends; and, when sawn asunder, prettily clouded. The people make snuff boxes, combs, and divers sorts of turnery ware of them.

They are found in the banks of all the great rivers in Siberia, westward of Iencousky, when the floods have washed down the banks, by the melting of the snow, in the spring. I have seen of them weighing above one hundred pounds English. ( I brought a large tooth, or mammon`s horn, with me to England, and presented it to my worthy friend Sir Hans Sloane, who gave it a place in his celebrated Museum; and was of the opinion, also,that it was the tooth of an elephant. This tooth was found in the river Oby, at a place called Surgute. (1)

* sic.

1. Anon. Some account….Annual Register vol. 10. Dec. 1767 pp 85-86


Until Sally I was never happy
I needed so much more
Rain clouds oh they used to chase me
Down they would pour
Join my tears
Allay my fears
Sent to me from heaven
Sally Cinnamon
You are my world


A few days ago I interviewed Richard Freeman about his new book, The Great Yokai Encyclopedia: An A to Z of Japanese Monsters.

It's an extensive and entertaining interview, which can be found here:



The other day this turned up on the Forteana mailing list. It is a fascinating timeline of the history of man's interaction with the puma/cougar/mountain lion, and charts its regional extirpation and return..

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1933 Wiley Post circumnavigated the world by plane in only 7 days and 19 hours.
And now, the news:

Cuckoo fears
Hundreds of dead penguins washed up in Brazil
Panther story resurfaces in new book

Today’s song is pretty good, take a look/listen: