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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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...

Friday, August 06, 2010


Happy Birthday to our favourite sub-editor Lizzy C, who (apparently, because I have just spoken to her) has various birthday treats lined up for her today by her sister and her boyfriend.

She is still fed up because she broke her foot some time ago, and although she is now out of plaster she is not allowed to walk, and is feeling frustrated.

Poor dear.

I hope that your various birthday treats will make her feel better.......

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Latest News

* Each year we have speakers drop out at the last minute, and have to have people on the reserve benches ready to fill in. This year, the reserve benches hold three speakers: Yours truly on the events that happened in Ireland last year, Richard F on Japanese Monsters, and Oll Lewis on the Cardiff Giant and his kin. I know you will all be thinking that we can't possibly lose three speakers, but one year, due to a rail strike and a flu epidemic we lost 9...but it was still one of the best ever Weird Weekends, so watch this space..

With less than a week to go, now might be a good time to buy your tickets to the best crypto-fortean event of the year....

Buy Your Tickets here


This is either a silly waste of time, or a remarkably spot-on satire of the way most TV programmes treat mystery animal stories...


Although this skull was once said to belong to the mythical Aboriginal creature known as a bunyip, it was identified by the naturalist William Sharp Macleay (1792-1865) as nothing but a horse, deceptively presented to fool the credulous.

It was part of a major collection that eventually formed the Macleay Museum, assembled by three members of the Macleay family. This has been housed in purpose-built accommodation on the University of Sydney campus since the 1880s.

Celebrated for its holdings in entomology, ethnography, scientific instruments and historic photographs, the museum can trace its origins back to 1826, when Alexander Macleay was appointed colonial secretary for New South Wales - and brought with him one of the largest privately owned insect collections in the world.

It was developed by Macleay's son William Sharp and nephew William John, whose passion for taxonomy included a particular interest in intestinal worms. The latter would scour the fish markets for novelties and purchase specimens from local naturalists and "bird stuffers".



I don't know why, but the latest episode of On the Track which we posted the other day has the soundtrack and pictures out of synch in the latter part of the episode. I suspect that it is something to do with YouTube, because a couple of other random interview videos that I watched yesterday are also out of synch. However, this morning - as a test - I looked at last month's video, and it seems to be OK, so I really don't know.

Suggestions please...


Yesterday on the news blog Gavin posted a story about the apparent comeback being made by Britain's largest butterfly Papilio machaon the Swallowtail. The butterflies seen in East Anglia are of the British subspecies, P.m. britannicus, (left top) whereas the common European subspecies P.m.gorganus (left, below) is only known in the UK from rare vagrants blown over from Europe. At least that is the generally accepted state of affairs.

However, evidence from engravings from old books, and vintage butterfly collections says that the butterflies which were once found in Kent and around London within historical times, were actually P.m.gorganus, which is mildly interesting but also seds light on another British lepidopterical (if that is a word) mystery.

The British subspecies of the large blue (Lycaena dispar dispar) became extinct in the mid 19th Century, and reintroduction attempts have been of the Dutch subspecies L.d.batava or the Eastern European subspecies L.d.rutilus. Material from 18th Century butterfly collections suggests that the so-called British subspecies was not the only subspecies that once lived in Britain. This is a tantalising thought. If so-called foreign subspecies once lived in Britain, could the so-called British subspecies have lived on continental Europe as well? And, if so, is there any possibility that it has survived?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1960 David Duchovny, better known as Agent Fox Mulder in the X-Files, was born.
And now, the news:

New report holds up Wildwood as an example for oth...
Fresh search on Windermere for Bownessie

I posted the full version of the ending tune a few days back so as there is a vague Nessie link in the air, Bow-Nessie having been named after Nessie, why not have the opening song as well? Thistle whistles at the ready…