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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Friday, August 13, 2010


Today was unusual for me, even by Weird Weekend standards. The day started off normally enough with the post cocktail party clean up and later on touring people around the CFZ menagerie and introducing guests to all the animal’s which included really interesting talks with Dr Dan and Mike and Ruby. One of the things I enjoy about the Weird Weekend is that you get to talk to people from all over the world and learn new things or things get mentioned to you that make you see things in ways that hadn’t occurred to you before. I always try to live my life by the rule that if you didn’t learn at least one new thing a day is wasted so day’s like today can count towards upping my non-wasted day count considerably.

When things started to get bizarre was when I was put in charge of the ‘frogs’ for the opening ceremony. It was sort of like herding cats. I was trying to keep 5 children of varying ages in the same area at once and stop them from going off to clean green face-paint off their noses, which is no mean feet. Eventually I managed to get the kids to stay in roughly the same area by warning them that if they did not there was a possibility that a heron might fly in through their kitchen window and mess up their pots and pans. I don’t think the kids believed me but at least this bit of silliness seemed to work. The day’s unusualness was not over however because as soon as I had finished filming Andy Robert’s talk on the Welsh Roswell Dave Curtis came rushing up to me to say he had just seen a ‘black triangle’ UFO after dropping off the rest of the Curtis clan at the B&B. I remembered Jon, Nick Redfern, Mark North and Larry Warren had also seen a black triangle at the WW cocktail party a few years back and that several other people in the village had also claimed to have seen them in the past too, so I told Dave about Jon’s sighting and he went over to tell Jon about his own. Dave then was given the microphone to tell the hall about what he’d just seen.

Big Cats, UFOs, ghosts and poltergeists all in the same village, you really couldn’t make it up.


Numbers are - sadly - down on last year, but so far this has been a splendid event, and looks like it is going to get even splendider (if that is a word).

How many other conferences begin with a potentially real thylacine skin on stage (see the video below). And that was after a group of small children performing The Edgar Broughton Band's massively wonderful Out Demons Out, and the sight of Richard Freeman with a ventriloquist's monkey and a fez talking complete nonsense...





FROM YOUTUBE: 'I managed to capture a few seconds of this mystery big cat like animal whilst out walking on a remote Northumbrian moor. By looking at some of the features I estimate it to be 6 to 7 foot long, black and possibly feline, but definitely unknown to science.'


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February 2009 and he is now working on a general mish-mash of a section known as `General Forteana`. This nineteenth collection once again really is a general mishmash of completely uncategoriseable stuff, including a cannibal tramp, urban cougars in California, and a pointless story about a bloke being run over by a steamroller. It doesn't get much better than this. Good stuff.



Jon, I'm writing about the photographs that have recently been published of the new Nessie off the Devon coast. The pictures, though not clear, could be that of a very rare whale found in British waters, that of the northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus). The northern bottlenose whale matches the colour described by Gill Pearce as greenish brown. Actually the northern bottlenose whale has a colour range from dark grey to greenish brown and everything in between. It has a short dorsal fin found two thirds of the way down its back. The photograph I attached shows what appears to be a small dorsal fin. The photograph also shows a bulbous head sticking out of the water, and this is the trade mark of the northern bottlenose whale.

I stuck a picture from one of my books next to Gill Pearce's photograph for comparison. These whales are found from the Canadian coast in the east around southern Greenland, Iceland and Europe. They tend to travel in small groups but are also found on their own. They range in size from 23 to 29 feet. I did not read anywhere if a length was given by Gill Pearce. It is a member of the beaked whale family. The males have between 2 to 4 teeth the females none, or are hidden below the gum line. Some whales have no teeth at all. Their favourite food, like all beaked whales, are small fish and squid. Gill said this creature "snapped stalking a shoal of fish just 30 yards off the British coast." These whales are normally found in deep water but they are also known to strand themselves on beaches; anything is possible.

It was a whale of this species that died in the Thames a few years ago.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1901 Gustave Whitehead made the first powered flight in history… What’s that? You thought it was the Wright Brothers? Not so… http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gustave_Whitehead
And now, the news:

Scientists discover new species of monkey hidden d...
New species of monkey with red, bushy beard found ...
Talk has not halted biodiversity loss - now it's t...
Bigfoot seen 32 years ago
Wild-born black footed ferrets seen in Canada for ...
Fragile habitat of French mystery island 'risks be...
First beaver born in the wild for 400 years
Flotilla of stinging jellyfish hit Spanish beaches...
Are _Torosaurus_ and _Triceratops_ one and the sam...

A vaguely related song appears in a cloud of smoke:




7.00 - 7.10 intro
7.10 - 8.00 LECTURE MATTHEW WILLIAMS: Crop Circles
8.00 - 8.30 break
8.30 - 9.30 LECTURE CARL PORTMAN: On the track of the whistling spider
9.30 - 10.00 break
10.00 - 11.00 LECTURE ANDY ROBERTS: The Berwyn mountain UFO crash


12.00 - 12.15 Introduction to Cryptozoology
12.15 - 1.15 LECTURE: MAX BLAKE: Singular Species
1.15 - 1.45 break
1.45 - 2.30 LECTURE: MIKE HALLOWELL: The Kapree; the Strange Tale of Cornwall's
Out-of-Place, Cigar-Smoking Philippino Cryptid
2.30 - 3.00 LECTURE: LIONEL BEER: Treacle Mines
3.00 - 3.30 break
3.30 - 3.45 Quiz
3.45 - 4.00 Special Mystery Guest
4.00 - 5.00 JON/CORINNA: Texas Blue Dogs Expedition Report
5.00 - 5.30 Break
5.30 - 6.15 BOOK LAUNCH: GARY CUNNINGHAM/RONAN COGHLAN: Mystery Animals of Ireland
6.15 - 7.15 LECTURE: RICHARD FREEMAN: Yokai - Japanese monsters
7.15 - 7.45 Break
7.45 - 8.45 LECTURE: MIKE WILLIAMS AND RUBY LANG: Australian Mystery Big Cats
8.45 - 9.00 CFZ AWARDS
9.00 - 9.30 break
9.30 - 10.00 FILM: Creature Quest - The Owlman of Mawnan: Shown by Matt Sayce
10.00 - 11.00 RICHARD FREEMAN & CO: Sumatra Expedition Report


12.00 - 1.00 LECTURE: OLL LEWIS: The Cardiff Giant and his kin
1.00 - 1.30 FILM: Great Devon Mystery: Shown by Mike Dash
1.30 - 2.30 LECTURE LARS THOMAS: Identifying hair samples
2.30 - 3.00 break
3.00 - 4.00 LECTURE MIKE DASH: The monster of Glamis
4.00 - 4.30 break
4.30 - 5.15 LECTURE RONAN COGHLAN: The Holy Grail
5.15 - 5.30 JON DOWNES: Keynote speech