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


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Friday, September 24, 2010


The events leading up to the prospect of appearing on TV started back in August 2009 at the Weird Weekend, held annually by the CFZ (Centre for Fortean Zoology) in North Devon. The four-teans invariably attend, starting with ther cocktail party held on a Thursday night. The party is a chance to mingle and socialise with fellow guests and speakers and can be quite a boozy affair. it's also the place where Dave experienced a missing time episode in 2008. The full bottle of spirit of Louisiana he'd drunk, had of course, nothing at all to do with it........

Read on


This is totally remarkble. In October, 1868, Laura Jernegan, a 6 year old girl from Edgartown, Massachusetts set out on a three year whaling voyage with her father, mother, brother and the ship's crew to the whaling grounds of the Pacific Ocean. The website, produced by the Martha's Vineyard Museum, tells the story of Laura Jernegan and the journal she kept on her voyage.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1580 Sir Francis Drake completed his circumnavigation of the world. Drake is also well known for having singed the king of Spain's beard.
And now, the news:

White elephant discovery 'a positive omen' for Bur...
'Sick prank' leaves cat dyed pink in Swindon
John Wilson lands monster 184lb blue shark in UK w...
Bears sighted in area towns
Neanderthals were able to 'develop their own tools...
Fish with 'human teeth' bit angler

The 90's were awesome and this clip will show you why, it is of mankind's greatest achievement and the pinnacle of human ingenuity. Everything led up to this one invention and I'm sure you'll agree with me that nothing we do as a species from this point will ever come close to this one point. Lady's and gentlemen I present to you the highest point in our species' history:

RICHARD FREEMAN: Bird attacks in Malta

Poachers in Malta have been killing migrating birds illegally and attacking bird watchers. BirdLife Malta and CABS (Committee Against Bird Slaughter) received many reports of protected species being shot after a storm the previous night brought many migratory birds into Malta seeking shelter. A Common Kestrel, a Purple Heron - a species of Conservation Concern in Europe - a Grey Heron, a Night Heron and a little bittern have all been passed to Birdlife with pellets embedded internally.

Since the start of the hunting season illegal shooting at protected species including Osprey, Honey-buzzard, Eleonora's Falcon, Hobby, Night Heron, Red Knot, Little Egret and Mediterranean Gull has occured. Illegal sea hunting for protected Oystercatchers and Shelduck using high powered speedboats has also been recorded by BirdLife field teams.

"The denial of the scale of illegal killing of migratory birds by the authorities have so far worked in favour of illegal hunters who once again started blasting protected species out of sky with impunity. " said Tolga Temuge, BirdLife Malta Executive Director.

BirdLife Malta and CABS will be joining forces in their efforts to monitor and report illegal hunting to the police this month. Last summer poachers hurled rocks at bird watchersand shot out the windscreen of a car. Now police officers on extra duties will be assigned to the conservation camps to ensure the security of the bird watchers who have faced many attacks in the past.


I am sorry that I have not been as useful over the last few days as I might have been. However, it seems that at Shosh's wedding last week I caught a cold. And as you may well know, colds and diabetes are not a particularly pleasant mix. I have been in bed for the past two days and have achieved practically nothing.

I occasionally get out of bed to read my emails, but then (together with my faithful furry companion Biggles) I retreat back to my pit and go back to sleep.

So, if you have written to me over the past few days and are expecting a reply, please be patient. This bloody disease cannot last forever....

OLL LEWIS: Crypto cons - The Eccentric Naturalist Part Two

Returning to England from his South American adventures in 1821 Watson's ship docked in Liverpool where it was inspected by a customs officer to determine whether there were any items aboard liable for import tax. The customs officer took a look at the numerous crates of biological specimens that Waterton had and decided to he should pay a hefty tax on them as surely these were not for a personal collection and Waterton must have intend to sell them. The customs man did not believe Waterton's protests and he had to pay a huge amount of money to bring his scientific specimens into the country. Waterton was not best pleased by these events and vowed he would get his own back upon the jumped up little customs man.

When Waterton visited Guyana for the fourth and final time while out in the wilds he claims to have met up with a hairy red-faced primate. Those of you familiar with the some of the tales the native Guyanese told Freeman et al during their expedition to Guyana will probably be thinking things like “hang about...” or “A-ha, I wonder if there might be a connection.” in relation to the red-faced pygmies, according to Richard they are not descriptions of the same animal/people because the pygmies were said not to be hairy or fur-covered. Personally, I wonder if Waterton had heard similar tales from the natives and took that as his inspiration for what was to follow, most strange animals or tribes do not appear over night after all.

Waterton detailed the animal as follows in the fourth journey in his book Wanderings in South America as follows:

'I mentioned, in a former adventure, that I had hit upon an entirely new plan of making the skins of quadrupeds retain their exact form and feature. Intense application to the subject has since that period enabled me to shorten the process and hit the character of an animal to a very great
nicety, even to the preservation of the pouting lip, dimples, warts and wrinkles on the face. I got a fine specimen of the howling monkey, and took some pains with it in order to show the immense difference that exists betwixt the features of this monkey and those of man.

'I also procured an animal which has caused not a little speculation and astonishment. In my opinion, his thick coat of hair and great length of tail put his species out of all question, but then his face and head cause the inspector to pause for a moment before he ventures to pronounce his
opinion of the classification. He was a large animal, and as I was pressed for daylight, and moreover, felt no inclination to have the whole weight of his body upon my back, I contented myself with his head and shoulders, which I cut off, and have brought them with me to Europe. [Footnote: My young friend Mr. J. H. Foljambe, eldest son of Thomas Foljambe, Esq., of Wakefield, has made a drawing of the head and shoulders of this animal, and it is certainly a most correct and striking likeness of the original.] I have since found that I acted quite right in doing so, having had enough to answer for the head alone, without saying anything of his hands and feet, and of his tail, which is an appendage, Lord Kames asserts, belongs to us.

'The features of this animal are quite of the Grecian cast, and he has a placidity of countenance which shows that things went well with him when in life. Some gentlemen of great skill and talent, on inspecting his head, were convinced that the whole series of its features has been changed. Others again have hesitated, and betrayed doubts, not being able to make up their minds whether it be possible that the brute features of the monkey can be changed into the noble countenance of man: "Scinditur vulgus." One might argue at considerable length on this novel subject; and perhaps,
after all, produce little more than prolix pedantry: "Vox et praeterea nihil."

'Let us suppose for an instant that it is a new species. Well; "Una golondrina no hace verano": One swallow does not make summer, as Sancho Panza says. Still, for all that, it would be well worth while going out to search for it; and these times of Pasco-Peruvian enterprise are favourable
to the undertaking. Perhaps, gentle reader, you would wish me to go in quest of another. I would beg leave respectfully to answer that the way is dubious, long and dreary; and though, unfortunately, I cannot allege the excuse of "me pia conjux detinet," still I would fain crave a little
repose. I have already been a long while errant:

“Longa mihi exilia, et vastum maris aequor aravi,
“Ne mandate mihi, nam ego sum defessus agendo.

“Should anybody be induced to go, great and innumerable are the discoveries yet to be made in those remote wilds; and should he succeed in bringing home even a head alone, with features as perfect as those of that which I have brought, far from being envious of him, I should consider him a modern Alcides, fully entitled to register a thirteenth labour.'

The head and shoulders that Waterton brought back, called 'Waterton's Nondescript' were never taken terribly seriously by the scientific establishment and with most concluding that far from being a head and shoulders they were from a howler monkey's rear end by the skilled taxidermist. The Nondescript is on display to this day in the Waterton collection of Wakefield Museum, though, should anyone wish to peruse this unusual artefact up close.

As to exactly why Waterton made the Nondescript nobody can say for sure, but according to some the Nondescript's facial features bear a striking resemblance to a certain customs man from Liverpool....

CFZ AUSTRALIA: A Quoll-ity post


Zoologist Chris Humfrey doesn't recommend keeping tiger quolls as pets.

Despite their size, the small carnivores' aggressive nature means they're inclined to attack whatever crosses their path.

Mr Humfrey breeds the species, the lesser-known cousin of the Tasmanian tiger. He said quoll numbers had dwindled due to habitat destruction, poisoning and foxes and cats attacking their offspring and spreading diseases.

Mr Humphrey is hand-rearing two of the 17 baby quolls, named Quincy and Queenie.

Chris runs http://www.blogger.com/www.wildaction.com.au - a wildlife education business.

Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 9/22/2010 06:12:00 PM

Chris runs www.wildaction.com.au - a wildlife education business.

Posted By CFZ Australia to Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia at 9/22/2010 06:12:00 PM

LARS THOMAS: Here kitty kitty

For many years I have been convinced that winged cats were something only my esteemed colleague Karl Shuker were capable of discovering, but lo and behold, a couple of weeks ago I stumbled across a photo of a winged cat from Denmark. The photo, taken by animal health inspector Jesper Pedersen this summer in the town of Frederikshavn in northern Denmark (with a mobile phone, hence the poor quality), shows a rather large reddish cat with almost angelic wings stretching out from the middle of the back. The cat, and "a strange growth flapping around on it's back" was discovered by local residents in a suburb in Frederikshavn. The inspector, who works for a nationwide cat rescue service in Denmark, was able to catch the cat. The animal, a stray, with no collar or any other identification, was in a very sorry state, and was put down by a veterinarian. The photo was taken after this. A closer examination of the "growth" on the back revealed that it consisted entirely of hair. Unfortunately neither the vet nor the animal inspector preserved the cat or the wings.


Well it made me laugh...

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1952 Christopher Reeve was born. Reeve played the role of Superman in several films but is best known for being a high profile victim of paralysis as the result of a horse-riding accident in 1995. Reeve was determined not to let his paralysis beat him and after years of intense work he was able to breath unaided for 30 minutes and eventually even able to move one of his fingers and regain sensations for hot and cold temperatures in places below his neck.
And now, the news:

First footage captured of giant sea serpent of the...
Montana woman fights bear using courgette
Seven elephants killed by train in India
Apples 'spiked' with pins and nails eaten by horse...

Now this... This is creepy, right at the end it sounds like Mr Ed has links to organized crime: