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 three episodes pretty much at random:


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, September 29, 2010


Join the Big Climate Connection!

Dear Supporter

Join the Stop Climate Chaos ‘Big Climate Connection’ on 5 and 6 November and lobby your MP in your constituency.

As a leading member of Stop Climate Chaos, the RSPB is supporting The Big Climate Connection on 5 and 6 November – the next step in the growing movement to stop catastrophic climate changes.

This event, specific to your constituency, will see local people and groups concerned about climate change, join together and lobby their MPs.

In December 2009, over 50,000 people from across the UK marched in ‘The Wave’ ahead of the Copenhagen climate talks. Many of those people then ‘Asked the Climate Question’ to parliamentary candidates during the 2010 UK General Election. The Stop Climate Chaos movement is continuing to grow, and we need many more people from all walks of life to get involved and keep up the pressure.

With an historic new Coalition Government and over 200 new MPs in place, this is the perfect opportunity to influence your MP and tell them that climate issues matter to you.

Between 5 and 6 November we hope that RSPB members all over the UK will grab this opportunity and take part in The Big Climate Connection by meeting their MPs and it would be great if you could join them.

For more information and to find out how to get involved please visit our website.

Yours sincerely

Steven Roddy
Parliamentary Campaigns Manager

If you have a question or comment please contact campaigns@rspb.org.uk

The RSPB speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Nature is amazing - help us keep it that way.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is a registered charity: England and Wales no. 207076, Scotland no. SC037654


Just in case anyone else missed the point of what I was saying, when - in yesterday's post about my financial situation - I said that I no longer smoked 20 fags a day, I was referring to cigarettes. Until September 2008 I did indeed smoke 20 or 30 Benson and Hedges a day.

Really this is ridiculous: It is almost as if some people spend all day just seeing what holes they can pick in what I write, and what unseemly nuances they can draw.

NEIL ARNOLD: Phantom Insects and Others Part Two

The folklore of the United States is littered with tales of ghostly insects. None more terrifying than the Arkansas Snipe, said to resemble a mosquito yet be so huge that it can eat a cow! Men claimed to have been attacked in the murky river bottoms by these giant forms which are said to have razor-sharp claws to slice their prey. Sceptics argue that such forms are merely critters created for fun. Some more quirky legends from the USA speak of almost comical wraiths, such as Cockroach Man, a weird humanoid of insect traits sighted in December 2003 in Chaffee, Missouri, by a motorist who couldn’t shake off the creature despite travelling at 50 mph along a deserted road. A majority of quirky creatures said to roam the backwoods of American folklore are, however, considered nothing more than ‘fearsome critters’, a term applied to a menagerie of phantasms and forms constructed by the imaginations of lumberjacks.

In the UK Mantis Man was said to have appeared before a male witness in his London home in 2004, although such a being was believed, at the time, to have been an extraterrestrial, slightly resembling the bug-eyed ‘grays’ said to abduct humans. The hideous bedroom visitor stood five-feet in height but resembled a praying mantis, but wore a cape. Supernatural author Elliot O’ Donnell once encountered an insect-like ‘nature spirit’ in Greenwich Park, London. He recorded that on 24th July 1898 whilst perched on a bench something caught his eye ‘falling’ from a overhanging tree. Thinking it was a leaf, O’ Donnell was rather taken aback to see a peculiar form scuttling sideways into the undergrowth. He described it as, “stunted, pulpy, bloated and yellow” and being half-animal, half-human!

Not even Australia escapes the wrath of ghostly insects – a truly giant bee, the size of a man was sighted in 1992 in Queensland, when a female witness looked out of her window and saw this monstrosity loitering near a paddock. Although it would usually be difficult to tell a ghostly insect apart from a living specimen – unless it vanished into thin air – tales of truly monstrous insects often suggest some kind of demonic connection, for no garden, or jungle on Earth could hide a man-sized bee!

Spiders of a ghostly nature are common to in the supernatural realm. Massive, yellow and black monsters were said to prowl an isolated area in Ontario, Canada, in 1974, meanwhile Richard Freeman, manifested a freakish giant spider whilst he was a student in Yorkshire in the ‘90s. He called this critter Atlach Nacha, a name originally coined by fantasy author Clark Ashton Smith. Freeman, whilst studying at Leeds University in 1996 attempted to ‘raise’ a giant spider through a series of devoted, night-time rituals. Little did he realise just what freakish manifestation was about to erupt from his own imagination. Freeman spied the flat, white beast, which measured four-feet across, just before he left the premises and left it to its own devises. Freeman believed that his conjuring incited the ‘great Leeds spider plague’ which occurred shortly afterwards in the city.

In Japanese lore a creature known as the Dirt Spider is said to exist. Legend of the anomalous arachnid dates back to the eighth century. It is a shape-shifting demon which also goes by the name Tsuchigumo and may well have originated from tales of humans who were said to burrow beneath the soil and live underground. Over the centuries such tales were portrayed by imaginative artists who depicted half-human, half-insect creatures, and weird, zoologically incorrect insects with human characteristics.

Phantom, monstrous worms are widespread although these type of forms can melt into serpent and dragon lore. The Mester Stoor Worm, of Orkney, and the Lambton Worm of the north-east of England are the most popular giant worm stories. And then there is the Mongolian Deathworm, believed to be an undiscovered species of creature able to administer an electrical charge to kill its victims. The monster lives beneath the warm sands but is perceived as a cryptid – being that it is considered an unknown species rather than a spectral beast. However, due to its elusive nature the worm remains firmly embedded in folklore. The Polos is a monster worm from Russian folklore said to protect treasure. Again, this creature is seen as a bogey creature which kills any traveller should they seek out the secret location of the treasure.

One of the most hideous stories however is the tale of the Yorkshire maggot, a vampyric entity said to have emerged from a grave to prey on a village some time during the twentieth-century. The fat, greedy grub-like beast was observed by a Mr Mullins home one dark night, and he told his wife and best friend, who accompanied him the following night to track the creature. They saw the manifestation ooze towards the home of the local vicar and disappear at the door. The next day the vicar and his immediate family had fallen seriously ill, and then died mysteriously and the maggot of doom was seen again, this time heading towards the house of the local blacksmith who also eventually perished. Ten nights later the fetid creature was seen heading for the Mullins household, and they lost their ten-year old son. Sickened by the monster, Mullins and his wife sought the grave the monster had come from and found it belonged to a Mr Peters. They dug the grave, and burnt the corpse, believing that the form was a cursed creature sent by the deceased as revenge for past disagreements. The maggot was never seen again.

These ethereal insects are clearly not mere ghosts of insects swatted by newspapers, but what they do prove is that just when we think we’ve covered everything in the void of the paranormal, there’s always a sting in the tale!



Owen from Fortean Times sent us this link to a photograph, which is claimed to be of a yeti. It was taken in Tibet....

CFZ AUSTRALIA: Govt defends raid on dingo campaigner'...

NOOSA: Dingo protection campaigner Jennifer Parkhurst will plead not guilty to more than 40 criminal charges when she fronts court on September 9.

Ms Parkhurst, a vocal lobbyist for greater protection of Fraser Island dingoes, this week broke her silence over the trial, which comes almost a year after state government officials raided her Rainbow Beach home seizing photos, computers, journals and cameras.

Noosa MP and opposition environment spokesman Glen Elmes and a group of Noosa locals continue to support her cause.

The Department of Environment and Resource Management allege the wildlife photographer and Save Fraser Island Dingoes Association member interfered with and fed dingoes on the World Heritage listed sand island over a 13-month period.

If found guilty she faces fines of up to $300,000 or two years’ imprisonment.

Ms Parkhurst told The Noosa Journal this week efforts to have her trial adjourned to allow her defence counsel time to review five folders of prosecution material had been unsuccessful.

"As it stands they’ve set the trial date for September 9, which gives us less than a couple of months to go through their case, which they’ve compiled over eight months with a team of up to five people," she said.

Ms Parkhurst said she lost a member of her counsel after Legal Aid was denied, however Noosa-based Ocean Legal this week confirmed it had joined Ms Parkhurst’s defence after reading about her case in The Noosa Journal.

Kristy Crabb, Barrister of Sunshine Coast Barrister’s Chambers Maroochydore, has also joined her defence, Ocean Legal spokeswoman Marilyn Nuske confirmed.

Ms Parkhurst’s Melbourne-based father’s attempt to re-mortgage his house to fund his daughter’s defence had been unsuccessful, but letters of support arrived daily.

"Not a day goes by that I don’t hear from people telling me to keep up the fight,’’ she said. "I’m so humbled. These are people I don’t even know, and I’m so grateful to have so much support.

"There have been times when I just burst into tears.

"Emails are still coming in from people from all spheres of life even little old ladies.’‘

A book on Ms Parkhurst’s Fraser Island dingo research has been canned due to legal concerns and she said she had lost seven years worth of work seized in the raid.

The case and her concerns about the island, first reported by The Noosa Journal last year, have made national headlines.

Ms Parkhurst has won widespread support from wildlife groups, Aboriginal elders, Noosa locals, civil libertarian lawyer Terry O’Gorman and MP Glen Elmes who previously described the raid on her home as "Gestapo tactics".



This was posted on the Paranormal Buffalo email newsgroup:

I was biking along the Potomac River in Arlington, Virginia on the morning of Tuesday, September 14, 2010, when I spotted what appeared to be the Loch Ness Monster sneaking a peak at the Washington Monument. Luckily, I had my cell phone handy and was able to snap a picture. -- Dave

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1955 James Dean died in a car accident. The wreck of James Dean's car is reputed to be cursed as cars which have cannibalised parts of the wreck have been involved in acidents, sometimes resulting in fatalities. Details of the supposed victims can be seen here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_Dean#The_.22curse.22_of_.22Little_Bastard.22
However, it should probably be noted that the majority of the accidents did occur during races and at the time of the accidents such events were not as uncommon as they are in racing today and resulted in fatalities more often. It should also be remembered that these guys were bolting and welding bits of a crashed car onto their own in their garages and garden sheds and then racing them the next day so they probably did not quite have the same safety standards as we do these days.
And now, the news:

Mystery cat photographed: Panther or bobcat? Or so...
This seal was declared extinct in 1892. So what is...
Search for the north American ape, Part 2 The grea...
'Hobbit' Was an Iodine-Deficient Human, Not Anothe...

Ok, we're had it before but it bears repeating... what EXACTLY was Spock thinking when he made this song?