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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Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Saturday – Room 1
10am. Ian Ridpath – The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident: Deconstructing a Myth
11am. Jan Bondeson –The Bosom Serpent
12pm. Paul Devereux – Magical Mindscapes
14pm. Jon and Corinna Downes –The Blue Dogs of Texas
15pm. Paul Cornell – Fortean Themes in Doctor Who
16pm. Helen Keen – It is Rocket Science

Saturday – Room 2
10am. Mike Hallowell – The South Shields Poltergeist Case
11am. Mark Pilkington – The Abuses of Enchantment
12pm. Rebecca Lang – Alien Big Cats of Oz
14pm. Charles Foster – Wired for God?
15pm. Jeremy Harte – On Having No Head
16pm. Andy Roberts – Berwyn: The Welsh Roswell?

Sunday – Room 1
10am. David Clarke – If You Go Down to the Woods Today: New Light on the Rendlesham Mystery
11am. Richard Freeman –Return to Sumatra: On the Trail of Orang-Pendek
12pm. Matthew Alford and Robbie Graham – Lights, Camera, Covert Action: The Deep Politics of Hollywood
14pm. Lucie Skeaping – Have I got News for Thee: Broadside Ballads and Broadsheets of 17th Century England
15pm. Panel: Forteana and Fiction (Mark Chadbourn, Natasha Mostert, Adam Nevill)
16pm. Panel: Rendlesham: The 30th Anniversary Debate (DavidClarke, Ian Ridpath, Nick Pope, Peter Brookesmith)

Sunday – Room 2
10am. Gordon Rutter: A History of Talking to the Dead
11am. Ian Simmons: UFOs and climate change: Paranoia, Conspiracy and Denial
12pm. Jan Bondeson: Queen Victoria’s Stalker
14pm. Andy Roberts – Amazing Dope Tales
15pm. Alan Murdie – Sex and the Poltergeist
16pm. Gail-Nina Anderson – The Vampire Rabbit and its Kin

CFZ bods/CFZ Press Authors in blue

NEIL ARNOLD: Paranormal Kent

Enquiries – Neil Arnold at: neil.Arnold@live.com
Available from : http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paranormal-Kent-Neil-Arnold/dp/0752455907

PARANORMAL KENT (published by The History Press) – A brand new, richly illustrated book by full-time monster-hunter Neil Arnold, explores the darker heart of the Garden Of England. For centuries Kent has been the centre of high strangeness – from monsters in the woods, weird objects in the skies, serpents in the water, ghosts on the road. Now, for the first time ever, Kent has a book pertaining to the supernatural which DOESN’T regurgitate old myths and legends.

With October – the ‘season of the witch’ barely out of the way, the 1st November 2010 sees PARANORMAL KENT venture down the foggy avenues of the arcane, and the back-streets of the mind in search of the chilling and the obscure. New light shed on classic ghostly tales – 1) dispelling the myth of the phantom hitchhiker of Blue Bell Hill and yet uncovering an even more sinister secret in this haunted location. 2) delving into the dingy corners of Dover Castle’s eerie past. 3) uncovering brand new ghost stories from historic Rochester – Charles Dickens country. 4) shedding new light on the mysteries of Britain’s most haunted village – Pluckley.

And not forgetting a foray into the field of phantom animals – from spectral hellhounds, flying jellyfish, the Hythe Mothman, and red-eyed manimals. And a strange safari in search of ‘big cats’, serpents, dragons and out-of-place animals. And what autumnal mystery would be complete without macabre tales of local zombies, witchcraft and alien abductions.

PARANORMAL KENT – Neil’s fourth book, is a unique trip into the weird and wonderful side of a county steeped in folklore. Just when you thought mysterious monsters, ghouls, ghosts and zombies were confined to the lore of Halloween…think again.

Price £9.99
96 pages


Black bunnies - melanistic black rabbits in the wild

Each night last week BBC1's early evening magazine programme The One Show featured a segment filmed at Tiggywinkles Wildlife Hospital near Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire. During the report on Wednesday's programme we were shown an orphaned wild baby rabbit that just happened to be jet-black in colour. The reporter, Mike Dilger, claimed that such melanistic rabbits were "one in a million".

Well, for the past 10 years or so I have been seeing wild black rabbits in and around Didcot, Oxfordshire, where I live. At first I thought it was the same individual I was seeing over and over, but then I started seeing them in other locations locally. I have on occasion seen two or three at the same time, and have sighted both adults and babies with this condition. I estimate that in total I have seen between 20 and 30 such individuals over the last 10 years.

So, if such black bunnies are really "one in a million", does that mean they are all concentrated into this one small area of Oxfordshire? Somehow I very much doubt it. I would like to throw this question open to the readers of the CFZ bloggo and ask for black rabbit sightings from around the country, just to get a more realistic idea of how widespread this phenomenon is.

Are these black rabbits becoming more commonplace? Does anyone remember seeing such rabbits in the wild 20, 30 or more years ago?

I attach two photographs I took of a black rabbit in a field in East Hagbourne, near Didcot, on 20 July 2010.


INDIA EXPEDITION: Launching the Expedition Blog

Here it is

ROBERT SCHNECK: All Hallow's Cryptids

Hi Jon,

Halloween is coming and I thought it would be a good time to run pictures of unusual animal costumes. I will be looking for cryptids, but in the meantime here is a centaur.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1917 a crowd of up to 70,000 people were present during what has become known as 'the miracle of the Sun', which was part of the Our Lady of Fatima series of visions in Portugal. In the first of the Fatima visions the people were shown a vision of Hell and in the second vision World War 2 (conveniently, some would say, the Vatican released the details of this vision in 1941). The third vision or third secret, was meant to be revealed in 1960 and wild speculation occurred as to what it could be about and indeed why the Vatican did not release it in 1960 and kept it a secret until the year 2000. Because people had been speculating that it contained no less than the details of the imminent apocalypse some refuse to accept that the vision, which was of a bloke walking up a hill and getting martyred, was the real vision and that the Vatican is holding out on them.

And now, the news:

New meat-eater emerges in Madagascar
Dingo baby case re-opens in Australia with new inq...
Scientific Search for Chinese Bigfoot Relaunched
Study finds monarch butterflies use medicinal plan...
Wolfman’s ‘lair’ discovered

Ah, we did watch some seriously ropey cartoons in the 80s: