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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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...

Tuesday, December 07, 2010



This story was posted on the Paranormal Buffalo email group, and is re-posted courtesy of Rick:

Weird Creature at the Fence
This happened only a few weeks ago in a town about an hour from mine. I was visiting a friend of mine. Now, my friend lives in the not-so-nice part of the city where there's a lot of crime. The reason I explain all this is because it makes this particular incident all the more strange.

It was around 4 p.m. and still light out when my friend decided to let the dog out. I went outside with them and waited as my friend's dog, a German shepherd named Annakin, did his business. My friend and I were standing on the back deck, and Annakin was down in the tiny backyard in the grass. Each house had a very small backyard and was closed off by high wooden fences. There was a narrow alley between each fence at the very backs of the yards that bordered the backs of the houses across from us.

As we waited there, we heard loud panting coming from the little alleyway. It was easy to discern that the panting was coming from a rather large creature. Annakin lifted his head and perked his ears in alarm. The creature suddenly raced through the alley way, making the entire fence-line shake, and we could hear the loud, heavy panting the whole way down the road.

We caught a quick glimpse of it as it passed a break in the fence. All we saw, though, was an enormous, gray, furry blur. And Annakin had leapt up onto the deck in what seemed like fright and cowered behind our legs. My friend and I both said, "What the hell was that?!"

Of course, my first instinct was it was a dog, but what kind of big dog would make all the fences on the block shake like an earthquake hit? And that panting noise was so loud and odd-sounding... almost as if a human was pretending to be a dog and pant. Why would such a large creature be in the middle of the ghetto? And why was Annakin, a fearless German shepherd, seemingly terrified of it? Weird!

CARL PORTMAN: Don't say I didn't warn you

Don’t say I didn’t warn you some time ago. Us chess players are weird, that’s true, but we are led by the chief of hyperbole – or is he in fact telling the truth?

Here you go…

The New York Times was approached by the President of the World Chess Federation, Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, who offered to answer readers’ questions. The result is a Q+A which deals with all aspects of Ilyumzhinov's career and work, including the perennial question about alien abduction and the galactic origin of chess. Turns out he will be publishing a book on the subject.

· What about his belief in alien abductions? "Many in this world believe in God although it would seem that no one has yet seen him. Many people also believe in the existence of extraterrestrials, and I am one of them. But my faith is underscored by the experience of humanity. It is no coincidence that every year NASA registers over 4,000 contacts with extraterrestrial civilizations. I have decided to write a book about my contact with extraterrestrials, and it will be published in the United States in 2011. In it, I will speak of my personal experience communicating with extraterrestrials and my view on the question of extraterrestrial civilizations."

· Was chess given to Earthlings from extraterrestrial visitors? "I do, indeed, consider chess a gift from extraterrestrial civilizations. Chess is one of the world’s oldest games. But where was it invented? In India? But an ancient set of figures was also found at excavations in the Bulgarian town of Plovdiv. And two years ago, the president of Mongolia showed me chessmen discovered when they were searching for the grave of Genghis Khan and excavated a kurgan. There have been similar finds in Latin America and other parts of the world. And in those times, of course, travel was almost impossible. But the rules of chess were almost identical everywhere. It is hard to imagine that people in different parts of the world many thousands of years ago simultaneously thought up an identical game with the same rules just by chance. But again, I will set forth my opinions in the book, and we can discuss my theses in greater detail”.

I will keep you posted,

Carl Portman


A tree-mendous thank you

With your thoughts probably turning to when and where to buy a Christmas tree, you may remember that I recently e-mailed to ask for your help buying a different sort of tree.

Well, thanks to the tremendous support of people like you, we have been able to make a start on our ambitious plan to plant one million trees and make Harapan Rainforest green again.

I'm sorry you didn't feel able to help us when I originally e-mailed you. However, there is still plenty of time to give a gift to our Harapan one million tree appeal.

For every £2 you can give, we can plant and nurture one tree from a tiny seed into a towering giant of the rainforest. Together we can make Harapan Rainforest green again.

Best wishes,

Mike Clarke
RSPB Chief Executive

Psst! Want to see a sun bear doing a roly-poly? With state-of-the-art camera traps set up around Harapan Rainforest, we've got some exclusive images showing the endearing side of the rainforest wildlife that we'd like to share with you. We've even made a couple of the ones that made us laugh most available for you to download as a free desktop!


This is from a post on the Paranormal Buffalo email group, courtesy - as always - of Rick. The blurb goes:

A shaken Richard Boyle explains that he and his colleagues down at Sneakers Computers in Courtenay, British Columbia, "built this system, so it hadn't come from the manufacturer like this". He adds: "The frog was significantly bigger than any of the openings in the case, so we don't know how it got in."

I post it not just because it is a peculiar picture but because something like that happened to me once. When my family left Hong Kong in 1971, my mother bought a Japanese rice cooker with her. It worked perfectly when she packed it, but when it arrived in Woolsery it was kaput. My father investigated and found a small gecko, very dead and dessicated inside the plug. Weird huh?

Does anyone have any explanations for how either herp met its end?


On Monday morning I was up early and posted the following message to Usenet:

'Graham and I drank some brandy last night. Not a terrible amount, but we were slightly light headed. I went to sleep fairly quickly, but - as usual - woke up to obey a call of nature at 4.30 and couldn't get back to sleep. This is a fairly recent phenomenon, and only seems to happen after I have imbibed. The fact that there was a large bulldog snoring in my ear undoubtedly didn't help! This is why I am up and bloggifying so early!'

One of the replies I got was from Lawrie Williams:

"I thought most men wake up at least once and often 2 or 3 times at night for a pee. It refreshes the system to have to move around and I suspect it is the result of selective pressure - no joke intended - in that the head of the family gets to detect enemies and predators and infidelities. For a typical clan grouping of 20 people it would mean someone was always up and about during the wee small hours".

Is this true? Or a modern legend arising from the physiological changes in ageing men? And why can I never get back to sleep when I have had a drink or two?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1980 John Lennon was murdered by Mark Chapman.

And now, the news:

Serpent-like Fish Washes Ashore In Malibu
Scientists take heart over lizard venom
Rats living in fancier digs seek richer rewards
Neanderthals: how needles and skins gave us the ed...
New species of bacteria found in Titanic 'rusticle...
Israel blamed for Egypt shark attacks
Kiwi adventurer leads Yeti hunt
'Operation Spiderman' Busts Man Accused of Mailing...

Coolest version of the Spiderman theme you'll ever hear: