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...

Thursday, March 31, 2011

CFZ exclusive! Winged Cat photographed!

April 1st 2011: In a world exclusive CFZ member Mimsy Barraclough and his adoptive son Tarquin Bellows have tracked down a most singular animal in the town of Piddlehinton, Dorset. A genuine winged cat!

Barraclough, a retired classical actor who specialised in playing the back end of pantomime horses, was taking his adoptive son, discredited former spirit medium Tarquin Bellows, on tour of the great scone shops of Europe and had stopped off in Piddlehinton to purchase a Milky Way chocolate bar to tide them over until lunch time when he spotted the creature out of the corner of his eye.

“I just couldn’t believe it! I mean, one reads about these things in popular literature and indeed the fine books published by the Centre for Fortean Zoology, whose website is http://www.cfz.org.uk/ , but you don’t expect to actually get the chance to see and photograph one in the flesh!

“This is the second greatest experience of my life!” Barraclough gushed.

“The only experience I’ve had that tops this is when I was the back end of Dobbin The Bold in the 1982 production of Cinderella at the Skinning Grove Empire when I got to act with both the legendary Christopher Biggins and the late Jim Davidson who had stood in at the last minute for Charles Hawtrey who was off doing something involving brass bedsteds and Simon Sharma at the time. I received a standing ovation at the end of that run as well, actually, so I guess that knocks the winged cat into 3rd place, now I think of it. It takes a lot of effort to accurately portray the back end of a pantomime horse and it is nice to get some recognition sometimes.”

Tarquin Bellows picked up the story of the sighting:

“We had just been thrown out of the village shop after Father (adoptive) had flown into a fit of rage because they didn’t have any Milky Ways. They had offered him a Chomp bar instead but this had only angered him more as he thinks Cadbury’s is a girly make of chocolate that dries his mouth and he enquired as to whether the shop assistant knew who he was. As the shop assistant was only 16 they did not and that is when Father (adoptive) got really mad and started proclaiming at the top of his voice to all and sundry that he had nearly been in Rentaghost once and about kids today being unaware of the fact that they were born.

“When Father was outside his loud rantings were still continuing and they scared a cat down from a tree on the village green. I noticed there was something odd about this cat and so did Father who thankfully calmed down almost instantly and got out his camera. Neither of us could believe our eyes: it was a winged cat.”

According to both Barraclough and Bellows the cat didn’t actually do much and went to sleep in a flower bed, possibly dreaming of chasing a ball of wool or jumping in and out of a cardboard box.


For reasons not unconnected with my insomnia of the night before last, this month's edition of On The Track will not appear until tomorrow. Never mind - it will be worth the wait....


Both Blogspot and Amazon.co.uk appear to still be being recalcitrant: formatting commands disappear at will on the blog, and according to Amazon.co.uk, all of our new books will still take several months to arrive. This is most unfortunate because it means that our new titles are just not being given a chance, and I would hate them to sink without trace. However, the situation at Amazon.co.uk is being worked on (so we are reliably informed) and there are so many complaints about the formatting issues the Blogspot help forums that one would like to think that the owners - Goofle - will do something about it.


ROBERT SCHNECK: It Came From the Elephant's Graveyard

Anyone that loves pop-horror loves Tales from the Crypt (this is not up for discussion), and everyone that loves Tales from the Crypt loves the artist Graham Ingels (they were all good, but if Jack Davis was Raphael, Graham Ingels was Michelangelo). Obviously Tales from the Crypt, Graham Ingels, and ZOMBIE ELEPHANT, well...,that's just the apogee of wonderfulness. I don't know the story these panels come from, but have read enough comic books to guess that Milo, the furry-armed pith-helmet dropping an ankus, was married to a famous elephant trainer named Emma, whose prize elephant was Rene. Milo began holding hands with Leeta, the blonde bursting out of the aubergine dress, and the two of them killed Emma, pinned it on Rene, and he was destroyed. The dastards were feeling awfully pleased with themselves when suddenly:

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1976 the Jovian-Plutonian gravitational effect was observed for the first time. According to Sir Patrick Moore, the effect, which made people light enough to briefly float if they were in the air at 9.47 am, was caused by a unique conjunction between the orbits of Jupiter and Pluto. You can read more about it here:


And now, the news:

Millions of Mummy Puppies Revealed at Egyptian Cat... Police: Video Shows Animal Rights Activist Beating... Flathead Co. wants couple to relinquish control of... Charles Hawtrey's Yeti Encounter

Talking of Charles Hawtrey, here's a compilation of the best bits from Carry On Up The Kyber: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8atKXFZefA



Wednesday, March 30, 2011


I have always been fascinated by the tiny British overseas territory (we are not allowed to call them colonies any more) of Tristan da Cunha and its 275 inhabitants. Its history makes fascinating reading. The story of how, in 1961, a volcanic eruption forced the entire population to be rehoused in a disused RAF station in Hampshire for over a year, is particularly poignant.

Recent events have spurred Corinna into writing a blog about the islands..

Read all about it

DOUG SHOOP: Wolves - the YouTube Channel

With the recent de-listing of the grey wolf - an unfortunate decision in my opinion - I think it’s a good idea to learn about and enjoy these magnificent animals. International Wolf Center 25 March 2011 - A Slow Transition to Spring http://www.youtube.com/user/IntlWolfCenter

Excellent howling!

Updated information on the wolf population at The International Wolf Center In Ely, Minnesota.

You can also watch the Wolf cams http://www.wolf.org/wolves/experience/webcam.asp


Hello Jon, Saw this and again thought that you might be interested:




The formatting issues within Blogger continue. As it is the last day of the month, I am going to (laboriously) enter the last week's blog entries into a second index page called March 2011 (2). We will have to see what happens with April.

Just to confuse things, there is some sort of technical problem with Amazon.co.uk (Amazon.com and other countries appear not to be effected. Our most recent books come complete with a notice saying that they are `usually dispatched within one to two months`. This is nonsense as far as we are aware. They should not take any longer to arrive than any other book on Amazon. However, we would like to assure you all that Hayley our representative within Lightning Source is working on it and that normal service should resume fairly soon.

Normal? What do you mean NORMAL?

RICHARD FREEMAN: More on the Sikkim Yeti


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1994 The journal Nature published reports of the finding of the first complete Australopithecus afarensis skull.

And now the news: Ewe have got to be kidding! The 'puppy' born to a ... Mysterious tall creature reported In Pennsylvania Cat with thunderous purr makes record attempt in U...

Exposition... Hoooooo! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_cpV00c4IE



Tuesday, March 29, 2011


There are still formatting issues on Blogger. The main problem seems to be that the line break and paragraph commands are not recognised and simply disappears. This makes formatting the Bloggo index - for example - an impossible job.

For those who do not know, the htm commands are written within chevron brackets <-> - the line break command is br and the paragraph is p.

It is possible to get them to function to a certain extent, but it is not easy, and we sincerely hope that Blogger will sort it out soon. Until then we shall continue operating a limited service. There will be no updates to the index blog, but everything since the 24th March can be found on the front page of the cfz site http://www.cfz.org.uk/

Dale has also had blog issues
As has Karl


Whilst having a coffee in my favourite cafĂ© in Macclesfield today I had an amazing revelation about the prophetic gift of the 1980s New Wave band The Vapors. Some of you may recall their 1980 hit `Turning Japanese` off the album New Clear Days? Well, think about it – New Clear Days, this refers to the nuclear power station at Fukushima, damaged in the recent earthquake and tsunami, The Vapors,smelling salts? Oh no,this refers to the leaks of radiation, and Turning Japanese? Obviously refers to the citizens of Japan in March 2011.

The Vapors are not the only prophetic New Wave band. Devo`s ` Space Junk` off the album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! referring to falling space debris has obviously been fulfilled a number of times since 1978 as has The Dead Kennedys 1980 track `Holiday in Cambodia` as thousands of people have been on holiday there in the last 31 years. Apparently `Holiday in Cambodia` was released as a Christmas song sung in a Sinatra style by someone called Richard Cheese! Honestly, see Wikipedia.

Party on dudes!

Richy/Dr Devo.


Here’s an update on my eye problems. Last week the optician was here for an hour testing my eyes. And he found that more blood vessels behind the eye have burst. Also that the back of the eye was swollen, and that I've definitely lost the sight in the very centre of the eye. Read on...

ADAM DAVIES ON THE PARANORMALIST (or should that be the other way around)

For those of you who have been regular readers of The Paranomalist, you’re probably aware that I’ve regularly covered the work of cryptozoologist Adam Davies. Adam and his team of fellow cryptid researchers have traveled to many far-flung corners of the globe in search in order to investigate reports of a wide variety of heretofore unclassified and undiscovered species of animal. Of the many creatures that Adam has sought, his most promising and compelling evidence have been found in the rainforests of Sumatra while searching for that country’s legendary hominoid, the Orang pendek..... Read on...


I have just heard from Tim Addis that this year's event (a veritable highspot of the CFZ Year) will be held at the usual venue in Redditch on 5th June. Wayhay!

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1746 the artist Francisco Goya was born. Towards the end of his life Goya started painting works depicting his fears of death and insanity directly onto the walls of his home

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Paintings .

And now the news:

Bethersden big cat 'ran out in front of me'
Big cat researchers take Santa Cruz sixth-graders ...
Woman's big cat encounter
Big cat Kamien the newest addition to Pride in Bou...

As cats have been mentioned it means I can post a Simon's Cat vid:


KARL SHUKER: Tarzan meets the Mokele Mbembe

Monday, March 28, 2011


There seems to be a formatting issue with Blogger today. I am not going to risk messing anything else up, but the index in particular is fairly horrible! Hopefully this will sort itself out. It usually does. Meanwhile, it may be nine years old, but I have only just discovered it - the Shelleydevoto album Buzzkunst is well worth checking out..

This seems to be a widespread problem, and as dozens of people have reported it, one can only hope that Blogger will be doing something about it. In the meantime, I am discontinuing the index blog. Everything up to the 24th is on there, but everything since is on the front page of www.cfz.org.uk

Hopefully things will return to normal soon


Thought you might enjoy this original song and video about the Yeti.


Thanks, Drew Thomas


The long awaited new edition of Tony "Doc" Shiels' classic account of monstrous goings on in the late 1970s. Whether you actually believe that the man is capable of raising monsters from the vasty deep (he is) or whether you believe he is a total humbug (he is) or whether you merely believe that he is an extraordinary person who can, has, and still does do extraordinary things (he has/can/does) this book is for you. The ex-Wizard of the Western World (he renounced the title some years ago) is an old man now and lives in the west of Ireland, but he is still an extraordinary fellow, and I am proud to call him a dear friend.

Click here to buy on Amazon

KARL SHUKER: Mystery Macaws of the West Indies


Read the original story here Trust the Daily Mail to get their taxonomy wrong, but as Corinna (who sent the story to me) said, this image is absolutely stunning..

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1957 Christopher Lambert was born, he is the French actor that played an immortal Scotsman in the film Highlander (Scotsman Sean Connery played an immortal Spanish-Egyption in the same film, go figure).

And now the news:

Unknown Animals Nearly Invisible Yet There
Zoo's Dolphin Habitat Celebrates 50th Anniversary
Experts DNA test England's adders to help halt dec...
'Runaway' tigress
Shocking number of animals dying at Kiev Zoo

There's an awful lot of sadness at the zoo:


DALE DRINNON: Chupacabras continued

Sunday, March 27, 2011

LINDSAY SELBY: Sea monsters and opportunities missed

I was looking at some old sea monster reports.

One by Captain James Stockdale from May 1830. Stockdale and his crew of the barque Rob Roy were near the island of St Helena when they heard a noise in the water. They were astounded to view the head of “a great thundering sea snake” whose head rose six feet( 2 metres) out of the water “as square with our topsail, his tail was square with the foremast”. Stockdale said his ship was 171ft long ( 56 metres)with the foremast 42ft ( 14 metres)from the stern, which would make the monster 129ft long( 42metres). He wrote in his report to the ship’s owners “If I had not seen it I could not have believed it but there was no mistake or doubt of its length – for the brute was so close I could even smell his nasty fishy smell.”

A Board of Trade file from 1857 contains a report, from near the same South Atlantic island , by a Commander George Henry Harrington of the merchant ship Castilan, of a similar sighting. On the 13th of December he and two officers saw “a huge marine animal” which suddenly reared out of the water just 20ft( 6 /7 metres approx) from the ship.It had a long neck and a dark head, shaped “like a long buoy” , white spotted, “with a kind of scroll or ruff encircling it”. The creature submerge, then reappeared, leaving no doubt they were watching a sea monster “of extraordinary length moving slowly towards the land”. The boatswain, who watched it for some time, estimated that it was more than double the length of the ship, which was 250 feet long . This makes the sea monster 500 feet long(165 metres ).

What I wonder is why nothing seems to have been done at the time. No one seems to have gone to investigate the stories. Maybe they thought the crew had been on the rum or at sea too long? I wonder if it happened today would we investigate? I suspect even today, if it was no threat to shipping ,that no one would bother. At the heart of everything lies commerce and if there is no threat to that commerce ,things will be ignored. I can’t help feeling so many opportunities will have been missed by scientists , because something unusual was no threat, and the reports being filed away in MOD or other organisations files as not important. By the time the general public get to read the reports/ files it is too late to have an investigation. What wonders have been missed, what creatures remain undiscovered, or that may now be extinct?


Is the end near? Are aliens going to save us when the countdown to extinction begins? Do we stand a chance of hiding out at Area 51 when zombie-hordes are roaming the ruined cities? Imagine a scenario where someone truly believes that the end times are upon us and that it is time to repent of one's sins and ponder the afterlife. Who does one go to for advice? The Parish Priest? Maybe. A New Age guru geezer of some sort? Possibly. A bald Brummie Ufologist now living in Texas? You must be kidding.. http://aforteancalendar.blogspot.com/2011/03/apocalyptic-q.html


"More on the Stone Giants", a followup to the Fomorian Giants blog on St. Patrick's day, has been posted at the Frontiers-of-Anthropology: http://frontiers-of-anthropology.blogspot.com/2011/03/more-on-stone-giants.html Best Wishes, Dale D.


Hello, this is the cover of Flying Snake 1 which I hope will be available from Flying Snake Press in about 3 weeks at £3 more or less,I pay postage.It will be available at

by Pay Pal or £3cheque/postal order made out to Richard Muirhead NOT Flying Snake or FlyingSnake Press. I`m sorry its taken so long to be issued-financial difficulties,etc.



New from CFZ Press, the second book in our acclaimed series of fortean anthologies. In this volume, Nick Redfern remembers his mis-spent youth, and presents anecdotes from a long career of causing fortean mischief. He also presents pieces of his writing from various times over the past three decades, with notes placing them into historical context. Of course, Nick being Nick, there are also quite a few smatterings of his inane humour.

The contents:

Introduction Zero-Hour: 1982/1983

Saucer Files Exposed: 1986

Fatherly Words: 1987

The Beckenham Ball of Light: 1990

MJ12: The FBI Connection: 1993

Unexplained Ground Marking and UFO Incident: 1995

UFOs over Staffordshire: 1996

The Rising of the Moon: 1997

A Close Encounter of the Literary Kind: 1997

The Secret Life of Errol Flynn: 1998

Unconventional Aircraft: 1998

Banned - The BBC and the Bomb: 1999

Another Gig, Another Planet: 1999/2000

Foot & Mouth - Conspiracy or Accident? 2001

The C-Files, 2000/2001

Satellites from the Skies: 2001

Mystery on the Mountain: 2001

Something for the Weekend: 2001

Mothman Lives: 2002

A Conference, a Camera, a Conspiracy: 2003

In Search of the Chupacabras - New Revelations: 2005

Enter the Dragon Hunter: 2005

At the Edge: 2006

Opening the Government’s X-Archive: 2006

The Strange Saga of the Hexham Heads: 2006

Happy Anniversary, Roswell UFO: 2007

Weirdness in the Woods: 2007

Did Aliens Invade Britain 50 Years Ago?: 2007

MJ12, UFOs and the FBI: 2007

Island of Paradise: 2008

An Alien Who’s Who: 2008

The Missing Chapter: 2008

Manipulating the Crashed UFO Scene: 2009

Conferences and Cultural Clashes: 2010

Contactees and the Absurdities of Ufology: 2010

Why Roswell Will Never Be Solved: 2010

The Strange Tale of the Cardiff Giant: 2010

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/ On this day in 1930 this happened: http://vimeo.com/6746927 And now the news: Are Chupacabra Recollections Real? El Chupacabra Legend Eliminated, Deadly Egyptian cobra missing from Bronx Zoo Another song then?: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHngF_b3NuE

Saturday, March 26, 2011



http://www.wimp.com/babyhummingbird/ Warning: Contains slightly intrusive music


Amazing looking new film! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vy2nAOdBUlw Seems based on the wonderfully creepy illustrations of Theodore Kittelsen


This is taken verbatim from the Proud to be a Sikkimese blog http://sikhim.blogspot.com/2009/02/yeti-sighted-at-zaluk-sikkim-in-2004.html YETI SIGHTED AT ZALUK, SIKKIM IN 2004 BY SHITAL PRADHAN I was at Zaluk last friday, the day most of the couples across the globe was busy celebrating Valentine Day. More or less an exciting adventure was awaiting us when we came to know that there was a Yeti sighting at this remote place in 2004 on the month of April. Zaluk is a small place where the population is below 300 and the world famous Changu Lake is an hour and half drive from Rongli Bazaar. We were five member team myself, Praveen, Rocky, Swarup and Beren. The video above is a short interview i took where the prime eye witness Nar Bhadhur Sunar confirms that he along with other 10 labourers and a GREF Officer had came across a Yeti in the April of 2004 while going for the daily work. Sunar a farmer now was a working as a baidar then. They were on a vehicle and the "animal man" as he called was on the other side of the road along the Valley walking on two feets along the bushes of pareng ( a bamboo variety). The distance between them was around 200 to 250 metre. They saw the back portion of the animal for over half an hour and suddenly it vanished around the bushes. It was noted that for over few days the army helicopter did had a vain search over that particular region but nothing more could be known. Such incident was not known till then and also not heard after that but the people of Zaluk also has confirmed that on particular times they do hear of strange voices coming from the nearby valley. Well the people who saw it claims it to be a "Sokpa" as Yeti is better called in this part of land. For them that animal was not a bear as it is commonly found in that region and they could identity with it. Another interesting part of the story is that after few days of the incident the villagers did found a foot steps on the marshy land near the over flowing water that were measured something like "from an elbow joint to a finger tip" long. Nar Bhadhur Sunar told a water pipes was recovered by the villagers along the bushes inside the forest that was crushed and thrown away from the water source that no man or any other animal could do it. We talked with Jeena Chettri, daughter of Nar Bhadhur Sunar who added that the animal was dragging his feet as such they could not realized whether the animal had its feet the opposite side as it is normally believed. The "thing" had black hair covered all over the body and the length of the hair was as such it looked as if a women had let free her hair, told Jeena in her own words. Those GREF workers whistled and made sound to that animal that it hurried inside the bushes, she added. Well it is too early to say that the animal man those people claimed was not the mysterious Yeti that the whole world is searching for. I had gone through the wrinkled face and the piercing eye of the man who was in his mid sixties and do believe in his word that the thing he saw along with his daughter and his fellow workers was a Yeti. I do believe him that he could differentiate a bear from an animal they had never seen before that they believed look more like a human.



Hello again! This article appeared in the Summer 1989 (vol 10 no.36) issue of the Zoological Society of Greater Manchester Journal pp 8-9 MISSING LINKS by Cyril Bloor Abominable Snowman,Yeti,Bigfoot or plain Missing Link;call it what whatever you like,this elusive `beast` has intrigued mankind throughout the ages,and,always quick to exploit the curiosity and gullibility of his fellow men throughout those same ages,man has put some decidedly odd offerings before the public.Some of the seventeenth and eighteenth recorded exhibits make interesting reading. The “little black Hairy Pygmy, bred in the Deserts of Arabia” and shown at the White Horse Inn, Fleet Street in London in the early 18th century, with its “Natural Ruff of Hair about his Face”, its height of two feet and ability to walk upright,could have been one of many species of monkey or baboon, and was not the first in line for the elusive title of `missing link`. During the second half of the preceding century there are records of “Wild Men of the Woods”,”Man-Apes” which were all identifiable with baboons or orang-utans. Such a one is described in a hand bill as “The Man Teger, lately brought from the East Indies, a Most Strange and Wonderful Creature,the like never before seen in England,it being of seven several colours; from the head downwards resembling a Man, its foreparts clear and its hinder parts all Hairy; having a long Head of Hair and Teeth two or three Inches long; taking a Glass of Ale in his hand like a Christian,drinks it,also plays at Quarter Staff.” The ability to drink ale like a Christian is a reminder that the Puritans,although no longer in power at this time,were still about in considerable force and that there was a fear of being accused of witchcraft.Later in the 1700s there appeared on the London scene an exhibit which is rather more difficult to identify. It was shown in Fleet Street though exactly whereabouts in that thoroughfare still redolent with the language of the showman,is not clear,referring only to its being “where the Great Elephant was seen.” It was advertised as coming from “Mount Tibet”-and to “approach the Human Species nearer than any hitherto exhibited, and is supposed to be the Long Lost Link between the Human and the Beast Creation.” [so did this idea pre-date Darwin then?-R] This animal was a quadruped “standing five feet high” and was said to be “unknown to the naturalist Buffon”, but its “great beauty and sagacity,affability,friendship and good nature” had led to “the natives of those parts” to call it “The Child of the Sky” or “Wonder of the East” – the Abominable Snowman? (1) I hope my magazine Flying Snake issue 1 will be out within 3 weeks,financial and production problems are causing the delay, but I hope it will be well worth the wait!! 1. C.Bloor Missing Links Zoological Society of Greater Manchester Journal Summer 1989 vol 10 no.36 pp8-9 DEAD KENNEDYS HOLIDAY IN CAMBODIA So you`ve been to school for a year or two And you know you`ve seen it all In Daddy`s car thinking you`ll go far Out East your type don`t crawl Play ethnicky jazz to parade your snazz On your five grand stereo Braggin` that you know how the n…..s feel cold And the slums got so much soul It`s time to taste what you most fear Right Guard will not help you here It`s a Holiday in Cambodia It`s tough kid but it`s life It`s a Holiday in Cambodia Don`t forget to pack a wife….

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/ On this day in 2004 the decommissioned Royal Navy frigate, HMS Scylla, was sunk off the Cornish Coast to create an artificial reef, the first of its kind in Europe. And now the news: Mountain lions sighted on Scottsdale golf course In North Carolina, Bigfoot Crossed the Road Alligator reportedly sighted in Adair County Coyote, black Lab form unlikely partnership in Dul... Trap Put On Elementary School Grounds After Dog Si... Hey... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAPHqd1kKwQ



KARL SHUKER: Tarzan and the Nandi Bear


Friday, March 25, 2011

LIZ CLANCY: Bees could have the answer to dementia

A scientist in Norway has been successful in reversing the ageing process in the brain of a bee. Professor Gro Amdam found that although older bees already have the responsibility of gathering food outside the hive for the rest of the colony, they do have the ability to learn new tasks and improve their memory. Believe it or not, the structure and inner-workings of a bee's brain is remarkably similar to that of a human being's, so Prof. Amdam believes that if she can crack bee brain ageing, she might be able to unlock the key to human dementia.

Professor Amdam is based at two universities: Arizona State in the US and Norway's University of Life Sciences. Part of the experiment involved placing the older bees inside hives to tend to the larvae, normally the work of younger bees. The older bees took to their new tasks well, though.

There was also a higher level of eight particular proteins that contribute to the growth, repair and maintenance of cells in the brains of those bees who had improved their learning when given the task within their colony.

The next stage in the research could be to create a substance that acts like the bee proteins, for use in humans and other animals, but Professor Amdam is currently waiting to hear from potential partners in furthering the research.



CFZ PEOPLE: Bad news from Kithra


CFZ PEOPLE: Ross Braund-Phillips

Happy Sixtheenth Birthday to my dear Nephew

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1931 Leonard Nimoy was born.
And now the news:

Baby dolphin saved after dumped in rice field by t...
First humans in Americas: prehistoric Texans?

And what is Nimoy most famous for? Oh yeah, this:



Thursday, March 24, 2011

GLEN VAUDREY: Trail Cameras for Sumatra Part 2

Many of you asked to see more of the CFZ fund raising mascot, Trevor the Trail Cam, and as you can see from the picture he has escaped his prison; as if a few cocktail sticks and cardboard were ever going to hold him back.

It’s less than two weeks since the launch of the CFZ Trail Cam funding campaign and I have to say the response has been very promising. Many thanks to those who have so far donated; your contributions are very welcome and much appreciated. I would like also to thank all those who have contacted me regarding the trail cam plans; again many thanks for your interest. Don’t despair if you haven’t yet donated, or if you wish to contact me about the trail cams; the campaign still has many more weeks to run.

Just to recap: to sponsor a trail cam will cost £100. If that seems a little steep why not get a group together to sponsor one of these trail cams? A group of five will pay just £20 each. Sponsors will get an update on any pictures and when something exciting is spotted your name will go up in lights alongside the photo.

Don’t despair if you miss out on Trevor, he has plenty of friends who also need help in breaking free.

Your sponsorship will pay for the release and upkeep of Trevor and kin, but sadly you will have no rights to take him home.

Now doesn’t that sound like a good deal? Armchair cryptozoology at its best. All the fun of an expedition without being bitten by scary tropical insects.

If you like the sound of this then please get in touch; we would love to hear from you.

For further information you can contact me at glen@cfz.org.uk or tel 0161 777 6586.

Donations can be made via PayPal to Trailcams@CFZ.org.uk




Dead of Night the Merseyside-based Fortean magazine, which has been an utter favourite of Richard's and mine for years, is back.....


And the even better news is that the head honcho of the magazine, Lee Walker, is doing a book for CFZ Press. Things are looking up....

DOUG SHOOP: Bear Migration


Minnesota black bears are on the move in northwest Minnesota. Bears are expanding their range out of forested areas, into farmland. Researchers are trying to learn more about how and why these bears are adapting to a new habitat where bears traditionally did not live.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1911 Jack Ruby was born. Ruby became embroiled in the events and conspiracy theories surrounding the assassination of American President John F. Kennedy when he murdered the only suspect, Lee Harvey Oswald.

And now, the news:

Official yeti probe planned after recent sightings...
Siberia plans 'institute to study yetis'
Bigfoot Hoaxers Not Even Trying Anymore

More of the same as the last story:



Japanese Macaque or Snow-monkey.



Wednesday, March 23, 2011



DALE WRITES: Frontiers of Anthropology

I have added a selection of links concerning the debate about a giant meteorite impact and the mass extinctions to the FOA blog:


Continuing the discussion of the Catastrophe model posted earlier and including more evidence of the same.

The crystal skull blog entry is due next but I need to do some paste-up art for that one.

Best Wishes, Dale D.


CFZ PEOPLE: Happy Birthday David

David Braund-Phillips, my beloved nephew, and heir to this bloody stupid circus (pictured here with Col. John Blashford-Snell, and some fat hippy in a Crass T Shirt) is 19 today. Happy Birthday, my dear fellow.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1874 the escapologist and debunker of fraudulent mediums, Harry Houdini, was born.

And now the news:

Prehistoric reptile skin secrets revealed in new i...
Australia urged to help halt Mekong dam
Push to Build Dams Sparks New Warnings Over Mekong...
Edinburgh Haymarket ferret 'took London train'

The sport of ferret-legging is supposedly a great British tradition; however, the only videos I can find of it are of American's participating in a pale imitation of it. Apparently in the British rules you are not allowed to wear underpants and the trousers are usually white to show the blood from the ferrets bites. Here's a video of the American version of the sport:


CFZ PEOPLE: Happy Birthday Shosh

When I got married for the second time in 2007, one thing worried me. I had just - at the age of 48 - become a stepfather, twice over. I had heard all sorts of horror stories from friends of mine in similar situations, who found that their new stepchildren resented them, and in extreme cases did their best to jeopardise things between their mama and this unwanted new husband of hers.

I needn't have worried: both girls accepted me, and I love them both very much. Indeed, my relationship with them, especially those moments when I get to do daddy stuff, are two of the things in my life which I most prize.

And today, the eldest, Shoshannah (familiar to one and all from various Weird Weekends) is 26. Happy Birthday, my darling girl....

And mama writes...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011



ONE FROM THE ARCHIVES: A young-looking Jon and Richard on the trail of the golden frogs of Bovey Tracey in 2001


Yesterday Karl Shuker posted Part Two of his blog on the cryptozoology of Dr Dolittle and he bemoaned the fact that a certain mystery beast that he had been hoping to see in the 1967 movie was not there:

I was seven years old when the film musical was released in Britain in 1967, and on the day that my father took me to see it at the local cinema I was in a state of great excitement, especially as my mother had told me to make sure that I didn’t miss seeing “the great pink whale”. Sadly, however, despite paying particular attention throughout the film (no mean feat in itself, as its running time was a rather lengthy 152 minutes), I never did spot this wonderful yet evidently highly-elusive creature – but for good reason. When, returning home afterwards, I told my mother that I hadn’t spotted it, she confessed, in a rather embarrassed state, that she had somehow confused Dolittle’s great pink snail with another famous oceanic mega-beast – Moby Dick, the great white whale! Thus was born the great pink whale - albeit neither in nature nor on screen, but at least for a short time in my mother’s hazy recollection and, as a result, in my own enthusiastic imagination. A pity, really, as a great pink whale would almost certainly have been an even more amazing sight than either a great pink snail or a great white whale!

If you are looking for a great pink whale, you need look no further than Nighbirds on Nantucket (1966) - a novel by the incomparable Joan Aiken, and the third in her saga, usually named after the most famous book in the series The Wolves of Willoughby Chase (1963). It features a pink sperm whale called 'Rosie' who is pictured on the cover, and within the book.

It is rather nice to be able to write about classic children's books from an era when children's books could tell a story rather than have to worry about addressing `issues`.

If you have not read any of Joan Aiken's books I recommend The Shadow Guests (1980) to any reader of a fortean persuasion. It is genuinely creepy....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1962 NS Savannah, the first nuclear powered civillian cargo-ship was launched in the USA. Maybe it's just me but the idea of poorly protected non-military vessels (military is bad enough but necessary evil and all that) floating around the oceans with radioactive materials aboard just to power a ship seems a tad insane. Even if you ignore the threat of pirates/terrorists getting their grubby mitts on some nice material for making dirty bombs with and the consequences for the crew and the environment if something goes wrong it does sound a bit like using a sledge hammer to put a drawing pin in.

And now the news:

Biggest-Ever Bunny Didn't Hop, Had No Enemies
UW-Madison lake scientist gets world's top water p...
Cat Survived Earthquake and Reunited with Family
Rare albatross is unique species

What flavour is it?


Following on from the accusations levelled at Dolittle author Hugh Lofting the we covered the other day here is conclusive proof that Lofting was Pigist!

Monday, March 21, 2011


Monsters of Pennsylvania
Patty A Wilson
Stackpole Books 2010 ISBN-13: 978-8117-3625-1

One of the advantages of having a multi-volume, multi-author series, is the differing styles in which they are written. Coleman and Hallenbeck write in a calm, almost detached, manner somewhat like field biologists recording data. Patty Wilson is much more like a traditional storyteller, recounting sightings like an author writing passages from a novel.

The monsters of the Keystone State are dominated by sasquatch with over half the book taken up by encounters with mystery primates. Wilson has cherry-picked the most dramatic and re-tells them with a flare that would make Stephen King proud.

Some of these encounters are standard (if one can ever use such a term when encountering a Bigfoot) sightings of what appears to be a yeti-like upright ape. Others have an element of ‘high strangeness’ including a man’s roadside encounter with an ape-like beast that seemed capable of teleportation.

Known Bigfoot but still humanoid creatures are reported within the state. One case sticks out in particular. The Ridge Road monster, reported in the late '60s, was described by witnesses as an emaciated giant with a skull-like face, glowing eyes and grey skin. The description sounds somewhat like the Algonquin India cannibal spirit the Wendigo. I am currently researching a book on the creature and have other sightings on record that sound much the same, some from as far south as Kentucky.

Known humanoid monsters in the book include eastern cougars, out-of-place panthers, giant snakes and the ever popular thunderbird. Also our old friend the Jersey Devil who seems just as changeable here as it does in New Jersey.

For a state with so many German immigrants in its history, it is no surprise that the werewolf raises its head in Pennsylvania. Some of the stories here are from colonial times but much harder to explain are modern-day sightings of bipedal, hairy creatures with wolf-like heads. Some of the most recent occurred around the campus of West Chester University. A student prank or something stranger?

Thus far Stackpole have given us two impressive titles. Let’s hope that the remaining states get treatment as impressive as these.

GLEN VAUDREY: Whole Wide World #14

For many years the name Colombia has mainly conjured up images of drug dealers and kidnappings; hardly the best advert for any country. It’s the only South American country with both Pacific and Caribbean coasts and by all accounts is not as bad as it used to be.

As this is our last day in South America I will bring you two tales. First we have an out of place animal, the Hippopotamus; hardly a creature you would expect to find running loose in South America, and of course if it hadn’t been for Pablo Escobar and his drug-funded animal collection it would never have been there. Following the death of Escobar, his menagerie made a break for freedom and somewhere out there in the jungles of Colombia there are rumoured to be up to twenty of these big lumps running amok, or at least lurking in the lonely rivers, avoiding capture.

So what could I come up with to trump that? Well, how about a dinosaur? Way back in 1921 travellers along a river in Colombia reported an encounter with a large reptile that looked for all the world like an Iguanodon; that’s about as good as the report gets so in this case I wouldn’t really expect one to be spotted again any day soon. Perhaps it is better to look for the Hippopotamuses then.

Well there you go: we’ve managed to travel all around South America looking at a different animal in each country and with the exception of Suriname, I think it went rather well. So let’s grab our packs and head north into Central America.

Next stop: Panama.

The New York Turtle and Tortoise Seminar

The New York Turtle and Tortoise Society announces:

Sunday, April 3, 2011
Registration 9:30 a.m.; Sessions 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Third floor Gallery, The Arsenal, Central Park
(in front of the Central Park Zoo)
64th Street and 5th Avenue, New York City

The twenty-sixth NYTTS Annual Seminar will be a full-day event, featuring in-depth presentations by three prominent researchers. The fee for the day, including lunch, is $40 per person ($20 for students with ID).


Morning Session:

Ward B. Stone, Wildlife Pathologist (retired),
New York Department of Environmental Conservation:
"Turtle Pathology in New York"

Afternoon Session:

Roger C. Wood, Paleontologist, Professor of Biology,
Richard Stockton College, Pomona, New Jersey:
"Fossil Leatherback Turtles from Northern Europe"

Peter C.H. Pritchard, Director, Chelonian Research
Institute, Oviedo, Florida
"Latest Developments in the Galápagos"

There are two ways to register:
By mail: print and send in the attached registration form.
Online: at http://nytts.org.
See the Central Park Zoo Web site for Directions to the Arsenal:


British Livebearer Association


Guppy Section
2nd leg of the 2011 UK Guppy League

Sunday 27th March

George Hotel (Regency suite)
Sheep Street.
NN16 0DN

There will be a bar available.
Brian Chittenden and Tim Addis will have their usual sales tables.
Expect to see rare and unusual livebearers as well as cultivated species.

Doors open 9.30am
Booking in 10.00-11.30am
Auction starts 12.00(approx)
Pre-booked auction lots contact


Guppies booked in and benched by 11.45am (Judging starts 12.00 noon)

Guppy league information or postal entries contact

BY POPULAR REQUEST: Andy Roberts' Badger Videos (3)

Robert Schneck wrote to me asking whether we could possibly post some of the videos that Andy Roberts has done of the badgers in his garden. We emailed Andy who was kind enough to post three of them on Youtube for us. Here is the third one:

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1997 the comet Hale-Bopp had its closest approach to Earth. This would be used by the Heaven's Gate cult as a supposed sign that the time had come for them to commit mass suicide. Their website is still online 14 years on so if you find such things interesting you can look it up http://www.heavensgate.com/ but remember kids, mass suicide isn't cool so resist the temptation to join, ok?
And now, the news:

Rare Basking Shark Sighting In Florida
Peter the Wild Boy's condition revealed 200 years ...
Craig Venter’s Genetic Typo
Monster battle: Nessie tourism businesses get go a...

The first episode of the fantastic cryptozoological cartoon, 'The Family Ness':

Sunday, March 20, 2011




MICHAEL NEWTON: A “Blob” That Never Was

Several websites—led by Wikipedia, with others generally plagiarizing its text verbatim—claim that three globsters beached in Bermuda between 1988 and 1997. As described online, the first “Bermuda Blob” turned up at Mangrove Bay in May 1988 and was analyzed in 1995, “found to be the remains of a large shark.” “Bermuda Blob 2” surfaced in 1995, specific date and place unknown, and was identified in 2004 as “a large mass of adipose tissue from a whale.” Finally, “Bermuda Blob 3” arrived in January 1997 and was identified—again, in 2004—as “a large mass of adipose tissue from a whale.”1

So far, so good ... except that several aspects of the much-abbreviated tale are false.

First, analaysis of the first “blob,” published in April 1995, did not specifically identify it as shark tissue. Rather, the report deemed it to be pure collagen from “the skin of a poikilothermic [cold-blooded] vertebrate.” Based upon the size of the carcass, the analysts found it to be “easily within the size range of a large teleost or an elasmobranch”—that is to say, either some bony fish from the infraclass Teleostei (40 orders with 20,000 extant species) or some member of the subclass Elasmobranchii (sharks, skates and rays, with some 940 extant species in all). Nothing more specific was offered, beyond a firm determination that the sample had not come from a whale. In contrast, the flesh of another globster—beached at St. Augustine, Florida, in 1896—was identified as whale blubber.2

In passing, we must also note that the 1995 report misstated the date when “Blob 1” was discovered, placing it in “summer 1988” rather than May (the middle of spring).3 That minor negligence assumes greater importance as we search for “Blob 2.”

Information concering that second carcass was so vague online that I pursued it while researching Globsters, a forthcoming volume from CFZ Press. Specificallly, I contacted the Bermuda National Library, in hopes of pinning down the date when it surfaced. To my surprise, librarian Ellen Hollis reported that local newspapers contain no mention whatsoever of a carcass found at any time in 1995. Neither do library archives at the Bermuda Aquarium, Museum and Zoo. In fact, it seems that “Bermuda Blob 2” did not arrive until January 1997. In short, it was identical to “Bermuda Blob 3”—and “Blob 2” never existed!

How was the second globster fabricated? It appears to be the result of a typographical error, found in a June 2004 report comparing two Bermuda carcasses with three other globsters discovered in Florida, Massachusetts, and Tasmania. The new report’s five authors included three who collaborated on the April 1995 article.3
While citing their earlier study repeatedly, the authors claimed that “Bermuda Blob 1...washed onto Bermuda in 1995,” rather than 1988—an error that apparently deceived both Wikipedia’s anonymous contributor and all who followed after, plagiarizing his/her text.4

A more significant discrepancy arose in 2004 from microscopic comparison of the five globster samples—which, once again, included flesh from the 1896 St. Augustine carcass. This time, still citing their 1995 article as a reference, the authors claimed that “[t]he microscopic anatomy of all the carcasses...is virtually identical. These large masses consist almost entirely of pure collagen fibers arranged in cross-hatched layers, often perpendicular to each other. This arrangement is exactly that of the collagen fiber infrastructure of freshly preserved humpback
whale blubber.”5

So, what happened between 1995 and 2004 to alter the microscopic anatomy of “Bermuda Blob 1”? How was it transformed from the tissue of a cold-blooded fish into humpback whale blubber? And how can authors of the June 2004 report cite contradictory findings from their own April 1995 article to support the later claim that all five globsters were “nothing but whales”?6

The rest—at least for now—is silence. But we know one thing beyond a shadow of a doubt: there was no 1995 “Bermuda Blob.” The local carcass-count stands at two, until such time as the Atlantic Ocean yields another mystery.


Three “Bermuda Blob” photos from Wikipedia:

1. “Bermuda Blob 1,” May 1988.
2. “Bermuda Blob 2,” actually beached in January 1997.
3. “Bermuda Blob 2” on shore, misidentified as “Bermuda Blob 3.”


1 “Bermuda Blob,” Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bermuda_Blob.
2 Sidney Pierce, Gerald Smith Jr., Timothy Maugel and Eugenie Clark. “On the Giant Octopus (Octopus giganteus) and the Bermuda Blob: Homage to A. E. Verrill,” Biological Bulletin 188 (April 1995): 229.
3 Ibid., p. 220.
3 Sidney Pierce, Steven Massey, Nicholas Curtisi, Gerald Smith Jr., Carlos Olavarri’a and Timothy Maugel, “Microscopic, Biochemical, and Molecular Characteristics of the Chilean Blob and a Comparison With the Remains of Other Sea Monsters: Nothing but Whales,” Biological Bulletin 206 (June 2004): 125-133.
4 Ibid., p. 126.
5 Ibid., p. 127.6 Ibid., p. 125.


The India Expedition brought back several sets of samples last November. One was this bone, found deep in some caves. Lars Thomas confirmed to us a couple of days ago that it was from an adult human, and quite old. He is disposing of it with due reverence, but meanwhile... the search continues.


It might not be the Weird Weekend, but the University of Florida's Bee College is held annually at St. Augustine Florida, and looks like a great way to spend two days. I mention Weird Weekend because, like the CFZ, the Bee College encourages young people and amateurs to get seriously involved in studying animals. An important topic for discussion this year was native bees and how to encourage them to nest and act as pollinators. Learn more and get their brochure at:


BY POPULAR REQUEST: Andy Roberts' Badger Videos (2)

Robert Schneck wrote to me asking whether we could possibly post some of the videos that Andy Roberts has done of the badgers in his garden. We emailed Andy who was kind enough to post three of them on Youtube for us. Here is the second one:

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1958 Gary Oldman was born.
And now the news:

Knut is dead: Beloved polar bear collapses and die...
Hygienic sharks go to cleaners

Tell me what we're going to need?

DALE DRINNON: An irritating story


This tale of fraud, nudity and possible blackmail has nothing to do with cryptozoology. But we post it (and Dasle wrote it) to illustrate quite how far some people seem to be prepared to go in order to cause trouble on the internet...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

MICHAEL NEWTON: Cape May’s Globster Reconsidered

In his classic treatise on sea-serpents, Bernard Heuvelmans recorded the stranding of an unidentified carcass on southern New Jersey’s Cape May Peninsula, in 1887. He recorded its discovery in an appendix to his epic work, but made no mention of it in the text. A list of sources for strandings omitted from further discussion cited a November 1887 issue of the long-defunct Boston Courier, otherwise undated. Ben Roesch, reviewing the Father of Cryptozoology’s work in 1998, could not locate the article in question. “Until I am able to do so,” he wrote, “this carcass remains a literal unknown".

But no longer.

Fanciful depiction of a stranded basking shark from Harper’s Magazine, 1868.

I recently obtained a copy of the long-missing report, with generous assistance from Henry Scannell, curator of Reference and Information Services at the Boston Public Library. The story, headlined “The Stranded Sea Serpent,” appeared on page one of the Boston Courier, on 6 November 1887. It reads:

A basking shark at sea. Cape May’s big-mouthed globster?
"The sea serpent business is practically ruined. A genuine specimen of the tribe has been washed ashore at Cape May, and the mystery is forever dispelled. Who will be greatly excited by a glimpse of a creature which will now be set down in the tables of the naturalists, and ticked with a long and learned name? When there were grave doubts whether the sea serpent really existed, then indeed there was a certain amount of pleasure and excitement in running across a monster declared by half the world to be fabulous; but now the whole business is reduced to the level of the commonplaces.

A megamouth shark, unknown until 1976.

Now that the serpent is in the hands of scientists, moreover, they have measured him, and it is painful to see how far short he falls of his supposed length. What are a paltry dozen feet beside the forty or fifty with which tradition had endowed him? Who can ever again really respect a beast that has fallen so absurdly short of its reputation? Even its big mouth and thick hair can do very little toward making up for this fatal deficiency of extent, and unless a bigger specimen can be forwarded from beneath the seawater immediately the fame of the race is irretrievably injured. Proprietors of seaside resorts which depend for success upon the reported presence of the sea serpent off their shores should send a communication at once to the king of the clan to lay the case before him, and to see if a bigger specimen cannot be induced to sacrifice himself for the good of his kind by coming to be measured. With a little diplomacy much may yet be done to save the fading fame of the sea serpent, but it must be done quickly, before the specimen ashore at Cape May shall have been generally received as typical. "

No “long and learned name” was forthcoming, but the facetious article provides certain basic information about the Cape May globster—specifically, its twelve-foot length, plus an allusion to its “big mouth and thick hair.” It is somewhat surprising that Dr. Heuvelmans, with said article in hand, did not suggest a possible identify for the stranded creature. He made do with less in other cases, including five between 1808 and 1896 wherein he proposed the existence of large unknown sharks.

The Cape May specimen’s “big mouth” instantly suggests that common globster candidate, the basking shark, well known to ichthyologists since 1765. A possible alternate suspect might be the megamouth shark, unrecognized by science until 1976. Both exceed the relatively modest twelve-foot length of Cape May’s “serpent,” with record lengths of forty feet and eighteen feet, respectively.

But what of the monster’s “thick hair”? Fish have none, but as a shark’s skin decomposes, the underlying muscle fibers may protrude, resembling hair that varies in color from white to red. Such was the case, we’re told, with Scotland’s fifty-five-foot Stronsa beast of 1808, which Heuvelmans confidently labeled a “giant basking shark or unknown shark.” Again, his hesitation in identifying Cape May’s specimen may be the greatest mystery involved in the affair.

And yet ....

Who were the unnamed scientists described as measuring the carcass and removing it for further study? Where did they take the carcass? Did they ever reach a final verdict on the stranded beast’s identity? If so, that finding never rated mention in the Boston Courier or any other East Coast newspaper so far discovered, much less in the august New York Times. Perhaps, therefore, some vestige of the mystery endures.