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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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Monday, November 14, 2011

GLEN VAUDREY: Whole Wide World #25

Saint Pierre and Miquelon – Sea Serpent

One of the fun things about writing the Whole Wide World is that not only do I come across a creature that I haven’t heard of before but also I occasionally find a place I’ve never heard of, and that’s the case with Saint Pierre and Miquelon. The islands are a self-governing territorial overseas collectivity of France, and are located just 12 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, some 4000 miles from the nearest bit of France. It is the only part of New France that still exists. With a surface area of only 98 miles it was always going to be hard to find a cryptid for these islands so it’s perhaps fortunate that we have the nearby waters to look at.

In 1834 the crew of the Robertson reported seeing something very strange in the waters south of Newfoundland. At first it was thought that the dome they observed in the water was nothing more than a boat until they noticed it moving, and then they thought it was a big fish. This is what the crew described:

Immediately above the water its eye was seen like a large deep hole. That part of the head which was above the water measured about 12ft high and its breadth or width 25 feet. The snout or trunk was about 50ft long, and the sea occasionally rippled over one part, leaving other parts quite dry and uncovered.

Perhaps this was a very strange sea serpent but Bernard Heuvelmans suggested it was an injured fin whale swimming on its back; certainly an interesting theory.

On with our travels. How about from one small island to a rather big one? Yes: we are off to Greenland.

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