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, January 10, 2011


This is probably the only time that I have ever seen a photograph of an out-of-place species (red-eared slider) sitting on the back of a cryptid (the Hoan Kiem turtle). Weird, huh?



BABY FLORIDA PANTHER (Mostly for Corinna, Naomi and Olivia)

GAVIN LLOYD WILSON: The Cardigan Cardigan

Hi Jon

On the local news last Wednesday there was an item about how the people of the town of Cardigan in Ceredigion had got together to knit a giant cardigan in honour of the town's 900th Anniversary. As I was in Cardigan the next day I popped into the Guild Hall to have a look for myself.

The the whole town and outlying countryside is depicted on the body of the garment as you can see on my attached photos.

What I was interested in, however, was the four-legged creature picked out in black wool on the left arm. It could have been a cow, but I thought it would be more than likely that someone would illustrate a cow as being black and white. I asked one of the women who had been involved in the making of the cardigan and she told me it was supposed to be a big cat. "A leopard?" I asked, and she replied "Yes."

Such is the fame of our local ABCs that one made its way onto the Cardigan cardigan.

I was quite impressed that this phenomenon had caught the local imagination and was considered important enough to be included.

As well as there having been panther sightings in these parts, I personally have spoken to someone who told me of a creature he had seen that fitted the description of a lynx, and he also showed me where he'd seen it just outside the town of Crymych. A similar creature was described in the recent sightings in Pembrokeshire at the end of last year. I'm going to try to keep abreast of the local big cat news as and when I hear of it.


OLL LEWIS: Vampire Furniture

Vampires have been a staple of folklore and horror stories for hundreds of years and are now extremely popular with teenage girls too who nowadays are more likely to think of them as dreamboats or hunks rather than the traditional forever alone shut-ins who would sneak into strangers rooms at night to attack them by feeding off their blood. No, I don't understand it either. In any case, vampires and vampirism covers a whole range of cryptozoological creatures from creatures like the chubacabra, which are alleged to suck blood from their prey, to other supposed entities some claim are capable of sucking 'psychic energy' from rooms or in their proximity.

There is one type of vampire, however, that only ever gets limited coverage, is often treated as a joke and at first glance has nothing to do with Fortean zoology or cryptozoology: vampire furniture.

The following tale is taken from Marie Trevelyan's Welsh Folklore:

'An old dower-house, long since turned into a farmstead in Glamorgan, had a vampire story attached to it. The house was evidently enlarged in Tudor times, and had some additions made in the reign of Queen Anne. In the reign of George I it ceased to be a dower-house, and became a farmstead. Part of the premises were shut off at first, but when the next tenant came all the rooms were in occupation. Some of the old furniture that was bought by the ingoing tenant when the place ceased to be a dower-house remained. This furniture was distributed in various rooms, but one apartment, used as a guest-chamber, was wholly filled with it. A very pious Dissenting minister visited the farm in the eighteenth century, and as an honoured guest he was given the best bedroom. He was to stay there three or four days on his way to Breconshire. In those times people travelled on horseback everywhere, and the minister arrived on a Friday night, riding a grey mare. A service was to be held in the house on Saturday evening, and two were to be held on Sunday. On Friday night the minister went early to bed, and on Saturday was up "with the lark." Not wishing to intrude upon the early domestic arrangements, he sat in an old armchair of quaint design beside one of the windows which commanded a fine view of the surrounding country. There he remained for some time, reading the Bible and musing over his sermons for Sunday. When he got up from the chair to go downstairs, he observed that the back of his hand was bleeding freely. He immediately dipped it in his washing-basin, but it was quite a few minutes before he could stanch the blood, and the scar resembled teeth-marks more than anything else. The marks were on his left hand. This he bound with his handkerchief, and when he reached the breakfast-room the hostess kindly asked how he had slept. "Very excellently, I thank you," was the minister's reply. "The room is handsomely furnished, and the furniture is valuable, but I fear me there is a nail in the old armchair by the window ;" and he held forth his hand. "I quite forgot to have it overhauled," said the hostess. "for more than one visitor has complained of having scratches in that chair." She examined the hand, and then exclaimed: "But this is in the back, and not on the palm. The other persons had scratches on the palm." Nothing more was thought of the affair until Monday morning, when the minister was disturbed in his sleep long before dawn by a gnawing sensation in his left side. He described it "as though a dog was gnawing my flesh." There was much pain in his side, and he had some difficulty in striking a light. When he got up and examined his side, all across his ribs he discovered marks similar to those upon his hand, and they had been bleeding freely. It took some time to stanch the blood, and then the minister dressed himself, and, reading the Bible, awaited the dawn. After breakfast he went to see his grey mare and when he stroked its fine head he was surprised to find marks on the left side of the neck similar to those on his own hand and side. These he quickly bathed, and went indoors. Before leaving the house he mentioned these occurrences to his hostess, adding: "Madam, you may not know it, but I believe a vampire frequents this house. The dead man who owned the furniture comes to suck the blood from intruders, even to the grey mare in your stable. And probably he is not pleasantly disposed toward ministers of the Gospel" "It has happened to two ministers before," said the goodman of the house, "but not to the ministers' nags."

'The descendant of this minister who related the story said that long after her great-grandfather died, other ministers who slept in the same room had suffered alike. "It was supposed that a Christian minister had effectually laid the vampire," said the narrator "but in the year 1850 a dignitary of the Church of England had the same unpleasant experience so far as his left hand and left leg were concerned. Science failed to account for these occurrences, and it was not until a year later the old vampire story was remembered. The house is still occupied by a farmer, but the outgoing tenant had a sale of all the antique furniture and effects, and nothing more was heard about the vampire.”

The attacks were, in my opinion, quite likely not to have been the result of furniture haunted by a vengeful spirit or anything quite so occult but rather could have been the result of an infestation problem. I met with something similar when I was the caretaker of an old mansion house in Liverpool that had been turned into bedsits. One of the cellar rooms had long been used as a store for old furniture. Mattresses, chairs, beds and tables that wouldn't fit in the rooms were all piled up on top of each other in a slapdash manner. One time I had engaged in a spot of revelry with friends who lived in the house and being too late to catch the bus home, I had elected to sleep in this room.

I awoke the next morning covered in pin-pricks of blood. It turned out that the room had been infested with nasty little biting insects, something that I would suggest might have been the case in the house the minister stayed at.

MATT OSBORNE: Geography Fail

Irish beef from Cork: 100% British. Asda show their USA parent's opinion on Eire.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1787 William Herschel discovered Titania and Oberon, two moons of Uranus. Herschel also discovered Uranus with his telescope and called it George, which he thought was a very sensible and apt name for a planet. Astronomers in other countries, however, did not share his enthusiasm, not least because the planet had been named after the British king and a lot of countries did not quite share Herschel’s enthusiasm, and soon the name Uranus was suggested. Apparently to ‘Johnny Foreigner’ naming a planet something that can be very easily mispronounced to sound rude is preferable to something named after George III; astronomers were indeed accomplished satirists, it would seem.
And now, the news:

Orange Gator Discovered in Florida, But Is It a Dy...
Chupacabra Watch: Kentucky Creature Could Be Hairl...
Ancient squidlike creature's final meal revealed
2010's Top Cryptozoology 'Monsters'
Big cat was prowling around my garden, claims pens...
Big cat in Monifieth unlikely but not impossible, ...
Bugging the bugs to save threatened species
Tiger & Terrain meet to save big cat

I'm sure youtube must be running out of these: