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:


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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...

Sunday, February 06, 2011


An introduction to dragons – the granddaddy of all legendary monsters – has already featured in these pages. Now the Zoological Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology in Devon expands on the theme by discussing some of the varieties of dragons once believed to haunt these shores.

Read on...

Eco-Comedy Video Competition Spring 2011

$1000 Prize!

Sponsored by AU's Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the Sierra Club
Co-sponsored by Mill Reef Productions and Eco-Sense

The contest is open to anyone who prepares a short, funny video for YouTube which communicates a clear message that strongly motivates a specific behavior change (for example, driving a fuel efficient car, turning down thermostats, or donating to a conservation cause).

Submissions must:
Be humorous!
Address a critical environmental issue
Be an original production
Reach a broad audience beyond just environmentalists
Be less than three (3) minutes

There will be six judges representing the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, Sierra Club, the US Environmental Protection Agency, Mill Reef Productions, and Eco-Sense. The decision of the judges is final. Awards are based on overall merit of the entries. Judges reserve the right not to grant an award. The organizations listed above reserve the right to post submissions on their websites.

Submissions are due by March 1, 2011. Submissions that are not received by March 1, 2011 will not be judged. The winner will be announced at American University on Tuesday, March 22 at the DC Environmental Film Festival.

For more information regarding submission guidelines and contest rules, visit: http://www.environmentalfilm.org

Questions may be addressed to Chris Palmer at palmer@american.edu.

Professor Chris Palmer
Author of Shooting in the Wild: An Insider's Account of Making Movies in the Animal Kingdom (Sierra Club Books, 2010)
Distinguished Film Producer in Residence
Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking
School of Communication, American University
cell 202-716-6160; office 202-885-3408
Center website: http://www.environmentalfilm.org/



The other day when snow fell on Dallas, Nick Redfern joked about `The Devil's Footprints`...

KITHRA HAS HAD ENOUGH OF FACEBOOK (and who can blame her?)


D. R. SHOOP: Sad Story


“this cat is over 9ft long and approx 150lbs. Photo has not been altered.” Says the hunter who shot it in Orofino, Idaho

It may be legal to hunt these majestic cats, but I find it very sad none the less.

Mountain Lion

DALE DRINNON: The Question Was "What Do We Do With THE BODY?"

This is a matter with a practical solution to an age-old problem, although it may not be suitable for the squeamish.
[ "Ghoul on a meal." by Arjen E. Pilon from http://www.elfwood.com/]

Definition from Wikipedia:

"A ghoul is a folkloric monster associated with graveyards and consuming human flesh, often classified as undead. The oldest surviving literature that mention ghouls is likely One Thousand and One Nights. The term is first attested in English in 1786, in William Beckford's Orientalist novel Vathek,[1] which describes the ghūl of Arabian folklore.

Early etymology

Ghoul is from the Arabic ghul, from ghala 'to seize'[2].Marc Cramer and others believe the term to be etymologically related to Gallu, a Mesopotamian demon[3][4]

In Arabian folklore

In ancient Arabian folklore, the ghūl (Arabic: غول , literally demon)[5] dwells in burial grounds and other uninhabited places. The ghul is a devilish type of jinn believed to be sired by Iblis.[6]

The Arabian ghoul is a desert-dwelling, shapeshifting demon that can assume the guise of an animal, especially a hyena. It lures unwary travellers into the desert wastes to slay and devour them. The creature also preys on young children, robs graves, drinks blood, steals coins and eats the dead,[5] taking on the form of the one they previously ate.

In the Arabic language, the female form is given as ghouleh[7] and the plural is ghilan. In colloquial Arabic, the term is sometimes used to describe a greedy and/or gluttonous individual."


[Ghool, AKA Rakshasa]

--On the other hand, Cryptozoologists have inferred the name is not Arabic at all, nor is it Iranian (in which "Ghul" means a rose) It is Turkic and part of a well-known cluster of names for the "Wildman" of Turkestan and the Near East, Gulub-Yavans (As Gordon Creighton points out, the "Yavani" means "Wild" in Turkic and the name means "Wild Man") Heuvelmans records that the term of Ghul or Gul alone (in some sources spelled Ghool) is in usage in places.


In other words, the Wildman acquired a reputation of digging up dead bodies in order to eat them, a habit otherwise ascribed mainly to jackals and hyenas. Hence the Wildman is sometimes said to be able to transform into these animals.


It would seem that the Wildman or Neanderthal type has a habit of eating the dead of their own kind and there are occasions when a dead body of an Almas (or one of the American Almases) is buried with a mind for witnesses to dig it up again as evidence, only to find the body has been dug up again when they DO get back to recover it. Presumably other Almases have dug up the body in order to eat it.


[Ghool Footprint] {Neanderthal Footprint 1950]

There is evidence for cannibalism at certain Neanderthal sites where their bones have been scraped with stone knives in getting the meat off them, and the bones treated the same as other kitchen refuse. It would seem that the usual practice among Almases is to eat already-dead corpses, but some of the larger ones (called variously Trolls, Orcs [Orcos], Onis or Ogres) are traditionally said to seize and eat humans, in particular small children, with a preference for young boys. That may have happened occasionally but there are no known cases of this still going on as a regular occurance.

The same thing might be said to be true about sasquatches, except that traditionally the size of the human prey is no matter and they will go after adults just the same as after children. For this reason it is probably a mistake to flatly discount stories about the "Cannibal Giants" even if humans are not ordinarily on the menu for sasquatches much any more. But THEY also seem to eat the dead of their own kind as well, and also they seem to preferentially seek out dead bears when they can find them. In North America, sasquatches will steal deer carcasses from hunters regularly, and the association with sasquatches stealing deer meat is one of the more definite recurring indicators of what their diet usually is.

[Neanderthal Cannibals at Krapina Rock Shelter by Z. Burian]

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1812 Charles Dickens was born.
And now, the news:

Man killed by fighting rooster
Cryptic new wolf species identified in north Afric...
Snake missing for a month found on Boston subway
No further sighting of shark in river

Yeah, they'll perhaps be requiring a larger seafaring vessel of some description:



Max eceives the major new three-volume work on contemporary moa sightings, and is very favourably impressed.