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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Wednesday, April 13, 2011


The great author Charles Dickens spent many days strolling through the historic Kent town – and former city – of Rochester. Dickens was known for such classic works as Great Expectations but many do not realise that some of his more atmospheric musings were his ghost stories – A Christmas Carol being his most atmospheric, although The Signalman was his best.

Not since Dickens’ days have the eerie avenues, cobbled streets, and dark corners of Rochester been spoken of – until now. Neil Arnold’s new book Haunted Rochester (co-authored with Kevin Payne) sheds light on many ghostly tales and eerie encounters never before published. From phantom monks, to white ladies at the famous castle, from haunted shops, restaurants and pubs, to ghostly children, a haunted hospital and even spectral sheep! Haunted Rochester takes the reader not only back in time but presents a dazzling array of modern ghost stories. Whilst the village of Pluckley, in Kent, is often considered one of England’s most haunted areas, Rochester is clearly are far more ghost-infested location steeped in a dark history which speaks of witches, sieges, and murder.

Haunted Rochester is Neil’s first book of the year, to be followed by Mystery Animals Of The British Isles: London, Haunted Maidstone, and Haunted Ashford.

So, grab a candle and gather round and prepare to be chilled.
Haunted Rochester is available from all good book stores priced £9.99


From Scott L. Felton of Conwy UFO Group, North Wales, UK.

Dear UFO Enthusiast,

I'd be grateful if you could forward this to your contacts as I'm trying to gather some information on a particular document which quite a few UFO enthusiasts out there have in their possession. Most if not all, will be in the possession of UK based enthusiasts or perhaps British enthusiasts living abroad. Copies however could be almost anywhere.

I have in my possession a copy of a document which is a Major Incident Log, set up to record events surrounding a suspected airplane crash on Cader Bronwen Mountain, North Wales on the night of 23rd January 1974. This is the same night as the infamous Berwyn Mountains UFO event which is often described as a crash.

The log was set up by Gwynedd Constabulary three months before it evolved into North Wales Police here in the UK. Many copies of the Log have been distributed to various persons over the years. I have made several Freedom of Information requests to North Wales Police for information relating to its role in events of that night in 1974 and I have been forced to file an official complaint regarding their handling and for obstruction each time.

North Wales Police has become aware that I'm privy to information which demonstrates categorically, that it has been involved in sending out altered documents, fake documents and other disinformation to various enquirers over the years - depending on who they are. I recently presented NWP with a copy of a faked Police document which it circulated for years. The Force then seized the document and tried to disrupt the FOI request. In a more sinister move regarding the aforementioned Log, the Force knows that I'm aware of at least one other Log which is different to the one I have. As such, in its response following an internal review of my request, it not only now claims not to possess any of Log, but claims to know nothing about it at all, despite my copy, those of others and, debunkers also openly referring to the document in their possession!!!!

How is that for a bit of corruption?

This is obviously going to appeal as I know NWP is painfully aware of the existence of the Log document and I know full well it possesses the originals still.

I might add, that my complaint about the handling of this particular complaint is also being dragged out. NWP is trying to buy time wondering how it can account for no less than two separate documents being fabricated/altered and originating from within the Force.

I am sending this communication out as an appeal, for anyone who possesses a copy of the Major Incident Log in relation to the 23rd of January 1974 and the Berwyn Mountains UFO Incident, to contact me via the email address below.

I wish to establish if more altered copies are out there and if so, establish how many different versions are in circulation and also, how recently those copies were requested.

I don't expect any debunkers to get in touch as that would be assisting perhaps a pro-alien scenario and for security of my appeal, I'll be unable to divulge any info' about the alterations etc, but if you've ever investigated in part or whole, the Berwyn UFO case, you may very well have a copy of that document and I'd appreciate a copy and the date it was acquired. Everything is confidential and anyone who knows me knows full well that confidential means confidential.

So if you have a copy plus other details, please get in touch. The email address is:

Please, do not just send details in text or attachments. Let me know first that you have such a document etc and I'll arrange with you to obtain the document copies etc.

Thanks for your time.

Scott L. Felton.

JERSEY DEVIL: This arrived in my inbox the other day


Tired of all the lame films and documentaries on the NEW JERSEY DEVIL? Tired of NJ being portrayed in a negative light? Want to see something accurate on this legend? Then please read on....

Axis Video and Pine Barren Films have joined forces in creating a documentary film "THE SEARCH FOR THE NEW JERSEY DEVIL". We will be interviewing many people that have seen this mysterious beast and others that research this creature.

Help preserve one of New Jersey's curious creatures by contributing to this documentary film.

If you have a story to tell or have information to share about this New Jersey legend please feel free to contact us and we can set an interview up.

More info will be presented as it unfolds


More information about the NJ Devil:

The Jersey Devil is a legendary creature or cryptid said to inhabit the Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey. The creature is often described as a flying biped with hooves, but there are many variations. The Jersey Devil has worked its way into the pop culture of the area, even lending its name to New Jersey's team in the National Hockey League.

Legends and reported encounters:

Most accounts of the Jersey Devil legend attribute the creature to a "Mother Leeds", a supposed whore although the tale has many variations. According to one version, she invoked the devil by saying "let it be the devil" while giving birth to her 13th child, and when the baby was born, it either immediately or soon afterward transformed into a devil like creature and flew off into the surrounding pines. The child was born with horns, a tail, wings, and a horse-like head. The creature revisited Mrs. Leeds every day. She stood at her door and told it to leave. After awhile, the creature got the hint and never returned.

According to legend, while visiting the Hanover Mill Works to inspect his cannonballs being forged, Commodore Stephen Decatur sighted a flying creature flapping its wings and fired a cannonball directly upon it to no effect. Joseph Bonaparte, eldest brother of Emperor Napoleon, is also said to have witnessed the Jersey Devil while hunting on his Bordentown, New Jersey estate around 1820. Throughout the 19th century, the Jersey Devil was blamed for livestock killings, strange tracks, and reported sounds. In the early 20th century, a number of people in New Jersey and neighboring states claimed to witness the Jersey Devil or see its tracks. Claims of a corpse matching the Jersey Devil's description arose in 1957. In 1960, the merchants around Camden offered a $10,000 reward for the capture of the Jersey Devil, even offering to build a private zoo to house the creature if captured.

There are many other versions of the legend. The legends say it was the 6th, 8th, 10th, 12th, or 13th child, It was born normal or deformed, and the mother confined it to the cellar or the attic. Although there are many discrepancies in all of these stories, there are 3 pieces of evidence that tie all of the legends of the Jersey Devil's origin together. From the pre 1909 era, few documented records of sightings still exist. The ones that do, confirm the existence of the devil.

Chris Chaos

Axis Video/Pine Barren Films
PO BOX 551
Gloucester, NJ 08030

GIANT EELS: Richard Freeman recommends this


I am trying to identify a beetle...well, I think it's a weevil, but I don't know which one. Does anyone know that one? I took the photo here in Singapore.

FORTEAN FIVES: Paul 'Tiny' Jackson

In Fortean Fives the great and the good of Forteana pick out five interesting events from the history of Forteana. If you want to submit your own Fortean Five email it to Oll Lewis at fortean5s@gmail.com. Paul Jackson helps out Andrew May on http://forteana-blog.blogspot.com/ with ideas and photographs. Take it away Paul:

1) The Farnborough UFO hoax

One of the "Fortean Events" that I have always found interesting is the "Rag week" UFO hoax perpetrated by the Apprentices from Farnborough Technology College in 1967. The students created a number of "UFO's" that they left across southern England. The hoax was interesting as a Fortean Event because of the reaction of "the establishment". The police, the Government, etc had no idea how to handle this mini invasion, and had it been a real UFO event, they would have singularly failed in covering it up. I find it interesting as it goes someway to proving that a Government today would not be able to cover up aliens visiting us, especially given the fact that for a worldwide cover up to be in effect, all of these incompetent Governments would have to be working together!


2) The Nuremberg UFO Battles

Between 1561 and 1566 there were numerous sightings of "warring" objects in the skies over Nuremberg. This case has always interested me, as seems clear that something actually occurred and was seen, and was documented in wood cuts at the time but what the heck was it? A real battle between intelligently controlled craft or a natural phenomenon mis-interpreted as such? And where was the hard evidence from the "craft" that supposedly crashed?


3) The SETI Wow Signal

The "Wow" signal was a signal recorded by SETI in 1977, that has never been fully explained. It had all the characteristic of a signal from outside our solar system, but was only seen for 72 seconds and has never since been repeated!

Given the low likelihood of intelligent life forming on other planets (personally I think intelligent life is likely to be unique to earth), and then the low likelihood of an extraterrestrial civilization sending a radio signal towards earth at the right time for us to be able to receive it, it is unlikely that it was a message from ET. More likely it was a natural phenomenon we don't yet understand, but it is still good to wonder!

I think the true question is; not, given a habitable world, will intelligent life evolve? But given a habitable world, will Forteanism evolve? Lets hope so!


4) The Loss of Flight 19

The loss of Flight 19 in the Bermuda Triangle is another Fortean Classic. Probably just a case of grossly incompetent navigation, but the fact it ocured in the Bermuda Triangle leads to one of the classic mysteries of all time. The sort of mystery that excites the child in every Fortean! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flight_19

5) The Thunderbird Photo

How about the mythical "Thunderbird" photo? This to me is a classic Fortean event, primarily because it is an event that never occured! Everyone remembers seeing the photo of the Thunderbird, but no-one can find the original photo of this cryptozoological wonder! Is everybody mis-remembering? Has the Fortean-hive-mind created a Fortean wonder that never exisited? Or is it an attack of the Cosmic Joker? Keep checking those libraries!



Paul "Tiny" Jackson, Wiltshire

For the record, I don't have a book or website of my own to promote, but I occasionally provide ideas to my friends blog: http://forteana-blog.blogspot.com/ which is well worth a visit.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1912 the Titanic hit an Iceberg in the Atlantic leading to its sinking. There are a lot of modern myths about the Titanic and her sinking, most are untrue, but one is that the band played until the ship sank and their last song was 'Nearer My God To Thee'. In reality nobody can know what the last song the band played was as nobody survived to tell the tale or even knows just how long the band continued to play but the last song they were heard playing by a survivor was the hymn 'Autumn'.

And now the news:

Lake legend spawns mystery creature

Mesmerised by the macabre

Cull of trapped Tayside beavers avoided

Beware of thieving monkeys

It's not the thieving you have to look out for... It's the dirty monkeys:




ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

From CFZ Australia:

Hunt on for NZ's mystery moose