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, May 05, 2011


A few months ago I made an appeal for proof-readers, and we now have a nice (and very functional) stable of proof-readers who are working on a wide range of projects.

We already have some talented artists like Mark North, Shaun Histead-Todd, Michael Walters, J. T. Lindroos and Anthony Wallis (to name but a few). But we have some big projects coming up. If you would like to be involved please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk, preferably with a sample of your work.

Also, we are starting to re-publish old books long out of print. Scanning old books through an OCR Programme is a horrible and tedious job, but there must be someone out there mad enough to fancy doing it. Please drop me a line if that someone is you!
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"Fortean authors are a rare and vanishing breed. They often write about a wide range of peculiar and arcane subjects, and in 2010 Fortean Words started a series of books anthologising those writers we believe to be the most important Forteans writing today. Each of the authors we chose didn't let us down; the books which they presented us contain a rich and heavy brew and are often not for the faint hearted. But who said anything in life was going to be easy, eh? Enter at your peril, but when you do - - enjoy!"

Jonathan Downes, March 2010

PART ONE: Cryptozoology & Evolution
PART TWO: Forteana
PART THREE: Shamanism and Esoteric Christianity
INTERLUDE ONE: It takes a lot to laugh, it takes a train to cry
PART FOUR: Alternative History
PART FIVE: Speculative Archaeology
PART SIX: UFOs, Rock`n`Roll, and more Leys
INTERLUDE TWO: Peter McMahon - Ley Tramp
PART SEVEN: Folklife
PART EIGHT: Urban Myths and Media Monitoring
INTERLUDE THREE: Folklorists & Forteans - Friends or Foes
Last Words

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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 . Today’s Fortean Five is compiled by Lars Thomas. Lars has a wide and varied sphere of interest including zoology, cryptozoology, ripperology, photography and whiskey. He is also our regular 'go-to guy' when it comes to DNA and hair analysis. Take it away Lars:

1. THE THYLACINE Being of a strong cryptozoological persuasion, I have to name the thylacine as my favourite cryptid. I have no idea why this rather small, dog-like marsupial fascinates me so – but it does. I have walked the forests of Tasmania several times, especially the extraordinary Southwest National Park, where you could easily hide a rampaging horde of woolly mammoths, let alone a few thylacines. But although my heart was thumping like a demented bass drum I did not see the critter – although I did meet a guy who claimed he had seen one.

2. THE VIADUCT INN GHOST I have always liked ghost-stories for their folkloric values, but I have never been very interested in trying to prove the existence of ghosts and running around with E-meters and such gadgets, but I must confess to a certain fondness for the ghost/poltergeist in the Viaduct Inn in London because I have actually photographed the bugger. During a guided ghostwalk in London in 1988, I took a picture of part of the cellars under the Inn – apparently they used to be prison cells in the old Newgate Prison. The place was empty – but the photograph was not!

3. AVEBURY A lot of Fortean phenomena is associated with standing stones, and coming from a country where there are standing stones a-plenty, I do have a certain fondness for big boulders standing in all sorts of strange places. But my absolute favourite is the tiny village of Avebury, not far from Stonehenge, where the stones seem to outnumber the population. I would love to know whatever possessed people of long ago to work so hard dragging stones all over the place.

4. THE ROUND TOWER This rather strange-looking tower in central Copenhagen was build by Danish king Christian IV many a long year ago. The official explanation was the need for an astronomical observatory, but in a rather elaborate and grand scale (although there is an observatory on top of the tower today). But the Fortean bits are much more fun. You can (or so it is said) find all kinds of astrological, astronomical, magical and kabbalistic symbols, and a few riddles and ghosts thrown in for good measure, in the structure of the tower and the adjacent church. And the view of Copenhagen from the top is sensational!

5. THE HUIA BIRD I don’t suppose a supposedly extinct bird rates high on the Fortean scale, but this weird thing, that used to live in New Zealand, and supposedly died out in the 1930s, has always been a favourite of mine. It was so very strange – the male and female had different shaped beaks. And that’s not something you see every day. But for me the most exciting thing is that I am convinced I saw a living huia bird during a visit to New Zealand in 1991. That’s not something you see everyday either!
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HAUNTED SKIES: John is in trouble and Dawn writes some poems. There are also some UFO clippings and a picture of the Haunted Skies back garden.

Who could ask for anything more?

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OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1954 Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes.
And now the news:

UFO, zombie, ghost and witch sightings revealed
Giant Squid Killed by Sound?
Gunman Barricades Himself on Farm Full of Snakes
Law of Haiti admits and criminalizes the creation ...

Have a cup of tea and wait for it to all blow over...
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DALE DRINNON: Reposted gambo article

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KARL SHUKER: Two French Mysteries of the Arachnological Kind

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