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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Saturday, May 07, 2011


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NEW FROM CFZ PRESS: Barton Nunnelly


Inhumanoids are creatures or entities that have some type of human characteristic but are not human at all. Even though they sometimes appear as 'less than human' they are quite beyond the normal sense of the word and possess a troubling array of supernatural powers to prove the point. Some are true 'bi-forms', curious anthropomorphic mixtures of human and animals, while others manifest themselves in guises that one might pass by on the street and never give a second glance. From the smallest fairy to the tallest giant and every form in between, these inhumanoid beings, in all their myriad forms, have been with us since the beginnings of recorded history and beyond. Every culture knows the inhumanoids quite well. Since the dawn of time man has encountered such creatures, which simply cannot be explained away using conventional zoological science. In fact, all that we 'know' of mainstream biology, zoology and anthropology scream in unison that creatures like 'The Spottsville Monster' cannot possibly exist at all. Yet people see these beings, and a host of others of the same bizarre ilk, much more frequently than many would suspect. In researching this book I was struck by the sheer number of alleged inhumanoid encounters reported to have taken place: thousands upon thousands. As a consequence of the sheer magnitude of such data, this work merely attempts to scratch the surface of that very old, long list.
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NEIL ARNOLD: Encounter With The Jabberwocky Of Maryland

Old newspaper archives offer up some of the most intriguing articles. Discovering obscure snippets and esoteric articles can be something akin to digging up the old bones of a long forgotten dinosaur. For several centuries the remote Pine Barrens of New Jersey in the United States have harboured a monstrous legend known to thousands as the Jersey Devil. This beast has evaded capture and become potent in folklore. Many have described this monster has being similar to a small dragon, with the body of a deer, the head of a horse and small leathery wings. The critter is said to mark its presence by a series of shrieks and has been blamed for attacks on livestock. Interestingly, a similar monster was said to have roamed Maryland during the nineteenth century. The following article I have reproduced in full so that it can be fully appreciated for drama and atmosphere. (The article was also accompanied by two rough sketches of the beast, which have not been included here)

The Morning Herald of April 29th 1887: ‘St Mary’s Jabberwock – The Terrible Monster That Inhabits Southern Maryland – Havoc Follows His Track.

Leonardtown, Md, April 23 – A number of citizens of this country have had posters printed and nailed on fences and trees along the county roads offering a reward of $50 for the capture or killing of the Jabberwock, and giving the picture of the monster, which was furnished them by drawings made by your correspondent.


The depredations of the monster, since my last letter, in the neighbourhood of Piney Point Chaptico Run still keep up the excitement among our citizens. Thomas Fenwick, Peter Rankin, Ralph Faxwell, Arthur Coombs and your correspondent have all seen it. Accounts continue to come in of the monsters’ visits to our citizen’s farms in the neighbourhood of St Clement’s Bay and Meadey’s Neck, but as the reports are not confirmed I will not mention them. After the failure of the party headed by Chris Wallace to kill the Jabberwock in the timber on the Lawrence farm your correspondent organised a party to hunt the monster down. The party consisted of Samuel Shanks, Peter Blackstone, Peter Rankin, Alvord Thomas, Ralph Faxwell, Cyrus Loker, and Colonel McCauley Herbert – all well known and determined men.

Early on Saturday morning, after failing for a day and night to come up with the beast, we trailed it to the farm of Tom Fenwick, near Piney Point. Mr Fenwick told us he had seen it about sundown the day before and caught it in the act of tearing down his hen-house, which is within short distance of his dwelling. Mr Fenwick was alone with his little daughter, a child of about four years, and he was so alarmed at the sight of the monster he was afraid to leave the little one in the house and attack it. He had a good look at it and described the Jabberwock as having a pair of flappers or wings. He also said its tail was long and armed at the end with a solid substance. He spoke of its big head and horns, of its claws and of its hind feet, which are cloven.

After destroying the hen-house and killing more than a dozen chickens the Jabberwock tried to climb the trees on which the turkeys were roosting. It would rear up on its hind legs and hang by its claws like a cat, keeping up a terrible bellowing that drove the stock at a dead run all over the farm. In their flight the horses jumped fences and even the cows leaped over obstacles that under other circumstances they could not have passed. The turkeys did not fly, but sat on the limbs as if frozen with fear. The sheep ran bleating to the house and took shelter on the back porch. The Jabberwock then turned and ran after the cows, Mr Fenwick says, if it were lame, or as if its fore legs were shorter than the hind ones, which is a fact. He did not follow it for the reason stated, but heard it bellowing through the night. Our party drove into the barn what was left of Mr Fenwick’s stock. A lamb, two calves a cow and yearling colt had been killed and partially devoured. They were scattered all over the farm, and in every case had been killed by a kick or blow to the head. The bodies were terribly mutilated and the hides of several had been ripped and torn away, showing the marks of teeth and claws in the flesh. There were many tracks through the fields and the lane, and it was the opinion of a majority of those who saw them that the Jabberwock chased and ran down the stock before killing them. Our party separated at Fenwick’s farm, Colonel Herbert and the other hunters going in the direction of St Clement’s Bay, and your correspondent, with Rankin and Faxwell, continuing to search in the neighbourhood of the Fenwick’s.


About 2 o’clock in the afternoon we struck a fresh trail that led us to a big swamp or marshy place about eight miles east of Fenwick’s. When the road, which is an abandoned one, nears the swamp it becomes very muddy and is grown over with reeds and thick, tall swamp grass, which irritate and make a horse restive if they brush his sides. We got off our horses and tied them and then followed the trail on foot. We could easily trace the course taken by the Jabberwock, for it had beat down the grass in its flight, and several times we noticed where it had made a bed or a resting place. As we neared the swamp our hounds refused to follow the trail, although they are considered well-trained dogs and used to tracking large game. They finally stopped, and when we scolded them turned and slinked off to the place where we had tied our horses, and where we afterward found them in fear.

Your correspondent wore a pair of gum boots, and when the mire and water of the swamp became so deep as to make travelling hard he was able to push ahead of Faxwell and Rankin and to make a sort of path for them to follow. In this way we walked to an opening in the swamp where we came upon the monster. It was half buried in the water, but when it saw us reared upon its hind feet and pawed the air. The Jabberwock was, I judge, fully 100 yards from us, but did not advance until we gave it a volley fro our guns. The fur flew from its sides , and with a great bellow it sprang into the air, and came toward us making great leaps. We waited until it got to within 75 yards of us, when Rankin, who was excited, fired again. The shot struck the Jabberwock on the head, for, with a scream like that of a panther or a mountain lion, it sank its head in the water, kicking out meantime with its hind legs. So long did it stay in that position Faxwell and I gave it another volley. I do not know if it were hit, but it arose again and began to lash the water with its tail and began foaming at the mouth. It bellowed terrifically, and I never saw anything in such a rage.


As we were on the point of firing again it wheeled and rushed from us through the swamp in a zigzag course, using its tail, which was rolled up to within two or three feet of its rump, as a sort of rudder, although when it was stretched out the tail must have been 12 feet long. I also noticed that when we first saw it the Jabberwock had its tail curled up and laying on its back like the hump of a camel. The water was too deep to continue our search that evening, and on going back for our horses we found that they had broken their halters and ran away, but the dogs were there. It was late when we reached Mr Fenwick’s, and Colonel Herbert’s party not having got back, and important business calling me to this place, I returned on one of Mr Fenwick’s mules. Our horses, so far as I know, have not been heard from, and no news of Colonel Herbert’s search has come to hand.


Its head, horns, fur, claws, hoofs and immense tail are somewhat as they have been before described, but I am in doubt as to whether its wings are pennate (sic) like a bird’s or membranous like a bat’s. They were moved so rapidly during the flight of the Jabberwock I could not see them very plainly.

Arthur Coombs, a young man of respectable connections in this country, was on his way home last Sunday afternoon from a visit to James Gough’s house on Chaptico Run. As he was riding along the road he heard a loud bellowing ahead of him and when he reached Cawood’s pasture on the right hand side of the road he saw the Jabberwock. The monster was lying on its side with its head up, and looking at a young stallion of Mr Cawood that stood in fear before it. The colt was so frightened it could not move, and it was all Arthur could do to hold his own horse.


The Jabberwock arose to its feet and walked, or hopped, around the stallion in a circle, the colt turning and following it with his eyes. Sometimes the Jabberwock would dart toward the stallion and then jump back again, but all the time it kept narrowing the circle. When it came within about 35 feet of the stallion the colt seemed to take a new courage, for it raised its head and reared up. The Jabberwock turned and struck with its tail but missed, and then the colt wheeled and kicked at the monster. Then they both started at each other, but when about 20 feet from the colt the Jabberwock turned about and struck the stallion square in the forehead with its tail, and the colt fell to the ground. Then the monster ran up to it and began to gore and tear at it, and the screams of the colt were so fearful, Arthur Coombs says, they could have been heard for miles. The Jabberwock, when it had killed the colt, ran off to the timber, waving its tail, jumping up and down and swinging its head and horns from side to side. Mr Cawood came to town with young Coombs and confirms his story. The colt was valued at $300.

The return of Colonel Herbert’s party is looked for with considerable interest, as that gentleman is a hunter of great experience, having killed game and deadly animals all over the world.’
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