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 the last three episodes:


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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...

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NEWS FROM THE EXPEDITION: Email from Richard (Saturday UK time 22:19)

Hi Jon

We are all ok. We are in Kuala Lumpur at the moment. Fly out to Padang today. Should be in the field by tomorrow.

All the best


CFZ CANADA: Exploring the Wendigo as a Cryptid

Check it out

NEWS FROM THE EXPEDITION (extracted from the `Extree Expeditions` Facebook Page)

In Kuala Lumpur awaiting the rest of the team, hotel a bizarre mix of military corrugated iron roofing and barrack style layout mixed in with 'Location, location, location' style period original features and coving... Random, not that I'm bored waiting...

FIRST NEWS FROM THE EXPEDITION (extracted from Rebecca Lang's Facebook page)

Rebecca and Mike have landed! And she "appears to be the only white chick in Padang, judging from my instant fan club...the kids are gorgeous and the people are very friendly. The weather is stinking hot (natch) and I'm pretty sure this is the first time I've ever had noodles for breakfast. Padang is lively but not quite what I expected....

Lots of rubbish everywhere, very smelly, the beach is mostly rocks and the shore is almost completely taken up with old fishing canoes and fish drying racks, so very fragrant. Our room has a handy outside light shining in, so at night time it's like orbiting the sun (and just as hot!). Thank goodness for the air con.I think Mike is still in shock.

We catch up with the crew tomorrow morning, so today we're just wandering around taking in the sights and smells about those smells...there's rubbish everywhere! No bins as far as the eye can see. Oh, and did I mention the manky-looking cat (poor thing) with the interesting looking skin disease sleeping on the common room sofa outside our room? I refrained from patting him, poor little thing. There's no fat cats around here!

And you really don't want to hear about the loo that only has a hose and no paper. Needless to say we've cracked open the camping loo roll early".


We ran this story a couple of days ago on the newsblog. The general opinion around the CFZ Office is that it is a moggy. What do you think?


Wyoming Game and Fish Department marks ferret rediscovery anniversary

[Florida] Panther growth celebrated: But how many can area support?

Meet the white cheetah

HAUNTED SKIES: Scranton Tribune, 7.8.52


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1997 NASA's Mars global surveyor reached Mars.
And now the news:

Male bumblebees seek mates on the hills
Assassin bug sneaks up on spiders
Record number of Critically Endangered ibis seen i...
Wild boar not bad for biodiversity in Britain’s wo...
Rare striped dolphin washed up on beach
Sting in the tail: Asian bee invasion

Wretched demi bee:

OLL LEWIS: How to Destroy the World

By now the team will have arrived in Sumatra, and we are not expecting any news. If there are any updates they will be posted first on The Extreme Expeditions Facebook page. In the meantime, Oll Lewis presents the first in a series of articles giving some background to the search...

Back in the 1980s when I was but a mere sprog-lett and the music, tv and computer games were much better (this is never actually true you just forget the rubbish stuff, do you remember ‘On the up’ for example? Exactly, I think I’ve proved my point) I started to take an interest in animal conservation. It was at this time I learnt that an area of the Amazon rainforest the size of Wales, or Belgium it varied, was being destroyed every year and if we didn’t do something about it then pretty soon there would be none left in a few years.

Well, despite valiant efforts by a number of charities the large swathes of Amazon rainforest is now a patchwork of grazing land with wooded areas in between and those wooded areas get smaller every year, the same thing is happening in the Congo as well. In recent years though among the worst deforestation to occur has been that of the rainforests of Sumatra. The main culprit of this alarmingly fast rate of deforestation is palm oil.

Palm oil looks innocent enough, it is a cheep alternative to vegetable oil that can be farmed with greater efficiency than vegetable oil in warm countries. Technically palm oil is a boom crop for developing countries and could be used to increase the country’s GDP and the lot of the people there. Western companies love palm oil, mainly because it’s cheep and it is hard to tell the difference in taste from vegetable oil in food. Check some of the items in your cupboards and freezer and you’ll be surprised at how many food products contain palm oil these days. Palm oil is in everything from chocolate to fishcakes and it has been merrily sneaked into all these products without notification and I’d bet a crisp new £5 note that you didn’t notice (were I a gambling man). Now if palm oil is grown properly on existing farm land then everything’s fine and no animal, plant or habitat need suffer. Sadly because of high demand it is not always the case.

Unscrupulous palm oil companies are destroying large tracts of virgin rain forest in Sumatra and other parts of Indonesia. The filthy reprehensible criminals behind these companies clear fell and burn the forest in order to make new farms for palm oil. In the segment of the rain forest that they destroyed there could have been new species of plant, fungi and animals. Who knows whether one of those plants contained the cure for some form of cancer or can treat the symptoms of another disease, quinine for example, which still remains an effective malaria treatment to this day was first discovered in rainforest trees in South America. The destruction of the habitat has caused the numbers of already endangered species like the orang-utan to crash. If the orang-pendek does exist (as is almost certain given the wealth of evidence already collected) there is every chance it could be killed by some evil bread-head capitalist breaking the law in order to make money from farming palm oil destroying their habitat or burning them in a land clearance.

There is no way to be certain that the palm oil in your food comes from legal and environmentally ethical sources, even if they are classified as rainforest certified. There is so much illegal or unethically produced palm oil on the market it is simply impossible to keep tabs on it all and it is not as if it will glow blue under ultraviolet light or something if it is dodgy or has fake paperwork. If you want to save the rainforests your best option is to boycott all products containing palm oil and write to the companies telling them exactly why you are boycotting them. Of course if only a few people do this then you’ll not achieve anything, but sometimes a company will listen if enough people do this. Nestle, Kraft, Unilever, Shell and Sainsburys have all agreed to completely end supply contracts with the worst offender in Indonesia, the appropriately named Sinar Mas, by 2015 in favour or smaller providers that claim to offer 100% certified sustainable palm oil after successful boycotts organised by Greenpeace.

Rainforest deforestation has, as I pointed out in the opening paragraph, been going on too long, not just for my whole lifetime but long before that. You have to stand up to unethical companies like Sinar Mas to stop it getting even worse, sometimes as the Greenpeace campaigns prove a few people really can make a difference.