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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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Thursday, October 25, 2012

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: A DINGO IN 19TH CENTURY IRELAND?

Dear readers, I recently came across the following story in  The Preston Illustrated Newspaper of July 4th 1874: (Cooraclare is in  west County Clare.)

The Mysterious Wild Beast in Ireland  (I hadn`t found this whilst researching for my `Irish Snakes, Wild Cats and Other Mysterious Animals in BioFortean Notes volume 2)

The unknown wild animal, called the dingo has again visited the neighbourhood  of the classic regions of Cooraclare. The recipient of his favours on this occasion was Mr John O`Brien, of Danganelly.  Mr O` Brien had left his sheep out for some time past, and the consequence is that four of them, one of which was half eaten, and sixteen wounded. Many strange surmises are rife among the farmers of this neighbourhood as to the probable nature of this animal. Some suppose it to be a wolf; some a brown bear; while some superstitious old women will tell you that it is neither one nor the other, but some condemned spirit who, for his blood-thirstiness in this life,has, as a punishment, been adjudged to continue it in the next. One thing is certain,however, that this mischievous  creature, no matter what it is, will not be forgotten by the  farmers of Kilmihill and Cooraclare for a few generations to come. His name has now become a “ household word”, and it is no uncommon thing at all to hear some of the folks in those localities to swear by “the skin of the dingo.” (1)

According to In The Tracks of the West Clare Railway by Eddie and Edmund Lenihan   On April 21 a large beast was shot 1 mile south of Cooraclare at Gower. “Much to the disappointment of everyone , the dingo turned out  to be only  a mastiff…Some thought it a wolf, some a bear, others an evil or tormented spirit. Whatever it was, we are no wiser today, for just like Jack the Ripper, it vanished as mysteriously as it had come, leaving an enigma that cries out for a solution.” (2)

The last wolf in Ireland was supposed to have been killed in Co. Carlow in 1786


  1. The Preston Illustrated Newspaper July 4th 1874
  2. E & E Lenihan  In The Tracks Of The West Clare Railway (2008) p. 216

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