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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Monday, May 25, 2009

NEIL ARNOLD: All Bizarre Creatures Great & Small Part One

I have known Neil for fifteen years now since he was a mod schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippie who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years. We are just both a tad older...

From the Rochester Gazette & Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday January 12th 1836 – Number 460 (Page 2) – extracted from Enniskillen Chronicle

‘The huge monster of the deep that recently cut the fishing-boat across, whereby three men met an appalling death off St. John’s Point, on the Donegal coast, has been since thrown ashore dead. It’s said to be one of the largest ever seen in this country, and our correspondent adds that on being opened, a young one, measuring 10 ft in length was found inside. Its death is said to have been occasioned by a part of the boat which it may have swallowed at the time, but this is to be questioned as the gullet of the animal is not sufficiently capacious to admit a large portion of timber. We expect to hear further particulars next week. It is to be hoped the produce of the fish will be applied to the relief of the families of the unfortunate sufferers.’

From the Rochester & Weekly Gazette Advertiser, Tuesday February 16th 1830 – Number 465 (Page 4).

‘A large eagle was washed ashore at Deal (Kent) a few days ago, and has been presented to the Canterbury Philosophical Institution.’

From the Rochester Gazette & Weekly Advertiser, Tuesday May 3rd 1831 – Number 528 (Page 2)

‘On Saturday April 16th, a ewe, the property of Mr M. Lawson, of Fullford, nr York, yeaned a lamb of perfect conformation and healthy appearance, and which is alive and well; together with it was also produced an animal of the following singular malformation. Its head assimilates with no genus or species of the animal creation that we are acquainted with. Its forehead is arched, and the top of the head covered with a greyish hair, resembling that of a dog. It has cheek bones, high and prominent, like those of the human species, and only one eye of diamond form, remarkably large, and fixed in the middle of the brow, being projected over by a flesh protuberance somewhat resembling the ears, which are fixed in their natural position. There are no nostrils, and the mouth is wide, the upper jaw projecting considerably beyond the upper part of the mouth. The tongue, which is large, is thrust out so that the top extends over the jaw. The body partakes more of the form of a dog. Altogether it forms a curious object, when viewed in front and in an upright position, the countenance, from its unnatural association with some human form, reminds one of the fabled Cyclops, of mythological note. This curious freak of nature has been presented to Mr Phillips for the Yorkshire Museum.

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