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, June 15, 2009


If one good thing has come out of the ongoing saga of the Peruvian giant snake, it is that we have made friends with Andre Issi and if it had not been for all this stuff about Mike and Greg Warner's expedition to Peru, then none of this would ever have happened.

One of Andre's pictures was taken out of context by a Northern Irish newspaper which implied that it was the 40m snake claimed by ther Warners. It was of course no such thing and the forces of righteousness, led by Dr Dan, said as much. Unfortunately we all jumped to the conclusion that Andre was the bloke claiming that the snake in the pictures, which, as you can see, is dead (or nearly so) and floating in the water, was the one claimed to be 40m. As Andre writes:

"I was traveling alone by kayak from Brasília to Santa Catarina (state of Brazil) in a long journey along 6000 km crossing Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Argentina.

It was so hard and I almost die three times. About a city Guaira (frontier between Brasil and Paraguay) I saw this anaconda floating in the river. I take a lot of pictures and filmed. It has about six meters and his head is under the water arrested in the trees. I had never seen anaconda before and I became very nervous, at the last moment thinking it was alive.

My kayak has 5,20 m and the anaconda has about six meters. Only it. I´ll send you another photo beside the anaconda that i take like a joke because it seems like reference to see the real tale of the snake."

As one can see from the pictures, Andre is clearly an OK dude, who is more than averagely intrepid and is possessed of a silly sense of humour; attributes that would make him an ideal member of the CFZ. Dan writes:

"Convey my apologies to Mr Issi (...) I'll buy him all the beer he fancies; he appears to have achieved a rare feat indeed: he photographed a wild anaconda in its natural habitat without the aid of a team of snake-handlers and he managed to find quite a big one at that. Admittedly, it was dead at the time, which takes a bit of the shine off the achievement but not very much shine;
6m anacondas surely don't die very often and photographing one in the couple of days between death and complete decomposition is quite an achievement (especially seeing as us lot in an overcrowded island have yet to get our hands on even one of the supposedly ubiquitous big cats
that are supposed to be here).

So, apologies to Andre from me and if he's coming to Woolsery at any time, please pre-warn both myself and the landlord of the local pub.... "

And this is the way that disagreements within the Fortean and cryptozoological communities should be managed: like gentlemen, with a handshake and a beer afterwards, and not with endless flame wars and backbiting. There are certain other people within the Crypto community who really should take note of this.

But off my soapbox - over to Andre with a few more pictures....

How can I describe eight months about a journey in one page? I can´t send more images while was traveling by the simple fact was in the forest or in the middle of a poor small cities where a computer was difficult access or days and days without cities. I beginning it in the center of south america and ends it in the south coast of Brasil after the kayak schok in my head while I was returning to the coast between big waves of the Atlantic Ocean, like you can see in the photo with a life guard behind me. I almost was arrested in Uruguay because I was alone without a life boat. I must to do a trailer and buy an old bike to cross Uruguay by land 650 km. In Brasil I return to water and go to the north.I never receive any money cause this or try to receive. I only do my travels by adventure.


(Above left) Tracks of Jaguars where he slept for the night

(Left) "Impossible is only a word. I do it"

(Below Left) Off the Coat of San Catarina

(Bottom) Crossing Uruguay by Bicycle

Dude, it is a pleasure to know you and I hope you remain part of the CFZ family for many years to come!

1 comment:

Maktub - Andre Issi said...

Dear Jon and Dan
Most anacondas died cause they shock against fishnets. I slept in this island where all animals from the Itaipu lake were carried. It was a very, very bad night.
Only in other day fishmans said to me. Maybe a jaguar walk aroud my tend, but go away when I make noise.
I apologise to Mister Dan cause i comment no as good as i would like to say. Well, i´m so tired carring stones to put over this and we agree it´s better drink a beer than it. If you went to Brasil, I´ll invite you and Dan with Danilo Ribeiro from popa.com.br to lunch a barbecue drinking a beer beside the sea. You can see the place who I´m speaking about in this site www.pousadamaktub.com cause here I´m living
While wait for i offer a ¨saluti per tutti¨