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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Friday, August 28, 2009

RICHARD HOLLAND: A teeny-tiny tusker

Once again we hand you over to guest blogger Richard Holland, editor of Paranormal Magazine and all round good bloke. He is a regular visitor to these pages and I am sure that you will all agree with me that this is jolly good news for all of us....

I had hoped to contribute more frequently than this but I guess that since I am not a cryptozoologist as such, I must content myself with shoving stuff on here as and when I stumble upon something I hope will be of interest. The following is just such an item. I found it in the ‘Curiosities’ section of the December 1915 edition of The Strand Magazine.

Recently an article appeared in the Fortean Times regarding pygmy elephants. If the following snippet is to be believed (which I guess it ain’t), elephants once lived in Myanmar which made the teeniest pygmy elephant look as big as a … well, as an elephant.

A Mr Frank Molyneux Wagstaff, of Leighton Lodge, Prome Road, Insein, Rangoon, Burma, sent a photo of perhaps the most preposterous creature ever to be submitted to a popular journal: an aquatic heffalump three inches tall. This is what Mr Wagstaff has to say about his photo:

‘The accompanying photograph shows a species of water elephant standing against a foot rule, which measures not more than three inches in height. These queer creatures are found in the Salween River, near Moulmein, and are said to be very rare. It is believed by the Burmans that the ordinary elephant will not enter a river if there is a water elephant about, as they drive their little tusks into the big elephants and poison them.

‘This one, which I photographed in Moulmein, was found hanging on an elephant’s leg one evening on his return from his bath in the river. It was killed and cured but since the photograph was taken it has been stolen from a chemist’s stores, as it is said that they are very valuable. The specimen is a full-grown one and is said to be between forty and fifty years old.’


I’d love to know whether any of you crypto-types have heard of these diminutive water elephants before and whether this is the only mention of them. Incidentally, according to t’internet, Moulmein is now Mawlamyaing, Myanmar’s third largest city and is on the Salween river delta.

Richard Holland:

1 comment:

@eloh said...

I have, in stories and writings of Vietnam war veterns. When or where I don't recall. I heard many stories supposed to be first or second hand of several things.

Seems that not to long ago one of these old GI stories was confirmed with a living animal. A deer maybe.. I can't remember but it wasn't long a couple years ago

I was searching the archives before I e-mailed a question to the wrong place.