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, October 09, 2009

NEIL ARNOLD: Thylacine sighting

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...

When conducting lectures across the UK one is often approached by people after the event who are keen to discuss any sightings of strange animals. Of course, most of these reports concern UK-related beasts. However, on October 2nd 2009 whilst giving a talk on ‘Mystery Animals of Kent’, in Surrey, a chap approached me with a fascinating story.

Now, I don’t know how many Englishmen have had the privilege of seeing a Thylacine, but on January 17th 2005, Richard Cooper was one of the lucky ones. He told me:

“I was on holiday; an area known as the Great Dividing Range (Australia’s most substantial mountain range and the fourth longest in the world), eighty miles east of Melbourne. I was driving on a sixty-mile long dirt track, flanked by dense bush. Other nearby areas were the Baw Baw National Park, Lake Eildon and Walhalla, all in Victoria. From 3,000 feet down to sea level.

It was daylight, mid-afternoon. Fifty yards ahead of me an animal crossed the track slowly. It was Golden retriever size, as clear as day, and I could see the set of impressive stripes down its back. It was a Thylacine. I felt very fortunate enough to have seen it.”

The witness seemed genuine and even rang me that evening to elaborate on the sighting. The Great Dividing Range could easily hide an animal the size of the Thylacine. The range stretches along the eastern coastline and fades into the Grampians where there have also been sightings of the Thylacine and also large cats resembling puma and black leopard.

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