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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Sunday, January 31, 2010

LINDSAY SELBY: Canvey Island beasts

In November 1954, The Canvey Island Monster was the name given to creature whose carcass washed up Canvey Island, Essex ,UK A second, more intact, carcass was found in 1955. It recalls the Montauk monster in modern times.

(seen here for more info: http://www.montauk-monster.com/)

The 1954 creature was described as being 2.feet 3 inches (68 cms) long with reddish brown skin and bulging eyes and gills. It appeared to have hind legs with five-toed horseshoe-shaped feet but no forelimbs. Its remains were cremated after an inspection by zoologists who said that it posed no danger to the public. Nearly 3 months later Reverend Joseph Overs found another carcass of the creatures about 2 miles from the first creature's discovery This creature was larger and the carcass in better condition. Described as about 4 feet ( 120cms) long and an estimated weight of 25 pounds. It had the same large eyes, nostrils, sharp teeth, and gills with the same legs and feet as the first creature.

In 1999 journalist Nicholas Warren looked into the 1954-55 findings. He was unable to locate any official records at the Plymouth Marine Biology Association Laboratory or the National Rivers Authority about the creature being identified or listed as unknown. . He found that there were accounts from some locals who believed the creature was an anglerfish. Later he received a letter from Alwyne Wheeler, formerly an ichthyologist at the Department of Zoology at the Natural History Museum, informing him that in his opinion the specimens were anglerfish, and that their fleshy pectoral fins are often mistaken by lay observers for short legs with feet. There was a 68lb specimen caught on the shore of Canvey Island in 1967 .However, others have speculated that the creature may have been an Ogcocephalidae or Batfish .This species of fish already possess leg-like fins and also have reddish coloured skin.

If this was a mis-identification then what does that say about the modern day Montauk monster?

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