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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In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Thursday, August 05, 2010


The latest edition of a monthly webTV show from the CFZ and CFZtv, bringing you the latest cryptozoological, and monster hunting news from around the world. This episode brings you:

CFZ in summertime
Anomaly Archives, Austin TX
CFZ Library
Paignton Sea Monsters past and present
Russian Lake Monster
Kestrel rescue
Aubrey's carved Thylacine
Ross's hawk
Rebuilding the CFZ
Corinna looks at out of place birds
New and Rediscovered: New fish in Fiji
New and Rediscovered: Giant rat in East Timor
New and Rediscovered: Dainty damselfly returns to Britain

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: Latest news

* We would like to thank our two latest sponsors, Somerfield and Bees Nees in Bideford, both of whom have donated gift vouchers for the raffle.

Bees Nees (http://beesneescrafts.co.uk/default.aspx) make jewellery out of recycled scrap metal. Many thanks to Emma Osborne for arranging this.

With less than two weeks to go, now might be a good time to buy your tickets to the best crypto-fortean event of the year....

Buy Your Tickets here


The Three Gorges Dam in China is thought to have already forced the world's largest freshwater fish, the Chinese paddle fish, into functional extinction. Now a new scheme in Indo-China may spell the end for other species of giant fish.

The report River of Giants: Giant Fish of the Mekong, profiles four giant fish living in the Mekong that rank within the top 10 largest freshwater fish on the planet. These include the giant stingray (the size of a double bed) the Mekong giant catfish, (as large as a small car),the dog-eating catfish (named because it has been caught using dog meat as bait) and the giant barb, (the national fish of Cambodia, and largest barb in the world).

The hydropower dam planned on the Mekong River in Sayabouly Province, northern Laos, is a threat to the survival of the wild population of Mekong giant catfish. The Sayabouly dam is the first lower Mekong River mainstream dam to enter a critical stage of assessment before member countries of the Mekong River Commission advise on whether to approve its construction.

"A fish the size of a Mekong giant catfish simply will not be able to swim across a large barrier like a dam to reach its spawning grounds upstream," said Roger Mollot, Freshwater Biologist for WWF Laos. "This would lead to the collapse of the wild population of this iconic species."

"More giant fish live in the Mekong than any other river on Earth," said Ms Dang Thuy Trang, Mekong River Ecoregion Coordinator for the WWF Greater Mekong Programme. "Currently, the Lower Mekong remains free-flowing, which presents a rare opportunity for the conservation of these species. But the clock is ticking."

Building the Sayabouly dam would reduce sediment flowing downstream to the Mekong River delta, increasing the vulnerability of this area to the impacts of climate change like sea level rise.


Jonny, I photographed this butterfly yesterday (pic attached) in our garden. If I said he was as big as a sparrow I wouldn't be exaggerating! Best Nick

I think it is an American black swallowtail (Papilio polyxenes) but wouldn't mind that being confirmed..

HARRIET WADHAM: On TV...Oh yes, and the Weird Weekend

Donning the guise of the hardbitten newshound so familiar from a dozen 1950s movies (we are even looking into getting her a trilby hat with a card saying 'Press') she will boldly go where no other girl reporters dare tread....

On Thursday 29th July, I was filmed for a TV programme on CBBC along with my friend Luke. We were assigned to do lots of strange tasks, such as doing impressions of animals any way we wanted to and more. Another funny thing we did was due to the fact Luke brought over his Nintendo Wii remote; therefore I pretended to be a Mii playing tennis.

So Luke stood there maniacally waving his remote about and I had to run around and bat an invisible tennis ball back to the invisible opposition. Now we don’t have proper tennis rackets at home so I had to make do with a plastic yellow one. The cameraman was called Justin and his associate was called Alex. We had to look at Alex during filming and she told us to "forget about the camera; just pretend it’s not there!" They were both really kind to us if we got a bit nervous and during the first interview Luke started being really funny and random, which definitely depicted his personality. When I had to do animal impressions I re-enacted what I TRULY thought of the badger (ie: ‘*snuffle snuffle* Ha! I am the BADGER, and I will destroy EVERYTHING! I will destroy your fence; I will destroy your door, and everything you OWN!! Wa har har! Mwa ha ha ha! *snuffle snuffle SQUEAK*’) and the horse. My horse impression largely consisted of looking blank, jumping, running and trotting obliviously off.

Now for the Weird Weekend! What, you didn’t think I’d forget THAT, did you? Anyway, I have been assigned by Jon to be the official reporter for the WW 2010 and I’m going to write up my summary of each day in my new official CFZ notepad and my new official CFZ shirt. Here is a picture of me with my notepad. I don’t have the shirt on because Mum just thought of taking the picture at the last minute and I didn’t want to have to trudge upstairs, get changed and trudge back downstairs again. So here is my picture.

I can’t wait to get to the Weird Weekend and start listening to all those talks! They all sound really interesting; I looked them up on the [CFZ] website and I want to attend ALL of them! We’ve got a nice blue tent to sleep in and I will be sure to take my lovely thick sleeping bag, which (I hope) will not fail to keep me warm if it’s cold!!! So if any of you readers are going to be at the Weird Weekend...

See you there!



While there have been a number of new reptiles described this year (as always) around the world, two snakes are worth noting. Here is a new snake from the U.S., Contia longicaudae:


And, a very colorful new snake from Madagascar:


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1926 Harry Houdini spent 91 minutes underwater before escaping in what was widely regarded as his greatest escape.
And now, the news:

Military dog recovers from PTSD after Iraq war
Rare butterfly making a comeback in Norfolk
Rare white tigers born at German zoo
Crocodile Mick plans 'immortality' for mutant croc...
Road kill used to make sporrans

I debated posting this song for a while, but it’s so bad that it might actually be so bad it’s good (well at least Elvis’s part is good):