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, November 11, 2010

DALE DRINNON: "Patty" Is Not A Man In A Suit.

Several versions of the comparison between the alleged Sasquatch female in the Patterson-Gimlin film footage and an ordinary human male in a movie gorilla costume: the man in a suit has shorter arms and the fit of the suit is looser than Patty's pelt. The braincase is dramatically smaller in Patty's case, probably in Homo erectus brain size. The cranium of the human in the suit is a good deal larger.

You can test this against as many test runs of a normal human in a gorilla costume or even a "Blobsquatch" image of a human in a gorilla costume. Homo sapiens has an expanded cranium like a light bulb up on top. And the Patterson female does not have nearly so large a braincase.

If it needs to be pointed out, a human's head inside a hooded mask of a gorilla costume is not going to have a proportionately smaller head inside the suit than he had before he put the mask on.

The last pasteup, Image 1, shows the direct comparison in proportionate sizes of the Patterson female (blow up of a still from the film footage, right) and the skulls of Homo erectus above and Homo sapiens below. I have excised the top of the head from the still and put it in the top centre. This section begins at the top of the eye sockets, goes around the top and then cuts off at the back of the neck, level to where the ears would be. You cannot have a human skull in any alternate position when the face is fitted to the mask, human faces do not flex off the skulls. And this interpretation of the size of the face and head are in proportion to the body. Now you can have a suit with a fat padded belly trying to make the head look smaller by illusion, but that would not shrink the actual size of the face or cranium as a fraction of the total height, nor can it possibly change the way they fit together.

In my opinon, not only is the braincase INSIDE the peaked head deficient below the normal range of Homo sapiens, it is probably even deficient for an erectus, proportionately speaking. And the peak of the head cannot be any part of the head that has brains in it, in any event the braincase would be further down. And if it is supposed to be a peaked hood worn with a mask, then the peaked part most decidedly would not be any part of the head that would have any brains in it. The cranium MUST be lower down than the point on top.

This is not an argument that is original to me: Grover Krantz and other supporters of the film have been saying this all along.

I defer to Krantz and submit that the creature depicted in the film footage is possibly a surviving Gigantopithecus.

And that is based purely on anatomy alone: all other arguments alleging impropriety on Patterson's part or "suspicious circumstances" of any sort, actually have no further bearing on the case nor yet any relevance to the evaluation of the anatomy depicted in the film footage itself.

CFZ AUSTRALIA: Thylacoleo roadkill in NSW?

Paul Clacher has an interesting relatively new Thylacoleo sighting on his website - the proverbial dead animal beside the highway. Sadly no one ever seems to stop and take photos or collect carcasses!

20100807 - Pearson's Lookout (NSW) Sighting - December 2008 around 4:00 pm Reported 07/08/2010

Subject: Thylacoleo sighting

In December 2008, I was travelling south on the Castlereagh Hwy near Pearson's Lookout between the towns of Capertee and Ilford on the way back to Sydney after an overnight delivery trip through Orange, Dubbo and Mudgee in an 8 tonne rigid truck. No bonnet so I have unobscured vision. This is on the edge of the Capertee Valley and is about 900 - 1000 metres asl. The dropoff to the LHS (east) is steep to the valley. Late in the afternoon, say around 4.00 pm and about 200m south past the lookout, I noticed 2 X roadkill's on the southbound side just on the shoulder of the road.

Doing about 80km/h, I had a 5 or 6 second look at a small dead roo and something else. The markings on the torso of the other animal were dark brown / black and the main colour was tan. The markings made me look closer and the carcass was intact. The ears were rounded, the head was stout and like a lion cub and the front paws were huge in comparison to it's body size. The back paws and tail were obscured because of the position it landed in after being run over. (probably feeding on the small roo). My first thoughts were of a small lion, but the dark marking's threw me. It was a thick set animal about 500 - 600mm long. For the rest of the trip to Sydney (2.75 hrs) I couldn't stop wondering what this thing was, and having told the story to several people, I still couldn't come up with a logical explanation.

Read on at the CFZ Australia blog...

UNCONVENTION 2010: Jonathan Downes - Texas Blue Dogs

ROBERT SCHNECK: Cats Would Kill Us In Our Sleep

If you needed any more proof of the long-suffering and forgiving nature of dogs, consider what might be called "extreme grooming." These are some of the more restrained examples.To see what happens when groomers get imaginative, visit the site: http://therealowner.com/dogs/extremely-creative-dog-grooming/

OLL LEWIS: New Delhi Monkey Man


Once again there is a paucity of news from the Indian expedition. In their defence, both Richard and Adam did say that they were more likely to be able to contact us during the second half of the trip. In the meantime, Oliver is continuing his excellent job of trawling the Indian subcontinent for mysteries to write about....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1912 the bodies of Scott, Wilson and Bowers of the ill-fated Terra Nova Expedition were discovered along with Scott’s diary.

And now, the news:

Baby fiddler crabs seek shelter in seashells
Illegal tiger trade 'killing 100 big cats each yea...
Sea Shepherd unveils new vessel to target illegal ...
New Sociable lapwing staging post discovered
Topeka Zoo Turns Elephant Poop Into Big Bucks
Slave-making ants target the strong not the weak
Cricket balls bowl over scientists

Here's a great clip from the Doctor Who episode 'Human Nature' with a cricket ball in it:




Although we have only had her a week, Prudence has become firmly attached to us, and we are incredibly fond of her.

However, there is a problem. There have started to be small amounts of blood in her urine, and although this is most likely to be a urinary tract infection, after what happened to Biggles we are very paranoid about doggy illnesses at the moment.

Keep her (and us) in your thoughts and prayers to whichever deity you believe in, and we shall keep you posted....