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...

Search This Blog



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


Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


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...

Sunday, November 21, 2010

LARS THOMAS: Analysis of the orang pendek hairs collected in Sumatra during the 2009 expedition

In late 2009 I was given a sample of hairs collected in Sumatra earlier that year by Adam Davies, Richard Freeman and several others taking part in the expedition searching for evidence of the elusive orang pendek, the Indonesian “abominable snowman.”

A small part of the hair sample was subjected to a DNA-analysis, but due to the small amount of DNA extracted and the rather poor condition of it, no firm conclusion could be reached. The DNA did show some similarities to primate DNA, possibly orangutan, but no definite results could be obtained.

Following this I subjected the remaing hairs to a structural analysis to see if this could bring any information to light that might reveal the identity of the owner of the hairs.

I checked all of the remaining 6 hairs and they were all consistent with hairs from large primates or humans. They all had the rather large medulla with a lot of pigmentation typical of large primates, and the intermittent holes in the centre of the hairs, making them look somewhat like hollowed out tree trunks. I compared the hair samples with reference samples of 3 different species of gibbon, orangutan, chimpanzee and bonobo, gorilla and some 15 samples of human hairs in various colours, mainly red or reddish. I was never able to ascertain their identity with total certainty, although I could eliminate some. The hairs were not modern human, and they were not from siamangs or other gibbons. They have a very deep rusty-red colour, very similar to the colour of orangutan hairs, but varied in other structural details.

So based on these results alone I concluded that the hairs were from something closely related to orangutans or from a form of orangutan I had not seen before.

In the autumn of 2010 Tom Gilbert from the DNA Laboratory of the University of Copenhagen did a further DNA test of the remaining hairs. In this case he was able to extract a good amount of DNA enabling him to conclude that whoever used to wear these hairs were either human of very closely related to humans.

So the structural analysis point to either an orangutan or something very closely related to an orangutan. The DNA analysis on the other hand point to a human or something very closely related to humans.

Based on this information I am forced to conclude that Sumatra is home to a completely new species of large primate, but I am also well aware that these results can in no way be called conclusive evidence of the existence of these animals. But it should be more than enough reason for a new expedition to go back to the area, hopefully obtaining enough evidence and samples to come to a final conclusion.


A few days ago Rebecca from CFZ Australia e-mailed me, suggesting that I post the blog updates on the CFZ Facebook group. It was a jolly good idea, I thought, but had no idea how to do it. With the help of Karl Shuker and Oll Lewis I worked out (eventually) how to do it, and I left it for a couple of days to make sure that it was working properly (it is) before crowing to the world at large how clever I had been.

But it works. Hooray! (It's even on Twitter)


It is apparently a Warsaw Grouper.


Today I`m going to present a brief summary of information about a large black deer in Ireland contemporary with man. I was looking through The Zoologist, 4, 1846 the other day when I found in the preface by Edward Newman some notes on this deer:

The editor is summing up some recent discoveries in Zoology:

'In Quadrupeds,a most remarkable discovery has lately been made in Ireland, by Messrs. Glennon and Nolan, of Dublin, the former of whom has kindly forwarded to me a MS. account of the particulars, and the latter has most obligingly communicated them by word of mouth, and allowed me to make a careful examination of the specimens. The facts are briefly these; the above-named gentlemen have discovered at Lough Gûr, a small lake situated near Limerick, a vast quantity of bones,which appear to have been the rejectamenta of some slaughter house:they consist principally of the skulls of cattle (Bos), of two or three species,- red deer,giant deer (Cervus megaceros),goats,and pigs of more than one species:and there also occur,but not in abundance,bones of the rein-deer….

'But the most remarkable circumstance is this - that among the skulls so fractured are two unmistakeable specimens of female giant deer: to these my attention was particularly invited; and I have not the least hesitation in expressing my conviction that the fractures were the result of human hands, and were the cause of death of the animals. These two fractured skulls correspond too exactly with each other, and with that of a bullock with which I compared them to have resulted from accident: the edges of the fractures wore an appearance of being coeval with the interment or submergence of the skulls, and presented a very strikingly different appearance from a fracture recently made, and which I had the opportunity of examining. There were several skulls of the male of the same species, one bearing enormous antlers, but none exhibiting the slightest trace of frontal fractures…

…The absence of historical records [of a great deer contemporary with humans - R], so long before the invention of printing, although so strenuously urged, would really amount to nothing: the same argument might be employed to show that the round towers of Ireland were equally pre-adamite with her deer: for neither Cæsar nor Tacitus throw any light on the questio vexata of their date and use: but we are not absolutely without recors, for “ Pepper in his `History of Ireland` expressly states that the ancient Irish used to hunt a very large black deer, the milk of which served them for food and the skin for clothing *[*see `Gigantic Irish Deer`, by H.D Richardson p.25, available from amazon.co.uk for £16.29 not including postage.] And again, “Sir William Betham found some bronze or brass tablets, the inscription on which attested that the ancient Irish fed upon the flesh and milk of a great black deer [Ibid] (1)

Karl Shuker summarised other findings, bringing them up to date as follows:

'Although undeniably thought provoking, the case of Megaloceros`s persistence into historic times in Ireland as presented by …noted nineteenth century writers has never succeeded in convincing me – for a variety of different reasons. For instance, there is no conclusive proof that the large black deer allegedly hunted by the ancient Irish people really were surviving Megaloceros. Coat colour in the red deer Cervus elephas is far more variable than its common name suggests and, as is true with many other present-day species of sizeable European mammal, specimens of red deer dating from a few centuries ago or earlier tend to be noticeably larger than their twentieth century counterparts…True, absence of uncovered of uncovered Holocene remains of Megaloceros does not deny absolutely the possibility of Holocene persistence (after all, there are undoubtedly many European fossil sites of the appropriate period still awaiting detection and study). But unless some finds are excavated, it now seems much more likely that, despite the optimism of Gosse and other Victorian writers, this magnificent member of the Pleistocene megafauna failed to survive that epoch`s close after all, like many of its extra-large mammalian contemporaries elsewhere. (2)

1. E.Newman. Preface. The Zoologist vol 4. 1846 vii-ix
2. K.P.N Shuker In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995) pp 168-169


Time won`t change you
Money Wont change you
I haven`t got the faintest idea
Everything seems to be up in the air at this time

I need something to change your mind

Drugs wont change you
Religion wont change you……..


The Rendlesham Forest Incident
December 1980 30th Anniversary Conference

John Burroughs & Jim Penniston

Talk for the first time in Suffolk at the Woodbridge Community Hall Tuesday
December 28 at 6pm.

Also attending is Linda Moulton Howe, Nick Pope (MoD ret), and Peter Robbins (US based Investigative Writer - co-author of Left At East Gate)

In December 1980 strange lights were seen by US Air Force personnel posted to the twin bases of RAF Bentwaters & Woodbridge. To this day they have never been explained. On the 30th anniversary, December 28 2010 two key eye-witnesses are back in Suffolk to re-count their stories. Airman 1st Class John Burroughs and SSgt Jim Penniston were 81st Security Police Officers patrolling the East Gate at RAF Woodbridge when they observed what they initially thought was an aircraft coming down in the forest. The rest is history.

All five are in Suffolk on Tuesday December 28 2010 at:

Woodbridge Community Hall
Station Road
IP12 4AU

The guest speakers are looking for any civilian witnesses to the incident
to show up that night. The talk starts at 6pm. Tickets are £6.00 each. After the talk there will be a visit to the Rendlesham Forest site attended by the guest speakers. All are invited to come along. To order a ticket please send a stamped, self addressed envelope w/payment to:

Mr G Goodger,
108 Spring Road,
IP4 2RR.

We accept cheques and postal orders only (Cheques should be made payable to Mr. G Goodger). We will not be able to dispatch tickets if we do not receive a stamped SAE.

Questions about the event please call 07811 021230 or 01473 210726 and we
will do our best to help you.

At the request of the guest speakers, all profits will go to the Ipswich
Treehouse Children's Hospice Appeal. No-one is making any money out of this.

Phone: 01473 423143
Cell: 07811 021230

(Note: Dave Hodrien, BUFOG Chairman/Investigator will be attending this event)


Mike and Rebecca have been very busy over the last few days..

[Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia] Yowie! hits the small screen
[Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia] The Adventures of Tim Tyler and 'Fang'...
[Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia] From the archives: fishermen shoot sea monster
[Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia] Tassie Tiger a red (herring) fox?
[Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia] Black Panther cameos in Red Hill
[Centre for Fortean Zoology Australia] CFZ India Expedition Returns

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


Quite a bit happened on this day, deep breath... In 1859 Charles Darwin’s book On the Origin of Species was first offered for sale; in 1922 Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamun giving rise later to rumours of a curse; and in 1963 American President John F. Kennedy was assasinated.

And now, the news:

Gamekeeper on Scottish estate convicted of placing...
Rabid bat warning issued by Los Angeles health off...
Bangladesh okays strict law to protect endangered ...
‘Native trees will bring back birds’

An informative video: