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 three episodes pretty much at random:


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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, December 02, 2010


Richard and I always used to crow and feel proud of ourselved whenever we thought that we had done anything spectacularly clever. If the weather was good we would march around the garden with saucepans on our heads having a parade! Well, I think a parade would be in order if it wasn't that it is too bloody cold. We have won an award!


We are #1 with two other blogs in the listing. Thanks guys!


I really should have a camera with me at all times.

Hoops Inn is a particularly nice pub just down the road from the CFZ. I have been going there for over thirty years. It was where I always took young ladies I was trying to impress, and it was where Corinna and I spent our wedding night.

One has to drive past it every time we go to Bideford. On Wednesday Graham and I were Asda-bound when we were held up for nearly 20 minutes trying to drive past the pub. There had been an accident; a trailer had overturned, there were police cars and various emergency vehicles scattered around. As usually happens, the quick trip to Asda turned into a much more mammoth occasion, and it was not for three hours that we were on the same road going home! Much to our surprise the obstructions were still there.

Yesterday I got this email from Dan Holdsworth asking simply "will the CFZ be reporting this?" and giving a URL:

It was quite a popular story yesterday. But no one had a picture to go with it. Now, if I had only remembered my camera!


Hi Jon,

Just finished watching the new On the Track; it is excellent. First, I would like to be recognised as a 'yes' vote if you're counting supporters of having Prudence on the sofa while Corinna describes bird sightings; the snoring somehow makes it that much more CFZ.

I think taking in Prudence and giving her a loving home earns you an extra harp in Heaven. I've avoided reading about her background because I wouldn't be able to stop thinking about it, but seeing her curled up on the sofa and playing in the yard makes the world a better place.




Loren has published his annual top 20 Crypto books - and five of them are ours! Thanks Loren.,

JAN EDWARDS: Farplace in the snow

It's a bit cold here.

Not the sort of cold they have been getting in Siberia or Moscow. Not even the sort of cold they have been getting in Scotland or Wales. More like a low of -6C and a high of about zero (32F).

And boy, do we have snow!

The main road through the dale (A689) was blocked last night. Up here on the hillside overlooking the valley, it’s currently a little over knee-deep and drifting to 7 foot.

Bonnie, one of the ponies, had a bad case of icicles on her tummy this morning. She jingled when she walked.

The water troughs are frozen over and need the ice breaking twice a day. But we have plenty of animal (and human) food in, and lots of bedding to keep them cosy. I am currently caring for well over 200 animals at the moment – and it’s not easy on my own. My staff can't get in for work, so I am having to do everyone else’s jobs as well as my own.

But we have had it worse. So far we still have a working water supply. We have lots of fuel. And (hopefully) we don’t have to go out anywhere for a while. It will take quite a while to dig out the Farplace rescue car, even if the roads are passable.

Here’s a few pics from the Frozen North.

Jan Edwards, Head of Animal Care
Farplace Animal Rescue - the no-kill animal sanctuary
Farplace, Sidehead, Westgate, County Durham, DL13 1LE
tel: 01388 517397 mobile 07860 523434
Registered Charity number 1126812
Registered Company number 4397258

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1877 the Mary Celeste was found floating near the Azores without her crew. There were no signs of a struggle, there was enough food and fresh water aboard to last for 6 months, and no reports of storms or rough seas in the area.
And now, the news:

Albino redwoods hold scientific mystery (via Chad ...
Teenage great white sharks are too weak to stalk b...
Millions of bees dead after invading home
Mercury 'turns' wetland birds such as ibises homos...
Man Finds African Wild Cat Inside Barn

More kittens in boxes:


Hey Jon

Can you, please, let folk know that Ferrybridge event this Sunday is cancelled due to bad weather.


5,000 POSTS - Bloody Hell

Yesterday our post tally passed the 5,000 mark. That is purely on the main blog, not counting the newsblog, Corinna's, Karl's, CFZ Australia's, or any of Nick Redfern's. Haven't we done well?



I think the claws give it away.

DALE DRINNON: Amendment to the basic Sanderson ABSM map

Here is another amendment I made to the basic Sanderson-ABSMs map, which shows the ranges of the wild men, man-apes and apes in more or less nested succession. The wildmen (within the red outlines) are basically just hairy men and recognised as nearly human in most traditions; the man-apes (within the mahogany outlines) are primarily Sasquatches and others like them with some strongly ape-like and some strongly man-like features (but they are NOT "Intermediates"; they are a separate branch from humans and are only unusual apes after all); and the plain apes (within the orange outlines) are mostly like orangutans although there are ground-living forms and arboreal forms. In both Old World and New World versions, the apes that live more in the trees are more southern and equatorial in range while the more ground-living apes tend more to the northern parts of the range. In North America at least, the ground apes are adapted to live largely on acorns, walnuts, chestnuts and pine nuts but will also eat fruit in season, and they may hoard up the acorns and nuts for future use. In winter the Sasquatches live largely on pine needles but also especially animals that have died from the cold weather, and they in turn seem to store up the frozen carcasses for future use.


That is it for India coverage for the time being. There will be other bits and bobs. Richard will be up next week again, so if enough people ask for more pictures, we shall see what we can do!

There will be a book-length expedition report on the India expedition, and it will include contributions from the expedition members as well as the folk on the ground in India. It will take some time to be put out so don't hold your breath. There will also be a full-length documentary film. Expect both in the spring. We have somewhat of a backlog at the moment and do not want to make any unrealistic promises....


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1967 Christiaan Barnard performed the world's first successful heart transplant, so well done to him and his patient. Interestingly, some people who have received transplants claim to have received memories, a taste for certain types of food and even the ability to speak foreign languages, supposedly from the original owner of the organ.
And now, the news:

The Mystery of the Red Bees of Red Hook
That's a bit too much crunch in my salad: Woman fi...
Invasive 'killer' shrimp found at two sites in Wal...
Dolly the Sheep 'reborn' as four new clones create...
Rainforest collapse kickstarted reptile evolution
Bigfoot sightings return to Eugene, California and...
Road Through Yeti Territory Set To Begin Construct...
Roman emperors' horses to be recognised as distinc...

Hmm, not a lot for me to work with there for a related video today so have a cute kitten video instead:

TIM ADDIS WRITES: Midlands Charity Auction cancelled

Midland Charity Fish Auction - December 5th - Lodge Park - Redditch

Weighing up all the weather reports & the freezing temperatures, I have decided to bow to the power of nature & cancel the charity auction on Sunday 5th December. With so many areas of the country under deep snow & sub zero temperatures I am sure we will not get our usual sized attendance to buy fish. Also the welfare of the fish would not be best served in taking them home in these temperatures.

I hope you will understand why I made this decision & understand it was cancelled only under extreme weather conditions. This is the first December auction I have had to cancel & hope this is just a 'freak' year.

What is your opinion?

The BKA auction is scheduled for March at the same venue. Some BKA members have given me fish lists containing rare Anabantoid or newly collected livebearers - maybe we could work something out regarding a sales table at the venue. As you know we are keen to keep the auction killies only.

I have been working hard for some weeks to promote this event & believe it would be crazy to carry on with so much of the country in chaos. I'm sure those buying could have arrived home with dead fish & I don't want to promote a meeting where fish suffer.



Somebody called Bilbo has just written: "Seems to me the CFZ just dont like THT because he/she pulls them up on all their mistakes. Maybe the CFZ should actually listen? It also seems fairly obvious to me - orang utan like hairs showing some human like dna would be orang utan hairs contaminated by humans. Plus the fact all hairs destroyed and no pics of the hairs through the microscope does not fair well for the cfz in my eyes. Seems to me we are back to the leopard hairs all over again, surely the same cfz members are not involved in both?? Bilbo"

For the last time:

1. Lars Thomas has got copies of the photographs because he carried out the analysis.
2. I have had confirmation from Adam Davies that he still has two hairs in ethanol.
3. Richard Freeman has just received the letter from the Orang Utan Foundation, confirming his oft-stated claim that the only records of orang utans in Kerinci Seblat are from the 19th Century:

From: Kristina Maurice-Jones Subject: FW: Orangutan Foundation: orang-utans in Kerinci National ParkTo: richard@cfz.org.ukDate: Tuesday, 30 November, 2010, 12:10
Hi Richard,

1. There are reports of orangutans being seen in the Rimbo Panti nature reserve......some distance to the North of the Kerinci Seblat National Park. in the late 1960's (reports of Yves Lamonnier)
2. There are written references to "a live orangutan" in Padang and "a dead one in jambi" by Schlegel and Muller 1839-1844. I do not know for sure if either of these were in the forest though, or in someone's house or wherever.
All these records and reports are discussed and summarized in Rijksen and Meiyaard, our vanishing relative...1999. If they are looking for orang pendek they should certainly have a copy of this book in their collection.

All the best,


Therefore there is no substance to any of the claims against the CFZ, and as I said the other day, the discussion of the matter is over. I will let you know if any more information about the historical range of orang utans comes to light.