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



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, April 10, 2011


Fortean 5s: Neil Arnold In Forean 5s the great and the good of Forteana pick out 5 interesting events from the history of Forteana. If you want to submit your own Fortean 5 email it to Oll Lewis at fortean5s@gmail.com . Today’s Fortean 5 are picked out by one of Britain’s best fortean researchers and writers, Neil Arnold… Take it Away Neil:

1) The Zodiac Killer. It’s probably slightly unhinged and inappropriate to name a serial killer as one of my favourite mystery stories, but there’s no denying the public fascination with such individuals. For me, the Zodiac Killer case is the weirdest and most mystifying unsolved spate of murders in history, even putting the foggy lore of jack The Ripper in the shade. What makes the San Francisco slayings of the 1960s, and possibly beyond, even more bizarre was the fact that the killer wrote to the police regularly, in the form of mocking letters and cryptic codes. This went on for several years. No-one knows exactly how many people the Zodiac killed or who he was but it remains the most complex, sinister and baffling unsolved mystery. For more info go to www.zodiackiller.com

2) The ‘ghost’ of Blue Bell Hill. This ghost story comes from my neck of the woods in Kent and despite almost everything written on the internet and in books concerning the story is inaccurate, it’s the one ghost story that changed my life. This spectre is often called the ‘queen of the road ghosts’, and is said to loiter on what is probably Britain’s weirdest hill – Blue Bell Hill, between Maidstone and Rochester. It is a complex ghost story which I won’t go in to here, but more can be found out about it on http://www.roadghosts.com/ and my upcoming Haunted Maidstone book. All I’ll say is this – phantom hitchhikers are often nothing more than powerful legend, but this with this wraith there is far more than meets the eye.

3) Satanic panics. I’m often of the opinion that if one believes in something enough the more it starts to happen – see the next entry as a prime example. Over the last few decades, and similar to Oll Lewis’ ‘Pokemon panic’ mention, there are events which run out of control due to mass hysteria. From the threat of anthrax in the mail to alien abduction, Satanic panics sit nicely alongside such bizarre tales which through a snowball effect take on a life of their own, even though they are based around one or two alleged cases. A few years ago, and every few years, there are mass panics concerning the fear that Satanists are loitering in our towns – especially across the USA – abducting children and sacrificing them in their secret covens. Are these cases true or simply the overactive imaginations of church goers?

4) The Highgate ‘vampire’ – one of forteana’s strangest yet hyped mysteries. Rarely investigated adequately since the ‘60s when it allegedly happened, the ‘vampire’ of Highgate (a Gothic cemetery in London) was said to be a tall, dark malevolent apparition said to lurk behind the North gate of the Western cemetery. It was responsible for attacking people not only on a mental level but also physically – if you believe some reports. At the time the local press covered the story regularly, people were arrested for trespassing, allegedly desecrating graves, allegedly conducting dark rituals blah, blah, blah. Some say the ‘vampire’ was tracked down to an old building and staked/exorcised, others believe the ghoul still inhabits the ivy-strewn pathways. It’s a great story and my upcoming Mystery Animals Of…London book delves deeper…

5) Phantom assailants – these stories are great panics. Whether it’s Spring Heeled Jack, the Halifax Slasher, the Mad Gasser of Mattoon, Jack The Snipper, the Phantom Wall Smasher, the London Monster, Whipping Tom, the Monte Maiz Phantom, the Platform Maniac, etc, etc. These elusive, and often non-existent bogeymen prowl every dark alleyway of folklore and are keen to vandalise, abuse, snip, rip, jab, stab, slash, hack, whip and gas their way into the minds of those who fear them most. Forteana is riddled with such spooks, most of which have been created by mass hysteria and local press and yet the more we believe in such ghouls, the more we fear them.

No comments: