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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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...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

CFZ PEOPLE: Olivia McCarthy

Many happy returns to my darling younger stepdaughter Olivia. Happy Birthday honeypie...

...and Mama says

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 13.01.50.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1761 Marie, aka ‘Madame’ Tussaud was born. Tussaud started out by casting heads using deathmasks from those executed in the French revolution but eventually started making models of living subjects for her famous wax museums. Wax museums became quite popular among showmen and P.T. Barnum’s was considered to be the best example in the United States and almost as good as Tussaud’s until a fire destroyed Barnum’s American Museum and all of the waxworks, which were on the top floor, were melted.

And now the news:

Florida looks to ease alligator hunting law (Via H...Rare salamander, other species prompt state questi...EU resolution passed to help protect beesLittering and starting wild fires. All good fun?Counting snow leopards in Nepal - Fewer than thoug...Hunting A Bushy-Tailed KillerLone wolf outfoxes hunters in 1,000km quest for ma...

Talking about waxworks, here’s a classic scene from the 1959 version of ‘House of Wax’ with Vincent Price, enjoy:



I was talking to Debbie Martyr on Facebook yesterday morning about setting up Paypal accounts for Sahar's appeal when she told me this:

'A former member of the tiger team on his way to Lempur from Renah Kemumu (south of the Kerinci Valley) told me he saw something he thought was an orang-pendek. Kosher description not least the relic brachiating ..animal crossing the trail from Lempur to Renah Kemumu. (...) About two months ago.'

DALE DRINNON: Posting on Giant Tortoises just made at the Frontiers of Athropology

Newest Posting on Giant Tortoises just made at the Frontiers of Anthropology. This problem has two aspects: a cultural one and a cryptozoological one. Because of the cultural aspect I added it on the Anthropology blog, but people interested in the cryptozoological aspect should also check it out. It contains a CFZ reprint on the bottom with an updated comment to tie it in.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Sahar Dimus was our chief guide on all four of our expeditions to Sumatra. We first met him back in 2003 in his little village in the shadow of Gunung Tujuh. A smiling, resourceful and energetic little chap, Sahar soon became not only our guide but our good friend. Sahar was a wizard at jungle tracking;: able to pick up the faintest trail and identify animals from the barest of traces.

For fourteen years he tracked the orang-pendek, hearing its call and finding its tracks, but never laying eyes on the beast itself. However, in 2009 he finally managed to get a clear view of the mystery ape, an event that so moved him he wept for 15 minutes.

As well as being a jungle guide, Sahar had been active in tiger conservation. He cared deeply about the jungle and spent much of his time destroying poachers’ snares. When not involved in jungle work he supported his family by subsistence farming.

Sahar had many adventures with us over the years and was a mine of information relating stories from the forest, and accounts of what had happened to both him and his late father. We often stayed in his little, self-built house whilst his wife cooked for us.

Sahar died suddenly at the age of just 42 on Monday, 14th November. He leaves a young wife and four children, ranging from a toddler to a teenager. Sahar’s family are now without support. In Indonesia there is no welfare state. Therefore, we are starting an ongoing appeal for donations to help support his wife and children. Money from this appeal will go straight to Sahar’s family. His eldest son Raffles is currently learning how to become a guide. Without your help the future will be bleak for Lucy and her children. Even a small donation will go a long way in Sumatra.


Regular readers will know that this year has seen a few very rare vagrant specimens of the crimson speckled reach the British Isles. Now there are caterpillars, the progeny of the male from Frampton and the female caught at West Bexington



Whilst the existence of Robin Hood’s grave is scarcely a secret, appearing on the definitive map of the area and referred to in countless non-fiction sources concerned with the legend of Robin Hood, for the last fifty years it has been regarded as nothing but an annoyance by its custodians. It lies on private land without any right of access and visitors are categorically discouraged. Whilst this situation has improved over the last decade, opportunities for anybody wishing to glimpse the burial site of this legendary hero remain few and far between. For Robin’s modern followers, it has become an immensely contentious issue.

The subject of this book is a location rather than an individual. Countless volumes have been written on the topic of Robin Hood by some of the finest scholars of medieval history and literature in Britain and this tome does not seek to rival them. Arguments pertaining to the historical reality or otherwise of the outlaw will be discussed here only where they directly concern his grave. With regard to Robin Hood, the question for this book is not whether he is really buried at Kirklees but, for want of definitive proof either way, how that tradition became so firmly attached to the site. Hopefully, it will illustrate that Robin Hood’s grave is a site of historical interest quite irrespective of its ‘authenticity’.

For Kirklees certainly seems to attract strong beliefs, and in many cases changing perceptions of the site itself have coloured the content of those beliefs. Studying Kirklees and the various legends to have grown up around it allows us an insight into the reciprocal relationship between people and place. Of particular interest is the extent to which the state of Robin Hood’s grave in the modern era and all the associated disputes have determined the interpretation of the paranormal phenomena witnessed in the vicinity of the site today. In this regard, it is a study in modern myth-making.

HAUNTED SKIES: Volume 4 a cat's whisker away

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1982 Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was released. It went on to become the largest selling album in the world, outselling the second place album, AC/DC’s Back in Black, by over 2 to 1.
And now the news:

Big Pest, Small Genome: Two-Spotted Spider Mite Ge...
New Butterfly Species ID'ed by DNA
Guereza colobus monkeys join dawn chorus to 'show ...
A new species of ferret-badger discovered in Vietn...
Alaska grizzlies targetted to boost moose and cari...
Experts call for people to look out for 'super spi...
Wildlife laundering through breeding farms threate...

What do you do if you have a bunch of bored prisoners and guards with too much time on their hands? This:

DALE DRINNON: Post Thanksgiving Leftovers

Newest Thanksgiving Leftovers on the Frontiers of Zoology. In this case, that means some updates on a couple of blogs posted over the weekend.

KEN RUSSELL (1927-2011)

Ken Russell was not just a genius, he was one of my favourite film-makers, and the world is a poorer place without him. It was hard to choose one of my favourite clips from his films, which out of context wouldn't have offended someone.

Corinna vetoed me posting the 'conversion to Catholicism' scene from Mahler and the 'Ann Margret in the baked beans' scene from Tommy, and I didn't even attempt to run the 'Richard Wagner as a cross between Hitler and Frankenstein' scene from Lisztomania past her. God help me when it comes to doing a bloggo tribute to John Waters....

Monday, November 28, 2011

THE 1942 HONG KONG TIGER: A new twist...

Some months ago I wrote about a tiger shot in Hong Kong in 1942 by soldiers of the occupying Japanese Army. Regular readers of my inky-fingered scribblings here and elsewhere will know that I have been obsessed with the provenance of this particular animal for many years. Now, thanks to a passage in an excellent book called Prisoner of the Turnip Heads by George Wright-Nooth, which tells the often harrowing story of his time spent as a P.O.W in Stanley Internment Camp on Hong Kong Island during WW2, the mystery is a little closer to being solved.

30 May, 1942.
Last night Langston and Dalziel who were sleeping outside at the back of the bungalow were woken up at about 5.00 am by snarls and growls. Langston, at Dalziel’s instigation, got up to have a look. He went to the edge of the garden and looked down the slope to the wire fence. There Dalziel saw him leap in the air and fly back into the boiler room shouting ‘There’s a tiger down there’ .... Next morning, on being told the story we were inclined to laugh.

31 May, 1942.
Slept very badly owing to stomach trouble. During the night we were woken by three rapid shots and much shouting.

1 June, 1942.
Early this morning there was much activity on the hill behind the camp which was being searched by parties of Chinese and Indian police under Japs .... One of the Chinese supervisors told me that an Indian policeman had been mauled by a tiger at about 2.00 am."

Two tiger guards were instituted, one armed with a gong, the other with a gardening fork. The bungalows had no doors or windows so for several nights there was considerable apprehension at night.

4 June, 1942.
As usual we all slept outside. At about 3 am I heard Colin say, ‘Geoffrey! Don’t move there’s a TIGER eating a bone behind your bed!’ Then he said, ‘Stephen, nobody move. The tiger is at the foot of Stephen’s bed.’ My bed was around the corner so I loosened my mosquito net and very gradually slipped out of bed ready to take some action, but what I, or any one else, could do was doubtful. Then Colin said, ‘Where is Farrar? My God! He’s eating him.’ This was too much for Searle who came along to see what was happening. Colin then shouted, ‘Don’t move, you fool Searle!’ Just then Farrar woke up and it was discovered that what Colin had seen was a black coat lying across Farrar’s body with one end lying on his white pillow. The pillow he thought was the bone and the coat the animal."

A tiger was indeed on the loose, probably from a circus that had been located at Causeway Bay. It was subsequently shot and the carcass, which weighed some 240 lbs, was given to an internee called Bradbury to be skinned. He had worked as a butcher at the main dairy farm and was probably the most unpopular man in the camp a real life Uriah Heap as I will explain later. As the reader is aware this skin is still on display today in the Stanley Tin Hau temple.

Bradbury’s photograph subsequently appeared with the dead animal in a Japanese newspaper, although I did not see it in the Hong Kong News."

So, it looks like it was a circus animal after all, rather than a bona fide South Chinese tiger. This, however is supportive evidence for an even more intriguing question. As I write in my autobiography Monster Hunter (2004):

Back in the late 1960s I remember talking about the affair to my beloved amah - Ah Tim. She told me that according to Chinese belief, the tiger was the King of Beasts and the arrival of a tiger unexpectedly in a neighbourhood was often seen as an omen that a new Emperor or King was about to take the throne. It is certain that some people at the time saw the death of the unfortunate tiger in Stanley Internment Camp as being a signal that the reign of the King-Emperor George VI was nearing an end, and the reign of the God-Emperor Hirohito was about to begin!

It seems likely that the invading Japanese were determined to extract the maximum of publicity from the event by exploiting local folk beliefs. Near the end of the war when it was obvious that they would lose, they were still fermenting Chinese Nationalist feelings, often through the use of cultural motifs, and sometimes by recruiting collaborators, in an attempt to ensure that at least the British would no longer be in power in Hong Kong. They failed, as history has proven, but the different stories I managed to unearth over a period of some thirty years suggested that someone, either wittingly or unwittingly, was not telling the whole truth.

The whole affair is a real mystery, and excitingly it is a mystery that I hope that eventually I shall be able to solve. Although there is no doubt that South China tigers did visit Hong Kong on many occasions, it is very tempting to speculate that the unfortunate creature that was shot in 1941 was, indeed, a captive animal which had been released in the area by the occupying Japanese forces as a crude - but remarkably successful - piece of psychological warfare.

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From CFZ Australia:
From CFZ Canada:


Police officers are widely regarded as amongst the most highly credible of eyewitnesses. And yet here they risk professional ridicule by revealing their otherworldly encounters with things that shouldn’t exist - but do.

They include:

* Crime Scene Investigators sift through the grisly remains of Cattle Mutilations and Spontaneous Human Combustion - and reach some startling conclusions
* Police officers’ spine-chilling encounters with ghosts, and some who have set up their own paranormal research teams.
* A Constable is hypnotised to recount his alien abduction
* Detectives enlist psychics to help crack murder cases
* Patrols see panthers and pumas at close quarters
* A Detective reports the longest-ever sighting of Nessie
* Officers’ close encounters of the first kind, second kind, third kind and deadly kind

Gathered together for the first time, this unique collection of true-life encounters between the police and the paranormal is utterly compelling and highly believable, suggesting that the long arm of the law extends way beyond this world and into the next.

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 13.01.50.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1922 Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamun to the public. Some say the tomb was cursed, “poppycock!” I say (mainly because it gives me the excuse to say ‘poppycock’ as if I were in some Victorian gentleman’s club with high-backed leather chairs and one of those large globes that opens up to reveal a selection of classy drinks like Brandy, Port and Tizer).
And now the news:

Oldest Hairy Microbe Fossils Discovered
Short Snouts Gave Fruit Bats a Forceful Bite
Rare butterfly sighted in State
Fresh wave of killings by hunters takes Indonesian...
Albatrosses off the hook in the nick of time
84 new species of ant-like flower beetles discover...

The opening of the tomb was probably nothing like this clip from Count Duckula:

Corinna highlights 'Enigmas' by Pablo Neruda


CFZ CANADA: Looking for guest bloggers



Hutchinson’s sea serpent: Cryptozoology Orkney
is the first in a series of paintings of Scottish Sea Serpents by Glen Vaudrey.

It is for sale on eBay, but it looks probable that a set of signed prints of the whole series will be available later in the year...



With regards to yesterday's story about whales in the desert. It turns out that the whales were fossil and the desert was in Chile.


Thank you to Lawrie, Jan and Marilyn for enlightening me...

DALE DRINNON: Mini-Rex/Neodinosaurs/Reptillian-Chupacabras

Newest posting on Everything on the Mini-Rex/Neodinosaurs/Reptillian-Chupacabras all in one place:

Sunday, November 27, 2011

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 11.3.50

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1964 NASAs Mariner 4 probe was launched, measurements taken by the probe determined that intelligent life probably couldn’t exist on Mars due to the thin atmosphere.
And now the news:

Last chance for Sage-grouse in Canada
How Crabs Avoid Getting Eaten
Mastodon Fossils Discovered At Daytona Beach
Monarch Butterfly Genome Sequenced
Scientists Unlock the Mystery Surrounding a Tale o...
Norfolk Broads are wildlife hot spot for rare spec...
Alleged masterminds of orangutan killings arrested...

Apparently not:


I don't know why but yesterday's link to the Unconvention review that misunderstood Richard doesn't work. Try clicking:


and then following the first (top) link....

DALE DRINNON: New Guinea Giant Hornbill

Newest posting on the Frontiers of Zoology blog: this was a matter Karl Shuker mentioned in one of his books and which is a confusion in reports about the Ropen; and it is something which I mentioned back in April but left hanging ever since.

How did 75 whales end up in the desert?

This story ended up in my email inbox no less than six times yesterday. I know nothing about the story apart from these pictures and the title. So if anyone can enlighten me as to what whales? which desert? whether they are recent skeletons or fossilised? and who are these people? I will be most grateful....


Kenn Thomas, our Missouri representative sent us these links to his recent Coast to Coast radio appearance.

Hour 2: http://vaca.bayradio.com/ksfo_archives/00000.mp3

Hour 3: http://vaca.bayradio.com/ksfo_archives/00100.mp3

Hour 4: http://vaca.bayradio.com/ksfo_archives/00200.mp3


Just a quick head's up. We are definitely going to be running appeals for Dipu Marek in India and for the widow of Sahar Dimus in Indonesia. However, we have to wait until we can sort out how to do it on paypal without falling foul of their regulations. Give us a day or two....

Saturday, November 26, 2011

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 6.10.50

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1975 Ross McWhirter, the co-founder of the Guinness book of records with his brother Norris, was murdered.
And now the news:

Grey seal personalities affect pups
Europe’s freshwater snails under threat
New 'uncontacted' group found in the Amazon
Hiking the Redwoods with California's 'Squatchers'...
Russian woman keeps 'alien corpse' chilling in fri...
Fury as Dutch court prevents young orca's return t...
Two dolphins who died after two-day techno party a...
33 rhino horns and a quantity of ivory seized in H...

Ross and Norris made regular appearances on Record Breakers. Here’s a show about dominos:


Thanks to Corinna for finding this noisome object

Dezyama D. Sangma RIP

Whilst hunting the Indian yeti - or Mandebarung - in the Garo Hills in 2010 we were aided by a delightful man named Dipu Marak. A local journalist and investigator, Dipu had been on the trail of the yeti for many years, interviewing witnesses and exploring the jungles where he found 18-inch, man-like tracks. Whilst in the mountain town of Tura, Dipu invited us to eat with his family. His lovely wife Dezyama had prepared a veritable feast for us.

We were all saddened to hear of her sudden death at the age of just 36 on 2nd November.

Dezyama D. Sangma was born on 15th January 1975. Her father passed away when she was about 7 years old. She attended Sacred Heart School during her childhood and later studied at Don Bosco School till Grade VI. She then went on to study at St Xaviers' High School, Tura, and finished her schooling from there. She joined Don Bosco College in 1993 and later graduated in 1998 with a Major in Political Science. Dezyama was the 1st college graduate from her family. She was a devoted Catholic and was actively involved in various youth-related activities like youth seminars, conferences, church choir, group singings, prayer meetings and youth animation programmes all over the Garo Hills. She liked to sing, dance and mingle with the kids and family members. She won many prizes in singing and various other sports and competitions during her school and college days. She met her future husband, Dipu Marak, during her days in church activities. Dipu Marak was a youth leader involved in organizing camps and seminars for the youth of the Garo Hills. They became good friends and later decided to get married. They were wed on 10th November 1999.

After suffering two miscarriages Dezyama finally gave birth to a lovely daughter, Cherikna Donnasa D. Sangma, (http://www.emerentiana.8m.com/) after 10 years of marriage on 20th February 2009. Sadly, Cherikna passed away after 3.5 months on 9th June 2009, her death shattering their once happy family. The couple adopted a baby boy in 2010 whom they named Jakrim Jordano D. Sangma. Dezyama conceived again in February 2011. She was admitted to Holy Cross Hospital on 1st November 2011 and taken to the operation theatre for a Caesarian section at around 5:05pm. A healthy baby boy was born at around 6pm. Dezyama was later taken to ICU and developed breathing problem at around 2:50am, and slowly slipped into a coma. Dipu was notified at around 3:25am and rushed to the hospital. Dezyama fought on and tried hard to breathe for about 12 agonising hours during which time she suffered a total of four massive cardiac arrests, before she finally passed away at around 3:00pm on the afternoon of 2nd November. Dipu is totally devastated. She did not have heart or any other major diseases, but she did have Hemoglobin E deficiency disease.

Dezyama leaves behind her husband, her adopted elder son Jakrim Jordano D. Sangma, now 9 months old, and the infant baby boy who is as yet unnamed, as well as many other family members and relatives. She was just 36 years of age.

The CFZ will be running an ongoing appeal to help Dipu and the children, as well as a similar appeal for the widow of Sahar Dimus, our Sumatran guide. You will be able to donate via the website.

Friday, November 25, 2011



The Newark/Midlands Entomological Fair

The Newark/Midlands Entomological Fair, will be held at the Grove Leisure Centre, London
Road, Balderton, Newark-on-Trent, NG24 3AL, on Sunday 11th December, 11am-4pm (Public).
There will be all the usual traders attending and a few newcomers, selling a wide range of mounted butterflies/moths/beetles, plus livestock also available, there will be live tarantula spiders, mantis, stick insects also equipment. For any one wanting tables at this popular event please contact the organiser, Tables are priced at £20 each, but please be quick as booking up quite quickly, thank you. Paulholt155@btinternet.com - 07901 577 251 - 01636 707 819.

Paul Holt (Organiser).


TURTLE TV is a "freaking hilarious" award winning 30 minute DVD compilation of excerpts from shows and events from a TV station run by turtles for turtles and their friends. - such as you? All shows star only turtles. Not a human to be seen

TURTLE MOVIES- - Star Wars - American Beauty - Blazing Saddles (Yep, that scene) King Kong (Yes the turtle climbs up the side of a skyscraper) and a wonderful excerpt from a hilarious turtle version of "It's a Wonderful Life." (I never thought I'd ever hear the "space time continuum" used as the punch line for a joke.)

TURTLE SPORTS-- the Turtle Hockey League, the Turtle Basketball League Turtle Drag Racing, even the Turtle Indy 500 (complete with a sensational crash).

TURTLE TV SHOWS- Turtle CSI, Turtle Cops and a turtle cooking show, which the main dish is a cricket cooked in sherry, or should be.

A turtle punk rock singer singing his unique version of "Deck the Halls"

Official turtle greetings from the station for Christmas, Hanukah and Kwanza.

All topped off with a special appearance by a former fake GOP Presidential candidate and NBC TV star.

What more can you want?

Guaranteed turtle TV fun and madness for 30 full minutes. The perfect gift for the holidays, birthdays, yourself. And only $15.00 each, which includes S&H anywhere in the U.S. Additional copies are $15.00 each S&H also included. Overseas contact us at asalzberg@herpdigest.org,


1) By check: send a check to Herpdigest/Allen Salzberg/67-87 Booth Street -5B/Forest Hills, NY 11375. Make the check out to Herpdigest.

2) By Paypal - our account is asalzberg@herpdigest.org (If you are not a member of Paypal you can still use Paypal if you have a credit card.)

3) By credit card, Master or Visa, Discover and Amex, only, send us your credit card number, expiration date, billing and shipping address to asalzberg@herpdigest.org. (Though I haven't heard of this happening, a credit card number stolen from an email, I'm told to prevent this send ccard number divided into two emails.)

And don"t forget to include those 3 numbers from the back of the credit card.

4) By phone, call us at 1-718-275-2190 Eastern Standard Time (NYC) - Any Day Of The Week, 11 A.M.- 6 P.M. If not in, leave message and we'll call back.




HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 08/09.07.47

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1922 the toll of the sea became the first film to be released using the two tone Technicolor system.
And now the news:

EU proposes outright ban on shark finning
Pregnancy is a drag for bottlenose dolphins
Shrinkage of Humboldt squid puzzles scientists
New butterfly species identified in Yucatan penins...
China breaks 2010 promise- still killing tigers fo...
Cuckoo tracking all 5 cuckoos now in Congo Rainfor...

Here is ‘the toll of the sea’ on youtube if you’ve ever wanted to watch it:

DALE DRINNON: Sample Comparisons for Latin-American Cryptids

Frontiers of Zoology Blog for Black Friday, some pasteup comparisons for some Latin-American Cryptids:

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From Nick Redfern's "There's Something in the Woods...":
From CFZ Australia:
From CFZ New Zealand:

Thursday, November 24, 2011


The other day, in a link to this post from CFZ Canada, I wrote: "Roadrunner once, roadrunner twice, CFZ Canada are in love with the feeling now".

Several emails followed asking me what the hell I was talking about. There is only one answer:



Here is an article from a Singapore newspaper of the mid 1930s about a sea monster near Amoy (now Xiamen) on the east coast of China:


The desperate attempts within recent months to obtain for the China coast a monster strange and ugly enough to compete with the growing number abroad seem to be on the verge of success, judging from latest reports from the Chaoan District near Amoy.

Compared with Loch Ness submarine creature and the number of weird relics washed up by the sea, the Amoy sea monster promises to exceed all in originality and interest. Although fishermen are among the authors of the terror-spreading tales from the Chaoan district, credence and colour are supplied by peasants who assert that they have also seen this new offspring of Father Neptune.

The monster, unfortunately, bears characteristics closely identical with those of a man seen from far off; and, although the shape of its body has not been decided upon satisfactorily, the natives say that its head at any rate is “almost human”. The creature is decently clad in long black hair which enables it to conform somewhat to convention when it relieves the monotony of marine existence by a walk on land or a hunt in the scrub for food.

Local inhabitants have been terrified by the monster`s alleged partiality for human flesh and have decided to make an attempt to capture the creature, both for their own safety and the honour of the district.

Colony fishermen agree that this would be the biggest “catch” of the season (1)

1. The Straits Times,11 August 1935

SIMON REAMES: Film Review - Outpost

Seeing the cover shot and reading the tag line “You can’t kill what’s already dead”, I wasn’t expecting much from the low budget, straight to DVD film Outpost. However, I was very much mistaken.

The plot is simple enough. A group of mercenaries head into war torn Eastern Europe after being hired to protect a shadowy businessman while he looks for something hidden in an old military bunker. Everything goes to plan until they simultaneously come under attack by an unseen enemy and make a disturbing discovery as to who the bunker belonged to and what went on within.

From the beginning, you can tell this is a low budget affair. However, this does not detract from the film in any way, in fact, it adds to the atmosphere that’s created. Filmed almost entirely in the gritty, muted tones of grey, black and off-white and having minimal special effects, the film relies on things that many other films seem to lack at the moment: a good script, good direction and good acting. The story unfolds at a decent pace and the characters are believable; they react as you might expect them to and (for once) there is no comedy character or cheap attempt to lighten the mood when things start going wrong. The strange and weird occurrences start and build up to a pretty good finale and the creepy moments are done extremely well; you sit there waiting to see what happens next. Although you get the impression this is trying to be a fully-fledged horror, the atmosphere and sense of foreboding create a more suspenseful and eerie film which is ultimately much better to watch. There are some glaring plot holes but you are able to overlook them and become engrossed in the film waiting to see the final outcome.

Outpost is one of those rare low budget films that is actually enjoyable to watch. It is not perfect but the good direction, script and acting make up for any issues you might have. The pace and story lock you into the film and manage to keep you there until the end. Although this is not a new film (it was release in 2008) it is definitely worth watching and adding to your collection.

Watch the trailer here!


Currently, a sequel to Outpost, called Outpost: Black Sun, has just completed filming. It is written and directed by the original director, Steve Barker, and is expected to be released sometime this year (2011). Let’s hope that it has the same atmosphere and style that the first film has.

HAUNTED SKIES: New York Post 1.7.98

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1947 “The Hollywood Ten” were blacklisted for supposed communist sympathies. The film industry blacklist went completely overboard after this and even blacklisted Green Acres’ Eddie Albert at one point!
And now the news:

Devastating impact of palm oil on orang-utans
65 Pilot whales die after stranding in New Zealand...
Stop wasting tax dollars on chimp abuse
Penguins return to wild after NZ oil spill rescue
Mass. fishermen snare 881-pound tuna, feds take it...
Daddy longlegs on invasion march
Yeti Evidence Falls Flat: Scientist Says Local Off...

Fresh air! Times Square!:


CFZ PEOPLE: Nick Redfern

Happy Birthday dear boy...

DALE DRINNON: Holiday Edition Cedar and Willow


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

CFZ PEOPLE: Jessica Taylor

This sophisticated young lady is 14 today, and apparently I am not allowed to call her a "horrible child" anymore. But she says that every year...

Happy Birthday honey!


Sadly it wasn't us, or our trailcams, but this story is of considerable interest:


A single forest corridor in Sumatra has yielded camera trap photos of five wild cats species, including the Critically Endangered Sumatran tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae). Photos were also taken of the Sunda clouded leopard (Neofelis diardi), the marbled cat (Pardofelis marmorata), the Asian golden cat (Pardofelis temminckii), and the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis). The five species were all filmed by a WWF camera trap survey in a single forest corridor linking the forest of Bukit Tigapuluh and the Rimbang Baling Wildlife Sanctuary in Riau Province. Unfortunately this forest remains unprotected. Read on...


I've subscribed to the Fortean Times for 15 years, and having their magazine plop through my letterbox every month is like getting a regular visit from your favourite dotty auntie. It specialises in bizarre news stories - UFOs, ghosts, great eccentrics, monster sightings, great eccentrics...Not to declare these things as true, but also not to denounce them as silly superstitions. More a celebration of the fact that sometimes life is just plain weird.

HAUNTED SKIES: New York Post 4.12.97

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1991 Freddy Mercury died.
And now the news:

City songbirds victims of noise
Rare jaguar sighted in southern Arizona
Very unusual snail is new to science
'Electric' blue lobster finds new home at London A...
Youppi, Rare Orange Lobster, Dies
Drunk zoo visitor attacked by monkeys
How a simple change in fishing gear can save Atlan...

No mortal man can win this day:


A new article has gone up on the FOA blog in response to a posting by a reader on another blog:

RSPB: Bustards on Tour

Great bustards released as part of an ambitious project that is bringing the birds back to the UK are causing a stir by conducting their own tours of southern England.

Brought from Saratov in Russia, this year’s great bustards were released in September, and there are currently 17 in the wild.

Andrew Taylor, Great Bustard LIFE Project Adviser for RSPB said; “This year’s released birds have been out for eight weeks now, and most are starting to roam more widely around their original release sites.

“Some however have been rather more adventurous than others! Black Six, named after the numbered black wing tag she carries, was last seen by project staff on the day of her release. She spent a couple of weeks on a neighbouring farm, but then went off the radar.

On dawn of 5th November, a great bustard was seen flying south from Portland Bill in Dorset, and then the following lunchtime we received a report of Black Six in a field at South Huish, near Kingsbridge in Devon. She flew north an hour later.

This week [21 November 2011] we received a report of another bustard, this time without wingtags, but with a radio transmitter, on land owned by The National Trust near Langton Matravers in south Purbeck. They certainly are getting around”

Conservationists are looking forward to seeing where the bustards will fly to next, but are appealing to the public for help.

Trace Williams Great Bustard LIFE Manager for RSPB said: “Of the 17 birds in the wild we are able to track nine directly as they have radio and satellite transmitters. The remaining birds however have no transmitters so we need people who see them, and notice the very visible numbered wing tags, to let us know by calling 01980 671466.”

The great bustard is a globally threatened species that is listed on Annex I of the EC Birds Directive. As a species of concern in Europe, the re- introduction of the birds to the UK is generously supported by the EU LIFE fund and co-ordinated by a partnership of The Great Bustard Group, Natural England, University of Bath and the RSPB.

It was formerly widely distributed across large parts of lowland Europe, but started to decline in the 18th century and is now absent from much of its original range. It became extinct from the UK in 1832, and from numerous other European nations over the rest of the 19th and the 20th centuries. It is responding well to conservation and many populations are now increasing.

Visitors are welcome to the great bustard release site to learn about the project and see the spectacular scenery and wildlife of Salisbury Plain. To book a visit phone 07817 971327 or email visit@greatbustard.org

Additional Notes

The Great Bustard Group is a UK Registered Charity (number 1092515) that aims to establish a self-sustaining population of Great Bustards in the UK and create practical conservation measures for Great Bustards in Saratov, Russia. The group was created in 1998 to restore the Great Bustard (Otis tarda) population in the UK and to conserve existing Great Bustards throughout their range, particularly in Saratovskya, Russia. On Salisbury Plain a small bustard population is being created by releasing a number of birds each year.

The RSPB is the largest wildlife conservation organisation in Europe with over one million members. It speaks out for birds and wildlife, tackling the problems that threaten our environment. Bird populations reflect the health of the planet on which our future depends. The RSPB became an official partner of the Great Bustard Consortium in August 2009.

Natural England is an independent public body whose purpose is to protect and improve England’s natural environment and encourage people to enjoy and get involved in their surroundings. Natural England have been involved in the Great Bustard Reintroduction project since its inception, particularly the licensing aspects and the monitoring of released birds.

The University of Bath is one of the UK's leading universities. Our Mission is to deliver world class research and teaching, educating our graduates to become future leaders and innovators, and benefiting the wider population through our research, enterprise and influence. Our courses are innovative and interdisciplinary and we have an outstanding record of graduate employment. We are ranked in the UK top 15 of universities in The Guardian, Times, Sunday Times and Independent national tables. There will be one fulltime post at the university dedicated to the monitoring of the bustards.

LIFE is the EU’s financial instrument supporting environmental and nature conservation projects throughout the EU, as well as in some candidate, acceding and neighbouring countries. Since 1992, LIFE has co-financed some 3115 projects, contributing approximately €2 billion to the protection of the environment. In 2010 the Great Bustard Project was awarded a €2.2million grant to enlarge the project over the next five years.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Can anyone do us a favour? Can anyone take a couple of pictures of John Rabson's Recreation Ground, for us? We cannot find one anywhere....



Each day I read the latest sightings at the Dorset Moth Group and I am really surprised at the level of moth activity reported even at the beginning of winter. For example:

21st November 2011
At East Lulworth 17 Rusty-dot Pearl, a Palpita vitrealis, December Moth, two Red-green Carpet, four Spruce Carpet, 17 November Moth agg., 13 Feathered Thorn, a Scarce Umber, six Mottled Umber, a Satellite, a Red-line Quaker and seven Yellow-line Quaker (L Hill).

20th November 2011
By day at Chickerell, a Hummingbird Hawk-moth feeding on various garden flowers at noon (C Pinder).

Immigrants at Portland were nine Rusty-dot Pearl, a Rush Veneer and a Gem (per PBO website). A Dark Sword-grass the only moth of note at Broadwey (P Harris). Another quite mild night (with a bit of rain) at Tincleton, with 49 moths of 12 species; of interest were a Diamond-back, Rusty-dot Pearl, 17 Feathered Thorn, a late fresh Large Yellow Underwing, and 15 Chestnut (R Cottle). Two 6W Actinic run at Waddock Cross overnight, produced a Spruce Carpet, eight November Moth agg., 24 Feathered Thorn, five Scarce Umber, 11 Mottled Umber, a Satellite and two Chestnut (V Giavarini). To light at Winterborne Stickland were singles of Rusty-dot Pearl, December Moth and Dark Chestnut (L de Whalley).


HAUNTED SKIES: International Herald Tribune 26.8.97

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1887 William Pratt, better known by his stage name Boris Karloff, was born. Karloff starred in many Hollywood productions as a monster, but it is for his role as Frankenstein’s monster that he is best known and his interpretation of the character has become more famous than the monster’s character in the novel itself.

And now the news:
Predators Drive the Evolution of Poison Dart Frogs...
Alien rats take on prey's role
Amphibians face spread of 3 threats
Seals use incredible navigation skills to return t...
Swifts and swallows still flying, eggs hatching, b...
Night flowering orchid discovered

The monster’s first appearance:


Green-furred deer with wings? Antlered Atlanteans? Where else but on ShukerNature?

CFZ NEW ZEALAND: Invaders helping NZ ecology


CFZ PEOPLE: The current string of blogs finishes on Cedar and Willow

The current string of blogs finishes on Cedar and Willow. Betcha didn't know about Supervillain Luther's One Big Weakness:

Monday, November 21, 2011