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:


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...

Friday, February 18, 2011

ARCHIVING PROJECT: General Forteana Part 41

As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February 2009 and he is now working on a general mish-mash of a section known as `General Forteana`.

This 41st collection once again really is a collection of completely uncategoriseable stuff, including a penguin at the wrong pole, miniature weasels or minivers, a five mile walk for a bloodhound, bats with regional accents and tons more. It doesn't get much better than this. Good stuff.

GLEN VAUDREY: Something daft for the blog


On a trawl of youtube I found The Automatic's 'MONSTER' in Lego. It is very funny and conjures up an image of a CFZ expedition. It is well worth tracking down

all the best



When you get to New York's American Museum of Natural History, be sure to see the big mosquito. It's not just there to be horrifying; it had a purpose.

"The American Museum of Natural History's Giant Mosquito Model played an active role in public health education around the turn of the century. This wax model of an Anopheles mosquito (the hairs are made of brass wire) was created to inform the public in the New York City area about a dangerous outbreak of malaria, which is transmitted by mosquitos, and to make sure that the threat was taken seriously. When the mosquito is magnified to seventy-five times life-size, its potential for spreading disease becomes quite vivid -- somewhat horrifyingly so."



NICK REDFERN: Desert Monsters (well sort of)

As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, doing investigations into this and that, I always look forward to a trip that takes me deep into the heart of mysterious, desert locales. As someone who spends a lot of time on the road, doing investigations into this and that, I always look forward to a trip that takes me deep into the heart of mysterious, desert locales..... Read on..


About two weeks ago I bought a jackalope (see photo) from Garth Brewood`s excellent antique, bric-a-brac and furniture ('and much more'- his leaflet) shop Aladdin`s Cave at 29 Park Lane, Macclesfield, (07720 901899) (see another photo).

Garth had bought this jackalope in the U.S. It now resides on the wall of my living room, surveying, er, the opposite wall and bookcase, much to the amusement of my friends. It is interesting to compare it to a jackalope I photographed in a restaurant in Dreifelder Weiher central Germany in May 2009 on the way with a team of about 12 others to survey butterflies in Hungary. The 3rd photo here shows this particular jackalope.

The jackalope is a supposed folklore animal, a “cross between a jackrabbit and an antelope, goat or deer.” (1)

1. R.Muirhead To Aggtelek, Hungary and Back (or, a cryptozoologist looks at butterfly behaviour) Amateur Naturalist and Exotic Petkeeper Issue 8 2010 p.46.

OLL LEWIS: Full U-turn Over Forestry Sell Off Plans

If you have been following the situation as regards the Tory plot to sell off Britain's forests then you'll probably already be aware that they have, as I am writing this blog (Thursday), made a u-turn on the policy. After only a few days of a committee being set up to further examine the proposals the government has decided to abandon its plans.

There are a number of reasons they may have taken this decision but publicly at least their main reason is the overwhelming numbers of people that have written to their MPs and the large amount of signatures on petitions (the 38 degrees petition had more than half a million signatories for example). The fact that the government have caved in to public pressure is certainly good news for Britain's wildlife and I think that anyone who took my advice and wrote to their MPs deserves a pat on the back. Well done us.

For more information and a rare video of a member of the government apologising click here.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1986 the USSR launched Mir, which would orbit the Earth as the Mir Space Station for 15 years.

And now the news:

New Missouri Mountain Lion Sighting Confirmed
Video: Thylacine Sighting from Jan 2009?
Stallion semen has Kiwis raring to go for Hokitika...

A vaguely related video that today has no link to the news stories whatsoever, but ties in to the 'On this day' segment: