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...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

NAOMI WEST: Puddle Monster 3 - The Nightmare Continues...

I wrote to Naomi last night, and asked whether there was any more news. She replied:

This creature is more elusive than I originally thought. I have tried all kinds of different ways to capture it on film, even just get a glimpse of it with the naked eye. I thought for sure I saw it sitting by the puddle yesterday, but when I reached the puddle, there was no trace of it. There was, however, dirt stirred up at the bottom of the puddle, which tells me it – or something – had recently leaped in. My dog Salem made a lunge for it, but I grabbed her just in time. No telling what could have happened.

One interesting thing I’ve noted is that there are never any bugs around the puddle, none whatsoever. I take it that the energy from this -- whatever it is – frightens them off.
I contacted a research team to conduct an investigation using sonar and underwater photography. They arrived this morning, but left after discovering their equipment was too large to fit in the valve box.

My brother, whom I haven’t even told about the monster, was walking past the valve box yesterday when he accidentally dropped some change into it. Before I could even get the door open to warn him, he reached into the valve box, fished the change out, and walked on. It was one of the most astonishing things I’ve ever seen. I asked him if he’d seen or felt anything in the water, and he said no. It makes me wonder if, perhaps, this creature can slip in and out of another dimension….

I tried soliciting the help of my next-door neighbour, thinking that since she has lived here so long she might have heard of the puddle monster. But when I mentioned it, she looked fearful, crossed herself, and shut the door in my face. So now I’m working on getting a 20-person expedition underway to investigate the valve box further. For now, the mystery remains.

I don't know why the ongoing saga of this elusive batrachian is so gripping. But it is....

ARCHIVING PROJECT: General Forteana Part 47

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 47th collection once again really is completely uncategoriseable stuff mostly from 1995, including shark attacks, the exhumation of Jesse James, books with peculiar titles, mystery virus, New Zealand wizards meet the queen, JFK and lots more. Good stuff.


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NAOMI WEST: Cicada killer

This is a pic taken by my friend Dana of a "Cicada killer" hornet killing a Cicada. Dana saw the hornet attack the Cicada and managed to get a pic.


Dear Jon,

Here is an unfortean but funny bit of nonsense for you that could only happen in Seaham I have entitled.....

Ebeneezer (Long Train Running, Road To Nowhere) Goode

In a bid to rid the railways of manned signal boxes, the rail bosses decided to build an underpass next to Seaham rail station so people can move freely without having to rely on the signal man to open and close the gates when a train passes by. So far, so good.

The tunnel was cut and almost completed when the engineers hit a snag. There was the small problem of a newsagents shop and an Ebeneezer Gospel Church in the way! For some reason, best known to themselves, the rail bosses neglected to buy the aforementioned buildings and now the digging has come to a standstill.

“This is costing us money” a spokesman for the rail company grumpily said. “and the building contractors may have to stand down until this is sorted!” Indeed.

The local rag the Sunderland Echo had this to say..

'THIS is the tunnel to nowhere – thanks to a stalemate between landowners and rail chiefs.Worshippers at Seaham’s Ebenezer Evangelical Church turned up to a Sunday service to find workers clearing its land to make way for the tunnel from Station Road to Harbour Walk, beneath the town’s railway line. A mix-up over the plot’s ownership was caused by a map produced by a third party, which stated the town council was the land owner. But the church, which is the true owner, has not sold the site to Network Rail, causing an impasse between the parties and a pathway which only leads to a dead end.Church bosses are said to be considering a second, higher offer for all of its land, while Seaham Town Council has turned down permission to take the route through its own neighbouring plot, which links to the old mineral line pathway.

Council members fear a repeat of issues caused at the new bridge crossing at the town’s Princess Road, which has left those with pushchairs, wheelchairs or mobility scooters facing a diversion.Clive Todd, who runs a newsagents next to the station, said: “I’m not against the tunnel, we’ve got to accept the fact we have to provide disabled access.“They cannot build a path at the end of the tunnel now – it comes out to nothing. It’s a right botch up.”

Richard Whiteman, one of the trustees of the church, which has stood on Harbour Walk since 1971, said: “We are in discussions with Network Rail about what they are going to do about it, but the fact is we own the land and we’ve got a solicitor on the case.“We have the opportunity to improve the look of this area as a gateway to the town.”

The issue has been taken up by Durham County Councillor Dan Myers, who said: “We want to make sure the general public get what’s best for the community.“This is going to last for 60 to 70 years and we need to get it right now.”'

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said the halt to works was costing it thousands of pounds and added: “Unfortunately, as yet, no arrangement with the church has been possible and as of this Friday, the contractor will be standing down until the situation can be resolved.”

I like Councillor Dan's quip that "we have to get it right now". Tee hee.


Davey C

YOU, TOO, CAN BE WALTER POTTER - Bespoke Freakshow taxidermy.

HAUNTED SKIES: Hampshire 1995 UFOs Part Two


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1911 Hiram Bingham 'rediscovered' Machu Picchu. After he announced this rediscovery though many came out of the woodwork and claimed to have found the lost city before Bingham, including Brit Thomas Payne.
And now the news:

Scottish wildcat and cub captured in photo and on ...
Entire pride of desert lions wiped out by hunting ...
Pictures: Hundreds of Rare Gibbons Found in Vietna...
'Sewerface’ lurking in city underground
Mandrill monkey makes 'pedicuring' tool
Critically Endangered Northern bald ibis rear two ...
Chimpanzees' 66 gestures revealed

Bet they don't mention this though:


I have an article up at Monster Tracker about yet another poor hairless and unusual creature killed because the shooter -- a 13 yr. old -- thought it might be "chupacabra."

Fear of the Unknown: Another Hairless Creature Killed

Interesting how the lore has changed, from the red eyed, spine backed, clawed, "alien looking" creature that could jump quite high and suck blood from goats, rabbits, chickens, etc. to a canine type animal with mange. Or, as I point out in the article, maybe these animals are hybrids, some new breed of something -- but the evolution of the lore surrounding chupie is interesting. As is the quickness to shoot and kill said unknown.

CFZ NEW ZEALAND: a peek behind the scenes with Tony Lucas