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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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

RICHARD F SENT THIS: Bulldog/Orang Utan interaction


The following article appeared in the Blackburn Standard of December 30th 1840 page 1:

STRANGE ANIMAL a recent meeting of the Zoological Society, the secretary read a communication made to Lord Francis Egerton, by one of the agents on the Duke of Sutherland`s estate, respecting an animal said to have been repeatedly seen in Loch Assynt. In the autumn of 1837, it was observed by two young men, Kenneth M`Leod and Donald M`Kay, who were fishing in the loch. It appeared close to the end of their fishing rods, and is described by them as having large eyes, and it opened its mouth so wide that “ they could see down its mouth so wide that “they could see down to its very heart”. The colour was grey, the hair like bristles, the tusks large, the ears hanging down like those of a sheep, the shape of the head altogether was like a bull dog, but broader. It was seen again soon afterwards on a small island, in the loch, and is described as about the size of a stirk (*) , but broader in the back, about three feet high, with four legs, like those of a pig, but stouter. The description given by other persons of it corresponded generally with the above. It was seen five times in three years – the last time in 1839.

* Stirk-heifer or bullock

HAUNTED SKIES: SOURCE MATERIAL - Hampshire 1995 (Part Five)


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1948 Harold Arthur Monstermunch unleashed his new invention, which he named after himself, upon a war weary British nation. Because of post war rationing and the rather cumbersome name it didn't really take off at the time. However, in the 1960s with a stroke of marketing genius he replaced the words “Harold Arthur”with “roast beef” and it took the world by storm.
And now the news:

Mountain lion killed in Conn. traced to S. Dakota
First photograph of mysterious African purse-web s...
Discovered by chance, the secret Mexican crystal c...
Rogue kangaroo attacks 94-year-old Phyllis Johnson...
Giant worm does not warrant federal protection
Deadly Fungus Could Eat Up All The Bananas Before ...
Strange Animal Found in Juneau County
'Vegetarian piranha' hooked in Hudson

Now this is a SERIOUS fish:

The latest on the Connecticut puma

On the excellent 'Frontiers of Zoology' newsgroup run by bloggo cornerstone Dale Drinnon, Matt Bille writes:

A puma killed in CT walked from SD. Fascinating. If it really did this, others have, or will. But why? Was it looking for a litter box? Following deer populations? Going to see the Broadway revival of "Cats?"

Link to story...

He has a point. The CFZ have been studying this case for some time, and our representative in the area Will deRocco has written an impressive report on the matter which is being published in the next edition of Animans & Men.

These results may well be true, but if so (and one has to remember that the initial findings of the authorities were completely different, and claimed that it was an escapee from captivity) why the secrecy? Why was our first request for tissue samples refused and our second ignored?

The timing is what concerns me. It is only a matter of months since the Eastern Puma was declared extinct, and ever since the puma in question came off badly in an incident involving an unnamed motor vehicle there have been suggestions that it was in fact an eastern puma, proving ionce and for all that the subspecies is not only not extinct but deserving of US Government funding.

The suggestions are that the regional authorities have made up an interesting, plausible and vaguely likely scenario to mask the true (and rather expensive) one. We at the CFZ find this hard to believe. A Government which lies to the people? Never.

We shall be asking, again, for some tissue samples so that we can verify the results. However, the authorities will have to prove that the samples indeed come from the Connecticut roadkilled specimen rather than from a bona fide South Dakota one, and I am not sure how they are going to do that!