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



In between each episode of OTT, we now present OTTXtra. Here are the last three episodes:


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...

Thursday, July 28, 2011


Two new posts continuing the Atlantis theme, the first speculating on the surviving cultures of Global Superflood 3 (event 1c, which is equivalent to the Black Sea Flood, ca 5500BC) and what this may imply for the cultural level of the Antediluvians:

And a post on the Peoples of the Sea as representing the Last Remnant Atlanteans:
The most recent two blogs have gone up at the Frontiers of Anthropology: the first concerns an internet news item about an "Atlantis-Like" area of submerged off of Scotland:

And the most recent blog posting concerns the interpretation of Phaethon's Wild Ride as a Celestial Catastrophe:

And after that I shall probably be returning to Yeti and Neanderthal stuff for a while.
Best Wishes, Dale D.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4


38 Degrees Logo

Dear Jonathan,

The results are in. 87% of us think that we should work together to stop the government's plan to shoot thousands of badgers next spring. [1]

The government is consulting on their plans now until Sept 20th. [2] That means we could have just six weeks to push them to cancel the badger cull plan.

When thousands of us signed the 38 Degrees petition against England's forests being sold off, that helped persuade the government to cancel the plans. Now we can do the same to protect badgers with a huge petition against these plans to shoot them.

Can you sign the "stop this badger cull" petition now?

There's been a big debate among 38 Degrees members about badger culls. Some of us believe killing badgers would be wrong under any circumstances. Some of us believe that if the science really proved that shooting badgers could make a real dent in the cow TB problem, it would be a tragic necessity. [3]

But 87% of us agree on this: the government's current plans to shoot England's badgers simply don't stack up. The government's own scientific advisers warn that it won't solve the problem of TB in cattle, and could even make it worse. [4]

Please add your name to support a scientific approach to tackling cow TB, and against the government's plan to shoot badgers:

Cow TB is a terrible problem. It leads to the slaughter of thousands of cows, costs millions of pounds, and places terrible strain on farmers and their families. [5]

But the government has scrapped trials of badger vaccines. [6] They fail to compensate farmers for the full impact of the disease. [7] Instead they're proposing to launch a badger-shooting plan their own experts say won't solve the problem.

Together, we can persuade the government to invest in a long-term, science-led approach to cow TB. We can stand up for real solutions not unscientific political gestures. And we can make sure that thousands of wild creatures aren't needlessly slaughtered in the process.

The government is consulting on the plans right now. If we don't stop them, badger shoots could begin in a matter of months. Can you take 30 seconds now to add your name to the petition?

Thanks for getting involved,

Marie, Hannah, David, Cian, Johnny, Becky and the 38 Degrees team

[1] 38 Degrees blog post http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/07/28/badger-vote-results/
[2] DEFRA "key stakeholders" consultation http://www.defra.gov.uk/consult/2011/07/19/bovine-tb/
[3] 38 Degrees blog post and discussion - http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/07/19/badgers-trial-shoots-to-go-ahead/ and Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/peoplepowerchange
[4] Government scientists say that if a cull isn't carried out "in a co-ordinated, sustained and simultaneous manner according to the minimum criteria, then this could result in a smaller benefit or even a detrimental effect." See article - http://www.meatinfo.co.uk/news/fullstory.php/aid/12950/Ministers_to_back_badger_cull.html and notes from DEFRA meeting April 4th 2011 - http://archive.defra.gov.uk/foodfarm/farmanimal/diseases/atoz/tb/documents/bovinetb-scientificexperts-110404.pdf
Oxford academic Lord John Krebs led a government inquiry into the link between badgers and cow tuberculosis. He says of the government's plans: "I can't understand how anybody who's looked at the science would say this is a good idea." See more here: http://blog.38degrees.org.uk/2011/07/19/badgers-trial-shoots-to-go-ahead/#update
Dr Chris Cheeseman, former head of the Wildlife Disease Unit, says of the government's plan to cull badgers over six-week periods to try to reduce the chances of making the problem worse - "Where they get the six-week period from is a mystery to me - somebody's just picked a figure out of the air." http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-14204236
Professor John Bourne and six other members of the expert group set up by the government Independent Scientific Group on Cattle TB, 1998-2007 wrote in a letter to The Times on 13 July 2011: "Having overseen a decade-long programme of independently-audited and peer-reviewed research on this topic, we caution that such culls may not deliver the anticipated reductions in cattle TB." http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/opinion/letters/article3091989.ece
[5] DEFRA information page on cow TB and its effects on farmers http://www.defra.gov.uk/animal-diseases/a-z/bovine-tb/
[6] Farmers Guardian article "Badger vaccination project scrapped in all but one area" http://www.farmersguardian.com/home/latest-news/badger-vaccination-project-scrapped-in-all-but-one-area/32742.article
[7] Farmers Weekly article "TB compensation falls short of disease cost" http://www.fwi.co.uk/Articles/2010/10/06/123864/TB-compensation-falls-short-of-disease-cost.htm

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Dusky Marbled Brown


Britain's second-only Dusky Marbled Brown since 1853, at Dungeness Bird Observatory (Kent) on the night of the 26th, following the only other recent one at nearby New Romney on 17th June 2003.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4



For one weekend a year the tiny North Devon village of Woolsery becomes the weirdest village in the land. The largest gathering of scholars of esoteric natural history in the English-speaking world, is set to take place in rural north Devon. The Centre for Fortean Zoology’s annual conference, the Weird Weekend, will see speakers from all over the country gathering Woolsery to discuss their work and discoveries.

The Weird Weekend,held over the weekend of the 19-21st August, now in its 12 year is the largest convention of its kind. This year’s speakers include one of the world’s leading geneticists Professor Bryan Sykes. Professor Sykes will be speaking on the yeti and samples of hair he has tested. Continuing the theme, cryptozoologist Richard Freeman will be talking about the Centre for Fortean Zoology’s latest expedition that took them into the Garo Hills of northern India on the track of the yeti.

Last year at the convention scientists announced that hairs found in local woodland were those of a leopard. These findings were later confirmed by DNA analysis. A world exclusive this year comes from Dr Darren Naish from Portsmouth University and Max Blake from Bristol University who will produce conclusive proof that over 100 years ago there were still mystery cats in Devon.

Other speakers include Fortean researcher Matt Salusbury who has been on the track of pigmy elephants in India, entomologist Nick Wadham on giant spiders, cryptozoologist Adam Davies on the orang-pendek, the mystery ape of Sumatra, and Glen Vaudrey on the waterhorse, a sea serpent from Scottish legend.

As well as monstrous creatures, other esoteric subjects are covered. Former police officer John Hanson describes UFO cases reaching back to the 1940s.

Other subjects include Ronan Coghlan on the labours of Hercules, and Henry Hartley on Fortean aspects of the modern Mayans.

As well as a series of talks there will be stalls, workshops and events.

The Weird Weekend raises funds for village charities dealing with children and for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the only full time organization in the world dedicated to the investigation of mystery animals.

The Weird Weekend takes place from 19th-21st of August.
For further details visit http://www.weirdweekend.org/
Or ring 01237 431413


* The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation. It was founded in 1992 by British author Jonathan Downes (52) and is a company limited by guarantee registered with HM Government.
* Life-president of the CFZ is Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his groundbreaking youth work organising the ‘Operation Drake’ and ‘Operation Raleigh’ expeditions in the 1970s and 1980s.
* CFZ Director Jonathan Downes is the author and/or editor of over 20 books. His latest book is Island of Paradise, his first hand account of two expeditions to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in search of the grotesque vampiric chupacabra.
* The CFZ have carried out expeditions across the world including India, Russia, Sumatra, Mongolia, Guyana, Gambia, Texas, Mexico, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Loch Ness, and Loch Morar.
* CFZ Press are the world’s largest publishers of books on mystery animals. They also publish Animals & Men, the world’s only cryptozoology magazine, and The Amateur Naturalist, Britain’s only dedicated magazine on the subject.
* The CFZ produce their own full-length documentaries through their media division called CFZtv. One of their films `Lair of the Red Worm` which was released in early 2007 and documents their 2005 Mongolia expedition has now been seen by nearly 90,000 people.
* The CFZ is based in Jon Downes’ old family home in rural North Devon which he shares with his wife Corinna (55). It is also home to various members of the CFZ’s permanent directorate and a collection of exotic animals.
* Jonathan Downes presents a monthly web TV show called On the Track which covers cryptozoology and work of the CFZ.
* Following their successful partnership with Capcom http://www.capcom.com/ on the 2007 Guyana expedition, the CFZ are looking for more commercial sponsors.


Dear cryptodudes and dudettes,

The other day I found the following story from 1987 in my archives concerning unusually coloured moles. It is from The Guardian`s Country Diary column which only yesterday (Monday July 25th) turned up an interesting butterfly story from Suffolk. Anyway, here we go:


INVERNESS:While looking at specimens in the storage rooms of the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, I was shown a box containing three mounted moles. You could expect to find such things in a museum; but not a black mole, a white mole and a piebald mole. The white fur on two of the specimens was slightly creamy, but I guessed this was fading with age and originally they had possibly been an albino and a partial albino. Unfortunately there was no information about date or origin, and I could find no mention of colour variety in my reference books.The museum kindly lent me the three specimens, and on my monthly field trip with BBC Highland I asked for information about the three moles and whether anyone had seen any colour variations. We were delighted with the response: a few people telephoned the museum and a small number handed in information. One person thought the three specimens had been caught on the Ness Castle Estate in 1926. Apparently such colour forms are not unusual in the area. Others said they ad occasionally seen white moles.Two weeks later someone brought in a golden yellow mole found at Ness Castle Estate; it had white fur , tipped with golden yellow. It was back to the books again, and at last I did find a reference in A Vertebrate Fauna of the Moray Basin by Harvie-Brown and Buckley, published in 1895. They had a few records of not only white specimens but also grey and a form with “ pale yellow bellies.” Most records were from the Inverness area but there was one albino from Sutherland. It seems therefore that colour variations in the mole are a lot commoner than I for one had believed. RAY COLLIER (1)

Jeanette Pearson of the Inverness Museum and Art Gallery wrote to me on July 26th “ I have taken an image of the moles for you, they are from our early collections so the data on them is not as full as it might be. The accession number is INVMG 0001.761. Unfortunately I do not have details about findspot or date they were caught. The three moles came into the museum as a mount”.(2)

The accompanying photo(s) of the moles appear courtesy of Inverness Museum & Art Gallery.

According to `A History of the Earth and Animated Nature vol 3 1816: “ The mole is scarcely found, except in cultivated countries: the varieties are but few. That which is found in Virginia resembles the common mole,except in colour,which is black,mixed with a deep purple. There are sometimes white moles in Poland, rather larger than the former. As their skin is so very soft and beautiful, it is odd that it has not been turned to any advantage. Agricla tells us,that he saw hats made from it,the finest and the most beautiful that could be imagined. (3)

On `The Hunting Life Forum March 10th 2011 someone calling him/herself Moley wrote: ( UK but location unknown). “Over the years i have had quite a few odd coloured moles , about 6 albino,s, 1 brown ,probably about 12 silvers and quite a few with a white under fur and almost black tips, i have also had 2 ginger rats , i,ll have to sort some pics out “)

1. The Guardian January 29th 1987
2. E-mail from Jeanete Pearson to R.Muirhead July 26th 2011
3. O.Goldsmith and W.Turton A History of the Earth and Animated Nature 1816 p.195
4. The Hunting Life Forum March 10th 2011

HAUNTED SKIES: Another collection of odds and ends including an appeal to Sara Falkland of the BBC

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1907 Sir Robert Baden Powell founded the Scouting movement.
And now the news:

World's oldest ritual discovered
Kakapo to visit Wellington
Bigfoot's Bizarre Cousin Sighted in Michigan
Happy Ending To Tale Of Humpback Whale
Monster-gator killers face charges of illegal hunt...
Chupacabras in Texas?
Cat parasite linked to brain cancer
Baby giraffe walks for first time after special sh...
Ancestor of all birds knocked from its perch
Early humans, ritual cannibals: Study

It puts the lotion on its skin:

SAD NEWS: Hilary Evans (1929-2011)


SAD NEWS: Rodney Legg dies

Mark North wrote to me yesterday:

Hi Jon,

Thought I would let you know that Local Author Rodney Legg passed away last friday.


He appared only recently on the Channel Four show "Four Rooms' http://darkdorset.blogspot.com/2011/06/news-clipping-channel-4-show-four-rooms.html


Rodney Legg is quoted at length in my book The Rising of the Moon and The Owlman and Others. He will be sadly missed


How Dentures, UV Radiation, Covering Behavior and "Collector" Urchins ALL intersect this week!!!!