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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Saturday, November 12, 2011

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:
From CFZ Canada:
  • Ogopogo Pogo — A new video of something in the water at Lake Okanagan...



AMERICAN FOLKLORE.NET: The Jersey Devil and the Dog


Corinna recently discovered this website and sent me some stories for the blog:

The Jersey Devil and the Dog
A New Jersey Legend
retold by
S.E. Schlosser

It was a week of pandemonium! In January of 1909, the Jersey Devil emerged from the Pine Barrens and began terrorizing the local communities, both in New Jersey and in Pennsylvania. Devil hunts failed to catch the flying creature, which danced on rooftops, stalked small animals, and frightened the good people of the area with its unexpected appearances in their yards and businesses. The newspapers carried the reports along with sketches of the unusual creature.
Mrs. Sorbinski, a resident of South Camden, followed the stories of the Jersey Devil with skepticism tempered with fear. She wasn't sure if a creature that resembled a dragon, with a head like a horse, a snake-like body and bat's wings could possibly exist. It seemed a lot of hokum to her, although several prominent people claimed to have encountered the critter.
Toward the end of the week, Mrs. Sorbinski discovered the truth about the Jersey Devil the hard way. Hearing a commotion in her yard, she hurried outside with a broom in hand. She was concerned for the safety of her dog-and with good reason. The pet, which had been left outside, was in the claws of a beast which resembled a dragon, with a head like a horse, a snake-like body and bat's wings. It was the Jersey Devil. Mrs. Sorbinski valiantly flailed at the Devil with her broom, trying to make the creature let go of her beloved pet. Upset by the stinging blows of the broom, the strange creature released the dog. Then it flew right at her. Mrs. Sorbinski was terrified. The attack had come so unexpectedly that she had no time to move. At the last second, the Jersey Devil veered away and sailed over the fence.

Relief unfroze her muscles. Grabbing up her dog, Mrs. Sorbinski screamed in panic and shock as she carried her pet indoors and phoned for help. Patrolmen Crouch and Cunningham were dispatched to the house. As they strove to calm Mrs. Sorbinski and the gathered neighbors, the officers heard piercing screeches from the standpipe in Kaighn Hill. The officers ran to the location. Silhouetted against the sky was a large creature which resembled a dragon, with a head like a horse, a snake-like body and bat's wings. The Jersey Devil was still in town!

The officers emptied their revolvers in vain at the creature, but their bullets did not faze the creature. It stretched up and up into the darkened sky as if it mocked them, ignoring the clamor of the patrolmen and the crowd. Finally, the creature flapped its large wings and flew lazily away into the night.
For two more days, the Jersey Devil continued to plague the area. Then it disappeared as suddenly as it had come. No one knew why it had emerged from the Pine Barrens, or why it so suddenly stopped its foraging. But everyone, especially Mrs. Sorbinski and her dog, was relieved that the Jersey Devil was gone.

LIZ CLANCY writes...

...but goodness knows what!

It's one in the morning as I type this. It's been a crazy week here at CFZ Greater Manchester and I've only just got around to typing my editorial. And now I can't think what to put.

Well, for a start, I'm sure all our readers out there join me in wishing Jon and Corinna a fun and fruitful trip. I remember my first (and to date only, as it happens) UnConvention. It was an amazing experience and I hope to go again sometime.

Erm...for a finish because I'm really tired and need to get to bed asap, We've got some good stuff lined up for you today (Saturday). Glen Vaudrey travels to the U.S. of A. for The Whole Wide World, Jon remembers his childhood as a reptile gets chewed and other stuff happens that I can't just remember 'cause I need sleep. Toodles!


I saw these magnificent insects when I was a boy in Hong Kong. I have even been bitten by one. But, goodness me, I had no idea that they could attack and kill reptiles, even baby ones...


GLEN VAUDREY: Whole Wide World #23

United States – Thunderbird

Leaving the Mexican border behind us we go up to the vast country that is the United States of America. Unsurprisingly the country fair teems with cryptids but which one of the many are we going to have a look at today? Well, we haven’t had a peek at a bird for a while so I think a look at a feathered cryptid is in order, but which one? I thought about the ivory-billed woodpecker but in the end I opted for the Thunderbird.

Despite having a name that suggests it’s a Gerry Anderson creation, the Thunderbird is a true mystery creature with no strings attached.

You don’t get many bigger birds than this: with a wingspan quoted as being up to around 20 feet it’s a bit too big for the average bird table; in fact that’s close to the size of the wingspan of a light aircraft. The Thunderbird is said to feed on carrion, which could explain what happens to a lot of road kill that vanishes, and I dare say it could also explain the odd missing walker.

There’s another mystery connected with this critter: many people remember seeing a photo of a Thunderbird being held up against a barn by a number of cowboys. The image is thought to date to the 1880s, but in best cryptid photo tradition no one has been able to locate it recently.

Next stop Canada, which as the big bird flies, isn’t that far.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1980 Voyager 1 took the first pictures of the rings of Saturn on a close approach.

And now the news:

Some of the footage taken by Voyager 1 of Saturn’s rings: