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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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...

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Sahar Dimus was our chief guide on all four of our expeditions to Sumatra. We first met him back in 2003 in his little village in the shadow of Gunung Tujuh. A smiling, resourceful and energetic little chap, Sahar soon became not only our guide but our good friend. Sahar was a wizard at jungle tracking;: able to pick up the faintest trail and identify animals from the barest of traces.

For fourteen years he tracked the orang-pendek, hearing its call and finding its tracks, but never laying eyes on the beast itself. However, in 2009 he finally managed to get a clear view of the mystery ape, an event that so moved him he wept for 15 minutes.

As well as being a jungle guide, Sahar had been active in tiger conservation. He cared deeply about the jungle and spent much of his time destroying poachers’ snares. When not involved in jungle work he supported his family by subsistence farming.

Sahar had many adventures with us over the years and was a mine of information relating stories from the forest, and accounts of what had happened to both him and his late father. We often stayed in his little, self-built house whilst his wife cooked for us.

Sahar died suddenly at the age of just 42 on Monday, 14th November. He leaves a young wife and four children, ranging from a toddler to a teenager. Sahar’s family are now without support. In Indonesia there is no welfare state. Therefore, we are starting an ongoing appeal for donations to help support his wife and children. Money from this appeal will go straight to Sahar’s family. His eldest son Raffles is currently learning how to become a guide. Without your help the future will be bleak for Lucy and her children. Even a small donation will go a long way in Sumatra.


Regular readers will know that this year has seen a few very rare vagrant specimens of the crimson speckled reach the British Isles. Now there are caterpillars, the progeny of the male from Frampton and the female caught at West Bexington



Whilst the existence of Robin Hood’s grave is scarcely a secret, appearing on the definitive map of the area and referred to in countless non-fiction sources concerned with the legend of Robin Hood, for the last fifty years it has been regarded as nothing but an annoyance by its custodians. It lies on private land without any right of access and visitors are categorically discouraged. Whilst this situation has improved over the last decade, opportunities for anybody wishing to glimpse the burial site of this legendary hero remain few and far between. For Robin’s modern followers, it has become an immensely contentious issue.

The subject of this book is a location rather than an individual. Countless volumes have been written on the topic of Robin Hood by some of the finest scholars of medieval history and literature in Britain and this tome does not seek to rival them. Arguments pertaining to the historical reality or otherwise of the outlaw will be discussed here only where they directly concern his grave. With regard to Robin Hood, the question for this book is not whether he is really buried at Kirklees but, for want of definitive proof either way, how that tradition became so firmly attached to the site. Hopefully, it will illustrate that Robin Hood’s grave is a site of historical interest quite irrespective of its ‘authenticity’.

For Kirklees certainly seems to attract strong beliefs, and in many cases changing perceptions of the site itself have coloured the content of those beliefs. Studying Kirklees and the various legends to have grown up around it allows us an insight into the reciprocal relationship between people and place. Of particular interest is the extent to which the state of Robin Hood’s grave in the modern era and all the associated disputes have determined the interpretation of the paranormal phenomena witnessed in the vicinity of the site today. In this regard, it is a study in modern myth-making.

HAUNTED SKIES: Volume 4 a cat's whisker away

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1982 Michael Jackson’s ‘Thriller’ was released. It went on to become the largest selling album in the world, outselling the second place album, AC/DC’s Back in Black, by over 2 to 1.
And now the news:

Big Pest, Small Genome: Two-Spotted Spider Mite Ge...
New Butterfly Species ID'ed by DNA
Guereza colobus monkeys join dawn chorus to 'show ...
A new species of ferret-badger discovered in Vietn...
Alaska grizzlies targetted to boost moose and cari...
Experts call for people to look out for 'super spi...
Wildlife laundering through breeding farms threate...

What do you do if you have a bunch of bored prisoners and guards with too much time on their hands? This:

DALE DRINNON: Post Thanksgiving Leftovers

Newest Thanksgiving Leftovers on the Frontiers of Zoology. In this case, that means some updates on a couple of blogs posted over the weekend.

KEN RUSSELL (1927-2011)

Ken Russell was not just a genius, he was one of my favourite film-makers, and the world is a poorer place without him. It was hard to choose one of my favourite clips from his films, which out of context wouldn't have offended someone.

Corinna vetoed me posting the 'conversion to Catholicism' scene from Mahler and the 'Ann Margret in the baked beans' scene from Tommy, and I didn't even attempt to run the 'Richard Wagner as a cross between Hitler and Frankenstein' scene from Lisztomania past her. God help me when it comes to doing a bloggo tribute to John Waters....