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...

Friday, January 13, 2012

BOB TRUBSHAW: New at 'Heart of Albion'

Just to let folk who might be interested know that I've just uploaded my latest publication as a *free* PDF download from the Heart of Albion website.

It's called Souls, Spirits and Deities and is mostly about trying to understand the Anglo-Saxon view of, well, souls, spirits and deities. However, as is typical for my writing it takes in much else along the way and raises some fairly novel thoughts about the overlaps between late pagan and early Christian world views. See
http://www.hoap.co.uk/general.htm#ssd for more details and the link to the PDF download.

D.R SHOOP: Domesticated alpacas


I thought you might get a charge out of seeing some domesticated Alpacas.

About a year ago my sister and brother-in-law decided to invest in these animals and Christmas Day was my first-hand look at the critters.

You may notice the lack of snow for us here in Minnesota. Last year at this time we had over 20 inches; this year it's dry as a bone, which suits me fine.

JON'S JOURNAL: Black tigers and Black dogs

One of the most important books in my life has been The Hong Kong Countryside by the late Geoffrey Herklots in which he urged everyone living in the colony who had an interest in nature to keep a nature diary.

Well, I haven't lived in Hong Kong for about 40 years, and I have never kept a regular nature diary, although my various jottings on the subject have been posted on this blog over the past six years. However, at the age of 50 (about 44 years after I first read Herklots' sage advice) I am going to try.

This morning I received an email from Matt Salusbury who wrote:

Came across this Victorian poster on the Natural History Museum library site which appears to be advertising a show with "black tigers." Are there known black tigers, or were they dyed, or deliberately misidentified other melanistic cats, I wonder.


Are there black tigers? Well, possibly. In 1773, while in the service of British East India Company in Kerala, southwest India, artist James Forbes painted a watercolor of a black tiger shot a few months earlier by the soldiers The painting has been lost, but Forbes' description of it survives:

I have also the opportunity of adding the portrait of an extraordinary Tyger [sic], shot a few months ago by the Nairs in this neighborhood, and presented to the chief as a great curiosity. It was entirely black yet striped in the manner of the Royal-Tyger, with shades of a still darker hue, like the richest black, glossed with purple. My pencil is very deficient in displaying these mingled tints; nor do I know how to describe them better than by the difference you would observe in a black cloth variegated with shades of a rich velvet.

Other black tigers across history have probably been melanistic leopards and it is tempting to presume that this is what were advertised in the Wombwells poster that Matt brought to our attention.

The largest amount of black tiger lore that I have been able to find is in Karl Shuker's seminal Mystery Cats of the World (1989) but - sod's law - I can't find my copy at present, which is worrying.

And what about the black dog in the title? That one is firmly on my back as I am presently going through one of my regular bouts of bi-polar instability. I feel as mad as a bagful of cheese at the moment, and am probably being a pain in the are to all who come into contact with me. But it will pass - it always does...

Lisa Hannigan sings Nick Drake's 'Black Eyed Dog', one of the best bi-polar songs ever. I wish I'd written it.

HAUNTED SKIES: Alan Hilton dies


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1978 the Sex Pistols split up. These days Johnny Rotten shows what a ‘rebel’ he is by trying to sell people butter.

And now the news:

Airline pilot startled by flying shark
Wild Hogs Ruin Civil War Events In Miss.
Newcastle pub sells special beer for dogs
HUNGER STRIKE: Desperate measures for detained
Croc killed Cairns spear fisherman
Grandfather, 58, dies after being stung by swarm o...
Sea Shepherd accuses govt of demonisation
Shark rips at boat


DALE DRINNON: Another Poor "Sea-serpent" Photo from Argentina

One of the last messages on the topic of the Argentinian "Sea Monster" photo was a request to see an even more obviously mistaken "Sea Monster" photo.

Read on...

CFZ PEOPLE: Dale Drinnon takes us to the world of 'Cedar and Willow'

Latest on Cedar and Willow, continuing the reinterpretation of the superheroine Power Girl as being a few decades older than she admits to:


CFZ CANADA: An appreciation of Rene Dahinden

Check it out...

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 Canada: