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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Friday, February 24, 2012


Creating a mini "wildlife habitat" on a tiny balcony in Hulme, inner-city Manchester UK

I plan to regularly update this blog with practical details of how I created a mini “wildlife garden” on my tiny balcony, together with regular photos of the wildlife I’ve attracted so far.
I hope it inspires readers to think about how all of us can take practical steps to encourage and support our urban wildlife, and to see how easy it is to bring our fascinating “natural world “to the bleakest window box or inner-city balcony.


JON'S JOURNAL: We shall pick up an existence by its frogs

As regular readers of my rambling will know, I have been following the progress of the poor unfortunate froggies of two areas just outside the village - Kennerland and Huddisford. Lots of them jollily tripped out to procreate at the end of January, and all the resultant spawn was killed in the bitterly cold snap a few weeks ago and is now rotting away.

The resultant yucky mess (to use the official scientific terminology) is now rotting away and in some cases appears to acually be fouling the water of the little ponds and ditches where it was deposited by Mr and Mrs Frog the other week.

Now Mr and Mrs Frog seem to have got in the romantic mood again (or at least one couple have - perhaps because it was Valentine's Day last week), because there is one lone batch of frogspawn in the Huddisford ditch. Ironically (if this is the word) it has been laid next to a piece of decaying dead spawn.

It seems to be developing normally, which is good news. However, could the decline in the frog population be due to the fact that so many of them pursue their biological urges too early in the year for the spawn to hatch?

Isn't it a pity that it seems to be illegal now to collect spawn from the wild; because it might be a boost to the population as a whole if someone collected some of the January spawn (which is doomed anyway), raised it in captivity and released the resulting tadpoles when the cold weather is over?

What a pity there aren't any anarchist zoologists about who have a healthy disregard for the law and want to do something good for the environment. Hmmmm

Oh, BTW I was wondering the other day: if I was to post a picture of a pair of Rana temporaria whilst in amplexus would that count as "Frog's porn"?


A blogger by the name of Melissa Hovy has been maintaining a Bigfoot blog for quite some time now. It wasn’t until recently that the Sasquatch community caught wind that Melissa could be holding the ultimate photo of all ultimate photos depicting the big guy.

The story goes than four years ago Melissa was contacted by someone who claimed to have a clear picture of Bigfoot on a trailcam. The witness sent Mellisa the picture but wouldn’t allow her to publish it…until now, that is.

Here is the photo along with commentary from Melissa herself:

In early 2008 I was contacted via email by a person claiming to have photographed a Bigfoot. The photo is posted above.

The American Bigfoot Society holds the copyright for this image for any and all purposes. As stated in the last article, if and when the true owner of this photo steps up, we will turn the copyright over to them, and they can cover this.

Read on...

BIG CAT NEWS: Gloucestershire and Carlisle...and Wisbeach

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper column inches than any other cryptozoological subject.

There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived in some way by us, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do, and is a fairly tedious task, so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

Secret cameras poised to film big cat
Last month, scientists at Warwick University disappointed believers in the mystery animal, by revealing that deer remains found on land near Woodchester Mansion actually contained fox or dog DNA. Since then, the Countryside and Community Research...

Another round-up of Gloucestershire news including quotes from Frank Tunbridge and the Countryside and Community Research institute (CCRI) survey. Rhiannon Fisher, a lecturer at the Royal Agricultural College and a part-time PhD student in the CCRI said: “ We are not saying that there is or is not a wild cat in the area. We are interested in people’s opinions about what might be out there, what sort of thing might count as proof, and what their thoughts are about it".

And now, another Frank Tunbridge story:

Spy cameras set up to catch Gloucestershire big cat
This is Gloucestershire

SPY cameras are being set up at a secret location today to capture footage of an elusive big cat. Tracker Frank Tunbridge was contacted by a resident whose trip camera captured a still photo of what he believes is a big cat at an undisclosed location ...

Frank Tunbridge is one of the good guys. He talks sense, and his research is - as far as we can tell - carried out on straight and logical lines. We wish him all the best in the world. And here he is again, accompanied by another good guy, Rick Minter...

Public talk will examine evidence for big cats in Gloucestershire
Stroud News and Journal

AN ILLUSTRATED talk examining the evidence for big cats in Gloucestershire will be held in Stroud. Experts Rick Minter and Frank Tunbridge will discuss the implications of feral big cats for people and other wildlife at St Laurence Church Hall from...

And now another outing for the other main big cat stories of recent days, the Carlisle one that so attracted Jan Edwards' oppropbrium yesterday.

I don't think this is claws for concern
News & Star
“And they're rarer than black panthers in cat-flaps.” But hey – hang on there just one little minute. There's apparently something rustling in the nether regions of old Carlisle. Around Rockcliffe's rural bits, to be more precise, a big cat is ...

Oh dear; it's a humourist. That ol' "Claws for Concern" quip, whilst not quite as hackneyed as the "Paws for thoughts", or the "Unidentified Furry Objects" ones, or the "Chaus Theory" (OK I made the last one up), is still the mark of a light hearted romp through local sightings, which may be mildly amusing but is unlikely to add much to the canon of belief in mystery cat lore.

But now a new sighting:

BREAKING NEWS: 'Black panther' spotted in Holbeach
Spalding Today
Louise (42), of Washway Rood, Holbeach, was driving from home towards Boston Road South when she glimpsed the big cat in a field not far from the Bull's Neck pub at about 8.35am. She said: “It was in between Washway Road and Penny Hill.

BIG CAT NEWS: Indulging Nick Redfern's whims

The saga of The Beast of Smallthorne refuses to quietly go away. Nick Redfern writes: 'I'm very glad to see the majestic New Street Station got a mention. May we please see the cat at the foot of the Rotunda?'

Well, of course the CFZ, being the world's largest mystery animal research group, has nothing better to do than to indulge the stupid whims of ex-patriate Brummies with no hair.

Perhaps you would like to see 'The Beast of Smallthorne' in some other well known West Midlands landmarks. How about in an industrial estate in Dudley, or outside B&Q in Wolverhampton...

HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Express 14.4.65

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1943 George Harrison was born.
And now the news:

Appeals court rejects sea turtle protection lawsui...
Extremely rare whale filmed for the first time eve...
Study warns action needed to save Irish hare from ...
Hunt for rare butterfly in Brighton
Rare Pygmy Nile Crocodile Found in New Spots (via ...
Angry birds? These lost species have every right t...
Climate change plays major role in decline of blac...
Africanized bees, climate and disease killing Mexi...
Iconic Marine Mammals Are 'Swimming in Sick Seas' ...
Loneliest frog in the world is the last of his kin...
More than 200 elephants slaughtered in Cameroon si...
Transmission Gully would displace rare birds and p...
Goodness Snakes! Sociable Rattlers Cuddle With The...

Harrison's best song (imo):

DALE DRINNON: Pre Clovis Culture/Giant Bats/Elvis Girl in 'Cedar and Willow'

New on the Frontiers of Anthropology, a questioning of the ethics regarding the elimination of a candidate
"Pre-Clovis" culture:


New on Frontiers of Zoology, a continuing series of articles on Giant Bats, this time focusing on the Oriental ones:


And New on Cedar and Willow a Yahoo News Item about an "Elvis Girl" who became a Nun (One of the candidates for a Nylon Commando, no less):


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:


Is the 'Texas Blue Dog' a Chupacabra? (Photo)
A stuffed and mounted dog with blue skin and eyes may revive the legend of the Chupacabra in the Southwest after the myth was largely debunked last year as merely coyotes with a severe case of mange. But an extremely scholarly, investigative report by ...