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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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

CRYPTOFICTION: The Beast of Essex

Dear Sir,

My name is Martin Black, I live in Essex and I am the author of ‘Beast – The Beast of Essex’ a book which has recently been published on Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=beast+of+essex

The book is a novel based upon big cat sightings in and around the county of Essex. It draws upon factual information and eye witness accounts extracted from local and national newspaper/magazine articles, web based forums, similar to your own and my own experiences in the Essex countryside.

The story is in two parts, the first provides the background information which is based upon carefully researched information as mentioned above. The second part is the main story. I think you and your members would find it quite interesting.

I have set up a website www.beast-home.co.uk to publicise the novel and to allow people to contact me and get more information about the book and its content. The site also has links to Facebook and Twitter accounts.

I’ve included a page which has related links to other useful or interesting websites like yours. I would like to include a link to your website and in return wonder if you would publicise my book on yours. You might like to read it first of course (it is only short (49,000 words) and sells for only £1.40 on Amazon. Let me know what you think.

Hoping to hear from you soon.

Regards, Martin P Black.

Web~ www.beast-home.co.uk

DALE DRINNON: Kappas and Bunyips

New postings on Frontiers of Zoology:

More on Tyler's Kappas and integrating them into my own world view:

And getting to the meaty part of Bunyip stories:

After online discussions with Tyler Stone, I came upon some supporting evidence that I had to rush to include:

BOB TRUBSHAW: How the Anglo-Saxons Found Their Way


As the 'Souls, Spirits and Deities' PDF seem to go down well last month I've followed it with another free-to-download PDF 'booklet' called 'How the Anglo-Saxons Found Their Way.'

Before maps were commonplace people had been getting from place to place successfully for many millennia. How did they find their way?

I've taken a fresh look at how place-names may have sufficiently descriptive to have acted as route markers - and how legends could be used to create mnemonics to remember places in the correct order.

This new work is based on ideas in one chapter of 'Singing Up the Country' (see http://www.hoap.co.uk/general.htm#sutc) but brings in further academic research that I was not aware of when writing 'Singing Up the Country' and which provides direct evidence for such 'narrative cartography' in the records of Anglo-Saxon England.

Available as a free PDF download only. See
http://www.hoap.co.uk/general.htm#ssd for more details and the link
to the PDF download.

Feel free to promote this publication in any way you think would be helpful.

All best wishes


BIG CAT NEWS: A Suffolk Tiger, and the Beast of Smallthorne's crinkly ears

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

'Look what we found lion in town gardens'
Suffolk Free Press

To his surprise, the mystery caller's tip-off was right and there was, in fact, a big cat, more commonly found in the grasslands of South East Asia, roaming the town's gardens. “I couldn't believe it when I saw it hiding behind a tree,” said Bradley.

I haven't been to Sudbury since the two blokes who found a tiger in a municipal flower bed were in their nappies. Back in the day I worked for a famousish pop star who used to live there. It was a nice little town..

I thought the other day was a slow news day, but this particularly feeble story about a toy tiger in Suffolk is about as feeble as they come.

However, what I can report is that we have put out the trail cameras again on an area of privately owned woodland near Huddisford where there have been a string of sightings over the years. We will leave them up for at least a month.

Regular readers will remember all the gubbins about The Beast of Smallthorne the other day. We received two more handwritten letters from the bloke who claims to have taken the photographs. They both came in the post today:

Dear Jonathan Downes,

Thank you for your letter. I read Dr Shuker's hypothesis comparing the picture I took with the poster. Yes, they do look almost the same, but the difference needs to be taken into account. It is a fact that black leopards look similar, but there is a slight difference. The leopard has got crinkly ears. The leopard I saw on the 18th of this month is darker, and the eyes are lighter. If Dr Shuker took two photos of two pet black cats sitting in the same similar position, does that mean one of the photos is a crude cut and paste hoax?

And the other one reads:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for putting the photo I took of a big black panther Friday 18th February 16:09 2012, Ford Green Nature Reserve, Smallthorne, Stoke on Trent.

I have read the comments about the photo. Yes the image on the poster, does look like the photo I took, however a close-up shows a difference, the cat in the poster has got crinkly ears, markings are not as dark. The Photo is not a 'crude cut and paste hoax' and not been horizontally flipped. How did I get so close, as the comment says? Simple, I cropped the photo for close-up. You can magnify the photo, the photo is authentic.

Yours sincerely.

One has to admire the person's tenacity, as well as the fact that he seems so guile-less that we have his name and address, which we are not posting in order to preserve his privacy.

We are writing back tomorrow asking him to email the original, not a print, so that we can get an expert to have a look at it. In the meantime, and in the absence of any better evidence, I have to say, that I am pretty darn convinced that Doctor Shuker is correct!


This story was a real cause celebre nearly sixty years ago, but this is the first time that I had ever seen the photograph in question.

How could anyone have thought that this was anything other than an angler fish? Perhaps the tjhing that I often bemoan - how our increasingly sedentry and housebound society is ever more divorced from the reality of the natural world isn't quite as modern a phenomenon as I had supposed.

Thank you to Andrew Gable, author of our forthcoming book about the mystery animals of Pennsylvania for sending me the cuttings.

And I suppose this had to be done:


Karl Shuker and I have had lots of correspondence over the past day and a half. People seem very interested in the JoZ.

The biggest question seems to be how does one subscribe? The answer to this one is simple - you don't.

We are compiling a mailing list, and whenever an issue is available, we shall email you with the price and how to get it. In addition it will also be available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk and various other on-line outlets.

If you want to know more about the JoZ then Karl Shuker has started a Facebook Group in which the progress of this project can be monitored.

Please feel free to get involved...

HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Mirror 11.9.65

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


Today is ‘leap-day’ which means that traditionally ladies can propose to their men (in my opinion there is nothing to stop a lady proposing on any date, but that is frowned upon by romance and chick-lit writers who would otherwise loose a useful plot device or something)

And now the news:

Polysternon Isonae, a New Species of Turtle That L...
Ancient tracks are elephant herd
RNA Interference Cancer Treatment? Delivering RNA ...
Big Bird: Fossils of World's Tallest Penguin Disco...
Bird Flu, Swine Flu … and Now Bat Flu?
318 wolves killed in Idaho – Because they eat deer...
New road risk to Iran’s cheetahs & leopards
Pine marten fear for capercaillie
Otter poo reveals surprising facts about otter's d...

Talking about weddings, have a clip from Gavin and Stacey:


DALE DRINNON: Freshwater monkeys/bunyip variations

One being another update on the Freshwater Monkeys theory by Tyler Stone:


And then another launching a series on varieties of Australian Bunyips:




Many thanks to Corinna who knows the way to my heart better than anyone else.