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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Monday, March 05, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: That bloody cat gets everywhere

Here it is in Puerto Rico with Nick Redfern drinking cervesa.

And with that bloke who thinks God probably doesn't exist...

BIG CAT NEWS: This has just been sent in from an anonymous source

BIG CAT NEWS: And the beat goes on (for 'beat' substitute 'The Beast of Copthorne')

Karl Shuker writes re the latest episode of the Beast of Smallthorne saga:

Hi Jon,

Looks like someone's spoofed you again.

Check out the photo of a black panther cub at the following link: http://ultimate-wallpaper.com/wallpaper/black-panther-cub-1nngm6/This photo has been used as the basis of the Smallthorne cub photo, by having been darkened, and tilted very slightly to the left. Also the outline of the cub's head has been changed, and leaves etc overlain, but if you check the eyes of that cub and those of the Smallthorne cub, you will see that except for having been darkened a little they are identical in every smallest detail, as is the upper edge of the nose and the distance between eyes and nose.

To show you what I mean, I've mocked up a rough comparison (darkening the panther cub photo but without the tilt and outline changes), which I'm attaching here.

All the best, Karl

Admittedly I thought it was a moggy rather than a panther...


My Spanish is nowhere near good enough to translate this. I acn only do it if I am face to face with someone and waving my arms about. Is there anyone out there in bloggoland who can translate this for us?

Scott Corrales has covered this news story:

Michoacán's Diario ABC reported the strange deaths of 35 sheep in the town of Parácuaro. The incident occurred in the early morning hours of 1 March 2012. The boides presented claw and tooth injuries; the majority of the injuries were under the neck, as if sliced by a razor. The person who looked after the sheep pens stated that he saw the entity that attacked the animals: it had fangs, claws and wings, and moved very quickly.

Read on...


I think that this is highly unlikely to be real, but it is rather well done. File under: intriguing...

RSPB: Tell George to Wake Up


Tell George to wake up!

George Osborne standing outside No. 10

Dear Supporter

As well as telling us how much more we'll have to pay for a pint of beer or a litre of petrol, the UK Budget provides a test of the Government's commitment to the environment.

Last November, the Chancellor described hard-won legal protections for our most precious wildlife sites as a 'ridiculous cost on British business'.

Smart growth

Watch our Wake Up George animation to see what things could be like if he takes a different view later this month.

The current economic crisis means the Chancellor needs to deliver economic growth and create jobs. But we don't believe that the environment is a barrier to success. It is crucial to our well-being and our economic performance. We want smart growth that does no environmental harm.

Help George do the right thing

Please step up for nature and e-mail George Osborne today - it only takes a couple of minutes. Urge him to use his Budget statement on 21 March to put the environment at the heart of the UK's economic recovery.

Thank you for your support.

Martin Harper
Conservation Director

PS We'll be in touch again at the end of the month to let you know what effect our efforts had on the budget. Let's hope the Chancellor listens and decides to step up for nature too!

E-mail George Osborne

HAUNTED SKIES: Sun (The) 00.9.65.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1961 George Formby died.

And now the news:

RSPB Conwy to use salt water form River Conwy to t...
Dogs' feet give Japan scientists paws for thought
How ‘bird police’ are saving America’s red knots
Chepstow badger deaths inquiry launched by Gwent P...
Cattle virus hits nine more farms
Sperm whale washes ashore at Skegness Beach
Whale stranded on Milford Haven mudbank is put to ...
Poles turn to Internet to circumvent new pet breed...
Illegal eel trap drowns protected otter
Dartmoor ponies to go on the pill
Are Frogs Rapidly Facing Extinction?

BANNED BY THE BBC!!! (you have been warned):


DALE DRINNON: Namibian dog headed pig, Neolithic Makeover, Cedar and Willow

New on Frontiers of Zoology, the Namibian Dog-Headed Pig:

New on Frontiers of Anthropology the Big Neolithic Makeover continues:

And my brother Benny has another Thelma Todd "Sighting" in the Popeye cartoon Never Kick a Woman:

KARL SHUKER: Basilisks and Tarasques

Karl Shuker has been busy. We have two posts from him today. The forst is at the ShukerNature blog:

And the second is at his Eclectarium:


JON'S JOURNAL: Paw print at Kennerland

Yesterday afternoon I had such big plans. We were taking Richard back to Barnstaple anyway, so I thought to myself: "Wayhay - here I can do two other things I want to do. I can go to Thornton's to buy diabetic chocolates, and we can go for a walk along the side of the River Taw and look at waders.

Sadly, it was high water so there weren't any waders, we couldm't find how to get down to the river at the spot I wanted, and Thornton's was closed. We did see a goldfinch by the side of the road at Sticklepath though.

On the way back we stopped at Kennerland Cross to take Pru for a walk. We found this paw print in a almost vertical mud track through the bottom of a hedge. My camera was hors de combat so we had to immortalise it on video instead:

Now, I'm not making any claims at all for this, apart from the fact that it appears to be a pawprint, and that it was a bit bigger than one of Prudence's. Anyone care to try for an identification?

BIG CAT NEWS: Return of the Son of the Beast of Smallthorne

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

The saga of The Beast of Smallthorne refuses to go away. This morning I received another letter from the bloke who claimed to have taken the original picture:

"Yesterday, on the 2nd March in search of the black leopard I saw on the 18th February 16:09pm [sic], Ford Green Nature Reserve, Smallthorne, armed only with my mobile 'phone. After two hours I heard a sound at the edge of the lake. I got as close as possible, and there staring was a small black leopard and took this photo on the 2nd March 17:04pm. I saw no sign of the first, bigger leopard"

Well, unless me eyes really do decieve me this is nothing more than a black kitten, albeit a rather cute one. I think the chances of it having leopard in its ancestry are completely nill.

However, we do our best to be open minded here at the CFZ, and so I am posting this picture and letter for your comments. The bloke who has been sending me these pictures seems to be genuine in his belief that he is photographing something extraordinary. So I don't think that this is a hoax in the traditional sense; just someone doing a Captain Ahab, and smelling land where there is no land..


We have been collecting stories of larger-than-average foxes in the UK for some years. This is not a new phenomenon; Theo Brown wrote about it in the Transactions of the Devonshire Association in the 1950s. This whopper which appeared in the pages of The Daily Mail this morning (it is presumably the fault of immigrants/benefit-claimants/"political correctness gone mad") is (or was, before some yokel killed it) almost five feet in length and weighed almost three stone.

Many thanks to Rebecca from the CFZ Australia team for posting this on the CFZ Big Cat Study Group Facebook page.

Can people who have seen/photographed/encountered extremely large foxes please get in touch. Email me on jon@eclipse.co.uk

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From CFZ Australia:
From CFZ New Zealand:


My friend R (who would wish to remain anonymous,, reported this to my church this morning (see note 1 for the context) as he believed God was saying,this is just the beginning....Bearing in mind the meteor (or what?) that travelled from north to south over the U.K. on the evening of Saturday March 3rd.

This is my posting on the TORRO Forum

The following account of a strange astronomical and meteorological
event comes from a totaly trustworthy friend who attends the same
church as me in Macclesfield, indeed he gave this account this morning,( see also Luke ch.21 v.11) Sunday March 4th. I will call him R as he has not given me permission to share this, although I am sure he wouldn`t mind.

R was looking up at the night sky at about 10pm on Thursday March 1st when he saw 6 planets (including Pluto which is now considered not to be a planet) and the Sun in alignment sloping upwards slightly. quite low in the sky. These were the Sun , Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Neptune, Uranus. Pluto. They were not in the usual compass part of the sky, but opposite.

Then he looked up at the heavens and at the point verticaly directly above his head at 12pm position if you picture a semi circular dome with 12pm at the very highest point of the arc, he saw a rainbow in a circle around a point on this apex. R is colour blind but his wife described the rainbow as perfectly coloured.

1. Luke 21 v 11 Jesus speaking to his disciples, " ....There will be
great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and
there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. " The Bible,
Revised Standard Version.

It has begun, my friends