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, March 16, 2012


A while back, I discussed the differing perspectives of researchers and witnesses toward the bigfoot phenomenon [...] In a nutshell, one reason researchers and witnesses (long-term ones especially) approach this subject differently is because of differing levels of personal experience.

To researchers, many of whom have little to no face-to-face personal experience with Sasquatch, the subject of bigfoot is primarily an intellectual pursuit, devoid of emotion. To witnesses, particularly long-term witnesses but also incidental witnesses who can be deeply affected by a single sighting, their involvement in this subject tends to be much more emotionally-oriented. Researchers may say that those who are emotionally involved in this subject cannot be “objective”.

Read on...


Following on from our tales of the Loch Oich Monster. The witness who told me that story also mentioned an experience a friend had in the late 80s or early 90s at Loch Morar:

"Another pair of friends were seakayaking in Loch Morar, heading to Tarbert to portage through and paddle back down Loch Nevis and camped the night on an island in Loch Morar. During the night one got up for a pee and as he was standing in the dark a huge commotion in the water nearby went on for several minutes, then stopped.

Suddenly a large wave of displaced water rushed up the shingle beach evidence of a large object having moved about vigorously. Nothing to see and no signs of anything in the morning, and no boat engines or evidence of other craft."


HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Telegraph 16.2.66.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 2000 over 800 members of the Ugandan doomsday cult ‘The Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God’ were murdered by their cult leaders in a ‘mass suicide’. According to forensic reports it would appear that most of the victims were unwilling participants and were likely killed after the organization began to unravel after faith was lost in its leaders following several incorrect predictions of the date of the apocalypse came and went without incident.

And now the news:

Critically Endangered Kitten Born To A Domestic Ca...
€56,413 to be spent on natterjack toad project
Earliest Pregnant Reptile Pushes Back Fossil Recor...
Butterfly conservation project success
Ohio Exotic Animals Ban To Fix 'Entirely Unaccepta...
Another of the world's rarest dolphins killed by a...
A Growing Illicit Trade Threatens Jamaica's Wildli...
Forget the zebra, watch out for the toad crossing
'No fishing zones' call as Bill hits Assembly Rea...
Some mammals used complex teeth to compete with di...
Veterans tame wolf-dogs at Calif. rescue center
'Red Deer Cave people' may be new species of human...
Oceans Will Not Survive ‘Business as Usual’

A report on the mass murders (disturbing images warning):


DALE DRINNON: Red Deer People from China/Cryptids from Chile

New on Frontiers of Anthropology
A short review of the "Red Deer Cave People" from China:

New on Frontiers of Zoology,
Two articles on Cryptids from Chile:



We received this email this morning from those jolly nice people at Wildwoods. And there are species here I have never seen before...

FISH HOUSE NEWS - It’s Snakehead Time!

Our latest Indian shipment is now out of quarantine and we can now offer many rare and sought after species and colour variants of snakehead. Add these to our other Asian and African species and you will find the greatest collection of snakehead species ever offered for sale in the UK (if not Europe!)Only found from India, we have for only the 2nd time ever, Channa diplogramma
This rarely traded snakehead is very similar in appearance to the giant or red snakehead and will also grow to a large size. We currently have a group of five living happily together.

A full listing of all Wildwoods snakeheads can be found in our TF2YD webshop
After a three year wait, we have managed to import a small quantity of L260 Queen Arabesque plecs - looking fantastic at the moment! Also from Brazil we have a fabulous group of Geophagus altifrons and some stunning large Sunshine plecs - L14 Scobinancistrus aureatus

And why did Jon choose that headline?

CARL PORTMAN: Dead fox in a graveyard

Liebe Jon,

Whilst out walking the hounds yesterday I happened across this unfortunate fox lying dead in the local graveyard (appropriate?). I had my camera with me as usual and took the three photographs above. I am sending them to you with the following comments and observations.

* The full length photograph merely depicts the size, colour and position of the animal.
* Then I noticed the injury on the hind leg, which I took a close-up of. What caused this? Surely it is not a shotgun would? Maybe another fox? A dog? Something bigger? I am no expert but could such an injury alone have killed the animal? I did not tip it over to look for other injuries but there seemed to be none. Maybe it died of a heart attack through fright.
* A bigger animal (if it killed it for a meal) would have surely eaten some of it.

The other one of the close-up of the teeth was taken for record purposes – but why? I was fascinated and not a little astonished to see what good condition the teeth were in; hardly yellowed at all. Now, my domestic quadrupeds have yellower teeth than that and we occasionally clean them with doggy toothpaste. I wonder how the foxes keep theirs so clean? Anyway – it is just an observation.

I feel for the poor animal – I do love foxes despite all the hullabaloo about the destruction they are meant to cause. They were here first…

Love from the Topographic Oceans.

Website: www.carlsplanet.co.uk

P.S. Actually, I just noticed a huge puncture mark on the fox – just above its left foreleg – and another towards the middle of its body. No blood, though – can’t be a shotgun.

RSPB: Chancellor, a healthy economy needs a healthy environment

Wildlife charities with a combined membership of over a quarter of a million people in the south west have today called on the Chancellor, George Osborne MP, to put the region’s rich and iconic nature at the heart of economic development in the run up to what could be one of the most important budgets for the environment in decades.

In his Autumn Statement 2011, the Chancellor announced a review of the way that two important pieces of European wildlife law are put into practice in England. A weakening of these laws could see such iconic landscapes as Salisbury Plain, the Lizard, Dartmoor, the Severn Estuary and Poole Harbour, and the rich wildlife they support, at risk from inappropriate development.

The Habitats and Birds Directives have provided valuable protection for Europe's most threatened habitats and species for over 30 years; they are arguably the two most important mechanisms for embedding the value of nature in decision-making.

The coalition of wildlife groups is calling upon people and organisations to support their call by emailing or writing to the Chancellor and contacting their own MPs before the Budget on 21 March.

Tony Richardson, RSPB South West Regional Director, said: “The effective implementation of these directives provides a key test for sustainable development, of how we balance economic, social and environmental needs. They are fundamental to meeting our national and international biodiversity commitments.”

In the South West the Habitats and Birds Directives are responsible for the protection of much of the region’s precious wildlife through the designation of Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas.

Tony continued: “The Government in ordering the review is keen to establish if the Directives are a barrier to economic growth and if the UK is doing more than is required in their implementation – the oft repeated criticism is that they are “gold-plated”.

“First of all the vast majority of planning applications are unaffected by the Directives, and very few of those that are result in objections relating to them. For example, the RSPB has commented nationally on less than 0.04 per cent of all planning applications in England between 2001-2010 (c.217 per year), with very few of these resulting in us objecting.”

“Secondly the RSPB has found no evidence of gold-plating in English law, the same finding as that by the independent Davidson Review in 2006. Indeed, the lack of a coherent network of marine Special Protection Areas is evidence that in places the adoption of the Directives in the UK is actually incomplete.”

The region’s wildlife charities do however see areas where the Directives could be improved.

In a small proportion of cases there are flaws in putting the law into practice. Often this is associated with lack of scientific information on key habitats and species. In these cases the authorities responsible for ensuring the legality of decisions have to act using the “precautionary principle”. Wildlife charities would much rather decisions were based on evidence.

To ensure this happens, and to ensure developers get clear advice, society needs to invest in and support agencies such as Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation to ensure that they have the skills, resources and freedom to give impartial scientific advice to the government.

The charities are also keen to stress that it is vital that they continue to work with planners and industry. Where they have been doing this for many years the charities say there is a much improved understanding of the process and conflict is rare.

The wildlife charities are also concerned about potential “over-simplification” of guidance.

Tony Richardson; “Providing good guidance is vital. Sometimes it is complex but the danger of oversimplification is that it can lead to ambiguity. And this can lead to developments being bogged down in endless legal debate which is costly to both wildlife oragnisations and business and serves no-one.”

Quotes from County Wildlife Trust Chief Officers:

Steve Grainger, Chief Executive Officer of Avon Wildlife Trust: "The Directives protect some of England's most important conservation sites, locally including the Severn Estuary, Chew Valley, Avon Gorge, and a large area around Bath and Bradford on Avon which is a Special Area of Conservation for bats. Such sites across England are enjoyed by millions of people each year and are vital to the recovery of England's natural environment, as set out in last year's Natural Environment White Paper. Implementation of the Directives can no doubt be improved but any restriction on them will water down the protection of such sites and put them at increased risk."

Dr Gordon McGlone OBE, Chief Executive of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust said: "Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust are concerned that the former Northern United Colliery - a major regeneration site in Gloucestershire which is home to three important species in the county - has not received the attention is it due in the Habitats Directive. Any further weakening of the planning regulation in respect of the Habitats Directive could lead to serious and irrecoverable loss of Gloucestershire's wildlife."

Harry Barton, Chief Executive of Devon Wildlife Trust said: “The Habitats Regulations safeguard the very best sites we have for our rarest wildlife, the cathedrals of our natural world. There is no convincing evidence that the regulations are hindering economic growth. The government should stick to its principles, and make sure our priceless, irreplaceable natural heritage is properly protected.”

Victoria Whitehouse, Head of Nature Conservation for Cornwall Wildlife Trust said: “Cornwall Wildlife Trust supports development done in the right way in the right place that doesn’t have negative consequences for wildlife. As a Wildlife Trust we cannot support policies that create short term profit at the expense of our countryside and wildlife. If our environmental laws are weakened, it would leave vital habitats open to development such as our nationally significant heathlands on The Lizard, the stunning north coast at St Agnes and the wet woodlands at Goss Moor. All are Special Areas of Conservation and are protected, for now. Nature is vital to our quality of life and at a time of economic recession, we must work together to get the best results for nature and the economy.”

Simon Cripps, Chief Executive of Dorset Wildlife Trust, said: “This legislation has been instrumental in protecting Dorset’s heaths from increasing urban pressures, for example in the recent decision by the Secretary of State to turn down development at Talbot Heath in Bournemouth. Far from putting a stop to all new homes, a planning framework has been put in place in Dorset to enable development, provided it takes steps to avoid harming heathland. Our heaths are still under huge pressure from disturbance and damage near surrounding houses, and any reduction in legal protection could cause irreparable harm to an invaluable green space that contributes to Dorset’s economy and to the wellbeing and health of its communities.”

Lisa Schneidau, Director of Conservation at Somerset Wildlife Trust, said: “Somerset Wildlife Trust believes that a healthy, flourishing natural environment is essential to the health of Somerset's economy and of its people. A progressive and intelligent system of regulation and planning for England must have environmental principles at its heart, together with the building blocks for economic and social investment. Somerset Wildlife Trust is very concerned at the short-sighted and irresponsible signals that have been coming from the Treasury about the environment, including threats to the current insufficient levels of environmental protection for Somerset's precious wildlife habitats and species. We call on the Government to show consistent leadership across all its departments, to demonstrate what we already know to be true: that a healthy economy and a healthy environment must go hand in hand.”

Dr Gary Mantle, Director of Wiltshire Wildlife Trust said: “Wiltshire is famous for its chalk rivers, chalk grasslands and meadows. The best of these in Wiltshire are of European importance and are designated as such under the Habitats Directive. These include sites like the Wiltshire Wildlife Trust’s wildflower meadows at Clattinger Farm. Salisbury Plain and the River Avon are other examples. The Habitats and Birds Directives have not inhibited the use of Salisbury Plain as the largest Military Training Area in the UK. The Directive has ensured a very constructive and positive dialogue between the MOD and conservation bodies enabling both military training objectives and conservation objectives to be met.”


Hi Everyone,

I just wanted to write a quick message thanking everyone who wrote me kind words and get-well messages over my time in hospital. I was admitted Sunday morning; by Sunday evening my pain and sickness were getting under control. As the days went by I was brilliantly looked after by the ward team, and steadily I got better and better.

On Wednesday evening I had a scan and was then sent home. Now I am well and truly on the mend. It is only with all your wonderful messages and thoughts that it is the case.

Thank you very much indeed; it’s so pleasing to know about the huge wealth of support that’s out there in the crypto community.

Best Wishes All


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: