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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Saturday, May 12, 2012


This hitherto “unknown” cat with wings case was first reported in The Bristol Mercury, Friday June 23rd 1893 and at least one other paper. It may also be the only cat with wings ever to be featured in an English court, indeed one of the very few mystery animals to have been the subject of litigation? ! Now there`s an interesting piece of research for someone! I have not read the Bristol Mercury for the following few days so cannot tell you if any person(s) reported their own stories.

The Bristol Mercury, Friday, June 23rd 1893

A great deal of amusement was created at the Leeds County Court on Wednesday afternoon, when an action was brought by Mr W.E. Markham a relieving officer of the Bromley Union , against a labourer named named Benjamin Martin of Tong road, New Wortley (?) to recover possesion of a Persian cat, known throughout the neighbourhood as the “winged cat” , which he claimed as his property, or £50. Damages for detaining the animal were also claimed. The cat, which has extraordinary flap-like appendages on each side of its body, has for some time past been exhibited at the house of the defendant. Evidence was called to prove that the animal had formerly belonged to the Bramley Hill Top Workhouse. Since then it had dissapeared, and was eventually found in the possesion of the defendant. Mr Frank Somers, veterinary surgeon described the cat as a half-bred English and Persian cat He examined the “wings” very carefully , and was persuaded that they were matted hair. He thought the hair had simply accumulated because the cat had neglected and not licked the hair off. It was only a growth of matted hair. Mr Child – What is the value of the cat? Witness it is not worth anything as an imposition to an itinerant show. In reply to Mr Dunn, he admitted that the cat was in very neglected condition. He had heard Mr Markham say that he had clipped off the hair when he had the cat, and it was quite probable. He had seen the same accumulation on dogs. After the hearing of the evidence, which caused a considerable amount of merriment, his Honour Judge Greenhow returned a verdict for the plaintiff. (1)

1. The Bristol Mercury June 23rd 1893 p.8

BIG CAT NEWS: Scarborough and Switzerland

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

'I spotted the Beast of the Bay'
Scarborough Today

North Bay Railway worker Steve Johnson points out where he is sure he saw a large black cat prowling this morning, while he was working on the platform at Scalby Mills. Picture by Andrew Higgins 121905a 07/05/12 COULD a huge panther be prowling ...

It is a slow week this week. One story from the north of England, and - bizarrely - one from Switzerland quoted in a Cornish newspaper...

Warning issued over mystery cat sightings
This is Cornwall

Police in Switzerland have warned hikers to be on the lookout for a large black cat resembling a panther. Authorities have received reports of several sightings of ...

Thylacine/Dingo Interaction

The latest cryptozoological cause célèbre is a research paper which has suggested that the mainland thylacine was out-competed by the dingo. Here are just a few of the newspaper stories about it:

Dingoes led to mainland thylacine's demise
ABC Science Online
Dingo dinner The dingo did it according to a new theory on why the iconic thylacine became extinct on mainland Australia about 3000 years ago.

Bigger and brainier: did dingoes kill thylacines?
Skulls of two thylacines and a dingo from the Nullarbor in Western Australia. A thylacine, thought to be female (left); a male thylacine (middle); ...

Dingoes hunted Tasmanian Tigers to extinction
ABC Online
Thylacines, more commonly known as Tasmanian tigers, once roamed the mainland ... TIMOTHY MCDONALD: Faded black and white footage of the last thylacine in ...

Claims dingoes 'wiped out' Tasmanian tigers
ABC Online
Thylacines, more commonly known as Tasmanian tigers, have been extinct since ... Faded black and white footage of the last thylacine in captivity shows a ...

Dingoes may have wiped out Tasmanian tiger on mainland
The Conversation
Dingoes were twice the size of female thylacines and could have caused their extinction on mainland ... The last known Tasmanian thylacine died in 1936.

HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Mirror 19.7.67.



It's sunday, and - as always - time,
to do Gonzo Daily in rhyme
or at least these small notifications about Gonzo singing star sensations,
and other things that I think are best,
or at least I find of interest
so now it's time to take a peek,
at what I have for you this week.

Something to stop you feeling sad,
an interview with Galahad:

An artist talented and demure,
Auburn have just come back off tour,
and so I'm proud to bring to you
my own Liz Lenten interview:

Here's something that was sent to me,
about Rob Ayling and a cup of tea:
And whilst Rob Ayling visits places,here's a picture of him making faces:

And something perfectly going to plan,
The Unthanks doing Dondestan,
why have we posted it (do be quiet)
we're all big fans of Robert Wyatt:

Something too cool to be put into words,
a DVD featuring The Byrds,
and Jon has finally confessed
why this lineup (he thinks) was the best:

And finally, we have hit upon
an interview with Jon Anderson:

And now, I'm afraid that we must go,
but you will see me back tomorrow,
but if more rhymes are what you seek,
then you must wait another week,
cos tho the poems make a fun day
I only do this stuff on sunday.....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


Today is Abbotsbury Garland Day, let’s hope a good time is had by all.

And now the news:

The excitement of the Garland Day captured in full:



Video shot by underwater drillers of a jellyfish near their well at 5000+ feet.
Some people who viewed the video were puzzled by the floating creature, with suggestions that it may be a deep sea monster or a more mundane plastic bag.
Speculation was also rife that it may have been whale placenta or even the mythical creature Cthulhu.

Experts have however confirmed that it is in fact a Deepstaria enigmatica, a jellyfish from the Ulmaridae family first discovered in 1967 by F.S. Russel. The invertebrae is usually found in the South Atlantic ocean.

The San Clemente Sea Creature sightings

Some years ago Lindsay S wrote about the San Clemente sea monster. Now a reader called Greg May writes:

"The late Ken Norris, a former curator of Marineland of the Pacific and one of the world's most respected oceanographers may have posthumously solved the mystery of the San Clemente Sea Monster. In his book, 'The Porpoise Watcher' Norris described the hectic pre-opening days of Marineland in 1954 when they were catching specimens in Catalina Channel off the Southern California coast.

Norris described how he and his staff would observe whales 'spyhopping' - a natural behavior where a whale takes a vertical position in the water with its head out of water to take a look at its' surroundings. Gray whales do this during their annual migration from the Bering Sea to Mexico. When viewed from a certain angle, the spyhopping whale takes on a different appearance.

Norris described how the superstitious fishermen called the spyhopping pilot whale 'monaco' - a Sicilian term meaning a priest wearing black robes. This is what the whales looked like to them when viewed from a certain angle. So the Sea Monster is actually spyhopping whales".

STRONSAY BEAST SOAP - sponsoring the Weird Weekend

These nice people are one of the sponsors for this year's Weird Weekend:

The Stronsay beast was the carcass of a huge marine creature washed ashore on Stronsay in 1808. This sketch of it was made by Sir Alexander Gibson as he saw it. Zoologists at the time concluded it must be some unknown sea serpent. Scientists today have challenged this and concluded that it could have been the remains of an extremely large basking shark. Who knows...... To this day the story and the mystery live on in island folklore. We decided it would be fun to make the beast in the bath soap, with its monster bubbles and beast stamped into each one. We enriched it with Sweet Almond Oil and packed it with French clay to make it really smooth.

Ingredients: Coconut Oil (Cocos nucifera), Sunflower Seed Oil (Helianthus annus), Palm Oil (Sodium palmate), Water (Aqua), Clay (Kaolin), Sweet Almond Oil (Prunus dulcis), Benzoin (Benzoin resinoid), Patchouli (Pogostemon patchouli), Sweet Orange (Citrus dulcis) essential oils, Parfum. You may notice a fine white coating on some soaps. It is perfectly harmless and will disappear as soon as you use your soap. It is a natural part of the soap-making process.

Price: £3.65

DOUG SHOOP: Tortoise dude


I don't know what kind of nerve, ferocity and stubbornness got 86-year-old
Brendon Grimshaw to buy an island in the Indian Ocean, replant it with
16,000 trees, grasses and then lure a bunch of giant tortoises - big
galumphing ones and itty-bitty ones - to live with him (one gets born in his
bedroom). But he did it, and when he takes reporter Simon Reeve on a tour,
he seems so shy and gentle. But I bet he's not. My guess is Brendon is next
to impossible to live with, unless you're too big, too slow and too
reptilian to care. Take a look.


HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Mirror 16.8.67.