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, May 22, 2012

SIMON REAMES: Mystery bird kills

Hello Jon,

Found this and thought you might be interested:


Similarly, I was talking to some National Trust people the other day who said they've had a lot of dead birds wash up recently on the North Devon Coast. I am guessing it is linked with this but something else you might be interested in.

Hope you're all having fun,



Using Google News Archive I have recently found a couple of interesting Hong Kong zoological oddities,which I present here in chronological order of the events themselves. They all confirm what a strange place Hong Kong is zoologically speaking.

The titles in capitals are my own.

1. Prehistoric ?

Star-News August 25th 1976 ANCIENT SEA MONSTER?
Archaeologists find strange monster near secluded Hong Kong Bay

(Unfortunately this wasn`t exactly true-read on:) “ Villagers in the sheltered valley behind Hong Kong island`s Big Wave Bay know it well- the carving of some strange god or monster on a fine grain volcanic rock. The highly abstract motif on the eastern arm of the bay is shrouded in inexplicable swirls and spirals. It has a pair of eyes which stare across the waves to the other side of the bay. The villagers say it was there when their ancestors first moved into the valley. And it was not some deity that they worshipped. The mystery is who carved it. William Meacham, an American from Nashville, Tenn, has spent many hours searching for some archaeological clues in the valley to find out what kind of people did the carving. He found nothing.

2. 1881

The Luddington Record January 20th 1881 SEA SNAKES

The author is describing his/her journey down the coast of South China by sea in an article titled - `The Celestial Empire` : The voyage down the coast was smooth and pleasant; the water was of a magnificent azure and swarming with flying fish,huge jellyfish and an occasional whale spouting in the distance. When one day out from Hong Kong, we noticed several snakes from six to eight feet in length, and brilliant colors; swimming on the surface of the sea. I begin to believe in the story of the sea serpent, for why may not these snakes or some species of them grow to a large size?

3. 1904

Star (New Zealand paper) October 1st 1904 TURTLES. This is interesting because I thought this was a practice only introduced by Buddhists in the last 10-20 years or so. Evidently not.

Good Luck – For Turtles.

The Chinese have a peculiar custom with regard to turtles, which they regard as very good joss. Almost any day one can see these creatures, some of them of huge size, being carried on board the river steamers, not to be taken to Canton for culinary purposes, but to be dumped into the sea and restored to liberty and freedom. Good luck is considered to follow. “Press” Hong Kong.

4. 1965

Milwaukee Journal July 31st 1965 TIGER. This was probably one of the last,if not the last, Hong Kong tiger.

Hong Kong Enlarges Hunt For Wild Tiger

Hong Kong UPI A unit of British Gurkha troops has joined the search for a tiger believed to be roaming a suburban section of this British (colony? Word missing.) The tiger was first sighted last week by a teenage girl. A search failed to locate the animal though its tracks have been seen.

CHICKEN KILLER (qu'est-ce que c'est)

This arrived in my e-mail inbox yesterday, via Bideford Freecycle:

OFFER: WARNING re animal theft and killing

Worth passing on I think...keep safe people...xFrom Rosalind - Taunton area. I would like to place a warning on theFreecycle sites, as so many of us now keep Chickens etc. Last week, avery distressing incident took place, my enclosure was broken into andall my ducks slaughtered. The perpetrator was a Polish Migrant Workerand the Police say that this is happening a lot now. I would thereforelike to warn other people, to secure your enclosures and keep an eye onall ouside animals, as it seems we need to guard against more than justthe fox. The Police advise securing runs and if possible take allanimals in at night, so please, to save yourselves the distress I havebeen through, be extra vigilant. Thank you for posting this.

I am not saying that this didn't happen, but there is something terribly folkloric about it. For some reason it strikes the same chord with me as the stories of urban foxhunters, or Russian soldiers with snow on their boots. Even if it is true, I bet my next quarter's royalties that it becomes folklore within a couple of years...

DALE DRINNON: Bronze Age Culture

New on the Frontiers of Anthropology:


Another jolly day on the Gonzo Daily. I had a long chat with the Big Cheesemeister last night and we have come up with a whole slew of rather good things to do, most of which will be coming through in the next few weeks and months.

But let's not run away with ourselves. We have plenty of exciting stuff for you and as Matthew 6:34 so sagely puts it Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. So lets get on with it.

First up is an exclusive slice of the new Erik Norlander/Galactic Collective DVD, especially to celebrate the birthday of electronic music pioneer Robert Moog:

Then we have another still from the new Mimi Page vid:

And the latest chapter in the ongoing dialogue featuring Michael Des Barres, The Sex Pistols, and one of the world's leading UFO authors:

We have Rick Wakeman talking about the 'Rock The House' music competition:

And finally a link to an insightful review of Galahad's new album

and another link to a review of the new offering from the fathers of Space Rock - Hawkwind:

See you tomorrow...

HAUNTED SKIES: 2007 - Incident at Machynlleth


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 1910 Scatman Crothers was born. It turned out to be quite fortunate that his mother decided to call her child Scatman as he found fame initially as a jazz mucician. He was most famous as an actor and voice actor though and had roles in “The Shining”, “Kolchak: The Night Stalker”, “Transformers” and “Bewitched”

And now the news:
Youngsters take a shine to urban poultry
DNA Barcoding Verified the Discovery of a Highly D...
Whale meeting heads for discord
Despite Legal Challenge, Tyrannosaur Sells for $1 ...
Saola may be slipping to extinction unnoticed
2.8 million birds trapped in Cyprus in 2011 – High...
RSPB purchase of “already-protected” land criticis...
Rare glimpse of Midlands' only intact cock-fightin...
Princess found in the desert
Video: Huge alligator nearly bites scientist’s arm...
Marsupial lion 'stalks' Tweed
Michigan cougar sighting confirmed - but not in An...

Scatman Crothers is not be confused with:

JAPANESE LAKE MONSTER? - I give you this for what it's worth..

I would like to stress that I have not read this book, and have no more idea than any of you what is going to happen next...

A sharp jolt of fear, the like of which I hadn’t felt since I was standing on stage in front of the entire school about to give my introductory speech, speared me. There was definitely something there. And it was big. A big, shadowy shape, bigger than my boat. Panicked, I strained to identify it, but the ghostly form sunk deeper and within a few seconds, it had descended out of sight.

Adrenalin coursed through my system. As someone with a strong interest in the natural world, all my accumulated knowledge told me that there were no creatures of that size living in lakes high in the Japanese mountains. So what the hell was it then? I had definitely seen something. Something larger than any creature that had any right to be in this lake.

My brain scrambled for a reasonable explanation. It couldn’t find one. Then I remembered Keiko’s stories; the haunted lake. Was it some sort of water demon? After all, ‘Kuzuryu’ translates as ‘Nine-Headed Dragon’. No, of course it wasn’t a nine-headed dragon. Or even a one-headed dragon. But then what could it possibly be? A giant freshwater eel? A massively mutated sturgeon? A cousin of the Loch Ness Monster perhaps?

Read on...

KARL SHUKER: Coincidence or commonplace?

To some, coincidences are nothing but random incidents impinging upon one another merely by chance, and therefore lacking any significance or meaning. To others, they are abruptly-revealed links within a grand chain of recognition still to be forged in its entirety within the human mind. What do you think?
Read on...