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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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Sunday, May 27, 2012


Whilst the focus of the CFZ Mystery Cat study group is predominantly the search for proof of the British big cats, it would be unrealistic to forget that this is only part of a global mystery cat phenomenon.

Here are a selection of mystery cat stories from around the world:

Search on for moutain lion running about Boise
Tracks. Mountain lions have retractable claws, similar to domestic cats. So mountain lion tracks do not have claw marks. If you see big paw prints with claw marks, those are almost always from a dog. It's relatively common for a mountain lion to follow ...

There are several more stories on this cat, which - by the way - was shot in the end.

Second big cat sighting results in animal being killed in Santa Monica
Contra Costa Times

Police received a call at 5:45 am that a large cat was roaming around 2nd Street and Arizona Avenue. A maintenance worker discovered the 3-year-old male cat 15 minutes later within a courtyard in a building at 1227 2nd Street.

Big cat shot near mall
Fort Wayne Journal Gazette

A typical home range for mountain lions is around 200 square miles for adult males, said the agency that has been conducting a study since 2002 in the Santa Monica Mountains to determine how urbanization is affecting the large cats.

Corinna keeps on telling me not to make crass political jokes every time the American authorities shoot a puma, so I shall refrain from doing so...

Iriomote Oyamaneko 窶�
The Iriomote Great Mountain Cat ツォ 逋セ迚ゥ隱� ...
By Zack Davisson
Japan has a few legends of big cats. The original stories of the neko-mata was of a great beast like a tiger, and not the split-tailed cat we know today. It is unknown if these accounts were based on an actual creature; there is fossil evidence of a ...

Search fails to find tiger reported roaming free in Washington state
One of the men who reported seeing the animal, Travis Johnson, said, "I was checking on the corn crop I had planted and I did see a cat - fairly large - and they're telling me it's a tiger. I thought it was going to kill my livestock or my neighbour's ...


Welcome to another working week. The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I am posting it far earlier than usual. I had a migraine last night and went to bed early. I was woken up by Prudence the bulldog trying to get into bed at about 6:30 and couldn't get back to sleep.

Therefore as part of my Mens Sano in Corpore whatsit, I am up and about far earlier than usual. Prudence, by the way, has taken my side of the bed and is fast asleep.

We have all sorts of goodies in store for you this week.

To start off with we have some vintage Wally from the OGWT back in the day:

Following on, we have a complicated story involving Michael Des Barres, Duran Duran and a (probably) extinct species of New Zealand bat. Where else do you get a record company blog as groovy as this?:

A brief diversion next as we see what Gonzo grande fromage Rob Ayling has been writing over on the Haunted Skies UFO blog:

Now, I am totally aware that I am ever so slightly odd. However, is it just me, or does Captain Beefheart look like a well known star of BBC Light Comedy from the 1960s-80s? Its probably just me:

There is some exciting news for fans of Tony Palmer:

And finally, as regular readers will be aware, I take every opportunity to post an Eric Burdon story. Well here is another one (with some free music):

See you tomorrow...

BIG CAT NEWS: Gloucestershire and Scotland

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

Big cat believers have seen it near Stroud
This is Gloucestershire
ALMOST two thirds of people questioned about big cats believe the animals are out there in the Stroud area. And of the 59 per cent who claimed they existed, 27 per cent of them said they had seen one of the beasts in the flesh.

No new evidence, but proof that the Gloucestershire dudes are well on the case

Scottish 'big' cat cub remains look rather otterish
Doubtful Newsblog
By idoubtit
Pumas may be on the loose in Scotland as cat corpse is discovered A dog walker has stumbled upon the corpse of an animal experts believe may have been a puma...

Do you know why it looks otterish? It's an otter.

Big cat sighting leaves mum feline puzzled
Kirkintilloch Herald

A CHANCE encounter with a 'big cat' while walking her daughter to school has inspired a mum to go on the trail of similar creatures. Emma McCreadie stumbled across the animal in July last year on a footpath near her home in Twechar.

An interesting sighting by a youing lady with interesting hair...

Big cat spotted in Gloucester
This is Gloucestershire
By TimMessanger
A big cat has been spotted in Gloucester, apparently a Snow Lepard. The cat has been seen by many people this week and appears to have moved into the area of the old GlosCAT media building.

Another joke. But quite a good one, unlike the following, which is not funny...

The Tartan Tour: Freemasons and The Beast of East Fife
By Dr. Mark Wallace
Secrets and conspiracy theories are not solely confined to the freemasons, however. Last night, I became privy to highly classified information regarding The Beast of Cupar (or The Big Cat of Fife). Yes, this rather elusive creature has (still is, ...

LINK: First Look at the Creature Feature ‘Pounce’

I’m an absolute glutton when it comes to creature features, I simply cannot get enough of them, and when you have a werewolf-like creature, well, I’m just all over that sucker.

Here we have our first look at Keith R. Robinson’s upcoming flick, Pounce, courtesy of the guys over at Undead Backbrain. This is the first feature film from Other Dimension Films Ltd and it looks awesome.

Pounce is about “a group of conspiracy theorists bent on secretly watching a covert military base in the desolate Welsh mountains, looking for experimental and highly classified test aircraft to report to a Fortean-style magazine.

Read on...


For one weekend a year the tiny North Devon village of Woolsery becomes the weirdest village in the land. The largest gathering of scholars of esoteric natural history in the English-speaking world, is set to take place in rural north Devon. The Centre for Fortean Zoology’s annual conference, the Weird Weekend, will see speakers from all over the country gathering Woolsery to discuss their work and discoveries.

The Weird Weekend, held over the weekend of the 17-19th August, now in its 13th year is the largest convention of its kind in the English-speaking world. This year’s speakers includes Glen Vaudrey, a researcher from Cheshire, talking about Scottish Sea Serpent carcasses, and Paul Screeton from Hartlepool telling the peculiar story of the Hexham Heads; a convoluted tale involving werewolves, and a model head of Adolf Hitler.

Other speakers include Richard Thorns, a British explorer and ornithologist, who has made several expeditions to Myanmar (Burma) in search of the pink headed duck – the rarest duck in the world – which mainstream science has considered extinct since 1950.

Also featured is Jan Bondeson a senior lecturer and consultant rheumatologist at the Cardiff University School of Medicine, who is also an expert on the folklore of dogs. He will be talking about the legend of Greyfriars Bobby, a Skye Terrier who became known in 19th-century Edinburgh for spending 14 years guarding the grave of his owner, John Gray (Old Jock), until he died himself on 14 January 1872.

Cryptozoologist Richard Freeman will be talking about the Centre for Fortean Zoology’s latest expedition that took them to Sumatra for the fourth time, in search of a unknown species of upright walking ape; the orang pendek.

As well as monstrous creatures, other esoteric subjects are covered. Author and researcher Kevin Goodman asks whether a belief in UFOs is akin to a new religion, and the irrepressible Ronan Coghlan, a retired Irish Classics teacher will be looking at the voyages of Sinbad the Sailor.

As well as a series of talks there will be stalls, workshops and events.

The Weird Weekend raises funds for village charities dealing with children and for the Centre for Fortean Zoology, the only full time organization in the world dedicated to the investigation of mystery animals.

The Weird Weekend takes place from 17 - 19th of August.
For further details visit http://www.weirdweekend.org/
Or ring 01237 431413


* The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation. It was founded in 1992 by British author Jonathan Downes (52) and is a company limited by guarantee registered with HM Government.
* Life-president of the CFZ is Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his groundbreaking youth work organising the ‘Operation Drake’ and ‘Operation Raleigh’ expeditions in the 1970s and 1980s.
* CFZ Director Jonathan Downes is the author and/or editor of over 20 books. His latest book is Island of Paradise, his first hand account of two expeditions to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in search of the grotesque vampiric chupacabra.
* The CFZ have carried out expeditions across the world including India, Russia, Sumatra, Mongolia, Guyana, Gambia, Texas, Mexico, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Loch Ness, and Loch Morar.
* CFZ Press is the world’s largest publishers of books on mystery animals. They also publish Animals & Men, the world’s only cryptozoology magazine, and The Amateur Naturalist, Britain’s only dedicated magazine on the subject.
* The CFZ produce their own full-length documentaries through their media division called CFZtv. One of their films `Lair of the Red Worm` which was released in early 2007 and documents their 2005 Mongolia expedition has now been seen by over 118,000 people.
* The CFZ is based in Jon Downes’ old family home in rural North Devon which he shares with his wife Corinna (55). It is also home to various members of the CFZ’s permanent directorate and a collection of exotic animals.
* Jonathan Downes presents a monthly web TV show called On the Track which covers cryptozoology and work of the CFZ.
* Sponsors of this year’s event can be found:
* Following their successful partnership with Capcom www.capcom.com on the 2007 Guyana expedition, the CFZ are looking for more commercial sponsors.

HAUNTED SKIES: Guest Bloggers Rob and Hunter Ayling meet the blackbird

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

On this day in 2002 The Mars Odyssey probe found signs of large ice deposits on Mars.

And now the news:
Rare Sumatran Rabbit Photographed
Deep-Sea Dive Picks Up Up Extreme-Living Stowaways...
One of the rarest snakes in the U.S. may be making...
Anti-whaling leader says extraditing him won't hal...
Turtles More Closely Related to Birds Than Lizards...
Researchers from the Physics Department of the UJI...
Lawsuit Launched to Speed Protection for Dozens of...
1.5 tonnes of ivory seized in Sri Lanka
Bird builds nest in lifebelt
Butterflies move north due to hot summers

“Get your ass to Mars!”

RICHARD FREEMAN: The crab killing a goat is best

This gruesome 1889 biology book outlined the many ways animals will kill us

In J.W. Buel's 1889 book Sea and Land, the author laid out delightfully quaint illustrations of the Earth's flora and fauna. Many of these pictures detailed the myriad hilarious ways the animal kingdom eats humans, with creatures like the Japanese spider crab receiving a homicidal bad rap. Here's a selection of doom and gloom from the Victorian era. After all, you never know when you might torn asunder by the man-eating tree.


Regular readers will have read my ramblings on the 'Old Hong Kong' newsgroup which promises pictures of HK between the wars, and delivers a diet of soft porn and peculiar non-sequiturs.

This is one of the non-sequiturs: allegedly a plague of giant mosquitoes, I think that it is more likely to be a plague of flying ants, but it is still impressive.