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...

Search This Blog



Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


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...

Friday, September 14, 2012

WW2012: Lee Fallows interviews

I enjoyed the weekend, I am really sorry that there are only five videos. I do think however that the people I selected to interview are entertaining so I hope that makes up. The videos can be watched both on mobile phones and also on computers. I also got Silas to read a rather smashing story by Enid Blyton, about a dragon cause I think she is fun!

This is the playlist please could you feature them in the CFZ. I have included a link to the CFZ in all my descriptions.


Bob Skinner kindly drew my attention to the following story, from the Mail Online web site a few days ago. The original story (follow the link below) includes a video and photographs. `It looked like a snake!` Chinese man finds 19-inch long EARTHWORM in his backyard (and now plans to raise it himself)

An earthworm measuring half a metre in length has stunned neighbours after being found in the gutter outside a house. Li Zhiwei, a worker from the Forestry Bureau of Binchuan County, was putting some dates out to dry in his backyard when he spotted the massive invertebrate.

`It looked like a snake. I looked carefully and found it was actualy a huge earthworm.` he said He plans to raise the worm at his house.

According to www.kplctv.com biologists intend to study the soil-dweller to determine its classification and understand why it has been able to grow so long in a built up area. An earthworm`s size is closely related to its environment. They tend to grow longer during humid seasons if they absorb the right nutrition and have no natural enemies. Depending on the species, an adult earthworm grow to anything grow to anything from 10mm long and 1mm wide to 3m long and more than 25mm across. (1)

  1. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2197703/Giant-earthworm-discovered-China..

The second story was passed onto me by Nick Sucik in an e-mail to me way back on 27th December 2009 and is about an extract from the book Pictures in prose of nature, wild sport and humble life (1894), by the stupendously named Aubyn Bernard Rochfort Trevor-Battye who lived in Kent during the early part of his life. [Have you noticed how all the bad rulers in the world have short names, e.g. Adolf Hitler, Mao-Tse tung, Joe Stalin,etc,etc, however I digress!!] Here it is:

“The country folk in certain parts are firmly persuaded that the adder as it grows old develops a pair of wings and flies about. They quite believe that they have seen it flying. This diabolical accomplishment intensifies the terrors of the “death-arder”. Everything that creeps and looks like a snake is a death adder. The idea arose in the church, by mistake for “deaf adder,” long years before the School Board came (2)

  1. A.B.R. Trevor-Battye Pictures in prose…p. 239 and Flying Snake 4 (in preparation.)

Flying Snake issue 2 pp 30-36 has an article ` The Weird Weird Weird World of Worm Anomalies ` which mentions that the record British earthworm was 13 feet long,which seems ridiculously long in comparision to our Chinese chum. Talking of Flying Snake, the cover price will increase to £3.99 from £3 (because of the recent increase in the postage costs) when issue 4 comes out this October/November. But if you are a serious cryptozoologist you`ll be prepared to pay a serious price for a serious magazine


KARL SHUKER: The giant bird that never was/pink tusked black elephant

LINK: A genuine Squirrel King?

If you are a manager or boss, you’ve probably heard every excuse in the book from an employee on why they’re running late to work. But I’ll bet you’ve never heard this one before…

Redditor mard86 writes:

My co-worker sent an email saying he would be late because he was trying to untie a squirrel tail knot. I asked for a picture, and he delivered.

Here’s the email that was sent:

I was pressed into squirrel rescue this morning on my way out. 5 young squirrels got tangled in Christmas lights in my neighbor’s yard. We got the lights off, but now their tails are one big knot, so I have to bring them into a rescue place to untie them, as I am unequipped to untie squirrel tail knots. I should be in this afternoon.

I’m totally going to steal this one. I’m going to keep this pic handy too.

Click here to see larger image.

Via reddit

LINDSAY SELBY: Could Nessie be blind?

How can the Loch Ness creature see in the black inky depths of Loch Ness? It may, like some fish, use other senses it possesses and may even be blind. If eyes are not useable then evolution tends to remove them such as in some Blind Cavefish . Even so called ‘Blind Cavefish’ may not be completely blind as they have a light sensitive organ in their brains. (http://www.livescience.com/15923-blind-cave-fish-circadian-rhythms.html)

Interesting that these types of blind fish in different parts of the world tend to develop the same mechanisms to cope in their environment whether in caves or murky pools. This is called convergent evolution, where different creatures dealing with the same or similar ecological problems end up with similar evolutionary solutions. Could this apply to lake creatures I wonder, as many seem to be reported in similar types of lakes formed doing the ice age with similar characteristics? Could they have developed along similar lines to cope with the changes over the years?

Fish can see in low-light conditions in murky water; tuna for example have very good vision. Fish are normally nearsighted; however, it is believed that sharks are farsighted. A recent study has shown that deep sea crabs that live 1000 metres down still have a type of colour vision. http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/19488659). The elephantnose fish, whose retinal arrangement of rods and cones seems to doom them to poor vision, is in fact not as poor-sighted as one might suppose. Now Andreas Reichenbach of the University of Leipzig and his colleagues have figured out how the fish (Gnathonemus petersii) can see in murky African waters. http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/06/elephantnose-fish-evolved-complex-eyes-to-see-in-muddy-water/ . As the Loch Ness creature is aquatic then some of this may apply to its evolution and how it has become the creature reportedly seen in recent years. In the black depths of Loch Ness though it may be more like a cavefish than a tuna.

Sound travels almost five times faster in water than in air. Fish tend to rely on this and have an excellent sense of hearing. They can feel vibrations in the water along sensors on the side of their bodies. Some have a great sense of smell. It has been documented in some reports that the Loch Ness creature can be startled by noise and will submerge at the sound of a car door slamming. It may be the creature relies more on hearing than sight from living in the murky peat-filled waters.

There are those who think Nessie may be a giant salamander. This creature also has very poor eyesight. It has sensory cells covering its skin to make up for this. A survivor from the Jurassic period, some 140 million years ago it seems to being restricted to streams with clear water in Japan so may not have adapted to Loch Ness’s peaty waters.

Some have reported seeing eyes or slits on the Loch Ness creature but this does not mean the eyes will be functional. More sightings are reported on still hot sunny days so it may have an organ in its brain like the cavefish that leads it towards the sunlight. There are so many unanswered questions that will be only be answered if a creature is caught either on camera very clearly, as opposed to the blurry stuff normally shown or is captured. In the meantime all we can do is hazard guesses at how or what the creature has evolved into, if of course it is not a trick of the light or a standing wave. I feel there are too many sightings to say that it is all mistaken identity.

CRYPTOZOOLOGY LINK: Happy 76th Thylacine day from the Grant Museum

I was very chuffed to be able to link to this fascinating piece by our old friend Jack Ashby of the Grant Museum. The CFZ and the Grant Museum go back several years, and Richard and I have twice lectured there. It is a smashing (and very fortean) collection. Check it out...

Happy 76th Thylacine day from the Grant Museum

By Jack Ashby

Another year has passed since the last known thylacine – one of the greatest icons of extinction – died of exposure. That makes 76 years today.

We have celebrated the thylacine here at the Grant Museum for some time. We have some fantastic specimens – including one of the only fluid preserved adults (with the added bonus of having been dissected by Victorian evolutionary giant Thomas Henry Huxley), and skeleton from the early 1900s, which belonged to Grant himself. The only recent thylacine-based activity that happened at the Museum was for all our thylacine-geek colleagues to watch The Hunter together, a film about a bounty-hunter hired to collect the last individual for an evil bio-tech company. It was brilliant.

Read on...


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 by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. In September 2012, Emma Osborne decided that the Mystery Cat Study Group really deserved a blog of its own within the CFZ Blog Network.

Here is the latest tranche of news...

WATCHER OF THE SKIES: The latest news

After about six months of regular postings on the main bloggo, Corinna has taken the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own, as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network. For some unknown reason the automated anti-spam device from Blogger has highlighted Corinna's Fortean Bird Blog as being a spam site. I am sure that it will be sorted in a day or two, but in the meantime you will have to go past a page which reads:

"This blog is currently under review due to possible Blogger Terms of Service violations.
If you're a regular reader of this blog and are confident that the content is appropriate, feel free to click "Proceed" to proceed to the blog. We apologise for the inconvenience. If you're an author of this blog, please follow the instructions on your dashboard for removing this warning page."

I am confident that it will be all sorted out in a day or two (but last time this happened it took six weeks). Here, however, is the latest tranche of news:

Rare bird lands at Athens airport
Bird migration forecasts early winter
COLLINS: When do birds migrate for winter?
Fall migration brings bird show to town

HAUNTED SKIES: Sun (The) 24.1.68


DALE DRINNON: Giant Sloth vs Bigfoot/Cedar and Willow

New at Frontiers of Zoology, an article on Giant Sloth vs. Bigfoot Sightings
forewarded from Global Warming and Terraforming Terra:

New on Cedar and Willow
Continuing the background for the 1988 setup


There are some days when the news and views keep a flowing. Today is one of them. I always enjoy doing the Gonzo DaiPublish Postly, but at the moment I am particularly enthusiastic. I had a long chat with the lovely Annie Haslam from Renaissance, and Corinna is currently transcribing it; expect some insider stuff about the new album and tour very soon. I also have just received a pile of DVDs from those jolly nice people at Chrome Dreams. I watched the Bob Dylan/The Band one last night with the Orange Cat, and we enjoyed it massively. Again, there will be a review in the next few days. But enough of the next few days, you good people want to know what is happening NOW!!!
Another story that has no direct relevance to the product of the Gonzo Multimedia group of families. However, various Pink Floyd alumni have played on various Gonzo records (for example David Gilmour on the recent Tom Newman double CD), and I suspect that practically everyone who reads the Gonzo Daily, will be interested in this Pink Floyd story courtesy of those jolly nice people at 'Neptune Pink Floyd'.
Online translation services can have strange, surreal and oddly beautiful results. Today's very positive review of the new Jefferson Starship 4CD set, takes us into some strange and - as I said - oddly beautiful - linguistic caverns. Grace Slick changes gender, and how can anybody agrgue with a statement like this: "Many albums, but also overstaffed who went and came into the ranks of Jefferson Starship over time". Enjoy. I certainly have.
I have always had rather a soft spot for the ABWH splinter group of Yes who were active about twenty years ago. I enjoyed the studio album and the DVD, and now there is a second Live album for our delectation. Huzzah!
Although, as anyone who is a regular reader of this online magaziney thingy will know, most of what I present here for your delectation has some direct connection to artists who appear (at least partly) on the Gonzo Multimedia group of labels. But other things are here only because they interest me. Like this story about Gee from Crass's new exhibition.
Our daily visit to the omniverse of Thom the World Poet...
A suitably peculiar review from France of the Captain Beefheart DVD in the highly acclaimed Gonzo Multimedia 'Lost Broadcasts' series. I have an intern here at the moment; a charming young lady called Jessica, and it is to my great joy that I have started to turn her on to the music of the good Captain.
I don't know what it is about this artwork which I pinched quite unashamedly from her Facebook page, but there is something elegantly Joy Divisionesque about it...
Some days I find all of the postings for the Gonzo Daily by sloping around the Internet, using Google Media Alerts, and cutting and pasting what I find. I found this on Michael Des Barres' webpage...
The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The Editor is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat - puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?
The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1254 the explorer Marco Polo was born. As a result of his travels Europe was introduced to pasta and mints with holes.

And now the news:

  • Northern bottlenose whale off course in Scottish L...
  • New species of monkey discovered in Africa
  • BTO cuckoos falling by the wayside – 3 out of 4 cu...
  • Big butterfly count reveals that bad weather was b...
  • Scottish wildcat faces extinction within months
  • Killer Spider Meets Its Match in Tiny Wasp
  • Invasive Crayfish Smuggled Alien Species Overseas
  • Crows Hold Grudges in Humanlike Fashion
  • Ice-Loving Crustaceans Ride Arctic Conveyer Belt
  • Colombia mega dam will destroy habitat for threate...
  • Virgin births discovered in wild snakes
  • Bear bile farms are bad for wild bears
  • Polo spent some time in...


    ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

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

    From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:
    From CFZ Canada:

    WATCHER OF THE SKIES: Today's news