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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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

RUSSIAN YETI (1): What The Mail says

'They just rushed away, all in fur, walking on two legs': Three yeti 'sightings' in Siberia in a week

Hunted: An artist's impression shows a primitive Yeti emerging from a cave
Hunted: An artist's impression shows a primitive Yeti emerging from a cave
Three separate 'sightings' of yetis have been made in Siberia in recent weeks, say fishermen and an official in Russia.
All were in the remote Kemerovo region, where around 30 'abominable snowmen' live, according to the country's leading researcher on the creatures.
In one previously undisclosed case last month near Myski village, fishermen in a boat on a river initially mistook distant figures first for bears and then people, said the Siberian Times
'We shouted to them - do you need help?,' said fisherman Vitaly Vershinin.
'They just rushed away, all in fur, walking on two legs, making their way through the bushes and with two other limbs, straight up the hill.'
He said: "What did we think? It could not be bears, as the bear walks on all-fours, and they ran on two.... so then they were gone.'
On a second sighting on the bank of the Mras-Su River several days later, an unnamed fisherman was quoted saying: 'We saw some tall animals looking like people.'
He added: 'Our binoculars were broken and did not let us see them sharply. We waved at the animals but they did not respond, then quickly ran back into the forest, walking on two legs.
'We realised that they were not in dark clothes but covered by dark fur. They did walk like people.'

WATCHER OF THE SKIES: Today's Fortean bird 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.

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 21.11.68

Check it out...


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...

  • NEWSLINK: Sumatran Tiger breeding success
  • NEWSLINK: Rogue feral cat in Bromley
  • NEWSLINK: More on controversial Australian big cat...
  • NEWSLINK: More on campaign to outlaw private big c...
  • NEWSLINK: More on Tarzan's big cat court battle


    And so another day trundles on. The weather keeps on threatening to descend into nastiness, but - so far - we have avoided having anything like the horrific time that our friends in the north are having. The orange cat is being so staggeringly affectionate at the moment that he is jumping onto our laps as we type, and demanding cuddles. This often ends up with him performing a little dance on the computer keyboard to the detriment of my deathless prose. Jess will be here soon, and the day will continue to trundle on...
    As regular readers will know, I am a huge fan of the mighty Eric Burdon, and it is always a pleasure to bring you stories about him...
    Captain Beefheart continues to astound, confound and amaze even several years after his death and decades after he ceased making music. Check out this recent piece from 'Record Collector'
    Ant-Bee are possibly the weirdest band on Gonzo Multimedia and this is against some stiff opposition. Yesterday they got their first Amazon review...
    Erik Norlander goes from strength to strength, and this fantastic review says it all...
    Our daily visit to the home of Thom the World Poet...
    The recent release of the Anderson Bruford Wakeman and Howe live album is causing ripples thoughout the business...
    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...

    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?


    Yeti is not a Russian word; it is Nepalese and means rock beast. The yeti (of which there are three distinct kinds) are quite different to the creatures reported from Russia. From eyewitness descriptions, the yeti sound like great apes, the larger (8-10 feet tall) may be a surviving Gigantopithecus; the man sized yeti may be a mainland orang-utan and the smallest one ( 4-5 feet tall) sounds like it’s related to orang-pendek.

    The Russian beasts from the Kemerovo region sound very like the creatures known as the Almasty reported from the Caucasus Mountains. I hunted these back in 2008 and talked to many eyewitnesses, including the deputy head of a national park.  They sound nothing like Neanderthals, but something much more primitive. We know that Neanderthals were sophisticated, having fire, spears, flint tools, and clothes.  They made art and seemed to have venerated the cave bear, and lived in small tribes who took good care of the sick, injured and elderly.

    The largest Neanderthals were only 5 foot 7 inches tall (but vastly stronger than modern man), and it has often been said that if one were shaved, washed and put in a suit he could walk through a modern city unnoticed.

    At up to 7 feet 6 inches, the Almasty is bigger than the Neanderthal, and they have a much more primitive look about the face. They have tool use (clubs, rocks and so on) but do not make fire. Some don uncured deer skins occasionally, but mostly they go naked save for their shaggy hair.

    Neanderthals and modern man speciated about 188,000 years ago. Neanderthals contributed about 1-4 % genetic material to modern, non-African humans indicating some interbreeding. There is no ‘missing link’ between Neanderthals and us as we did not evolve directly from them.

    It would seem to me that both the Caucasus Almasty and the Kemerovo creatures are early offshoots of Homo erectus, the species that begat both Neanderthal man and modern man, as well as Homo heidelbergensis. This species seems to be adapted for mountain environments.

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    On this day in 1956 Linda Hamilton was born. Hamilton is best known for playing Sarah Connor in the first two Terminator films.

    Oh dear god, make it stop...