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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Sunday, December 30, 2012


This morning I received this very pleasant and reasoned letter from Dr Robert Bartholemew, author of the book on the Lake Champlain creature which was talked about in a Cryptolink yesterday.  I thought it important enough to post it as a blog posting as well as a comment. Although we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me, the fact that there are factual errors in the original piece, means that we have a chance here to allow Dr Bartholemew to redress the balance.

I have tried to contact him, but the new profile system on Blogger is so complicated I cannot work out how to do so. So, if you are reading this could you possible email me on jon@eclipse.co.uk

This article contains two factual errors: 

1. When I tried to interview Sandra Mansi, her attorney said she was unavailable due to illness; I have no reason to doubt this. 

2. It should read “burned or buried” and not “burned and buried” the negative.

The article title is unfortunate as it can be interpreted as debunking the notion of Champ and the Mansi photo. Champ may exist and the Mansi photo may be authentic, but in order to assess them we need an accurate accounting of the facts presented in a chronological, hysteria-free manner that does not take sides. The majority of the book carefully documents the history of the Champlain Monster from Indian lore to the present day, with an emphasis on detailing early sightings from the 1870s to the 1930s. There is some compelling, credible evidence for Champ, especially from the 1800s, but without a body, an ultimate determination cannot be made. 

The main contribution to Cryptozoology is the meticulous documentation of early reports that have never appeared in any book before, especially from prominent citizens; a clearing up of several myths about Champ that have been perpetrated by sloppy journalists; unfortunate attempts to cash in on Champ by some locals (which is fine so long as they do not bend the truth in doing so); and an assessment of the claims by researchers such as Elizabeth von Muggenthaler (that she can hear a Champ-like creature in the water) and Dennis Hall (video and visual sightings), research which is not credible. It also documents in great detail the behind-the-scenes feud between rival Champ researchers Dr Philip Reines and Joe Zarzynski, over what to do with the Mansi photo and other issues. This is not done to air ‘dirty laundry’ in public or to sensationalise, but any understanding of the Mansi photo must be grounded in its historical and social context. The photo may be genuine, but until now several aspects of it and the circumstances surrounding it, were kept hidden. This information should have been disclosed in the interests of accuracy. There are perhaps a dozen red flags that surround the photo, which are presented for the reader to form their own opinion. Is it faulty memory – which happens to all of us – or something more sinister. Ultimately, I wrote this book in order to separate fact from fiction and speculation. 

I would ask that if others wish to pass judgement on my research, they go to their local library and assess it for themselves instead of making a snap judgment based on a single newspaper article from a busy reporter who has the impossible task of boiling down 60,000 words and decades of research, into a thousand or so words. 

You can get a sense of the style of the book by reading the first 20 pages at:

Dr Robert E. Bartholomew

DALE DRINNON: Big catfishes/Atlantis/Cedar and Willow/ Benny's Blog

New at Frontiers of Anthropology:
Once again I was fighting Blogger to get this article posted. It is actually "Christmas Letters about Atlantis #3" but it requireda complete Google-Translation from Russian and Blogger's inability to publish. It still is not listed among my publications on my dashboard at Blogger, and the listing is supposed to come automatically.
New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Cedar and Willow:
New at Benny's Blog, the Ominous Octopus Omnibus:
Best Wishes, Dale D.


In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that - whereas the study of out of place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot, or lake monsters - it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean Zoologist to be interested in. So, 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.

Miracle owl survives head-on collision with pickup...


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.


CRYPTOLINK: Goodness me...

Once again I would like to stress that we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting, usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me. Unless 'Goodness Me' counts as a comment.

Ok folks...here we go again. Ed Smith and D.W.Lee of the Mid-America Bigfoot Research Center are claiming a Bigfoot has been captured:

Did it happen?
Written by D.W. Lee
Friday, 28 December 2012 09:27
Did the Quantra group obtain a live specimen with their operational plan to capture a Bigfoot? Ed Smith received an automated text message yesterday from the group's messaging system as shown here.
December 27, 2012 10:09 AM
From: CINC - 6
As of 0906 27 DEC 2012, "Daisy" is in the box.
And Ed had this to say about it.
Read on...


'Daisy' The Bigfoot Has Been Released...
Ghost Theory (blog)
According to Tim Fasano, Daisy the Bigfoot has been released with all evidence and reports destroyed. That's right. He just got word from “Central Command headquarters” that they had to release the supposed Bigfoot they had captured because of the ...
See all stories on this topic »


It's been nearly a week since Christmas now
and I still don't understand how
the time can go so bloody fast
and all the holidays are passed
and so it's sunday once again
and time to lift conceptual pen
and do the Gonzo blogs in verse
(never mind, it could be worse)
And I suppose I should explain
its not because I've gone insane
once a week I write the rhymes you see
purely because it amuses me
Monday to Saturday in this place
I write in prose, sometimes po-faced
but on Sunday I like to be daft
and stupid rhymes always make me laugh
We start off now with a big bang
an opera from Corky Laing
which covers everything from ethics
to the freakier end of genetics
Death is something we all expect
but when it's someone we respect
the Gonzo blog people and I
like to take time to say goodbye
(There was no way I could find a convincing rhyme for Sir Richard Rodney Bennett)
Last night I hchganced to happen upon
a video of Jon Anderson
I think it comes from Costa Rica
but let me know and take a peek - uh
A review of a great Pantomime
from a favourite Gonzogirl of mine
come on folk, just take a look
at this essay from Ms McCookerybook
I choose a Track of the Day for you
based on whom I'd like to listen to
and so today you all can hear,
Annie Haslam singing 'Ave Maria'
And finally, regular readers know it
each day we visit the World Poet
whose poetry is really fine
and light years far ahead of mine

*  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 same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link:
*  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures 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 which he shares with various fish and batrachians. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1924 Edwin Hubble proudly announced the existence of other galaxies.
And now the news:
  • Shetland pony takes a ride on Berlin subway
  • Asian toad stowaway gets new home in South Africa
  • Dog survives light lunch of Christmas decorations
  • Whale watchers get ready as Pacific gray migration...
  • Zoo polar bear dies during heatwave
  • Decision to Give a Group Effort in the Brain
  • Two orphan otters from Cumbria being raised on Sky...
  • Nutrient-Sensing Enzymes Key to Starvation Respons...

  • Richard Freeman should enjoy this: