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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Saturday, February 16, 2013


Hi all,

About 2 weeks ago at a friend`s house in Surrey, I found the following in J.L. Knapp`s  The Journal of a Naturalist (1830)

“ I think we have reasons for suspecting, that a shrew new to Britain exists in this neighbourhood, A pale blue shrew (Sorex Daubentonii? Cuvier) has been seen about the margins of our reens (ϯ) ,and the deep marsh ditches cut for draining the water from the low lands of the Severn; and something of the same kind , in a half digested state , has been found in the stomach of the heron If it exists with us, a similar tract of land in more fenny countries may contain it plentifully , though it has yet  escaped attention.” (1) I`ve not been able to find out any more about this anywhere, including in a comprehensive book on shrews in the Zoological Society of London library. I`ve been telling people this was a “water-shrew”, which is wrong, the text just says shrew. An encyclopaedia published in 1819 mentions a blue shrew in Java, but that`s hardly anywhere near the Severn!!

Knowledge Nov. 1898 refers to the Irish “Connagh” worm – any ideas anyone what that might have been? (2) Another book, whose title I cannot recall, but published I think c. 1940s or `50s, refers to Irish white trout with magical powers (3)

1.  J.L. Knapp`s The Journal of a Naturalist. p  142 (1830)
2. Knowledge Nov 1898
3. Unknown. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: Sorex Daubentonii is an archaic synonym for Neomys fodiens the water shrew, which is a well known British species. It is not blue.

VINTAGE BIGFOOT REPORT (Thanks to Steve Baxter)

    Read on...

MATT SALUSBURY: Chasing Shadows

Investigating a Tunbridge Wells mystery

In November last year, there were widespread news reports of a sighting of what became known as the Tunbridge Wells Bigfoot, a roaring, black hairy figure "eight feet tall" with red eyes that startled an eyewitness walking on The Common at night. London Cryptozoology Club decided to investigate.

It should be noted that we went to Tunbridge Wells with a very sceptical view of this so-called "Tunbridge Wells Bigfoot" (TWB) phenomenon. We were particularly sceptical of an online posting by "Greham S," who claimed that a courting couple on a bench in The Common had witnessed the "Ape-Man" back in World War Two. Greham S left no other identifiers, and didn't give his source. There was also said to be an encounter with the "Kentish Apeman" by Territorial Army soldiers in 1991 at Bluebell Hill, Kent, which they saw off by throwing stones at it. We were not expecting to find TWB, we felt that the answers, if any, were more likely to be in what they diplomatically call the "pyscho-social realm". 

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.

  • NEWSLINK: Melanistic leopard cat sighted in Sunder...
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  • NEWSLINK: Circus Animals Helped in UK

    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.


    And so it is another weekend already. Time goes by so fast as you get older. This is an unusual weekend as nothing is scheduled apart from a telephone call from the BT engineers tomorrow afternoon. Apart from that, all I have to do is to do the Gonzo Weekly newsletter and sit down with the dog on my lap as I read Invertebrate Conservation News. Bliss!
    Totally off topic, but also totally amazing. The guns that have caused so many deaths and wrecked thousands of lives in northern Mexico are now making music. Sculptor Pedro Reyes has taken hundreds of guns seized in Ciudad Juarez in Mexico and transformed them into artistic musical instruments.

    *  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:
    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    *  Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 53 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly 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 1941 batsh*t insane narcissistic dictator of North Korea Kim Jong-il was born.
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