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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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DALE DRINNON: Pre-Columbian ape?/ Beast of the Forest of Dean/Microcontinents/Benny's Blog

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
New at the Frontiers of Anthropology:
And New on Benny's Blog for Thelma Todd:
Best Wishes, Dale D

CRYPTOLINK: Inverness Courier on upcoming Nessie Conference

The Inverness Courier has a large part to play in modern sightings of the Loch Ness Monster. It was their report of a "strange spectacle" on Loch Ness in May 1933 that was the first in an innumerable stream of journalistic write ups on this phenomenon that continue to this day.

Unlike the prior era when such eyewitness testimonies were dismissed as old Kelpie legends, the Great Depression of the 1930s and the need to boost the local economy provided an ample reason for letting this story run - whether there was a monster in the loch or not! One quote apposite to this is from Charles Paxton:

Despite his sole visit, Mr Paxton maintains he is qualified to take part in the conference as he will focus on the statistical analysis of more than 800 eyewitness reports, many of which had been obtained by trawling back issues of the Courier.

He found the peak years for recorded sightings were 1933 and 1934.


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.


I had an email from Gavin Lloyd Wilson, our erstwhile News Editor earlier. He wrote:
Hi Jon, You may have seen this story already, but just in case...
He included THIS LINK. The story began:
For those not aware the Western Telegraph website ran a story this morning about a bizarre creature that had apparently been washed up on Tenby’s South Beach on the weekend of the 23rd-24th of February 2013, Click Here for the story.
We started receiving emails about this as the story broke and it is genuinely quite interesting because it is eerily similar to the Montawk Monster/Manhattan Monster:

Both creatures are, on initial viewing, very odd looking. Both are virtually hairless, both have strange proportions, both are discoloured, both seem to have long almost human-like fingers and both seem to have a beak/nose not usually associated with animals of this size. Could this really be evidence of Alien life in West Wales?
The article was from a website run by a paranormal group called Pembrokeshire Beyond who certainly seem to have their heads screwed on, because they go on to say: continued:
Without further examination, which would be impossible as the remains were moved by people who appeared to be council workmen, we can’t be 100% sure what it is. But I do not believe it is in any way extra-terrestrial in origin, nor do I believe that it could be the result of any bio-experiment gone wrong.
The Montawk Monster is believed by some to be a decomposing Raccoon, I believe that something similar has happened here. An animal the size of a small Dog (looking at the teeth it could even be a Dog) has fallen into the waters of the Bristol Channel just before or prior to death.  In the waters of the Channel it has begun to decompose which has caused the skin to discolour and rot around the snout/nose giving an almost beak like appearance, the fur to fall out which is making the animal appear almost unrecognisable upon first glance (although there are hints of white fur on the creatures back) and the body itself has swollen due to internal gases caused by the breakdown of organic matter.

In a world were such things quite often get blown out of all proportion by people who really should no better, it is refreshing to find such a sensible account. I wrote to them:
Hi Guys,
I am passing the picture over to one of our zoologists to identify. My guess is dog.
However, I thought I can do a couple of things to help. Firstly, you have mis-spelled Montauk on the graphic. Its an easy thing to do. And secondly, there is photographic proof that the MM was a dead raccoon. Check this out:
But well done on correctly describing it as a dead aniomal made hairless by immersion in seawater rather than jumping on the 'alien' bandwagon. There are too many people these days prepared to make capital out of stories like this. I am glad to see you guys don't

Jon Downes, Director, Centre for Fortean Zoology
I am sending the original picture to Max, Lars and Richard. I will let you know what happens next.

POSTSCRIPT: Lars confirms it is a dog but because the picture is not terribly good he can not identify it to breed. Max, who is terribly busy, wrote back that it is probably a dog. So no alien then?


Yesterday was an interesting day. A dead dog washed up on a Welsh beach provoked comment, more news on David Bowie's new album whetted my appetite, and we had a long and interesting walk through the woods at Huddisford with the dog. It is still bloody cold though, although I have been told that the weather will start getting warm again soon. I hope so, because yesterday I spent too much time chilling with my bitch (Prudence and I both got awfully cold - if this weather continues I am going to have to look at buying her one of those doggy coats).
An interesting interview with Eric Burdon, together with a snippet from his new album. The player works on my computer, so I hope it works on all of yours.
*  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?

CRYPTOLINK: Mystery animal photographed in Oklahoma reminds of legendary creature...

A word about cryptolinks: 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.

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a... mythical creature?

Chupacabra_main_20130219181359_JPGOne Oklahoma man believes that's exactly what he managed to photograph. Craig Martin recently captured three images of an animal he thinks could be a Chupacabra, a legendary species rumored to feed on the blood of goats. The pictures show the animal feasting on the carcass of a dead animal, and even captures the face of the animal. To Martin, it's a match for the elusive prowler.

Read on...

NOTE FROM JON: Look on the haunches. 


Oll is having computer problems, so for the next few days Yesterday's News Today will be done by Wally the Comedy Rhinoceros. He is a stand up comedian of some renown. Here is one of his rhino-related jokes.

What did the rhino say to Napoleon Bonaparte? Nothing. Rhinos don't speak French.

Ha Ha that was funny. Sidesplitting. Yes. HaI Now for the news...

  • Human Heart Develops Slower Than Other Mammals
  • Fewer bees in US a threat to world's almond supply...
  • 'Ghost' caught on CCTV camera
  • Crocodile 'spotted in the Thames'
  • Tuna caught near California still have traces of F...
  • California's Island Night Lizard Makes Comeback – ...
  • Montana Roadkill Law Allows Motorists To Eat The A...
  • Fruit Flies Medicate Offspring with Alcohol

  • Here is a short documentary about cheese: