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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Friday, March 01, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: Mystery Surrounds 1902 Bermuda ‘Sea Serpent’

moray jawsA 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.

When it was captured seven miles off Bermuda in 1902, a previously unknown eel-type creature was described as a genuine sea monster in sensational newspaper reports which appeared across America.
The live six-foot “sea serpent” — described as having “a warlike appearance” [not unlike the moray pictured at left] — was shipped to the New York aquarium so scientists could study it.
When it arrived in Battery Park facility in July, 1902, the “New York Times” carried a major report breathlessly headlined: “REAL SEA SERPENT IS HERE AT LAST; Uncanny Creature a Prisoner in the Aquarium. Sent from Bermuda by Prof. Bristol, Who Never Saw Its Like and Does Not Know How to Class It.”
“In tank number three of the south ground floor of the aquarium, there was deposited there the strangest creature the authorities of that institution have ever been called upon to take care of,” read the “Times”  July 2 report. “The creature, which may be a snake or a moray or a deep sea eel or a sea serpent, arrived on the Quebec Line steamship ‘Trinidad’ and was sent north by Professor Charles L, Bristol, Professor of Biology at New York University, who is at present in Bermuda securing rare piscatorial specimens for the aquarium.
“The creature is about six feet long, has a reptilian head, the head of a moray, and the tail of a fish. Its body is of a rich brown, striped or spotted at regular intervals with beautiful bands and spots of a light yellow. That it is very much alive is shown by its lively movements in captivity.”


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.
Loch MorarEarly accounts of the Loch Ness Monster's lesser-known cousin have been uncovered by researchers.
Morag is a mysterious creature said to inhabit the depths of Loch Morar, in the Lochaber area of the Highlands.
Alexander Carmichael, a prolific gatherer of folklore at the turn of the last century, gathered stories about her from people living near the loch.
His scripts have been uncovered by the Carmichael Watson project at the University of Edinburgh library.
The writings, thought to date from 1902, paint a conflicting view of Morag.
On the one hand, she is presented as a mermaid-like character with flowing hair, while another description paints her as a grim reaper whose sighting was viewed as a death omen.
Dr Donald Stewart, a senior researcher on the project, discovered the texts while leafing through a "mad mixture" of folklore collected by Carmichael over 50 years.
"We were so pleased when we found them, it was just totally unexpected," he said.
In the first text, Carmichael states: "Morag is always seen before a death and before a drowning."


Due to health-related family concerns, Karl has not been blogging very much lately, but here is a selection of his more recent ShukerNature posts:

ShukerNature's Top Ten Living Dinosaurs

The littlest chupacabra

The definitive bibliography of cryptozoology books

'Ape-man' Oliver

ShukerNature's Top Ten Mystery Cats

With best wishes, Karl, from everyone here at the CFZ.

CRYPTOLINK: Leaked Stills Of Bigfoot Matilda?

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.

Well, it seems I’m going to have to jump into this Matilda thing after all.

It was a few months back that The Erickson Project released a still of what they called a “sleeping Bigfoot” which they named “Matilda”. Of course, that wasn’t enough as many in the field scoffed at the image.

Move forward to mid February of this year and an actual clip was released showing the “sleeping Matilda”. Frankly, this appeared to be nothing more than a large dog or some other representation. One thing is for sure, I wasn’t buying that it was a sleeping Sasquatch.

Read on...

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:
  • On a Stick — An unusual find in the Canadian woods...


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.

  • Where did 50,000 'lost geese' go?
  • Gamekeeper trapped rare birds of prey using illega...
  • HABITATS of an endangered bird could stop HS2 in i...
  • Leading Bird Group Wants New DOI Secretary To Revi...
  • Hummingbird Flight: Two Vortex Trails With One Str...
  • Exurban Residences Impact Bird Communities Up to 2...
  • Pesticides, including neonicotinoids, leading caus...
  • Crucial discovery of breeding ground of Critically...


    My new exercise regime seems to be paying off, and my blood sugar is about 6pts lower than it was a few days ago. I am determined to beat this, mainly because I don't want to suffer the fate of diabetics who don't beat it. So, onwards and upwards. We are about to receive a VIP visitor - Graham's mother, so we will all be on our best behaviour. Surprisingly, considering the fact that most of the winter was so mild, the snowdrops (which are a little late this year) are blooming merrily. But then again, it is so bloody cold at the moment, you wouldn't believe that a fortnight ago I was celebrating the advent of spring.
    I found this Robert Wyatt/Jimi Hendrix demo online yesterday. Much to my chagrin, Rob Ayling knew all about it
    A rare live video featuring Daevid Allen and Kevin Ayers

    *  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

    Happy St David's day everyone!
    And now the news:

    Wales is a land of song, awesome song: