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, March 03, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: North Bonneville's Bigfoot family hiding out in plain sight in Columbia River Gorge (photo gallery)

Columbia Gorge WA 03-01-13Finding sasquatch was no problem. They were everywhere. In Skamania County, they call them Bigfoot. I prefer sasquatch because that name has a mythical air about it instead of some fictitious sounding name.

But in this Columbia River Gorge county, the mystical beast truly is Bigfoot. That's what it was called in the county ordinance that made it a crime to kill one. That's a law I can live with, making it illegal to kill something that doesn't exist.

Not that you would want to kill one of these adorable beasts anyway. The town of North Bonneville, about 40 miles east of Portland on the Washington side of the Columbia, has embraced the legend of Bigfoot by placing chainsaw carvings of them along the town's Discovery Trail.


What lurks in the water at Callum Brae?
What lurks in the water at Callum Brae? Photo: Julian Robinson
While recently observing a nesting Australasian grebe (Tachybaptus novaehollandiae) on a dam at Callum Brae Nature Reserve*, keen birder Julian Robinson noticed something a tad unusual.

“As I was photographing the waterbird close to its nest, quite suddenly the bumps shown in the photo appeared,” Robinson says. “They didn't appear like bubbles, seemed solid, all the same size and didn't burst or disintegrate like bubbles.”

So perplexed was Robinson that soon after returning from the dam he was moved to suggest to the Canberra Birds internet chatline that “the bumps appeared to be parts of one thing, like the Loch Ness Monster”.

The chatline was quickly abuzz (or should that be chirping?) with theories as to the origins of the baffling bumps, including tortoises, a partly-submerged platypus, a snake and even the heads of young grebes. Robinson was quick to dismiss the possibility that they were tortoises as “none have any little nostrils or eyes to look like tortoises, and the shapes are too symmetrical” and after zooming in on his photo, he couldn't see “any shape that might support snakes or platypus”.

Read on...

DALE DRINNON: Darren Naish Sends notice of Denisovan on Deviant Art/Cedar and Willow

New at Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Cedar and Willow:
Currently experiencing muscle pains, making it painful for me to be at the computer for long periods. However, I am soldiering through and more blog entries shall be following.
Best Wishes, Dale D.

DOUG SHOOP: Yeti silliness

Cuyuna Lakes Yeti


CROSBY, Minn. (WCCO) — For all they’ve tried, searchers haven’t found sasquatch in the Pacific northwest or the abominable snowman in the Himalayas. But if you believe the stories being told in central Minnesota, another mysterious creature is on the prowl in the Crosby-Ironton area.

Bruce Swanson, a local musician known as Father Klunker, wrote a song about it, to the tune of Gordon Lightfoot’s The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. “There’s a tale on the Range, just a little bit strange, ’bout a big cat they call the Lakes yeti,” the song begins. It’s about a beast spotted roaming in the snowy hills of the Cuyuna Lakes region, a creature that keeps watch on the bikers in the woods.

“I think he’s about 6-foot, 6-foot-2, somewhere in there,” said Swanson. “He can run as fast as I can pedal my bike.” As the locals tell it, the Cuyuna Lakes Yeti has mostly kept his distance, not causing too much alarm. Shaun Anderson rides his fat tire bike through the local trails and claims he’s had a few brief sightings.

“I’m OK with him as long as he can’t catch me,” he said. In fact, all the sightings have brought some welcome publicity. The Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Crew is getting ready for a fat tyre bike event known as The Whiteout. “We have a winter fat bike race right at Sagamore, the home of the Yeti,” said Aaron Hautala, president of the Mountain Bike Crew. “We don’t know exactly where he is out here, but we know he’s out here.”

The “out here” he referred to is the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, which used to be an iron-mining site. It now has hilly, groomed trails through the woods, which is perfect for the fat tyre bikes. “Fat biking has been around for eight years,” said Hautala, “but in the last two to three years it’s just kind of exploded. You’re seeing them in the winter, you’re seeing them in the summer and I think you’re going to see a lot more of them.”

The yeti, it turns out, has actually become a local celebrity. He’ll show up at the Ya Betcha Bar and Grill in Crosby, and post photos on his Facebook page. “We find a way to make winter awesome,” said Hautala. “That’s what makes Minnesota awesome.” They hope the yeti will draw people in, rather than scare them away. They say he’s a symbol of the “wild side” hidden in all of us.

The Whiteout starts Friday, March 1, and continues on Saturday. It helps raise money for the Cuyuna Lakes mountain bike trails.


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.


Sundays is a jolly time
cos I do the Gonzo blogs in rhyme
which sometimes causes some bemusement
but I do it for my own amusement
And we will start off Gonzo blogs today
with a a band that I just have to say
their album is bloody good innit
They're from Switzerland and they're called Zenit
Now Alan Davey, he's just ace
he's ex-Hawkwind (where he played the bass)
and I know I've posted this before
but currently he is out on tour
Here is a strange video of an Irish group
sent in to us by Douglas Shoop
a keen blog reader who thinks its insane
to see U2 in the pouring rain
The Gonzo Track of the Day is here
and probably my worst rhyme is near
I'm not being too perverse see
but here's a song by Cris Roversi
And now as we do every day
we take a trip down Austin Way
to meet a poet we dote upon
and by the way his name is Thom
and last we know just what it takes
here's a picture of two surfing greats
Merrell Fankhauser and Dean Torrence
I can't think of a rhyme, here's a shoddy assonance
So that's about it from this bloggyfreak
The poems will be back next week.

*  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 2005 Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world non-stop.
And now the news:

A video tribute to Fossett following the discovery of the site of the plane crash in which he died a few years after his round the world flight: