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...

Search This Blog



Click on this logo to find out more about helping CFZtv and getting some smashing rewards...


Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Sunday, April 07, 2013

DALE DRINNON: Giant tarantula, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Anthropology:

CRYPTOLINK: Charles Paxton's research

The 80th anniversary of the first modern-day sighting occurs this weekend. Picture: Complimentary

AN EXPERT delving deep into the history of Nessie spotters is to reveal his findings on the 80th anniversary of the first modern-day sighting.
Dr Charles Paxton, a statistical ecologist from St Andrews University, is working on the first catalogue of all known sightings of the Loch Ness monster in modern times.
The researcher will present his findings at a conference this weekend, organised as part of the Edinburgh International Science Festival.
The special event organised by the St Andrews academic marks the 80thanniversary of the first official sighting of Nessie.
It was in April 1933 that Drumnadrochit hotel manageress Aldie Mackay reported “something resembling a whale” while on the road from Inverness.
Dr Paxton, a research fellow at the University’s Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling, is interested in how science handles anomalistic and low frequency data.


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: One giant leap to freedom: Orphan panthe...
  • NEWSLINK: Leopard under stress
  • NEWSLINK: Fat cat mistaken for mountain lion
  • NEWSLINK: World's rarest big cat turns the corner...
  • NEWSLINK: Injured big cat operated upon in Panna T...
  • CANADA SIGHTING: Big cat appears to be lying low
  • UK SIGHTINGS: Lorry driver sees mysterious big cat...
  • SHERI MYLER: Day One

    Sheri Myler, our student who is doing a series of placements with us over the next year or so is back for her second stint. Once again, I am putting her to work and she will be blogging each day about her time here...

    Day 1 – Saturday

    My first official day of work back at the CFZ began with the realisation that I had forgotten the cable for my netbook and, so, could only get a couple of hours use out of it. As it transpired, this was more than necessary.

    After I had written up an introductory blog about arriving back in Woolfardisworthy, Max and I set about the animal routine. During this, there was some discussion on viviparous fish and the benefits of having algae in their tanks. The main downside is the lack of aesthetic appeal.

    We then discovered that, during the night, tragedy had struck. It was something of a conundrum at first, when we found one hen dead and couldn’t find the other at all. However, some of the wire was seen to be loose and it was concluded that a fox had taken the missing hen and the other had died from the shock of it. It was then discovered that one of the amphiumas had also perished. The hen was buried and the amphiuma is to be preserved.

    Live feed was procured from the nearest pet store, before Max and I filmed taking fin samples from some preserved fish and one live one (to act as a control), to analyse their DNA and genetically determine their species. This task allowed me to increase my knowledge on preserving DNA. We then cracked on with the two volume George Eberhart encyclopaedia until about nine, when we had tea.

    The final task of the day was the cat hunt. It was only a relatively short one, but was the most dramatic so far. Only a few minutes into the drive, our hearts all stopped as we saw a large, sleek black animal walking down the road, its big eyes aglow in the headlights. I pressed record on the video camera but have no idea what I pointed it at as I was too busy staring out of the window at this creature elegantly strolling towards us. A second passed. It was a dog. Its colour, its shape, even its gait were so cat-like. These kinds of dogs will be the culprit behind many big cat sightings, both locally and in wider Britain. When I look back on this incident, I remember it as a cat. This is quite an important discovery in alien big cat research. 


    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.

  • RSPB Falcon viewpoint returns to Malham Cove
  • Russian Bird Migration Delayed by Cold
  • Remarkable Osprey, 'Lady', returns to Scotland for.


    Another packed week has gone by
    and I really don't understand why
    Father Time is now my master
    as I get older, time goes faster
    But it is Sunday once again,
    a day I cause poetry buffs pain,
    because each week at about this time
    I do the Gonzo blogs in rhyme
    I do it cos it makes me laugh
    not cos it makes the purists barf,
    my reasoning is plain to see
    my poetry amuses me.
    Jefferson Starship have the Track of the Day
    You know what I mean, Wayhay!
    It's my favourite of their songs, I mean it yeah
    it's the Volunteers of America
    Now check this out, I think you'd better
    Issue 20 of our cool newsletter
    has just gone out (what a cool description)
    why not take out a free subscri[tion
    Whilst surfing the net I recently spied
    guitarist Kevin Peek has died
    which made me sad, do you know why?
    well, he used to be in a band called 'Sky'
    And now it's time (before I blow it)
    to go check out Thom the World Poet
    who does his stuff in Austin Town
    I'm gonna meet him next time I go down
    And now I give you a personal blast
    out of my particular personal past
    read it guys, it won't take long
    but Steve Harley once sang me a Bob Dylan song
    And now I have especially for you
    a Jon Davison interview
    who is he? Why, can't you guess?
    He's the new lad out of 'Yes'
    *  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) and his new orange kitten 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 cats?


    Sheri Myler, our student who is doing a series of placements with us over the next year or so is back for her second stint. Once again, I am putting her to work and she will be blogging each day about her time here...

    Blog – Arrival
    Six months later… and I’m back at the CFZ. After a seven hour train journey, I arrived with my red suitcase, backache and a head full of hopeful nostalgia. I was collected by Jon, Mother and Max (whom I had just met). I swiftly dropped my case at the B&B and was whisked away for a night of enlightenment at the centre. Pizza and tea were followed with cuddles from Prudence and much teasing of a silly orange cat named Leo. Finally, the big cat hunt was unanimously agreed to be the least exciting any of us had participated in, with the only sightings being a flash of badger and a native carrier bag. 

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today