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, April 27, 2013


For well over 2000 years, the beautiful and tranquil Cannock Chase Forest in Staffordshire, England, has been home to the most intense concentration of unusual phenomena ever to manifest in the British Isles. From heavily documented UFO sightings and ghostly apparitions, to disturbing tales of animal/human hybrids and top secret military activity, the Chase (as it is known locally) exhibits all the standard traits, often attributed to a paranormal portal, which, to me, makes the area endlessly fascinating.

Over the last 12 months, I have been collating evidence, stories and witness reports from residents and visitors to Cannock Chase, and have nearly finished writing a book detailing my findings. When the publication is complete I will post a link on here, but until then, I think a little taster is in order........


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.

  • SIGHTINGS USA: Bobcat sighting reported in Sorrent...
  • NEWSLINK: Ranthambore tiger strides 220km to MP
  • NEWSLINK: Cheetahs could disappear from the wild b...
  • NEWSLINK: No violations found at wild cat park whe...


    When people paid to help save the rhino, did they really imagine it was so that the rhino’s head could one day hang on someone’s wall?

    File:Rhino relaxing .jpg

    How Do You Save Endangered Rhinos?

    For the first time in 33 years, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) has granted a permit to an American hunter to import a black rhino trophy from Africa.
    The move certainly set a precedent for importing endangered species trophies (it’s the first time any endangered species trophy has been allowed into the states) and has stirred up controversy about whether or not killing an endangered species can help save them.

    Rhino horn madness: over two rhinos killed a day in South Africa
    Rhino poachers have killed 232 rhinos during 2013 so far in South Africa, reportsAnnamiticus, which averages out to 2.1 a day. The country has become a flashpoint for rhino poaching as it holds more rhinos than any other country on Earth. Rhinos are being slaughter for their horns, which are believed to be a curative in Chinese traditional medicine, although there is no evidence this is so.

    Last year, South Africa lost 668 rhinos to poachers, according to the Department of Environmental Affairs. Most of the rhinos killed are white rhinos (Ceratotherium simum), which are currently listed by the IUCN Red List as Near Threatened. The other four rhino species are more endangered: the Indian rhinoceros (Rhinoceros unicornis) is listed as Vulnerable, while the black, Javan, and Sumatran are all listed as Critically Endangered. The Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is down to just 100 individuals, while the Javan rhino (Rhinoceros sondaicus) is down to about 60.

    Sumatran rhino population plunges, down to 100 animals

    Less than 100 Sumatran rhinos survive in the world today, according to a bleak new population estimate by experts. The last survey in 2008 estimated that around 250 Sumatran rhinos survived, but that estimate now appears optimistic and has been slashed by 60 percent. However conservationists are responding with a major new agreement between the Indonesian and Malaysian governments at a recent summit by the International Union for Conservation of Nature's Species Survival Commission (IUCN SSC).

    The Sumatran rhino (Dicerorhinus sumatrensis) is found in small, fragmented populations on the islands of Sumatra (Indonesia) and Borneo (Malaysia), as well as a recently identified individual or group in Indonesian Borneo. The world's smallest and hairiest rhino, the Sumatran is believed to be possibly related to the extinct woolly rhinoceros, having been around for around for 20 million years.

    Has WWF just condemned the last rhino in Kalimantan?

    WWF-Indonesia recently caught the attention of the global media with their announcement that the Sumatran rhinoceros still exists in Indonesian Borneo, some 40 years after being declared extinct there.

    This sounds like great news for biodiversity conservation. But is it really?

    Sumatran rhinos were once wide-spread in South-East Asia, but poaching for their horn decimated populations. In Kalimantan, the Indonesian part of Borneo, there had been no reliable records of the species since the 1970s, although there were rumors of their continued existence at least until the mid-1990s (Meijaard, 1996).


    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.

    DALE DRINNON: Pumas, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs

    New at the Frontiers of Zoology:


    My life gets stranger. As I have written elsewhere, I went to see Adam Ant with his rather swish new band, playing a set of punky favourites from the early days and the best bits of his rather nifty (in parts) new album. He was excellent. Corinna went with me, but for various reasons (explained elsewhere) so did my 83 year old Mother-in-Law, and a massively eccentric composer friend of mine. Add to that the fact that I had no sleep on Thursday night, then you will understand why I am running a little late this weekend.
    The pond is now fully functional and various goldfish and newts that were made homeless when it was removed from its previous home, have now been rehomed. Jessica and Matthew have done a brilliant job and are presently removing years of detritus from my conservatory prior to some major building work by Graham (needed to stop it falling down). Hey Ho!
    An exclusive interview with René van Commenée, the man behind the rather wonderful Mr Averell
    *  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 a not very small orange kitten (who isn't) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. 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?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1922 Jack Klugman was born. Klugman played the title roll in Quincy M.E. and stared in 4 episodes of the Twilight Zone and as a copyright evading version of Quincy in an episode of the 4th season of Diagnosis Murder.
    And now the news:
  • Roe Deer More Likely to Be Run Over at Nightfall O...
  • Was Marina Chapman really brought up by monkeys?
  • Bear historical ranges revisited: Documenting the ...
  • $1 million prize for ‘safe’ capture of Bigfoot
  • Draft regulations on endangered species published
  • Holidaymakers warned as it emerges a SECOND Costa ...
  • First Brain Surgery Performed on Bear
  • Crocodile Bites Man On Head In Australia

  • You know a few days ago when I said the opening credits of Ironside were among the best ever created, well so was Quincy's: