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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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...

Saturday, June 29, 2013


Two contemporary drawings of the Soay sea monster, the first made by the witness Tex Geddes, the second by someone with a vivid imagination

Archelon ischyros in all its glory dwarfing the bloke next to it

DALE DRINNON: South American wildmen, Benny's Blogs and a visit to the world of Cedar and Willow

New at Frontiers of Zoology:
New at Cedar and Willow:
{Meant to go with Benny's Blogs]
New at Benny's Blogs:


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 took the plunge and started a 'Watcher of the Skies' blog of her own as part of the CFZ Bloggo Network.

UAE releases 93 endangered falcons into the wild i...


I need to apologise to Max. Every year when he goes to the Glastonbury Festival he telephones me afterwards and tells me all about it. Because last weekend was the Solstice Festival in Wales, I assumed it was also Glastonbury. I have been sulking all week because I hadn't heard from him.
Yesterday I looked for YouTube footage of The Rolling Stones at Glastonbury, and not finding any I jumped to the conclusion that the all powerful Rolling Stones organisation had quashed such things, a bit like the Led Zeppelin organisation did after the 02 gig six years ago. I had even got half way through an article about Corporate Big Brother in the music business. I was waxing lyrical on my themes.
Then, last night my dear nieflings Dave B-P and Jess H came round. In passing Dave said that he was planning to spend this evening (Saturday) watching The Rolling Stones and Primal Scream on the BBC coverage of Glastonbury Festival. I had got may dates wrong and my proverbial knickers in a twist over nothing. Glastonbury Festival is, of course, this weekend, and I am an idiot. But then again, everyone else knows both of those things anyway. I am now gonna sit and lick my wounds and listen to Marianne Faithfull.

What's new on the Gonzo Daily?
Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
Double Dutch: Review of the Dutch Woodstock.....from Holland
*  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 two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) 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 cat?

ANDREW MAY: Return of the cryptoturd

Hi Jon,

The two-days-per-week job I'm doing at the moment means I can go for a lunchtime walk round the Winfrith nature reserve, where I saw the mysterious "cryptozoological turd" a few years ago (Animals & Men issue 47 page 72). I saw something similar yesterday, in almost the identical location (photo attached). It was similar in size and had the same regular striations, but this one appeared to be fresher (less dried out). I would say that it's fairly clearly a fox dropping, particularly with the distinctive pinched end. What do you think? The scat was surrounded by downy feathers (a few of which are visible in the photo), which again is suggestive of a fox. So if this one is a fox, then the previous one probably was too.

Another question -- is there a way of distinguishing at a glance between a newt and a baby lizard? Both species are supposed to be common in that area, but usually when you see them it's only for a fraction of a second as they scuttle under cover. Is there anything about time of year, location, colouring, way of moving etc that would allow you to tell from a momentary glimpse whether it's a newt or a small lizard?



Karl Shuker reveals his ten favourite zoological arrivals and revivals from the modern age.

Read on...


30. Scotland
Scotland is home to one of the most famous of cryptids out there, the world famous Nessie, also known as the Loch Ness Monster. 

However, we are going to stay on land for this mystery animal; we are going to look at one of those out of place big cats. While there have been plenty of sightings made over the years on the Scottish mainland it is perhaps even more surprising to learn that they have also taken place on some of Scotland’s smaller islands with sightings of large black cats being recorded on the isle of Mull as far back as the 1970s and right up to recent times. Mull is an island that at its closest point to the mainland of Scotland is still a 15 minute ferry trip so how a big cat could have made the journey undetected is a mystery. But that’s not the only island to have a big cat sighting for there have been others on islands even more remote from the mainland. In 1999 there was a sighting of a dark brown cat the size of a collie on the very small (8x3 miles) and remote island of Colonsay (over 2 hours on a ferry from the mainland) that must be among the strangest sightings. The creature was spotted by a couple out walking who came within 50 yards of this larger than normal cat; after watching it for twenty seconds until it disappeared over a stone dyke and into the ferns. The couple made enquires locally but nobody could explain the sighting.

Of course the sightings on Mull and Colonsay are just a couple of the reports of strange creatures recorded in The Mystery Animals of the British Isles: The Western Isles.

Starting soon you will be able to tune in and hear about the mystery animals of Scotland on BBC Radio Scotland, the Morton Through Midnight show will play host to Morton's Mystery Creatures, a regular feature where I will be looking at Scotland’s mystery creatures.
Next stop is a trip south of the border to England.

Conserving globally threatened bugs on the UK Overseas Territory of St Helena.

The Spiky yellow woodlouse (Pseudolaureola atlantica) occurs nowhere else. Recent surveys indicate that there are less than 50 individuals left at a single cloud forest location. © Ed Thorpe
Bugs on the brink - Conserving St Helena's invertebrates
June 2013. Wildlife charity, Buglife - The Invertebrate Conservation Trust, has launched a 3-year ‘Bugs on the Brink' project, on the UK Overseas Territory of St Helena. Many of St Helena's unique invertebrates are on the brink of extinction, with some of its most iconic species, such as the Giant earwig, feared lost within living memory. Funded by the Darwin Initiative, the project will help to conserve St Helena's globally threatened invertebrates. This is the first time that anyone has set out to create a long-term plan for conserving St Helena's invertebrates.

400 endemic invertebrates
St Helena is one of the UK's ‘Overseas Territories', lying in the South Atlantic Ocean, mid-way between Africa and South America. It is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world and, for now, can only be reached by boat. The island's flora and fauna evolved in extreme isolation, resulting in more than 400 invertebrate species found nowhere else on Earth. For this reason, St Helena has been called the ‘Galapagos of the South Atlantic'.

Unfortunately, following its discovery by sailors in 1502, St Helena suffered immense environmental destruction, caused by introduced livestock and forest clearance. Today, much of the island's unique wildlife is threatened with extinction. Iconic invertebrates such as the Giant earwig (Labidura herculeana), Giant ground beetle (Aplothorax burchelli) and St Helena darter (a dragonfly - Sympetrum dilatatum) are believed lost within living memory. The remnants of the native flora and fauna are struggling to survive in habitat fragments, which occupy a tiny fraction of their original area. They also face a wide range of pressures from non-native plants and animals.

Read on...


Oll is away, so for todayYesterday's News Today is done by Wally the Comedy Rhinoceros. He is a stand up comedian of some renown. Here is one of his rhino-related jokes.

Knock Knock

Who's there

Wally the Comedy Rhinoceros

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

  • Two-headed turtle hatches at US zoo
  • Towards a New Relationship with Rattlesnakes - via...
  • Snake Fungal Disease: The White-Nose Syndrome for ...
  • NASA satellites reveal fire hotspots that are poll...
  • Animals being used as tourist props in Mexico
  • Researchers Discover Species-Recognition System in...
  • Two Rare Albino Humpback Whales Spotted on Yearly ...
  • Social Networks Shape Monkey 'Culture' Too

  • And now for a happy tune that you can whistle while you work: