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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Monday, July 01, 2013


31. England
In spite of the fact that some folk think that there is hardly any part of England that has not been built on there are still many places for mystery animals to be found lurking in this green and pleasant land.
There have been reports of creatures ranging from big cats to huge black dogs foretelling doom, and tales of lakes that against all expectations have been reported to contain creatures from crocodiles to mermaids. There are even enough ghostly rabbits to give Elmer Fudd nightmares. However I am going to look at one of those reported sightings of an exotic animal that is just out of place.

Back in 1974 motorist Joan Gilbert was driving along Western Avenue in Bournemouth when she saw a strange animal illuminated in the beam of her headlights, she would recall that ‘it was the most peculiar animal I have ever seen, half cat and half dog. It had stripes, a long thin tail and seemed to be grey… with some yellow on it. Its ears were set back like a member of the cat family, and it was as big as a medium sized dog. It was thin and definitely not a fox.’

On later looking at an animal book while trying to identify the nature of the beast she identified an animal that looked the part: a Thylacine.

Like many mystery animal sightings it does seem to leave more questions than answers. The Thylacine is officially extinct in its native Tasmania (saying that, there are still reported sightings). As for a population of them living wild in the UK there has never been a hint of such a thing.

Next stop Wales and another mystery animal to look out for.


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.

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  • NEWSLINK: Salma Hayek had pet tiger called Rambo
  • NEWSLINK: Salma Hayek had pet tiger called Rambo
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  • NEWSLINK: CCTV: Leopard hunts dog in building
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  • INAPPROPRIATE CORNER: Birmingham man reports 'ugly prostitute' to police

    Once again, sent in by Richard F
    A man has been warned by police after he dialled 999 to complain about a prostitute's looks after meeting her outside a hotel.
    West Midlands Police said they were contacted by the caller who said he "wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act".
    An officer in the call centre at Solihull, Birmingham, responded by telling the man the woman had not committed any offences and explained to him that soliciting for sex was illegal.
    The force has now sent the man a letter warning him about wasting police time.
    A spokesman for West Midlands Police said: "A 999 call was received by police at around 7:30pm on Tuesday evening from a man wishing to complain about a sex worker he had met on a hotel car park.
    "The caller claimed that the woman had made out she was better looking than she actually was and he wished to report her for breaching the Sale of Goods Act.


    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.

    DALE DRINNON: Bust of Buster, Soay beast, merhorse and Caddy, Benny's Blogs

    New at Frontiers of Zoology:


    So July is upon us, and it has been quite an interesting July so far. Prudence and I are alone at the CFZ today. It is Graham's day off, and Corinna has taken mother into Bideford. Pru and I are enjoying the peace and quiet. No news yet from Richard in Sumatra but - unless something amazing happens - I am not really expecting any yet. Carl Marshall has obtained what appears to be a genuine 19th Century British Marten from Dorset. But is it martes or foina? That is the big question. I am agog with anticipation, but in the meantime am still reeling from The Rolling Stones' mighty performance at Glastonbury, and am playing the new albums from Judy Dyble and Holland's Mr Averell to compensate.

    What's new on the Gonzo Daily?
    The bizarrely funny story of a Status Quo man's stunt double

    *  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?

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    Yesterday’s News Today

    On this day in 1952 Dan Aykroyd was born. Aykroyd has stared in and scripted several well known films with Fortean theames, including Ghostbusters and Coneheads and is himself a life member and the Hollywood consultant for MUFON as well as being a Spiritualist.

    And now the news:

    Who ya gonna call? Hopefully not these chumps:

    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: