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, August 12, 2013

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:

SHERI THE CFZ INTERN: Day 3 - Saturday

A much earlier start to the day today, at the small hour of eleven o’clock. Tea and cereal later, the day’s work commenced. The last of the feed for the pond fish was thrust in and they began munching on their tiny cigars. Raw chicken pieces were placed in with the amphiuma as well as with the crow. Unfortunately, both were feeling self-conscious and waited until we left before tucking in.

Some of the tanks then needed cleaning. With a distinct lack of magnetic glass cleaners, up rolled my sleeves. Each needed the algae scrubbing off with a sponge by my bare hands (health and safety!). Of course, non bite, but the caecilians did investigate my fingers, which must have looked like worms to them. Despite this, theirs was the most appealing tank to plunge my arm into, due to its warmth.

The museum then had to be cleared somewhat, for its upcoming use as a sleeping chamber by 3/4 people. Chairs and things were removed and it was given a sweep. The bigfoot model was due for a grooming. Hopefully Prudence didn’t mind us using her brush for this. Some patches of fur needed to be mended by means of needle and thread.

I achieved little else after this. Nor did the others as guests arrived from Geordie-land. They had brought some tasty treats, i.e. hash and potato stew and ‘stotty cake’, as well as gleeful manner. This set into motion an evening of jovial consumption.

EDITOR'S NOTE: That is a very ladylike way of putting it

Cryptozoology on the radio again

On Sunday night’s Morton Through Midnight show the regular cryptozoology feature Morton’s Mystery Creatures focused on that most terrible of phantom animals the Noggle.

The Noggle is a type of water horse which hails from Shetland. It has left the lonely lochs so often haunted by these creatures and instead is to be found near water mills, but only when the mill wheel is turning.

The Noggle is said to resemble the rather cute and friendly-looking Shetland pony. But this one isn’t satisfied with the odd carrot or sugar lump; like all of its kind it prefers human flesh, particularly that of millers. How it came to have such a special diet is unknown, perhaps it was trying for a healthy lifestyle with grain for extra fibre.

This water horse has a rather specialized way of hunting. After finding the mill of choice, no doubt with resident fat miller, the beast walks up to the wheel and proceeds to stop it mid spin. And how does it do this? It simply bites it, giving you some idea of the brute strength of the creature; and if nothing else, it proves the Noggle has a fine set of powerful choppers.

The first thing the miller would know of this visitation is when his quern stone juddered to a halt. Picture his surprise when he pops outside to see what’s fouli
ng his wheel and all he finds is a rather lovely pony standing there, looking as innocent as only a big eyed horse can.

Not only does the Noggle look harmless it is also saddled and bridled, just awaiting a rider. Does it cross the miller’s mind as to how the pony arrived there? Does he care that its original rider may well have fallen into the mill race and be responsible for clogging the wheel? Now, if the miller is a greedy and gormless fellow he may well mount the animal. But no sooner does he do so than he realises he is doomed. The Noggle shows its true form and races off across field and moor on its way to the sea. And considering you are never more than three miles from the sea in Shetland this isn’t going to be a long journey. The miller finds himself stuck to the saddle unable to escape. The journey ends abruptly when the Noggle reaches the sea and plunges into it, rider still attached. A flash of flame shows the horse’s passing, and the end of the miller.

Of course not all millers fall for this doe-eyed evil pony. To rid yourself of the Noggle you apparently need to salute it with a fiery brand - whether the brand is really for saluting or for beating the creature about the head isn’t recorded - either way the Noggle takes the hint and scampers away.

You can listen to this show on the following link morton through midnight it is 23 minutes 25 seconds into the show.


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.

8 Foot Long ‘Monster’ Found Dead in Lake Washington

An 8-foot long monster sturgeon fish was discovered dead in Lake Washington this Saturday. Keith Magnuson, a Seattle resident who discovered it, and presumed  the primitive-looking fish to be a shark.
A sturgeon “is not a common fish to find in the lake,” Annette Hoffman, a fish and wildlife biologist from Mill Creek, explained.  A sturgeon found in the year 1987 was around 11 feet long and weighed approximately 640 pounds.
According to Hoffman, sturgeons are basically deep water feeders, and they usually migrate up and down the Columbia River.
“For years there had been monster sightings, like Loch Ness-type stuff,” Magnuson added.  “And finally a dead sturgeon came to the top and it was surmised to be the monster.”
Soon enough, a team of biologists along with the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife took DNA samples of the sturgeon.
Brad James, an expert on prehistoric looking fish and a biologist at the Fish and Wildlife in Vancouver, speculated that the sturgeon might have entered into the lake through the Ballard Locks, and could have been there, feeding for years.


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 are 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: 58 tigers die in Madhya Pradesh in past ...
  • NEWSLINK: Bobcats on the rise in New Hampshire
  • NEWSLINK: Man jumps into lion's enclosure in Patna...
  • NEWSLINK: Fifth Big Cat Dies of Distemper at In-Sy...
  • USA SIGHTINGS: Big cat prowling Oxford Ct Post
  • NEWSLINK: Man critically injured in leopard attack...
  • CANADA SIGHTING: Skunk turns cougar into scaredy-c...
  • CFZ PEOPLE: My That's English!: Big cat hunter
  • UK SIGHTING: Have you seen the Beast of the Bay?
  • NEWSLINK: Police inspect eccentric aristocrat's gu...
  • NEWSLINK: This Kitten Could Change The World. No B...
  • CARL PORTMAN: What and where?

    Look what I photographed this week…

    DALE DRINNON: Water monsters, sea dragon/master otter, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs

    New at the Frontiers of Zoology:
    No virus found in this message


    I felt pretty terrible most of yesterday. The stresses and strains of recent weeks took their toll, and my bipolar threw a wobbly. I dealt with it in the customary manner. Richard and Sheri did a fantastic job of sorting out the conservatory yesterday. The Weird Weekend approaches like an oncoming juggernaut, but I think we shall be ready for it!
    Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
    Today's Track of the Day is a track from Gordon Giltrap
    Graham Fellows: I know how to cut out noise from revellers

    *  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 1875 the Russian mystic/occultist Helena Blavatsky was born.
    I write these blogs late at night the previous evening so as a result I don't think I could really sum up her beliefs succinctly and accurately right now, but if you are made of sterner stuff, or aren't tired and confused, here is her wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helena_Blavatsky
    And now the news:
  • Tiny Chinese Island Sets Example for Sustainable F...
  • The Temperature Tastes Just Right: Scientists Disc...
  • Tiger moths – Have you seen any near you?
  • Study: Dolphins can problem solve like humans
  • America's Fleeting Chance to Correct Chimps' Endan...
  • Happy as a pig in ... farmer builds mudslide for h...
  • Is this starved polar bear which died as ‘skin and...
  • Dolphins, Sharks, and Mermaids, Oh, My! Interview ...

  • Sort of changing the subject, but not entirely, here's a song by Al Stewart: