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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Friday, September 27, 2013

MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Hong Kong Dugong folklore

According to Wikipedia on the dugong: 'Although they are social animals, they are usually solitary or found in pairs due to the inability of seagrass beds to support large populations. [13] 'Gatherings of hundreds of dugongs sometimes happen,[15] but they last only for a short period of time.[13] Because they are shy, and do not approach humans, little is known about dugong behaviour.[13] (1)

About a week ago a Facebook contact, Amy, provided me with the information below:

·                                 Hi Richard, I have not heard about any realistic story about dhole. However, a friend told me another story about the sea cows and their ancestors’ tombs. During spring (Ching Ming Festival) and autumn (Chung Yeung Festival), villagers will go to pay respect to their ancestors at the tombs in the hill side next to their village (Chak Keng). 
For many years, during the ceremony they saw waves rolling toward their ancestors’ tombs, just like an act to bow to their ancestors. The village is located in a very quiet cove – the water is always very calm so these waves look very strange and noticeable to them. When they took a closer look, they found that the waves were actually caused by many (about a hundred) sea cows swimming toward their village. This had happened for many years until the end of World War II. The villagers became very poor and they had very little food. Some villagers used the guns leftover during the war to kill a few sea cows for food. Afterward, they hardly see the sea cows come back again.
This story happened almost 70 years ago and my friend learned about this from his grand father. I hope you can understand what I meant.
Richard Muirhead Ann this is very interesting indeed.Do you believe all the sea cows have now becoming extinct in Hong Kong waters or are one or two still seen? Are you familiar with the story from the book The Hong Kong Countryside by Geoffrey Herklots that in 1940 or 1941 a dugong was killed in Hong Kong harbour? There is a photo somewhere.Also, I have been told about a black panther in Hong Kong in the 1960s and even an Eurasian lynx!
Richard Muirhead Ann do you know my blog Muirhead`s Mysteries?See Google.It has many Hong Kong related stories on it.Also,please may I reproduce your message to me about sea cows in Hong Kong as my next blog?
Ann Wong Yes, you may use my story in your blog.
Richard Muirhead Thanks,and if you ever recall any more Hong Kong odd fauna stories I`d love to read them
Ann Wong Richard, My friend also told me that, although he has never seen any sea cows in his village, he thinks some sea cows did live around his village a few decades age. He recalled that about 40 years ago his grand father pointed to the sea and told him that the special waves in a distance indicated that some sea cows were swimming under the sea because their movement causes some waves that are different from waves caused by wind.
Richard Muirhead Thanks Ann,what was the name of this village?Were the Hong Kong mermaid reports the same as dugongs?
Ann Wong Chek Keng Village, Sai Kung Hong Kong
5 hours ago via mobile · Like
Richard Muirhead Thanks (2)

So this all adds more information to what we already know about the dugong in Hong Kong – which isn`t a lot.

2. Facebook correspondence, Ann Wong with Richard Muirhead

CRYPTOLINK: Serpent, mermaid or submarine in Grand River?

A word about cryptolinks: we are not responsible for the content of cryptolinks, which are merely links to outside articles that we think are interesting (sometimes for the wrong reasons), usually posted up without any comment whatsoever from me.

Strange creatures lurking in area bayous and waterways have made headlines in the Grand Haven Tribune since the latter half of the 1800s. In the 1890s, Tribune Publisher Horace Nichols wrote that having a sea serpent somewhere near a hotel or resort was actually good for business, as it drew in tourists. The most famous of unidentified serpents or water creatures was the monster of Stearns Bayou, which made a few appearances out front of the old Gun Club near the bridge in August 1909. Several credible witnesses saw the large, glowing, turtle-like creature with a long neck and hippopotamus-like head. The Tribune published four articles concerning it.

What it was — if it ever was — remains a mystery. It never reappeared.


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.

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    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.

    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:


    The Gonzo Daily - Friday
    I woke about an hour before dawn with a horrible crushing sensation on my chest. I couldn't move, and it was pitch black. I could hardly breathe and I felt this weird otherworldly sensation around my face. I truly thought that I was about to meet my maker. However, then I realised that I had gone to sleep remarkably quickly after consuming a bottle of wine whilst watching the Steve Ignorant 'Last Supper' DVD, which really is most awfully good, and when I went to bed I was accompanied by Prudence the 35kg bulldog x boxer and Captain Frunobulax the Magnificent, the rather nutty orange kitten. They were both in a loving mood, and as Corinna had been up late doing stuff and had probably kipped downstairs rather than disturb me, my two animal companions had decided to be extra specially affectionate. Prudence was asleep on top of me (hence the horrible crushing sensation on my chest, and The Captain had gone to sleep on my face! My life does get more and more peculiar.
    Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
    DANGEROUS MINDS: When Jean-Luc Godard met Jefferson Airplane
    *  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 54 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 1905 the journal Annalan Der Physik received Einstein’s paper “Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on its Energy Content?” which introduced the equation E=MC2.
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