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, September 30, 2013

CRYPTOLINK: Stillaguamish River Cast Update

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.

A few days ago, I posted another cast to my ever-growing bigfoot footprint database.  This was the Stillaguamish cast from 1980, documented by Douglas Trapp.  Shortly thereafter, I received an email from my good friend Daniel Perez, publisher of the Bigfoot Times newsletter.  He knew Douglass Trapp personally around this same time, and indeed did investigations with him on more than one occasion.  Daniel supplied me with the above newspaper clipping from the Lake Stevens Journal that gives details about the track find. 

Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: Mogollon Monster

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.

The Mogollon Monster is a Bigfoot-type creature claimed to inhabit central and eastern Arizona along the Mogollon Rim. It is said to be nocturnal and omnivorous and very territorial. It walks with wide strides leaving 22-inch footprints.
The creature has also been alleged to mimic birds, coyotes, and other wildlife, and will also make whistling sounds. It builds its nest out of pine needles, twigs, and leaves. It is also said that it will throw stones from a hidden location.
Its feeding habit generally includes wildlife such as deer and it is reported that the creature decapitates its prey before devouring it. In most reports, just prior to an encounter, there is an eerie silence.
The Mogollon Monster is said to be over seven feet tall and covered with reddish brown hair. Its large eyes are said to be wild and red. Witnesses say it has a strong pungent odor similar to that of dead fish, skunk, decaying peat moss, and musk of a snapping turtle.
The oldest reported sighting of the Mogollon Monster was in 1903 in an edition of The Arizona Republican.

CRYPTOLINK: BigFoot Spotted Near Kinzua Bridge State Park

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.

Photo by Stony
Photo by Stony
We were driving north (not sure of the road name) on the road that passes the park. About 4 or 5 miles north, I spotted out of the corner of my eye, something dark in the woods that looked like the shape of a “bigfoot or yeti”.
Then I stopped the car in the road. I then determined there were two “creatures”. One larger and one a bit smaller. I took photos out of the window, and slowly advanced the car forward for a better view through the trees and some brush along the road.


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.


The Gonzo Daily - Mondaywww.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/about.html
For various reasons I never had children of my own, but I value my relationship with my two stepdaughters greatly. It was delightful having Olivia and her new beau here for the weekend, and horrid when they went. Last night Corinna and I watched the much heralded Nic Jones documentary on BBC iPlayer. It was certainly impressive, and a heartwarming story of human endeavour (dare I say, triumph of the will, but don't read anything into that) to see the man who was pulped by a car crash involving a lorry load of bricks, get on a stage to perform again thirty years later. Dare I be iconoclastic? Personally I preferred Nic's own songs to his iconic reworkings of classic folksongs. But I am weird like that.
Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet.
...and here is yesterday's for those of you that missed it:
Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band is a real Celtic Bard ...

*  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?

Scottish Sea serpent on the radio

On Saturday night’s Morton Through Midnight show the regular cryptozoology feature Morton’s Mystery Creatures focused on a mystery sea serpent spotted in Orkney  
Just over a hundred years ago, one fine day in August, nineteen hundred and ten, three men were out hunting ducks off the coast of Orkney when they encountered something far larger than wildfowl. 

The companions, a fellow by the name of Hutchinson, his father and a cousin, headed out towards the Skerry of Work located in Meil Bay. The day was perfect: bright, clear and tranquil as they sailed quietly out toward the Skerries. Suddenly the tranquility was broken by a school of whales leaping clear out of the water, making a great commotion and traveling at great speed as if in fear for their lives. This sudden surge of cetaceans, seemingly heading straight at the boat in a blind panic, just managed to avoid the fragile craft, much to the relief of its occupants.

But what was the reason for the whales’ panicked flight? The men first thought they were looking at an enormous stalk of kelp rising high above the water. However in place of a tangle of seaweed there was a head! They then realised that what they were seeing was actually a long snake-like neck topped by a horse-like head.

Now there appears to be two schools of thought on what to do in such a situation. The first is that displayed by Hutchinson; he thought the best thing to do was to aim his gun; after all what could be finer than the head of a sea serpent mounted on your wall. 

While our souvenir hunter was all for taking a potshot with his fowling piece, his father disagreed. He belonged to the second school of thought that can be summed up as - just run away as fast as possible, on no account shoot it. Nothing to do with the rarity and wonder of sea serpents, rather the fact that shooting an animal that has just scared away a school of whales could leave you confronted by one very annoyed sea serpent.
Common sense prevailed, no shots were fired, no one was harmed and thus we have a description of the creature.

The visible parts of the animal were dark brown with the impression of lighter bands running across the neck which might have just been wet streaks. All agreed that the head was some 18ft above the sea’s surface, darker in colour and likened to that of a horse or camel. Particularly odd was the neck, appearing to be too slender for the size of the head; the top part resembled a snake that gradually thickened until it was the width of a man.
The men watched the animal for around five minutes before it sank slowly back into the water, making not the slightest splash and leaving no bubbles as it disappeared below the waves.

So what did frighten the whales that August day? The first impression would seem to indicate a half-kelp half-triffid beast. However, from the fuller description it was almost certainly a member of the animal kingdom. It would appear that our duck hunters had seen an example of what Bernard Heuvelmans, the great cryptozoologist, would describe as a merhorse. Interestingly, this wasn’t the only encounter Hutchinson was to have with a sea monster. But that’s for another day.

If you want to read more about this sea serpent and others in Orkney you can find them all in my book Mystery Animals of the Northern Isles, which is available in both paperback from Amazon

You can listen to this show on the following link Morton through Midnight  it is 1 hour 26 minutes 10 seconds into the show.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

On this day in 1924 the author Truman Capote was born. Capote wrote a number of critically acclaimed novels, scripts and stories, including Breakfast at Tiffany’s, but is most famous for his “non-fiction novel” In Cold Blood, which popularised the True Crime genre.
Moon River: