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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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

REVIEW OF ROLAND SMITH'S NEW BOOK (remember the hero is based in part on Jon)


They say (whoever they are) that guests and fish start to stink after three days. Since this is only my second guest review, I guess I should still pass the sniff test.  I am a 7th grade Language Arts teacher at a local middle school.  Our Media Specialist and I often discuss books that we think will be of interest to the kids.  Recently she offered me the chance to read one of my favorite author’s newest creations. I jumped at the chance because Roland Smith does a great job creating stories that feature either young people or animals (my two favorite non-me subjects) as the main characters. I was given a copy ofChupacabra to read, review, and then discuss with our students.

Chupacabra is unusual in the Roland Smith young adult canon, because it is a true sequel in his Cryptid series. He does revisit his favorite characters frequently, but seldom creates true serial youth fiction. So let’s back up a little.  A Cryptid is an animal that is rumored to exist, but is largely considered mythological. Roland Smith has used several in his writing.  He began with a novel called Sasquatch, but this early work is not part of the current Cryptid Hunter series. 

This series began with the eponymous novel, Cryptid Hunters, was continued in Tentacles, and the newest novel is Chupacabra.  A chupacabra is an animal that is rumored to live in the SW US, Mexico, Central America, and South America. The name means “goat sucker” in Spanish because they are said to feed on the blood of goats and other animals. The third book in the Cryptid series continues just after the action in Tentacles.  Once again we find best friends Marty (boy genius with a photographic memory) and Luther (also a genius) plotting to handle seemingly impossible odds while trying to “rescue” Grace (Marty’s cousin although they thought they were twins until recently) from Noah Blackwood’s Seattle Ark.  Noah is clearly the villain in this series although the world thinks he is an animal activist.  His “Arks” seem to be humane zoos, but are in reality a cover for his evil plans for world domination. (OK, he really just wants to get rich and collect rare animals, but you get the point). Marty and Luther recruit Dylan, a member of Travis Wolf’s crew, to help them with Grace’s rescue.  Their plan is complicated because at the end of the last book, Grace seemed to go with Blackwood willingly. He was in the process of kidnapping a pair of dinosaur hatchlings and had a gun pointed at the good guys, but there is still some question about Grace’s motives. Travis Wolfe has been revealed as Grace’s father and is an actual activist specializing in finding cryptids worldwide.  Marty, Luther, and Dylan infiltrate the Seattle Ark and then must outsmart Blackwood’s killer henchmen (Butch and Yvonne) as well as the chupacabra, while trying to free Grace and the hatchling dinosaurs.  The ending has serious revelations for the main characters and an excellent cliffhanger.

Read on...


Here is a brief round-up of some newly uncovered Hong Kong cryptozoological oddities:


I overlooked this Gwulo.com post by “Vanessa” on Nov 10th 2011

“There were bands of large apes reported in the tai tam area in a book from the 1940s.  a friend's campsite was approached by one in the 60s and they fled pretty quickly.  not the same species as the monkeys out near shing mun but larger and darker.”

“ The post about monkeys reminded me that in fact there were monkeys on the cliff behind Sea and Sky Court.  So Richard, a memory of some wild animals. My children used to play up there and see them as I did.  The building was supposed to have good feng shui because the sea was in front and the mountain behind it.  It was a cliff with trees at the stop about half the height of the building with many good secret playing places and gardens in the woods behind.  Lots of great birds could be seen in the area also.  No memory of what they were except that the sounds were very exotic.”  Kirstin
The post immediately above was submitted by Kirstin on Nov 11th 2011.

I recently came across a Chinese web site mentioning a knd of black haired ape man or spirit-being near Aberdeen on the south side of Hong Kong island.

INSECTS  A new species of cicada discovered recently in Hong Kong. :


I know nothing about the image here,except it`s probably somewhere in China,or Greater China as some web sites are ominously calling her. 

DALE DRINNON: New humpbacked dolphin, orang pendek, Frontiers of Anthropology, Benny's Blogs

New at the Frontiers of Zoology:


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. 

The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why sometimes you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology but have everything to do with human/big-cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 

  • NEWSLINK: Volunteers help 6 more tigers rescued to...
  • NEWSLINK: Oversight of wild-cat shelters lacking
  • NEWSLINK: Lion attacks lioness at zoo
  • NEWSLINK: New Russian conservation plan for Amur ...
  • NEWSLINK: Snow Leopards of Leafy London filmed at ...
  • VIDEO: Revealing The Leopard
  • VIDEO: Siberian Tiger in Russia

  • VIDEO: Tigers

    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 - Tuesday
    Yesterday was one of those Curate's Egg type days; on the plus side I took most of the day off, but on the minus side, when I tried to phone Andy Thommen of Clepsydra in Switzerland to talk about the new box set which collects together their complete recorded output, I couldn't get www.recordyourcall.co.uk to work. I will have to telephone them this afternoon and try to find out why. On the plus side, however, Andy sent me the complete contents of the box set, which really is an outstanding body of work - I am listening to it now as I type. And also on the upside I discovered a website with a number of peculiar banjo tunings, and spent the evening tinkering away happily on my banjo. No, that is NOT a euphemism for something unspeakable. Richard will be here at tea time and I am looking forward to seeing the pictures and film from the Tasmania expedition and hearing all about his adventures. No doubt a little wine will be consumed in celebration.

    Another visit to our old friend Thom the World Poet
    *  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 1969 Apollo 12 landed on the moon, and Pete Conrad and Alan Bean became the 3rd and 4th people to walk on the moon.

    And now the news:

  • Breaking Ground on Turtle Survival Alliance’s -- T...
  • Bait Research Focused On Outsmarting Destructive B...
  • Chill Out, Dudes! Female Flies Have Anti-Aggressio...
  • Scorpions Use Strongest Defense Mechanisms When Un...
  • Houseful of Cats: Woman Raises Lions, Leopard in H...
  • Combating Key Viral Livestock Diseases in Ethiopia...
  • Stalkers right to shoot orphan deer

  • Fantastic Voyage: Tracking Young Salmon's Perilous...
  • Bing Gordyn, the 8th man on the moon: