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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Wednesday, January 08, 2014

TERATOLOGY: Conjoined Grey Whales Found in Mexico (Via Simon Reames)

"Exceptionally rare" conjoined whale twins have been found dead in a lagoon in Mexico. Fishermen found the grey whale calves in the Ojo de Liebre lagoon in the Baja California peninsula, which opens up to the Pacific Ocean. The four-metre (13 feet) long creatures, which weighed nearly half a tonne, were linked at the mid-section.

They had two full heads and tail fins, according to Benito Bermudez, a marine biologist and regional manager at the National Natural Protected Areas Commission. Mr Bermudez said the discovery was "without any precedent" in the region, which is in the north-west of the country. It is believed the whales were born as the result of a miscarriage and did not survive for long.

Scientists were examining the carcasses and plan to look for other cases in the animal's habitat off the peninsula.

Read on...

Personality Traits Help Explain Creationist Beliefs

A belief in the literal Biblical version of creation may boil down, in part, to personality.
A new study suggests that people who believe in creationism are more likely to prefer to take in information via their senses versus via intuition. In contrast, religious believers who see the Bible's creation story as symbolic tend to be more intuitive.

"Intuitives tend to be much more at home with symbolic things, generally," said Andrew Village, the head of the theology and religious studies program at York St. John University in the United Kingdom.

Personality and religion
Village, an Anglican priest, is also a former scientist — before he trained in the ministry, he studied the ecology of birds of prey. He applied that scientific sensibility in the new study, which surveyed 663 English churchgoers on their beliefs about Genesis, the book of the Bible that describes the Earth's creation. [The Top 10 Creation Stories]

The 150th anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin in 2009 prompted great interest in beliefs about evolution and creationism, Village told LiveScience. Creationism is the belief that God created humans and animals in their current form, as described in Genesis. The most literal of these beliefs holds that God created the universe in six days.

Previous studies have suggested that personality influences whether people will become religious, and if they are religious, what tradition they will gravitate toward, Village said. He wanted to investigate how personality influenced beliefs about Genesis, specifically.


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: Help Comes Quickly for Bobcat Hit, Injur...
  • NEWSLINK: Most frequently-sighted tigress in Ranth...
  • NEWSLINK: 'Tiger momma' relishes caring for big ca...
  • NEWSLINK: Linton Zoo lions 'recycle' discarded Chr...
  • NEWSLINK: Hunters bag cats in first-ever cougar se...

  • NEWSLINK: Tigers Forever: Saving the World's Most ...
  • CRYPTOLINK: Bigfoot Evidence Criteria

    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. 

    What should your criteria be when it comes to purported Bigfoot evidence?
    Let’s start with what kind of evidence there is and then describe what makes some better than others. I will divide this topic into several different articles so they can be digested easier.

    The most common is the eyewitness account. This is a person who claims to have come into visual range of a creature they believe is a Sasquatch. This evidence can be quite compelling because unless it is an outright lie, you usually have someone who is very excited because they believe they have witnessed something very few people can claim to have ever seen and a mythical creature to boot.

    There is a certain element of shock that has to accompany this type of encounter that makes the retelling of it very convincing. As convincing as this can be however, there are several factors you must keep in mind if you are a critical thinker.
    First off, as we have already mentioned, is this person telling you the truth and if so could they be omitting details that make their story more plausible such as was the lighting less than optimal when they had this encounter? I think that the majority of people who come forth with these types of stories are in fact telling the truth. For one, it can and does have an impact on a person’s reputation when they come forward with such a claim.

    In the case of the anonymous story teller, there is much less to gauge truthfulness and even though we can understand why a person would choose to remain anonymous, we can only consider their story as just that, a story. In the case of the self-identified purporter, there are some very good reasons to ask the right questions as the audience to the claim.

    The biggest hurdle you have to overcome as the listener is could this person have misidentified what they have seen? Questions to be asked should be, was it light or dark outside? How far away was this sighting from you? Are you familiar with other creatures that inhabit the area? Why were you in the location you were in when this sighting happened?


    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 - Wednesday
    Another day, another rant! But the problem is that I am not at all in a ranting mood. Things are actually going rather nicely. Yesterday Saskia the intern (Ronan says that I should refer to her as my amanuensis because 'intern' sounds rather American hospital tv show, or worse) came and worked very hard, and there was even time for a ten-minute bass-guitar lesson before she went home. We also had the kittens neutered last week and they are both ready to go outside now, although I think that the weather is so lousy that they would be insane if they wanted to. Mother is rapidly turning into Mrs Doyle from Father Ted and follows me around the house with a dustpan and brush, muttering about how untidy I am....
    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: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html
    * 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 1908 William Hartnell, the first actor to play the Doctor in Doctor Who, was born.

    And now the news:

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  • 49-Million-Year-Old Cockroach Fossil Found
  • Sun bear sanctuary to save 'forgotten species'
  • Why bluefin tuna have no 'fair' price
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  • Pamlico seeks to maintain ban on bear hunting with...

  • The first Doctor saying farewell to his granddaughter for the last time: