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, January 21, 2014


That's a mouse up there - a house mouse (Mus musculus).  Its scientific name means 'mouse littlemouse'.  They don't survive long outdoors, but generally we don't like them indoors.  However, you can now put up a device that keeps out unwanted rodents by releasing a sound that repels them.  Be careful, though, if you keep pet rodents.  You don't want a frenzied guinea-pig on your hands.

In my grandfather's day, trap and cat were the usual devices that drove mice out.  My grandfather had other ideas.  He used gunpowder until one day he blew out the stairs.  My grandmother made him desist from the practice.

In France, tooth fairies are thought to be mice.

The rat is held in even greater distaste by householders.  The commoner ones are the black rat (Rattus rattus) and the brown rat (Rattus norvegicus).  Both are found worldwide.  On shipboard, it is supposedly unlucky to mention a rat and you should use the term longtail instead.  The same word is used on the Isle of Man, a British dependency between Britain and Ireland.

The black rat is said to have carried the parasite that brought the Black Death.  In the 18th Century the brown rats, migrating across eastern Europe, reached the Baltic and there boarded ships that transported them worldwide.  In Britain they proceeded to kill off most of the black rats and there hasn't been a plague there since.

In Ireland, if you needed to get rid of rats, a rat whisperer might be called to your farm.  He would use some unknown process to make the rats leave.  As he could never be watched while he executed this, no one knows what he does.

If you have a rat in your house, it is said he will leave if you go to the rat hole and simply ask him to.  You should suggest while doing so the location of an alternative place of residence.  Some people have declared the efficacy of stuffing a written letter into the rat hole, suggesting he leave.

In the London sewers, it is said there is a King Rat, bigger than the other rats and treated by them with deference.

The London sewers in the 19th Century were said to have a Queen Rat, who would turn herself into human form and copulate with toshers, poor folk who went fishing in the sewers.  It had no effect on their health, but children they subsequently begot had eyes of different colors.


What has Corinna's column of Fortean bird news got to do with Cryptozoology?

Well, everything actually!

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. 

CRYPTOLINK: Bigfoot Sighting Report from West Virginia

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. 

Possible Bigfoot Track
Possible Bigfoot Track From Sighting

This post by Thomas Marcum, Thomas is the founder/leader of the cryptozoology and paranormal research organization known as The Crypto Crew. Over 20 years experience with research and investigation of unexplained activity, working with video and websites. A trained wild land firefighter and a published photographer, and poet.

Here is a report of a bigfoot sighting that was send to me a couple days ago. The Photos were taken by Kyle and the height comparison was also made by him.

-Start Report-
Name: Kyle S******
Email Address: withheld 
State: West Virginia
County: Ohio
Map Of Area:

Date of Sighting: July 11th 2009
Time of Day: 10 pm
Nearest Town: Wheeling
Length of Sighting: 2 minutes 
How many Witnesses: None other then myself
Any Photos/Videos: Other then placement and possible foot print.  None. 
Describe sighting in detail: 
It was one of those nights when the moons so bright it lights up everything. I lived near Spiedel Golf Course in a heavily wooded area just outside of Wheeling, West Virginia. In an area densely populated with trees and other plant life the terrain is quite hilly rolling hills as far as the eye can see. The area I believe is owned by Oglebay park. It was 10 pm or just a little after my ex wife and I were on our way out to return some movies and get some new ones before the video store closed. I walked outside leaving the door to the house open, the porch light was on. I crossed the porch and walked down three steps on to a walk way that lead down to where our car was parked. I made three steps before I stopped. It was eerily quiet outside. As in no sounds not even crickets or owls. Just a strange stillness. I took a couple more steps and stopped again. I just felt like I was being watched and naturally I began to look around. I must of looked over "It", once just panning my head from left to right. It's eyes are what caught my field of view.

Read on...

CRYPTOLINK: Bigfoot Scares Dogs! Leaves 15″ Footprints

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. 

Gigantic 15″ footprints were recently left in Washington State in the Cascades Mountains in what is now being called a ‘Bigfoot Scare’ according to this newly released story from Sky Ships Over Cashiers. Sharing that whatever made these giant footprints had a stride of more than 10′ long, are the footprints below truly signs of ‘bigfoot’ or is there something else that could explain these giant footprints and 10′ stride length? Story and a new video of ‘Bigfoot killer’ Rick Dyer on Australian TV below.

The yellow lines mark a Bigfoot trail found in the snow near Cle Elum in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State.  The footprints to the right of the lines are those of the witnesses.

Bigfoot scares dogs and leaves footprints

“Just prior to the footprints, my husband had taken our dogs out to go potty around 9 p.m. on Saturday, December 8, 2013 and there was a loud huff,” according to a woman who lives near Cle Elum, Washington.  “Scared our big dogs, one ran into the front yard and peered over the stove wall.  The other dog ran into the garage and my husband almost had a heart attack.  He said the hairs on the back of his neck stood up.”

CRYPTOLINK: Colorado Bigfoot sighting

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. 


No one knows that better than the people who are sure they've seen Bigfoot in Colorado.
In the video above 9NEWS reporter Colleen Ferreira and photojournalist Matt Michela talked to people who say they are sure of what they saw.

CRYPTOLINK: A bigfoot trackway?

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 went for a hike in one of my regular research areas and came across this trackway in the snow. It appears to be bipedal in nature, but the exact size is hard to determine as prints in the snow tend to become distorted and exaggerated as the sun, wind and rain wears the snow away around them.What makes this an odd trackway is that it appears to start and end at two different points along a frozen stream, and whatever made the tracks was able to walk through ice and cold water along an unused access road that had filled with water and frozen over, without seeming to be the least affected by it.

Read on...


The Gonzo Daily - Tuesday

There is something that I really don't understand. In fact, there are lots of things that I don't understand but this morning one thing in particular springs to mind. As regular readers will know, a few days ago I posted (extremely late) the January edition of my monthly webTV show On the Track. Several people have been kind enough to leave comments, including this one: 'i love CRYPTOZOOLOGY. Because its one more branch of science that proves how evolution is the biggest lie in human history. Cheers'. WTF? as Olivia, my younger stepdaughter would probably say.

Leaving aside the question of whether the earth was formed 4,000 years ago (it wasn't) and leaving theology entirely aside (I am a Christian, but this is neither the time nor the place to write about it), how does cryptozoology, which is the study of unknown animals as any fool knows, possibly say anything about the age of the earth, or whether or not there was any divine element in its construction? It doesn't! Last year there was a much-touted news item claiming that various American religious schools were teaching the existence of the Loch Ness Monster as a fact that 'disproves evolution.' Even if the theory that there is a giant, longnecked prehistoric reptile in the waters of the UK's biggest lake was true (and there can't possibly be - if there is anything there is the occasional enormous eel) it would tell us nothing about the age of the earth. There are plenty of animals that have survived pretty well unchanged from before the age of the dinosaurs, and cryptozoologists like me believe that others are still awaiting discovery. That is all.

Now I am going to retreat into my bunker and hide from the torrent of abuse that I am confident that this posting will bring me.

Remember that I am also the editor of Gonzo Weekly, a slightly peculiar free online music magazine. Subscribe now, and make an ageing editor very happy. It is absolutely free. http://eepurl.com/r-VTD

*  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


On this day in 1924 the comedian Benny Hill was born. For some reason if you ask anyone not from England to give you a list of English things inevitably that list will mention Benny Hill, despite the fact that few people under 30 probably even know who he was.
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