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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Thursday, January 07, 2016


In "Big Footprints: A Scientific Inquiry into the Reality of Sasquatch," Bigfoot hunter Grover Krantz, suggests that a few thousand Gigantopithecus ...

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: Indian beliefs regarding the tapir in North America

There is an interesting though racist article in the Amador Ledger of July 7th 1905 titled Indian Superstitions, which however contains two cryptozoological snippets which reflect upon a completely separate cryptozoological story I found relating to a national park near Santa Barbara on the coast of California.


The Indian believes there are boa constrictors in the streams of North America and also that the South American tapir lives in North America. He calls the boa constrictor the iste-ach-war-nayer and calls the tapir nocas-ohmer.

The Indian believes he has a cure and preventive for rabies, or hydrophobia. He also believes he can cure any snake bite on earth, from a ground rattler to a velvet tail or diamond rattler. An Indian never was known to go mad from dog bite or die from a rattler`s bite, while other races succumb to the venom of a snake or go mad from the bite of a rabid dog.

The Indian when in battle and fatally wounded believes that if his medicine man can reach him with his bitter medicine before he dies it will give him instant relief and he will be able to escape from the battlefield. He thinks every man is honest until he finds him out, in which event he loses all confidence in him and never gets over it. The Indian never makes up after falling out with any one. He may speak to an enemy as he passes, but dies with the hatred in his heart.

Now casting the racism away, I found an intriguing story in the The Milwaukee Journal  February 20th 1943

Santa Barbara, California.  One more strange animal has been added to the long list of odd ones that have been trapped or otherwise captured in Los Padres national forest. The list includes a wild boar with a  snout like an elephant`s trunk, white coyotes, snow coloured deer and even an all-red blackbird. The latest capture in the forest was that of a monkey - and a tame one at that. Foresters are trying to locate its owner.
Someone on the Zombie Mammal Society Facebook group pointed out to me on December  13th that the animal with a trunk sounded like a tapir and interestingly fossil tapir have been found in California. Wikipedia says:
Tapirus californicus, sometimes called the California tapir, is an extinct species of tapir that inhabited North America during the Pleistocene era. T. californicus went extinct about 13,000 to 11,000 BC at the end of the last ice age.[1]
Tapirs have a long history on the North American continent. Fossils of ancient tapirs in North America can be dated back to 50 million-year-old Eocene rocks on Ellesmere Island, Canada, which was then a temperate climate.[2] By 13 million years ago, tapirs very much like extant tapirs existed in Southern California.[3]

I contacted Chad Arment about this and he told me that there were a lot of big snake stories in the south-west of the U.S. and boas specifically in Mexico.


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.

NESSIENEWS (Caveat Lector)

Press and Journal

A famous “sighting” of the Loch Ness Monster may finally have been solved – but the explanation could be just as scary as a monster lurking beneath ...