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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, June 06, 2019

YES IT WAS ANOTHER MONTAUK MONSTER WITH ALL THAT THIS ENTAILS

Yesterday morning I came into the office to be greeted, almost immediately, by a headline reading something to the effect of "Is this another Montauk Monster?" and a series of pictures of a noisome carcass on a Staten Island beach.

Well, as those of you with long enough memories will remember, the so-called Montauk Monster was a dead raccoon, hairless and bloated, that washed up on a beach near the notorious Plum Island experimental Plum Island Animal Disease Center (PIADC) which was established by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1954.

The raccoon had been found dead by a bunch of stoned surfer types who decided to give it a Viking Funeral, making a makeshift raft for it, and setting it all on fire before putting it out to sea. It was one of those ideas which probably made perfect sense when you were wasted, and although it has been a long time since I was in that condition, I recollect that mindset quite well. When the corpse washed up again near Plum Island, a lot of people jumped to unwarranted (though not entirely surprising) conclusions, and the legend of the Montauk Monster was born with several people who really should have known better jumping on the bandwagon.

When they sent us the pictures of the Montauk creature all those years ago, Richard and I took a good look, said that it was a small carnivore, possibly a raccoon or a skunk, and forgot all about it.

We were as a result ignored.

So, this time around I want to lay out our stall in advance. We have sent the pictures to four different people: animal bone experts @MelanieGbones and @Skull_Bloke whom I know from Twitter, our old warhorse Lars Thomas from Copenhagen, and my lovely wife Corinna.

The Twitter contingent have shot my original idea down in flames and said that it is not a North American River Otter (something with which Corinna concurs) and they suggest that it is another raccoon. Corinna suggests because most raccoon claws are dark and these aren't that it might be an opossum, but Lars went along with the raccoon theory.

No-one can say the CFZ aren't on the ball this time around.

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