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, July 03, 2019


It is one of the slightly irritating tropes within certain sectors of cryptozoology that disaffected cryptotypes claim that “mainstream scientists” will “suppress information if it conflicts with their own views and theories”.

It was this type of information that Charles Fort classified as “damned, as in excluded” in his classic Book of the Damned (1919).

Well, I suppose that there is no better way of marking the century since that book was first published than by releasing a piece of our own “damned” knowledge. The CFZ exists, as I have always said, to find out the truth behind things rather than to worship paradigms, and so, although a few weeks ago we were very excited by the discovery of a dead pine marten in Teignbridge, on the south side of Dartmoor, we can now bring you another part of the story.

I contacted the person who found the dead body, hoping against hope that he had kept it. It turns out that he had done better than that. He took it and had it scanned for microchips, and it turns out that the creature had been transported from Scotland to Wales, where it had been released.

Somehow, and this is still a mystery, it had made its way from Wales to Devon, where it died.
Whilst dictating this to Olivia, she drew my attention to a recent story in The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/jul/02/fantastic-arctic-fox-animal-walks-3500km-from-norway-to-canada), which proves that sometimes relatively small mammals can make unprecedented journeys.

The second mystery is - of course – how and why it turned up in exactly the part of Devon that it did. Because it was near here that there were sightings of martens in the 1970s and 1980s, as chronicled in my book, The Smaller Mystery Carnivores of the West Country (1996).

Whilst we are, of course, disappointed that we can now disprove any suggestion that this animal was part of a relict population of these creatures that had survived for the last century or so, it is important, we think, to continue looking for evidence of Devon pine martens. This species has been proven to have survived in various parts of England in recent years, including Shropshire and Hampshire, the latter location of which we had predicted in the aforementioned book. There have also been unsubstantiated reports from other parts of England, including Cornwall.

As they say, watch this space.

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