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, June 23, 2009


Congratulations to my lovely wife for her debut article as a professional writer, and congratulations to Richard Holland (editor of Paranormal magazine) for picking up on such a talented new author, who will soon make me, gothboy and Redfern seem like talentless middle-aged hacks. What d'ya mean seem like?


Another piece of serendipity: the other day Alan Friswell came up with a particularly revolting article about training circus elephants and in last week's North Devon Journal - which was sitting on the kitchen table waiting to be turned into cage flooring for Jerry the increasingly faecally active jackdaw - I found this rather unpleasant article.

Not that it set out to be unpleasant. It merely chronicles a fascinating collection of photographs of bygone North Devon in the Beaford Art Centre, but no-one seems to have grasped the fact that, unlike horses and donkeys, elephants do not have hooves, and that putting a red hot horseshoe on a long suffering pachyderm would be akin to some particularly excrutiating Roman torture.

It is a wonder that the grinning blacksmith wasn't trampled into kingdom come!


OK, it's a deer, and it is a museum specimen in fairly poor condition. Like other things we have shown you this week, it is from the collection of our old friend Lionel Beer's late father.

He was a remarkable man who travelled widely, and had a voracious appetite for collecting stuff, but over the years the documentation for the collection, if indeed there ever was proper documentation for the collection, has disappeared.

So we are having to make it up as we go along.
Is this a fawn? Or a an adult of a small African or Asian species? You decide....

DALE DRINNON: Final appendix to Cryptozoological Checklist

Dale started at IUPUI hoping for a degree in Biology before changing to Anthropology and as a result, has a very diverse background in Geology, Zoology, Paleontology, Anatomy, Archaeology, Psychology, Sociology, Literature, Latin, Popular Culture, Film criticism, Mythology and Folklore, and various individual human cultures especially mentioning those of the Pacific and the Americas. He has a working knowledge of every human fossil find up until his graduation and every important Cryptozoological sighting up to that point. He has been an amateur along on archaeological excavations in Indiana as well as doing some local tracking of Bigfoot there. Now he is on the CFZ bloggo....

Additional Forms listed by Eberhart outside of Heuvelmans, Shuker and Drinnon Checklists

Eberhart, in Mysterious Creatures, lists several purported cryptids outside of the ones listed in former checklists. Since the book came out while my checklist was in press with the CFZ (ultimately never printed by them), I have deferred to his listings preferentially when we had listings in common. He does, however, list things with different categorisations and for different purposes than the others of us, and he has multiple entries under separate names for things that would appear to be synonymous while at the same time dumping several things together under one heading where they would not appear to go together. For instance, he lists all of the New Zealand Moa reports under one heading and that under the name of the SMALLEST alleged kind, rather than the more widely-understood name of Moa. With that in mind, here is a list of the otherwise uncounted listings and subtracting everything mentioned at least peripherally by Heuvelmans and Shuker.

I. Marine Forms

1. Amikuk
2. Bobo
3. Caribbean Monk Seal
4. Carabuncle
5. Challenger Deep Flatfish
6. Giant British Octopus
7. Giant Cookiecutter shark
8. Giant Mediterranean Octopus
9. Giant Pacific Octopus
10. Great Auk Survivals
11. Maggot (Sea Monster)
12. Malpelo Monster
13. Pink Dolphin

II. Freshwater Forms

14. Ahuizotl
15 Afa (Possibly a Mesopotamian Buru)
16. Anfish
17. Balong Bidai
18. Bennu Bird
19. Boobrie (I have information which leads me to believe it is a larger version of the Great Auk)
20. Camahueto (Also the proper local name for the elephant seal in Chile)
21. Guarcai Air-breather
22. Guirivilu
23. Hippoturtleox (evidently an unknown amphibious bovid in Tibet)
24. Kipumbubu
25. Lipata
26. Japanese Hairy Fish
27. Mahamba
28. Muhuru=Mbeleu-Mbelieu-Mbielu (a crocodile with an exaggerated spiny back is more likely than a Stegosaur)
29. Ndendeki, giant Softshelled turtles
30. Nhang
31. Oil Pit Squid (actually a known species of worm but unrecognized in the context)
32. Pink Alligator (possibly only a freak coloration)

III. Terrestrial Forms

A. North America
33. Bluenosed Frog
34. Camazotz (Kamazotz)
37. Giant Centepedes
38. Itzcuintlipotztl
39. Lummis' Pichu-Cuate
40. Marked Hominid of Coleman and Hall, probably inseparable from other Wildmen types.
41. Partridge Creek beast - probable hoax or extremely exaggerated sighting of something entirely different from the given description.
42. Shunka Wirak'in - the mountain specimen is evidently a Brown hyena.
43. Tinicum Cat
44. Wolf-deer (alleged only twice, suspicious)

B. Eurasia
45.Arabian Flying Snake (* now allowing this entry for ALL similar flying snakes)
46. Dragon-bird
47. Earth Hound. Not even a mystery; a name applied to the European badger.
48. Hibagon and Yeren, probably relatable to "Fossil Pongo"
49. Huang Yao
50. Irish Elk (persisting, although usually thought extinct at present even by promoters)
51. Jumar
52. Kaha, Central Asian wonderbird; possibly only an ostrich at base.
53. Ki-Lin
54. Ossun Lizard (outsized Lacerta?)
55. Pearl Turtle
56. Posok
57. Ren-Xiong, possibly Qa also, Giant Macaque monkey
58. Welsh Flying Snake (possibly an unusual gallinaceous bird: cannibalism is known in squabbles between rival males among domestic fowls, so possibly the henhouse-raiding reputation stems from such fights. At any rate it is actually feathered, and hence MUST be a bird.)

C. South America
59. Caitetu-Munde
60 Columbus' Ape-faced cat
62. Macas mammal
63. Onca-cangucu
64. Peruvian Jungle Wildcat
65. Rainbow tiger (evidently a bizzare colour mutation)
66. Red Jamacan parrot
67. Tapir Tiger, ie, "Tapir-killing tiger", not a really unusual allegation
68. Bagge's Black Bird
69. Booaa
70. Kikiyaon
71. Mulilo (herein a caecilian, actually probably a melanistic Gaboon viper)
72. Muhlambela
73. Ngoima
74. Sandewan
75. Waterbobbejan
76. Whiskered Swifts
77.Wolly Cheetah (probably only a coat variant)
78. Kavay
79. Bokyboky
80. Surviving Dodos
81. Fontoynot's tenrec
82. Giant Malagassy Tortoise.
83. Malgassy Lion
84. Tsy-Aomby-Aomby, surviving Pygmy hippos on Madagascar

D. The Orient
84. Bis-cobra
85. Phillipines Secretary bird
86. Harimau Jalur (Tiger with horizontal stripes)
87. Murung River bear
88. Packda, possibly a Phillipine orangutan-like ape
89. Thai Mammoth
90. Mawas and Tua Yeua. Probablre "Fossil Pongo" survivals like Heuvelmans' version of the Kra-Dhan

E. Oceana.
91. Du
92. Giant Tongan skink
94. Ngani-Vatu
95. Poua

I have a tabulation of the breakdown by classifications such as per the Heuvelmans and Shuker checklists, but this list has severe problems as to exactly how many forms are indicated by the entries and how the forms may or may not relate to forms on the other checklists, or indeed to "known" species (I have left off several entries that seem to be already-known species and not even cryptids by definition). The tabulation does break down to about the same proportions with only the difference that a finer distinction is possible in the listed species of mammals and birds indicated. This is a trade-off for a much more vague classification for the reptiles, amphibians and fishes: this list has an even more exaggerated sense of a preference toward listings of land mammals while aquatic forms are given a less exacting treatment. Realistically speaking, the listings should actually be skewed the other way.

Another problem is that a great many listings are only minor colouration variants of known species or known species in unusual ranges. I have left the majority of these off. Eberhart did indicate a cut-off at a "High Weirdness" level that did not consider the "Supernatural" sightings such as Mothman as being on the same level. I have deleted anything which Eberhart considered to be in the "High Weirdness" categories also.


As I have announced before in these pages, stuff happens in patterns, and so it didn't really surprise me to receive a story about this singularly coloured lobster immediately after having posted stories about artists using lobster carapaces in artworks....



A few weeks ago we received an intriguing email about mermaids from someone called Sostratus Winston. I wasn't expecting to hear from him again, but I have....


Forgive the lateness of the reply. I do not use computers very much, it has to be said. I have seen that you posted my e-mail onto your website and I wanted to say a heart-felt thank you to yourself and the lady who replied to my conundrum. The little one is at last appeased, thank goodness. However, this morning she came to me with another one.

I read that you and your staff have looked for these so-called Ape Men or bigfeet/foots (I often wonder which is the correct term). My little girl would like to know how one might tell if a BHM is genuinely benevolent or not. Your Dr Freeman, on a video on your site, said something about one in Russia throwing cheese at someone but also that another one was harmless (regrettably my computer crashes sometimes when I go on your page so I have been unable to go back and check this again).

The child is most concerned that should she meet a Bigfoot, he could dupe her into thinking he is kind when really he is malicious and perhaps after her sweeties, I suppose. It’s a long time since my own daughter was small; I make no pretence of understanding little girls.


Sostratus Winston

Dear Mr Winston,

I have to admit that your emails intrigue me. Richard Freeman isn't a doctor, but indeed does tell of a cheese throwing almasty. It is in our film The Mountains of Mystery, which I have embedded below this letter. I hope that it is of some help.

Jon Downes

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today

Yesterday’s News Today

Thanks to the people who posted their top 5 film lists yesterday. I’ve got a few more films to add to my ‘to watch’ list now. Anyway, its time for some more cryptozoology flavoured news links, rounded off by a stale old pun.

BB comes to Wildwood
Crocodile Spotted In Eastern France
Most endangered feline brought back from the brink
Cause of dolphin deaths not found
Study finds "no evidence" that badgers give TB to cattle, says Badger Trust
Sulawesi crested black macaques relisted as critically endangered
Huge rains force capture and relocation of African hunting dogs from Lake Kariba Island
The mystery of the Montague Island 'mouse'
Did giant arapaima cause duo to drown?
Bereaved swans inseparable after their blind date

I heard she started off as his ‘pen’ friend.

ALAN FRISWELL'S HOAX PICS #2 - A Saucerful of Secrets

I had suspected that my interpretation of the surgeon's photo would be 'solved' by the CFZ crowd at some point, and so well done to G. L. Wilson and Oll Lewis for pretty much getting it right.

Mr Wilson was correct in spotting that the shot was taken indoors, and Oll's observation that it may be 'plasticine in a bath' was more or less on the money, except that the model was made of polystyrene--although it was indeed weighted down with plasticine.

Here's a shot of the model while under construction in my workshop, with the dinosaur at the back giving him a very odd look--and a pic showing him in the bath before I filled it with water.

OK, no more easy ones, folks--now it gets a bit harder....

Coming out of left field--as I frequently do--Here's a pic of a UFO. Yes, I know--not crypto and all that, but who's to say that some UFO phenomena might not be of organic origin anyway?

If we entertain John Keel's contention that most, if not all fortean strangeness can be attributable to some super-spectral gestalt, able to bend reality to it's own purpose, or even the more recent evidence for 'sky beasts', then the jury might have to remain out for a while longer. But anyway, here's a 1950's-style saucer--just the sort of thing that George Adamski might well have encountered after a session on the special brew. So how's it done? Once again, there is no digital imaging involved and everything in the picture is real--kind of.

I will say one thing--it wasn't filmed in a bath tub....



"Here is the report we promised with our theories on the snake found at the Napo/ Amazon, which you may make available through CFZ. This is for discussion purposes and does not yet have a complete index of references. However, the conclusions made are based on the evidence and research material in our possession (some of which has already been released through CFZ). Mike & Greg Warner"

We are publishing this with no further comment from us. It is in *.pdf format, which means that you will need to have Adobe Acrobat reader to open it. If you are using a version earlier than v.9, right click on the link above and 'save as' to save it to your computer.

Greg also writes that "I haven't had time to export the video to a suitable format yet but I'll work on this over the next couple of days."


If this is true, it is another example of the increasingly mindless beaurocracy of governments, especially in the UK or the US; governments that follow the letter of the law rather than its spirit and as such, take mindless, idiotic and often cruel decisions.

If this is not true, it is equally as interesting, because it is indicative of the increasing loss of faith in organised governments across the western world.

'An orphaned deer in Ohio was rescued by a compassionate woman about three weeks ago, who took it to her home in Kentucky. The fawn was crying continuously, so the woman started to bottle-feed it. The local community decided to find a permanent home for the fawn and started e-mailing friends to find a suitable permanent home for it. Finally a rescue and rehabilitation farm for wild animals in Kentucky was identified and the fawn was sent to the farm.

This was where this charming story turned into an example of "no good deed goes unpunished." The woman who rescued the deer was informed by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife that the faun had to be returned to the wild (presumably so that it could die a natural death by starvation).

After the division of Wildlife was not able to intimidate the woman into doing this, they then started threatening her with 60 days jail time and a fine unless the fawn was handed over to them so that they can euthanize it and do post-mortem tests for diseases on it. They contend that she has broken the law by

(1) removing the fawn from it's natural habitat instead of leaving nature to run its course and
(2) transporting the deer over state borders.

I ask members to please petition the Ohio State governor to stop this persecution of a good samaritan, and to rather use it's financial resources to test the baby deer while it is alive, and should it come back disease free, to release it either to the farm where it is currently happy, or release it, after it has been weaned, into a sanctuary.Your support is needed urgently!


THE LAST EPISODE OF `ON THE TRACK`: I managed to screw up the link codes, so here it is again...


It was Alan Friswell who told us about the Center for Biological Diversity (pedants please note: the organisation is based in the US so I use their spelling of Center/Centre, not ours, before someone starts accusing me of double standards), and he sent me a copy of their latest newsletter. I was very impressed and said so; so I checked out their website, which reads:

'At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature — to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law, and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters, and climate that species need to survive.

We want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive.'

Well, how the hell can you argue with that? I can't. Starting with the current issue we shall be linking to their newsletters each time one appears. The articles on monk seals and wolverines are particularly well worth checking out