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 29, 2009


OK, this is 18 months old but I am posting it because I haven't seen this clip before. I make no claims for its veracity one way or another.


Jordan Warner has been working hard on the revamped Cryptid Hunt using software donated to him by the CFZ. On his blog he describes a recent trip to one of the leafier corners of New York State in search of bigfoot...


And on YouTube he has posted a new trailer. Remember this boy is still in his teens. I think that he has done a remarkable job...

NEIL ARNOLD: Why Do Birds Suddenly Appear?

I have known Neil for fifteen years now, since he was a mod schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippy who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years; we are just both a tad older....

Whilst on my way to conduct a talk recently in Orpington, Kent, I came across an unusual sight, which I hope some readers of this blog can help me with. I’m sure it’s nothing unusual but... I was strolling along a busy road around 7:15 pm; a nice sunny evening, but when I looked to my right up a cul-de-sac, I noticed it was covered with crows. Now, this made for quite a strange sight because the birds were not spilling onto the road I was walking on, or onto fences or up in trees; they simply littered the cul-de-sac. They did not appear to be feeding on anything and there were literally 30-40 of these birds just standing there.

Secondly, on Thursday July 9th 2007 I was awoken around 7:00 am by a squawking noise. I live in an historic apartment, top floor, over-looking a castle. I sat bolt upright and saw on the window ledge a large, black crow. Suddenly, the bird turned to look at me and then tapped four times on the window and then flew off. I’m pretty sure there’s nothing sinister about these two encounters, and I doubt Brandon Lee was about to leap out from behind a bush, but if anyone can shed any light or has had a similar experience I’d like to hear it.

GLEN VAUDREY: Unicorns everywhere

Having read Friswell’s Freaky Features the other week regarding the bull with the single horn I was reminded of a few other single horned faux unicorns.

The one you might have seen before is one of the unicorns produced by Oberon Zell-Ravenheart. Following on from the work of Dr Franklin Dove in the 1930s he further refined the work and churned out his own version of the unicorn; this time the basis of the conversion was a goat. Like the bull some 50 years previously the animal had a natural advantage in the head-butting contests, after all and its one horn had the benefit of slipping neatly between the opponents two natural horns.

The things you can do when you have time on your hands.


Some weeks ago, when Fleur last visited, we showed her this. It is a softshell turtle carapace, which was donated to us by Lionel Beer from the collection of his late father. It has the word `Soudan` written inside, so presumably is African in origin.

It is interesting because of the unusually large fleshy `skirt` around it, which does seem atypical for normal softshell turtles, and even for the flapshell turtles (Cyclanorbis).

Fleur wrote to us afterwards:

Hello Jon, I found this on a site about ethnography; as you can see it is very similar to the shell you have and yours does have 'soudan' written on it. Obviously this one has been shaped as a shield and yours has not but it does look a lot like it.

The original posting includes this sentence:

"You find this type in the southern Soudan and different nilotic tribes are possible. Attached mine from the Bari. The shell is very hard and in my opinion a very good protection for every stick fighting match."

WEIRD WEEKEND: Children's area disappointment

Apparently, despite what I said yesterday, Celia Braund will not be doing her `junk monsters` workshop at the Weird Weekend. It has been decided that the fee that I offered will not cover her time and expenses.

So, back to the drawing board.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


More news from the world of cryptozoology and related disciplines with thanks to our hardworking news chappie Gavin Ll-W:

David Farrier to embark on hunt for Mongolian death worm
The Truth Behind the Mongolian Death Worm
Conservationists hunt elusive US earthworm
Disease threat may change how frogs mate
Homeowner shoots bear invader with shotgun
Shaunetta the sheep shot dead
Conservationists hunt elusive US earthworm

Lets hope the US government gets a wriggle on and gives the worm protected species status.