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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Friday, July 31, 2009


...a fascinating new paper on trilobites revealing new facts about the way they lived.



Miami Beach tolerates all kinds of eccentricity, but the south Florida playground of the rich and famous draws the line at a bicycle-riding rooster named Mr. Clucky. The white bird, who perches on his owner's bike, has become a favourite subject of tourist photos. But he's been ordered out of town for his cacophonous crowing every day at 6 a.m.

A code enforcement officer ticketed owner Mark Buckley on May 27 for keeping a farm animal. Buckley faces a $50 fine and an order to get rid of the famous fowl. Never mind that the celebrity bird was grand marshal of last fall's King Mango Strut in nearby Coconut Grove.

Buckley could receive repeated citations and higher fines if he doesn't comply. But city officials say an arrest is not likely.

On the Net:

Mr. Clucky Web site: http://www.mrclucky.com/


He may claim to be helping the CFZ to get specimens of the garden tiger moth (see below) for a breeding project but we know the truth, boys and girls. Agent Matthews is now working to destabilise the Arctiidae
FROM WIKIPEDIA: The garden tiger moth is found throughout Europe as far north as Lapland, in Asia, and in North America. In the mountains this species is found up to an elevation of 2,000 metres (6,600 ft). The garden tiger moth loves damp places, which is why it is particularly common in river valleys as well as gardens and parks. The moth is nocturnal and can usually only be seen flying around a source of light. The distinctively coloured, long-haired caterpillar, on the other hand, is seen more frequently. It can grow up to 6 cm (2½ inches) long and plays dead when in danger. These moths are most common in June to August, in gardens, park, meadows, grasslands, and scrubby areas.
On August 28, 2007, the new Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) [launched in 1997] identified 1,149 species and 65 habitats in the UK that need conservation and greater protection. The updated list include hedgehog, house sparrows, grass snake and the garden tiger moth; otters, bottlenose dolphins and red squirrels remained in need of habitat protection.[1]
Its numbers in the UK have declined by 89% over the past 30 years.[2]


I am not sure whether these images of this singular felid have been picked up by the fortean press or not, but I have not seen them before.

I was sent these by accident. I am a member of a newsgroup called `Old Hong Kong,` which occasionally is a good place to get photographs of pre-war Hong Kong for the book that Richard Muirhead and I have been writing in a desultory manner for the past seventeen years.

However, these days the postings are more likely to be soft porn pictures of Asian girls with titles like "Sexy Fidelia displays herself to homeless man in field 18++ Verry god", but occasionally something of interest comes up.

Like this:

This weird cat with wings was spotted in Chonqing, China.

Although you might think the angel-cat of Chonqing is unique, there have been other cats with wings in Russia and the United States.

Her owner says she wasn’t born like this.

Her wings started growing when she was one year old. A worker from the Chonqing Museum of Natural History says this kind of oddities are becoming quite common and are the results of pollution.
This particular angel cat will be adopted by the Chonqing Museum.


I always feel mildly embarrassed that I spend more time being sceptical about supposed evidence for the existence of cryptids than I do being positive. This is basically why, when Lindsay commented on what I thought was a spectacularly dubious photograph purporting to be of bigfoot, I kept schtum.

However, now, no less than the Oregon Bigfoot society have entered the debate. Autumn Williams writes:

Prior to this article being published on the Examiner website, I received a mass email from a mufonjeff (Jeffrey Gonzalez?) regarding this photograph. The subject line was “BIGFOOT CONFIRMED REAL!!!!”

I wasn’t immediately impressed with the photograph, nor with the sensationalism of the subject line. I mean, I can understand being excited about possibly capturing an image of Sasquatch on your game cam, but to publicise it as “confirmed!!!!” before the photograph has been independently analysed by those proficient in photographic analysis (or even your peers, for that matter) is a bit irresponsible and doesn’t do a whole lot for the credibility of our field of research… which many feel has little inherent credibility to begin with. *grin*...

Read On



Creationist exams comparable to international A-levels, says Naric

ICCE teaches that Loch Ness monster disproves evolution and apartheid benefited South Africa
* Jessica Shepherd
* The Guardian, Friday 31 July 2009

Exams for which pupils are expected to believe that the Loch Ness monster disproves evolution have been deemed equivalent to international A-levels by a UK government agency.

The National Recognition Information Centre (Naric) in Cheltenham, which advises universities and employers on the rigour of lesser-known qualifications, has ruled that the International Certificate of Christian Education (ICCE) is comparable to courses such as international A-levels, the Times Education Supplement has found.

Teenagers studying for the certificate, which is taught in about 50 private Christian schools in the UK, spend half their time learning from evangelical US textbooks. The curriculum is based on the Accelerated Christian Education (ACE) programme, which describes its ideology as "Christian fundamentalist".

Jonny Scaramanga, who was a pupil at a school in Bath that used the textbooks, has complained to Naric that the books tell pupils that the Loch Ness monster "appears to be a plesiosaur" and helps to disprove evolution.

The textbooks also state that apartheid helped South Africa because segregated schools "made it possible for each group to maintain and pass on their culture and heritage to their children".

One of the textbooks tells pupils: "Have you heard of the 'Loch Ness Monster' in Scotland? 'Nessie,' for short has been recorded on sonar from a small submarine, described by eyewitnesses, and photographed by others. Nessie appears to be a plesiosaur.

"Could a fish have developed into a dinosaur? As astonishing as it may seem, many evolutionists theorize [sic]that fish evolved into amphibians and amphibians into reptiles. This gradual change from fish to reptiles has no scientific basis. No transitional fossils have been or ever will be
discovered because God created each type of fish, amphibian, and reptile as separate, unique animals. Any similarities that exist among them are due to the fact that one Master Craftsmen fashioned them all."

Naric, which is funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, has said the ICCE is equivalent to the advanced certificate of Cambridge International exam board's international A-levels.

Tim Buttress, Naric's spokesman, told the TES its remit did not cover the curriculum's content.

Its remit did not cover the curriculum's content? Are you bloody joking? How can NARIC even begin to assess the standard of education presented by a qualification if they don't look at what they have been taught? Leaving aside the moral question of generations of children being taught pernicious, superstitious, nonsense, this is just another doorway by which kids will enter the university system not knowing anything. This country is doomed!


As - amongst other things - this blog is a daily snapshot of life here at the CFZ, we post this email exactly as we received it:

"What you refer to as zooform phenomena are nothing but demons(spirit beings).Demons are shapeshifters and there is no limit to the different things they can manifest themselves as.The Jersey devil,bigfoot,mothman,chupacabra,and phantom kangaroos are all demonic manifestations.What people aren't aware of is that the demons are behind various paranormal phenomena.This includes crop circles,alien/ufos,cattle mutilation,and ghosts.For people that don't believe in the supernatural,these phenomena are proof that demons do exist.Also,this is why these things are sometimes seen together,because the same thing is behind all of them.Too,I wanted to mention that Jonathan Downes said that the chupacabra is the most frightnening cryptid there is.Well,he must have never heard of the pobobawa and the pope lick monster".

Goodness me.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Friday on YNT is Fact Friday where as well as the news I regail you with a fascinating fact that you never knew before; so without further waffle here is this week's fact....

The Cornish town of Lostwithiel was so named due to the fact the town would be moved around the countryside to fool unwelcome travellers. This was achieved using a cunning and intricate system of brass pulleys and valves set up in Victorian times and operated by the mayor of Lostwithiel while sitting in a seat in the towns control room situated in the guildhall that looked similar to the time machine in HG Wells' book of the same name. The practice continued until the 1950s when the town received a visit from a very annoyed official from the Ordnance Survey.

And now the news:

Crustacean Color Control System Decoded
Freshwater crabs 'feel the pinch'
Mapping the crocodile genome
Bird fossils found in Kalaeloa, Hawaii
Commuter cat is star of bus route
X-ray shows dog swallowed nine golf balls
3,000 donkeys drafted in for Afghan polls: UN
Amazing rescue: Drowning diver saved by beluga whale

‘Whale’ I never! What an amazing animal.