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, September 01, 2009


Most people only have one or two animals with whom they interact. We have several hundred (even without counting all the baby gourami in the pub). The upside to this is that we have more births than most people, but the downside is that we have more illness and death. We have a couple of animals on the sicklist at the moment:

One of the Asian bitterlings has `pop eye disease`. This is treatable, and most fish eventually recover. We have treated the tank with fish tonic, and are awaiting further developments.

Rufus the Chinese crested mynah is also quite poorly. He has been a bit off colour for a few days, but now needs to go to the vet. I will keep you informed....


For the second year running, we will be broadcasting the Weird Weekend (almost) in its entirety here on CFZtv. There were a couple of glitches due to technical problems beyond our control, but on the whole everything went well, so 95% of the conference will be up in the next days....


People across the cryptoverse have been posting a news story, which reads in part:


"The Polish Yeti allegedly roaming the Tatra mountains has been spotted again already.

Earlier this week The Morningstarr* reported how 27 year old Piotr Kowalski from Warsaw spotted an ape-like creature hiding amongst rocks up in the Tatra mountains. Now 19 year old Justyna Folger has come forward with a video of her on a camping trip in the same area..."

I have to admit that I am not really any more impressed than I was by the first bit of footage
but the story is interesting, even though none of the footage presented so far is even approaching conclusive....

RICHARD FREEMAN: A round up of weird animal news

Just a few news stories that have caught my eye recently:

Remember Rolf Harris with 'Jake the Peg (and his extra leg?) Well, I think Jake must be running a farm in Australia by the look of these stories.



American alligators rarely exceed 10 feet these days. However, in Alabama a couple of huge ones have been recently killed. Matt Thornton killed a 13 foot, 5 inch 'gator in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta, tipping the scales at 705 lbs. John Sutton killed a 12 foot, 10 inch specimen from the Tenshaw River. Though many crocodile species get vastly larger, 'gators of this size are now very uncommon.

Why people have to kill these magnificent beasts is beyond me. Is it to prove that they are men? If so they fail abysmally and prove only that they are juvenile cowards. By killing big male 'gators they are diluting the gene for large size and are robbing the world of spectacular animals.


I'm middle-aged and have a beer belly so the next story gives me hope. A plump, middle-aged Slovenian has just swum 3,274 miles down the Amazon, braving caiman, piranhas and the genital-burrowing candiru fish. The reason: it was there!

Apparently his doctor told him to give up drinking so he had a bottle of red wine, some whiskey and a beer. What a guy!



From the AES Bug Club mailing list:

"Can anyone identify these shieldbugs. I found three of them in my mothtrap this morning [1st Sept] The largest measures 18mm. I am located in VC14 Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex".


Maxy arrived yesterday, but he was encumbered by molluscs. First up was a brace of swan mussels of magnificent size that he brought me for a belated birthday present. Dear boy; it was very kind of him.

He put them into the Hong Kong community tank together with my Asian bitterlings, and we hope that this will inspire them to breed.

However, I am sure that the dear boy will spend the next few months telling everyone how I gazed myopically at the tank for nearly an hour before noticing the new arrivals.

He is already telling everyone how this is just another symptom of my approaching senility, and how if I am not actually prepared to go into the library with a bottle of port and a revolver, I should at least resign forthwith and let him be director of the CFZ in my stead.


However, on the way down to us from Wells, Maxy stopped off at a pet shop that shall not be named and made an urgent telephone call to headquarters. There were, he told me, some rare and beautiful snails including the larest apple snails he had ever seen. They were going to die slowly and unpleasantly in the shop unless we bought them, so - against my better judgement, and despite being skint - we did.
They are certainly magnificent; four apple snails (including two the size of large apples) and five Brotia pagodula from one teensy weensy river in Myanmar (which sounds eminently Kiplingesque....

ATILLA THE HEN: Yesterday's News Today

Yo peeps, Atilla the Hen, your favourite poultry news fowl here. I don't get to do the news very often because Welsh-boy always hogs it, but he is away seeing his girlfriend in Plymouth for a few days, which gives me the chance to shine.

However, whilst on the subject of Oll's girlfriend, her father is ill in hospital at the moment, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish him a speedy recovery.

But enough of such stuff - on with Yesterday's News Today:

White pedigree poodle has black puppies

Disease changes the way that frogs mate

Nessie sightings through the ages

An incredible journey

See? It's not that difficult. Now to think of a joke. Errrrm.

Q: Why did the chicken cross the road?
A: To do the CFZ News blog of course!

See you tomorrows peeps.