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, May 05, 2010





NEIL ARNOLD: Strange Monster Blown To Florida In Hurricane

Reading Eagle – 18th September 1935 :

‘Fort Myers, Fla – Sept 18 – Estero Island fishermen went back to their boats this morning, content in the belief that the monster reported to have visited their shores had left them. Whatever the strange creature might have been, it apparently had quit the island, returning to the gulf, perhaps to some other Florida coast key.

There was no doubt in the minds of the fisher folk that the beast had been on Estero Island. A photograph snapped by Lewis Reynolds, of Selma, Ala, proved that. But a score or more of the islanders beat back and forth across the mangrove thickness of the gulf and bay shores yesterday. They found nothing more than the ordinary wild life that inhabits this section.

Natural scientists looked at the picture Reynolds had taken, and decided that the subject was a marine or rhinoceros iguana. It was possible, they said, that he was blown and washed across the gulf from the West Indies by the hurricane of two weeks ago.

If he was an iguana, he was equally at home on land or water. So the searchers decided he had left Estero to seek a hiding place elsewhere.

The creature’s scaly head was shaped like that of a lizard. Down the back was a row of spines and the tail was long and pointed. He was greenish-grey in colour.’

The day previous The Palm Beach Post ran the headline, ‘Big Lizard Object Of Posse’s Search Around Fort Myers’. They claimed the creature was six-feet in length.


Dear Sir/Madam,

For the last five years I have noticed a small colony of what I believe are early purple orchids (Orchis mascula) on the left hand verge of the A39 just west of Fairy Cross. Each year the verges are cut before the flowers have a chance to seed. This is a great shame, because they are beautiful and relatively rare in Devon although as far as I can tell they are not covered by the terms of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

Would it be possible to just leave this tiny area of verge unmowed for once, or to have it mowed by hand.

I would be quite prepared to provide someone to cut it manually and to keep it trimmed throughout the year. The area is only about 25 square feet in size.

I look forward to hearing from you,
Best wishes

Jonathan Downes

To their credit, I heard back this morning:

Dear Mr Downes

I have forwarded your request onto Devon County Council’s Highways team as they are responsible for maintaining the verges.

Yours sincerely
Sally Ferguson

Support Assistant

Environmental Protection Team,

Torridge District Council,

Bridge Buildings,


I will let you know what happens. However, I would like to crave another boon from my dear readers. I was under the impression that all British orchids were protected. However, maculata does not seem to appear on Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act.

I am crappy at interpreting the law. I fought the law and the law not only won, but tap-danced all over my cranium many years ago, and several hours perusal of the afore-mentioned act have left me no wiser. Can someone whose arteries are NOT beginning to harden explain to me?


'These I found while outside taking pictures of honey bees last year (there was an enormous amount of bees on our field of goldenrod, which surprised me because bees had been pretty rare recently). They look sorta like beetles what with the hard shell-like wing covering, but they're coloured more like yellow jackets. They were all over the place too. I don't exactly remember how big they were, but I'd have to guess about 3/4 to 1 inch long.'

This was sent by someone called `BootX`. I have no other information


Hi Jon,

Thought you would be interested in this for the bloggo. There is a new mutation turning up in New Zealand captive bred frogs: Golden frogs; and a Lutenistic colour is also appearing as well. They are fetching a very high price and apparently breed true.

Tony Lucas

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


It’s Election Day in the UK. If you’re a UK-lion you probably should vote or you’ll loose all credibility when you next complain about how useless the government is. I’m not going to tell you who to vote for as that would be incredibly arrogant, but it is worth bearing in mind that legal protection for the Loch Ness Monster is one of the manifesto pledges of the Monster Raving Loony Party (not that I’d want to influence your vote, of course…)
And now, the news:

Experts astounded by 'city of gonads' jellyfish
Beaver dam 'visible from space'
Bull semen smuggled in Thermos bottle
Watch out Mr Toad, Ratty's eating frogs
Voles' frog food
New footage of ospreys captured
Bear rescued after getting stuck up tree

‘Bear’ with me I’ll come up with a profanity free pun from that lot in a day or two I’m sure…


There have been long drawn-out arguments about semantics between various anonymous Internet folks over the last few days. However, it has been pointed out that the wording on the CFZ website saying that we are the world's only 'professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals' may be wrong.

Hadn't we ever heard of The Pangea Institute ,demanded `The Highland Tiger.` No, in fact, neither Graham nor I who maintain the website had. I got them confused with Pangea Records who amongst others release stuff by the rather fab 9 Below Zero, and who I think are co-owned by Sting.

However, in the interests of fair play I have re-worded the front page of the CFZ website, which now reads:

'The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is - we believe - the largest professional, scientific and full-time organisation in the world dedicated to cryptozoology - the study of unknown animals. Since 1992 the CFZ has carried out an unparalleled programme of research and investigation all over the world.'

Two questions: firstly, can anyone else tell me anything about The Pangea Institute apart from what is on their website? These guys seem to be singing from a very similar hymn book to us, and if they are on the level I would like to make contact. Secondly, if there is anyone larger than the CFZ, please let me know. Both those questions are meant seriously and without a hint of irony.

Whilst on the subject of both websites and lack of irony, we carried out major rejigs of the website twice in the last 18 months. Whilst doing so I drew upon a lot of material written by different people for the CFZ. If it is pointed out to me that bits are ambiguous or even wrong, they are changed. Correcting mistakes is not fraud, it is good housekeeping. If anyone finds mistakes in the website please email me at jon@eclipse.co.uk