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 12, 2010



As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February 2009 and he is now working on a general mish-mash of a section known as `General Forteana`. This tenth trenche is a collection of completely uncategoriseable stuff including animal attacks, a decapitated python, and dogs that saved a small child with Down's syndrome. It doesn't get much better than this. Good stuff.


LINDSAY SELBY: A monster hunter and a gentleman.

There is one monster hunter at Loch Ness, an academic, that not many people know about. Most have heard of Frank Searle, Tim Dinsdale, Roy Mackal and Bob Rines but I wonder how many know the name of Henry Bauer? Henry first visited the Loch in 1958 and has spent many summers there since. Henry believes in Nessie, wrote a book about it and you can find out more at his website:

Extract from his website: Because the media continue to treat Nessie only as an amusing story. The objective and strong evidence summarized in the above article is not properly presented in the "documentary" films and television programs about the subject. There have been at least 18 such programs (in English alone) since the 1970s. Typically they give the false impression that eyewitness reports are the main grounds for believing Nessies to be real. Often the strongest evidence is not even mentioned, and when it is, it is often misrepresented. For a detailed analysis of the 17 documentaries shown between 1972 and 2001, see my article,

"Common Knowledge about the Loch Ness Monster" Journal of Scientific Exploration, 16(3): 455--477 (2002)

I had published earlier analyses of the coverage that Nessie has received in newspapers, magazines, and books:

Public Perception of the Loch Ness Monster, Scottish Naturalist, 1988, 69--93
The Loch Ness Monster: Public Perception and the Evidence, Cryptozoology, 1 (1982) 40—45

Henry does have some controversial theories on some subjects but I have always found him to be a gentleman and very friendly and helpful. He and Tim Dinsdale got along well and I could see why: they were both, I found, to be basically nice honest people (which is more than can be said for some that were around the Loch at various times). Henry has always replied when I have contacted him, is always pleasant and helpful so I thought he deserved a blog post.




In another bit of good news, the black-chinned girardinus that Max brought about a month ago are breeding very succesfully. They are not rare but they are uncommon in captivity, and we are very pleased with what we have done. Oll has done very well....

Orchids - result!

As regular readers may know, I have no great opinion of Government, either local or national, but during the saga of the Early Purple Orchids of Fairy Cross, those in authority could not have been nicer.

We met a very nice chap called Stephen this afternoon onsite, and in the course of a meeting that lasted well under five minutes, he agreed that the orchids should be protected, and has agreed that the grass should not be mown to give the flowers a chance to seed, and has devolved responsibility for maintaining the small headland upon which there is now a colony of ten or more flower spikes to the CFZ. If only the functionaries of Central Government were as sensible, reasonable and downright nice to deal with.

BTW, on the picture he can be seen (just about) on the right hand side, but we did not have permission to photograph him. We took pics in which he could be identified, in full expectation of having to mount a campaign of ridicule against the decision-makers, but as we have explained, we could not have been more wrong.

It is nice that a conservation story has a happy ending for a change.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1917 three children claimed to have had a vision of the virgin Mary in Fatima, Portugal.
And now, the news:

Computer mice risk to your health
Mother bear saving stuck baby bear
Giant herring found in Sweden

A chance to make fish puns? That’s ‘dace’ whenever fish get mentioned there’s always po-‘tench’-ial for some ‘cod’ly puns…

(Not good enough? Oh well, ‘eel’ get my coat then)