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, September 03, 2010


I was having an afternoon nap yesterday when Lizwiz telephoned. Apparently, she said (all apologetic about having woken me up), the YouTube links for a number of the Bloggoposts from last week had disappeared. These included Kara's birthday and most of the Sunday talks from WW2010, including my keynote speech. I have no idea what happened and have replaced them, but it is somewhat disturbing to find that whole swathes of bloggythings can disappear in such a cavalier manner. Any ideas?


Due to circumstances beyond our control Ryedale A.S have had to move our 2011 Open Show back to Sunday 11th September.


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 23rd collection once again really is a general mishmash of completely uncategoriseable stuff, including Erik Beckjord, UFOs, a haunted castle, and a story about how Charles Manson didn't get a sex change. It doesn't get much better than this. Good stuff.




RICHARD FREEMAN: Yokai of the Week

Raigō Anjari was a priest of Mii-dera, a Buddhist temple located at the foot of Mount Hiei, in the city of Ōtsu, in Shiga Prefecture. He was snubbed by the emperor, who favoured the Enryaku-ji Temple, a monastery on Mount Hiei overlooking Kyoto. Raigō had prayed successfuly for the birth of a prince and as a reward had requested the erection of a Buddhist ordination platform at the Enjoji Temple. But rival monks from the Enryaku-ji Temple sucessfuly petitioned the emperor to stop its construction.

Raigō Anjari starved himself to death then transformed his spirit into a plague of rats and laid waste to the Enryaku-ji Temple, knawing up its scriptures. Tesso is depicted as a pack of rats with a kind of were-rat or rat / human hybrid as its leader. Tesso and his roden minions were finaly lured into a pit and buried alive. The mound of earth that covered them is said to be in the city of Oyama in Tochigi Prefecture but its exact wereabouts have been forgotten.

In Kosai Ishikawa’s 1889 book Yaso Kidan (Strange Stories from a Night Window) a story is related of how a samurai is attacked by a group of tiny well dressed men. After slaying them he finds that they were all rat yokai in disguise. Were-rats were known to the Ainu as well. A story tells of how a childless couple found a young boy in the forest and took him home. At that time they could catch no deer or fish so the woman travelled to the next village to buy some. She took the boy with her.

The chief of the village gave them food and allowed them to sleep overnight in his hut. During the night the boy transformed into a rat and scurried about, gnawing at the venison and fish. In the morning the chief said “Look, a huge rat must have come in the night and nibbled at our food.” The woman brought some food and put it in a sack. On the way home she thought she heard the sound of a rat gnawing at the sack. Looking round she only saw the boy smiling innocently.

Back at her own village, the woman put the food in a store room and the husband set a trap. The next day there was no sign of the boy but a massive rat lay dead in the trap. A person of divine aspect appeared and said “On hearing you were childless a wicked rat transformed himself into a boy and fooled you into taking him home. He polluted the area with his presence and so you could not hunt for fish. But all shall be well now.”

The deer and fish returned and the couple were blessed with a real child.


I would like to draw readers' attention to the results of the big butterfly count. ...

Interesting results include an impressive number of sightings of the Small Tortoiseshell. This beautiful butterfly has been ravaged in recent years, with numbers declining by 82% in southeast England, perhaps due to the arrival of a parasitic fly called Sturmia bella. The big butterfly count results indicate strong signs of recovery. The Small Tortoiseshell was the ninth commonest butterfly seen across the UK and did even better in garden habitats.


However, welcome as that news is, the most interesting news can be found here. It appears that the Jersey Tiger, for years one of Britain's rarest and most localised moths, being restricted to parts of the southwest (including, interestingly, the Housing Estate where the CFZ lived for 20 years until 2005, and where Olivia and Ivan live now, has spread massively, being found in London of all places.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 2006 the Australian naturalist Steve Irwin died.
And now, the news:

Mexican Archaeologists Extract 10,000 Year-Old Ske...
Chupacabra Alert: 300 Goats Mysteriously Slaughter...
Fish That Looks Like Shrek
Fox spit helped Forest Service confirm rare find ...
Researchers try to identify mysterious Chelan worm...
‘Extinct’ lobelia flower rediscovered in Hawaii
Rockies fossils yield 8 new species
Looking for Bigfoot in Minnesota