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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Thursday, March 10, 2011

RAHEEL MUGHAL: Inkyumba - Water Mythology from Howick Falls (South Africa)

The Inkyumba is a water monster from South African Zulu oral traditions. After many sightings (some of which sadly turned out to be hoaxes – such as an infamous photograph circulated around the Internet and in periodicals and textbooks). However, the Inkyumba seems to be more zooform than cryptid, primarily because of the rich oral history pertaining to the beast as dictated by the Howick Falls Zulu population, in particular, that the being is associated with water and that it is an ill omen to search for such a beast because if one happens to see one it will bring imminent death and destruction to the individual and the village to which he/she is affiliated (sounds very similar to another infamous African lake dragon – Mokele Mbembe and dragons in particular).

DOUG SHOOP: One brave kitty

Sometimes you want to believe. I found this on the ever reliable interweb. I have no idea who posted it or created it, but I highly doubt it’s simply a snapshot.

Whatever it is, I like it and if real, which I doubt, that would be one brave kitty-kat.

GLEN VAUDREY: Whole Wide World (the missing bits)

I am not always the brightest button in the barrel, and to my embarrassment I missed two episodes of Glen Vaudrey's increasingly excellent `Whole Wide World` out entirely. Here they are:

Blog 10

French Guiana

French Guiana is an overseas department of France and as such plays host to the French space port, taking full advantage of its location close to the equator. It was also, in the past, the location of the Île du Diable that notorious penal colony better know in the English-speaking world as Devil’s Island. If that isn’t good enough, it has a great flag and its own mystery animal: the Maipolina.

Back to the dangerous critters with this one, the Maipolina is French Guiana’s very own water tiger.

Why not get started with a gruesome bit when a boy fell into the Maroni River in 1962? It didn’t end well for him and when the locals went to recover his dead body they had a shock because it looked very much like it had been partially eaten by a mystery animal, a finding that was backed by a doctor’s examination of the corpse; it was suggested that the Maipolina was responsible for the injury.

So what does the Maipolina look like? Well, we are in luck on that one because Colonel René-Antoine Riccate interviewed a witness to one such creature that was spotted lying on a rock by the river one evening. The description was as follows: an estimated size of 9 ft long and 3 ft wide; its feet had a fearsome set of claws that were likened to those of the three-toed anteater; its ears were drooping and it had large, round, dark brown eyes; it had a coat of short, fawn-coloured fur with a whitish chest and its tail was described as looking like that of a cow: long and terminating in a tuft. But it was the animal’s teeth that were its striking feature, described as being like those of a walrus. With a description like that it seems that there could well be an undiscovered sabre-toothed cat lurking in the waters of South America. Well, I for one hope so.

Next stop: Suriname

Blog 11


Sitting between French Guiana and Guyana, the country of Suriname is the only Dutch-speaking country in South America and other than that I couldn’t find much else about the place apart from the fact that it has a big bridge called the Jules Wijdenbosch Bridge. I think it’s time we move on to look at Suriname’s cryptid, the Didi.

We’re not talking about slave labourers in Ken Dodd’s jam butty mines; we are actually looking at a mystery primate. Described as being around 5 ft tall, thick set, powerfully built, with reddish-brown or black hair. Sightings of the Didi are actually reported across a wide area from Guyana, across Suriname and into French Guiana. Reportedly a shy animal, it has been claimed that it can walk erect and when it does it swings its arms. It is also said to travel in pairs. It appears to be heard more times than it is seen with its call sounding like ‘hoo hoo.’ Alternatively, there is a long whistle that has been attributed to it.

While it does appear to be a mystery primate, there is also the odd claim that the Didi is able to successfully mate with humans. So is it a wildman or just a monkey? I am sure we will find out one day.

Next we skip across the border and enter Guyana


Center for Biological Diversity
Dear Richard,

The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives have included a rider in the government’s continuing resolution funding bill that would end federal protections for wolves throughout Montana and Idaho and parts of Utah, Oregon and Washington.

If it passes, this new law will prevent re-listing northern Rockies wolves as 'endangered' even if their numbers plummet toward zero. Both Montana and Idaho have made clear that they will work to drastically reduce wolf populations through hunting and other means.

The legislation will also remove protection for wolves in Oregon and Washington, where a mere three packs have only begun their comeback, and in Utah, where wolves remain largely absent.

Please contact your U.S. senators today to tell them to sponsor or vote for an amendment to the continuing resolution, stripping it of section 1709, the wolf provision.

Click here to find out more and take action.
If you have trouble following the link, go to http://action.biologicaldiversity.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=6099.

Sample Letter:

Subject: Continuing Resolution Wolf Extermination Rider

Dear Senator,

Please sponsor and vote for an amendment to the continuing resolution to strip it of section 1709, which would permanently remove federal protections for gray wolves in Montana and Idaho and parts of Washington, Oregon and Utah.

Wolves in the northern Rocky Mountains are still imperiled by inadequate state protections, and passage of precedent-setting section 1709 would remove wolves of federal protections even if they declined toward extinction.

Decisions on which species should receive protections should continue to be made according to the scientific criteria spelled out in the Endangered Species Act. Such a decision should not be made by Congress in a budget bill.

Please use all your influence to strip the continuing resolution of section 1709.

Thank you.

Please take action by March 18, 2011.

Donate now to support our work.

Gray wolf photo courtesy Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

This message was sent to richard@cfz.org.uk.

The Center for Biological Diversity sends newsletters and action alerts through DemocracyinAction.org. Let us know if you'd like to change your email list preferences or stop receiving action alerts and newsletters from us.

Center for Biological Diversity

P.O. Box 710

Tucson, AZ 85702


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1969 the science fiction author John Wyndham died. Wyndham wrote many classic sci-fi novels, several of which were turned into equally classic films like The Day of the Triffids and The Midwich Cuckoos, which was filmed as The Village of the Damned.
And now the news:

Bigfoot demands free speech
Kangaroos, wallabies, black panthers and even Bigf...
Scientists: Oldest wild bird in US is new mother
Saga of the sardine apocalypse: why they died

Leave him Nancy, he's not worth it: