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, June 15, 2011


HAUNTED SKIES: Cats, UFOs and a visit from William Moore



Dave McMann presents:
Essra Mohawk in concert. With Sandro Oliva and band.

That Legendary Wooden Lion.

Saturday September 3. Doors 19:30.
Bridgehouse2 E16. Nearest tube/DLR Star Lane. (2mins walk)

Price. 15 Advance. 20 Door. Tickets onsale very soon.



In Fortean Fives the great and the good of Forteana pick out five interesting events from the history of Forteana. If you want to submit your own Fortean 5s email them to Oll Lewis at fortean5s@gmail.com. Today’s Fortean Five are compiled by Andrew Gable, our CFZ-USA rep. for Pennsylvania and Maryland. You can read Andrew’s blog to keep up to date with Fortean events that have occurred in Pennsylvania here: http://masksofmesingw.blogspot.com/.

Take it away, Andrew:

1) The 'kissing bug' panic of summer, 1899. This panic swept the East Coast of the United States, beginning in Washington, DC that June. This was alluded to, but not truly summarized, in Charles Fort's Wild Talents (1932). People became convinced they were being bitten by an insect of some type and the bite usually produced pronounced swelling and in a few cases, even death. As befits a truly Fortean event, the panic encompassed a number of cult-like groups desiring to be bitten by the insects and apocalyptic visions from American ministers, etc. Most of the 'kissing bugs' proved to be common species of assassin bugs, although some of the cases refer to blister beetles, hornets, and even mundane flies. Similar cases persisted for a number of years, eventually dying off.

2) Gef the Talking Mongoose. This poltergeist case, which occurred in a farmhouse near Doarlish Cashen on the Isle of Man in the 1930s, was investigated by Harry Price. In the case, a spectral voice spoke to the family of John and Margaret Irving. It is notable in that a being, apparently cat- or weasel-like (it called itself a deformed mongoose) was seen. It may or may not have been a product of the daughter, Voirrey, supposedly a ventriloquist; Voirrey, though, denied that the Gef case was a hoax and in fact had a hostile, dismissive attitude toward the 'mongoose.'

3) The Bell Witch. The Bell Witch of Tennessee appeared to have a number of similarities to the Gef case. In 1819, the home of John Bell, near Adams, was afflicted by a similar spirit (apparently the ghost of a woman named Kate Batts), which spoke and attacked one of the daughters, Betsy Bell, on numerous occasions. The outbreak was preceded by a sighting in the Bell fields of a dark-coloured animal, which was described as similar to a rabbit-eared dog. The Bell Witch entity is remembered as the only ghost to supposedly kill a man - John Bell was struck ill and later poisoned, apparently at the hands of the 'witch.'

4) Montie the Monster. Montie was some sort of leaping, dark-coloured, lion-faced entity that killed rabbits and chickens, and roamed the area of Sheep's Hill Road, south of Pottstown, Pennsylvania, in 1945. Montie had been preceded, though, by a number of other entities in the same general area: something called the Dorlan Devil in 1937, a leaping man-beast near Lyndell in 1932, and others... all of which suggest that a monstrous creature was roaming rural Chester county in the WWII era. A nudist sex cult known as the Battle-Axes of the Lord was present in the neighbouring Free Love Valley, and an unsolved murder - and suicide - also occurred near Sheep's Hill. Was it a cryptozoological terror or a transmuted ghost?

5) The Thunderbirds of Pennsylvania. The fact that I attended college in the area these birds frequent (Clinton and Lycoming counties in north-central Pennsylvania) causes me to give them a bit more credence than I do other thunderbird reports. I have no doubt some sort of large bird could exist, apparently water-going and (usually) unseen by man, in the woods of that section of the state - truly wilderness for the most part. The fact that fossilized condors have been found in New York state strengthens the case for the birds.


The day a narwhal washed up in Kent


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1902 George Gaylord Simpson was born. I had a teacher with the name 'Gaylord' at school and they insisted that the name is actually pronounced 'Gah-laird' so you've learnt something today, haven't you? Assuming that 'Bucket' is pronounced 'Bouquet' of course.... Anyway GGS isn't today's 'on this day' because of his name, rather that he is the palaeontologist that dispelled the myth that the evolution of the horse was a linear process, a myth that is still perpetuated by newspapers and the terminally stupid.
And now the news, expertly compiled by Gavin Wilson:

Cops' 'big cat' plea after Edderton slaying
Reality TV goes in search of the skunk ape
New bee discovered with largest tongue in world

If you only remember the Bee Gees from their slightly naff disco harmonies then you might want to watch this clip and see just how good they could be when they were a Mersey-beat-style band: