A blog for the United States branch of the global Centre for Fortean Zoology
At the beginning of the 21st Century monsters still roam the remote, and sometimes not so remote, corners of our planet. It is our job to search for them. 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. Since 2009 we have been running the increasingly popular CFZ Blog Network, and although there has been an American branch of the CFZ for over ten years now, it is only now that it has a dedicated blog.
On January 24th (2015) a bigfoot-like creature, estimated at 7 feet in height, was seen by a dogwalker on a woodland path near Hopwas (Staffordshire). It crossed the path and disappeared into the undergrowth.
1963: As another month slides into history, pilots Alden Hoover
and Lennart Strand sight a 10-foot-tall creature near Confidence, California, a
town of 50 people in Tuolumne County. They describe the thing as 10 feet tall,
cinnamon brown, and "half bear, half gorilla." Their photographs turn
out blurry and useless.
Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, was involved in an investigation of his own in true life. George Edalji had been convicted of horse ripping. From prison, he wrote to Conan Doyle asking him to prove his innocence. All this took place in 1906. The case was the subject of a novel by Julian Barnes. An ITV television series in the UK, based on the novel,is about to commence on Monday, March 2nd. I am sure its screening in the USA will follow. Called Arthur and George, its first episode is to be broadcast at 9 p.m. Horse ripping has in the past been blamed on Alien Big Cats, but I doubt they will feature in the story.
One of the creepiest creatures in the legendry of the Ozarks is Old Wall Eyes. He is a huge four-legged creature, but those legs are short, with claws on the end of them. He has cloudy eyes that look as though they are blind, but local belief has it that he can see you all right. Whether he sees you with his eyes, though, is another matter. He may use some other as yet undiscovered faculty. They say his head is the size of a wagon and his appetite is considerable and undescriminating: he'll eat just about anything. His home is in a cave, a very desirable residence if you're a monster. There seems to be only one of these ferocious beasts which, bearing its habits in mind, is just as well. No picture of it exists insofar as i am aware, but I wouldn't like to scare you with one anyway, Readers, as I know some of you are of a timorous disposition. What is the origin of belief in this creature? Is there a real animal behind it? I doubt it. The Ozarks are well known for their tall tales and this has all the hallmarks of one. Still, you never know. Don't assume anything if you're in the Ozarks, just were the kind of boots that enable you to run fast - very fast.
Yes, the second volume of George Eberhart's monumental Mysterious Animals is now available. The two comprehensive volumes cover all aspects of cryptozoology. They cover cryptids in alphabetical order and the amount of information contained in each is vast. This is a work no cryptozoologist should be without.
Volume II is now available. Order from Amazon (USA, UK) Price: $21.61 (USA) £14.99 (UK)
Astor (Florida) is a town connected with a number of paranormal events and Saint Johns River nearby is supposedly tnanted by a monster or unknown animal. Reports of this beastie have been coming in for some time. In 1896 something mysterious struck a steamer called the Osceola and it has been suggested it was the monster. This creature has been reported in the river and, on one occasion, on land, ambling along the Dragoon Trail. It has been described as 35 feet long, of greenish gray coloration. According to one report it had a horn on its nose. When seen on the river, it was reported to be walking along the bottom. A number of reports came in between 1966-61. The last report I can trace is dated 1987, when two young men reported their boat striking it. A rational explanation that it was a manatee is not really satisfactory. Manatees do not walk along river bottoms, nor do they have horns. Unless we are dealing with considerably distorted descriptions, we can rule the manatee out. So the identity of this creature remains a mystery. We can't even be sure the creature is still alive. Further information sent to this website is always welcome.
1977: Witness Rudi Grutsch sights a UFO near Langenargen, on
Germany's Lake Constance, at 2:30 a.m. He reports two four-foot-tall humanoid
entities with round heads and slanted eyes visible inside the craft.
2013: Justin Smeja releases a video claiming Texas
veterinarian Dr. Melba Ketchum told him to contaminate two "steaks"
cut from a Bigfoot he allegedly shot in California, prior to Ketchum's testing
for definitive DNA.
Diving into Native American folklore we find that among the Delaware or Leni-Lenape Indians there is a tradition that this lake is or was tenanted by a monster. It hasn't been observed for a couple of centuries, so it is either discreet or dead. It was supposed to have huge antlers or horns. The texture of its body was like that of a pachyderm.
The creature you see above is a Harpy. They come from Greek mythology and are not of pleasant disposition. The story goes that Phineas, a blind king, who lived somewhere on the northern coast of Turkey. He was cursed by Zeus. Every day, a sumptuous meal was set out before him, but whatever was on the table the Harpies, two in number, turned up and gobbled. Happily, the Argo was sailing by and they drove the Harpies off. Does any real animal lie behind the Harpy legend? The Hoopoe has been suggested, though I suspect human imagination is just as good a guess
This may be the first cryptid, in the sense of an unidentified animal, reported from America. In 1503 the King and Queen of Spain received a letter from Christopher Columbus, no less, telling them of this unusual animal.
This was a cat of sorts, he said, but the face would remind you of a human. It was a terribly fierce beast. A crossbowman shot it, but its ferocity was such that he had in defense to cut off two of its legs. A wild boar happened to be nearby and the beast grabbed its snout with its tail and killed it with one of its remaining leg. Presumably the beast itself was then killed. We have no clue regarding the identity of the beast, which I have called the Man-Faced Cat. I know of no other reports that coincide with its description, but possibly it had a facial deformity, the result of some injury picked up with another beast in a tussle. Who can say? Well, I can't.
In 1882, when a train was traveling through Dos Palms (California) they reported seeing a bizarre reptilian beast. It was a 30' snake with small wings near its head and it dragged its tail on the ground. The train cut off part of the beast's tail and the infuriated creature gave chase. Those on board were probably not a little scared and some opened fire on it, but the pursuing animal did not catch up with its quarry.
I suppose most of you have heard the expression As the crow flies meaning the shortest distance. The implication is that crows fly in a straight line, unimpeded by obstacles. However, they don't. You'd think, if you had the entire sky to fly about in, that a straight line would be the wisest path to take, but crows no doubt think of reasons why other ways are preferable. The word for a group of crows, by the way, is a murder. Having read the above, reflect on the apothegm You learn something every day.
The link below leads you to ravens and crows in mythology.
1974: Teenage witness "T. L." reports a 5 a.m.
Bigfoot sighting at her home in rural Fayette County, Illinois. She describes
the creature as "huge," standing outside her bedroom window, three
1975: At 1:30 p.m., witness Antoine Severin sees four
humanoid beings in helmets and white garb, each about one meter tall, walking
around a grounded UFO and probing the earth as if for samples near Petite-He,
Reunion, France. Severin reports that one directed a "beam of light"
toward him, "pulling" him toward them. After the encounter, Severin
suffers headaches and impaired vision.
You've heard me fulminate before on the subject of the ivory trade. There is such an amount of ivory poaching that pessimistic persons calculate the elephant will be extinct in ten years. We cannot allow this to happen to such a wonderful and intelligent animal. A great deal of the poached ivory ends up in China. However, I understand that people in China are now beginning to appreciate the dangers to the elephant and are anxious that it will not become a thing of the past. On the other hand, however, in China itself the elephant is under pressure from those who want the land it occupies. I do not wish to scorn people who require land for their livelihodd or to maintain a decent standard of living, but the Chinese will need to work out some solution to the elephant problem soon. Ivory goods are something of a status symbol in China and the time surely has come when they cease to be perceived as such. This would be a beginning.
This blog, tho' aimed mainly at the US, is read by interested parties all over the world and we are very pleased by that. We would also like some more contributors, wherever they might live. Send any contributions to firstname.lastname@example.org Don't worry if your English isn't fluent or your spelling is bad - we'll edit it for you. We are interested in material on cryptids, unusual stories about animals, stories relevant to natural history and ecology,and the paranormal generally.