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.

Friday, 11 April 2014


Zach Mann Says Hi.
          Let me tell you a little story. A story about a boy, a tree, and two birds. On an average day of school a young boy boards the same bus he has for years and heads to the school he has always enjoyed going to. The bus stop was close to his house and not far from his home and the stop was a creek. This small creek is branched on both sides by woods. And on the bank of this creek a huge tree stands reaching tall and out to the sky. This tree is twice as big as all the other trees that stand around it.
          That morning the little boy boards the bus and takes a seat. As the bus pulls away it crosses a bridge, which is over the creek, which flows by the tree. As the boy looks out the window he looks up at the tree. And there he sees them. Sitting at the top of the leafless old tree are two large birds. Their feathers are black, as are their heads. Even at a fairly good distance the boy can see their curved hooked beaks and large splayed feet. Their bodies are enormous, far larger than any other bird he has ever seen in his life. The first sits with its wings tucked in, so the boy is unable to get a really good estimation of its size other than its massive body. But the second one sits on the branch above it with its wings stretched fully out.
          This is what really grabs the boy’s attention. From wing tip to wing tip they stretch out completely covering the length of the all the branches stretching out form both sides of this massive old tree. The young boy just sits in his seat looking up at them. He doesn’t say anything to anyone else, he just watches. As soon as he can he goes to the library at school to look up birds. Nothing locally really matches the bird’s size. So he broadens the search, and after looking up birds from other parts of the country as well as several international birds, nothing still completely matches those two. Unsurprisingly, when the bus passes that way again in the afternoon the birds are gone.
          Ever since that day this young boy has been fascinated by strange creatures and trying to find out the truth behind them. In case you didn’t already guess that young boy was me. Even before this day when I saw those birds I’ve loved things like dinosaurs and other animals. I thank my parents and especially my great-grandmother, who when I was little would read me books on them and instead of plopping me down in front of the T.V. would take me to the library or the park so I could learn more about nature. I’ve also always loved things like monsters and mysteries, what little boy doesn’t? And it was soon after I saw those birds that I first discovered that there was a way to combine the two, Cryptozoology.
        And as for those birds? Well, I no longer live near where I saw them, but I still live relatively close by. I would have loved the opportunity to make an accurate measurement of that tree and be able to gauge just how large those birds really were, but, alas, my opportunity has passed. Several years ago a violent storm came through the area knocking down homes, power lines, and trees and yes that old tree was one of those casualties. How big were those two birds I saw that day? I’ll probably never know. Where they genuine unknown animals? It is hard to say.
         My first experiences in the field were seeing specials about Bigfoot and other more famous beasts on T.V. It wasn’t until I got older that I started to research more seriously into them. I soon discovered a whole world full of books, magazines and articles written on a wide range of subjects in the field. This has lead me to doing my own research and going into places I never expected I would and going after things I never expected to, like Octopuses in Oklahoma, hyenas in Kentucky, white monsters in West Virginia and sea serpents in Pennsylvania. And I’ve loved every minute of it.  
          But most of all I hope you, the readers of this fine blog, have enjoyed it too. I hope that even in some small way I have contributed to this wild and crazy world of mystery and Cryptozoology that we all share and love. Here’s hoping for many more strange destinations, weird beasts, and interesting finds to come.

Editor's note: Today (April 12th) is Zachary's birthday and we wish him many happy returns.
Zachary Mann with his sister, Lindsey

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