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.

Thursday 20 February 2014


The Troy of which I speak was unsung by Homer, but residents will recognize from the picture that it is Troy (NY).  And what has this fair city to do with cryptozoology?  I hear you wonder.  As far as I'm aware, not much at present, but about 1890 the situation was different.

In those days, one of the residents of the town was Michael Griffa, who owned some kind of store and had a very unusual attraction.  Hanging from the wall was a strange creature - stuffed, I hasten to add, not living.  Its back was hairy, its underside the color of human flesh.  The description I have to hand does not specify the shade of human flesh, but we can't have everything.  The beast had four legs and a brace of wings, a pair of fins and the curly tail of a pig.  Griffa claimed he had shot this creature in the Hudson.

People used to gaze in wild surmise at this creature and no doubt some opinions were expressed as to what it might be, but they have gone unrecorded.  Then one day some "learned doctors" turned up.  Could they solve the identity of Griffa's grotesquery?  In a word, no.  They were at a loss.

My own opinion, for what it's worth, is that somebody sewed bits of various animals together and then stuffed them.  However, I am willing to give Griffa the benefit of the doubt.  Perhaps he potted some hideous lusus naturae in the Hudson.  You see, I didn't happen to be in Troy (NY) about 1890, so I did not see it myself.

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