The Centre for Fortean Zoology was founded in the UK in 1992 - nearly 20 years ago. Over the past two decades it has expanded to become a truly global organisation. We opened our American office in 2001, our Australian office in 2009, and now - in our 19th year - we are proud to welcome CFZ Canada to the CFZ global family.

Sunday 21 July 2013


I want to state right off the bat that I don't write this to ridicule anyone.

Day before yesterday, a blogger at wrote a piece on Sasquatch.  The post has since been completely removed, so I can't tell you who wrote it or what it said, but from the news update I got it appears to have been an excited retelling of a "news" story in The Sage, an online satire from Canada that is quite similar to The Onion.

In the original Sage story, whose headline reads

Alberta: Bow Valley flooding exposes rotting carcass of a Sasquatch.

Legendary Cryptid believed to be a surviving Gigantopithecus,

seems to tell the story of a hiker, northwest of Canmore, Alberta.  This hiker purportedly found the rotting corpse of a "sasquatch" that had been uncovered in the mass flooding in southern Alberta.  The article even goes so far as to quote a "Coren Lowman", noted Cryptozoologist.

The first problem with this story is that it is from The Sage. The website clearly states that it is satire, so either the author didn't notice that, or they do not know what satire is.  Additionally, The Sage prints a disclaimer stating the items are "satire and faux" and for humor only.  Sadly, we have become accustomed to this level of research--simply looking at the headlines and briefly scanning content before rebroadcasting.

The second problem is from The Sage.  No, I don't fault them for being creative, it's just that this particular article is not funny.  The flooding in Alberta was devastating.  People lost their homes, their livelihoods, and in some cases, their lives.  This disaster just isn't good fodder for humor, at least not just a few weeks from the event.  To find Alberta Sasquatch humor isn't difficult--Google Todd Standing.

The third problem is a combination of the two.  Just a few days after The Sage ran its story, it was picked up by,, and other sites.  Most of those sites made no claim of it being satire or false in any way.  I have to wonder, did they think they were reporting truth?  

This is how legends and hoaxes get started.  Someone thinks they are being funny, or smarter than others and out to fool the world, and starts silliness like this without regard to the serious study OR the locals who have to deal with the fallout.

Let's be a little more responsible than this.  Let's read the whole article, the whole page, the public opinion of a publication or website or get the background of the author before we start playing this game of "telephone" that is corrupt even before the first pass.

It might also be good to remember that if it seems amazing and remarkable, especially in a field that studies the amazing and remarkable, it probably is.

Wednesday 3 July 2013

Breaking News on the Ketchum DNA

The Huffington Post and The Examiner are both reporting today that the DNA presented by veterinarian Melba Ketchum as Big Foot DNA, is actually opossum.  Houston Chronicle reporter Eric Berger sent some of Ketchum's DNA samples to an independent geneticist for analysis.  It wasn't pretty.

Ketchum told Huffington Post:
"He's just out there to create drama."
"This is unbelievable -- my study is a legitimate study," she said. "There's no credibility in his study whatsoever ... There's jealousy out there."
Ketchum wants a new independent study done to prove her results are solid and Berger's are skewed.  She wants to watch the testing herself because she believes Berger may have switched the samples.  

Nothing like a little Big Foot drama to start the month for fireworks.