Thursday, 24 December 2009

Neil Arnold in the CFZ hot-seat!

Oll Lewis interviews Neil Arnold at the CFZ

Monday, 21 December 2009

Vampire cats!

Neil delves into reports of blood-drinking felids at the CENTRE FOR FORTEAN ZOOLOGY

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Neil to appear on COAST TO COAST AM radio

COAST TO COAST AM radio is one of the USA's biggest stations attracting more than four-million listeners. On December 1st at 6:00 am (UK time) - November 30th (11:30 pm US time) Neil be discussing his research into monsters, discussing his book 'Monster!', and other strange creatures. For more info click HERE

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Neil interviewed at THE LONDON WORD

Vampires, 'big cats', Nessie, red-eyed winged humanoids...Neil discusses his monster-hunting and research at THE LONDON WORD

Tuesday, 10 November 2009

Chinese monsters part two...

Neil's second CFZ Bloggo installment HERE

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Chinese monsters...

Neil's latest CFZ Blog concerns a zooform from China recorded between the 3rd and 6th century. Read it HERE

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Neil Arnold in CHAT! Magazine

The latest issue of CHAT! Magazine (Issue 43, Oct' 29th pages 40-41) features an article on Neil Arnold and his monster-hunting exploits.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

'Darklore 4' is released...

Greg Taylor, the main behind the superb 'Darklore' series of books, has released volume '4' of the line. Neil Arnold has an article in the book entitled 'The Goatsucker Family', and looks in-depth into the legend of the Chupacabra, but is quick to tell us why the Puerto Rican vampire is not as unique as many may think. The chapter looks into legends of other vampyric monsters from around the world, in fact no continent is excluded. From Asian bloodsuckers, to South American night predators, this is an article that breathes new life in to the mystery of the terrors that come in the night.

The book is available from Amazon, to read more about the release, click HERE

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

Spectral animals...

Over at Nick Redfern's fantastic Manbeast blog there's mention of a bizarre tale recorded by legendary ghost-hunter Elliot O'Donnell, which is mentioned in his revised 'Ghostly Pets' book. The tale concerns that of a spectral 'big cat' and phantom baboon. O'Donnell was a master at accumulating macabre data and his books, such as, 'Casebook of Ghosts', 'Dangerous Ghosts' and the above mentioned are well worth checking out.

Monday, 14 September 2009

Spring-Heeled Jack..terror of Basingstoke!!

The legendary phantom assailant gets coverage in the Basingstoke Gazette of all places!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

'Weird Weekend' comic strip!

Hunt Emerson is the resident artist at Fortean Times magazine. In the latest issue he has drawn up a crazy strip based on this year's cool 'Weird Weekend'. Neil Arnold can be seen to the right of man-in-black Richard Freeman. Thanks Hunt!

Friday, 11 September 2009

The giant leech...

Neil's latest blog post at the CFZ concerns a ghastly river monster.

Monday, 31 August 2009

The Furry Demon Of Gypsy Wood

Aggressive 'big cat', or something stranger...Neil's latest CFZ post delves deep...

Friday, 28 August 2009

The Vampire Dwarf of Essex

More of Neil's weird tales at the CFZ

The Toad Man will get you...

Neil's latest foray into the zooform world... click HERE

Friday, 21 August 2009

Zooform Phenomena - Monsters Among Us

At the WEIRD WEEKEND (a four day event put on by the CFZ - captained by Jon Downes) which ran from 13th Aug' to the 16th, Neil Arnold lectured (on Saturday 15th) on 'zooform phenomena'. His one-hour talk will soon be available to view courtesy of the CFZ.

The talk covered a phantom menagerie of monsters, including the more known zooform creatures such as Mothman, Jersey Devil, Monkey Man, hellhounds and Chupacabras, but also concentrated on lesser known bogey-men and monsters often confused with zooform such as the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot and 'big cats' seen in the UK.

Richard Freeman described the talk as the best he'd seen at the 'Weird Weekend' with regards to atmosphere and strangeness.

Footage from the talk will be posted on this blog shortly.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Neil's favourite monsters...!

Over at the CENTRE FOR FORTEAN ZOOLOGY and as part of their 'BIG THREE' theme, in which author's, researchers etc, pick their favourite three mystery creatures which possibly could exist in the wilds of remote Earth. Neil Arnold chooses his, which, at first glance are wrenched straight from the zooform world...but could they be flesh and blood creatures ?

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

Neil interviewed at The Ghost Writer's Society

Jim Cobb asks Neil Arnold about monsters and other mysterious beasts HERE

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Darklore 3 - OUT NOW!

Edited by Greg Taylor, Darklore 3 (following on, obviously, from volumes 1 & 2) is a parade of the truly weird. A fascinating book featuring contributions by the world's best author's (including Neil Arnold!) in the fields of the supernatural, paranormal, cryptozoology, ufology and folklore.

Take a step into the twilight zone, a strange journey where the reader is consumed by peculiar, scary and intriguing tales...all true. Neil Arnold's article covers Dutch zooform phenomena, and has been given the excellent title of Neverland In The Netherlands.

Greg Taylor has done a remarkable job. Darklore is littered with fantastic artwork, and the tales on offer are perfect for spooky, bedtime reading!

More details about the book HERE

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Friday, 20 March 2009



From publisher Jonathan Downes (CFZ Press):

"After months of work, this remarkable book is finally available. It is the bulkiest book we have ever done, and with over 270,000 words the longest apart from 'Monster Hunter' and 'Dragons: More than a Myth?'

Neil is to be congratulated for such an extraordinary piece of writing. A large proportion of the book concerns big cats, but as Neil - despite his detractors - is one of the leading mystery cat researchers in the country, this is hardly surprising. However, what makes it so much better than yer run of the mill 'big cat' books which seem to be largely rehashed press cuttings, and in which the sentence "...err it was black, it had a long tail and looked like my Labrador,"seem to be repeated over and over again ad nauseam, this is the first-hand story of years of dedication and hands-on research.

The non-cat chapters are equally as interesting, covering a whole gamut of subjects from out-of-place animals to what Neil calls the 'nameless anomalies' which would not be out of place in an episode of 'The X-Files' from about ten years ago.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It's only £14.99 which is hardly extortionate in this day and age, and in the unlikely instance that you don't like it, it is so substantial that you can use it as a door stop, throw it at your dog, or wrap it in a pillow-case to make a handy cosh, and tootle on down to your nearest sub-post office. Well done mate."

Paperback: 420 pages; Publisher: Cfz (Mar 2009); Language English; ISBN-10: 1905723369ISBN-13: 978-1905723362; Product Dimensions: 23.4 x 15.6 x 2.2 cm

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

15 Questions with...Richard Freeman

Richard Freeman is a good friend of mine. Not only is he the Zoological Director of the Centre For Fortean Zoology, but he's a real cryptozoologist in every sense of the word. As well as being the author of DRAGONS: MORE THAN A MYTH ?, he has lead teams in search of bipedal ape-men, giant snakes, dragons, monster cat-fish and other strange creatures across the world.

Here is the honest, down to earth interview...prepare for weirdness, Doctor Who, hordes of monsters...and Japanese women!

1) When did you realise your fascination with monsters ? Is there aparticular childhood memory etc, that turned you on to such beasts ?

My fascination with monsters began with Dr Who in the 1970's the earliest memory i have is of a grotesque troll doll, possesed by the autons, jerking into life on the back seat of a car. This started my intrest in monsters. Of course like all kids i loved dinosaurs and dragons.I remember hearing the story of St George and the dragon as a boy and thinking 'this is rubbish, the dragon would kill him!' In adult life i learnt hat St George was actually a swindler, bigot and liar. He was born in Syria, then later lived in Libya. He never set foot in England and would have died of fright if he had seen a dragon. The dragon story was tacked on centuries after his death when the Catholic Church made him a saint.

2) Can you recall your first ever expedition in search of the unknown ?

When i was a student a mate and myself went hunting for a big cat in Keihley, Yorkshire. We laid scent trails with bloody meat in a sack dragged through the wood. Then we hung the sack about six feet off the ground and hid in the bushes. Nothing turned up.

3) You've gone in search of giant snakes, ape-men, monster cat-fish and dragons. What would be your dream expedition ?

There is so much i want to do. I'd really love to do Tasmania, Australia, and New Guinea and do a long, comprehensive search for the thylacine. I'd live to visit lake Tianchi in China where a dragon is supposed to lurk, i would also love to do a series of expeditions to Japan looking for the Japanese wolf, yamamaya, the mystery big cat of Irimoe Island, various lake monsters and tsuchinoko, the weird doso-ventraly flattened snake. I would also like to return to Russia looking for the almasty, Mongolia for the deathworm and Sumatra for the orang-pendek.But it's all down to the green folding stuff. We would love to convince a tv company to back us for a series but all they are intrested in making is drivel, shit like Paris Hilton's British Best Friend or Big Brother or I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here. Last year we came back from Russia with what might be part of the skull of an almasty, a relic hominid. It is currently undergoing tests. Was anyone in the media intrested? No, but if it had been some 3rd rate 'celebrity' off a soap opera or some scum from reality tv, doing something banal then they would have been all over us.

4) What's the closest you've come to encountering a cryptid ?

When we were in Russia we were staking out an abandoned farm house in the countryside a couple of miles from the village of Nutrino. Two of my fellow scientsist Grigory Panchenkio, a biologist, and the archaeologist Anatoly had both seen almastys here. The farm consisted of three rooms with a 'l' shaped veranda running around them.
It was two thirthy in the morning Dave Archer was asleep and Adam Davis and i were standing near the stove. Anatoly was in one of the farms out buildings. The door of the room we were in was about 7 feet tall. It opened out onto the veranda. The door was about three or four inches open.It was a clear night and starlight and moonlinght was streaming into the room. We heard a deep gutteral vocalization. The closest that i can get to it phonetically is 'bub-bub-ub-bub". About 25 seconds later 'something' passed by the door. Whatever that 'something' was, it was tall enough to block out the sartlight up to a hight of seven feet. We grabbed our cameras and rushed outside but what ever it was had gone.

5) Of all the cryptids, which do you think are most likely to bediscovered over the next century ?

The thylacine or tasmanian marsupial wolf. It has been seen by zoologists and a park ranger. It has been filmed on several occasions. Sightings number in their thousands. It's the cryptid most likley to exist.
The almasty,a relic hominid a close relative of man. In the Karbadino Balkaria part of the Cacausus Mountains of Russia their numbers seem to be on the increase. They will approach human habitiation and people do not hunt them. I think a great breakthrough will be made here.
Orang-pendek, the upright ape of Sumatra. There's no doubt it exists. It has been seen close up by at leas two well respected scientists. It will come down from he jungle to semi-cultivated areas in search of food.
The giant anaconda. They give birth to live young, they live most of their lives bouyed up by water. They can reach huge sizes. It's just a matter of finding an undisturbed area with a massive individual.

6) Have you ever been scared whilst on the track... ?

Only when i saw a big moth in Africa. Those things make my blood run cold!

7) If a movie was made about your life. Who would play you ? And whatsong would you have start the film ?

Johnny Depp is who i'd like to play me but i'm always told i look like Bill Bailey! (Rich, when your hair was long you DID look like him, I'm sorry to say!!)
The song would have to be 'Monster' by Automatic.

8) The British tv show Doctor Who was a major influence on your life. Why is this ?

As mentioned befor Dr Who started out my interest in monsters. Every Saturday evening in the 1970s you would be whisked away for half an hour of high adventure. Dr Who was least about space ships and ray guns and more about weird shadows, strange sounds and horrific things lurking in the darkness. Dr Who was always more horror than Science Fiction.Giant maggots crawling out of infected slag heaps, childrens dolls that jerk into life and strangle people, homicidal, cyborg venriloquist's dummies that have the brain of a demented pig, infections that turn their victims into Lovecraftian masses of flesh eating tentacles, giant psychic spiders that possess human hosts, amazing stuff.You wouldn't get this in bland, unimaginative, souless crap like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Trek or Star Gate. That's why UK science fiction is better than US science fiction,horror and imagination. They have Star Trek (and it's crappy spin offs), Star Gate and Battlestar Galactica. We have Dr Who, Quatermass, The Prisoner, Saphire and Steel and most recently the wonderful Being Human.

9) What's your favourite Doctor Who episode, and who's your favouriteDoctor ?

The Sea Devils featured a race of super evolved, intelligent marine reptiles. They ruled the Earth at the time of the dinosaurs then went into hibernation to avoid the mass extinction at end of the Cretaceous period. They awake millions of years later to find that man has taken over their world and is destroying it. They look on man quite rightly, as vermin.
Terror of the Autons is the Doctors second battle with the Nestenes. On their home world they look like cyclopsian octopi the size of a house. They can place their conciousness into artificial meteors and send them through space. On Earth the alien minds possesses anything plastic and turn it into a killer. Plastic flowers that spray a suffocating film, plastic chairs that suck in their victims, childrens toys that come to life and shop front dummies that smash out of their windows and attack people on the street.
The best Doctor was the 3rd Doctor, Jon Pertwee. An elegant, finely dressed gentleman scientist who could kick arse like Bruce Lee. I owe my career to Jon Pertwee and my being a goth to his frilly shirts and opera capes! (If any idiot's are reading this - 'goths' aren't the sad kids of today parading the streets in Slipknot t-shirts trying to be weird. 'Goth' was a movement, a state of mind back in the late '70s and '80s, accompanied by a soundtrack of bands such as Bauhaus, Sisters Of Mercy, Fields of the Nephilim, Joy Division, etc - dusty jackets, shoegazing dance routines, and general gorgeous vampyric women!)

10) If dragons are supposedly mythical creatures, why do they feature soheavily in our history and culture ?

The dragon is no myth. It features in every culture on Earth as far back as 25,000 years ago. Forget demons, vampires and werewolves, dragons are more ancient, powerful and widespread than them all.
Dragon sightings are still reported today, especially in Asia. It is likey tha dragon legends are based on encounters with one or more species of titanic reptile totally unknown to science.I have met dragon witnesses too scared to even look in the direction of the area were they saw the monster..

11) You are the author of Dragons: More Than A Myth. Can you tell us more about your next book.

My next book is The Great Yokai Encyclopedia: An A to Z of Japanese Monsters. I'm fascinated with Japanese culture, folklore (and women!) Yokai, broadly ghost and monster in Japan, are the weirdest in the world. We all know kappa, the turtle like creature with a love of cucumbers and liquid in his head that makes him super strong, but there are many others. They include a grave robbing rabbit that feeds on the livers of human corpses, a giant flesh eating sea cucumber tha grows from a pair of girls knickers that fall into the sea, a flaming pig that runs between your legs and makes your genitals vanish and a monster that eats women's hair. Only in Japan! The book should be out later this year.

12) What expeditions are you undertaking next ?

Well it's all down to funding. At the moment funds are very low. I'd like to get back out to Guyana to look for the giant anaconda. Last time we were there it was too dry and we couldn't reach the remote lake where the monster had been seen. I'd like to go back in the rainy season to look for it. Also i'd like to go back to Russia as i feel i came within 12 feet of seeing an almasty.

13) Do you think cryptozoology will always remain a fringe subject ?

No, i think it is becoming more accepted all the time. Most scientists think the thylacine is still around and after the discovery of the Eub Gogo bones in Indonesia the idea of relic hominids is not so hard to swallow. Jon and i have lectured a the Natural History Museum and the Grant Mueum of Zoology. If we weren't taken seriously then we would not be asked.

14) Which cryptozoological legend irritates you the most !?

De'Loys ape. It's a red faced black spider monkey on a stick. You can tell this from the vestigial thumbs, forward pointing nostrils and large external clitoris. Any zoologist worth their salt could tell you that. Also the recent bigfoot costume filled with entrails and an ox tongue. The story was that it had been stuck in a freezer for months. If that were the case the entrails would have been discoloured but they were pink and fresh. You had morons trumpeting that this was the real thing. When a hoax like this happens the public and media, who have very short attention spans for anything not to do will celebrities, think that all cryptozoology has to be based on hoaxes.

15) What advice could you give to any young, budding crypto-researchersout there who one day, may choose to seek their own local monster ?

Never give up, no matter how many knock backs you get, keep at it. Monster hunting is not easy, its a calling, a vocation rather than a job. No one ever got rich through cryptozoolgy.
The best thing a budding cryptozoologist can do is join the CFZ
We support young, new cryptozoologists around the world. Many of the people who go on our expeditions were folk who just started out as ordinary CFZ members.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Neil Interviewed on WICN

WICN Public Radio is New England's finest jazz and folk music station. Hear Mark Lynch interview Neil Arnold about his book MONSTER! THE A-Z OF ZOOFORM PHENOMENA. This intyriguing insight into the world of 'zooform phenomena' covers a whole menagerie of mysterious creatures, from the more known monsters such as Mothman, Jersey Devil and Chupacabra, to the lesser known Noodleman, Asian vampires, the Yorshire Maggot and many varieties of phantom hellhound. A surreal safari indeed....listen and download here: WCIN INTERVIEW WITH NEIL ARNOLD

Monday, 9 February 2009

15 Questions with...Nick Redfern

I'm hoping to make this a pretty regular thing, interviews with authors and hunters of all things strange, particularly unusual beasts.

No better way than starting this feature by interviewing Nick Redfern, author of such fine books as Three Men Seeking Monsters, There's Something In The Woods and Man-Monkey.

Let us begin...

1) Nick, many thanks for doing the interview. Can you tell me your earliest memory of becoming so interested in monsters, and was there also a particular film or book which in a sense, changed your life ?

ANSWER: My earliest crypto-memory was when I was about five, and my parents took me to Loch Ness. We were in Scotland for a week's holiday, and spent a day at the loch. I can still just recall a few fragmentary memories - of my dad telling me the story of the monster, of staring out at the loch while we stood near the shore, and my dad chatting about the monster with an old couple who had driven up in a big old volkswagen van. And that's what really got my attention and imagination. From around 7 or 8, I began reading books on the subject, and it went from there. As for films: it's not strictly crypto (but it does contain a few Fortean and crypto elements), but the 1957 film "Night of the Demon" is probably my all time favourite film - very atmospheric, creepy, and a great story.

2) You've written several books on subjects ranging from UFO's to monsters. Can you remember your reaction when you're first book was published, and what it meant ?

ANSWER: Yes, I've written 13 books so far, with 4 more to follow in the near future. I think every author remembers their first book, the sense of achievment, the idea that you are now an author, and getting that first copy in the post, and seeing it and holding it. Not that I'd know, but maybe it's like having a baby! Almost! LOL.

3) Of all your books, which has been the most exciting and pleasurable to write?

ANSWER: I'd actually say Man-Monkey: In Search of the British Bigfoot, because it allowed me to dig up all my old notes, files, and memories, and remember one of my very early investigations (it began in the 80s), and finally get the story out there for people. There is very little written about Bigfoot in Britain, so I think I probably enjoyed doing that one most.

4) Your book THREE MEN SEEKING MONSTERS, weren't there rumours going round that it might be made into a film ?

ANSWER: Yes, the rights were optioned to Universal a couple of years ago. Actually, several of my books have been optioned over the years, but nothing ever developed with the other books beyond the actual option.

5) If a film was made about your life, who would play you and what would it be called ?

ANSWER: LOL, I have no idea. You have put me on the spot! I don't know! What would it be called? "It's a Bizarre Life" maybe! I actually have no real idea re who and/or what! It would be very surreal, though, to sit in a cinema seeing someone acting out your life, I think!

6) You've travelled the world pursuing the unknown. Have you had any strange experiences ?

ANSWER: Yes, a few. I have spent quite a bit of time on Bigfoot quests in a large area of Texas forest called the Big Thicket. It's a weird place with "ghost-lights" having been seen in the woods a lot, too. I have actually seen several of the lights late at night: small, football-sized, zipping in the trees. I've also come across a number of so-called "Bigfoot Teepees" in areas where Bigfoot has been seen. And each time I have been to Puerto Rico looking for the Chupacabras, that has always been strange - but adventurous too, trekking through the rain-forest etc.

7) Have you ever been truly frightened whilst on a monster-hunt ?

ANSWER: No, for me it's more about the excitement, intrigue and adventure that has an effect on me. So, I look at it all in a positive way - it pushes me to dig further, rather than back away.

8) You moved to Texas from Staffordshire, an area which consistently harbours high levels of strangeness, particularly in the Cannock Chase area. Why do you think the Chase produces such high weirdness ?

ANSWER: There's no doubt in my mind that the Chase is a classic window area: in other words, a place that is an absolute beacon for high-strangeness. Now, some of the things seen on the Chase are just out-of-place animals: I have several reports of wild-boar and wallabies, for example. But, when you get into the realm of Bigfoot and werewolves, then it all gets very strange and dark. But, of course, the big question is how we define what a window area is, and how and why it works.

9) As part of the CFZ series of MYSTERY ANIMALS OF THE BRITISH ISLES, you are covering Staffordshire. What kind of monsters and mysterious creatures will be in the book ?

ANSWER: Big-Cats, Werewolves, Bigfoot, Wallabies, Wild-Boar, large snakes, exotic dumped pets like snapping turtles, large mystery birds, ghostly black dogs, and a few others.

10) Monster mysteries such as Bigfoot, the Chupacabra, etc, have been covered in your book. Do you think the day will come when these so-called monsters are proven to be real, flesh and blood creatures, or will they forever lead us round in circles without an answer ?

ANSWER: Well, some of them, I am certain are not flesh-and-blood, in the way we generally understand the term. I would put the black dogs, the Goat-Men, and definitely werewolves and the British Bigfoot into this category. There are a lot of weird Bigfoot reports over here too, that make me think the creature is paranormal - however we might define that term. So, if some of these things aren't flesh-and-blood, as we understand it, it may very well be extremely difficult to try and prove their literal existence.

11) You've written about UFOs for many years. So, the $64,000 question is, what do you think they are ?

ANSWER: I don't think there is one answer to the UFO puzzle. I think some are classified military vehicles. Others could be poorly understood natural phenomena. I'm firmly convinced some are Tulpa-type entities. And some could be genuinely extraterrestrial - however, the further I go into the subject, the more I veer away from literal aliens. I like the Trevor Constable ideas about sky-beasts; as well as Mac Tonnies' 'Cryptoterrestrial" angle. I wish we could have an answer that unifies everything, but I think that it will almost certainly be a combination of things.

12) Which other monsters from across the world would you like to go in pursuit of ?
ANSWER: Well, it's not really a monster; but I would love to go on an expedition to South America to try and resolve these "Giant Sloth" reports that surface from time to time. In search of Australia's Megalania, too: that would be a good expedition.
13) What other books do you have in the pipeline ?

ANSWER: I have a book coming out this year titled "Sci-Fi Secrets," which is a study of how the worlds of sci-fi and real, government conspiracies and secrets have crossed paths and converged. I also have a book coming out which is a definitive, 300-plus-page study of Bigfoot in Britain, and which covers all the known stories - dating back more than 1,000 years ago the present day. And, the aforementioned "Mystery Animals of Staffordshire" too.

14) They say the key to being a successful man, is having a good woman behind you. What does Dana, you're wife, think of your forays in search of monsters ?

ANSWER: Well, she could not care less about either the UFO subject or cryptozoology! They both bore her rigid! LOL. But she's pleased that I do something I enjoy, rather than a job I would hate. She's into the paranormal - but more along the lines of psychic stuff.

15) How high in the league is Texas, when it comes to monsters and other mysteries ?

ANSWER: There are a lot of mystery animal stories from Texas: a surprisingly large number of werewolves. A lot of Bigfoot reports in the Big Thicket forest near Houston. Numerous big-bird and pterodactyl-type reports from the Texas-Mexico border. Giant Fish, too.

Paranormal Magazine - winged monsters!

The latest issue is packed with winged monsters galore! Click HERE on how to obtain the magazine.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Neil to appear on White Noise Radio

On Friday 16th January at 10:00 pm Neil will be appearing on White Noise Radio to discuss the previous year of mysteries.