Monday, 7 September 2009




A group of British explorers and scientists from the Devon-based Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation, are about to embark on an expedition in search of a yeti-like creature in Indonesia. The four-man team will search the jungles of Sumatra for what locals call the ‘orang-pendek’. The powerfully built, upright-walking beast may be related to both the orang-utan and the much larger yeti of mainland Asia. In the same island chain remains of the tiny hominid known as Homo floresiensis were unearthed in 2003.

The Kubu people - an ancient race who were the first inhabitants of Sumatra - will aid the team. The tribe and their chief have seen the creature in their poorly explored jungle homelands.

Westerners have sighted the orang-pendek too, including Englishwoman Debbie Martyr, now head of the Indonesian tiger conservation group, and wildlife photographer Jeremy Holden.

Also reported in the same jungles are huge horned snakes said to be ten metres long, and a savage, golden cat with a stubby tail and large canine fangs.

The expedition’s zoologist, Richard Freeman, Zoological Director of the CFZ, says…

“The orang-pendek is especially interesting as it is an ape that walks upright rather than on all fours. It may show us how our own ancestors first began bipedal locomotion.

The cigau may be a surviving form of Homotherium or scimitar cat, which is a beast related to the better known sabre-toothed cats. Fossils of this animal have been found in Indonesia that are only 10,000 years old. In evolutionary or geological terms that is yesterday.

The giant snakes, known as ‘nagas’ by the Kubu, may be a new species. There are horned snakes such as the rhinoceros viper and the horned viper, but these are small. The nagas of the Kubu are said to be ten metres long! The ‘horns’ are probably modified scales.

New species are turning up in Indonesia all the time; it is the real life lost world.”

Team leader Adam Davies, together with Dr Chris Clark and Dave Archer, will join Mr Freeman. You can follow the group’s adventures online at the CFZ website on


* The Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] is the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation. It was founded in 1992 by British author Jonathan Downes and is a non-profit making (not for profit) organisation registered with H.M. Stamp Office.

* Life-president of the CFZ is Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his groundbreaking youth work organising the ‘Operation Drake’ and ‘Operation Raleigh’ expeditions in the 1970s and 1980s.

* CFZ Director Jonathan Downes is the author and/or editor of over 20 books. Island of Paradise, his first hand account of two expeditions to the Caribbean island of Puerto Rico in search of the grotesque vampiric chupacabra, will be published in the next few weeks.

* The CFZ have carried out expeditions across the world including Russia, Sumatra, Mongolia, Guyana, Gambia, Texas, Mexico, Thailand, Puerto Rico, Illinois, Loch Ness, and Loch Morar.

* CFZ Press are the world’s largest publishers of books on mystery animals. They also publish Animals & Men, the world’s only cryptozoology magazine, and The Amateur Naturalist, Britain’s only dedicated magazine on the subject.

* The CFZ produce their own full-length documentaries through their media division called CFZtv at One of their films, Lair of the Red Worm, which was released in early 2007 and documents their 2005 Mongolia expedition, has now been seen by nearly 50,000 people.

* The CFZ is based in Jon Downes’s old family home in rural North Devon, which he shares with his wife Corinna (52). It is also home to various members of the CFZ’s permanent directorate and a collection of exotic animals.

* Jonathan Downes presents a monthly web TV show called On the Track (, which covers cryptozoology and work of the CFZ.

* The CFZ are opening a visitor centre and museum in Woolsery, North Devon.

* Following their successful partnership with Capcom ( on the 2007 Guyana expedition, the CFZ are looking for more commercial sponsors.

1 comment:

  1. The mention of Jon Downes's chupacabra hunt outlines the typical cryptozoological expedition:

    1. Go to a place the cryptozoologist thinks is exotic;

    2. Bring back nothing conclusive;

    3. Write a book about it.

    How will this one be any different?