Zoologist, media consultant, and science writer, Dr Karl Shuker is also one of the best known cryptozoologists in the world. Author of such seminal works as Mystery Cats of the World (1989), The Lost Ark: New and Rediscovered Animals of the 20th Century (1993; greatly expanded in 2012 as The Encyclopaedia of New and Rediscovered Animals), In Search of Prehistoric Survivors (1995), and more recently Extraordinary Animals Revisited (2007), Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), Karl Shuker's Alien Zoo: From the Pages of Fortean Times (2010), Cats of Magic, Mythology, and Mystery (2012), and Mirabilis: A Carnival of Cryptozoology and Unnatural History (2013), his many fans have been badgering him to join the blogosphere for years. The CFZ Blog Network is proud to have finally persuaded him to do so.

Dr Karl Shuker's Official Website - http://www.karlshuker.com

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Monday, 8 November 2010


This is a real rarity from the archives - unseen for over 24 years, here is my very first published article on cryptozoology, which launched my entire career.

Back in spring 1986, I had written to the Western Morning News (WMN) newspaper, based in Devon, requesting whether it would be possible to buy a selection of past WMN articles dealing with the Beast of Exmoor. In reply, the WMN said that it could indeed supply me with those articles but would be happy to accept, in lieu of monetary payment, an article written by me on mystery animals for publication within the newspaper. Needless to say, I was delighted to receive this unexpected opportunity to showcase my cryptozoological views and knowledge in print, so I penned the article accordingly, which was duly published as the WMN's Leader Page in its 17 May 1986 issue - and the rest, as they say, is history!

Twenty-four years, sixteen books, several major publishing/media consultant and contributor roles, and countless articles later, I owe my writing career in no small way to this modest little contribution to the cryptozoological literature, which I hope that you enjoy reading as much as I enjoyed writing.

(NB - Suffice it to say, I did NOT write the captions accompanying the article's illustrations!)


  1. Amazing in that also on this date 24 years ago my other hero, sir Alex Ferguson began his reign at Manchester United....

    Congratulations to you both on providing so much joy to so many !!

    Raj Sawhney

  2. I happen to know when my own first Cryptozoology article was written-it was in my High School newspaper in 1972 and it was on the theory that some UFOs could be animals. I included that clipping with my first letter to Ivan Sanderson, which incidentally also included my first attempt at a Cryptozoological checklist. I cannot say that was the first such checklist, though, because I think Willy Ley had published the first one.

    Best Wishes, Dale D.

  3. Thanks, Raj, for your kind words - I really appreciate them! And wow, what a coincidence - I had no idea at all about that, so thanks very much for pointing it out. All the best, Karl

  4. Hi Dale, Your article's theme recalls the 'critter' or sky beast theory re UFOs of Trevor Constable, which has always greatly intrigued and interested me, and which I've written about in several of my books and articles, most recently in Dr Shuker's Casebook (2008), whose front cover features a beautiful painting of sky medusae by Philippa Foster.

  5. I didn't know the okapi was believed extinct for a time!

  6. It wasn't - that's why I highlighted the fact that I did NOT write the captions to my article's illustrations! lol