On 5th March, Jonathan and Corinna Downes, the Director and Administrator of the Centre for Fortean Zoology [CFZ] the world's largest mystery animal research organisation, fly to Texas. Together with their friends and colleagues Richie and Naomi West who very generously financed the expedition, they will spend two weeks continuing the research into the Texas blue dogs, first carried out by Jonathan Downes in November 2004..

Friday, 19 March 2010

CORINNA DOWNES: The Director of the CFZ is speechless - is this a first?


Friday 19th March

After visiting Devin the four of us intrepid travellers continued on our road down to Cuero where we were to meet Dr Phyllis Canion – the lady who had appeared on a recent National Geographic TV documentary about the chupacabra that had aired on American TV the week before we had left home. Our good friends Nick Redfern and Ken Gerhard had both appeared in the show, but for copyright reasons it had not been aired in the UK. Dr Canion had the body of a ‘chupacabra’ in her freezer and we were to meet and talk about her findings and hopefully see the body.

We left Morgan and Jo back at Devin’s place – they would meet up with us later. Dr Canion met us in the foyer of our hotel and just as we were leaving to go to the Country Club, the two film crew arrived at the hotel. It was arranged that they would join us later after they had freshened up after their journey from Elmendorf.

Dr Canion is a remarkable woman. She is a qualified nutritional practitioner and is also a rancher who has a great knowledge of the land around her. I will not go into details of the dinner and its conversations as this has been covered elsewhere on the blog but when we got back to her ranch we were all totally gob-smacked of what presented itself to us as we walked through her door. Jon was, for I think the first time in his life, speechless, as were all of us. There, on the fireplace, was a preserved specimen of the creature we had been hot on the heels of ever since our feet touched American soil almost two weeks before and which we had been distance-investigating for longer.

It almost snarled at us in defiance as we stared open-mouthed at its form, this beast that had been killed by our modern-day mode of transport like so many other creatures these days. I was charged with taking measurements of its body and although my creaking bones complained bitterly at sitting on the hard wooden floor of Dr Canion’s sitting room, it was an awe-inspiring task to do so. I silently thanked the goddess of fate that the stitching on my bag had started to unravel itself upon our arrival in the States, which prompted my need to purchase a travelling sewing kit complete with tape measure. It is strange how one annoyance can lead to something so utterly magnificent.

I became paranoid that upon trying to move my sluggish body up from the floor to change position would cause me to trip and come crashing down upon the creature and that those other preserved animals that looked down upon this newcomer would laugh silently to themselves at my misfortune.

The form was thin – not quite as thin as a whippet – but almost. And it was smaller than I had imagined. It did look undernourished to a certain extent and upon its legs there seemed to be faint darker patches on the skin that looked a bit like stripes. There is excess skin upon its neck and behind the large ears, but it is the weird scone-like discs upon its buttocks that are so strange. They are around 2” in diameter and are equidistant of the long thin tail. They remind me of old-fashioned flying goggles in their protruding roundness. What on earth are they? Is this creature so emaciated that its bones are sticking out at the back? Not that I can see and from recorded biopsies these discs are primarily meat. They are not the anal glands according to Dr Canion either. But they are present on several other photos of dead creatures of this kind that have popped up in recent years.

As Goethe stated – and as the CFZ motto quotes: In her abnormalities, nature reveals her secrets. Well in this case, it appears that this is most definitely true.

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