Half a century ago, Belgian Zoologist Bernard Heuvelmans first codified cryptozoology in his book On the Track of Unknown Animals.

The Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) are still on the track, and have been since 1992. But as if chasing unknown animals wasn't enough, we are involved in education, conservation, and good old-fashioned natural history! We already have three journals, the largest cryptozoological publishing house in the world, CFZtv, and the largest cryptozoological conference in the English-speaking world, but in January 2009 someone suggested that we started a daily online magazine! The CFZ bloggo is a collaborative effort by a coalition of members, friends, and supporters of the CFZ, and covers all the subjects with which we deal, with a smattering of music, high strangeness and surreal humour to make up the mix.

It is edited by CFZ Director Jon Downes, and subbed by the lovely Lizzy Bitakara'mire (formerly Clancy), scourge of improper syntax. The daily newsblog is edited by Corinna Downes, head administratrix of the CFZ, and the indexing is done by Lee Canty and Kathy Imbriani. There is regular news from the CFZ Mystery Cat study group, and regular fortean bird news from 'The Watcher of the Skies'. Regular bloggers include Dr Karl Shuker, Dale Drinnon, Richard Muirhead and Richard Freeman.The CFZ bloggo is updated daily, and there's nothing quite like it anywhere else. Come and join us...

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Saturday, October 29, 2005

Strange Days

We spent this morning filming. Much to my amazement, some months ago my father produced a video cassette which contained some cine film he and my mother took in Nigeria when they were stationed there nearly fifty years ago. I made an idle comment to friends of mine that the footage should really be edited, and before I knew what had happened the whole affair had escalated into a full blown documentary film of my father relating his African experiences in the 1950s to the accompaniment of the aforementioned video footage and a veritable treasure trove of photographs and slides which show aworld that has effectively ceased to exist.

I am very impressed at the way that the old chap has taken to this new lifesyle like a veritable duck to water. Mike and Helen from Barnstaple have been over for the last few weekends filming him for the documentary, and - pretty unusually for terminally ill a guy pushing 81 - he has become very enthusiastic about the project. When the film is finished it will be two books and a movie chalked up to him in his eighty-first year, which I am sure anyone would agree is a pretty impressive achievement.

On the CFZ front it is a little quiet here this weekend, because despite weeks of ceaseless activity with our publishing schedule and with the frog project (of which more another time), this weekend everyone is on leave. Mark is back with his folks in Weymouth, John has taken a week off, and Graham is - as we speak - driving up to London to see his mother. Corinna and I are left at base to look after Dad and have a (I think anyway) well deserved rest from the world....

... That is what I had planned anyway, but she is bullying me into trying to finish my new book, so I guess the weekend will be more productive than I had hoped.


perkin2000 said...

Without wanting to sound too emotional, that is a lovely post about the endurance of the human spirit. If one in a condition like your dad's, and at his age, can get animated over a new project in life...

Well, there's no excuse for the rest of us!


The documentary itself sounds very interesting, will it be viewable to the public?

JON DOWNES said...

Yup, it will be out on DVD sometime next year...