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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, June 03, 2006

Following the yellow brick road


On thursday went to see the wizard! We drove into Cornwall, to visit one of my dearest friends. Tony "Doc" Shiels, sometimes known as the Wizard of the Western World is a much maligned character in forteana. He is best known for his Loch Ness Monster and sea serpent photographs, and for being involved pivotally with the Owlman case which started in Cornwall some 30 years ago. He was in Cornwall for a few days to visit an Art Exhibition in St Ives.

We sat in The Red Lion in Redruth and talked about cabbages and kings, and basically caught up with each other after a gap of some four years. Nothing much transpired of a fortean nature, except, after congratulating us on the new edition of The Owlman and Others, he told me that my speculations which led to me naming the late John Gordon as the person responsible for the `Mary F` photographs of Morgawr in 1976, were totally wrong. Tony told us the name of the real Mary F, and promised that one day he would introduce us.

This may be a fairly inconsequential blog entry, but I owe Tony my career. If it hadbn't been for my friendship with him, I would never have written the Owlman book in the first place, and - quite probably - no-one in forteana would ever have heard of me! Also, as I wrote in Monster Hunter, he was a significant `father figure` to me during the dark days of my divorce, and to be quite honest, until two days ago, I had forgotten how much I love the old bugger, and there were very real tears in my eyes as I hugged him before we drove back to Devon.

I just wanted to share that...