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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Monday, July 09, 2007

Apologise for lazy posting (4)


Big Cats: Loose in Britain is an impressive tome. At 368 pages, it is the largest book ever written on the subject. Author, Marcus Matthews began writing on his remote Wiltshire farm in 1987! The book focuses on the 1970s and 1980s, when the idea of exotic predators roaming the British countryside started to become widely known. Scouring newspapers, writing to local councils and police forces, Marcus began to amass a huge amount of data, and during the years he was contacted by over 1,000 witnesses.

As well as this, Marcus has hit the road on the track of the beasts themselves looking at animal kills, footprints, film and photographs. He has been lucky enough to spot big cats in the UK himself on three occasions. With hundreds of one-to-one interviews with witnesses under his belt Marcus has produced an incredibly detailed volume. This is no armchair researcher, but a man who works in the field, and as a country farmer knows his animals.

Two decades worth of research is now, for the first time, available to the general public. After languishing unpublished for 17 years, the Centre for Fortean Zoology is now proud to present this legendary book.

· Paperback: 384 pages
· Publisher: CFZ Press (13 Jun 2007)
· Language English
· ISBN-10: 1905723121
· ISBN-13: 978-1905723126
· Product Dimensions: 25.2 x 18.2 x 2.2 cm

Marcus is available for interview. Photographs and review copies are also available. Please telephone Jon, mark, or Corinna on 01237 431413 for details

Apologies for lazy posting (3)



Have you ever heard of the Damascus apartments hound? No? Well, how about the otoroshi or the malapas? No again? It is unsurprising, as almost no-one in the west has any knowledge of these obscure monsters.

All that is about to change with the publication of a new and unique book by fortean research Neil Arnold. Monster! The A to Z of Zooform Phenomena is the very first book of its kind to be published. It is an encyclopaedia of strange creatures from all the world’s cultures. Unlike more familiar creatures such as sea serpents, yeti and bigfoot, who are likely to be real animals unknown to science, the creatures in Neil’s book fall into a strange and poorly understood category known as zooform phenomena.

Zooform ‘creatures’ are not animals at all, but paranormal manifestations in animal form. Perhaps the best known are the black dogs of British legend. Neil has catalogued such oddities as the kama-itachi of Japan – weasel-like creatures said to attack victims with sickle like claws in a maelstrom of wind, and the arrancalenus, or ‘tongue ripper’, of Nicaragua that is said to resemble a cross between a cat and a turkey and tears out its victims tongues.

Stories range from the absurd like the Zulu basket monster (said to resemble a basket with legs) to the horrific, for example the tale of a monstrous maggot-like entity said to have killed a number of people in a Yorkshire village.

From ancient legends to modern day urban scares, from the streets of Tokyo to the wilds of Brazil, Monster! is a veritable menagerie of the bizarre. So, if you don’t know your tezzy parlour pigs from your fence rail dog, this is the book for you.

Neil is available for interview, and press photographs and pictures are also available. Telephone Mark, Jon or Corinna on 01237 431413

Product details
· Paperback: 396 pages
· Publisher: CFZ (23 May 2007)
· Language English
· ISBN-10: 1905723105
· ISBN-13: 978-1905723102
· Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 18.3 x 2.3 cm

Apologies for lazy posting (2) - see previous post



For three days this August, from the 18-19, the sleepy North Devon village of Woolsery will host the world’s largest conference on the subject of mystery animals.

One of the speakers lecturing at this year’s Weird Weekend (the 8th annual event) is a Ukrainian biologist who has spent years hunting for the Russian equivalent of the yeti. Grigoriy Panchenko has been on the trail of the almasty - as the beast is known in the Caucasus Mountains - for more than a decade. In 1991, in a barn on a remote farm, he saw one of the creatures himself. He also claims to have bones from a dead almasty that are currently being examined by a team of scientists in Paris. Grigoriy will be revealing his findings for the first time in the west.

Grigoriy is heading a line up of speakers at the three-day event. Organised by the Centre for Fortean Zoology - the world’s only full time mystery animal research organisation - the Weird Weekend is the largest event of it’s kind in the world. Other speakers include:

· Adam Davis - an explorer who trekked through the Congo investigating reports of living dinosaurs
· Mike Hallowell - a researcher who investigated a dragon worship cult reputed to have practiced human sacrifice well into the 20th Century (Mike claims to have seen the beast himself!)
· Paul Vella - a forensic computer scientist, who will present his analysis of the 1968 bigfoot film
· Dr Darren Naish - who will speak about the possible survival of creatures assumed to be extinct on remote island chains
· Ecologist Oll Lewis - will talk about Welsh lake monsters
· Dr Charles Paxton – will talk about the mathematical likelihood of sea serpents
· Ronan Coghlan, from Ireland - talking about fairy lore
· Richard Freeman - speaking about giant eels
· Nick Redfern, who will be coming all the way from Texas - giving a lecture on the man-monkey of Ranton (a simian phantom reported from Staffordshire)

As well as talks, there will be displays and exhibitions that will include live exotic insects, British big cats, wildlife photography, and fortean art. Book dealers will be selling rare and out of print books on strange creatures, and other esoteric subjects. Monster maker Anthony James, who has worked in film, theatre and television, will be giving a workshop on how to build your own monster.

Tickets cost £20 for the whole weekend or £10 per day. They are available from the Centre for Fortean Zoology at:

Or by telephone: 01237 431413

The Centre for Fortean Zoology Myrtle Cottage
North Devon

Tel:01237 431413


+ The Centre for Fortean Zoology is a non profit-making organisation, which was founded in 1992. Over the last 11 years we have mounted expeditions to Central America, Thailand, Mexico, various parts of the United States, as well as numerous investigations in the UK. Further information on the CFZ can be found on their website, www.cfz.org.uk.

+ C F Z director Jonathan Downes has written numerous books on the subject of mystery animals. The latest, entitled `Monster Hunter` is his long awaited autobiography.

+The honorary life President of the Centre for Fortean Zoology is renowned explorer, author and soldier Colonel John Blashford-Snell OBE, best known for his pioneering Operation Drake and Operation Raleigh expeditions during the 1970s.

+ The CFZ is looking for corporate and private sponsors

Forgive me for lazy posting (1)

The last few weeks hhave been ridiculously hectic, and I haven't had a chance to post anything much. As most of you know, Corinna and I are getting married on the 21st, and before then I have had to get the following things off my desk:

1. Issue one of Exotic Pets magazine. If you want more informaton check out the website

2. Neil Arnold's fabulous book on zooform phenomena

3. Marcus Matthews's equally fabulous book on mystery cats.

4. Issue 14 of Tropical World

5. Mark's book of Dorset folklore

These have all been done. But I still have to finish:

6. Issue 41 of Animals & Men

7. Karl Shuker's fabulous `Extraordinary Animals Revisited"

8. Nick Redfern's also fabulous `The Man Monkey - a British Bigfoot`

as well as organising the wedding, the Weird Weekend, finishing the aviary block, and a hundred other things. So guys, please forgive me if the only thing you get posted today are copies of the press releases I have been busily mailing out....