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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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Forever Autumn

Well, it's all over. For another year at least. The Weird Weekend 2008 was a great success, it went off without any great problems, it raised about £1000 for CFZ funds, and a great time was had by all. Personally, even though it's over a week later, I am still knackered. But it is a good feeling to have pulled off an event on such a scale. This year we had a crew of over 20 people, and we needed every one of them. Plans for next year are already underway.

But enough of the self-congratulation. There is work to be done.

In the last week I haven't just been catching up on my sleep. I have also revamped the CFZtv website, which was severely in the doldrums, and in great need of refurbishment. You can see it at www.cfztv.org and - what's more - for the first time, you can watch the 2008 Weird Weekend in its entirety. As far as I'm aware, we are the only organisation in the world, certainly within our field of operations, that, following in the footsteps of certain somewhat dodgy religious organisations, makes the entirety of their annual conference available - for free - on the Internet. I hope that you will enjoy it.

So, onwards into the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, to quote a poem that I learned at school (which my dear wife informs me was by Keats). What do the autumnal months have in store for the Centre for Fortean Zoology?

We have several books planned for this autumn. The first out of the starting gate will be Neil Arnold's book on the Mystery Animals of Kent - the second in our series of county by county investigations into the cryptofauna of the United Kingdom and Ireland. This will be closely followed by Michael Newton's book on giant snakes, Richard Freeman's encyclopaedia of Japanese monsters, and Nick Redfern's Mystery Animals of Staffordshire.

Before the end of the year, CFZ readers can also expect another issue of `Exotic Pets` and another issue of `Animals & Men` as well as the 2009 Yearbook, so - all in all - things ain't doing too badly here at CFZ Mansions.