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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Wednesday, February 04, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER DAVID CURTIS: It's not so grim up north now the CFZ is in town!

David Curtis is one of my dearest friends. I have known him for a long time and over the years we have created quite a lot of mayhem up and down the country, and it is with great pleasure that I am publishing his first (but not, I am sure, his last, guest bloggo)

Things were, indeed, looking grim up North on a Saturday night in early February 2009.

The choice was stark in Seaham On Sea, it was either, go to the local bar to see Maurice The Gimp perform Gregorian Chants set to music by Motorhead, or stop in and watch Celebrity Curtain's; a four hour in-depth documentary on the agony Katie Price and Peter Andre went through while choosing living room haberdashery.

Luckily for me, things were a lot chirpier slightly further north! Richard Freeman was doing a talk at the Alum Ale House (South Shields) on his recent trip to Russia in search of a Big Foot type creature called the Almasty. Hurrah! I duly headed north for my entertainment. I had arranged to meet Richard at 7.30pm and as I waited outside the pub in the gloom, with the mist from the river Tyne rolling in, a car door opened 50 feet away and two figures came towards me.

One spoke to me and I recognised this as Richard's voice but what was this broad squat figure approaching me speaking in some strange language? Had Richard captured the Almasty and brought him back to the North of England to perform around Working Mens Clubs? No! It was, of course, that wonderful Geordie researcher of all-things-Fortean, Mike Hallowell!

Relieved, I shook their hands and went inside and down the stairs to the cellar bar. What a wonderful little place it was, perfect for a group chin wag about the weird and wonderful! The new owner seems to think so too because he is going to make a feature of it, so good luck to him!

I grabbed a pint, did my bit for the cause by selling some raffle tickets for Mike and took my place to hear the talks.

First up was Mike with a short talk about a giant rock (hard) lobster and a sea serpent (this is featured elsewhere on the CFZ site so I wont repeat it here but obviously Mike knows his stuff and has dug deep to bring this all to light, so well done Mike).

After his talk Mike did the raffle (the prize being a book he had just written on Haunted Pubs) while singing the praises of an elderly gentleman in the crowd. Mike informed the crowd that without this man's knowledge his book would not have been written.

He then asked this great sage to pull out a ticket, whereupon he proceeded to pick his own ticket ! “Well, you said he was good!” someone quipped. “How Fortean is that?” said another. Still on with the show!

Next up, Richard and his talk about his Russian trip and not a Ivana Humpalot joke in sight! The talk was very well received, the ale did flow and it was a very good night. I met up with some old friends and I hope it will not be too long before the CFZ returns Up North again to tell us tales of high adventures around the globe!

Because while others sit at computer screens, the CFZ are there, in the thick of it, hanging on to a cliff..... for dear life sometimes. But that is another story...

Feb 2009

1 comment:

Geordie Paranormalizer said...

Thanks for the write-up Dave - spooky about that raffle, eh?