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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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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES:A GIANT RAT, AN ENTOMBED BAT AND AN IMPRISONED TOAD - 1812

My blog today covers the well known Fortean phenomenon of entombed animals,but this time with a difference: Entombed toads will be familiar to the dedicated Fortean, but entombed bats may be less familiar.

There was a case of an imprisoned bat or bat-like creature in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire,U.K. in the 1920s or `30s, but in a fit of paranoia about the occult (because it seemed so weird) about 15 years ago I threw the evidence, in the form of copies of the newspaper cuttings, away. So part of this blog(see below) is an attempt to make up for that error.

Enjoy!

"A rat,of astonishing size,was lately killed at a public house in E.Clarendon,near Guildford (1) it measured from the tip of the nose to the end of the tail,2 feet 3 inches,and was of proportionate bulk." Macclesfield Courier and Stockport Express or Cheshire General Advertiser.(MC & S.E or C.G.A.)March 21st 1812.p.3

"We are informed by a correspondent,that a bat was lately discovered at Astbury (2) in a solid block of stone quaried seven feet from the surface. The bat is described as having ears 7/8 (? figures unclear) of an inch in diameter and curvated like a ram`s horn;it was much larger than the common bat, and on exposure to the air seemed to languish. We shall be obliged to any naturalist amongst our numerous readers, who can inform us what species of bat can live in stone, or what kind of stone is sufficiently porous to permit animal respiration." MC & S.E. or C.G.A. March 21st 1812.p.3

"A live toad was found eight feet below the surface in a solid whitestone rock,in a quarry near Lochrutton (3)" MC & S.E. or C.G.A. June 6th 1812. p.3

(1) Surrey (2) Cheshire (3) Dumfries

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