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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, March 11, 2009

GUEST BLOGGER RICHARD HOLLAND: Wrexham carter attacked by enormous serpent

Once again we hand you over to guest blogger Richard Holland, editor of Paranormal Magazine, and all round good bloke. He is a regular visitor tho these pages, and I am sure that you will all agree with me that this is jolly good news for all of us..

Apologies for both the lateness and the brevity of this blog but it’s deadline week and the usual scramble to fill pages with great dollops of strangeness.

This is another account from my home patch of North-East Wales. Unfortunately, I don’t have the original source in front of me but can tell you it was a slim volume detailing the history of a village in what is now the county borough of Wrexham: Overton in Days Gone By by G J Howson, published in 1883. I must quote from my first book Supernatural Clwyd, which I wrote when I was 24 (crikey, was I ever that young?)

‘One year in the early 19th century, there was a news report of a “huge snake” being encountered in Overton. It had leapt out of a hedge and attacked a team of horses carrying a cart of coal near the bridge. With considerable difficulty, the carter succeeding in killing it, and he draped it over his cart. The carcass was so long that its head reached the ground in front and its tail dragged along behind!’

I sincerely hope it was the source that was vague about the year and not down to any youthful sloppiness on my part. I also find myself pondering whether snakes, be they ever so huge, can actually ‘leap’. I suppose they can. The bridge referred to is a sizeable, horseshoe-shaped structure with an inn on its northerly (I think) side and a wide stretch of the River Dee far below it on the opposite side.

I shouldn’t think this snippet is well known so I hope it proves interesting, brief though it is. I don’t suppose there are many descriptions of dragon-length serpents from the 19th century.

Richard Holland, Editor of Paranormal Magazine (
http://www.paranormalmagazine.co.uk/) and Uncanny UK (http://www.uncannyuk.com/).

1 comment:

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

Jon has unfortunately thrown down a gauntlet of a poetical nature, so here goes:

There was once a carter from Wrexham,
who set out to travel to Hexham
there's a werewolf you see,
and stone heads up there be
so tread softly en route or you'll vex 'em!