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, March 17, 2009

MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Tritons and Grampuses

Richard Muirhead is an old friend of the CFZ. I have been friends with him for 40 years now, since we were kids together in Hong Kong. He is undoubtedly one of the two best researchers I have ever met; he and Nigel Wright both have what Charlie Fort would have no doubt called a wild talent; a talent for going into a library, unearthing a stack of old newspapers, and coming back with some hitherto overlooked gem of arcane knowledge. Twice a week he wanders into the Macclesfield Public Library and comes out with enough material for a blog post..
Here are two new stories,both of a marine nature.The first seems totaly inexplicable...You must decide!

"A Triton - On the 31st of July {1812] an extraordinary animal was seen by five fisherman, in the creek of Port Mesin(?)(Murbian) Its shape resembled that of a man. It had arms, and the bust was completely human, but the lower part terminated in a fish`s tail. Its head was bald, with the exception of fore parts, on which was a bunch of black hair, and another bunch was perceptible upon the chin. The seafaring people who have sent us these particulars, had time to observe the monster at their leisure;it was within half a musket shot of the shore, between two boats, but they were afraid of it, and did not go any nearer"
(From a French Paper) Macclesfield Courier. September 5th 1812 p.2

"An enormous fish,believed to be a grampus,(1) was caught off Brighton...The havoc which this stupendous sea monster(which measures in length upwards of 31ft,and is nearly 16ft in girth)made in the herring nets that entangled it,cannot be repaired for a sum so moderate as £50,but already triple that amount has been made from its exhibition at 6d per head. The weight of the fish is computed to be from 5 to 6 tons;and the oil of it,if properly extracted, it is imagined will be worth from £100 to £150. "

Macclesfield Courier November 14th 1812.p.3

(1) Grampus is an alternate name for the orca, the white whale, and various species of porpoise.

1 comment:

Max Blake said...

First one must be a dougong/manatee surely?