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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Monday, June 29, 2009


A few years ago, just before my father was taken ill, and I was forced to move from Exeter to North Devon, Richard and I went to a lecture at the Arts Centre in Exeter. It was by Ray Harryhausen, the master of stop-motion animation, and the father of such films as Jason and the Argonauts, Clash of the Titans, and various voyages of Sinbad.

It was a fascinating evening, and shaking his hand afterwards is a memory of which I am very proud. In fact, of all the famous people I have met over the years, it is Harryhausen, Dave Brubeck (whom I interviewed in a Torquay Leisure Centre in 1989), and John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin that I ever dine out on, and of the three the greatest is Harryhausen.

Why am I sharing this with you today? Well, Alan Friswell writes:

Hi Jon.

I don't know if you would like to post this up, but it's Ray Harryhausen's birthday today (29th), and he's still working on new projects at the age of 89, so there's hope for us all. I'm sure that everyone on the CFZ site would like to wish Ray many happy returns, and say thanks for all the great movies that he has given us through the years.

Al :)

Right on Al!

1 comment:

Jon Downes said...

RICHARD FREEMAN WRITES: I'm amazed and delighted that the great Ray Harryhausen is still working at 89! What a guy, his stop motion animation is worth hundreds of the flat, lifeless CGI monsters we see in films today.He should really get a cameo role in Dr Who, that would be great.