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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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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Back from Hungary

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, but he is presently in Hungary doing important butterfly conservation work..

Dear friends,

As some of you may know, I have been in the Aggtalek National Park Region (see http://www.anp.hu/) of northern Hungary recording butterflies, in particular the migration and interaction between 2 species of Fritilaries, the Melitaea telona and the Melitaea phoebe or Knapweed Fritillary. There were other Fritillaries there and altogether by the end of the 3 weeks we had recorded about 60 different species of butterfly. We also saw or heard many moths,reptiles and amphibians, bats,birds and mammals. I will not spend any more time writing about this trip here, because I am writing an essay for a future edition of the C.F.Z`s Amateur Naturalist Magazine mainly concentrating on swarms and migrations of butterflies and I have also today posted about an hour`s worth of video footage to Jon which he will have to heavily edit if it is to be suitable for C.F.Z. TV! I will be putting all of my best digital photos onto a disc. Whist in Hungary we saw a few ragged Painted Ladies flying up a wooded slope on migration.This was on May 25th. One of the last butterflies we spotted was the rare, (to Hungary) Poplar Admiral Limentis populi.

If anyone has any information on why the Black Veined White (Aporia crataegi) disappeared from Kent in 1906 please can they inform Jon or I? Thanks.

Finally, as far as Hungary is concerned, I found this Latin inscription beneath a painting of a saintly character in a church near our hostel: So putting on my Dan Brown hat I managed to translate some of it:

Passus Sub Pontio Pilato Crucifixus Mortus Et Sepultus Docuit In Scithia Cruci Afixus AC 69. = Having Suffered under Pontius Pilate Crucifixus (?) Mortus= Died (?) Et = And Buried Docuit (?) in Scithia = Southern Russia Cruci Afixus (?)

This cannot refer to Jesus Christ as He died in 30 or 33AD I may be able to provide a photo of the inscription in a few weeks.

This is all I have managed. Can anyone help? I would be most grateful. I met a bloke called Tim who was on the trip with his girlfriend. He told me about a “sea-serpent” washed ashore in 1996 on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. It was so smelly and slimy that the locals dragged it to a moor and buried it. It`s head was 8ft long and it was transparent and body grey and slimy. It was on the north coast at the next bay to Luskentyr beach.

Tim also told me of folklore of ravens in the Hebrides who fly to your door and knock on it. If you open the door the raven turns into a beautiful woman,comes in and you are never seen again. The final bit of cryptozoology refers to huge footprints seen some time in the winter of 2008 by Tim. The footprints were in wood land on the Derbyshire-Staffs border. They measured 7 inches long by 6 inches wide and 3 cm deep with claws.



All for now.


Best wishes

Richard Muirhead

1 comment:

Chris Clark said...

'Docuit in Scithia' = he taught in Scythia, 'Cruci Afixus' = fastened to the cross. Possibly Saint Andrew, who did both, though I would expect to find him in Greece. Don't understand the AC date though. Typo?