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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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Thursday, June 04, 2009

NICK REDFERN: More on British Man Beasts

Any mention of the infamous Beast of Bodmin Moor inevitably conjures up imagery of large black cats roaming the British countryside.

But not always.

Some time ago, I received an email from a man who had an intriguing, but unfortunately, very brief story to relate.

The details, from Keith Fletcher of Derby, concern a story told to him back in the mid-1980s (by a work colleague who hailed from Cornwall) of a "giant monkey" roaming Bodmin Moor 6 or 7 years prior to when Keith heard the story - which would have placed the events somewhere in the latter part of the 1970s.

Keith is currently trying to track down his source; and so hopefully we may learn more in due course.

In the meantime, it's intriguing to note that others seem to have uncovered data on what may very well be the same story.

In his book Big Cats Loose in Britain, author Marcus Matthews says: "On 2nd January 1985, an article appeared in Exeter's Express and Echo about the 'Beast of Bodmin.' I have learned from a relation that in the 1970s and 1980s there were always rumours of an escaped orang-utan ape in the area. Farmers coming home from the public houses were used to seeing a strange pair of eyes looking at them, and a hairy human-like figure disappearing quickly."

Expect more data if and when I hopefully get it...

And, on a somewhat related matter:

Another story brought to my attention not too long ago is worthy of commentary: it comes from a man named Bob Shenton, who claims to have seen "something bloody odd" on the wilds of Dartmoor back in the winter of 1967.

Bob was driving across the moors late one night (at the time he worked as a plumber and was heading to a house to deal with a case of a burst water-pipe) and - while near the village of Postbridge - came across something decidedly strange.

According to Bob, for the briefest of moments, and as he approached Postbridge, he caught sight of what looked very much like a large ape-like figure crossing the road in front of him and vanishing into the shadows at the edge of the road.

Interestingly, Bob described the creature as "like a shadow", in the sense that it seemed one-dimensional in nature - which closely, and eerily, echoes the description of the similar beast seen at Bolam Woods by Squire Downes in 2002.

Not only that, Postbridge has been the site for many years of a phenomenon that may very well be related: namely, that of the infamous hairy-hands - concerning which, a quick search of Google will provide quite a lot.

I am contacting local newspapers in the area to see if anyone else can shed further light on this mysterious encounter. I'll keep you posted.

1 comment:

Bigfoot73 said...

This creature doesn't sound much like an orang -utan. They have quite distinctive faces, human-like eyes, aren't nocturnal and don't move very fast.
Could the Dartmoor beastie have been one of these cavemen written of so intriguingly in "Three Men Seeking Monsters"? What's happened about them anyway? that has got to be the coolest, weirdest cryptozoological story this country has got.