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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Saturday, June 27, 2009


I am more than slightly bonkers at the moment. It is ten past ten on saturday night, a time when all God-fearing cryptozoologists should be doing anything rather than lying in bed, medicated to the gills, with a smelly dog, a bottle of brandy and The Beastie Boys 2004 album To the 5 Boroughs blaring out into the over-warm midsummer evening. I only listen to hip hop when I feel ill, but it somehow strikes a chord with the psychotic side of my personality that only comes out when I am ill.

However, apart from the fact that Biggles really doesn't like the sampled dog noises on one of the tracks, we are quite a peaceful sight. I don't really want to talk about my Mental Health issues - I have never made any secret of the fact that I am very severely bipolar with twinges of a schizoaffective disorder, but I mention it only to set the scene of why I am lying on the bed doing all this stuff at a time when normal people would be doing something else.

I have spent the last two hours scouring the internet to find this 1977 music paper front cover. Why? Is it because I am psycho this evening?

Not really. It is because I wanted to illustrate a weird coincidcence. As a fortean pundit, strange coincidences are my sock in trade.

I still remember where I was on the night of August 16th 1977. I remember mosly because I wrote one of my better songs - Elvis died for our sins - about that night. The opening lines are:

I was watching television
when the newsflash came across
Elvis died in Memphis,
but I didn't give a toss
because I wanna be adored by peasants
(cos adoration's where its at)
I wanna play Las Vegas twice a year,
get crazy, stoned and fat

Four days later I did what I always did every thursday between 1973 and about 1992 - I bought the music papers. And being a snotty young 17-year-old punk who bought wholesale into the Joe Strummer ethos of No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977, I started ranting about "opportunistic capitalistic scum using dead rockstars to boost sales blah blah blah" but it was nothing of the sort. It was just a coincidence. The Elvis cover had purely been to illustrate a story about some rock and roll revival reissue rodeo (or something equally as alliterative).

And for thirty-two years I have cited this as a weird example of acausal synchronicity. Now something strikingly similar has happened.

Although in the years following his death I became somewhat of an Elvis fan (I have actually been reading one of the better biographies of the man, on and off, for the last few weeks), I never used the term 'The King of Rock and Roll'. Like calling Bernard Heuvelmans 'The Father of Cryptozoology', it is not true and merely vulgar hyperbole. However, for the first time since August 1977, someone in the entertainment industry, who had been given a 'royal' title by the music press has died suddenly. He was Elvis's son-in-law, and also - it is beginning to appear - died of polypharmacy at an early age.

And look at the cover of Q, published just before he died....

In 2009 I don't care about Michael Jackson's death much more than I did about that of Elvis back in 1977, but I do find acausal synchronicity enduringly fascinating!

Weird, huh?

PS: I only discovered this while sitting up in bed reading Q this morning, but this issue also includes an article on rockstar deaths. Prescient or what?

1 comment:

Neil A said...

Jacko rocks! Love him or hate him, the guy had a major influence on me when I was a kid, I was body poppin' and moonwalkin' across the lino, and when 'Thriller' hit, that was it...mystery in the music video.

It's a very surreal thing, and I imagine Lennon's death had a similar effect as it was so unexpected. Sure, Jacko was strange, most of them are in their own, enigmatic way. I sat up all night watching the news and couldn't help but feel that Jacko announced those 50 gigs in the UK because he somehow knew he wouldn't honour them