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, July 04, 2009


The other day Alan Friswell, the bloke who made the CFZ Feegee Mermaid and also the guy responsible for some of the most elegantly macabre bloggo postings, wrote me an email.

He had an idea for a new series for the bloggo. Quite simply he has an enormous collection of macabre, fortean, odd and disturbing magazine and newspaper articles, and he proposed to post them up on the bloggo.

Alan Writes: "Yes! Welcome to Friswell's Freaky Features, an ongoing spot on the CFZ blog page where you will encounter the fun, the freaky, the frightening and on occasion, the downright horrifying. Many of these items are from almost forgotten archives and no doubt should, in many cases, have stayed forgotten. But no chance of that on this site! So be prepared to be amazed by the bizarre manifestations of nature, the abberations of the natural world and the complete (on occasion) mind-bending insanity of collective humanity. Read on...."

What a smashing idea, we thought, and so with a burst of alliteration that will - I hope - make Dr Shuker proud of me, here we go....

The headline of this article from August 1960 is surely sickening enough but it's only when you read the text that you can more fully appreciate the horrifying mentality of the charming individuals who invented this 'device'. I can only say that these bastards probably missed their true vocation by being born too late, because had they been around a few years earler, they would most likely have gone down a storm in Auschwitz or Dachau....

EDITOR'S NOTE: I'm not sure that I agree. I was, after all, woken up at six this morning by an earnest young border collie rooting through the waste bin in our bedroom, and deciding to growl noisily at something insubstantial outside the window - probably a rook. I think electronic leashes sound a jolly good training option....


Retrieverman said...

Believe it or not, but virtually every single gun dog in the US is trained using this device, which is called an "e-collar." I'm not a fan of the device, but to train a working retriever for trials and tests in this country, you almost have to use them. In the UK and all of Europe, this is not the case.

I have books on working retrievers, which suggest the following methods:
shooting them with a sling shot or bb gun, taking a whip or riding crop to them, slapping them around with a bamboo pole, and using a livestock electric prod to their backsides. As a result of breeding for dogs that put up with these methods, most working retrievers bred in this country are tough and very wild dogs.

Retrieverman said...

I wouldn't use those devices on a dog like a BC.

Syd said...

What a fantastic device.
It could be used on small children, to train them to become civilised human beings, instead of Chavs, chavettes and hoodie wearers.