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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Sunday, August 16, 2009

WEIRD WEEKEND - Speakers Group Photograph

The Class of 2009
L-R Neil Arnold, Paul Vella, Andy Roberts, Ronan Coghlan, Glen Vaudrey, Darren Naish, Jonathan McGowan, Max Blake, Jonathan Downes, Corinna Downes, Rat Scabies, Richard Freeman, Tim Matthews, Nick Redfern, Michael Woodley


Tabitca said...

This is not meant as a criticism , just an observation, there is only one female speaker. Is that because in general most cryptozoologists are men or is there some other reason?
I just thought it was interesting thats all from a sociological point of view. :-)

Anonymous said...

I reckon Cryptozoology must be a discipline that mostly appeals to males. If it was a line up at a New Age-ey healing/metaphysical event, it'd be 50% women at least. Still, it's probably got something to do with the general (mis)understanding of what Cryptozoology is — I imagine as the CFZ's influence spreads and the subject becomes demystified and less seemingly bizarre, more females will swell the ranks of researchers and speakers. BUT, I think it's fair to say that anything involving exploration (of the unknown) and discovery will always be more a preserve of men than women. It's more in a boy's nature. I'm not a Cryptozoologist myself, but I think I'm right.

KarenMarie said...

I think since women are essentially 'wired' different then men, their approach to cryptozoology is entirely different. What men find 'weird' women have an innate acceptance, abate subconscious, for. I adore men, but we are different. We create from the most minute substances within our bodies 'human beings'...than we feed them from that same body...can't get much weirder than that...the universe is a vast carnival of the unfathomable...and although the 'scientist' and 'rationalist' in me could go chasing after daimons and dreams, I find it more essential that such adventures are better,at least initially, filtered through those adventurers whose brain have a need to touch the untouchable, explain the unexplainable, and try to corral the wonderfully unknowable. I'm sure I've said 40 things here that will be misinterpreted, but that's Cryptozoology isn't it my friends?

Jon Downes said...

Actually, there were no female speakers - the girl there is Corinna, my dear wife. Therein lies the problem: There are indeed women doing roles of importance in the CFZ. We have Corinna,Lisa,Naomi, Lizzie and many others, all carying out pivotally important roles, but although we have female writers a plenty, there is a big dearth of female speakers. In fact, I think that in the whole ten years of the Weird Weekend there have only been three or four different female speakers.

This is something I would love to change - my dream wishlist for WW speakers would include Marie-Jeanne Kauffman and Debbie Martyr just for starters.

Tabitca said...

I shall just have to get my book published then and get famous so I can come and speak lol
I don't think we women are very good at pushing ourselves forward and plus when it is a very male dominated domain we do tend to feel intimidated even in this day and age. Maybe we should start a CFZ women's club or something to encourage more ladies to come forward ? Any ideas anyone?

Jon Downes said...

Getting your book published? Its not as if you know a fortean publisher is it?

Send me some details



Jon Downes said...

Also Lindsay - your email address went the way of all flesh when my hard drive died. Can you email me?