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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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Friday, December 04, 2009

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: FORTEAN ZOOLOGICAL CURIOSITIES PART FOUR

Today I conclude these Fortean Funnies with part four (Oh, I do love alliteration). When I write “funnies” I mean funny peculiar rather than funny as in ha ha. I open with one of my favourites – locusts!

1. LOCUST REVIVAL: 'A petrol company has offered cash-strapped Hungarian farmers free insecticide to thwart a swarm of locusts advancing on their village 30 miles from Budapest. The swarm approaching Tatarszentgyorgy is the first of its kind in Hungary for 60 years.' (1) I wonder if Tatarszentgyorgy is anywhere near the Aggtelek National Park where I surveyed butterflies in May `09?

2. LAKE `MONSTER`: 'Thousands of tourists have visited a remote lake in Xinjiang, China, since reports of a monster which scientists say is a huge salmon, the official Xinhua News Agency reported yesterday. The story of the monster began last year when some local people claimed to have seen it swallow horses.' (2) Could this be the same as the big red fish of a certain Chinese lake that first began appearing about 10-15 years ago? But a salmon swallowing horses?

3. CROCODILE FEARS: 'The Jordan Valley council in Israel has posted a reward of more than £600 for the capture dead or alive, of a crocodile terrorising bathers in the Sea of Galilee.'
Crocodiles were present in what is now Israel in the 19th century though perhaps this one was an escapee? (3)

4. ONE HOP AHEAD: 'A wallaby, spotted near Pulham Market, Norfolk, yesterday by police is thought to have adapted to the wild after escaping from a zoo 18 months ago. It has evaded several attempts to catch it.' (4) This is interesting because it shows how wallabies can adapt to differing British landscapes, the rather flat landscape of Norfolk and the hilly one of the Peak District.

5. RATS DEFEAT DRUGS SEARCH: 'Dogs searching for drugs on board a Pakistani cargo ship here [Norrkoeping, Sweden] panicked by hordes of 15inch long rats, some weighing more than 2lb. They did not find any drugs.' (5)

6. INVASION HALTED: 'Residents in Nausori, Fiji, claimed victory yesterday over an army of millions of furry worms which invaded the town from the banks of a river. They crept around bus and taxi stands, disrupted a festival in the main park, and advanced on shops and homes.' (6) Oh, I do love swarms, as did Fort. Please can someone arrange a swarm in Macclesfield? Please, please!

7. Another favourite: homing cats: PURRFECT TIMING: 'Housewife Mrs Dorothy McGough, of Strelley, Nottingham, couldn`t believe her eyes when her lost cat Tommy returned – one year to the day after he dissappeared.' (7) I am collecting information on homing cats. If any of you have anything please can you contact me at richmuirhead@ntlworld.com

1. Guardian June 23rd 1993
2. Guardian October 16th 1986
3. Daily Telegraph July 19th 1993
4. The Times May 10th 1983
5. The Times May 1st 1982
6. Guardian July 10th 1986
7. Daily Mirror (?) May 4th 1987

Big Country Inwards

I wouldn`t want to go out on a night like this
When I find out that some of the time has been missed
And the light in the window has bunt its fuse
I pull everything inwards
But everythings loose.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

The Chinese gigantic fish actually seems to be a sturgeon and not a salmon, a Huso instead of a Hucho. Evidently there was some administrative error and authorities are assuming it is the wrong kind of a fish. Giant sturgon lake monsters (even giant catfish) are elsewhere said to swallow horses occasionally, but I prefer to think that is only popular legend. Huso sturgeon do inhabit the Amur River region in Northern China, so possibly they are also present in other parts.