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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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Sunday, December 20, 2009

RICHARD FREEMAN: Gabba Gabba Hey

Have you ever wondered how many stories of strange creatures are actually based on encounters with severely deformed human beings? Here are two cases of deformed humans told to me by people I know. Both have an otherworldly strangeness about them.

George Bishop, crop circle expert and one-time stalwart of the Weird Weekend, used to be an electrician in Plymouth. Once, in the 1970s, he was called out to a house in an ordinary-looking street in the city.

In the front room he was talking to the woman who lived in the house when he saw what he thought was a table move. The table was in fact the flat head of a tiny person. George said the figure was dressed in a flat cap and brown suit and moved in a stiff limbed fashion like a toy solider. He had a tiny face beneath a broad flat cranium that, in the cap, looked like a round table top. Apparently he was never let out of the house. George did not enquire too much about the strange little person.

The girlfriend of a former friend of mine once told me that one of her past boyfriends (a gofffb story?) that he had been visiting a small, remote village in northern Cornwall one evening when he saw what looked like a werewolf. The man who was dressed in a flat cap (again!) and normal-looking clothes had skin covered with hair and a jaw that jutted outwards, and was furnished with fangs. All in all he looked like the werewolf from the film The Werewolf of London based on Guy Endore’s short story The Werewolf of Paris. A man who was with the ‘werewolf’ explained that he was the man’s brother. He had been born that way and had lived in the village all his life. Locals knew him but he tried to avoid strangers so as not to scare them. He only came out when few people were around - usually at night.

It makes you wonder how many more poor souls are out there, living in isolation, away from the prying eyes of humanity.

1 comment:

Andrew D. Gable said...

There's an urban legend out near Pittsburgh, PA called the Green Man. Not the vegetative fellow of English lore, the Green Man was a faceless phantom who glowed green. The basis of the story was a guy named Ray Robinson who was severely electrocuted and disfigured to the extent that he was practically faceless. Ray took to taking his walks at night and the story grew up around him.