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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Monday, July 20, 2009

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


Welcome to Yesterday's News Today, the bloglet where I talk a load of old toot that nobody reads, post up the latest cryptozoology news story links from the CFZ’s daily cryptozoology news bloggo and leave a bad taste in your mouths with a completely rubbish pun based upon one of the afore-mentioned news stories. So without further ado, not least because nobody is reading this introduction anyway, here is the news:

Scientists discover track of soaring prehistoric creature
Giant Squid spooks divers in San Diego waters

The diver was so shocked he dropped his wallet, which had 6 ‘squid’ in it. (Yeah, all right, I know nobody would actually dive with their wallet as it would probably mank up the cards and paper money, but it’s the best I can do with today’s stories).


...for two reasons. Reason 1, cos it is my eldest stepdaughter's graduation today, (see left) and reason 2, because two years ago to the day, a young lady called Corinna James was stupid enough to marry me.

A few days before we got married I wrote this on my blog:

1. You let me keep amphibians in the kitchen
2. You wanted a broadsword for your bithday present
3. You rule over the ever-changing circus that is my life like a benevolent empress
4. When there are 23 people staying the night you don't bat an eyelid (I do, but you don't)
5. You understand chickens
6. You indulgently put up with my silliness
7. You (only two nights ago) drop the dinner plans and rush out with me after big cats
8. You think that hunting for a giant earwig is a jolly good idea
9. You have even more extreme tastes in music than mine (and you once saw Henry Cow)
10. You have a mind that can think of chickens dressed as plankton
11. You are a far better novelist than me
12. You like my friends
13. My friends like you
14. You understand my madness
15. After two and a half years you still never fail to surprise me (and I expect it will be the
same after 20)
16. You have given me a family
17. You were magnificent at my father's funeral
18. You uncomplainingly do what needs to be done, even when there is a crisis
19. You love me
20. I love you
21. We are getting married on saturday...

And apart from the dates, nothing has changed.

The last two years have been pretty horrible ones. We have been nearly killed, we have both had various illnesses, we have lost family members under horrific circumstances, we have had friends die slowly and unpleasantly, we have been ripped off by people we trusted, we have been screwed over appallingly by the powers that be, and we have both nearly worried and worked ourselves into an early grave. We have faced financial ruin, and grief and disaster.

But honey...

Still I know that marrying you was the best thing that I ever did, and thank you for marrying me....


I've been asked by Liz (Kithra) to inform you all that she's currently experiencing computer issues and will therefore be unlikely to be online until further notice. She will be back when her computer is fixed, but it may be a few weeks hence.



This I really don't believe.


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At any rate, that gives me an opening for a local birding update. I had posted a while back about a flourescent-green goldfinch witnessed by my partner at the time (I was looking the other way) and it seems that it must have been an otherwise ordinary female goldfinch but of unusually intense coloration. I mention that because lately we are getting reports of a bird much like a robin but colored robin's-breast-red all over. This seeme to be a related bird perhaps a veree but also of more intense than usual coloration.

Heuvelmans noted on his checklist that there are an increasing number of reported big cats seen in unusual colorations (such as green leopards) and he suggests that the rate of mutants might be going up. I think the same thing applies here. We have also been through sightings of a white-headed crow and an unusually dark mockingbird in Indianapolis that I had mentioned in the past year. BTW the last mockingbird I saw (yesterday) was of the ordinary coloration.

Best Wishes, Dale D.


JAN EDWARDS WRITES: Jon, a friend sent this to me today. Any ideas what caused it?

The original message read:

Jan, have you ever seen a bald blackbird . . . ? You have now. She looks perfectly healthy apart from the near perfect head shave. Any ideas? Obviously feeding a family so she's not sterile


I know exactly where I was 40 years ago today. I was in the 5th form classroom at Peak School, Plunkett's Road, Hong Kong, being given a dramatically boring history lesson on the English Civil War by a lady called Mrs Alexander who hailed from one of the six counties. I wasn't listening. I had already read Simon by Rosemary Suttcliffe, and what else was there that I could possibly want to know? I knew that in a few weeks time we were going back to England on holiday, and that we were going to visit Torrington castle in North Devon, where the climax of Suttcliffe's book took place, and that was far more exciting to me than the dull facts and figures being spouted to me in a deadpan accent from the imposingly aquiline lady at the front of the class. Anyway, something important was happening 384403 km away.

I had been following the progress of the moon mission for weeks, and I was feverishly waiting to see if the actual landings would be a success. I looked at my watch every few seconds, and at 17 minutes past two (Hong Kong time) I strode up to the front of the class and boldly said. "Excuse me Mrs Alexander, but I think that the class would like to know that the first men have landed on the moon!"

She glared at me. "I think you should pay more attention to what is happening on this planet, more specifically to the Battle of Naseby. Go and sit down, boy!" There were tears in my eyes; tears of sheer frustration and rage.

So I went to sit down and realised, not for the first and certainly not for the last time, that the adult world was stupid. I still think that the adult world is stupid, and when people tell me that "the trouble with you Jon is that you don't understand the real world" I still feel enraged and frustrated. Either I have never grown up, or I grew up with a bang 40 years ago, at the age of nine years and eleven months, and I am still not quite sure which.

Good Luck, Mr. Gorsky!


Don't talk to me about what the man on the street thinks, I've met the man on the street – he's a ****

Sid Vicious

I had the pleasure of quoting this today to a relatively famous TV producer who told me (in a particularly irritating mockney accent) that I was "out of touch" and "needed to get down with the kids" and "had no idea what normal people wanted to watch on TV.

I think that another part of my once promising TV career has just bitten the dust. However mainstream TV as a medium has become so irritating and debased that I really want no part of it anymore. And I certainly won't parade myself on air as some sort of a freakshow ("Roll Up! Roll Up! Come see the enormously fat man! He believes in Monsters! He must be mad! ...Ah he IS mad! HoHoHo"). OK, every man has his price and mine is not as high as one might think, but to ask me to do a whole string of humiliating and demeaning stuff, and to talk about the most intimate parts of my bipolar illness on air, and to do it for nothing ("because, its not our policy to pay contributors, like") is something that I am not prepared to do.

If this is the media of the modern world, I want nothing to do with it.

TERATOLOGY: White (but not albino) stag

Fleur writes: I know this video is ancient but I thought you'd like it and greatly dislike the majority of comments on it....

CFZ PEOPLE: Joyce Bousfield

Our condolences go out to Ed Bousfield, most famous for his controversial identification of Cadbarosaurus willsii, on the loss of his wife Joyce. Loren writes:

Recently, I learned from Darren Naish and John Kirk of some sad news. It is with a heavy heart I pass along that Ogopogo and Cadborosaurus researcher, the retired Royal British Columbia Museum marine biologist Dr. Edward Bousfield has lost his wife, the former Joyce Burton of Ottawa, in May 2009. My deepest condolences to Ed and his family.

The good wishes of the CFZ and the Bloggo team go out to Ed and his family at this difficult time....




Back when I was a callow youth in my late twenties, I spent a lot of my time engaged in a pursuit very close ideologically to cryptozoology - the pursuit of music that was rumoured to exist. I was part of a shadowy band of brothers and sisters (though mostly brothers, and mostly with bad skin) who traded cassette tapes of obscure, and highly illegal (often stolen) recordings by famous rock stars. The best that I ever got were live recordings of two shows that Syd Barrett, Jack Monck and Twink played under the soubriquet of `Stars` back in (I think) 1971; however, we heard lots of things like the Led Zeppelin BBC session, and various unreleased Beatles songs well before they were officially released, and I like to think that it was because of the irksome activities of those like us that EMI et al finally relented and released such things.

However, as I get older, I have to admit that music isn't anywhere near as important to me as it used to be. It is important, yes, but no longer the all-encompassing passion that it once was. It is like I underwent a cultural menopause sometime in my early forties.

However, occasionally things come to light like this, which purports to be an unknown and unreleased take of The Beatles playing Revolution. I think that it is probably a fake, but am posting it for old times sake, and because there is an irresistible parallel between this sort of thing and large swathes of forteana....

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


I have returned unscathed from the big city; hoorah! As it’s Movie Monday on YNT I’m going to post up the trailer for the film I saw yesterday, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Out of the Harry Potter films it’s one of the best; perhaps THE best so far. Maybe that’s just post-film hyperbole talking but I certainly enjoyed it a lot more than the last one; catch a 3D showing if you can.

Talking about 3D, if you live in the UK and are missing out on seeing the 3D photos I’ve been poping up here on account of not having the glasses you can find a free pair in this week’s issue of Doctor Who Adventures magazine that will do the job.

Indian Ocean Cetacean Symposium begins in Maldives
Gay Penguins Split In Love Triangle Shock
Joggers hurt in buzzard attacks
A Single Wing Starts Quest For Mystery Bird
Crested Dinosaurs Had Brains Designed For Talking
Arctic Mystery: Identifying the Great Blob of Alaska

What is that blob thing? Hang on ‘Alaska’….