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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, August 28, 2009

WE ARE RETURNING TO NORMAL

...whatever passes for normality in the circus that is the CFZ. At the moment Graham is away at Hawkfest for three days of bodily abuse and Hawkwind. He will be back on Sunday and will be back on the chain gang (allegedly) on Monday. However, after three days of drinking and loud swooshing noises, I doubt whether he will be firing on all cylinders.

The computer stuff is continuing apace. We are very much in need of some 500gb hard drives if anyone feels like donating some. They would be very gratefully received. Max is coming down next week, and Lizwiz will be wending her way down later in September, probably after we (Maxy, Corinna and yours truly) return from our trip down the Yellow Brick Road to Killarney. Richard is in Staffordshire, but will be back soon.

The biggest news, however, is the final episode of `Diary of a mad Cryptozoologist` for yesterday (following on from these three episodes)

http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/08/diary-of-mad-cryptozoologist-part-one.html
http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/08/diary-of-mad-cryptozoologist-part-two.html
http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/2009/08/diary-of-mad-cryptozoologist-part-three.html

I had finally managed to get to sleep, and was dreaming the dreams of my innocent youth when I was awakened by a knock on my bedroom door. Not a-bloody-gain, I thought. But it was my beloved nephew, and heir to the CFZ Empire. For the first time he had travelled here under his own steam.

He had passed his driving test (first time) and his first solo journey was to visit his old uncle. Sometimes, my dears, it is indeed good to be alive.

Slainte

P.S. Don't be surprised if service is a little erratic over the weekend as we finish back-ups and sorting out the new computer etc. But we should be back to normal (serotonin levels permitting) next week.

ARCHIVING PROJECT: BHM Part 2


As you know, Oll has been working on the archiving project since early February, and he is now working on the BHM section. This 1st trenche is mostly bigfoot stories from the United States in the mid 1990s, which were - by the way - originally from the collection of Craig from the long defunct Crypto Chronicle

HERE


RICHARD HOLLAND: A teeny-tiny tusker


Once again we hand you over to guest blogger Richard Holland, editor of Paranormal Magazine and all round good bloke. He is a regular visitor to these pages and I am sure that you will all agree with me that this is jolly good news for all of us....


I had hoped to contribute more frequently than this but I guess that since I am not a cryptozoologist as such, I must content myself with shoving stuff on here as and when I stumble upon something I hope will be of interest. The following is just such an item. I found it in the ‘Curiosities’ section of the December 1915 edition of The Strand Magazine.

Recently an article appeared in the Fortean Times regarding pygmy elephants. If the following snippet is to be believed (which I guess it ain’t), elephants once lived in Myanmar which made the teeniest pygmy elephant look as big as a … well, as an elephant.

A Mr Frank Molyneux Wagstaff, of Leighton Lodge, Prome Road, Insein, Rangoon, Burma, sent a photo of perhaps the most preposterous creature ever to be submitted to a popular journal: an aquatic heffalump three inches tall. This is what Mr Wagstaff has to say about his photo:

‘The accompanying photograph shows a species of water elephant standing against a foot rule, which measures not more than three inches in height. These queer creatures are found in the Salween River, near Moulmein, and are said to be very rare. It is believed by the Burmans that the ordinary elephant will not enter a river if there is a water elephant about, as they drive their little tusks into the big elephants and poison them.

‘This one, which I photographed in Moulmein, was found hanging on an elephant’s leg one evening on his return from his bath in the river. It was killed and cured but since the photograph was taken it has been stolen from a chemist’s stores, as it is said that they are very valuable. The specimen is a full-grown one and is said to be between forty and fifty years old.’

Hmmm….

I’d love to know whether any of you crypto-types have heard of these diminutive water elephants before and whether this is the only mention of them. Incidentally, according to t’internet, Moulmein is now Mawlamyaing, Myanmar’s third largest city and is on the Salween river delta.

Richard Holland:




NEIL ARNOLD: Toad Man

I have known Neil for fifteen years now, since he was a mod schoolboy with ambitions for adventure and I was an earnest young hippy who merely wanted to start a club for people interested in unknown animals. Nothing much has changed over the years; we are just both a tad older....


There are many zooform tales to chill hearts around a campfire, and the legend of the Warrington Toad Man is one of those. Despite its absurd title, the Toad Man is a nefarious bogeyman, also known as the Toad Goblin, or Monster of Morley Common. It is a tale passed through several generations, and originates from the 1800s. The local public house, known at The Shipp Inn, situated at Walton, had several ‘Alice In Wonderland’ pictures on the wall, which were eventually taken down. All that remained on the wall was a strange picture of a dwarf-like entity known as the Toad Goblin.


One day the picture was said to have disappeared from the wall and the locals were very upset, believing a thief to be responsible. The picture never returned but the landlord spoke of how this was the local bogeyman. The Cartwright family spoke about the local bogeyman also, saying he dated back to the 1870s. This surreal creature was said to have bandy legs, and a bowler hat perched on a grotesquely bulbous head which had red whiskers. This creature terrified children for decades for it was said that the monster used to hide behind trees and spring out on unsuspecting victims. It’s possible the legend originated from a local recluse who lived on Morley Common. But one day several children walking through the area were said to have found the battered body of the hermit, but when the children ran home to tell their parents of the macabre find, upon returning there was no sign of the body.


Some believed the recluse was killed by another recluse, but since that time the Toad Man was said to haunt the local woods of the Common and children would not venture there after dusk.

DIARY OF A MAD CRYPTOZOOLOGIST - Part Three: Baby Fish

Follows on from Part Two

So I went back to bed and my long delayed peruse of The Word. And a mighty fine read it was too. After about ten minutes I felt myself slipping back into the arms of Morpheus. Would I get to sleep again this time?

Would I heck!

The telephone rang again. It was Allan from the pub. "Errm we've got a second and maybe a third spawning of the gouramis, and three babies I can't identify in the other tank".

So for the third time that afternoon I got dressed, and for the first time I ventured outside as my darling Corinna and I bumbled oop t'pub. The babies were platies, which was nice but not unforseen, but we had a nice cup of tea with Allan and Jennie, and then decided to go to Asda to get some meat for the dog.

Whilst in Asda I bumped into a vague fishkeeping acquaintance who told me that he had just bred `white firemouth cichlids`. He said they were not albinos but were a predominantly white colour morph of Thorichthys meeki. Well, I've never heard of that, and neither (so it transpired) had Max. We are particularly interested in the genus Thoricthys at the moment because of our metzico blue spp up at the Farmers Arms so Max was pleased as punch that I managed to arrange a swap of some fry for some of our burgeoning army of gourami fry..

So all's well that ends well, and I eventually got back to bed

DIARY OF A MAD CRYPTOZOOLOGIST - Part Two: The Alien Baby

Following on from Part One

So I was back in bed having a lovely dream about chickens when the telephone rang. It was The Daily Sport. Now, I am not gonna be arsey about the tabloid newspapers. I have appeared in them on a number of occasions, and have even been paid for this dubious privilege. They have always been nice to me, and have often treated me with a damn sight more respect than their colleagues in the more well respected journals.

What did I know about the alien baby in Mexico? The journalist (a charming young lady called Clare) asked me. The truth was that I didn't know anything about it and asked her to email me a picture and phone back in half an hour.

This she promptly did.

http://www.bild.de/BILD/news/bild-english/world-news/2009/08/25/alien-baby-or-hoax/bizarre-creature-found-in-mexico-stumps-experts.html

Hmmm, I thought. And when she telephoned back, "Hmmmm" I said. I met Jaime Maussan years ago in Mexico, and he was a nice bloke, but I really would not like to commit myself on the basis of one story in a German tabloid newspaper. Could I have copies of the autopsy and analysis reports?

She said that she would see what she could do, and rang off. I went back to sleep. (BTW there is a youtube video about the case below)




DIARY OF A MAD CRYPTOZOOLOGIST - Part One: Oh My God they've Googled Nessie

Years ago, when I was in Mexico with Graham, I remember him spending a productive afternoon drinking beer in his hotel room and watching a Spanish language version of a film called Diary of a Mad Housewife, which incidentally starred Neil Young's ex wife.

I don't know why that totally pointless vignette popped into my mind, but it does seem mildly reminiscent of what happened yesterday afternoon. I felt dreadful, so after the blog was done and the bare minimum of what I needed to do in the office had been accomplished, I went to bed with the latest edition of The Word, a cup of tea, and some raisin scones. I had been in bed ten minutes when there was a telephone call telling me that I really needed to get downstairs and check my emails.

Various people including Andreas Trottmann and Paul Vella had sent me a story about a mysterious image that had turned up on Google Earth:

The images, available by entering the coordinates ‘Latitude 57°12'52.13"N, Longitude 4°34'14.16"W’ in Google Earth, reveal a white object against the green background of the Loch, which may or may not be the famed monster of Loch Ness.

http://www.netguide.co.nz/200908271137/google-earth-reveals-strange-image-from-loch-ness.php

http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2009/aug/27/loch-ness-monster-google-earth

I think it is certainly not the monster, and agree with Henry "The Enigma of Loch Ness" Bauer who wrote to me "Clearly a boat and wake, unfortunately. I want to see a big wake with no shape of anything at the front"

But interesting, and just about worth getting me up for, so I smiled sweetly at Oll who was setting up new nursery tanks for the baby gourami, and went back to bed. I soon fell asleep.

Yesterday’s News Today




http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/

Friday, more often than not, means it’s time for the Friday fact. This week I found this gem tucked away among the dusty esoteric tomes of the CFZ library’s restricted section:

Before he became a historian Simon Schama was actually part of a gang of youths that roamed castley-fields up and down the length of Britain looking for discarded brass bedsteds and tickling the chins of stoats all for the amusement of the gang’s Fagin-like and pogostick-fanatic leader Charles Hawtrey. When a policeman caught Schama in the ruins of Kenilworth castle lugging around a bedsted that clearly didn’t belong to him he was asked to explain himself. Schama trotted out the cover story that he was a historian and wandering around castley-fields and using props to illustrate the points he was making was his job. The policeman denounced this story as “Poppycock” and frogmarched the young lad to Cambridge university where he was forced to enrol in a history degree as a punishment for telling lies. Years later Schama had the last laugh as he made three series of a documentary featuring him wandering round castley-fields using props to illustrate the points he was making for the BBC.

And now the news:

RSPCA: Hedgehog numbers may be at risk from rat poison

A Rhinostone Cowboy

Unusually large St Bernard litter

Extinct Seabird Rediscovered In Laboratory

Koniks horses set to help another nature reserve

Police hunt wolf after sighting in Lothians

Not my own pun today but rather a joke I found online that amused me and is vaguely related to wolves:

Three Indian squaws are about to give birth and consult the Medicine Man for advice. The Medicine Man tells them to give birth on the hide of an animal whose characteristics they want to see in their offspring.

The first squaw gave birth on the hide of a lion to give her son the bravery of a lion. She had a brave son.

The second squaw gave birth on the wolf's hide to give her son the wisdom of a wolf. She had a wise son.

The third squaw gave birth of the hide of a hippopotamus and had twin sons that were both brave and wise.

This is yet another proof of the Pythagorean theorem where the squaw of the hippopotamus equals the sons of the squaws of the other two hides.