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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Thursday, September 17, 2009

IRELAND CALLING: Jon phones in a brief report on lake explorations

Jon's second report from Ireland and, this time, Graham's figured out how to record it onto his PC for transcription. All good practice for when the Sumatra bunch phone in!

Note: names marked with an asterisk are phonetic renderings: they are how they sounded at the time. I'm always reluctant to interrupt a report that might break off at any moment merely to ask how to spell a name.

GRAHAM: Alright, go ahead....

JON: I'm phoning from a pub called Molly d'Arcy's* - at Mackross* in County Kerry.

We've just spent an illuminating afternoon, the last hour of which we've been at a place called Lady's View... where we had a view of the three lakes at Mackross*. The upper lake - how do you spell Lough Lairn*?

BACKGROUND: L - E - A - N - E.

JON: Lough Leane. We saw that; we saw Mackross Lake, and the upper lake. And, we did witness some anomolous sightings on the upper lake - I'm not going to go into any more details until we come back, though. We were there with Doc Shiels, and some amusing jiggery-pokery did take place.

(At this point, Jon asked me how things were going at the CFZ, and I gave him a brief update. Basically, nothing nasty had happened, and it had been a pretty quiet day. That's what we all like to hear!)

GRAHAM: Anything more you want to say about today in Ireland?

JON: Yes, we did some interviews at Kil- what's the place? Kilgorlam*, isn't it?

BACKGROUND: K - I - double L - O - R - G - L - I - N

JON: Basically, we went there, where Tony told us all about Puckfair [Ireland's oldest street festival] and we talked to some of the locals and it was a very, very groovy place. We also went round Kerry. There are no pictures; we haven't got the technology to upload pictures. We will be uploading some pictures ... once we come back.

(And the rest of the conversation consisted of Jon asking about what post and emails had arrived at the CFZ, and me describing how things have gone, back here. As stated earlier: pretty quiet.)


Apart from some recent tests on Skype, this is our first in-house transcript of a Mission Report for a long while, and I'm pleased with the way it went. For those who like techie stuff, I used a microphone taped to my phone and plugged into my sound card, and freebie software called "MP3myMP3" to record it and save it as an MP3. It worked pretty fine, and if there's any complicated news from Sumatra then we can "get it in the can" as it happens.


* phonetic rendering.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

It’s Friday, so that can only mean that it’s time for the Friday fact:

Towards the end of his life comedian Arthur Askey became obsessed with finding the location of the lost city of Atlantis. It is rumoured that he was infact successful in this quest and that he inscribed the coordinates, in code, upon one of Charles Hawtrey’s brass bedsteads, which now have pride of place in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. However, nobody has thus far been able to decode the coordinates and those that have tried have all died under mysterious circumstances, giving rise to the rumour that that particular bedstead carries a curse. Officials at the V&A have kept the cursed bedstead off public display following the messy death of former curator Ernie Bellows, which is too horrific for me to detail here save for the fact that it involved several wayward salmon, a daffodil and a mysterious stranger dressed as Vercingetorix quoting the works T.S. Elliot.

And on that note, here is the latest cryptozoology news:

Aquarium celebrates birth of rare four-eyed fish

Gorilla King Titus dies in Rwanda

Sierra Nevada Birds Move In Response To Warmer, Wetter Climate

New Rasbora named after fish exporter

And now a fish joke:

What fish do you call when your piano is off key?

A tuna fish.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

What time is it? It’s latest cryptozoology news from the CFZ daily cryptozoology news blog o’clock! (alright, I am running out of different things to say in the intro now).

Elusive golden cat caught on film

Cows drive man into river, keep him there

Cat reunited with family, 3,800km later

Dog crashes ute into cafe

Maori legend of man-eating bird is true

Red panda escapes from London Zoo

Dead fairy found at yard sale

Got to admit that does look ‘fairy’ cool.