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, November 15, 2009


I really do apologise for the slightly erratic bloggostuff over the last few weeks. Because I still have this blasted infection which two weeks of flucoxacillin have singularly failed to beat, the doctor has changed my medication and I am on a much more powerful antibiotic. My doctor warned me that it might well have adverse side affects, but I have to admit that I was not expecting this. I haven't felt quite like this since the aftermath of my first rock festival at Snapper, near Barnstaple in 1982 when I saw Mother Gong and Hawkwind whilst under the influence of a motley cocktail of cider and cheap drugs.

The bizarre thing was that what I enjoyed mightily aged 22, is a horrid experience aged 50, and apart from wondering grumpily why I ever paid good money to feel like this, I am fairly seriously non functione, which is a great pity as I have so much work to do, and it is becoming a real backlog.

Corinna and Graham went to see Noela yesterday (I was in bed for most of the day), and she seems to have recovered reasonably well from her adventures, although she is having problems with her zimmer frame. Here I would like to say something important that I missed out of my diatribe yesterday.

As many of you know, I was highly unimpressed with the way that my father was treated during his last illness, and have not been exactly enthusiastic with my portrayals of the workings of the National Health Service over the years. My opinion of the Social Services has been (if anything) even lower. However, I cannot fault the way that Noela was dealt with by Social Services, the ambulance service, and various doctors and nurses. They did everything one would have hoped, they were kind, and good spirited, and compassionate. Thank you guys - my faith in human nature has just been given a valuable boost.

There is one final issue with which I have to deal before I go back to bed for a bit. There seems to be an issue with blogger.com. They have always provided a smashing service but in the last few days all sorts of formatting anomalies have started appearing on this blog, and - much more seriously - pictures have begun disappearing from Corinna's. I am sure that these problems are completely fixable, but I would ask two things of the bloggo readership:

1. If there is anyone who has any experience in these matters who can offer help or advice please get in touch
2. We will get this fixed eventually. We apologise that the blogs look a bit weird at times, and that piccies are missing. It is not down to our neglect or mismanagement, so don't turn your backs on us in disgust.

Things will get back to normal sooner rather than later.




FROM YOU TUBE: A video taped in New York.. I don't know exactly where.. video was taken from http://bfro.net/

you may have to watch the video a few times before you can really see it, study trees in the back behind the guy singing, it looks like an ape, or a monkey swinging in the trees

NEIL ARNOLD: Chinese Monster Tales Part Three

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....

‘The Great Serpent’ is another Chinese tale from between the 3rd and 6th centuries.

‘In Tienmen Principality there are lonely mountains and steep gorges, the gorges high above the plain. Men passing the foot of the mountain often leaped over the forest and disappeared, as if they were fairies with wings. After several such cases had happened in one year, this was called Fairies Valley. Many who wanted to become immortals or were simply curious went there and performed ablutions, hoping they might become fairies. Then they often disappeared.

Finally, one man, shrewder than the rest, suspected that some monster was behind this. Accordingly he went deep into the valley, taking a dog with him, and fastened himself to a boulder. When the dog flew off, the man went back and told hid fellow villagers. The gathered several dozen men with sticks to clear the weeds and cut trees until they reached the top of the mountain. There they saw in the distance a great serpent some hundreds of feet long and as high as a man, with ears like winnowing fans. They fell on it and shot it dead. The bones of the men this serpent had devoured were piled high on both sides of it. The serpent’s mouth was more than afoot across. It had sucked in all those who had disappeared. After this the district was free from trouble.


Only 3 weeks to go to the Midland Charity Auction on 6th December. Fish are starting to be put on the website. Could I ask all those bringing fish to let me know what you are bringing. This online list really is a great advertisement for your fish or eggs. I can also put photos of your fish on this page.

The webpage as usual contains links to download your booking in forms so you can do the whole booking in thing from your fish house & just drop your boxes off on the day. Or pick up forms on the day & fill out when you get there.
The December do is usually well attended & has over 500 lots of fish on offer.
Could I ask those attending to try & bring a little something for the raffle prize table. This generally brings in over £100 for the charity pot. This is a fundraising event for charity after all. The Yorkshire lads do a great job of organising this.
A film unit will be coming to take some footage which may appear on the BBC later on.
The June (2010) auction will have a marquee to increase floor space. Other things are being worked on for this date.


The legendary cult SF author Michael Moorcock is turning his had to Dr Who and has been officaly contracted to write a Dr Who novel to hit our shelves in about a years time.

As yet we don't know if it will feature the new Doctor (Matt Smith) or one of his previous incarnations. I for one am over the moon (Delta Three in fact) that the man who brought us charcaters like Lord Mongrove and Elric of Melniboné is adding to the Dr Who universe.
On his own fourum the great man says...

Hmmm. I couldn't get to the Gallifrey site but I can answer the odd question here:

1) I've been watching Dr Who since it began. Haven't liked all the doctors and after Peter Davison stopped watching regularly until the new BBC Wales series.
2) Since the Tom Baker series, a lot of my ideas crept into the stories and so in many ways I'll be writing a story which already echoes my own work.
3)I do have to submit it to editors so they can make sure it fits into the canon and this, of course, is understandable. By saying it wasn't a tie-in I did, of course, mean that it would be an original novel, not one which was linked to previous stories.

I share an enthusiasm for the current Dr Who broadcasts with quite a few friends who are 'literary' novelists and I sense in some of the Gallifrey remarks a suspicion of the 'outsider' which you used to get when someone with a reputation as a non-sf writer would decide to write an sf novel. All I can answer to this is 'wait and see'. I'm certainly not a non-watcher! Neither am I someone who ascribes a kind of religiosity to an enthusiasm. This phenomenon crops up a lot, these days associated with sf/fantasy, LOTR, H.Potter, Twilight and so on. I hate these presumptions of exclusivity either in my own corner of the literary world or elsewhere. Mike Kustow, once director of the Royal Shakespeare Co, described this as 'the anxious ownership syndrome', when faced with his first confrontation with sf fandom in Brighton 1968. He'd found the same sort of expression with Shakespeare fans when someone from 'outside' showed an interest.

I've been asked to write Dr Who scripts or stories almost since the series began, because I was known to enjoy Dr Who. Only recently did the time feel right to me to do one. I'm going to enjoy that, too.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1983, John Le Mesurier died. Le Mesurier was best known as Sergeant Wilson in the classic BBC comedy ‘Dads Army’ and was once married to ‘Carry On’ star Hattie Jacques.

And now, the news:

India orders all zoo and circus elephants moved to wildlife parks after animal rights outcry

Dog walker finds severed head of alligator on Huddersfield hillside

Rare species named after crocodile hunter Steve Irwin