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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Saturday, November 28, 2009

CFZ PEOPLE: Noela Mackenzie and Marjorie Braund

Much of this week has been taken up with visiting and caring for these two dear ladies, who are very dear to me, and much loved members of the CFZ family.

Mrs Braund is as well as can be expected. She seems to enjoy our daily visits. Yesterday we took Shosh and Gavin with us, and although she was convinced that Shosh's mother was my ex-wife, she was pleased to hear about Shosh's adventures as a newly qualified vet.

Noela was moved to Bideford Hospital yesterday. We shall be going in to visit her later.

Both ladies look so fragile and vulnerable, like baby birds in the nest, that one's heart aches not to be able to do more for them. The picture, by the way, is of Noela at my 45th birthday party at a long defunct Russian restaurant in Exeter. She distinguished herself by eating an enormous meal and drinking prodigous amounts of vodka, which would not have shamed a burly man half her age. She was, by the way, 82 at the time....

CFZ PEOPLE: Lisa Dowley

Richard telephoned yesterday evening. We are sad to report that Lisa Dowley has had a small stroke. We do not know any further details, but she is apparently recovering well.

Your thoughts and prayers are appreciated.


Looking back at some archives of Nessie news I came across these items:

'Monster spotter applauds £2m Ness clean-up By Claire Doughty
Published: 02 November, 2006

NESSIE will have clearer water to swim in after millions of pounds was invested in cleaning up her ‘home’. And, it is hoped, the improvements to the Loch Ness Monster’s surroundings will lead to more sightings. Scottish Water have just completed two projects worth over £2 million in the world famous stretch of water. Modern waste water treatment works have been installed at Foyers on the south shore of the loch, and at Balnain, near Drumnadrochit, on the north shore. Both works discharge a cleaner effluent into the rivers Foyers and Enrick, which flow into Nessie’s abode.

Gary Campbell, president of The Official Loch Ness Monster Fan Club, welcomed the news. He said: ‘It is great to see this improvement in the quality of Nessie’s habitat. There have only been a few sightings this year and I’m sure that cleaner water will mean Nessie is seen more .
‘Seriously, this is good news for the many Nessie hunters who visit the area. A cleaner environment will encourage them to return.’ Nessie fan club president Gary Campbell is hopeful the cleaner water will make for more sightings.

Sheila Campbell-Lloyd, Scottish Water’s regional manager in the Highlands, added: ‘This is a brilliant example of Scottish Water investing to ensure that the Highlands remains a great place to live and visit. A cleaner environment makes for a better experience and that in turn should benefit the important tourist trade in the area.’

The £1.8 million treatment works located in Lower Foyers, near the lochside, has two septic tanks and filters which provide secondary treatment, which separates solid and liquid waste and is filtered down to produce a high quality effluent. It replaces a number of outdated septic tanks around Lower and Upper Foyers. By reducing the number of discharges to just one, the environment is now much more pleasant and the river and the loch are now much cleaner. At Balnain, the £300,000 project involves a new septic tank and reed bed system which protects the environment and boosts the water quality in the River Enrick. Scottish Water says reed beds use natural methods to break down sewage and recycle it into clean water. They don’t use any chemicals and reduce the risk of flooding, minimise odours, blend in well with the environment and provide habitats for wildlife.

The most recent Nessie sighting was last month when a young English couple holidaying in the Highlands claimed they encountered Nessie twice during their stay. Nick Thurston and his fiance Emma Louise Jones won a holiday to the Highland capital and spotted the monster whilst on a cruise. Their second sighting was a week later whilst driving near to Urquhart Castle. '

Here is a sighting from 2007:
'Sidney Wilson was in the city with his wife Janet when they decided on a cruise down the loch to take in the sights. And it was as they approached Urquhart Castle that he ended up taking this intriguing photograph. Sidney, who comes from Nottingham, said: "I was just taking pictures of everything as we sailed down the loch. "As we approached the castle, two power boats appeared and circled us at speed, leaving a large wash in their wake. "Thinking that it would make a good photograph, I fired off two quick shots and on the second, there appeared to be something in the water." After enlarging the image, Sidney could swear he could see a head and fin in the boat's wash. "After showing the image to staff at the National Hotel in Dingwall, they advised us to contact the Highland News," he added. The sighting took place on Tuesday, March 27. The earliest claimed reference to Nessie is taken from the history of St Columba in which it is said he saved the life of a Pict who was being attacked by the monster. The first modern sighting occurred on May 2, 1933. A report in a local newspaper claimed a Mr and Mrs John Mackay saw "an enormous animal rolling and plunging on the surface". '

Well, the clean water doesn’t seem to have done the trick as there seem to have been less sightings since this was done. The sighting from 2007 looks like a seal; as there is no indication of size, I think that is what it would be put down to. I wonder if there have been fewer sightings or if people are just reluctant to report them


Our group's Online Fundraising Campaign has just kicked off and your participation is the key to our success!

Hello all! We are starting a new fundraising event online to help out the rescue. We are working to raise funds to acquire our 501c3 status, then to have some extra funds to go towards vet expenses for some of the dogs we receive who need some extra medical attention that we are unable to pay for ourselves at this time. If your unable to participate please pass this email on! Thanks & hugs, Lanette

You can help by inviting your friends and family to shop at our online magazine store. They can choose from over 650 magazine subscriptions at up to 85% savings, and our group will get up to 40% of each purchase amount!

And magazines are a great gift idea!

Click here to participate! And you can get great prizes too! When you invite 12 people and sell one magazine subscription, you get a FREE movie ticket redeemable online! And for a limited time, there are monthly $200 cash prizes to be given away to top sellers!

Participate now!

REGAN LEE: Cattle Mutes


Reposted from The Orange Orb:

Cattle mutilations made the mainstream news today: Creepy string of calf mutilations mystify Colorado rancher, police This item seems to be making all the rounds; it appeared in our local paper, Eugene's Register Guard.

The dead calves had their skins peeled back and organs cleared from the rib cage. One calf had its tongue removed.But rancher Manuel Sanchez has found no signs of human attackers, such as footprints or ATV tracks. And there are no signs of an animal attack by a coyote or mountain lion. Usually predators leave pools or blood or drag marks from carrying away the livestock."There's nothing really to go by," said Sanchez, who's ranched for nearly 50 years. "I can't figure it out."Colorado's San Luis Valley has been the home of supreme high strangeness for literally hundreds of years. Cattle mutilations, UFOs, even Bigfoot, and a whole lot of other Fortean and weird events. Paranormal researcher Chris O'Brien has written three books on the strange happenings in the area in his "Haunted Valley" series: Secrets of the Mysterious Valley, Mysteriosu Valley, and Enter the Valley. (O'Brien's Stalking the Tricksters: Shapeshifters, Skinwalkers, Dark Adepts and 2012 is his recent work, released about a month or so back.) O'Brien isn't mentioned in the news item but Chuck Zukowski of UFOnut.com is. On Zukowski's site there is a report, along with graphic photos, of the mutilations.In the news item references are made to UFOs and aliens and the odd history of the place:

When something like this happens, there's always talk of UFO's and alien visits. Neither believe in that, either. But some may look upward for an explanation. The San Luis Valley is a place where an unexplained horse mutilation maintains celebrity status 40 years after its death because of mysterious circumstances. It also has a UFO watchtower sitting on the roadside near Hooper. Interesting this item made it into the national news stream, along with references to UFOs.

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday’s News Today


On this day in 1520 three of Magellan’s ships sailed from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean, becoming the first Europeans ever to do so.
And now for a spot of news:

No answers yet for calf mutilations near San Luis
Pet pig puts wind up family as farting prompts gas leak fears
Dirty pig.