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...

Search This Blog


Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Some Sad News…

It is with great sadness now that I release this statement on behalf of the CFZ management.

I sincerely apologise to all the people who I’m sure this announcement will upset but I feel that the CFZ will grow stronger as a result. The truth is that Jonathan Downes does not exist. All these years we have been hiring a character actor named Mimsy Barrowclough to play the role for public appearances but sadly, due to family commitments, Barrowclough has had to resign from the role. He has released a statement via his solicitor for all his fans:

“It is with great regret that I, Mimsy Barrowclough, must resign from my role as Jonathan Downes. I have been forced to do so after my family started to complain that I hadn’t seen them for almost 20 years. I wish my successor in the role every success and will be on hand to offer them advice on how to play the role.”

Deputy director Graham Inglis said:

“When I conceived the CFZ as a small conceptual art project in the early 1990s I had no idea it would become so popular and that we would be in the position to recast the role of Jonathan Downes. Although I’m sure many people will miss the original JD and Mimsy’s fantastic portrayal, I hope that CFZ members are as excited as I am about the prospect of what a new actor will bring to the role.”

Although Brian Blessed, who filled in for Mimsy for three days during the recent Texas Expedition, has been linked to the now vacant role in press speculation, Blessed has poured cold water on the rumours.


There has also been speculation that, as nobody could top Mimsy’s iconic performance as the Director, we will be casting a younger actor or even a woman in the role; other names that have been linked to the part include Paul O’Grady, Joe Pasquale, Peter Andre, Kerry Katona and Wee Jimmy Krankie. I couldn’t possibly ruin the surprise of who the next person to play the role of Jonathan Downes will be, but the Director’s regeneration will be shown in the April 2010 episode of On the Track.

Corinna is distraught


Tabitca said...

I always knew there was something funny about his voice!

Dave said...

Mimsy Barrowclough, wow, I'm stunned. I suspected something wasn't right and wrongly thought it was Fifi Du Prez. I was way off the track there then!

Ego Ronanus said...

Mimsy Barraclough my granny! I have always known that Jonathan Downes was a tulpa or thought form projected by Richard Freeman when he was using all his mental and physical vigour during an attack of constipation.

There is no Mimsy Barraclough. She is Richard's thoughtform masquerading as Jonathan Downes!

nigel the tall jew said...

must also confess that there is no such person as "nigel Wright"..I am the only survivor of a failed expdition to the other andes, that lost contact iwith its base in 1971. My real name is " peter Aprilsis"..God!..it is a real relief to finally confess this to everyone!!!

Dr Dan Holdsworth said...

You're all wrong, I'm afraid. Jon Downes is in fact an intrepid anthropologist of the North American Bigfoot species, who decided to use all their art and science to disguise one of their own as a human, to investigate exactly why this highly unusual and mostly hairless ape species is so fixated on recording the footprints of Bigfoot.

As a means of further disguising their intrepid researcher's presence, an almasty was conscripted into the effort, forcibly given a haircut and once equipped with a fake beard was added onto the expedition under the code name of "Free the rich man". Almastys are famously drunken louts and this one was obviously rather hung-over when his code-name was being explained to him, hence he ended up calling himself by an unlikely moniker derived from this. I suppose that we can be grateful that this almasty didn't try to research human names himself; Jon might have ended up working with someone called "Ford Transit" or something if he had.

As far as can be determined the deception has up to now been largely successful. The British Intelligence service MI5 was reported to have shown brief interest in the mission, but apparently there exists a mutual non-investigation pact between the Bigfoot nation, and certain alien species (and we all know how aliens tend to infiltrate intelligence agencies, don't we?) which caused them to lose interest fairly rapidly.

The only slight leak in the whole deception was when a freak geomagnetic event in early December of 2002 took out the electronic disguise systems of another researcher of the Bigfoot nation, who was at the time investigating some reports of a relic population of H. erectus in the Tyneside area. This caused that researcher to be seen several times in the small woodland park he was using as a base at the time (Bigfoot apes really dislike big towns, and greatly prefer rural settings); this unfortunately meant that Jon was forced to travel up there and correct the problem for the unfortunate chap.

All in all, I'd say that the ruse has been very successful indeed, although I'm not sure if the original reason for the investigation has ever been satisfactorily resolved.

stormwalkernz said...

As it is za day for confessions I ust confess I too am not Tony Lucas - NZ represeentative.....
My real identity due to a mistaken accident while trying to fiz a human genomic condition is now Beast yes - youve seen me on X men Blue guy that "Sheads on the Couch".Regretably as there were so few parts in the X Men movies they allowed me a day job and Mimsy offered the position as it was felt New Zealand was far enough out of the way to keep me out of any media spotlight.
Therefore I must sadly announce there is no Moehau in New Zealand Just my get back to the wild excursions.
So there you have it I wish Mims the best and may even try for the role.