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, August 21, 2010

I DO, APPARENTLY OWE AN APOLOGY (and am very happy to give it)

At the Weird Weekend the hairs found at Huddisford Wood were not the only hairs to be tested and found to be a leopard. However, at the time I didn't realise this.

I wondered why David T thought that I was snubbing "Andrew Perry and his friends" over their research, and it was only yesterday that I realised what had happened. During the weekend I got a message from Lars that he had been given hair found "at another location" by Andrew Perry et al, and that it, too, had proved to have been from a leopard. At the time I assumed that the "other location" was simply somewhere else in Huddisford Woods, and although I made a mental note to congratulate them, I forgot completely about it. However, the hairs had not been found elsewhere at Huddisford, but came from Longleat Forest in Wiltshire.

Highland Tiger read about this on a blog by Wiltshire Phenomena Research who wrote, quite soberly on their blog:

"...a group of the people who were in the forest that day visited the Weird Weekend (hosted by the CFZ) where they met Lars Thomas who happened to be doing a talk on identifying hair. He kindly had a look at our hair on his microscopic machine to get a closer look at it and concluded (by comparing the hair on the screen to a book of different samples) that it was leopard hair, which is very exciting."

He actually compared the hair with a strand snipped out of Jon McGowan's leopardskin rug which is even better than using a book, but that is nitpicking. Neither Wiltshire Paranormal Research or Andrew Perry et al objected to the fact that I didn't congratulate them on stage. It was only our old friend Highland Tiger who rode into battle on their behalf and accused me of suppressing their findings. But as you probably are all aware by now, HT will find fault with everything and anything that I do.

I didn't suppress anything, because I didn't know anything about it, and had never heard of Wiltshire Paranormal Research. However, here, in a public forum I would like to say:

1. Congratulations guys. I am most impressed. Well done
2. If Wiltshire Paranormal Research would like to contact me they can have a free stall (like ASSAP) at next year's event
3. Andrew Perry has written a most gracious comment and both of us consider the matter closed.
4. HT has also accused me of snubbing Jon McGowan, who has also published about having found puma hair in Dorset. Again, nonsense. I think very highly of Jon both as a researcher and a friend. We are planning several collaborative ventures in the future, and the idea that I would somehow try to `bury` his findings is ludicrous.

1 comment:

Hayley said...


My name is Hayley Stevens and I am the founder of Wiltshire Phenomena Research.

We in no way took any oversight as personal but thank you anyway :)

We would also be really happy to take up the offer for the free stall at next years event but cannot find a way on this blog or the CFZ site to contact you to let you know.

Please feel free to email me directly at hmstevens87@gmail.com