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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Wednesday, September 08, 2010


The other day when at the height of my recent bout of my usual irritating illness I was sitting in my office dictating an article about dragonflies to my poor long-suffering better half. As always seems to be the case when I am feeling ill - and I must admit sorry for myself - I started thinking about my childhood long ago in a galaxy (or rather British Crown colony) far away. After having finished dictation dear Corinna went back into the dining room, which is where she and her pet cane toad, Mog, conduct their activities, and left me (still feeling sorry for myself) to my own devices.

For the first time in a while I started pootling about on Google Earth and I found, to my absolute amazement, that there is now a facility whereby one can zoom in and click on a camera symbol and see detailed photographs of streets and roads. Of course, the first thing that I did was to zoom in and look at Back Street, Woolsery and to my amusement, saw the brass plaque on the wall, which announces the position of the Centre for Fortean Zoology; and even my old jaguar, before we had it scrapped last winter, was parked at the bottom of the hill outside what used to be Marjorie Braund’s house (until she died last December). Then, on a whim, I went to the other side of the globe and zoomed in on Hong Kong island.

Much to my amazement and I have to say, almost overwhelming emotional gratification, I managed to find my old school. I managed to locate the garages where every winter the itinerant cobbler Ping Kee sold Christmas trees, and even followed the course of the road which I used to walk to school, along which I would often be side-tracked by watching lizards, and be late for registration.

This got me thinking. The bloggo is doing rather well at the moment and for the last month we have had between 2,000 and 3,000 hits each day, and sometimes more. Now, I wouldn’t want anyone to think I am bragging about this; we have had periods like this before and no doubt, numbers will continue to fluctuate up and down like they have in the past. However, according to the map so kindly provided by Bravenet (who host our hit-counter), we quite regularly have people visiting the website from Hong Kong, and if you are reading this, you Hong Kong people, could you possibly do me a favour?

There are places at the top of Victoria Peak where – for a number of reasons – the mobile camera cars of those jolly nice people at Google are unable to go. I have been unable to find photographs of these places on the internet and would be very grateful if – partly because I need them for one of the books I am currently writing, and partly for reasons of emotional nostalgia – I would like to obtain some photographs of them. Just in case you are thinking that I am going to be wanting you to go wandering for days into the wilds of the Sai Kung peninsular, at least at first, all the places are within half a mile of each other, and easily accessible on Victoria Peak. Please email on jon@eclipse.co.uk if you feel that you can help.

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