WELCOME TO THE CFZ BLOG NETWORK: COME AND JOIN THE FUN

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, June 09, 2010

CFZ PEOPLE: Nick Redfern

Nick Redfern's mother died a few hours ago. It was not unexpected but everyone who knew her is very upset. I only met her the once, about ten years ago, and she left an enduring memory. Our thoughts and prayers are with Nick, Dana and his father Frank at this very sad time.

CFZ PEOPLE: Johann Bosscher RIP

Johann Bosscher has died of cancer. He was the long-term partner of Lynn Inglis, mother of CFZ Deputy Director Graham Inglis, and a lady of whom I - in particular - am very fond. My thoughts and prayers, and those of the CFZ faculty are with her at this sad time.

MONSTER CROSSING ROAD




This film has supposedly been knocking around for a couple of years now, and I am surprised that I haven't come across it before. Logic tells me that it is probably CGI but even so, it is very well done. Comments anyone?

RICHARD FREEMAN: Could this be a Master Otter sighting?

I have just found this story on the Fortean Times message board. It sounds to me very much like a Master Otter sighting. What do you think?


http://www.forteantimes.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=41245

RICHARD FREEMAN: The Monsters of Prague #17

The Daemon Chef
A daemon disguised himself as a chef and got work in the kitchens at the Emaus Monestary. His dishes were supernaturally delicious and soon the monks were forgetting their prayers and meditations and dwelling solely on the delights of the belly. The daemon gave himself away with his evil laughter. The abbot banished him with a cross but he escaped in the form of a fiery cockerel that flew out of the kitchen window. It is said he still haunts the inns and resturants of Prague, serving up his unnaturally tasty food.

ALAN FRISWELL: EERIE PUBLICATIONS: THE MOST DISGUSTING COMICS IN THE UNIVERSE, OR SIMPLY MISUNDERSTOOD?

Further to my rundown of childhood influences that contributed to me becoming the sane, rational and balanced individual that you see before you, I would now like to draw your attention to one of the most horrifying, sickening and consequently cherished memories of my early days of comic-book fandom.

Most of the horror magazines that I managed to convince my parents to purchase for me--and without too much resistance, it has to be said, as my mum and dad were thankfully tolerant people--were obtained from a small bookshop in the back of a creepy little market. The fragrance of the old, musty paper, and the sheer obscurity of many of the titles made the atmosphere seem more like that of some ancient museum, which of course pulled me in like a fly to a cowpat.

One misty autumn morning, I was out shopping with my mum. I was nine, and my mum suggested a walk down to Broad Street. I greeted this proposition with some enthusiasm, as the trip would undoubtedly include a visit to the market, and with it the distinct possibility that I would score another horror mag to add to my already gigantic collection.

Arriving outside the bookshop, I scanned the magazine racks in the hope of finding an issue of Creepy or Eerie, my usual horror mags, or Famous Monsters of Filmland, the wonderful monster mag created by Forry Ackerman, the most influential figure in monster movie fandom, and the subject of a future blog.

While perusing for possibilities, my attention was arrested by a particularly lurid cover hung on a bulldog clip slightly higher than the others. For a moment, I couldn’t quite take it in. It appeared to show some kind of vampire woman/witch carrying a bloody human heart, which she had just hacked out of a corpse with a meat cleaver. Said corpse, not being too happy with this, was climbing from his coffin and chucking his head at her. The mag was called Voodoo. There was no subtlety to it at all; in fact, I got the impression that it was trying to be as offensive as possible. I took it down with excited, trembling hands and had a look inside. It was worse. Much worse. Chopped-off limbs, eyes being gouged out, boiled skeletons, gore-spattered brains, and spilled intestines. My mum looked at it.

“Jesus Christ!” she said.

At this point, my eyes glazed over and a small dribble of saliva ran down the corner of my mouth:

“Buy it for meeeee!!!--buy it for me NOWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!”

In retrospect, I can imagine my poor mother feeling like someone from The Village of the Damned, held in the hypnotic glare of one of those diabolical alien kids, because she did buy it for me, and I had been summarily introduced, at the age of nine, to a heretofore unimaginably extreme level of comic-book degeneracy, and completely mindless, bone-crunching violence.

Oh yes…

I might have been exaggerating the above somewhat but writers are allowed to do that. In truth, my mum did indeed consider the mag to be revolting but not capable of harm as, in her words: “It’s only a comic.” My dad also thought that my new discovery was a “bit much” but promptly went out and bought me another one, this time called Weird--from the same publisher.

These mags were published under the Eerie banner, not to be confused with Eerie magazine from Warren publications, also responsible for Creepy and Vampirella. They were created by Irving and Myron Fass, who had acquired the printing rights to a group of old mystery comics from the 50s, and while these original tales were fairly innocuous from a visual point of view, the brothers Fass hired artists to re-draw much of the material, adding copious gore and bloodshed. The result was a kind of comic version of Herschel Gordon Lewis’s movies, with no restraint or conscience as to the sensibilities or psychological consequences to the unwary reader.

Needless to say, the Fass bothers were my kind of people.

Looking back, it does puzzle me somewhat that these comics aroused little or no dissention in the press or media-at-large, and I can only assume that so few parents allowed their kids to read them, or were even aware of them for that matter, that they became a kind of ‘underground’ speciality, enjoyed and appreciated by the privileged few.

The whole issue of whether violence, in comics, films or any other creative media, can influence or inspire antisocial behaviour is of course a contentious one. I can only say that I love animals and would consider myself to be compassionate and caring towards the majority of the human race, but on the basis of the kind of reading and cinematic material that I voraciously absorbed during my childhood years, I should, according to the logic of some sociology ‘experts’, make Jeffrey Dahmer look like Frank Spencer. But as I write this (5th June), the news is full of the terrible events in the Lake District, concerning a nut-job called Derrick Bird, who after blowing a fuse, embarked upon on a murderous rampage.

Before anyone accuses me of political incorrectness, in my referring to Mr Bird as a ‘nut-job', it may be expedient for me to clarify the situation somewhat. If a person suffers from emotional or psychological problems, that person is ‘unwell’. But if someone goes off the deep end, loads up their car with a shot-gun and a high-power rifle with a telescopic sight, and merrily tools around the countryside, shooting 12 people to death, and wounding 25 more, that person is consequently, a ‘nut-job’. Geddit?

The point I’m making, of course, is that I’d bet money that Bird had never seen the cover of an Eerie publication, watched Zombie Flesh-Eaters, 2,000 Maniacs or any other overtly ‘horrific’ material. The simple fact is: if, from a compassionate and empathic point-of-view, you’re wired together properly, no amount of violent sensory input will turn you into a nutter, but people like Bird are likely to blow at some point, even if they spend their entire lives watching Peppa Pig, and the Wombles.

On the basis of this, I would wholeheartedly recommend Eerie publications to all CFZ readers. I’ve put some covers, and one of the strips up here, which will hopefully inspire some interest, and a couple of links to Eerie sites.

They certainly don’t make comics like they used to….



OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/

On this day in 2002 the first direct electronic communication between the brains of two humans was carried out between Professor Kevin Warwick and his wife. As far as I am aware, this was the first scientifically verified case of telepathy.

And now, the news:

Famed swallows of Capistrano nest in country club
IS THERE LIFE ON TITAN?
Chewed-up letters stick dog's jaws together
Dog painting
Rogue cow rescued from Dorset swimming pool

It was found in the ‘cow’-llow end….