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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Unlike some of our competitors we are not going to try and blackmail you into donating by saying that we won't continue if you don't. That would just be vulgar, but our lives, and those of the animals which we look after, would be a damn sight easier if we receive more donations to our fighting fund. Donate via Paypal today...

Saturday, August 07, 2010

WEIRD WEEKEND 2010: The Latest News

* Dan Holdsworth very kindly offered to bring Sir Nicholas of Redfernshire down to Woolsery next week, but - as the more eagle eyed amongst you will know - Nick had to pull out because of the death of his mother earlier in the year. Dan therefore has room in his car if anyone wants a lift from the Midlands down to Devon for the WW.

* Dan also writes that "Here's another highlight for the WW" and links to http://science.nasa.gov/science-news/science-at-nasa/2010/05aug_perseids/

With only a week to go, now might be a good time to buy your tickets to the best crypto-fortean event of the year....

Buy Your Tickets here

RICHARD FREEMAN: Yokai of the week


This grotesque yokai is a titanic animated skeleton fifteen times taller than a man. It is composed of the bones of people who died of starvation that have aggregated in to a huge canabalistic spirit. It is animated by the dead’s anger at their own horrid deaths. They stalk the night making a "gachi gachi" sound. If this monster catches a human it will bite their head off. The appearance of a Gashadokuro is fortold by a ringing in one’s ears.

In one story, a man from Bingo (the old name for an area in east Hiroshima) was out in the fields one night when he heard a strange voice complaining about a pain it its eye. In the morning, the man located the weather-beaten skull of a Gashadokuro, and was able to appease it by removing the bamboo shoots that had grown up through its eye socket and leaving a bowl of dried boiled rice as an offering.

The fudal lord Tokugawa Mitsukuni (1628-1701) supposedly battled a Gashadokuro summoned by a magician.

In a story from the 10th century a provincial worlord called Taira-no-Masakado led a coup against an outpost of the central government untill he was killed by his cousin Sadamori. He was dismembered and beheaded as a warning to others.

Taira-no-Masakado’s head carried on living. It leered and laughed and eventualy flew away. His daughter, outraged at the treatement of her father’s body, prayed at the ancient Kifune Shrine in Kyoto untill her outrage was given form in a in a monstrous skeleton.


This scene took place inside the Woolsery Village Shop yesterday. I was filming the last bit for the opening video for the WW, and as usual I run amok across the village with a gaggle of small children, and everyone takes it in their stride.....


For the past thirty-nine years I have seen these little moths every summer, and have erroneously called them `lappet moths` because that is what a local naturalist told me that they were back in 1971. But it appears that they are nothing of the kind. Does anyone know what they are?


Many Happy Returns to the most important (in his eyes, at least) of the CFZ Management Team from his family, friends and devoted admirers.... (He has a special doggy cake awaiting him)

A birthday message from Corinna


Last week we posted out the Weird Weekend tickets. Because the new Government regulations are completely impossible for us to understand, we gave the envelopes to the woman at the post office who told us how much they were. It turns out that SHE got it wrong by 19p, and that at least some of you had to pay the 19p plus an extra quid in administration charges. We are actually on very good terms with the Post Office people and don't want to queer our pitch so I woon't be complaining. However, anyone who had to pay out extra money please come and see Corinna at the WW, and you will be refunded..

OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today


On this day in 1930 Terry Nation was born. Nation is best known for creating the Daleks and the series Blake’s 7.
And now, the news:

Beaver hospitalises fisherman in frenzied riversid...
Cash offered for humane beaver solution
Worm charming festival fails to catch a single spe...
Brazen black bear breaks into Montana houses
Dive-bombing hawks send posties running
Bird with two broken legs gets treadmill rehab

Raising avian awareness: