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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Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Sometimes, as Freud is supposed to have said, "a cigar is just a cigar" and quite often what appears to be strange and mysterious turns out to be nothing of the sort. As the immportal Half Man Half Biscuit once sang "James Dean was just a careless driver, and Marilyn Monroe was just a slag". But it is unarguable that both within the world in general and within that rarified subset containing those folks who are interested in forteana, there are times when groups of apparently weird events that may or may not be connected grab the public imagination.

It is the way that people get enthusiastic about a subject that interests me as much as the events themselves. The most notable such series of events took place in August 1997 following the death of Diana Princess of Wales. The UFO buffs, conspiracy theorists and secret historians had a field day. Even dear old Margaret "The Divine King in England" Murray got dragged kicking and screaming into the fray when it was suggested that Di was a living sacrifice to someone or other.

Her driver was drunk. Get over it.

But the aetiology of the mythology that built up around Princess Diana's death is and was fascinating. On a smaller scale one can see the beginnings of a similar process taking place with the stories of bird and fish die-offs around the world. The words 'sacrifice' and 'occult significance' are already beginning to be heard, and amongst the Natural History community, the significance of these events, and any common cause for them, are already being hotly debated.

So, forgive me, but I shall carry on posting stories relating to these events as and when I get them. Not only is the fact that so many animals dying at once of great concern, but the human response to these incidents is - to me at least - absolutely fascinating.

1 comment:

Dale Drinnon said...

It may be old and tired news to some, but the environment is extremely stressed out in recent years and many if not most of the world's nonhuman vertebrate animal species are undergoing severe population reductions. That point cannot be stressed enough, no matter what the cause.

Because if people don't pay attention there really will be problems within a generation or two after most animal species above the invertebrate level become extinct and then we shall have to resort to eating each other.

Dale has certain rants he periodically voices: this was one of them.