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 20, 2011


Saturday is always a hard slog if you’re working behind the scenes at the Weird Weekend and this year was no exception. Today there were 10 different speakers (not counting the other members of the forthcoming Sumatra expedition who joined Richard on stage after his talk to tell us briefly about their plans, and the CFZ Awards honourees and quiz teams) with talks lasting from midday until 11pm, although we do often over-run a tad. As far as I’m aware NO OTHER cryptozoological conference offers their ticket-holders such good value for money.

As ever I was responsible for filming every talk, which although might sound like easy work, is most certainly not as I have to be on the ball hunched over a camera sitting in an uncomfortable chair following the speakers round the stage, anticipating good moments for close-ups and slide changes, which is easier said than done especially if you get tired or leg cramps. Thankfully I had my secret weapons of cheap knock-off Red Bull and cramp-zapping tonic water to fall back on so things turned out ok. The advantage of being the camera man, though, is that I get to watch all the talks and every single one of them today was a corker. Although every one of the talks were brilliant my favourite tonight was Lee ‘Dead of Night’ Walker’s two stories.

Oh and for those wondering who the special guest I mentioned yesterday was, it was P.T. Barnum himself. I suggested to Jon that we summon the great showman in the CFZ time machine (which bears an uncanny resemblance to Silas Hawkins’s car) about 6 months ago and my talk this year was on Barnum and his friend Grizzly Adams, but this year he has by pure chance been mentioned in a few of the other lectures too, notably Peter Christies’s talk about Fortean North Devon where it was mentioned that Barnum’s friend and employee, the famed dwarf Tom Thumb’s ornate tiny carriage is actually on display in a local National Trust property. I shall have to see if I can convince Mrs Downes, who is an N.T. member, that a trip there would make a good CFZ outing… OLL LEWIS

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