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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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Monday, December 05, 2011

MOTH NEWS OCTOBER-NOVEMBER

http://www.birdguides.com/webzine/article.asp?a=2991

With temperatures still well above normal, winds coming mainly from the south or east and only two nights of mild frost, continental migrants continued to drift into the southern half of England well into November. Many of the species that had arrived in abundance in early October were again recorded, but in dwindling numbers. Highlights included yet another British first, some very late dates for residents and a few records of totally 'out of sync' emergence.

Read on...

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

News and stories from the remoter fringes of the CFZ blogosphere...

From Nick Redfern's "There's Something in the Woods...":
From CFZ Australia:
From CFZ Canada:

CRIPTOZOOLOGIA EN ESPAÑA: Collaboration with the CFZ

Courtesy of our new friend Walter Cantero, we will now be featuring a digest (in English) of each posting on the prolific and popular Spanish language cryptozoology blog Criptozoologia En España. A big thank you to Walter and to Criptozoologia En España main man Javier Resines....

Right from the Spanish cryptozoology blog, Criptozoologia En España:

We initiate a collaboration with the Centre for Fortean Zoology "Criptozoologia en España and the prestigious Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ) have started a collaboration on content distribution."Read on the complete article at:

http://criptozoologos.blogspot.com/2011/11/iniciamos-la-colaboracion-con-center.html

You will be able to translate the Spanish text by using the blog translator!

Criptozoologia en España by Javier Resines
http://criptozoologos.blogspot.com/


ANDREW MAY: Sea Serpents, logic and Lewis Carroll

Jon,

Only marginally cryptozoological, but I've just done a blog post on Sea Serpents, Logic and Lewis Carroll. I was just surprised to see a (very sceptical) reference to Sea Serpents in a book by Lewis Carroll about mathematical logic!

If you're wondering why on earth I should choose to read a book called "Mathematics in Victorian Britain"... it came free from Val Stevenson at Fortean Times because it was surplus to the magazine's requirements as regards Book Reviews, and she couldn't think how else to get rid of it. I think it's quite good -- I'm going to send her a review of it anyway!

Andrew

LARS THOMAS: The legend of the lynx and the law

The population of alien big cats in Denmark is somewhere between minute and almost not existing. There are usually only one or at most two animals at large at any given time, and there is not the slightest indication of an actual population like in Great Britain. So, whenever an ABC is actually at large, the entire Danish cryptozoological community (i.e. yours truly) is on red alert. And so it was during the latest case of ABC-activity in September and October 2011.

On the eve of September 24th a European lynx escaped from a private enclosure located just outside of Aarhus, the second largest city in Denmark. As news go, this was far from being a world-shattering event, but from a cryptozoological point of view, it was extremely interesting. This was basically a perfect experiment. I knew exactly where the cat was coming from, and when it had escaped. This was the perfect opportunity to follow an animal from the moment it escaped, study the pattern of subsequent sightings – real and imagined, and see whether the animal was actually capable of surviving in the wild for any length of time. So I sat back and waited with bated breath for the action.

What I hadn’t bargained for, but which turned out to be a very interesting sociological bonus, was the reaction from the general population, both in the immediate area and in the country in general, and especially from a small select group of self-styled lynx-experts, who tried their very best to whip up a sense of general panic. And this in turn had a very distinct effect on the pattern of sightings.

The whole charade started out on September 24th when a man living just outside of Aarhus discovered that one of his animals (he had special permission to keep lynxes as well as ocelots) had escaped. It was a European lynx, an animal he had imported from France a year or two earlier. It was born in captivity, and had never lived in the wild. The man duly reported the escape to the authorities, and then started looking for his animal, hoping it would return when it started to get hungry.

The first sighting of the lynx was reported about 24 hours later, when a jogger in a nearby forest reported seeing a large cat, the size of a big dog, with very long legs and a very short tail. The animal appeared frightened, and ran off very quickly. Three days later a local hunter saw the same animal in the same general area, and reported the sighting to the authorities. He knew what a lynx looked like, and found it highly interesting. At the time he had not heard anything about the escaped lynx. The next day, a couple going for a walk in the same forest saw the lynx as well, and then all hell broke loose – a whole group of more or less self-styled experts started coming out of the woodwork, confusing matters and sowing the first seeds of panic. And local as well as national media started reporting on the story.

Expert 1 was the owner of a small zoo on the other side of Aarhus. He had several lynxes in his care, and in his opinion, they were dangerous animals, and this one, was “getting more and more dangerous, everyday it was out and about…it could easily mistake a child for its normal prey, because it was getting more and more hungry.”

Expert 2 was the owner of another small zoo. He assured everybody that he would keep well clear of a lynx in the wild, because these animals could be very dangerous.

Both of the zoo owners mentioned quite frequently the lynxes they had in captivity, no doubt hoping for an increased influx of paying guests following the escape.

All of this inspired a local chief of police to state that the animal was dangerous, that it should under no circumstances be approached, and that people should keep an eye on their children, if they were walking in the forest where the lynx had been seen. What followed was a frenzy of sightings.

Within five days, more than 60 people, some of them scared out of their wits reported sightings of the lynx. Only a few of them reported told the police though. I got most of the calls, being the only cryptozoologist in Denmark, and thus fairly well known. People were by now so nervous that they started to misidentify all kinds of animals as lynxes. On October 1st four sightings of the lynx was reported within a space of twenty minutes. The only problem was, the sightings were at least 15 km’s apart. There was absolutely no way the animal could have gotten around so fast. October 2nd the lynx was seen on a balcony on the sixth floor in the middle of Aarhus. It was seen on a playground, in a park in the centre of town, and on no less than six different fields in various places outside of the city. Dogs, cows and in one case a deer was misidentified as the lynx, and so was several domestic cats, as well as an old abandoned tent in a field. There was still a few sightings in the area around the place were the lynx had been in captivity (probably the only genuine sightings of the lot), but that was all.

At this stage several people tried to shed some calm (yours truly included), and pointed out that lynxes were not dangerous, and if they were, places like Norway and Sweden, where lynxes are a-plenty, would have dead children all over the place. But of course nobody would listen, least of all the “experts” and the newspapers were having to much of a field day to take notice of anything.

The chief of police were now in a state of panic as well, giving local hunters permission to shoot the animal on sight. This only added to the panic of course, as well as scaring a very concerned owner of the lynx who publicly stated his fear that letting a number of trigger-happy hunters go on a rampage would carry a substantial risk of accidents, dead dogs, shot cows and perhaps even wounded people – not to mention the fact that he had no wish to see his animal stuffed in somebody’s trophy room.

Within days (hours actually) he was charged with having violated the law concerning wild animals in captivity, because he had allowed the animal to escape.

I think there are quite a few lessons to be learned from this ridiculous chain of events.

First of all – be very careful with your sightings, when the “experts” have been at it, especially if said experts are of the panic-mongering kind. People’s fear and apprehension makes them see things. It can be very difficult to persuade these people that they have in fact seen a dog, a garbage bag or an old tent. “I know what I saw!!! Don’t you come gallivanting in here Mr. High and Mighty with your natural explanations. Don’t you dare patronize me, because I know what I saw!” So – a big pinch of salt is needed, and a lot of common sense. Try to focus on the zoology of the thing, and don’t be misled by very spectacular sightings, and please don’t be tempted to overdramatize things. Large numbers of simultaneous sightings, often over very large areas is a sure symptom of this stage in the proceedings. Relax! In this case we were dealing with an ordinary, although probably scared and confused animal, not a monster from another dimension capable of teleportation.

Second – be wary of experts, especially the self-styled kind. They can be very reluctant to withdraw their statements. In this case none of them cared that lynxes are not considered dangerous anywhere, except for the odd deer and similar creatures. This one was dangerous! And it was getting more and more dangerous by the hour! I am quite certain it would have been called a potential man-eater had it managed to evade capture for another week or two.

Thirdly – don’t expect the media to be willing to let your pour oil on troubled waters. Panic and general mayhem is much more fun – and it sells more newspapers.

Oh yes, I nearly forgot. The lynx was treed not far from where it had originally escaped, shot with a tranquiliser dart and brought back to its owner on October 9th, after little more than two weeks on the loose.

HAUNTED SKIES: Times (The) 29.7.52


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/

On this day in 2006 NASA published photos from the Mars Global Surveyor that suggested presence of liquid water on Mars.

And now the news:

A brighter future for Europe’s rarest migratory so...
Whales, dolphins, seals: newcomers crowd into Brit...
12 new species of frogs discovered in The Amazon
2,000 more bee species than previously thought
Sierra Leone creates new national park twice the s...
Molecular and Phenotypic Evidence of a New Species...
5tDancing for Food in the Deep Sea: Bacterial Farm...
5th ocelot sighting confirmed (via Chad Arment)

Bet you thought I was going to post the obvious Bowie song didn’t you? Well give me some credit for thinking outside of the box with today’s related video:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZ7RD7ebZUA

HEARTWARMING POULTRY NEWS: British schoolboy reunited with pet chicken

When Tom Cowley lost his beloved pet chicken he was offered help from as far away as America. But as the age-old joke would have it, the wandering fowl was found much closer to home – after she merely ‘crossed the road’.

Read on for more poultry-related tomfoolery

GLEN VAUDREY ON THE RADIO THIS WEEK

Jon,

Just a little reminder I will be on 'NEAR skeptics and believers' radio show on Wednesday at 1am, telling the world how good I am, how amazing my books are, that my paintings are worth collecting (prints available soon), how the Weird Weekend cannot be missed and tickets are cheaper than you would think. But most of all how great the CFZ is:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nearparanormal/2011/12/07/author-and-researcher-glen-vaudrey

all the best
Glen

DAVEY CURTIS: Who killed cock...pheasant.

Dear Jon,

Whilst perambulating over the Northumbrian moors I spotted some critter's lunch.

At first I thought: fox. But would a fox be so clinical in stripping the skeleton? Wild cat or stoat?

Any ideas? sorry the pics are not much cop.

Regards Davey C

FREE ACCESS TO 'SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN' ARCHIVE

http://www.nature.com/scientificamerican/archive/index.html

Now available: 1845-1909 archive collection

Free access - extended through December 31st, 2011

Now through December 31, 2011, you and your patrons will enjoycomplimentary access to more than 75,000 articles from classic issues featured in the Scientific American 1845-1909 archive collection. This collection is a treasure trove that includes 65 years of scientifichistory, breakthroughs, inventions, and triumphs.

CRIPTOZOOLOGIA EN ESPAÑA: New Insect in Spain

Courtesy of our new friend Walter Cantero, we will now be featuring a digest (in English) of each posting on the prolific and popular Spanish language cryptozoology blog Criptozoologia En España. A big thank you to Walter and to Criptozoologia En España main man Javier Resines....

A new species of insect has been discovered in Murcia and Castilla la Mancha: "A group of Spanish researchers has discovered a new species of insect, the Opilo lencinai, that lives in the communities of Murcia and Castilla-La Mancha."

Read on the complete article at: http://criptozoologos.blogspot.com/2011/11/descubierto-un-nuevo-insecto-en-murcia.html

You will be able to translate the spanish text by using the blog translator!

Criptozoologia en España by Javier Resines
http://criptozoologos.blogspot.com/

DALE DRINNON: The latest on 'Cedar and Willow'


Chickie fills us in about her perspective on her unusual relationship with Thomas Mopotherpucker:

http://cedar-and-willow.blogspot.com/2011/12/chickie-tells-her-side-of-story-sort-of.html