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, September 04, 2012

BIG CAT NEWS: The Essex Lion

The hunt for British Big Cats attracts far more newspaper-column inches than any other cryptozoological subject. There are so many of them now that we feel that they should be archived by us in some way, so we should have a go at publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in.

It takes a long time to do and is a fairly tedious task so I am not promising that they will be done each day, but I will do them as regularly as I can. JD

In Essex, where, only a week or so ago, one of the more farcical pieces of British mystery cat history took place. Two CFZ stalwarts have commented on the events:


Here is a link to the best picture I have so far found on this story:

The zoomed image shows a cat lying at the edge of a stubble field. Combine harvester operators normally work the machines with the cutter bar slightly off the ground (repairing sickle-bar cutters is difficult and expensive), leaving about six inches of stubble.

The "lion" pictured there is lying partly flat. Its hindquarters are entirely hidden by the stubble, only the front is visible. Therefore, lying down the hips must only project about six inches or less above the ground, meaning that it is way too small to be a lion, leopard or puma.

Apart from that the head is too short and too rounded for any big cat, oh and the Mirror newspaper has found a likely-looking local ginger tom-cat tame enough to pose for their cameraman. It might be this lion, then again the beast might be another, quite different domestic cat but one thing's for sure: the Essex "lion" is NOT a big cat.

Dan H.

The Essex Lion farce, according to Neil Arnold:

1 comment:

Neil A said...

Dan, there was never any 'big cat' roaming Clacton. The photo shows a domestic cat, simple as that.