WELCOME TO THE CFZ BLOG NETWORK: COME AND JOIN THE FUN

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, June 11, 2012

CREATIONISM A "CULTURAL SIGNIFIER"

The following article is one of the most significant things I havce read in a long time. Why? Because it expresses succinctly what I have often vaguely thought. That belief in Evolution, Creationism, or even Cryptozoology is often not a belief at all, but a Cultural Signifier. I had never heard that term before, but it is a good one. I have often thought that when someone says to me that "I believe in the Loch Ness Monster", they don't mean that at all. They mean "I am not narrow minded" or "my mind is open to a host of different possibilities", or sometimes "look how unconventional I am" or even "I take drugs, me". Very seldom do they mean that they have studied the problem in depth, read all the available literature, and them made a conscious decidsion based on a deep stufy of all the empirical evidence.

I have said this on a number of occasions and pissed off quite a few people in doing so. But I never considered that a professed belief in Creationism is equally a cultural signifier. Read this article carefully; it opens a whole slew of cans of worms. And by the way, yes I do believe in God, and no I am not a Creationist.

...THE fact is that belief in evolution has virtually no real-life impact on anything. That's why 46% of the country can safely choose not to believe it: their lack of belief has precisely zero effect on their lives. Sure, it's a handy way of saying that they're God-fearing Christians — a "cultural signifier," as Andrew puts it — but our lives are jam-packed with cultural signifiers. This is just one of thousands, one whose importance probably barely cracks America's top 100 list.

Read on...

BIG CAT NEWS: The Beast of Bont

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 in some way by us, 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



News from the Edge Mystery Cats Back in the UK unknowncountry

The Big Cats are back, stalking the fields of England and mutilating sheep. Locals have reported sighting a mysterious, unknown creature they call the " Beast of ...

Like many commentators, I sincerely doubt whether these recent predations, which newspapers have attributed to 'The Beast of Bont, have anything to do with mystery cats at all..

HAUNTED SKIES: Daily Telegraph 27.10.67


OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/

On this day in 1939 shooting began on 'Dr Cyclops', the first horror film to be shot in colour.

And now the news:

The trailer for Dr Cyclops:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdnngRcS71s

GONZO BLOG DOO DAH MAN


So Tuesday dawns, and it is a glorious summer day. So how do I celebrate this unbelievable mnexus of the majesty of Creation? I am stuck in a dingy converted potato shed with a load of fish. Together (me and the fish) we are writing a whole slew of blog postings starting with...

...I am always impressed how many classic clices of rock and roll history can be found on YouTube, like this classic film of Rick Wakeman:
http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/06/another-slice-of-vintage-wakeman.html

Even after his death the peculiar world of Captain Beefheart is so full of smoke and mirrors that one cannot help but be confused:
http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/06/brief-glimpse-into-world-of-captain.html

Across Britain the 'Keep Calm and Carry On' slogan has become a little bit of a cult. Now, Hawkwind have joined up:
http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/06/any-man-who-can-do-this-is-probably.html

A fine specimen of Vulpes vulpes together with a Genesis LP. Now what is weird about that?http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/06/hey-reynard-suppers-ready.html

The publicity machine for the forthcoming Gonzo Byrds DVD rumbles into action:
http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/06/byrds.html

As regular readers will know, I sometimes augment my writings about Gonzostuff with things that I find interesting. Today I review the classic Johnny Rogan biography of The Smiths, which has been updated and reissued:
http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/06/book-review-morrissey-and-marr-severed.html

And that's about it for today. Tomorrow I teach Graham how to do the Gonzo Daily, thursday I go away for a few days. What will await me on my return?

ANDREW MAY: Words from the Wild Frontier

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

From Nick Redfern's World of Whatever:

A PARISH NOTICE

Just a quicky. Corinna and I will be away from Thursday to Monday (approximately). Graham will be running the Gonzo Daily, and the CFZ Blog Network in our abscence. He is usually ably assisted by Lizzy Clancy, but as we are away for her wedding, and she has done me the honour of asking me to give her away, I think she will have other things on her mind this weekend...

If anyone wants to get hold of me by e-mail between thursday and monday/tuesday next week, please cc the email to graham@cfz.org.uk. He will pass the information on to me...

MYSTERY CAT STORIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD

Whilst the focus of the CFZ Mystery Cat study group is predominantly the search for proof of the British big cats, it would be unrealistic to forget that this is only part of a global mystery cat phenomenon.

Here are a selection of mystery cat stories from around the world:

Big cat sightings thought to be pantherNewcastle HeraldA big cat could be lurking in thick scrub around Wyee, Morisset and Lake Munmorah, resident Jim Briggs said. Speculation is rife among residents about several big-cat sightings. Mr Briggs, of Lake Munmorah, said he recently found paw prints in sand in ...


PHOTOS: Mountain lion roaming in Morrison9NEWS.comJefferson County Sheriff was called to keep an eye on the big cat. (PHOTO CREDIT: Paul Jacobson) MORRISON - Around 9:30 am on Friday, a mountain lion was spotted in a tree in Morrison, Colorado. Jefferson County Sheriff was called to keep an eye on the ...


On the trail of the big cat Courier Tribune, AsheboroSomebody in Denton had a deer camera set up and had pics of a big cat and ... “ Maybe the big cat will eat the big snake that has been lying across my back ...www.courier-tribune.com/sections/opinion/.../trail-big-cat.html


Big cat, but not a cougar, in Salem back yardThe Columbian(AP) -- It was a big cat in a Salem back yard but not a cougar. Police had responded Friday to a report of a young cougar in the yard near a wooded area. The animal moved on without threatening anyone. A state wildlife biologist reviewed photos of the ...


Pet cougar escapes cage, kills dogKSDKBrooksville, FL (WTSP) -- A big cat is causing a big rift between neighbors in rural Florida. 25 years of working with alligators has earned Ron Gard a nickname. But its not Gard's gators that now have his neighbors on guard. "He got out.


Large bobcat caught on camera near WheelingChillicothe Constitution TribuneWhen crossing Muddy Creek on the County Road 220 bridge, he looked down at the creek in time to see a large cat crossing on a sandbar. He had time to snap one photo. That photo was a good one, and the big cat was very distinct in mid-stride.


Necropsy finds mountain lion died from gun shotsSanta Monica Daily PressThe killing of the big cat prompted public outcry in the form of letters to local media outlets and even a demonstration on the lawn of City Hall denouncing the handling of the situation. The mountain lion was found in Downtown last month, ...


Missouri is popular with cougarsKansas City StarMissouri was a popular destination for cougars last year, with the large cats padding from Colorado, South Dakota and central Montana to get here. Most sightings cannot be verified, said Bill Graham, a spokesman for the Missouri Department of ...


FORD OUTDOORS: Mountain lion spotted on Evansville West SideEvansville Courier & PressBy Steve Ford Calls to me through the years have put the big cats all around the area. Unofficial sightings placed them from old mine ground south of Owensboro to north of Tell City in Hoosier National Forest to the White River bottoms near Patoka, ...

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: ANOTHER KOWLOON KANGAROO?

The North China Daily Herald of 7 May 1921 reported a story of an animal variously described as a tiger, an orang-utan, bear, or kangaroo I have titled this blog `Another Kowloon Kangaroo?` rather than `A/The Kowloon Kangaroo` because about 10 years before this case ( in c. 1910) there was a report of a very similar animal which made a mighty leap after it was shot in the New Territories. (Hence the rumour spread that it was a kind of kangaroo) Then as it was dying it dag its own grave.

This animal has eluded Jon Downes and my attempts to identify it. Remember c. 1910 was only 12 years after the New Territories came under British control. Remember too that there are absolutely no kangaroos in south China, unless a vessel was shipwrecked on the coast near Hong Kong in the 15th Century belonging to the explorer Zheng He,who some say reached Australia and may have brought kangaroos back, who then bred. . Nor is it very likely that it was a bear, though one web site I looked at said there was a population of Asiatic brown bears in southern China today. The long nose aspect demolishes all the proposed animals.

Here is the story in full with my own annotations. Thanks to Bob Skinner for passing on the story.

WHAT WAS IT ?

Weird Animal Seen at Night –

Correct Time for Such Things

Great consternation was caused in Kowloon City one night recently when many excited people claimed to have seen a strange and mysterious animal variously described as a bear, a kangaroo, and an orang outang. The animal is said to have seated (1) itself on the hillside in full view of Hokyuen village , near Bailey`s Shipyard on the Kowloon City Road . One witness , says the “ China Mail” (2) thinks that the animal was a full grown man-eating tiger, but is not sure owing to the distance. He could see no stripes and the animal`s coat was of a dark brown. He estimates the mysterious animal to have been about seven feet long and 3 ½ feet high. Armed police were at once sent out but on arrival at the village, behold the beast had vanished! Excited villagers stated that it had sat for a long while on its haunches like a man, with its fore legs hanging down by its side. It had,they said, a particularly long nose. All the nooise they had been able to make with gongs had failed to scare it away. It was, they averred, in full view for a long time before it eventually strolled away and disappeared into the gathering gloom. No one was able to decide the exact nature of the animal but all were agreed that it was a huge thing of a very brutal appearance. If it was not a tiger, what was it the villagers asked themselves. Some replied that it was an extraordinarily huge bear, others that it was an orang outang, and yet others that it was a kangaroo. Hundreds saw it. What was it.

1. No animal just “sits” itself down alone on a hill and does nothing as far as I know. Despite this if it wasn`t a tiger was it an orang-utan as I was told by an America, Don Ady, a POW of the Japanese in Hong Kong (1941-1945) that there were reports of this mammal in the Hong Kong area in the 1930s?

2. Hopefully I`ll be able to find the China Mail for July 1921