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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Wednesday, February 13, 2013


The first thing that I saw when I opened my emails this morning was Loren's well reasoned announcement that it has been claimed that Melba Ketchum's long awaited paper describing the sequencing of the sasquatch genome was to be finally published this week in the Journal of Advanced Multidisciplinary Exploration in Zoology.  The details are

The second thing I received was a bunch of venomous emails deriding Dr Ketchum from people that I have never heard of. I deleted them and got on with my morning activities.

However, events have trundled on, and now an online publication called Denovo claims to be publishing the paper. The Journal of Advanced Multidisciplanary Exploration in Zoology certainly seems to exist (despite claims on the internet) but their website is rudimentary and the links are dodgy. It seems to be published by a bunch called SCHOLASTICA (who sound somewhat like a Britpop band from twenty years ago) who claim to provide a service whereby you can...

"Manage and publish your existing journal, or lead the Open Access movement in your field by starting a new journal. Scholastica makes it easy to collaborate on a journal and publish scholarship at the click of a button. Scholastica puts control over scholarly publishing back into the hands of scholars."

Gosh. And Denovo? They appear to be a website which it is claimed is owned by Melba Ketchum. I tried to log in to their press room, but I have no press card, and apparently as I am not a journalist I am not trustworthy enough to have access. I used to do contract work for the News of the World so my honesty and probity should be above suspicion. So I wrote: 

To whom it may concern:
Whilst I do not have an accredited press card, I am the editor of the world's oldest cryptozoological journal, and the daily online magazine http://forteanzoology.blogspot.com/ which gets hits of between 2-5,000 every day. I also present a monthly webTV show about cryptozoology, which has preoduced more than 60 episodes.
Would it be possible for me to have access to your press room?
Yours faithfully,
Jon Downes
(Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology)

I totally agree with Loren who writes that he looks forward to reading the entire paper. So do I. And, I would like to state publically that no-one would be happier than me if this paper does prove the existence of the elusive North American manbeast. However, the confusion surrounding the journal which is doing the publication, the fact that the original citation says that the paper was published last month, the fact one of the journals claimed for publishing the thing seems to be a website owned by the main author, and the other appears to be an open access POD operation which doesn't actually show the title in its catalogue does not do the credibility of the paper any favours.
I want to stress that I am not mud slinging. No-one knows better than me that the internet is a bloody bear pit, and that it is very easy to become the sacrificial victim of a self righteous mob. I have been in that position on several occasions, and it is not a pleasant place to be. I would urge everyone to sit back and wait for the paper to be published. The personal attacks on Dr Ketchum are completely out of order, and I think that those responsible should be ashamed of themselves.

1 comment:

Bigfoot Believer said...

I obtained the Article, "Novel North American Hominins", this Friday Afternoon, and I was very delighted to read the details of this long awaited DNA Study.
I had taken note of the fact that numerous opinionated individuals, who are skeptics, had made comments to the effect that the DNA findings must be flawed by some form of contamination, but the fact seems to be that an enormous amount of care had been taken by Dr Melba Ketchum and her associates, to prevent even the remotest possibility of that happening, and my reading of the Study confirmed that most of these skeptics had jumped to their conclusions without any factual evidence, as usual.
I believe that this DNA Study was done with great care and that the resultant findings are now capable of proving to even the most diehard, outspoken skeptics that there is an unclassified Biped roaming North America.
Native Americans, who have several hundred names for Bigfoot in their 42 linguistic groups, were not wrong about their belief that this unclassified biped actually exists. This is just another typical case of mainstream Science completely disregarding the testimony of the native peoples, who have professed that creatures such as Gorillas and Panda Bears are real.
Perhaps the only really "correct" group of current Scientists are the Biologists who work for the Canadian Province of Alberta. They have been believers for a long time, since they encounter these creatures regularly. They accept the existence of this supposedly non-existent creature as common knowledge, as do other Scientists such as Dr. John Bindernagle and Dr. Jeff Meldrum, both of whom have now been seriously studying the
Sasquatch or Bigfoot in North America for many years.
Dr. Ketchum and her esteemed colleagues are to be commended for the dedication that they have shown in the face of derision from the mass attacks by naysayers, skeptics and fools. I urge everyone, and especially hardcore skeptics to take the time to read this amazing Study and to become aware of the incredible quality of the Science behind it. Being a skeptic does not require that you cannot accept valid Scientific studies, that are done with a great deal of care and appropriate attention to detail by highly skilled professionals.
My kudos to the BRAVE researchers who refused to give up and quit.
Posted by Charles Bootjer at 11:46 PM on Feb 15, 2013