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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Wednesday, January 22, 2014

MATT SALUSBURY: Pygmy Elephants




I am very proud of the books that we produce through the CFZ Publishing Group. But I am particularly proud of this latest volume: Matt Salusbury's peerless book about Pygmy Elephants.

He writes:

If ever there was a contender for 'giant dwarfs' or 'the world's biggest dwarf', pygmy elephants are it. Even a five-foot at the shoulder pygmy elephant would still be a massive beast. I wanted to call this work Slightly Smaller Elephants - Possibly but I was persuaded that Pygmy Elephants had a better ring to it.

There have in the past - millions to hundreds of thousands of years ago - been smaller species of elephants, well-documented in the fossil record, some of whom we will meet shortly. And there have been claims made for the existence of living pygmy elephants in various remote and not-so-remote parts of the world today.


  • It is already getting good reviews on Amazon. For example, Adam C writes:
This is THE natural mystery tour! If you enjoy thrillers or natural history, then this is for you. If you enjoy both, then you're getting even greater value.

Put natural history, mystery and a tour of some of the world's most remote habitats together and this is the result. Yes, it is greater than the sum of the parts and no, it's never dry.

Matt Salusbury may not (yet) have the television reputation of the great Sir David Attenborough, but this particular zoo quest (American readers: ask your great grandparents in the UK to explain the reference) is a joy. His mixture of personal and academic styles, his journalistic quizzing of researchers more accustomed to facing the jungles of Africa than the jungle of the media brings delightful elucidation and sheds a refreshing (if not entirely complimentary) light on laboratory life and scientific ecology in the 21st century.

What could, in other hands, have been a dry text condemned to sit alongside bones on laboratory shelves, gathering dust but little interest, has been transformed into what at one point reminded me of a school nature trail for seven-year-olds, but on a truly continental scale.

Expect the unexpected. This is a howdunnit, a wheredunnit and an ecological who-hid-it. As for the ending? That's a natural mystery too - until the reader gets there. But the style and substance mean that such progress might not take as long as you had thought (but sleep or other tasks may be delayed).

It's a giant tale about a small creature. Taking the skin of this pachyderm and dissecting what's inside may be too crude a metaphor for some, but the result is an exploration of innards that would have fascinated a Roman soothsayer and intrigued this 21st-century vegetarian.

Hit click - and start this track for yourself now. It's a journey well worth following.

  • Paperback: 334 pages
  • Publisher: CFZ Press (10 Dec 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1909488151
  • ISBN-13: 978-1909488151
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 15.4 x 23 cm

Now in a special offer for bloggyfolk, you can buy it from us at a special price of £10.00 - a discount of £2.50.

TODAY'S BIG CAT ROUND UP



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 are publishing a regular round-up of the stories as they come in. 

The worldwide mystery cat phenomenon (or group of phenomena, if we are to be more accurate) is not JUST about cryptozoology. At its most basic level it is about the relationship between our species and various species of larger cat. That is why sometimes you will read stories here that appear to have nothing to do with cryptozoology but have everything to do with human/big cat interaction. As committed Forteans, we believe that until we understand the nature of these interactions, we have no hope of understanding the truth that we are seeking. 


  • NEWSLINK: Cats think their human owners are big st...
  • NEWSLINK: Trophy Tales: Taking a big cat in Cat Ca...
  • NEWSLINK: Tiger attack: Farmer killed by big cat i...


  • NEWSLINK: Mystery of the runaway cat found at hote...

  • MUIRHEAD'S MYSTERIES: Hunting the ground sloth

    Here are two newspaper stories, one from the San Francisco Call, May 19th 1901, and the other from the Washington Times, January 18th 1920 on the hunt for a living Giant Sloth in Patagonia.




    FORTEAN BIRD NEWS FROM THE WATCHER OF THE SKIES

    What has Corinna's column of fortean bird news got to do with Cryptozoology?

    Well, everything actually!

    In an article for the first edition of Cryptozoology Bernard Heuvelmans wrote that cryptozoology is the study of 'unexpected animals' and following on from that perfectly reasonable assertion, it seems to us that whereas the study of out-of-place birds may not have the glamour of the hunt for bigfoot or lake monsters, it is still a perfectly valid area for the Fortean zoologist to be interested in. 




    HOORAH FOR THE GONZO BLOG DOO-DAH MAN

    The Gonzo Daily - Wednesday

    www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/about.html

    Something very peculiar happened yesterday. I got one of those Nigerian scam emails. Well there's nothing particularly peculiar about that, I hear you say. They are a curse of the modern internet user. Aha, says I. Read on.

    It was a letter from a young lady called Maria who claimed to be the grand-daughter of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, and that 'John Downes' had been discovered to be a beneficiary in his will. Now it so happens that my family WERE in Nigeria at the time Bello was Sardauna of Sokoto, and he was on friendly terms with my father, whose name was spelt 'John' rather than 'Jon' as mine is. So 
    I was (for about a minute) tempted to do something about it, before I decided that it was obviously gonna be a scam because it has been 48 years since Bello was assassinated, and eight since my Dad died, and even at the 1000000:1 chance that it was legit, the money wouldn't be inheritable by me anyway. So it went in the 'deleted items' folder.

    Do you really think I would be sat here writing this if I had $US40,000,000? Well, yes, I probably would, actually.


    JOEY MOLLAND: RTM UK review
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/joey-molland-rtm-uk-review.html

    Yes Begins Recording New Album; Drummer Alan White interviewed
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/yes-begins-recording-new-album-drummer.html

    THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/thom-world-poet-daily-poem_22.html

    RICK WAKEMAN ON BBCi PLAYER
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/rick-wakeman-on-bbci-player.html

    MICHAEL DES BARRES MEETS PETER ASHER
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/michael-des-barres-meets-peter-asher.html

    THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Brand X
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-gonzo-track-of-day-brand-x-why.html


    * The Gonzo Daily is a two-way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work or even just say hello, please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow....

    * The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

    * We should probably mention here that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    * Jon Downes, the editor of all these ventures (and several others), is an old hippy of 54 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) - puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon, which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus...did we mention the orange cat?
    The Gonzo Daily - Wednesday
    www.gonzomultimedia.co.uk/about.html

    Something very peculiar happened yesterday. I got one of those Nigerian scam emails. Well there's nothing particularly peculiar about that I hear you say. They are a curse of the modern internet user. Aha, says I. Read on.

    It was a letter from a young lady called Maria who claimed to be the grand-daughter of the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, and that "John Downes" had been discovered to be a beneficiary in his will. Now it so happens that my family WERE in Nigeria at the time Bello was Sardauna of Sokoto, and he was on friendly terms with my father, whose name was spelt "John" rather than "Jon" as mine is. So I was (for about a minute) tempted to do something about it, before I decided that it was obviously gonna be a scam because it has been 48 years since Bello was assassinated, and eight since my Dad died, and even at the 1000000:1 chance that it was legit, the money wouldn't be inheritable by me anyway. So it went in the 'deleted items' folder.

    Do you really think I would be sat here writing this if I had $US40,000,000? Well, yes, I probably would, actually.


    JOEY MOLLAND: RTM UK review
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/joey-molland-rtm-uk-review.html

    Yes Begins Recording New Album; Drummer Alan White interviewed
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/yes-begins-recording-new-album-drummer.html

    THOM THE WORLD POET: The Daily Poem
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/thom-world-poet-daily-poem_22.html

    RICK WAKEMAN ON BBCi PLAYER
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/rick-wakeman-on-bbci-player.html

    MICHAEL DES BARRES MEETS PETER ASHER
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/michael-des-barres-meets-peter-asher.html

    THE GONZO TRACK OF THE DAY: Brand X
    http://gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2014/01/the-gonzo-track-of-day-brand-x-why.html


    * The Gonzo Daily is a two way process. If you have any news or want to write for us, please contact me at jon@eclipse.co.uk. If you are an artist and want to showcase your work, or even just say hello please write to me at gonzo@cfz.org.uk. Please copy, paste and spread the word about this magazine as widely as possible. We need people to read us in order to grow, and as soon as it is viable we shall be invading more traditional magaziney areas. Join in the fun, spread the word, and maybe if we all chant loud enough we CAN stop it raining. See you tomorrow...

    * The Gonzo Daily is - as the name implies - a daily online magazine (mostly) about artists connected to the Gonzo Multimedia group of companies. But it also has other stuff as and when the editor feels like it. The same team also do a weekly newsletter called - imaginatively - The Gonzo Weekly. Find out about it at this link: www.gonzo-multimedia.blogspot.com/2012/11/all-gonzo-news-wots-fit-to-print.html

    * We should probably mention here, that some of our posts are links to things we have found on the internet that we think are of interest. We are not responsible for spelling or factual errors in other people's websites. Honest guv!

    * Jon Downes, the Editor of all these ventures (and several others) is an old hippy of 54 who - together with his orange cat (who is currently on sick leave in Staffordshire) and two very small kittens (one of whom is also orange) puts it all together from a converted potato shed in a tumbledown cottage deep in rural Devon which he shares with various fish, and sometimes a small Indian frog. He is ably assisted by his lovely wife Corinna, his bulldog/boxer Prudence, his elderly mother-in-law, and a motley collection of social malcontents. Plus.. did we mention the orange cat?

    HIT PARADE FOR DECEMBER (CFZ PRESS/FORTEAN WORDS)

    Whoops! I should have done this weeks ago but totally forgot. My only excuse? I am an idiot.

    UK

    1. The Great Yokai Encyclopaedia by Richard Freeman (3)
    2. When Bigfoot Attacks by Michael Newton (5)
    3. Those Amazing Newfoundland Dogs by Jan Bondeson (2)
    4. MYSTERIOUS CREATURES: A Guide to Cryptozoology - Vol 1 by George Eberhart (1)
    5. Haunted Skies Volume One by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (8)

    6=. Haunted Skies Volume Three by John Hanson and Dawn Holloway (-)
    6=. Journal of Cryptozoology Vol 1 by Karl Shuker (-)
    6=. Journal of Cryptozoology Vol 2 by Karl Shuker (-)
    6=. Orang Pendek: Sumatra's Forgotten Ape by Richard Freeman (-
    10. The Owlman and Others by Jonathan Downes (-)

    US

    1. MYSTERIOUS CREATURES: A Guide to Cryptozoology - Vol 1 by George Eberhart (-)
    2. Journal of Cryptozoology Vol 1 by Karl Shuker (4)
    3. When Bigfoot Attacks by Michael Newton (2)
    4=. Monsters of Texas by Ken Gerhard and Nick Redfern (6)
    4=. Journal of Cryptozoology Vol 2 (preorder) by Karl Shuker (1)
    6. Those Amazing Newfoundland Dogs by Jan Bondeson (-)
    7=. Terror of the Tokoloshe by S D Tucker (-)
    7=. Extraordinary Animals Revisited by Karl Shuker (-)
    9. Big Bird by Ken Gerhard (8)

    10. Monster! by Neil Arnold (8)

    Last month's positions in this pinky colour, which I think is called cerise. The Christmas sales were a little lower than last year, but not appreciably so. Considering the fact that when Mother and I went into Barnstaple for Christmas shopping on about the 22nd, it was like a morgue, I think we have done reasonably well.

    OLL LEWIS: Yesterday's News Today

    http://cryptozoologynews.blogspot.com/

    On this day in 1932 the actress Piper Laurie was born. Laurie has been in several films and TV series with a paranormal flavour including Carrie, Return to Oz and the Twilight Zone.
    And now the news:

  • Tomorrow's the vote on Snapping turtle's future. N...
  • Leaf-Patterned Toad Without Ears Discovered in Per...
  • Snapping turtle trapping law-Immediate Action Need...
  • 16th-century manuscript could rewrite Australian h...
  • A quarter of sharks and rays threatened with extin...
  • Dog Deaths Mystery: Signs Warn Of Killer Disease -...
  • How the Genetic Blueprints for Limbs Came from Fis...
  • Why Sloths Leave the Trees to Poop

  • Animal shelters expecting surge in abandoned pets

  • The trailer for Return to Oz (great film; highly recommended) :

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