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, May 12, 2015

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: A "ghost fair" in Wiltshire during World War One

I found this account of  a likely time-slip in The Northern Rambler of April 1942 ( vol 8 no. 72) recently:


“ During the last war I was driving one evening in a part of Wiltshire which at that time was altogether unknown to me. It was a wet and cloudy day and my own desire was to arrive as soon as possible in the hospitable house towards which I was bound. I drove down one of the avenues of monoliths which I knew from hearsay were the approach to a well-known prehistoric temple, but which till that day I had not seen. A village has been built in the actual space originally occupied by the temple and here since prehistoric days generation after generation of simple country people have lived, unquestioning and at peace, without overmuch interest in their predecessors. Historians and archeologists dig and deliberate, whilst the natives earn their living and enjoy their holidays when they come.

It was one of these holidays that I came upon that evening. Of all rural festivities a fair is the gayest and most spontaneous and here in the middle of a village which itself had grown up, on the site connected with the life and religion of a race whose very names have almost been forgotten, the traditional sports were in full swing. If it had not been raining, I should have jumped out of the car to climb the embankment,and to run through the crowd to join in the fair. Shooting galleries, cocoa-nut shies, roundabouts,swingboats,and gingerbread stalls had attracted a small rural crowd clothed in non-descript garments…a few gipsies added colour to the scene. Darkness had not yet fallen, but candles or oil lamps already shone through some of the cottage windows, and the owners of the cockshies had lit their flares. There was nothing very brilliant about this typical country festival but it was a completely happy scene. I was sorry to leave it behind.

Several years later when I visited the place as a tourist I discovered to my amazement in the inn parlour a local guidebook which said that no fair had  been held there for over fifty years…The fair which I had watched with such pleasure that evening had no physical reality. The last to be held was more than half-a-century before.

Edith Oliver (“Country Life”, 9/1/42)   

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