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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Saturday, August 22, 2009



The landlord of a haunted North Devon pub awoke this morning to find 1,000 extra fish in a tank donated to him by the Centre for Fortean Zoology (CFZ), the world’s largest mystery animal research organisation.

Alan Lindsay, of the Farmers Arms, Woolsery, has been working with the CFZ’s Jon Downes on a special project to breed fish with a view to placing tanks in local educational establishments, schools and community centres, to illustrate biodiversity and the work of the CFZ. Last night Lindsay’s daughter, Clarissa, aged 11, noticed massive numbers of baby three spot Gourami (originally from the streams and ponds of southeast Asia) in one of the new fish tanks located in her dad’s pub. Earlier this year the pub made headlines across the world after a series of poltergeist incidents involving the landlady and some teenage waitresses, following the uncovering of an ancient well right in the middle of the building. But on this occasion it is fish experts, not ghost hunters, making a beeline towards the Farmers Arms.

“This is the fourth successful breeding we have witnessed this summer,” said Mr Downes. “This is excellent news as it means that we will be able to press ahead with our initiative to help local people and also to gain better, more expert knowledge. Already we have been able to place two tanks in the Farmers Arms and we are working with a local hospice to provide fish tanks as soon as possible,” he added.

Other species successfully bred include such unusual fish as Heterandaria formosa (the seventh smallest species in the world), and Girardinus metallicus (found only on the island of Cuba) The fish tank initiative is part of the CFZ’s outreach project, whose aim is to educate local people about the wonders of the natural world. At the recent Weird Weekend, the annual conference of the CFZ, held at Woolsery Community Centre, hundreds of people came along to hear a series of talks on mystery animals, rare species and the Paranormal. “It is a great feeling to be able to engage with the local community, give them the benefit of our expert knowledge and help people understand more about the world around them,” said Jon Downes, who celebrates his fiftieth birthday this weekend.

“We welcome enquiries from local establishments interested in finding out more about the fish tanks or about our outreach for schools.”

1 comment:

Steve Jones said...

Good news. I ended up being the only person to take part in ASSAPS ghost vigil at the Weird Weekend.A very unscientific one as they didn't know where to set up.
Ended up with myself and one of the Daves chatting about ghosts!
Check out the latest Fortean Times Sept issue though p58-59 for more interesting info on the house next door which used to be part of the pub.I would love to do a proper ghost vigil here!