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, August 26, 2009


First of all I would like to apologise to everyone who has been trying to talk to me over the last few days, especially dear Naomi. I am feeling pretty horrible at the moment, and find it hard to talk lucidly to anyone, either in the flesh or online. Life is not particularly easy at the moment, and it is made worse by the abscence of most of the CFZ crew about their own affairs. Richard is in Staffordshire, Graham in London, and this is a particularly bad time for my serotonin levels to crash and burn. Please forgive me guys....

There is good news and there is bad news.

We are beginning to dig ourselves out of the hole in which we found ourselves earlier this summer. However, the additional curve-ball caused by the crash of our hard drive a few weeks ago has presented us with a whole slew of new problems (as if we didn't have enough on our plates).

Therefore, it is - I believe - cards on the table time.

  • My old office computer, which we have had for the past three years, is on its last legs, and I do not want to trust it any more. I am in the process of backing up everything that I can, (quite a lot was already backed up), but it is a long, slow process
  • The new computer (which cost most of our reserves) will be arriving today. Oll, Dave B-P and I will be setting it up later on
  • Once the new computer (which is much more powerful with 9.2 GHz of processor) is up and running I shall be able to resume video editing etc, and the WW videos will be up on CFZtv. It is a great disappointment that we were not able to get them up as quickly as last year, but such is life
  • I lost a hell of a lot of data when the hard drive went. I have learned my lesson from this, but it is too late to cry over spilt milk. Some of this stuff is retrievable, other stuff is lost forever, and other stuff will have to be reconstituted from scratch. This is a long and slow process, and will involve a great deal of work.
  • Amongst the data lost are the latest editions of Animals & Men and The Amateur Naturalist and the pdf templates for both. We shall, therefore, have to start from scratch in redesigning both publications. This means that the publication schedule for both magazines is now all to cock. There will be a new edition of A&M before the end of the year, but I make no promises about TAN. This does not mean that TAN is going out of publication, but it does mean that it is on hiatus until we manage to get things back on track.
  • The CFZ Yearbook will appear as planned, and we are now actively soliciting articles for it. We do, however, not make any poromises as to whether it will arrive in time for Christmas
  • I am presently working on reconstituting Andy Roberts's anthology. This is now about a fortnight behind schedule. Lizzy has just finished proofing Nick Molloy's Predator Deathmatch and will be starting on Carl Portman's new book in the next day or two. Naomi has just finished first proofing Richard Freeman's book, and I am working on Karl Shuker's book of poetry.

Basically, guys, life is pretty difficult at the moment, but there is light at the end of the tunnel, and it doesn't seem to be an oncoming train. We are still up the creek, but now we have several paddles....


Naomi said...

No apologies needed, Jon! I understand this is a rough time under normal circumstances, let alone the additional difficulties you all have been hit with.

Carl said...

I managed to delete almost all of my precious video footage from last November's rainforest trip to Australia. I was (still am) devastated so I know how it feels. Those memory sticks can hold one heck of a lot of data and I would advise using them if you are not already.
Good luck - follow the Japanese proverb 'fall down seven times, get up eight'.

Carl said...

Jon, I recently 'deleted' almost all of my video footage from my rainforest trip to Queensland in November. I was (and remain) devastated. Thoise memory sticks hold loads of information really quickly but I am sure you are already backing up onto them...
Follow the Japanese proverb Jon - ' Fall down seven times, get up eight'.