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, October 17, 2009


Who is this cute redhead? And why is she snuggled up to the Director of the Centre for Fortean Zoology, who actually looks completely slaughtered, when in fact he is just tired?

It was the evening of the WW Sunday Dinner 2006, and I (I've had enough of trying to recount this story in the third person) was absolutely cream-crackered after what is always the most exhausting weekend of the year.

The girl is Tania Poole, an Australian pagan and fortean who was kind enough to say extremely nice things about us all after attending the event. Indeed, by the end of the weekend she had joined the ranks of `Uncle Jon's girls` - an unofficial melange of young ladies who seem to take pity on this cynical old hippy, and help his long-suffering wife look after him whenever his manifold physical, psychological, and personality failings let him down.

She went back to Oz a few days later, and although we have heard from her by email, and indeed she has even written for the bloggo, we haven't seen her since.

However, out of the blue a day or two ago came a parcel from her. As you may remember, I attained my half-century a couple of months ago, and am now officially in the old git brigade (although, if I am to be brutally honest, and there is no other kind of honesty, really, I have been an old git for years). However, I digress, but regular readers of the bloggo will be used to that. The last thing that I was expecting as I unwrapped my post that morning was an affectionate letter from Tania, together with two lovely birthday presents (pictured on the left).

The stamps will take pride of place in the crypto album, and the yellow roadsign has already been affixed to the office door together with the `Beware of the Chickens` sign that Oll gave me for the same birthday.

I am feeling extremely touched. Thank you, my dear, for being so kind to an ageing cryptodude. It means a hell of a lot to me, and I really do appreciate it. It is at times like this that I realise that my efforts to make the CFZ a truly global family, are slowly but surely bearing fruit.

Thank you, dear.

Truly there is a corner of a foreign field that is forever Woolsery.

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