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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Thursday, January 21, 2010

OLL LEWIS: 5 Questions on… Cryptozoology - GLEN VAUDREY

Today’s guest is Glen Vaudrey. Glen is the author of Mystery Animals of the Western Isles published by CFZ press, like all the books in the Mystery Animals series it makes a really good read, even if you’re not from the area, but Glen’s book certainly stands out as a favourite of mine. Glen will be talking about water horses at the 2010 Weird Weekend this August, tickets should be going on sale round about now.

So, Glen Vaudrey here are your 5 Questions on…. Cryptozoology.

1) How did you first become interested in cryptozoology?

I would have to say that my interest began without my knowing about it at around the age of 5 when I started to read parts of the Reader Digest book ‘Folklore, Myths and Legends’; I was fascinated with tales of phantom black dogs. While I spent many miserable wet days looking for any sign of them as a child I never did see a phantom hound.

2) Have you ever personally seen a cryptid or secondary evidence of a cryptid, if so can you please describe your encounter?

At first I considered the answer to be ‘bugger all’ sightings, then I remembered I had seen what I have in the last few years considered to be a phantom dog in Kilchurn Castle, the sighting taking place in the mid 90s. That sighting is tempered by the fact the animal answered to the name Donald, a name that I find hard to reconcile with a ghostly animal. But I actually have seen some genuine out-of-place animals, three turtles that used to live in a cutting of the River Irwell in Irlam. Those three lost turtles may not be as exciting as a phantom dog or a mystery cat but they could do very good impressions of German World War Two helmets.

3) Which cryptids do you think are the most likely to be scientifically discovered and described some day, and why?

I have to agree with most previous answers given to this question and opt for the thylacine. I think any animal that has only been judged extinct in living memory has a good chance of being found. While I expect it to be rediscovered in the next decade I think the only mystery will be where it will be found, Tasmania, mainland Australia or even in New Guinea.
Not wishing to have just the one answer my outside bet would be for the discovery of a large North Atlantic shark in the next few years.

4) Which cryptids do you think are the least likely to exist?

Despite the subject being close to my heart (I will be talking about them at the 2010 Weird Weekend) the Each Uisge waterhorse is one almost certainly never to see the light of day. Any animal that is a reputed to be able to change shape has to be regarded with caution.

5) If you had to pick your favourite cryptozoological book (not including books you may have written yourself) what would you choose?

As it is certainly one of the most influential books on mystery animals it would have to be Heuvelmans’ On the track of unknown animals. As far as any other books a good read is always welcome and if the book has both an index and a bibliography it will do for me.

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