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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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Monday, June 20, 2011

MUIRHEAD`S MYSTERIES: COCKATRICE HALL- MACCLESFIELD/GIANT TURTLE- MAURITIUS

I have an account of Cockatrice Hall in Macclesfield and also a giant turtle in Mauritius in 1810, which may or may not be significant; I do not know.

The account of Cockatrice Hall is from Doug Pickford`s Macclesfield Mysterious and Macabre:

Hatched from a cockerel egg

'Just a little north of Pagan Wassail there used to be a building known as Cockatrice Hall. But information about this building is shrouded in mystery. Near to the former Town Mission ( which later became the Lorimar Studios and then, more recently, a nightclub) was, it is believed, an estate known as Cockatrice Estate.

It was mentioned in a deed dated 29 April 1754, when the estate and other considerations went to Joseph Hobson of Macclesfield and others in trust. Mr Hobson was a member of the Society of Friends, or Quakers.

Cockatrice is the name given to a fabulous serpent hatched from a cock`s egg. Little or nothing else is known about the building, or why it should have been given such a mysterious name - a pagan mythical beast`s hall almost adjoining a pagan site for drinking and fornication! Likewise, little or nothing is known about who was responsible for building it, or when….' (1)

A Giant Turtle

When Mauritius was ceded to Great Britain in 1810 there was a gigantic turtle in a court at the artillery barracks at Port Louis which is still there, although almost blind. It weighs 330 pounds, and stands two feet high when walking. Its shell is 81/2feet long, and it can carry two men on its back with ease. (2)

1 D.Pickford Macclesfield Mysterious and Macabre (2002) p. 29
2 Hopkinsville Kentuckian 29 Dec 1903
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