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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.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

HEXHAM HEADS: Paul Screeton needs your help

This appeal is self-contained but stems from a posting on the 'Forteana' forum. It featured a 1982 foray into New Scientist by Dr Don Robins, an inorganic chemist associated with The Dragon project. Anyone know where Don is in 2011?

Ah, earth energies and the mystery that dare not speak its name - ley power!

Dr Don Robins, a blast from the past. I'm researching the Hexham Heads mystery and the role this inorganic chemist played in the saga. I knew Don quite well and after a The Ley Hunter mag moot, had a drink with him and his buddy at Jack Straw's Castle pub, Hampstead. We also corresponded and at one stage Don requested a sliver from a pseudo-archaic head which had been made by a local Hexham man, Des Craigie, in response to Celtic scholar Dr Anne Ross's challenge that if he, Des, had made the original Hexham Heads, as he claimed, she wanted to see him repeat the feat. Oddly the three demonstration models only resembled the originals in the later form (after a geologist had butchered their tenons for analysis).

When everyone else believed the originals had been sent back to Newcastle University Museum of Antiqities and from there returned to their owners, the Robson family, who (re?) discovered them, Dr Ross pulled out a box in her study and handed them over to Don Robins, who she had just met. Ross and Robins went on to collaborate on a book and subsequently fell out big time. Don never sent a report into his findings and wrote in an Alpha mag piece that he had loaned the idols to Frank Hyde, an astrologer, for tests and Hyde had been involved in a car crash and seriously injured.

I have been unable to trace Hyde nor the whereabout of the original heads. I am also trying to track a mysterious figure called Wild or Wilde, supposedly married to an African princess, who collected Celtic artefacts and who met Dr Ross 30 or so years ago.

Lastly, I have lost touch with Don, who I believe may now be in the US? I would appreciate any leads to find any of those mentioned (except Dr Ross, with whose son I have been in recent contact), particularly Don. Paul Screeton.

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